Best CAD and CAM for designing and making freeform shapes from digitized models - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    What does a modern dentist use for making crowns from photos of the prepared tooth root? Maybe it's not high res, although they do manage to make a 'snap fit' right off the bat.
    The dental industry makes 3D scans. Either a dentist makes an impression of the teeth as a model that is sent to a dental lab, where it is scanned into a point cloud, and a technician uses specialized dental-CAD software to finish the design. Or the dentists use a cheir side scanner to do the scan. When done chair side, it may still be sent to a dental lab, or to a specialist right in the dentists office that can mill a protheses directly in house (like with a Sirona turnkey system).

  2. #22
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    If you are looking at free form designing, Alibre (was Alibre, then Geomagic Design, now Alibre Design again) is not for you. I use it exclusively, but it does not do free form unless you hold your tongue just right, in certain phases of the moon.

    Ken

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    Can't say I'm using the worst CAD system, reverse-engineering tools and convergent modeling features, BUT...

    Despite what some companies claims, I've always found that re-surfacing from scratch is so much easier (faster also). All I need in most case is a 3D scan for line/spline projections and dimension references. The (new) model is effectively done from scratch though, sadly!

    Never heard of an 'effective' cad/poly data translator, converter, call those what you want.

    That said, whether you use FreeCad or Siemens NX's Surfacing tools, it all gets down to how much time you have to waste really

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  5. #24
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    Are there any Delcam Powershape - Powermill users to weigh in on this?

  6. #25
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    We just finished a whole pile of work like this that was actually fairly profitable although with better software and knowledge it could have been much more so. I am going to have to look through this list at some point and explore some of the options

    The guys that did the scanning for me used Geomagic X to digitize and turn to a solid. It was supposed to be able to export as a native Solidworks file however quite often the design tree just said imported other times it had to be exported as a dumb solid. Some of the parts I did some surfacing work in solidworks and it was definitely challenging. I tried out spaceclaim and struggled with it but I didn't really have time give it the days needed to really learn the software. I did give up a few times on certain things and used Hsmworks to add draft rather than model draft.

    A trick we used a fair bit on the last batch we did was rather than modifying the model we modified the scan. We patched up badly corroded castings by hand using body filler then scanned it, rather than fixing up bad surfaces in the software.

    I spoke with some guys from Creaform at CMTS who had done some scanning on parliament hill they mentioned using Zbrush to rebuild missing elements I spent a little time looking at it and did not see a lot of overlapping file types apart from maybe stl which solidworks does not play nice with especially if files are large. They had used it so there must be a way to convert however.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattnmaker View Post
    We just finished a whole pile of work like this that was actually fairly profitable although with better software and knowledge it could have been much more so. I am going to have to look through this list at some point and explore some of the options

    The guys that did the scanning for me used Geomagic X to digitize and turn to a solid. It was supposed to be able to export as a native Solidworks file however quite often the design tree just said imported other times it had to be exported as a dumb solid. Some of the parts I did some surfacing work in solidworks and it was definitely challenging. I tried out spaceclaim and struggled with it but I didn't really have time give it the days needed to really learn the software. I did give up a few times on certain things and used Hsmworks to add draft rather than model draft.

    A trick we used a fair bit on the last batch we did was rather than modifying the model we modified the scan. We patched up badly corroded castings by hand using body filler then scanned it, rather than fixing up bad surfaces in the software.

    I spoke with some guys from Creaform at CMTS who had done some scanning on parliament hill they mentioned using Zbrush to rebuild missing elements I spent a little time looking at it and did not see a lot of overlapping file types apart from maybe stl which solidworks does not play nice with especially if files are large. They had used it so there must be a way to convert however.
    The Geomagic X experience I have showed results similar to Solidwork's ability to build a feature tree on a dumb solid, only coming from an STL.. If the geometry is fairly obvious, it might have some success picking out cylinders, boxes, holes, etc and generating a feature.. Otherwise, you get a dumb solid.

    Still, it's fairly magical when it works, which was unfortunately not a common enough result.

