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Ethan R.

Blender Import ?

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Hi all,

I have a buildilng model that was made in Blender and I'm trying to import into VectorWorks.

Is there a workflow that works?

Any outside software needed as a magic box?

ie. Blender -> 3DStudio -> VectorWorks


thank you

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Yes - that is the file you have in the slack 🙂

It comes in as Meshes however; which is a drag.


Blender -> OBJ  <-- VectorWorks

an .fbx file import would be much better.

does c4d take .FBX ?

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17 minutes ago, Ethan R. said:

does c4d take .FBX ?


Of course.



VW to Blender (Modo, C4D, ....) by FBX works great.

Bringing in data from 3D Apps to VW (or any CAD) not so much ....


And you would rarely get any Solids from Meshes.

I don't know any automated workflow.

Normally you would have to explode each Mesh and Stitch it manually.

That is what I do all day, for CAD to CAD exchange alone.

Either for things that get lost in translation or things that never have been

Solids, like Revit or VW PIOs.


Somehow IFC seems to bring in Solids into Bricscad, from Objects that

haven't been Solids before, while IFC to Modo brings often Meshes from

things that were Solids !?

So maybe it's worth trying to get IFC in between your import journey.

Edited by zoomer

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Unfortunately no,

I don't know any lossless solution to bring C4D into VW

(I think C4D Exchange in Allplan or Archicad works in 2-ways)


Maybe C4D via DXF will bring 3D Meshes into VW ?

C4D has OBJ Export and VW has OBJ import.

Maybe you get a Sketchup file out under way,

which VW can also import ?

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I'm pretty sure it will always come in a s Mesh only.


It is more about bringing Object Hierarchies, Names, Materials, ... in.

If you have objects nicely separated, you can convert them one by one

to NURBS Surfaces and Stitch and Trim them from advanced 3D Power Pack

from menu.

You can even Stitch many Objects at a time - as long as they don't touch each other.

I think Stitch in VW works pretty forgiving with bad geometry.



In many cases, snapping to and recreating geometry in VW may be the more reliable

and even faster way.


BTW the wisch for an FBX import was often asked.

Edited by zoomer
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Ethan - I believe (and please - someone from VW tell me if I'm wrong) you are trying to go a from polygonal based modeled objects (Blender, C4D, Maya, basically all 3D DCC Apps) into a CAD program that uses Nurbs/polylines (and math) to create objects between points.  So I don't think you are ever going to get anything but meshes coming into a CAD program.  The reverse is easier since faceting those nurbs into polygons is an obtainable (destructive) workflow.  It's not perfect (hence the triangles we deal with), but it works.  The reverse - not so much.



Edited by EAlexander
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In theory, you can convert a mesh model into a NURBS model using VectorScript. I use this method when exporting models from TouchCAD, where I do 90% of my free form shaping. The procedure allows me to export either as a mesh or as NURBS surfaces, which can be used directly as solids. I need both methods as VW's NURBS abilities sometimes get a bit overwhelmed by the TouchCAD data. I'm however not sure how well a general purpose import features would work, as there are many possible variations in the setup of the data, whereas in TouchCAD's output is very predictable and therefore works very well.


There are some other programs having such conversion features. ViaCAD Pro used to have an extension called PowerPack, which did a decent job, but apparently they have removed it due to some legal issues. 

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And BTW,

clean and watertight Meshes can be converted directly into Generic Solids in VW.


I just make tests with PushPull Tool if it got really a Solid. If PPT doesn't work,

something went wrong 🙂

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On 2/4/2020 at 7:21 AM, zoomer said:

And BTW,

clean and watertight Meshes can be converted directly into Generic Solids in VW

I had no idea!  That's great!  I just experimented with a couple of Kohler sinks; the first one wouldn't convert, but I was surprised, the second one did!  Excellent. 

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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. 



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