Hi, I am using Solidoworks in my PhD thesis, and am searching for some documentation on the algorithm(s) used for the 'boundary surface' function. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
That would likely be proprietary information. I do know that the math behind SW free form surfaces has changed over the years. The best you can do IMHO is to come up with a test that would discern what it is from how it behaves. You might look at an IGES export and see if the data types used can give some insight. This might also be true in a text based parasolid file and perhaps in STEP.
Long time, no post! Your name just came up yesterday in another discussion. I think Charles Culp was missing your drive to make SW better. SW could certainly use a little help!
Good to hear from you too. Mainly hang out on eng-tips and SWcad@googlegroups.com. comp.cad.solidworks is pretty much dead.
I hope this thread is an indication that you will be spending more time here. When I finally gave up on comp.cad.solidworks and decided to settle here, I looked at a bunch of sites. At the time, it seemed like this was the best spot to hang my hat. Now I spend so much time keeping up here that I can't imagine spreading myself over any other sites.
Thanks for the pointers, I'll give it a go.
SolidWorks uses many different types of surfaces whether explicitly as surfaces or as a component of applied features. You will get some idea of what they might be using from looking at the list of licenses included in Help About.
You might find something interesting in this document as SW primarily uses parasolid.
However, certain surfaces in SW do not come from parasolids like the Fit Surface which is apparently CATIA functionality.
Dassault is not so open with information on what they are doing in their software. From an SEC filing:
Our failure to adequately protect our intellectual property could harm our competitive market position and have a materialadverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Our success is heavily dependent upon proprietary software technology. We rely on a combination of copyright, patent, trademark,trade secret law and contractual restrictions to protect the proprietary aspects of our technology. These legal protections afford onlylimited protection. In addition, effective copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret protection may be unavailable or limited incertain countries where intellectual property rights are protected less than in the United States or Western Europe. Our failure to adequately protect our technology may lead to the development of similar technology by third parties and reduce oursoftware revenues. Furthermore, we enter into confidentiality and license agreements with our employees, distributors, customers andpotential customers and limit access to and distribution of our software, documentation and other proprietary information. There canbe no assurance that the steps taken by us in this regard will be adequate to deter misappropriation or independent third partydevelopment of our technology. In addition, like most of our competitors, we are facing an increasing level of piracy of our successfulproducts, both by individuals and by groups acting worldwide.
In addition to parasolid, some ACIS based geometry may find it's way into SolidWorks.
In addition to our software solutions for the PLM and Mainstream 3D markets, we also supply software components through ourSpatial subsidiary, that are based on industry standards and increase the interoperability of software solutions to serve the broadersoftware industry. Software developers in more than 14 industries around the world use our 3D ACIS Modeler (ACIS), a well-known,3D modeling engine. ACIS features an open, object-oriented C++ architecture. We also offer InterOp Translators that allow softwaredevelopers to easily integrate advanced 3D data interoperability capabilities with 3D software. For example, our InterOp CATIA V5Reader and Writer translator enables data to be translated to and from other 3D formats.
You may also find CATIA based geometry in SW
We believe that CATIA is among the most powerful product design and simulation systems in the world as illustrated by themarket’s adoption of the digital mock-up (DMU) process. We believe this leadership position is built on the following differentiatingfeatures, including (i) the ability of companies to capture and reuse their corporate knowledge; (ii) advanced complex surfacemodeling functionalities; (iii) breakthrough technologies such as generative design and functional modeling, enabling intelligentmorphing of designs across product programs;
You may find this helpful with regard to ACIS surfaces.
I have also seen Solution Partner Software, particularly from optics addon vendors that use other surfacing algorithms that produce extremely good surface quality, much better than that available in SolidWorks alone.
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