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Is there a way to give a Mesh thickness?


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I am trying to model a very irregularly-shaped roof. I tried Loft Surface initially which was ok but not as precise as I wanted. Then I plotted a load of 3D Loci over the surface of the roof (point cloud), created a Site Model + Ungrouped it to give me a mesh. It looks great but I would really like it to have a thickness (be a solid). I have tried various options including a very laborious Shell Solid operation which kind of worked but not really... Is there anything else I can do? I only want it to be 50mm/2" thick. Or a completely different approach?

 

This is the mesh:

815299669_Screenshot2021-08-25at16_21_47.thumb.png.60aa460242e0e461c577008eb664dada.png829962676_Screenshot2021-08-25at16_22_00.thumb.png.f1360568198c0022aa9a30da18eb914e.png

 

The 3D Loci:

2024780378_Screenshot2021-08-25at16_36_42.thumb.png.4f9a0089242bb3f2fa1c15acf27b8224.png

 

Thanks!

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Ok I converted the mesh to 3d Polygons, offset a duplicate, HAND-DREW 3D Poly edges, converted all the 3D Polys to a Mesh, converted the Mesh to Generic Solid:

483117850_Screenshot2021-08-25at20_22_17.thumb.png.2ae10168b08934c1a831e7070c45dc5a.png

 

Be great to know if there was another way to have done it...

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Wow @jeff prince thanks for looking at it that's really cool! Great file explaining all the steps: thank you very helpful. I did briefly look at the 'Stitch + Trim Surfaces' command before but from Help it looked like it wouldn't be any use so didn't try it out: very glad to have been shown otherwise! What a useful tool.

 

I spent hours trying to achieve what you did - I kind of knew there must be a way of using Subtract Solids to get what I wanted - but I never would have figured this out so thanks again for taking the time. Retaining + utilising the site model skirt is a no-brainer: I just immediately got rid of it + then forgot it ever existed. Duh. It's so great to keep learning new stuff. This is going in the manual... 🙂

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@Tom W.my pleasure.  You know me, I always like a good brain teaser like this.  I took me two tries to get this one.  During my first attempt, I generated the site model w/o a skirt.  When I got to the point of doing the facia and was faced with drawing all those faces, I realized how useful the skirt would be.  The time consuming part was making all those loci for the site model 🙂

Edited by jeff prince
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Posted (edited)

Hi @jeff prince inspired by you I thought I should try + up my game a bit + I found another even easier way to do it:

  1. Create a Landscape Area the full size of the Site Model + give it a single component the desired thickness (e.g. 50mm).
  2. Select both the LA + the Site Model + Ungroup them.
  3. The LA becomes a Mesh: use Convert to Generic Solids to turn it into a solid.
  4. Delete the now redundant site model elements.

Has the added advantage of allowing you to add extra components to the LA for rafters or whatever if required.

1968655593_Screenshot2021-08-26at13_00_41.thumb.png.bd53bb289b78e24e5a55c0d73c6909ba.png

Edited by Tom W.
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Thanks @Claes Lundstrom when I try this I get 'Shell creation failed'... I get the impression it's a bit of a fickle tool + doesn't like it if the shape is too complex?? It does work if I break off a smaller section of my roof.

 

My first attempt at all this yesterday was using the Shell Solid Tool but I had to select the facets individually + shell them in batches. If I selected too many the command would fail. Then when I'd finished I tried using Add Solids to create a single monolithic object out of the separate groups of Shells + for some reason this wouldn't always work either so I ended up with a minimum of 3 or 4 separate objects rather than one. Then to top it all when you looked at the underside of the 'roof' you could see the gaps between the facets where they followed the curvature of the roof... 

 

So far the Landscape Area method wins (despite the perversity of needing Landmark to create an architectural feature!)

 

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16 hours ago, Tom W. said:

Thanks @Claes Lundstrom when I try this I get 'Shell creation failed'... I get the impression it's a bit of a fickle tool + doesn't like it if the shape is too complex?? It does work if I break off a smaller section of my roof.

 

My first attempt at all this yesterday was using the Shell Solid Tool but I had to select the facets individually + shell them in batches. If I selected too many the command would fail. Then when I'd finished I tried using Add Solids to create a single monolithic object out of the separate groups of Shells + for some reason this wouldn't always work either so I ended up with a minimum of 3 or 4 separate objects rather than one. Then to top it all when you looked at the underside of the 'roof' you could see the gaps between the facets where they followed the curvature of the roof... 

 

So far the Landscape Area method wins (despite the perversity of needing Landmark to create an architectural feature!)

 

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.

Solid Mesh project.jpg

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@Claes Lundstrom that's very cool. 

Would I be able to send you my mesh for you to have a look at + see if you can Shell it successfully? Although I've achieved what I wanted using a Landscape Area it feels it should be doable within the 3D Modelling tool set rather than Site Planning so be really interested to know if you can get it to work in my case!

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