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Claes Lundstrom

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Everything posted by Claes Lundstrom

  1. The shell fail may be caused by the model being grouped. Make sure that it's a single ungrouped model. Shell admittedly works better on a generically generated NURBS shape. Older versions of VW actually handled mesh to NURBS conversions better though. Here is a fun little project: I generated a boat hull shape in an external program, forming a closed volume. I then generated a copy being 1.2 mm smaller in all directions, forming an inner volume floating inside the outer volume. I then exported the two shapes in separate layers, and merged each volume into a single mesh. I then did a Solid Subtraction, cutting out the inner volume from the outer. It took quite a while for VW to do it, but it worked. I then divided the model into two parts using solid subtractions, to make it fit into my humble $200 22 x 22 x 25 cm 3D printer envelope. The 45 cm long model took about 40 hours to print . I was actually surprised how well it came out. To sum up, I think the VW units relying on Siemens Parasolids actually works quite well. It shows that this engine is one of the best.
  2. A bit clunky perhaps but try the following: 1 / Convert the mesh to NURBS surfaces 2/ Ungroup 3/ Add Solids 4/ Run a shell calculation on one of the facets, and all parts get a thickness.
  3. It may be a group or symbol. It must be basic shapes.
  4. It depends on the model. NURBS based models can sometimes be more leaky in the conversion to STL, whereas Mesh models stay the same as the original. My suggestion is to check the volume of the model and if the value makes sense, it's more likely that it will work regardless of method. The quality in the Mesh conversion refers to the conversion between NURBS style objects, which can have almost any mesh resolution, and Mesh resolution, which is what it is in VW. What resolution you need depends on where you really can't see the difference when printing, that is, when the mesh resolution is finer and more dense than the printer can replicate.
  5. I have noted the same thing. The problem I have had is when working with some self generated objects, in this case a group of meshes, that I converted into solids. I'm also absolutely sure that they form a real closed shape. If you however perform a solid subtraction, you can see that the shape does not close (as in you bottom picture), and that's why it doesn't work. Been experimenting with adding closing patches where it's open, convening the parts to meshes and then adding them as solids, but I'm not sure how well it actually works. One thing that you can do to validate if you got a truly closed volume is to calculate the volume. If the result make sense, not being way too big or small, it may actually be valid. Converting to Generic solids may also indicate if you have a truly closed shape.
  6. STL does not support textures, but OBJ does. Many printer drivers also support OBJ for importing. It may not be of any use if the 3D printer does not support color printing though. Personally, I work with printed textures on flat printable materials such as cardboard, fabrics and sheets of plastic instead to simulate and give a illusion of a more complex shape. There is of course a limit to how far you can stretch that in terms of complexity of the shape, but probably more than you think.
  7. Yes, you can covert meshes into generic solids, but they maintain the mesh grid underneath. When I export my meshes into NURBS objects when exporting from TouchCAD I get real NURBS surfaces that matches the mesh shape very closely. If I can do it using (Vector)Script from the outside, then surely, it should be possible to do it from inside as well. I use it all the time and it works well for me despite its limitations. In reality, I usually use a mixture of NURBS and meshes. Whatever works best at any given time. The programmers just have to sit down and do it. Admittedly, what comes out of TouchCAD is very well defined and therefore well suited for this type of conversion. OK, it doesn't always work, because TouchCAD can generate shapes that can't be replicated in VW, but I think such a tool would be useful anyway despite being flawed here and there. Here is a simple example. Same model from start. Six original panels. Left NURBS, right mesh. When put together (mid) you get the typical flickering colors generated by two surfaces on top of one another having different colors. The NURBS still consist of six surfaces, and are fully operational as solids from start.
  8. Getting a bigger hard disk is more important. 256 is not enough. At least a 1 Gig SSD if you ask me (what I have). It is actually significantly more important than getting more RAM. The virtual memory in the M1 is simply fantastic according to many tests, where the consensus seems to be that it seldom makes much of a difference to add more RAM. It's not at all as with Intel processors, where more RAM is very important. I tested a couple of minutes of 4K video in iMovie on an 8 GB ram Mini, and found no lag whatsoever. Tried the Dodge / Burn tools with a very big brush and on a 168 megapixel image and it was pretty much instant reactions there too (Photoshop lags painfully when doing the same thing). These programs are of course Universal Binary already, so they work at full speed.
  9. I personally use Keyshot for this. It is a rather expensive app but delivers very believable high quality visuals quicker than anything else I have tried. The background in the example is just a plain photo, and yet models gets well integrated into photos in a realistic and seamless way and more or less in realtime. I use OBJ out from VW which works fine, but it supports a wide range of file formats from VW.
  10. Easy. Covert the text as mentioned before Extrude it and ungroup Apply a champher at the back surface insert it into the block to engrave and run a soldi subtraction.
  11. Unfortunately not. I do work with fairly advanced NURBS modelling on a daily basis but pretty much never in Vectorworks. Sorry.
  12. Double-click on the surface to get to the Reshape tool (or simply select in the tool bar). Select direction of movement in the Mode bar. Drag the control points. Be sure to be in one of the fixed views when editing The control points are typically located outside the shape, so editing can be quite frustrating and imprecise in VW. It doesn't help that you can't nudge individual selected points or use the Move command on individual points, or edit more than one object at the time (VW really needs an update here to at least be comparable with other 3D editors). What does help a little is to convert the NURBS into an Interpolated surface, where at least the controls ar on the actual object.
