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3D scans with large number of facets
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* May 22, 2019, 09:08:53 AM
I've had the underside of a motorcycle scanned using a high-precision laser scanner, and have received the results as STL. The biggest file is 500Mb  :o due to just over 10 million facets.

I seem to be able to work with files of around 75 Mb, although TC crashes fairly frequently. But what frustrates me, is that it appears TC is making very little use of my well-spec'd PC's hardware. I'm running 2018 Pro (64-bit).

I've downloaded a trial of Rhino3D, and it works with the mesh like it's nothing. But I don't have the inclination to learn another programme. I don't understand how Rhino can make such light work in comparison, it feels like about 1% of the effort!

Any tips to make TC work better, i.e. make more use of my hardware? I'm using a i7-8700K @ 3.70 Ghz with 32 Gb RAM on Windows 10, plus a good GPU (though I doubt that's relevant).

The only option I can think of is to reduce the meshes in Rhino, which is easy, and xRef them. I would have thought the referenced files should work better if they're TCW, but I'm not sure this is the case either...

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Currently installed v17.2 Pro (with VBA) and 2018 Pro Platinum on Windows 10.   Started with TC v2 !


May 22, 2019, 03:03:43 PM
#1
With large STLs, I get a better response in TurboCAD using the RedSDK display engine.  That's a $99 option for 2018 (IMSI has been going back and forth on default rendering the last few versions).

TC's facet reduction works quite well.  I have reduced by 80% and done overlays with the original showing that they are all but identical.


Jeff

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TC Pro Platinum 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks & RedSDK) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


* May 22, 2019, 05:07:27 PM
#2
What do you want to do with it that Rhino makes so easy?  I'm in the middle of reverse engineering an .stl of a car that's around a million facets.  TC will work with it, but it's slowed by the size of the mesh, so I use TC's mesh booleans to trim out fields of triangles that compose surfaces and switch off visibility of the complete mesh, then TC is as fast as if the full model isn't in the file.    Meshes are not CAD-friendly, and I found that Rhino is a great surfacing program because it's capable of calculating degree-32 curves and surfaces, far more precise than TC's degree-9 curves, but as for actually doing something with a mesh, it's also limited.  Even FreeCAD will import pretty huge meshes, swing 'em around swiftly and give good views, but it can't do anything with them.  Rhino does have a couple of plugins that can convert meshes to NURB surface objects, which are compatible with CAD, Rhino plus plugins start at around USD 2K...

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* May 23, 2019, 01:21:14 AM
#3
Jeff - it's not the rendering that I really need, or am struggling with.

Murray - I just want to use the mesh as a background model. I'm trying to design accessories that fit to the 3D scan. So a bit like in 2D scanning an old drawing and tracing over it I guess. A slightly new approach for me, though I've used TC for 20(?) years, generally construction 2D and 3D. The STL files are all triangulated mesh, not curves, but still Rhino makes extremely light work displaying and manipulating ones which TC won't even open. So although meshes may not be CAD-friendly, and Rhino is primarily NURBS, IMHO Rhino copes way way better with big meshes - unfortunately!

I think my approach may be within Rhino to firstly delete unwanted areas. Then separate the meshes into parts where I need hi-res and lo-res, then ReduceMesh (by perhaps 90%) where I don't need too much accuracy. Maybe re-join them? And xRef to the resulting file. Any suggestion which format would be most efficient speed-wise to save the file to which I'm xRef-ing?

EDIT: Just tried Windows 10 3D viewer. That copes with 10 million facets and 500 Mb even more easily than Rhino! But you can do even less.....
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 01:33:13 AM by IanC »

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Currently installed v17.2 Pro (with VBA) and 2018 Pro Platinum on Windows 10.   Started with TC v2 !


May 23, 2019, 05:47:46 AM
#4
Jeff - it's not the rendering that I really need, or am struggling with.

Okay... I just prefer to edit in Hidden Line mode and RedSDK is faster and smoother than the others.


Jeff

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TC Pro Platinum 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015 (all with LightWorks & RedSDK) & V21
System: i7-5820K @ 3.30GHz, ASRock X99 Extreme4, 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM, Gigabyte GTX 970, Samsung NVMe SSD 950 (256GB), Windows 7 Pro (64-bit) SP1


* May 23, 2019, 05:22:40 PM
#5
As an armature for fitting points, it makes sense to slice away the unnecessary dense mesh leaving the regions of your fixing points.   The file should be a lot more responsive after that treatment.  I haven't used x-refs for anything except construction contract drafting a lot of years back, I don't have any thoughts on whether or not using them would be a benefit in this context.  I do think that .dwg is pretty useful to represent dumb solids and generating lines, curves and objects that give clues about way they're designed and constructed if you need to exchange with other apps, but if you don't need to do that, you can use .tcw any way you want, and keep the smarts like constraints and associations.       

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* June 04, 2019, 09:11:18 AM
#6
Thanks all. I worked around by greatly reducing the number of facets (by 95%) in Rhino, and saving as DWG.

The xRef'd the DWG, as it was still 34Mb, in order to keep it 'read-only' and not keep saving a big file. Works well  ;D

Still annoys me how TC makes such hard work of something (displaying 3D mesh) that others do with ease.

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Currently installed v17.2 Pro (with VBA) and 2018 Pro Platinum on Windows 10.   Started with TC v2 !