11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2015 3:20 PM by Chris Dordoni

    how can I create a 3d model from photos?

    M. Reza Rajabi

      hi dear friends.

      I've read somewhere that it is possible to create a 3D solidworks model using photos. this method is used to make complicated model with ease.

       

      is it really possible?

        • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
          Paul Salvador

          Yeah,... but it depends on the tool (program or scanner or just using images on your sketch), the geometry or topology, the manipulation of the data (if it's worth the time?),.... it's possible...

          • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
            Chris Saller

            The only way I know is to use the Auto Trace command.

            It's not great, but can work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hwMg0GShGU

            • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
              Andrew Kronquist

              The only thing I know of is Autocad's 123D Catch. I've never tried it though.

              • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                Worth Berry

                I regularly use the Sketch Picture tool to start a part from an existing photo.

                • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                  Chris Dordoni

                  The difficulty with photos using photos directly (such as tracing) is the distortion, a natural effect of the lenses used to make the photos. This is present in all camera and lens combinations, and increases with the angle of view of the lens.

                   

                  Using a zoom lens set to higher zoom level can decrease the distortion, but not eliminate it. A digital zoom found on some cameras and cell phones where the angle of view does not change won't help though, it must be an "optical" zoom which decreases the angle of view.

                   

                  Autocads 123D Catch and AGI Photoscan can produce 3D models from multiple photos. I know that Photoscan corrects for distortion when building the model. 123D Catch may do it as well, I'm just not as familiar with it.

                   

                  There is no photo to nurbs modeling application, as all the models produced by these programs are polygon based (triangulated), so once you have a 3d model it has to be converted to nurbs for most manufacturing needs. This is typically a time intensive process. Its possible to get a "dumb" solid nurbs model fairly quickly with software like Geomagic, but it does not have the history (parametrics) that is produced when you build a model in SolidWorks, and has limited usefulness for manufacturing. There are some VERY expensive applications that will create a parametric nurbs model from a triangulated model, but its still not automatic.

                   

                  What do you want to model, and what do you want to use the model for ....?

                   

                  Its possible that a triangulated model could work for you, if your end use is 3D printing, or CNC routing.

                    • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                      Paul Salvador

                      btw... I tried to upload my images to 123D Catch 4X's today with the same error... adeskgarbage.png

                      • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                        M. Reza Rajabi

                        hi dear and thank you for your response.

                        I'm going to use the model for CNC routing.

                          • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                            Chris Dordoni

                            CNC Router software typically accepts STL or other common triangulated files. You would need to create the model with enough resolution so you don't see the triangles in the machined part, as CNC parts are usually large so low resolution can produce very noticeable triangles.

                             

                            The other consideration is undercuts.

                             

                            Depending on the object you are making, you might have to section the object and rotate the sections so that the typical 3-axis CNC router can create the detail you want. Its possible that your object would not have any undercuts, such as a topographic map, but its likely you will need to make some consideration for orienting the model and/or sections for best results. Also, the maximum travel on the Z axis of the router would be a consideration for generating sections.

                             

                            SolidWorks does not work with triangulated models, so you would have to investigate other software for creating and modifying the files.

                             

                            Can you tell me what is your object?

                              • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                                M. Reza Rajabi

                                i'm going to make a 3d statue of things like animals and so on.

                                it doesn't necessary to be extremely accurate so I'm looking for an inexpensive method to build the virtual model in solidworks and then extract the machine codes.

                                  • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                                    Chris Dordoni

                                    Hi Reza,

                                     

                                    Unless you intend to use the files to cut steel (milling), I'd say stay away from nurbs modeling in general for a few reasons:

                                     

                                    1. Anything you creates in a photo modeling application (or by 3d scanning) will be polygons (triangles), so you would have to find a way to work with these in SolidWorks. Unless you have SolidWorks Premium/Professional and Scan to 3D add in, it will be difficult to use triangulated models with more than 15,000 triangles.

                                    2. It will take you longer to create the model in nurbs than it would in triangles. There are deformation tools in SolidWorks, but they don't work as easily as those in poly modelers (ie Blender, Maya, Modo, 3dsMax etc). Nurbs modeling is very structured, and requires curves (2d or 3d sketches in SolidWorks) to build the surfaces.  Its possible to model in polygons without creating curves at all.

                                     

                                    NOTE: There is a plugin available at additional expense called PowerSurfacing, which runs in SolidWorks. That allows for similar ease of modification of nurbs surfaces and presents similar tools as poly modelers. If you had to do this in nurbs, I'd say get that.

                                     

                                    3. Adding machineable texture (like fur, feathers, scales etc) is pssible if you are using a polygon model with displacement mapping. There is really no way to do this in nurbs directly. Most of this 3d texturing is done in polygons and converted to nurbs with some fairly expensive software.

                            • Re: how can I create a 3d model from photos?
                              Don Cheke

                              I agree that it depends on what you want to model.

                               

                              If it is a cross-section of something then use a scanner and use the image as a general guide for sketching. Then tweak your dimensions based on those taken with calipers.

                               

                              If is is something that has two or three views they too can be inserted and used as trace aids. I have created a pneumatic cylinder and a skid loader using this method. It s fine if just being used as a guide.

                               

                              As for 3D models created with a series of photos, I don't think those created this way are of much use. It is only giving the outer 'shell' as a finished product, not the inner workings. That might be fine if one wants a statue or a paper weight. I think that this scanning craze is a gimmick and gives the illusion that one does not have to put in the effort required to make a functional 3D part or assembly.  Perhaps I am off base in this regard, perhaps the scanned result gives the user a better feel for what they wish to model and perhaps this scanning technology will grow and become much more advanced.