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Problems importing from 3D CAD system

Steve J.

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I am having extreme difficulty importing 3D models from a feature-driven 3D modeller (Geomagic Designs-made by 3D Systems). Geomagic can export SAT files (in a multitude of different versions) and Parasolid files (x_t). It cannot export IGES files, but can export STEP files.

I want to use VW 2014 to take my models and produce high quality patent drawings (Geomagic cannot do this). I have exported my models in SAT and x_t formats, and they don't import very well into VW. Once imported, the x_t files seems to take forever to do even the simplest operations, and the SAT files don't import correctly.

Does anyone know what version of SAT file VW likes? I have tried several, but with different results. Does anyone have any good way of importing 3D files into VW? This whole episode is driving me insane.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Steve Jacobson

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  • 2 months later...

As far as I am aware GeoMagic Design does export IGES format and I have found this to be a good format to use.

(3rd down in the list)

STEP files also work but can fail if there are a lot of sculpted/non-uniform curves.


Edited by GWS
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

It's very difficult. A lost of imported 3D objects will come in from 3D formats either as a mesh object, or as clusters of 3D polygons, neither of which can be easily modified or manipulated in Vectorworks directly.

You can import STEP directly in Vectorworks 2015, but if you're staying with 2014, you may be able to use the utility MeshLab to convert from existing formats into something 2014 can import, like 3DS:


The above article was designed for explaining importing STLs, but can be used to import a wide variety of other 3D formats as well.

Edited by JimW
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