Inventor General Discussion

Inventor General Discussion

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-21-2011
Message 1 of 4 (675 Views)

How to incorporate NextEngine 3d Laser scans into Inventor 2011?

675 Views, 3 Replies
09-27-2012 07:57 AM

Hello all, 


I use a NextEngine 3d laser scanner to create organic models. The process is relatively simple assuming you just buy the software that NextEngine supplies (for $995). For this price you get an "auto surfacing" feature and export to STEP or IGES.  For me it is hard to rationalize spending that money just for those features, although, autosurfacing makes the process very simple to get a solid into Inventor. 


Since I already have Inventor 11 and AutoCad Mechanical 2011, I am hoping there is a way to get the scannned data into Inventor as a solid to edit parts etc, without spending the $995.  If I do spend the money, I would like more functionality from the software.  I am also looking into Rhino 4 as a possible solution with more functionality for a similiar price. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.  I have all the open source programs like meshlab, and blender and they help somewhat. 


Does anyone have any experience with this subject?  The Nextengine creates a Point Cloud which can be exported as an .obj or an .STL (which comes in handy for 3d Printing).  I use a 3rd party program to import .stl files into inventor.  They are imported as a mesh and the "Stitch" command does not work unless you have surfaces (as far as i know). How can I create a surface from a mesh with my existing software?  I have searched the forums and I just cant seem to get it to work.


GOAL: create a surface from mesh data (obj or stl), convert to solid, and edit in Inventor. 


Any Ideas?


Thanks for your time!


Ian D Finn

Finnovation Product Development LLC

We put your ideas into your hands.
*Expert Elite*
Posts: 2,513
Registered: ‎09-13-2011
Message 2 of 4 (673 Views)

Re: How to incorporate NextEngine 3d Laser scans into Inventor 2011?

09-27-2012 08:01 AM in reply to:

IV 2013 can import point clouds directly...  of course, it costs more than $995. :smileyhappy:

Mike (not Matt) Rattray

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-21-2011
Message 3 of 4 (671 Views)

Re: How to incorporate NextEngine 3d Laser scans into Inventor 2011?

09-27-2012 08:06 AM in reply to: mrattray

Well, The point cloud isn't really what I want.  Its the mesh created when saved as an STL or OBJ. I have considered upgrading to 2013 anyways, as I find 2013 has a lot of features that would help my design process overall.


Still, for now, I need to be able to accomplish the GOAL listed in the original post. 


Thank you for your suggestion.



We put your ideas into your hands.
New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-16-2012
Message 4 of 4 (610 Views)

Re: How to incorporate NextEngine 3d Laser scans into Inventor 2011?

10-16-2012 05:58 PM in reply to: mrattray

I'm running IV 2013 in my classroom and have been looking at the Next Engine. So will I be able to obtain a model via these "point clouds" you speak of? I've been using Inventor for years and this is a new term to me. I'd like to be able to export to a .stl format. 

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