6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 27, 2017 12:37 PM by Todd Blacksher

    Creating generic 3D models for outside users

    Steven Maltby

      I need to convert my Solidwork assembiles into a 3D step file to send to our customers for them to be able to use in their 3D program but for proprietary reason and because of the size of the step files, I don't want them to have the ability to see/modify the complete build structure of our assemblies. Is there an easy way to create a 3D step file of my assembly that will convert it into a single entity (part) so that it can't be modified and they don't see all of the components used in the assembly? I've tried converting the assembly into a part file inside Solidworks first and then creating the step file but the file size ends up being too large to use.

        • Re: Creating generic 3D models for outside users
          Kyle Craig

          hi Steven,

          what if you do the save as part like you've already done.

          Then use Delete/Keep body to remove all unnecessary data, then save out as step?

          you could also use combine to merge bodies together that are already touching, again do this in part and before saving out stem.  You could even extrude a dummy boss that makes seperate bodies touch so that you can force bodies to merge together and reduce the overall number of individual bodies, thus reducing file size of the resulting step.

          • Re: Creating generic 3D models for outside users
            Logan Atkins

            Save the assembly as a Part and select exterior faces or exterior components, depending on the amount of detail you want them to be able to see

            then save the part as a step

            • Re: Creating generic 3D models for outside users
              Nick Birkett-Smith

              Hi Steven,

              Since you mentioned these are proprietary models I'm guessing you may not be able to share screenshots, but can you give some idea of what type of models these are, i.e. what products does your company design? Also what level of simplification would be acceptable to you? What do your customers need the models for?

               

              The suggestions from Logan and Kyle are good - here are two other tools that may help:

              • Component selection tools: you can select components by size, toolbox status or whether or not a component is classified as "internal" to your assembly. Using these selection criteria you can select unwanted components, then suppress them before saving out as a part.
              • Defeature: will remove small components and details from a model, and also fill internal voids. This tends to work best with models which feature an enclosed housing - for example a gearbox.
                • Re: Creating generic 3D models for outside users
                  Todd Blacksher

                  Nick Birkett-Smith wrote:

                   

                  Hi Steven,

                  Since you mentioned these are proprietary models I'm guessing you may not be able to share screenshots, but can you give some idea of what type of models these are, i.e. what products does your company design? Also what level of simplification would be acceptable to you? What do your customers need the models for?

                   

                  The suggestions from Logan and Kyle are good - here are two other tools that may help:

                  • Component selection tools: you can select components by size, toolbox status or whether or not a component is classified as "internal" to your assembly. Using these selection criteria you can select unwanted components, then suppress them before saving out as a part.
                  • Defeature: will remove small components and details from a model, and also fill internal voids. This tends to work best with models which feature an enclosed housing - for example a gearbox.

                  Great stuff - Thanks!

                  Have fun at the London SWUG meeting!

                • Re: Creating generic 3D models for outside users
                  Steven Maltby

                  Thanks for the tips/information. These options helped cut down the file sizes and worked better than what I originally came up with.

                    • Re: Creating generic 3D models for outside users
                      Nick Birkett-Smith

                      Steven Maltby wrote:

                       

                      Thanks for the tips/information. These options helped cut down the file sizes and worked better than what I originally came up with.

                      Glad that helped. I'd still be interested to know more about your models and workflows in this area - it may help us make some improvements to functionality in the future. If you'd prefer, please direct message me with more details.