38 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2009 8:00 PM by Timothy Wieck

    Surfacing with Scanto3D

    David  Murray
      Hi

      A kind sponsor of our race team scanned our engine recently. I have received the data from them as an igs and stl file. If I open the data in solidwwrks, using scanto3d, I can create a mesh of the engine, but whenever I try and create the surfaces I just get an error saying surfaces cannot be generated. Any help would be much appreciated. Please find enclosed a screen shot of the mesh.

      Cheers

      Dave Murray
      Cardiff Racing
      www.cardiffracing.com
        • Surfacing with Scanto3D
          Matt Lombard
          Mesh and nurbs surface data are fundamentally different, and converting between them is not (yet) a true button-push operation.

          If you have an IGS file, is it just a point cloud or is it nurbs surfaces? Try to open IGS without ScanTo3D, and see if your sponsor already did the work. I'm not sure there is any simple advice one could give a novice to make this kind of work doable, other than to encourage you to learn about the process with any of the tutorials included. Where you go with it also depends on what the end use of the data will be. If all you need is a display in an assembly, the STL data may be good enough, using a graphics body. If you want a parametric model, you will need to go a step further, and rebuild the part with features, which will take some additional patience.

          Best of luck.
            • Surfacing with Scanto3D
              David  Murray
              Hi Matt

              Thanks for the prompt reply.

              I tried opening the IGS file normally and it just appears as a point cloud. We basically want to use the model to place in an assembly to chekc fit/packaging etc. Any critical mounting points etc I have as a seperate set of probed data that I can overlay onto the engine outline.

              Are there any tutorials around for Scanto3D as I can't seem to find any?

              Cheers

              Dave
            • Surfacing with Scanto3D
              Dave,

              I'm pretty confident that you could recreate this engine using ScanTo3D using the guided surface option. This is the best choice for product design and machine casting shapes like this. The Auto-Surfacing option is more organic shapes and is not well-suited for what you have here.

              I've done work like this before using ScanTo3D and it does work...with some effort. Make sure you're using the mesh wizard first to get it cleaned up and oriented on your default planes and at the proper scale. I can't over emphasize getting the scale right because after all the work to convert it into a solid, discovering that it is 25.4 times too small is disheartening.

              Also, if you do have a combination of prismatic (analytic) shapes as well as complex (algorithmic) shapes, you can do both automatic and guide surfacing thru multiple passes and copies of the mesh. With 2008, you have more guided types to choose.


              • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                Shawn Austin
                Hi
                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?
                • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                  Shawn Austin
                  Hi
                  I would just like to be able to convert the mesh or point cloud (stl) data to a NURBS representation before I use solidworks. Any software that can do that? I have tried importing my point cloud model as a solid or surface body in solidworks with no success!
                  • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                    Brian Hoerner
                    Shawn, typically this has been left to higher order surfacing tools such as Alias, Imageware, PolyWorks, RapidForm and Paraform (now Metris) and others that deal with reverse engineering and surfacing mostly.
                    My guess is that SW is a good start using the ScanTo3D, but being as young as it is it may not be as fully bloated with automatic options as the others. I have looked at ScanTo3D, and it will meet many needs, but is too lightweight for serious surfacing that comes with dense pointclouds that I tend to deal with, sometimes several million points.
                    • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                      Edmond Husseini
                      Hi David, I would like to email you a couple of questions about scanning and the engine you are using but I can't seem to email you directly from this forum. Would you be willing to send me a quick email to: ehusseini (at) victoryteam (dot) ae? That way I can reply with the question I have... It would be much appreciated!
                      • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                        Shawn Austin
                        Hi Mark and Brian

                        Thanks for your help. The object I want to convert is very porous, almost like a sponge. The smaller the pores the more the surface area. I don't believe a complex geometry like the one I am working with can be recreated, especially with tons of surface area. I will have to look into other software.
                        • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                          Brian Hoerner
                          Shawn, if you would post a jpeg of a drawing or sketch we may be able to give you a better idea of what tools SW has and what other tools may be a better fit
                            • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                              mike ekbundit
                              I am trying to solve a similar problem with output from a program called Mimics. The IGS file imported into SolidWorks as a stack of ImportedCurves. There was a lot of unwanted info so I've reduced the 7000 something curves to about 25 that I want to keep.

                              I tried to loft between curves and got a warning about not enough memory. (I have 2 Gig RAM). Now I am trying to smooth each curve to have a better shot at lofting. However, I can't find a way to smooth the individual ImportedCurve entities.

