Graphics Mesh and Mesh BREP Bodies

Mesh BREP (boundary representation) bodies and graphics mesh bodies are made up of triangular polygons, called facets. Each facet has three vertices and three edges, referred to as fins.

The facets of a mesh BREP body can be collected into faces. These faces are similar to the faces in standard SOLIDWORKS BREP bodies, except that mesh faces do not have a geometric description. For example, the facets of a mesh face can make up a rectangle, but that face is defined simply as a collection of facets, not as rectangle with a height and width.

Body Types Created from Mesh

You can convert mesh files into three types of bodies:
  • Standard SOLIDWORKS BREP bodies
  • Mesh BREP bodies
  • Graphics bodies
You can add standard BREP geometry to create hybrid mesh models.

SOLIDWORKS BREP bodies are the standard bodies used in the SOLIDWORKS software. They can be solid or surface bodies. They do not include mesh surfaces. Every point on a face of these bodies can be determined with a mathematical equation.

Mesh BREP bodies can be solid or surface bodies. The bodies are made up of mesh facets. The facets can be grouped into faces. Facets can form a geometric shape such as a rectangle, and the rectangle can have a BREP face associated with it, but not every point on every face can be determined with a mathematical equation. You have the option to display or hide facet fins on mesh BREP bodies. In Tools > Options > System Options > Display, select or clear the option Display facet fins in Mesh BREP bodies. This includes bodies you create with the Convert to Mesh Body tool. It also includes bodies imported from *.stl and *.3mf files with the Graphics Body import option selected and that you later convert to mesh BREP bodies.
This option does not affect the display of regular edges on mesh BREP bodies, which includes edges created directly on import or created later with the Segment Imported Mesh Body tool.

Graphics bodies are defined entirely by their facets, without reference to equations. For example, what appears to be a circle in a graphics body is actually a large number of triangles, some of whose edges approximate the circumference of a circle. These mesh edges do not actually form a mathematical curve.

Hybrid solid or surface bodies include mesh BREP geometry and standard SOLIDWORKS BREP geometry in the same model. In general, you create hybrid mesh bodies by adding SOLIDWORKS features to mesh BREP bodies. The faces and edges created by the SOLIDWORKS features contain as much SW standard BREP geometry as possible, instead of mesh BREP geometry.

Geometry Elements

Mesh body types can include six geometric elements:
Facets Triangular faces of each unit of the mesh
Facet Edges Edges or fins of the mesh facets
Facet Vertices Vertices of mesh facets
BREP Faces Faces comprised of mesh facets
Edges Boundaries of mesh
BREP Vertices Vertices of the edges of mesh BREP faces

The edges of mesh BREP bodies may approximate mathematical curves, but do not have any geometric attributes. Hybrid mesh bodies can contain a continuous face where one region of the face is mesh BREP geometry, and the other region of the face is standard BREP geometry. A continuous edge is one region comprised of facet fins that form a mesh BREP edge and a standard BREP edge. These are not new geometry types, but rather combinations of existing geometry types in a hybrid mesh body.