Sorry for the delayed response, I've been out of town. I have no
idea where my "version 5" reference came from... typo? It was on
version 2003 that we attempted to import a simple 1" square cube which
was created as polyface mesh object in AutoCAD. To describe the
object a bit more, if you explode the object in AutoCAD, it is made of
If I recall correctly, the only option for me at the time was to
export the mesh object from AutoCAD as a IGES file, then import that
to SW. However, the results were not a cube, but rather 6 separate
surfaces in SW. It seemed that in the translation the surfaces of the
cube would not end up as perfectly parallel because of rounding
I just researched some of the old messages on the subject. Polytrans
is one option, and we have an older version... perhaps the new version
is better at it now. One vendor posted back in 2003, saying,
"Capvidia is developing a new add-in for SolidWorks to create
parametric models from STL/Mesh or point clouds. We hope to release
it this fall." Perhaps FeatureWorks is the current equivalent to this
software. But I am not in need of parametrics... just a dumb object.
Other people posting at that time were also having difficulty
getting usable meshes to translate into Solidworks. It seems the
process has always been there, but may not work as smoothly as we
would like. I guess all that is left to do is to try it on the new
version and hope the process has improved.
Just don't use meshes or STL-like files ....
It's a really dumb idea. Think of the entity count & database
just to begin with.
STL files & meshes are created for certain specific purposes
for certain applications from parent surfaces. The parent surfaces
& geometry are always better representations of themselves .
That's because polymesh objects are very imprecise "approximations".
Solidworks, and all the others, are "exact" modelers.
I'm very skeptical about the usefulness of data produced in such a way. Like
I said in my previous post, "there is no underlying mathematical data
describing the shape". Any system capable of doing that would require allot
of intervention from the user. The relative accuracy of the objects would be
very poor at best. Of course, if you only need objects for display, this
Nope, Featureworks is designed to work with real surface data (mostly
Not in 2004, non planar features still display as faceted, even when
imported as a graphics object.
There seems to be alot of folks that would like to use polymesh objects for
things like rendered scenes and such. I can't blame them, there's an awfull
lot of available models out there. There really is no reason why Solidworks
"can't" allow you to import a mesh as a graphics object/objects, and apply
"smoothing" functions to it. This is what polymesh modelers do. The mesh
isn't really smooth, it's all done with the shading functions. Ironcad has
been able to do this at least from version 2.
However, attempting to use polymesh files as a basis for a manufactured
design is not only a waste of time, it's just plain dumb.
It all depends on what you are depicting and your usage. In my
case, I've have instances where I want a representation of a
theatrical spotlight to get a feel for how much space it has to move
around and just to show that the object is there. I've also inserted
meshes of things like people, air conditioning condensers, and
forklifts into AutoCAD drawings for similar reasons.
A mesh is also capable of precisely representing a faceted object.
The square tubing (and things like U-Channel) I mentioned at an
earlier post can be well represented, even if the 1/32" radius on the
corner is not depicted. This is a case where AutoCAD's difficulty in
editing ACIS solids tends to force users to use meshes for weldments
using these kinds of structural steel. Such drawings seem to be
forever quarantined from the solid modelers which can't import them.
Sorry to be argumentative (I do value your replies), but for me,
importing mesh objects is something I would have a lot of use for.
I agree, "display objects" being the keyword here.
"Precise faceted object" is an oxymoron. Solidworks uses double precision 64
bit math, and very advanced mathematics to calculate surfaces and
boundaries. That's precise.
Like I said, Ironcad has been able to import and display smooth mesh objects
forever. Solidworks "could" do it if they wanted to. Being able edit them
would be a bit of a stretch.
No problem,, but I think your kinda stuck in the "Autocad does it like this"
mode. SW doesn't do "anything" like Autocad, and never will. 3D models are
You'll need to lose the Autocad mindset if you ever want to be productive
(and happy) using modern tools.