                              Overall, I too am trying to convert CT scans to a mesh to a NURBS model. Eventually, I need to get my part into CosmosWorks. The attached image is of the remaining curves I'm trying to loft between.
                                • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                  Matt Lombard
                                  It's not a great way to do it, but if you want to simplify a curve, the only way I can think of, without manually tweaking the iges file is to use a Convert Entities to copy the curve to a spline, and then use Simplify Spline to either remove points or to just show all the points and delete some of them by hand.

                                  The data looks a little noisy, and you may want to smooth it out this way.
                                    • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                      mike ekbundit
                                      Thank you for the tip, Matt. I'll give it a shot and report back. There seem to be a lot of programs that claim to be able to take medical scans and make a NURBS surface from them. So far, I haven't found one that actually does it.

                                      By the way, I enjoyed your lectures at SolidWorks World this year. Didn't sleep a wink in any of them.
                                        • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                          mike ekbundit
                                          After I project the imported curve and convert entities, I end up with an assortment of lines, arcs, parabolas, and splines. I tried Fit Spline on every combination of elements I could think of with the same error "Failed due to geometric conditions." I tried constrained, unconstrained, and fixed as well as a wide assortment of tolerance values. I also removed all of the sketch relations and tried it that way, then all of the above in a 3D sketch. Finally, I tried it by picking the original imported curve.

                                          The only way I could get a single spline segment was to pick one piece at a time. But then I couldn't create them in a way where they joined each other. For example, I could Fit Spline on segments 1 and 3 but not on 2.

                                          Did I miss something stupid? Maybe I'm just sleepy.
                                  • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                    Kevin Quigley
                                    I should state here that I am a Classic only user and don't use Scan to 3D - I use VX and Rhino to handle the mesh side to generate curves but I have occasionally imported rough mesh intersection curves from these into SolidWorks as IGES. The workflow (I use) is to make 3D sketches or 2D sketches of each curve then use the loft surface tool. The big problem you will have is that a typical scan curve set will have a zillion points on it and will in fact be made up of loads of line segments. Generally the scan software can deal with the curve creation side but even then on complex forms it will create issues. Apps like VX are pretty good at creating freeform surfaces from point clouds or heavy data sets. SolidWorks, in my experience, is better at creating surfaces from quality splines.

                                    One question I have though. Why don't you just do all this in Mimics itself? That has a MedCAD add on/module that lets you tackle all this. http://www.materialise.com/mat...e/view/en/92486


                                    The basic issue is that applications from Materialise (like Magics and Mimics) are designed to handle polygonal data and meshes or point cloud sets from scans - and they are generally pretty good at that. The workflow the Materialise are promoting, of course, is to build the models as polygonal data from scans, use the various Mimics modules then export to STL and build the implant (or whatever) from Magics and preferably using Materialise as the bureau! Not daft those Belgians

                                    If you really must rebuild in SolidWorks the best option would be (or rather the way I do it - not necessarily the same thing!) is:

                                    1. Import the curve set as IGES
                                    2. Create 3D sketches for each individual curve or collection of lines by referencing those lines to the sketch
                                    3. Loft a surface between them

                                    If you run out of memory try trimming the 3D sketches so you are only lofting say quadrants of the overall shape.

                                    To be honest though I think your best bet would be to use a polygonal modelling system and create the surface in that and export it back to SW as an STL or even IGES. I've not tried this type of application in Rhino but it has a fairly extensive set of tools for surfacing from all kinds of curve.

                                    Out of interest what is the ultimate aim of this?
                                      • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                        mike ekbundit
                                        One of the driving factors in my project is not to get married to any given software and use open source like OsiriX where possible. SolidWorks and CosmosWorks licenses are already available. The issue then becomes finding programs that will export something that can convert to NURBS. The programs I've tried so far will export STL but those import with thousands of holes or too many surfaces.

                                        Yes, I can use the Mimics module. And if I end up buying Mimics then that would seem the way to go. Crossing back and forth between polygon and NURBS is tough.

                                        In the mean time, I am looking for a generic method. So far, I can get an IGES that imports as curves made up of hundreds of segments. Fit Spline won't fit so I may have to manually trace each curve then loft between. I can Convert Entities to get a sketch but there are too many features to use in a loft (your suggested Step 3) and SW errors off.

                                        The end goal is to create a parametric model to do fracture analysis with SolidWorks and CosmosWorks. The generic bone I'm building could then be connected to a design table.

