Welcome to the discussion forum for the Inventor Mesh Enabler technology preview on Autodesk Labs. The mesh enabler allows you to convert mesh data to Inventor base features. How useful is that? You tell us.
Thank you for the suggestion. We can consider it for a future technology preview. I am curious as to the workflow where people send you STL files for modification. What is it?
usually they aren't customer submitted, even though I recieved one this week. the 2 ways I usually see polygon meshes is 1st from laser scanners for reverse engineering. Most good scanning company can recreate the mesh to a nurbs model,(for alot of money) but if i had my preference I would having the original mesh and do the recreation myself. I have to tweak something somewhere anyways. might as well do it in house. (i build tooling for antique car parts, so the parts i get scanned aren't perfect to begin with.)
the second way i see meshes is from my forming simulation program Autoform. it can output forming results only as a mesh. you can do a comparison of the original file to the result inside the program, but it would be better to do it inside Inventor. Also I often have to tweak the tools to get the proper results, which i can do quickly in Autoform, but once again it is best to output it as a mesh. Which I could model properly in Inventor, if i could import it. that is.
I see a lot of people in industry that are doing "reverse engineering" or have the need to put into cad something that is scanned. If the scanner industry and the cad industry could come together that would make machining (CNC) a wonderful match!! Even if customers want to create a prototype and then create the cad model form machining from that it could be possible. At this point, scanned information is worthless to cad users.
hmmmmm, not really correct. Alot of us do it for a living. is it easy? No. But we do it. Cher said, "if a perfect body came in a pill, everyone would have one" I say... If all I had to do was wave a magic scanning wand at a part and the computer did the rest....how would I be able to negotiate my next raise?
Learn the trade dude!
First off "dude" I know my trade. I have probably been doing drafting and design work before you were born. I learned cad before scanners, 3D cad software, 3D printers or even hard drives big enough to keep your program (ACAD) on the computer.
Now, with that said. Since you seem to know the best method of brining in scanned data from scanners (TriMet, FARO, or Nikon to name a few) and translating this data into Inventor to create usable models...do share.
I would love to learn the best methods so I could help others get their information into their cad package so they can make machined parts from this information.
sorry dude. didn't mean to start a pissing match.
here goes my take on it....
scan data sucks. It's too real world. It's organic, not flat, round, linear. a complete pain in the pooper!
how to deal with it?
There are programs built exclusively for scan data. Their ok. Some try to recreate to the model. some try to recreate exactly, some try to add prismatic shape (true fillets, revolutions etc.) All cost a pretty penny. (say $10 g and up)
The problem is (and this is just my experience, yours might be different) that computers make bad decisions. They are programmed to make what the programmer understands. Not what you are building. Down the road it'll get better, but for now I prefer a software that handles the mesh data (extracted from the point cloud) and lets me chose the right path.
I use Alias. Scott probably wants me to use Autocad, but currently I like the tools in Alias better. But it ain't easy! And never will be.
Wanna learn it? I know a dude that could help ya. Program has built many a car body (GM, Ford, Dodge, I think all of them), and is reasonably priced.
As for solid modelers. Inventor, and the brand x varieties. Gonna be a long time till they can really do the job. Autocad is a better bet than them. They handle mesh poorly. it's not their fault, they are written for the most common tasks. Throw a 100,000 face mesh at them, they die. throw a few million face mesh at a software written for it, no probs dude.
Now if you're just looking to recreate exact...a watertight mesh can be made by one of them fancy reproduction machines. Or a lot of cams can program to stl (mesh) data. I've done it. It's a huge pain. but might be in the proper place easier that redrawing. (things like bolt holes aren't recognized, mill pths have to be carefully contained) so it is possible in a plastic mold type senario.
I'n my case (sheetmetal tool and die) I used it once. You can't add addedum to mesh (that I know of). So not much use. I generally just grunt through it remembering that the new technology it much better than what I had last year, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago when I used a t-square and pencil. (pointy object, graphite center, needed sharpened occasionally)
Sounds like you're eager and passionate about it. You'll do fine. Just remember, reverse engineering ain't no fun. But it pays well!
No worries. I was just trying to get a solution for several people who are dealing with point cloud data, polygon's, and meshing. I have VERY limited experience with it and was trying to help a few others that asked about this technology. I have tried to take scanned data and import it directly into Inventor and Autocad with little or no knowledge of how it works.
I know it's a bit of a fairy tale to think you could "wave the magic scanning wand" and make a 3D model out of it so that's why I was asking. I thought with the new meshing technology it would make it easier but as you state reverse engineering never is easy!!
You are correct...very large amounts of data and Inventor can't handle it. Autocad does ok but still you can't do much (except measure etc.) with it. I was hoping maybe this would help but it looks like a third party or wait for technology a few more years may be the solution.
I have lots of resources on the Alias side so maybe I will tap into those this week and see what I can come up with.
Thanks for the clarification. Oh...and don't forget the Leroy Lettering Guides, French Curves, and tape dots. Oh and those cute little baggies with the eraser dust in them...those were great!!