This article was written to assist in the process of creating a surface from an imported point cloud, or refining an imported mesh. To use these features, you must have the ScanTo3D add-in, which is included in the SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium packages in 2016. Also a mesh is required to create the surfaces, see the Using the Mesh Prep Wizard article.
To Start the process, go to Tools > ScanTo3D > Surface Wizard.
- Welcome - Choose the mesh you with to convert into a surface in the selection window
- Solid/Surface Creation
- Automatic Creation - Automatically create solids based on the desired amount of detail
- Automatic Surface Creation PropertyManager
- Using the surface detail slider, select the amount of detail, then select the Update Preview to create surface patches along the edges.
- You can further refine the automatic mesh by editing the feature lines
- Adding feature lines defines edges and major features of the mesh
- Deleting feature lines removes any lines that are not necessary to the feature
- Move Feature lines by ends allows you to drag the end points of feature lines to a new position
- Relax feature lines smooths the boundary between regions
- Fixing Self intersecting surfaces
- If you have surface errors that cannot be fixed by editing feature lines, you will be prompted to delete surfaces with errors. Once your surface is created, use surfacing tools to resolve these errors.
- Once you click next, ScanTo3D will create the surfaces, knit them together and attempt to form a solid
- Guided Creation
- Mesh Split Property Manager - For symmetrical parts, creating a split along the plane of symmetry reduces the amount of refining needed to be done with this process
- Select a plane in the selection box that creates a mirror image of the split
- Face Identification - In this section, you will divide the mesh into sub-meshes that will be used later to create your surfaces. The intention is to distinctively color each sub-mesh for later use
- Automatic Painting - Use the slider to select the sensitivity, then apply will automatically color your part.
- Manual painting - Once you create an automatic painting, use to further refine your part, use the drip tool to select an existing color from the model or select a new color from a new window.
- Use the Paint Brush tool to individually paint the meshed surfaces to the selected color. If you create a closed boundary, inside the boundary will automatically change to a different color
- Use to Paint Can tool to change the color of an entire area. The selected mesh area and the adjacent areas of the same color will all be converted to the selected color
- Surface Extraction - Using the previously defined sub-meshes, create surfaces designated for each sub-mesh. With this section, you can either automatically extract all faces, or manually select each face and assign a face setting for the feature.
- Extract all faces - ScanTo3D will automatically assign a surface type for each unspecified region
- Individual Extraction - Select a sub-mesh region to extract
- Select an appropriate surface that applies to the selected region. The options are:
Once you complete extracting all the sub-mesh surfaces, the Surface Wizard is complete. You should now be left with multiple surfaces that you can further refine to create your model. Using surfacing tools such as Untrim, Trim, Extend, Knit, and Thicken, you can eventually create a Solid Body
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