                                        Thanks for the input. Maybe trying to incorporate SW and CW is too steep a hill to climb and misuse of the application?
                                          • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                            Matt Lombard

                                            mike ekbundit wrote:

                                             

                                            Crossing back and forth between polygon and NURBS is tough.

                                            I don't think you fully appreciate the import of your own words. Have you actually completed a conversion yet?



                                             

                                            The end goal is to create a parametric model to do fracture analysis with SolidWorks and CosmosWorks. The generic bone I'm building could then be connected to a design table.

                                            It sounds like you don't understand the nature of the conversion or the nature of parametrics. Why would you want to create a parametric model from static data? There is no purpose. Do you really care about the parametrics? Are you going to try to change the model once you create it?

                                            Why don't you provide data, and I'll give you a little demo on what it takes to do what you are after. Can you send or FTP the data?
                                              • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                mike ekbundit
                                                Yes, I plan to be able to change the model after I build it. I can't get enough bone samples to create multiple models. It would be better for me to build a generic bone with changeable parameters. I'm using the scan data I have as a starting point for geometry. To your point, I suppose it would be just as valid to create a surface or body because I want to set all of the adjustability anyway.

                                                No, I can't say I fully understand this process. That's why I'm writing a paper about it and annoying people with all these questions.

                                                Yes, I know there are bones available for purchase but none of those are accurate for infants. That's why I have to start with scan data of an actual subject.

                                                What data format do you want? I have an IGS that I've cleaned and imported as a SLDPRT. I also have an STL.

                                                Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks for your patience.
                                                  • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                    mike ekbundit
                                                    It has become painfully apparent that using a mesh model as a starting point in SW is a bad idea. Better to create something from scratch. Thank you all for your feedback.
                                                      • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                        Tony Vitale
                                                        I use the next engine scanner, and then import the .scn file to SW a lot, and have pretty good luck. All i do thought since my parts are somewhat complex is import the mesh, and orient it to the standard planes. then build my SW geometry around it. Since its a mesh file you can snap lines etc. to the mesh to get a real good accurate reprentation. I've never been successful at letting SW generate surfaces using scanto3d tools. Its ok for simple parts, but anything complex its not worth the time.
                                                          • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                            Jacky Chu
                                                            I have a quick question relating mesh in Solidworks. I started with a file that has a mesh surface in it and design my part around it. (the mesh is just a reference for my design)

                                                            I had right click on the mesh surface and hide it. (so i can see the part i design without the mesh in the way)

                                                            After i saved it last night and I opened it today. the mesh is still hidden. right clicking on the mesh item listed on the feature tree does not show an option to unhide it.

                                                            Does anyone know how I can unhide the mesh?

                                                            Thanks in advance for any pointer.
                                                              • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                Tony Vitale
                                                                Finally!!!! Someone with the same problem i'm having!!!!

                                                                I've been trying to get answers to this problem for months. I have my VAR involved, and taling with solidworks. Still with no answers. According to them I am the only person ever to report this issue. now i see someone else.

                                                                Feel free to email me and we can gang up to get this fixed.

                                                                tonyv@avstardirect.com
                                                                  • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                    Tony,<br /><br />I have seen this before in 2007 ScanTo3D and reportedly have fixed this issue.<br /><br />1) What version of SW and SP are you on?<br /><br />2) when you reopen the file and the mesh does not show, are the ScanTo3D tools available?<br /><br />3) Try this: File>Open<br /><br />Change file list type to: .dll and open the following file:<br /><br />C:\Program Files\<install directory for SW\ScanTo3D\Addin\swngre.dll<br /><br />If this still does not resolve the problem, please email your email address to me mbiasotti@solidworks.com and I'll provide you with an FTP upload site and I'll submit it and get back to you.<br />
                                                                      • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                        Tony Vitale
                                                                        Mark,

                                                                        I sent you an email with the info you requested. thanks for helping out with this!

                                                                        Tony
                                                                        • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                          Timothy Wieck
                                                                          Hello Mark,
                                                                          You seem to have some great insights into SW and scan/point/mesh capabilities.

                                                                          I use a laser scanner and hard probe to create point clouds.
                                                                          I import the *.xyz files into SW and create a one-feature part from each.
                                                                          I make that part a component of an assembly
                                                                          I then create a SW part from scratch and situate it in the assembly to clear any points in any of the point cloud parts.

                                                                          My problem is that when I only have a point cloud part on the screen, the points are visible.
                                                                          But when I have an assembly with only that one point cloud part as as a subcomponent on the screen then none of the points are visible.