  13. There was in fact a bug in older editions of VW, where it didn't import and process normals correctly. The result was meshes having facets where there was not intended to be there. Normals are what controls what looks smooth or not in meshes in case somebody is wondering. A well designed model should have such information included, and would therefore look smooth where intended almost regardless of mesh resolution. OK, perhaps not always, which you could clearly see in older computer games when looking closer at supposedly round objects. Anyway, as said before, most of these problems have been fixed, though the current 2021 still has some issues with messing up perfectly organised and well structured meshes making them more difficult to use and edit than it has to be. As for editing the mesh resolution, it's not possible. You have to rely on the exporting program to do a good job, so the result can be of very mixed quality. Many programs with OBJ exporting capabilities have very poor shape control and/or control over the texture mapping and resolution.
  14. It's most likely a problem with the address to the files it refers to. In the OBJ file itself, you should have a reference to the material file, which has a reference to the image file. The best way is to keep it as simple as possible, that is keep the referring files in the same folder. In the obj file, you should then have a reference line, for example like this "mtllib rrr.mtl" to a file called "rrr.mtl" It then looks for files at the same level in the Finder. In the material file (.mtl), you should find a reference to the image file or files looking like this "map_Kd rrr.jpg", in this case referring to an image file called "rrr.jpg". So, keep it simple and it will work, at least if the program doing the export generates a clean file. Personally, I almost always export from TouchCAD, where the export is rock solid in the sense that it imports visually perfectly. What VW does not do well is that it tends to mess up the panel structure within the model, which can be quite annoying if you want to edit the model.
  15. I have submitted a complaint about this years ago in the past and was told that it worked as designed and they did not intend to fix it. In my opinion a really bad decision. Clunky as it is, my solution has always been to make a copy of the transparent parts and set these copies to No Fill. So one filled transparent object and one wireframe version on top of that.
  16. Just importing a model correctly is unfortunately not good enough. On the OBJ side, VW could improve it substantially by leaving the original internal file and object / texture structure alone. As it is now, it tends to merge things into meshes in a completely erratic way. It effectively stops models from being edited and textured in an efficient way. I have bug reported it.
  17. It very much depends on the quality of the file, which varies a lot. I personally use OBJ for the most part as the program I export from typically delivers rock solid results with perfect UV mapping of textures. The results are consistent when importing to a wide range of programs. I have however found that you have to try a few formats when the model comes from an unknown source. This applies to many programs that can read these file types, even high end ones heavily relying on being able to import files. So, the conclusion is to try to get at least a few different file types and use the file type providing the best possible result with any given file.
  18. It's usually because the model is set with a very far away reference coordinate system. Try selecting all, group it, cut and then paste (not paste in place) and then ungroup. If it doesn't work, try groping, fit to object, and look in the corners of the section rectangle. The reference point is most likely in one corner and the model in the other. If it's essential to maintain the bigger coordinate system relative tot the model, you can drag the drawing area to the model.
  19. Previous experiences with such devices makes me a bit sceptic. For objects with sharp edges, such as architecture, the key question is whether it can extract edges accurately. Having lots of coordinates on a flat surface is not very useful and creates huge files with not very useful data. Another major issue is the range it can handle. Earlier, and moderately priced devices, tended to have short and narrow scanning span, and the result was blurry at best. Scanning with textures if for sure be doable if it's implemented in the program used.
  20. You can loft two NURBS curves with different shapes. Loft simply means that you connect two (or more) curves into a surface.
  21. Loft the curves into a surface and then run a shell on the surface to create a proper solid shape.
  22. To some extent, you always favour what you are used to. I can use AutoCAD if I have to, but I feel way more comfortable in VW as I'm used to it. You also have to remember that VW has it's core use base in architecture, whereas SolidWorks and Fusion are fundamentally mechanical design programs. Architectural modelling differs to mechanical modelling in that it to very high extent consists of basic and often parametric shapes, though it massive volumes, whereas mechanical modelling is much more focused on individual shaping. VW is for sure not as good as the mechanical program at more complex shapes, but it does do a decent job as long as it's not too complex. Basic solid modelling works fairly well, whereas advanced freeform NURBS based shaping is probably best done in other programs. Nothing strange about that. Most people doing advanced drawing work are using a number of different programs. I do.
  23. The thing with DXF is that most cutter drivers are notoriously unreliable when it comes to reading files. You typically loose this or that almost every time. This is at least in my experience having gone through a number of them. SVG is by nature a much simpler format and therefore works better.
  24. Fundamentals used to be a lot more complete, but many tools have quietly disappeared over the years. We have some Fundamentals licenses and the missing tools are actually quite annoying when being used to the more complete versions.
  25. I regularly and very frequently import huge image files, 200 - 500 megapixels, with no problem whatsoever. There must be something else going wrong than VW's basic capabilities. One thing to check though may be if the image exceeds 30,000 pixels in any given direction. Not sure where VW stands on this thing, but many programs have such a limitation, even older versions of Photoshop.
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