AnsweredAssumed Answered

How do you convert scan data to 3D solid object from .stl or .ply file?

Question asked by Blake Johnson on Feb 9, 2015
Latest reply on Feb 10, 2015 by Goran Nikolic

Hi All,


I'm trying to convert 3D scan data to a solid model which i can use in subsequent FEA.  I have access to the Scanto3D Add-in and have thus far been trying to go about the conversion using that approach. 


My approach so far has been to open the scan data (saved as .stl file) in Meshlab, simplify the mesh to reduce the number of faces, do a quick basic repair in Nettfab Basic, reopen in Meshlab, and then export as .ply format. I then open the file in Solidworks using the Scanto3D add-in and selecting millimeters as the scale which gives me the viewable mesh (the object is on the order of 10 mm in the real world).  At this point, I use the Surface Wizard within the add-in, select the mesh (which contains ~ 7K faces), and click the right blue arrow, choose "automatic generation", and subsequently generate the surface leaving the detail level unmodified. This is where I encounter my first error which reads: "do you want to delete surfaces with errors?"  I've tried answering both yes and no, trying to move forward to generating a hollow solid with finite wall thickness of 0.15 mm using the Boss/Base >> Thicken command and selecting the resultant surface, but am never able to get a solid model generated (and not sure why?). 


I was wondering if anyone can spot my error within the above approach or suggest an alternative approach by which they were able to generate the solid model with finite thickness in the wall (0.15 mm)?  Thanks All!


  1. p.s. I've attached the .stl and .ply files i'm using.