19 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2017 6:08 AM by Alin Vargatu

    How can I simplify an imported part?

    Peter Loring

      I requested a CAD file from our vendor and he said that they have been sending out STL files because they seem to translate to everyone's different CAD systems.  Ok, I'll give it a try.  I got a file with over 500 surfaces in it.  Impressive, but it is way more than I want to dump into an assembly.  It is also a systems hog, it spins so slowly.

       

      Is there a way that I can simplify this file?

       

      Is there a better format to import than STL?

       

      Thanks for the help.

       

      Peter

        • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
          Kelvin Lamport

          STL is the main format used for 3D printing (rapid protyping). It is probably the worst format for importing to CAD.

           

          The best format for SolidWorks is Parasolid followed by STP or IGS.

          • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
            Neil Larsen

            All triangulated mesh formats like stl, vrml, obj, are difficult to work with in SW.

            As Kevin says a step, iges, parasolid is much better proposition for CAD.

            As far as faces goes 500 is not that many for a mesh. 50,000 or even 5 million are handled by cg programs like Modo, Maya, Blender.

            Its best to avoid meshes in SW.

            • mesh parts
              Rick McWilliams

              I would like to bring in mesh parts from other programs as a visible object not to be modified. These parts are easily manipulated and viewed in blender or ac3d.

               

              My specific problem is a human mannekin in Solidworks. I cannot make clothing in Solidworks. Naked figures are distracting.

              • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                Alin Vargatu

                Peter, you can work with the imported geometry in an assembly very easily.

                 

                1. Insert it into a dummy assembly

                2. Create a SpeedPak of the dummy assembly. Select only the faces or the bodies that you need to mate to, or to dimension to.

                3. Use the SpeedPak configuration in the main assembly.

                4. Hide the ghost circle using the ALT+S shortcut.

                 

                This works regardless how bad or complex is the imported file.

                  • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                    Wayne Bird

                    Thanks so much for this idea!  This definitely seems like it will work.  I'm going to give it a try now.

                      • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                        Alin Vargatu

                        Wayne Bird wrote:

                         

                        Thanks so much for this idea! This definitely seems like it will work. I'm going to give it a try now.

                        I agree. This is the $1000000 idea for working with imported geometry as reference.

                          • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                            Wayne Bird

                            Alin, here's my results:

                            File size: 76.92 MB to 35.93 MB, which is 53.3% smaller

                            Load time: 105.58 sec to 17.50 sec, which is 83.4% faster

                             

                            This is incredible, the $1M answer.

                              • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                Alin Vargatu

                                Wayne Bird wrote:

                                 

                                Alin, here's my results:

                                File size: 76.92 MB to 35.93 MB, which is 53.3% smaller

                                Load time: 105.58 sec to 17.50 sec, which is 83.4% faster

                                 

                                This is incredible, the $1M answer.

                                Glad it worked for you. This is just a little tool out of many that I am using in Large Assembly Management.

                                 

                                For the $1000000, I accept cheques or PayPal transfers.

                                  • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                    Wayne Bird

                                    An update.  I WILL NOT USE SPEEDPAKS AGAIN!  These are a nightmare to deal with in a drawing.  They limit the functionality of drawings.

                                      • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                        Elmar Klammer

                                        It's the age-old crux....works in model environment...but not in drawings.

                                        These workarounds are most often flawed and work in limited applications only.

                                        I had the same issues in 2013 and from what it seems, 3 years of subscriptions have not change that.

                                        I add another one, "draft quality" views....never used it or had a purpose for this setting but had multiple cases where
                                        they caused nothing but issues with drawings stuck in this mode. Spending way too much time to troubleshoot it.

                                        Needle in the hay stack kind of story...

                                         

                                        Maybe someone else can post a way of working with imported geometry and drawings while saving time spent waiting. Not to forget, while maintaining parametric model links including meta data.

                                        • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                          Jason Capriotti

                                          Wayne, what issues did you have? We've considered using them on large assemblies to speed things up. I'm aware of how they work but what about the drawing part of it didn't work for you?

                                            • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                              Wayne Bird

                                              The auto balloon feature is disabled when you have a speedpak in your assy.  It doesn't matter at what level, subassy, the speedpak is in.  With a large assy with many items to balloon it's just not feasible to manually balloon the assy.  I believe there were a couple of other issues also, but I can't remember them.  I've been trying to make speedpaks work for a number of years now and I always run into a roadblock with them in one way or another, and that was using them in the models, not even at the drawing level.  In the model level they always need to be updated.  It's also inevitable, at least for me, that I didn't select the right surface to be shown so when I'm in the parent assy and need to measure to some surface, I have to go back into the speedpak to redefine it.  Give them a try, you may find them very useful.  Keep me posted.

                                                • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                                  Jason Capriotti

                                                  We don't typically use auto ballooning so not really an issue. However we do balloon the sub-assembly that would be a speedpak so hopefully that does work with the BOM. Sounds like you are using the speedpak configuration in an assembly and trying to use it in the drawing for that assembly. I believe its intended for sub-assemblies that will be used in an upper level assembly. Normally at that level you don't balloon the contents of the sub-assembly, just the sub-assy as a whole.

                                                   

                                                  Some forethought would have to go into their creation on what surfaces or bodies to select. A standard that everyone follows that says all outside part bodies must be selected. That's something we would have to implement and enforce as part of our ECO process for assemblies over a certain number of parts.

                                                   

                                                  We will have to do something though as large assemblies (1000+ unique parts) are slow, even with files loaded off the local solid state drive. And people outside the process wonder why it takes so long to open an assembly. "Try opening 1000 Word documents and see what happens" I tell them.

                                              • Re: How can I simplify an imported part?
                                                Alin Vargatu

                                                Wayne Bird wrote:

                                                 

                                                An update. I WILL NOT USE SPEEDPAKS AGAIN! These are a nightmare to deal with in a drawing. They limit the functionality of drawings.

                                                Wayne, this is a knee jerk reaction. SpeedPaks can be an important part of your modeling methodology. Just use the branching method for drawings.