Segment Imported Mesh Body Tool

You can use the Segment Imported Mesh Body tool to group facets of a mesh BREP body into faces bounded by sharp corners, planar faces, and cylindrical faces.

The Segment Imported Mesh Body tool identifies:
  • Groups of facets that form planar or cylindrical faces.
  • Faces that are separated by a sharp angle or crease angle.
  • Planar faces in a mesh BREP body so that you can use them as sketch planes, extrude references, and in other models with planar references.

This tool is most useful for CAD files that you export to mesh and then import into the SOLIDWORKS software and convert to mesh BREP bodies. Although the tool can work with scanned files and bodies with mesh-based sculpting and artistic geometry, these often have very irregular geometry that the software cannot segment.

When you import a mesh file and convert it into a mesh BREP body, each body is represented by a single face. The facets are not grouped or segmented into groups of facets that form faces.

Converting a mesh body to mesh BREP is not like converting standard SOLIDWORKS BREP to mesh BREP, where face definition in the standard SOLIDWORKS BREP is preserved in the mesh BREP.

Options for Importing and Viewing Meshes

  1. Before you import a mesh file, specify these system options in Tools > Options > Import:
    1. For File Format, select STL/OBJ/OFF/PLY/PLY2 and click Import as Solid Body.
    2. For Mesh body options, click Create mesh bodies bounded by single faces and for Unit, select Centimeters.
    3. Click OK.
  2. Open the mesh.stl file .
  3. In the Heads-Up View toolbar:
    • For Apply Scene , click Plain White.
    • For Display Style , click Shaded With Edges .
    • For View Orientation , click Isometric .

These options help you to better visualize the previews. Now the facet lines in the mesh are visible.

Next, you start segmenting for crease angles.

Grouping Crease Angle Segments

  1. In the FeatureManager tree, right-click the mesh BREP body and click Segmented Imported Mesh Body .
  2. Click Pin at the top of the PropertyManager.
    Dynamic Help displays pop-up tooltips when you move the pointer over controls. Clear it if you do not want to display detailed help.
  3. Under Segmenting, click Crease Angle and Select Bodies . In the graphics area, select the mesh BREP body.
  4. Click Show Preview.
  5. For Crease Angle Tolerance, move the slider to lower the tolerance.

    As you decrease the tolerance, the preview detects more angular faces on the top of the mesh model. If you decrease the tolerance too far, the software detects the facets on the cylinders that are located at the bottom of the mesh BREP body.

  6. Click .

Next, you group planar and cylindrical segments.

Planar faces on the sides and bottom of the mesh BREP body are not detected when you segment crease angles, because the faces are filleted and have no sharp angles.

Grouping Planar and Cylindrical Segments

  1. In the PropertyManager, under Segmenting, click Planar Segments and Select Body .
  2. In the graphics area, select the mesh BREP body.
  3. Click Show Preview.
  4. For Tolerance, enter a value and click Recognize Planar Faces.

  5. Click .
  6. Under Segmenting, click Cylindrical Segments and Select Body .
  7. In the graphics area, select the mesh BREP body again.
  8. For Tolerance, enter a value.

    Rotate the model to view the cylindrical segments more clearly.

  9. Click to unpin the PropertyManager and click .

The FeatureManager design tree lists the angular, planar, and cylindrical segments respectively as Segment Mesh1, Segment Mesh2, and Segment Mesh3. You can modify the segments by right-clicking any of the features in the FeatureManager design tree and select Edit Feature .