CAD Atomization

CAD Atomization

CAD Atomization refers to the process of converting whole assemblies to separate, independent parts. This is a one-button process which can be used for both CAD and polygonal output. 3D printing houses can use Atomize to output all parts in an assembly to STL. If you are planning to do polygonal output, be sure to check Settings and adjust polygon density before outputting STL or other polygonal formats. This article covers various STL output settings. The Atomization process works whether you are using an assembly or a multi-body part (multi-bodied parts are single parts composed of two or more solid bodies); in both cases, parts and bodies are converted to...
Brep vs Visrep Models

Brep vs Visrep Models

What are the advantages of Brep vs Visrep models, and how do you tell them apart? Brep Models Brep refers to Boundary Representation. As the name suggests, the boundary between solid and non-solid geometry is in view here, the solid geometry being a collection of interconnected surfaces. This is a mathematically precise representation of geometry. Depending on the format and the CAD software you have in your possession, the features and underlying sketches may be editable, or the shapes may be editable – but generally speaking, if you don’t have the CAD system used to create the file, you cannot edit the features or sketches unless you run a...
Optimizing STL Output

Optimizing STL Output

30 Years of STL From a humble beginning in 1987, when STL was developed by the Albert Consulting Group for 3D Systems, the format has been become a mainstay for 3D printing and has remained virtually unchanged over all these years. The name STL was derived from STereoLithography; STL uses a series of linked triangles to roughly define the surface geometry of a 3D CAD model. General STL Optimization Guidelines Whether you’re using the STL file for 3D printing, machining, or other purposes, you’ll want to set the resolution or mesh density to meet your product or prototype requirements. If your resolution is too rough, you’ll end up losing or...
Pre-Processing for Polygon Reduction

Pre-Processing for Polygon Reduction

Pre-processing for polygon reduction is possible using polygon facet resolution settings. Since the Polygon Reduction tool starts with a default facet density, it can sometimes be useful to adjust that pre-set facet density to a higher value. More information about the Polygon Reduction tool can be found here. Change Facet Resolution Starting with a sample CAD component, you can select the model with the Single Select tool, or just “Select All”, and right click to get the Change Facet Resolution options (see figure 1): Normal: The lowest resolution option, approximately 27 segments on a cylinder or hole. Medium High: Slightly higher than normal,...
Can I convert polygonal models to CAD models?

Can I convert polygonal models to CAD models?

One question we get regularly at TransMagic is “Can I convert polygonal models to CAD models?”. Well now the answer is yes; as of release 12, TransMagic has the capability to convert polygonal formats to geometric CAD formats. I asked TransMagic’s head of development, Craig Dennis, about this process, as well as some of the benefits and challenges of the Poly to CAD process: Polygonal formats are comprised of triangular polygons vs. the true geometry in CAD files such as spheres, planes, torus, cones, free form surfaces (NURBs), etc.  The conversion from true CAD geometry to triangles is very easy (CAD to *.stl); however, the inverse, *.stl...
3D Printing CAD Files

3D Printing CAD Files

Eleven Techniques to Optimize 3D Printing CAD Files 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes are increasingly being used in to achieve quick turnaround on prototypes and to generate complex models cost effectively in low volume. Preparation of the geometry is the key to getting optimum results with 3D printing. The following techniques can shave hours off of the process of 3D printing CAD files.   1. Watertight Models Designs used for 3D printing need to be watertight solid models. 3D printers pre-process models into very thin horizontal slices of the part. Watertight geometry is necessary for the preprocessing step to avoid errors. Often,...