8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2017 12:51 PM by Analisa Roland

    I want to Faro scan organic objects into Solidworks

    Patrick McNeely

      I'm a student who is new to the CAD world, and I'm trying to create an orthotic leg brace, but first I need a model of my leg in Solidworks. I used a Faro scanner to capture a point cloud, I used Geomagic Design X to create a smoothed polygonal mesh from the points,  and now I'm stuck. I can't get the mesh or cloud into Solidworks, I am finding it impossible to create a tree from something so organic using the geometric patters available.  I still have a (.xlr) file, which is just a spreadsheet with all 2.2 million XYZ coordinates.


      I am just interested in importing the scan data into Solidworks, whatever the approach may be, so you have some insight that takes me to a new direction. I'm open.


      I'm a quadriplegic, I really need this to work, so here's your big chance to help someone who really needs it.

        • Re: I want to Faro scan organic objects into Solidworks
          Thomas Voetmann

          I know it is not much help, but you might want to look at the SolidWorks add-in "Scan To 3D" available in Professional edition.

          It is supposed to be able to convert point clouds to 3D. I have never used it myself so I can not tell you how efficient it is. But I do suspect that you should try to divide your point cloud to get more manageable files.

          • Re: I want to Faro scan organic objects into Solidworks
            Alan Thomason

            Thomas is correct that SolidWorks can import point clouds.  I use point clouds of scanned cast/machined objects of round 3million points, so it should be possible.  The format I work with is .xyz files in an ASCII format.  I believe they are space delimited.  So, you need to export the files into one of the options for point cloud import.  I think these are only available when you have Scanto3D enabled as an Add-In, and I think that is only available as a Premium subscriber.


            There are several problems with Scanto3D.

            1. Once saved as a *.sldprt, the point cloud often disappears for no apparent reason.  I usually cure this by starting to open a raw point cloud.

            2. The alignment features to adjust the position of the point cloud to your coordinate system are really, really poor.  Yes, the point cloud can be rotated and translated, but it is very difficult.  I had to write my own program to do this externally, but if you have access to Geomagic you might be better off to align it there first.

            3. Once in SolidWorks, you can create planes from three points, but surprisingly not much else.  Since you are working with an organic shape, you won't have any planar surfaces so you will probably just be creating a model by eye.

            4.  SolidWorks only shows you some of the points.  It looks to me like one in ten, and this may be only with these large files.


            SolidWorks is very fast about maneuvering the point cloud.

            • Re: I want to Faro scan organic objects into Solidworks
              Patrick McNeely

              After quit a bit of messing with it, the point cloud is just not what I want. I have the tools to convert the point cloud into a surface with Geomagic Design X, I just need to learn to use it. I am having a very hard time with that, so if anyone has any insight to resources for that, I would be very appreciative.

              • Re: I want to Faro scan organic objects into Solidworks
                Analisa Roland

                Patrick, were you able to actually create the leg brace from the scan? I'm a student as well, and I have no experience with Solidworks. I'm trying to create parts that would fit on a 3D scan of my arm, as I'm trying to create a prosthetic. I have the scan in solid works, but I can't figure out how to draw on the surface in a way that makes anything usable. Any help would be appreciated.