"c'mon...let's be real here. You want to be able to pull in polygon data and use it to work from."
No not necessarily, but it would be nice if they could.
What I want is the ability to SEE these meshed 3D parts in my Assemblies as either reference or for illustrative purposes. If you read my response to Ken I said:
"Ken, I used the crab as a joke about me... But there are plenty of objects that make more sense to have the ability to view within Solid Edge Designs/Assemblies. I do many varied projects with Solid Edge, so being able to place people and other "real world" objects into my Designs (assemblies) to prove ergonomics, scale, etc. with Furniture, Machines and Medical devices would be great for Presentations, etc. But also importing Scanned 3D data would also be a big benefit and a great tool. My point is that I believe that 3D CAD as we know it now is going to become overwhelmed by low cost alternatives."
And what Dyan is asking for lies somewhere in the middle.... and would be a big time saver too. So don't be so dismissive of the need.
Bob and others-
Don't get me wrong. I'm not being dismissive about the need. I understand the need but you have to remember that what you are asking for is not the type of data that is easily usable after it is authored or even translated to usable formats. Those capabilities "currently" lie with the high end, more integrated software packages.
I understand the need to be able to pull in maniquin data for ergonomic studies, visual cones, images for marketing or customers, etc.. There is software for that..Jack is what I have used in the past.
I think we need to have an environment, outside of the CAD system, that allows you to bring the different types of data together and to easily move/scale and assign different materials, textures, decals, etc into a "Studio" environment.
Secondlife is something that I and another techie sales instructional designer was looking at for building areas that we could incorporate "real world" situations and areas where you could import your product into a showroom and do training about how things operate in complex machines. You would log in as avatars and do walk arounds and touching hot spotted areas of the machines launches animations/audio or videos about specific features or functions of the equipment.
This was well over 7+ years back. I haven't had any opportunities to get back to that world..to be honest...it's very close the vision that Dassault Systems is selling with their new "paradigm".
check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GPcW2Q-b24
or this one
2,5 years later, but still no solution...
ASUS provides 3D CAD files in stl. They suggest http://www.freecadweb.org FREE! to edit these files.
Solid Edge (not exactly free) can't handle this.
To add to this conversation.. Here's a ratchet from the NASA 3d print web page, very last item (check it out, some very cool stuff). It look slike NASA offers both 3D (graphic modeling) and some .stl files for 3D printing of many objects. I downloaded this ratchet and printed it myself, great part and fully functional from a sinlge print, one way movement on the ratchet though (tighten only).
Here's the image directly from NASA site.
Using "freecad" you can open the .stl file, with a few clicks creat a .step or.igs file for export.
Freecad image shown here..
Then open the file in Solidedge as a part. I did this with all options checked off, so i could have all the individual faces and bodies. It only converted 2 of the 3 bodies though. Should be easy enough to join the remaining surfaces to create the 3rd body though. Idea is to edit the handle so i could put my nephews name in it (he's 5 yrs old).
Here's the Solidedge images.
Converted to Sync, deleted the "3 in-lb" then added "Cooper".
And here's the original print directly from NASA .stl.
So this is a fairly easy part to convert in the "Freecad" program, I tried to convert a much larger file and it was taking almost 10 minutes, I gave up at that point and closed it. With just the base functionality I'd assume Solidedge would be better at this conversion process if it was capable and if it happens in the future. This is really only a workaround as you still have a mutifaceted surface and is a resource hog. You'd never use this surface or solid as a final part unless you were simply using it for a visual part but again it's a resource hog, or using it to export to .stl for 3D printing.
I'm wondering if people understand the difference between tessellation and brep data. That is really what we are talking about- I believe. Tessellation allows you to approximate triangluated faces that have gaps and holes which don't form a stitched boundary. Brep is more precise and attempts to have completely stitched boundaries that form a "solid" body..watertight boundary. There in resides the problem.
I would expect your free software to puke or not even work on real world tessellation geometry. The math, processing and guess work that a software is going to have to do to fill in your tessellation gaps is HUGE.
Now, should we be able to pull stl data into an assembly and use it as "volume" or space claim item? Sure I think we should be able to do that. Should I be able to mate to the data? No I don't think so. It's estimated geometry not precise geometry.
Anyway, that's my opinion on the topic.