Reverse engineering is becoming more accessible than ever to companies wishing to make use of legacy designs. With the rapid growth of high-resolution 3D scanners, even parts designed on the drawing board can be digitally represented and modified to suit contemporary designs without complete reconstruction. Powerful reverse engineering capabilities in Solid Edge allow you to produce products faster. This post demonstrates some tips and tricks to reverse engineering in Solid Edge.
In Windows 10, go to the “Choose default apps by file type” setting and set 3D Viewer as the default app for STL files.
This will enable the preview of STL files in windows explorer and Solid Edge file open dialog.
STL files do not have units information embedded in them, so Solid Edge needs to know what units the STL file needs to be opened with. This can be done using the Import Options dialog from File Open dialog when opening the STL files.
When opening STL files, there is an option to heal the mesh faults. This option will increase the file open time. It’s better to turn off this option when opening large files. The mesh faults can be later healed using the Geometry Inspector command. This helps improve the performance of the software, so you can open files faster.
Reverse Engineering commands, particularly Delete Mesh, Fill Holes, Automatic and Manual Region commands may not work on the mesh body if the body has faults. Use the Optimize and Geometry Inspector commands to heal the mesh faults first.
If the faults are not healed, then you can manually remove them using the Delete Mesh command. For this you should first run the Geometry Inspector command, identify the faults and highlight them. With the Geometry Inspector command still running, you can start the Delete Mesh command and remove the faulty mesh facets. Note that you need to remove all the faults to successfully complete the command.
Use the smooth mesh command to smoothen the mesh. This will help the Automatic Regions command to better recognize the regions, as can be seen from the models below.
Both the region commands, Automatic and Manual, use the following colors to tag the regions with standard geomtery type.
In Automatic command this is automatically done, but in Manual you need to select it from the color palette.
There are two advantages of using the designated colors –
Creating the regions can be a tedious job and might take lot of time. One trick to save time is not to worry about painting the whole surface which needs to be extracted. A partial painting can be enough to extract a surface. You can then extend the extracted/fitted surface.
Hope these tips will help you to make the most of reverse engineering capabilities in Solid Edge, so you can quickly import and use scanned data to facilitate your design process.