                                                                          I need the points to be visible in the assembly so I can design my part that needs to clear all of them.
                                                                          I've used this approach in the past, but the points are no longer visible.

                                                                          I'm running SW Premium 2009 SP1.0 on a nice Dell Precision 690 with 4GB ram and the Physical Address Extension (Control Panel, System shows 3GB) running XP Pro Version 2002 SP2.

                                                                          Thanks in advance,

                                                                          Tim
                                                                            • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                              tim,

                                                                              Is there something that you can post that I can take a look at, even if it is a simple example?

                                                                              I did a simple test here on SW2009 SP1 and it doesn't seem to be a problem: that is I can load a cloud point into a subassembly and then load that into a main assembly, all the while the Cloud Points are visible.
                                                                                • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                  Timothy Wieck
                                                                                  Mark,

                                                                                  Thanks for pointing me to the problem: ScanTo3D add-in has to be loaded when building the assembly, even if I don't intent to translate or import any scan data.

                                                                                  I had the problem of not seeing point clouds in a component (in an assembly). Yet I could see the point clouds of that same component if only viewing it as a part.

                                                                                  You helped me find the solution. The ScanTo3d add-in needs to be loaded, when building the assembly, even if you're not using the add-in to translate or import scan data.

                                                                                  I found this when I re-imported the *.xyz file into a *.sldprt file with Scan23D. The point clouds became visible in the newly imported part file as well as in other components of the assembly into which I inserted the newly created part file.

                                                                                  Mark is submitting an SPR to have the point clouds visible in an assembly REGARDLESS of whether the add-in is loaded or not.

                                                                                  Thanks, Mark! And best of 2009 to you.

                                                                                  Tim.Wieck
                                                                                    • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                      All,

                                                                                      this issue has been fixed for SW2009 SP2.
                                                                                        • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                          Timothy Wieck

                                                                                          Mark Biasotti wrote:

                                                                                           

                                                                                          All,

                                                                                          this issue has been fixed for SW2009 SP2.

                                                                                          Mark (and others),

                                                                                          Sorry to note that I'm having point cloud visibility problems again.

                                                                                          I'm running SW2009 Premium SP3.0 on a Dell Precision 690 with 4GB ram and the Physical Address Extension (Control Panel, System shows 3GB) running XP Pro Version 2002 SP2.

                                                                                          When I import a *.xyz file, I can see the point cloud.
                                                                                          When I open up a *.sldprt file that has a point cloud as one of the features (from a previous import of a *.xyz file ), I can not see the point cloud (on most of these *.sldprt files). On some I can see the point cloud.

                                                                                          On those where the point cloud is invisible, it seems to make no difference whether I UNHIDE the feature, or UNSUPPRESS it, or change APPEARANCES of it.

                                                                                          It also makes no difference if I have the ScanTo3D add-in active or not.

                                                                                          Lastly, I thought I used the fix outlined below last time, but to no effect now:
                                                                                          1) Import a *.xyz file into a new *.sldprt file.
                                                                                          2) Save the *.sldprt file.
                                                                                          3) Insert the *.sldprt file into an assembly that has other components with invisible point clouds in them.
                                                                                          4) After inserting, the point clouds in the other components become visible.

                                                                                          ANY OTHER THOUGHTS? Or things I could try.

                                                                                          This is keeping us from moving forward on our electric car project. I'm trying to design and fit an updated drivetrain within the assembly of a dozen point clouds of the scanned surfaces of our vehicle, which we're converting to all-electric at www.ampmotorworks.com.

                                                                                          Unfortunately, I construct points, lines, and planes in each point cloud part file in order to constrain them all together and REBUILD the car from the dozen individual point clouds. So to re-import the point clouds from the original *.xyz files would cause all of this work to go down the drain as well.

                                                                                          Tim

                                                                                            • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                              Tim,

                                                                                              What is your SR no.? I know the QA person that worked on this can I can re-notify him of your issue if I have the SR.
                                                                                                • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                                  Timothy Wieck
                                                                                                  Mark,
                                                                                                  Thank you for the response.
                                                                                                  My SR # is:
                                                                                                  Service Request 1-1235219121

                                                                                                  Anything you can do to send this up the ladder is much appreciated, as we're dead in the water.
                                                                                                  We're trying to release PO's for many thousands of dollars of components and yet we can't do so until we confirm all of the new components will fit into the car. (And I imagine they won't at this point.) The scanned point clouds of the car surfaces are needed for this confirmation of fit.

