5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2017 12:08 PM by Joseph Dunfee

    Is it possible to perform simulations on import STL file?

    Victoire Vincent

      Hi,

       

      I would like to perform a simulation on a stl file imported on Solidworks. To import the STL file, I open the STL file and I choose solid body in the options. When the file is on Solidworks, I click on "diagnostic of import" to check my mesh and they tell me that the geometry is ok (no intersected faces, ...). But when I want to perform a simulation, it is not possible, I cannot click on the buttons (they are not activated).

      Maybe I make something bad in my importation?

      Thanks to people who will be able to help me!

        • Re: Is it possible to perform simulations on import STL file?
          Deepak Gupta

          Unless you convert the STL (which is graphic only) to solid body, you can not run the FEA/CFD on it.

            • Re: Is it possible to perform simulations on import STL file?
              Victoire Vincent

              Thank you for your response! I am trying to make some tests by importing simple objects as a cube for example. The cube is imported in solid body and when I drill a hole in it, I see that the cube has a certain width and so it is well a solid object. I succeed to perform a stress simulation but not a flow simulation and this is what I want to perform. When I am trying to use flow express, there is an error message telling that the geometry is not a volume or the volume is not closed. But I am sure that the geometry is a volume and I think that it is closed. Do you know what I have to do? Maybe I have to merge the different faces (if it is possible?)? Thank you for your help, I am a beginner in Solidworks.Capture.PNG

            • Re: Is it possible to perform simulations on import STL file?
              Joseph Dunfee

              Normally, there are multiple possible options for exporting/importing. 

               

              STL is popular now, because it is the default format for 3D printers. Its biggest weakness is that it only contains flat faces, so there are no curves.  Curves are approximated by multiple flat facets.

               

              What are your other export options from the source file, or is STL your only option?

               

              -Joe

                • Re: Is it possible to perform simulations on import STL file?
                  Victoire Vincent

                  Hi,

                  I design my models in Blender so I have the following choices: .dae, .abc, .obj, .stl, .3ds, .fbx, .ply, .x3d

                  Otherwise, I can also import my models on MeshLab and transform them in more other types of files as point cloud (.xyz) for example. What do you think is the best to use?

                  Thank you for your response!

                    • Re: Is it possible to perform simulations on import STL file?
                      Joseph Dunfee

                      Ideally, you would use a format that would carry solid information.  But I think that Blender is exclusively, or at least primarily, a surface modeler. I am not familiar with many of the formats in your list, but it would not surprise me if all of its export formats are surface models.

                       

                      So, regardless of the format you use, all will have to go through some processing to convert them to solids.  If your original model is faceted (i.e. no curved surfaces) then it may not matter.  But, if there are curves, then you should use a format that supports curves.

                       

                      Here is an article that discusses this and gives data on several file formats. But, it does not have all the formats you list, since it focuses on formats used in the engineering world.  It uses the term tessellated to describe when a curved surface is broken up into flat surfaces.

                      A Brief Introduction to CAD File Formats - GrabCAD Blog

                      http://blog.grabcad.com/blog/2013/04/22/a-brief-introduction-to-cad-file-formats/

                       

                      Sorry, but I don't have enough experience with the process to recommend a good method for you.

                       

                      -Joe