Import Diagnostics Overview

Import diagnostics repairs faulty surfaces, knits repaired surfaces into closed bodies, and makes closed bodies into solids.

To initiate Import Diagnostics:

  • When you import a model with faults, a message asks if you want to run Import Diagnostics. Click Yes.
  • With a model open, click Import Diagnostics (Tools toolbar) or Tools > Evaluate > Import Diagnostics.

    The Import Diagnostics PropertyManager opens.

This repair capability is needed because imported surface data often has problems that prevent surfaces from being converted into valid solids. These problems include:
  • Bad surface geometry
  • Bad surface topology (trim curves)
  • Adjacent surfaces whose edges are close to each other but do not meet, thus creating gaps between the surfaces
Import Diagnostics finds problems by:
  • Running the check used in Tools > Evaluate > Check.
  • Running additional checks, such as overlapping surfaces.
  • Checking for accurate, unsimplified surfaces, which are B-splines that are planar, cylindrical, and so on and therefore can be replaced with equivalent analytic surfaces, improving performance and making the model easier to reference.
    Accurate is defined by a tolerance of < 10-8. Searching for less accurate faces (between 10-5 and 10-8) would be prohibitively slow, but you can manually select faces and click Fix for the system to convert the faces to analytic surfaces if possible. The system also replaces two selected cylinder halves with the equivalent full cylinder.

    Although B-splines are not strictly a problem (since B-spline surfaces can be valid), replacing them with equivalent analytic surfaces makes the model more usable in SOLIDWORKS. For example, you can create concentric mates only to analytic cylinders, not to B-splines that happen to be cylindrical.

Import Diagnostics repairs errors in geometry (the underlying surface) and topology (the boundaries) of faces by doing one or more of the following:
  • Recreating the trim boundaries of a face based on the surrounding geometry (which often fixes overlapping faces).
  • Trimming away defective portions of faces (for cases in which the defective portion is not used in the model).
  • Removing the face and using the gap repair algorithm to fill the resulting hole (a last resort).
Import Diagnostics eliminates gaps between adjacent faces by doing one or more of the following:
  • Replacing two close but non-intersecting edges with one "tolerant" edge.
  • Creating a fill surface or lofted surface to fill the gap.
  • Extending two adjacent faces into each other to eliminate the gap.
Additional functionality:
  • Converts unsimplified surfaces into analytic surfaces.
  • Knits repaired faces into the rest of the surface body, if possible.
  • Converts the body into a solid if the surface body is closed (without gaps). This is done automatically when you click OK in the dialog box.