                                                                                                  A couple of items that I suspect may be the culprit:

                                                                                                  1) Graphics card doesn't display point clouds reliably, even though certified by SolidWorks. (I'm using a nVidia Quadro FX 3500 on two Dell 2007WFP flat panel screens at 32 bit color and at 1280 x 1024 each, or at 1680 x 1050 each)

                                                                                                  2) Suppress, Hide, or LightWeight only work reliably in one direction for PointCloud features.
                                                                                                  They cannot be correctly Unsuppressed, Unhid, or Resolved.

                                                                                                  Just hunches of things to check.

                                                                                                  All the best,

                                                                                                  Tim
                                                                                                    • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                                      Timothy Wieck
                                                                                                      I don't know if it's appropriate on this forum, but here's what we're up to....

                                                                                                      http://www.ampmotorworks.com

                                                                                                      I thought users of this forum would be interested in the all-electric sportscar conversion.

                                                                                                      Tim

                                                                                                      • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                                        Timothy Wieck

                                                                                                        Tim Wieck wrote:

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                        Mark,

                                                                                                        Thank you for the response.

                                                                                                        My SR # is:

                                                                                                        Service Request 1-1235219121



                                                                                                        Anything you can do to send this up the ladder is much appreciated, as we're dead in the water.

                                                                                                        We're trying to release PO's for many thousands of dollars of components and yet we can't do so until we confirm all of the new components will fit into the car. (And I imagine they won't at this point.) The scanned point clouds of the car surfaces are needed for this confirmation of fit.



                                                                                                        A couple of items that I suspect may be the culprit:



                                                                                                        1) Graphics card doesn't display point clouds reliably, even though certified by SolidWorks. (I'm using a nVidia Quadro FX 3500 on two Dell 2007WFP flat panel screens at 32 bit color and at 1280 x 1024 each, or at 1680 x 1050 each)



                                                                                                        2) Suppress, Hide, or LightWeight only work reliably in one direction for PointCloud features.

                                                                                                        They cannot be correctly Unsuppressed, Unhid, or Resolved.



                                                                                                        Just hunches of things to check.



                                                                                                        All the best,



                                                                                                        Tim

                                                                                                        I've since looked in to graphics card issues and don't feel that's the entire problem.


                                                                                                        I also replaced one of the *.sldprt files that had an invisible PointCloud feature in it with a version from a backup (thank God for backups). I noted that the older version on the backup DVD was 207.5 MB, yet the newer version on my LAN drive was only 3.8 MB. It's amazing that the file size gets 55 times smaller when the point cloud goes invisible.


                                                                                                        Interesting behavior noted:

                                                                                                        1) I did a File, Open, on the file on the backup DVD. It prompted me that I had to open it as ReadOnly. The point cloud was not visible.

                                                                                                        2) I then copied the same file to my LAN drive.
                                                                                                        I did a File, Open, on the resulting file on my LAN drive and Voila! the point cloud was visible.

                                                                                                        3) I then re-named the 3.8 MB file on my LAN drive to *-NoSeeUm.sldprt.

                                                                                                        4) I then moved the 207.5MB Part file to that same folder and when I opened up the Assembly file of which this Part file is a component, I could still see the point cloud.

                                                                                                        Hopefully this helps someone at SolidWorks to diagnose the problem.


                                                                                                        The Assembly of scans of this area of the car contains 7 Parts with PointCloud features in them. Unfortunately, only 1 of the 7 was a larger file on the backup DVD than on my LAN drive. So I still have the other 6 Parts with invisible PointCloud features in them.

                                                                                                        I notice that there is no Suppress capability on a PointCloud feature. Yet it seems that these features are becoming suppressed.
                                                                        • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                          Ricky Gutierrez
                                                                          eidt::
                                                                          sorry totally wrong posting area
                                                                            • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                              Tony Vitale
                                                                              Well my issue hasn't been addressed yet, and man is this a time killer.....
                                                                              • Surfacing with Scanto3D
                                                                                michael harhaj
                                                                                Hi Guys,

                                                                                The company I work for actually solves these problems. We use Rapidform XOR to reverse engineer from scan data and then perform a "live transfer" to SolidWorks carrying over the feature tree. We also utilize the most acurate laser scanners in the industry to collect our own data. From what I have heard scan to 3D is borrowed from a previous version of Rapidform. If you need the work done we can do it, if you'd like to do the work yourselves I would suggest asking for an stl from your scan data provider to import and use as a template.