6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2008 12:13 AM by Christopher Thompson

    Scanto3D: importing

    Christopher Thompson
      I have a question. A potential client has request I created a 3-D CAD model of a part that was an original concept by a model maker. They need a feature-based SW part file.

      As the file will be produced by a laser scan service, it will most likely need to be imported using Scanto3D (SolidWorks Office Premium 2007). What file type should I request from the company providing this scanning service? What is the least problematic file type to import into SW from a scanned part?

      Are there scanners that can produce a surface or solid model instead of cloud pt. data or STL format?
        • Scanto3D: importing
          John Burrill
          It all depends on what software your 3D Scanning company is using and how they go about recognizing the model.
          There are packages that will create Solidworks features as they go (ofcourse they're highly interactive as opposed to automated)
          I would tell them what you're planning to do and let them give you notes.
          Finally, if you have to have a fully parametric, feature-based model, you're success is going to depend a lot on the surface complexity of the part. If your scanning a bust of Beethoven, don't expect featureworks to know what to make of his scowl.
          • Scanto3D: importing
            Christopher Thompson
            I requested tech support from my SW VAR, and here is the response I received:

            Some vendors provide scanning and also turn it into a nurbed surfaces and then into solid geometry. If they provide that service it would make it much easier for you, but if they don't you can do it yourself using the Scanto3D that you have in your seat of SW Office Premium.

            To open scan data:
            1. Click Open and select one of the following types of scan data files in Files of type:
            . Mesh Files (*.nxm; *.scn; *.3ds; *.obj; *.stl; *.wrl; *.ply; *.ply2)
            . PointCloud Files (*.xyz; *.txt; *.asc; *.vda; *.igs; *.ibl)

            ScanTo3D automatically imports textures from 3D Studio .3ds, .obj, and .wrl files provided the textures are clearly linked to the mesh file. Otherwise, the mesh imports with no textures. You can specify the location of texture files in the Import Options dialog box..
            2. Browse to a file for File name.
            3. Click Options, set the import options, then click OK.
            4. Click Open.

            Mesh or Point Cloud appears in the FeatureManager design tree.

            Mesh (STL) or point cloud data you will get from the Laser scanner. Then when you open the file you turn it a solid or surface with either the Mesh or Point cloud.

            To run the Surface Wizard:
            1. Open a file that contains a mesh feature and click Surface Wizard (ScanTo3D toolbar) Tools, ScanTo3D, Surface Wizard.
            2. Follow the wizard which has two methods to extract surfaces:
            . Automatic creation. Uses a single-step process to automatically create a solid model. This option is good for anatomical and organic shapes.
            . Guided creation. Uses a multi-step process to create surfaces, allowing you more control over the surfaces. This option is good for analytical surfaces or when you want to have more control over the surfaces.
              • Scanto3D: importing
                Chris Dordoni

                Unfortunately SolidWorks was not designed to quickly produce nurbs surfaces from scanned data. If you are going to be doing a lot of this work, then you need a dedicated reverse engineering package like:

                GSI Sudio
                Geomagic Studio
                (I don't know if any of these three will output a parametric, feature-based model.)

                That being said, an "old" method to produce nurbs surfaces from scanned data is to use "slices" though the scanned data to use as reference points for drawing new curves, for lofting, skinning and other modeling functions. I think there are some freeware slicers available if you can't do that with Scanto3D. You could then import the slices into SolidWorks for reference.

                Another option is Rhinoceros, with an optional plugin called Smurf, which helps to generate curves from scanned geometry to produce nurbs surfaces with Rhino's modeling functions.


                • Scanto3D: importing
                  Brad Moon
                  Hi Chris,

                  What did you discover with laser scanning?

                  We are looking at doing the same thing.


                    • Scanto3D: importing
                      Christopher Thompson

                      You can email me if you have questions about laser scanning. The service I used had a Faro arm that laser scanned the part. The data was converted into a NURB surface, and exported as a STEP/IGES/Parasolids file that was later imported into SolidWorks. I have also imported these files into Pro/Engineer as well.

                      I was not able to fully heal the geometry using import diagnotics. However, I did use the scanned imported surfaces as a reference for building parametric geometry. It was somewhat time consuming, but worked well for my particular purpose.

                      After the model was complete, I deleted the imported surfaces from the model. This could also be done as an assembly where the reference part is an imported surface or solid.

                      Chris Thompson

                  • Scanto3D: importing
                    Shawn Austin
                    First, I want to apologize to those who I have emailed through the report this to a moderator. I thought I was sending email to the individual about my problem. I hope I didn't offend anyone. My problem is with importing a surface (stl format) into Solidworks from a reverse engineering program that uses microCT slices to recreate the surface. I rather not go straight into Fluent(CFD software) with an stl format. Wanted to see if solidworks can translate the file. I tried importing as solid/surface body. However, error message appears that it is too many surface and suggest to use stl Graphics. It seems I can't do anything with stl graphics. I tried exporting as parasolid,ACIS, etc. But surfaces is not recreated. I recently learned of scanto3D option. After running surface wizard I am having the same problem. The model can't be recreated. Anyone have any suggestions?