5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 28, 2018 3:00 PM by Eric Snyder

    Importing 3D scanned files

    Eric Snyder

      Looking for a little advice when importing 3D scanned files. My scanner (supplier) sent me a STL file and it imported with graphics only (too large). Is there a way to section graphics to derive shapes from the result?


      What is the best practice when using 3D scanned files? Point cloud?

        • Re: Importing 3D scanned files
          Iain McEwen

          Hi Eric,


          In Tools > Options > Import you can set the STL to try and form a solid body as opposed to a graphics body.




          Do you have Professional or Premium SOLIDWORKS? These contain the Scan To 3D add in?

          • Re: Importing 3D scanned files
            Fatih Mehmet Ozcan

            What size is your file?

            Scan programs have ability to reduce polygon count. Or you can try Netfabb, Meshmixer, Meshlab etc

            • Re: Importing 3D scanned files
              Chris Dordoni

              If you don't have Scanto3D in your license (Premium and Pro versions) you would have to reduce the triangle count to approx 15,000 or so to import as a Solid Body, or somewhat more as a Surface Body, so that SolidWorks functions would work on it. That might also eliminate some of the detail you need.


              Cloud Compare is Open Source, it can generate sections as DXF files which could be imported into SolidWorks. It needs to have points sampled from the mesh (STL) to generate the sections, and that is easy to accomplish along with generating the section(s).

              • Re: Importing 3D scanned files
                Paul Salvador

                Hello Eric,..questions with how it will be used..a lot of polyfaces can consume memory/overhead/time/$)

                - re-engineering / converting ...partial or all,.. parametric or dumb?

                     - reference data as a size/place holder (scale/position graphics)

                     - can 3D graphics be enough or, you need only "some" of the data (planes/points/lines)?

                     - is data prismatic? (planar/cylinders/fillets,..~simple solids)

                     - is data shaped (curves/surfaces/lofts/fill/boundary..)

                • Re: Importing 3D scanned files
                  Eric Snyder

                  Thank you all.

                  I found the best way was using the point cloud data rather than STL, IGES or other 3D file.