5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 30, 2008 8:02 PM by Matt Feider

    contour plot into surface

    Matt Feider
      I also posted out on comp.cad.solidworks but this appears to be more active so I wanted to cross post here. I am looking for ideas on how to handle a very large physically contour plot. I would really like to do some studies on volumn.

      I have a contour plot of about 4 square miles. I figure the first problem will be one of scale as this is beyond the extents of solidworks. I think that I can scale in autocad to get below the extents. Then possibly import....

      The second issue is how to map a surface or something actually usable to the contour lines. I threw out the idea of a loft with each selection as that is just not workable with the number of contours. But I am wondering if there are other ideas....

      Would love to hear any.
        • contour plot into surface
          If you have SolidWorks Office Premium you might be able to convert the contours into point cloud data and use ScanTo3D to generate a surface.
          • contour plot into surface
            Matthew,

            As Charles suggested, ScanTo3D should be able to handle this quite nicely and you don't even have to create a surface - you can use the Curve wizard to quickly generate the "topo" curves in one step. Of course this depends on the density and quality of the cloud point data.

              • contour plot into surface
                Matthew,

                What kind of information are you starting with - a paper or electronic drawing?
                  • contour plot into surface
                    Matt Feider
                    great, thanks for all the suggestions.

                    I actually think I answered my own question and it appears to be the same as everyone suggests. I found a tool that will convert the autocad contour plot to X, Y, Z data (for free - if anyone else is looking do a google search for 'dxf2xyz') and this resultant file is usable by the scan import tools. these tools also provide methods to map a surface through them. So it looks like I am able to get a 3D surface for my uses with just a few hours processing time. Hey I am working with half a million points.....so I wouldn't expect it to be too fast.

                    I did scale in AutoCAD to 1/10 scale first as I was working with data from about 8 square miles and this obviously is past the extents of a solidworks part. But after the scale I am going to calculate volumn and just multiply back by 10^3. I think it will actually work well.....

                    or at least once I fix the surface as there are a few errors that come in.

                    --Matt