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Point Cloud to CAD

Question asked by Guy Rotheram on Apr 7, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 8, 2018 by Guy Rotheram

There is an old CAD problem related to digitizing existing objects, and I don’t know if Solidworks has solved it. The simple question is do we know of a tool where a point cloud can be converted into smart (parametric) 3D objects in CAD? Here is an example scenario:

  1. A toy manufacturer has an old product line for which the original designs and tooling (e.g. molds) have been destroyed.
  2. A new demand appears for the product, but with some modifications.
  3. An physical sample of the old product in pristine condition exists.
  4. The manufacturer laser scans the physical sample to create a point cloud (note this is just an example of how the point cloud could be generated, there are other techniques (e.g. CMM) but let’s assume this has been done using consumer grade COTS stuff).
    1. From here, commercial and open source meshing tools can create “3D models” of the surface, which could be further smoothed either through human intervention or algorithmically. For the manufacturer to be able to make an exact replica this would probably work, but that isn’t the goal.
    2. The manufacturer wants to modify the original to change one feature disproportionately with the other existing features.

Do you know if we Solidworks has a tool to convert either the point cloud or a mesh or surface made from that mesh into smart (parametric) 3D objects (spheres, cubes, extrusions, etc…) which can be modified like other 3D objects within a CAD authoring tool?