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  9. #27
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    I just started fiddling with Solid Edge ST10, which has new capabilities to convert STL models to solids.

    This video goes into this feature set in detail:



    I use Esprit for CAM.

  10. #28
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    I looked at several scanning software programs at CTMS and was quite impressed with one of the cheapest which was which was Creaforms software which comes with their scanners. Rather than being stand alone software it runs inside Solidworks so you are not having to learn a whole new software package you are working with Solidworks to create sketches and features inside the plug it which you then use to generate geometry inside Solidworks.

    I know this doesn't help with the original question except that if you can model inside Solidworks based on the scan rather than actually using imported solids directly you will likely have better luck being able to manipulate your geometry.

    Another problem I had with the imported data from Geomagic when I did have a design tree was the sketches were not defined. So when I went to make any changes to a sketch the first thing I would have to do is anchor the end of all the splines and define a bunch of other features otherwise the sketch would go all squirrelly if I made a change.

  11. #29
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    In answer to your first post Marcus, I think one can go a long way in Solidworks with surfaces, but there are a lot of features to master we don't normally use. For example creating surfaces from 3D splines which are made with two orthogonal 2D splines, projecting surfaces out from their respective planes and finding the 3D intersection. This is what you do if a designer gives you top, front and side views of a model; those are 2D projections of the 3D design so you are going backwards to 3D. Look up Daniel Lavoie's Gallardo project and Audi R8 project SW surfacing tutorial DVDs, they're really good. The reason I say all this is that in our experience with several different pieces of software, it's amazing in our biomedical work how often we end up back with Solidworks. If you can work in Solidworks it is, overall, so powerful and well developed and there is so much online help compared to anything else.

    Coming from scans, in our case CT data, I have been able to get editable Solidworks surfaces out of Geomagic Design X but it works best on simpler shapes. A human face for example could be turned from an .stl from CT data into a surface, then trimmed around the edges and thickened to 2mm and sent for Polyjet printing. It would croak on an actual human skull though as the latter is way to complex. For editing CTed bones, eg adding a baseplate to a spine or a hinge to a skull and mandible, I have had great success with Geomagic Freeform. It can definitely do stuff SW can't. Marcus I could give you a demo if you drop by my office some time. Geomagic products are expensive but capable.

    For de-novo artistic design several people I know have raved about Z-Brush, particularly in the hands of artists who don't come from a design software experience. I haven't tried it myself but film prop designer type people seem to have great success with it.

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  13. #30
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    We use Siemens NX exclusively for design and a mixture of NX and Mastercam for machining. Our Mastercam users do very little modeling and surfacing, obviously being that Mastercam does very little design and is somewhat decent for machining. NX is extremely good at both design and machining. NX's modeling and freeform is very powerful in the standard machining bundles and if you want top shelf, world class free form there are more advanced add-ons to do anything you can think of.

    NX handles all our STL cutting with ease. Our Mastercam users can program STL's but seem to struggle with them. They can rough any STL's easily but when it comes to finishing STL's they really struggle.

    With all the discussion on CAD/CAM/CAE pricing these days, the adage "you get what you pay for" is very true. While supply and demand generally dictate prices, technical value is usually left out of that old saying but it the most important consideration in CAD/CAM/CAE.

    NX 11.0.2
    NX 12

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    I just got an email from solidworks advertising SW industrial designer which I suppose is a purchased add in. Based on the description it appears it does what you are looking for. Since you are already using SW it might be worth a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    I just got an email from solidworks advertising SW industrial designer which I suppose is a purchased add in. Based on the description it appears it does what you are looking for. Since you are already using SW it might be worth a look.
    Sorry this is not an add in it is a completely new standalone program that is pretty powerful for freeform shapes. It's UI is completely different from SW though it does freely interact with SW so you can do the freeform in SWID then do the mechanical stuff in SW and if changes are needed to the ID you can modify in SWID and the see the updates in the SW model.

    here is the issue $$$$, you have to now buy it and be on subsription for both SWID & SW.
    Also learning a new UI to boot.

    you can get pretty close to the same thing use Power Surfacing and DezighWorks for a lot less


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