Michael Webster

Repairing sketches converted from imported 3d files

Discussion created by Michael Webster on Jun 4, 2009
Latest reply on Jun 18, 2009 by Lenny Bucholz
I get into a lot of situations where a customer supplies me with either a step or iges of a complex 3-D part (generally a thin part - think thermoforming or compression molding) - usually just a surface part, no thickness.

To go through my process of designing components to mold or cut this part, I invariably have to extract either 2d or 3d sketches from these parts.

Most times, I cannot simply select tangency or loop - there are simply too many minute variations and gaps around this geometry, so I essentially go around the edges converting to sketch geometry. Then I am stuck with spending the next couple hours going around this sketch and repairing gaps - some as small as .000005".

Now, I've come to accept that any translated data is never going to come in perfect, short of it being a simple shape, but I would think there would be some tool I could use to streamline this process - a plugin perhaps? I'm thinking along the lines of being able to set a tolerance for converting edges of, say, .001" - any gaps smaller than that are merged/repaired automatically.

I've tried increasing import tolerance to the max, but I think it will only increase to about .00039" - and it still doesn't seem to affect the resulting file in any way that would help my cause - I still end up with minute gaps that I have to repair manually.

Does anyone know of any type of plugins or workarounds for these issues? I am self-taught, so maybe I'm missing something obvious, though I've done a fair bit of digging around these forums, SW and its help files, and anywhere else I can find.