Reduction and Simplification of 3D CAD Data

Reduction of 3D CAD data and simplification

A frequent problem is the import of complex 3D CAD Data into an existing 3D model or into another specialized application. Typically these target applications, like CAD systems, 3D printing or VR / AR applications are unable to handle such huge amount of CAD data, but finally they do not really need the full level of detail.

So what can we do?

It’s all about reducing the amount of CAD data automatically, resulting in simplified and smaller files, while we’ll need to be able to choose for different strategies, depending on the use case. 3DViewStation offers several options: 

1. CAD system, Design-in-Context

Suppliers of components typically provide their assemblies as STEP files, as most CAD systems are able to import them in good quality. Unfortunately the STEP file format is pretty slow in processing, which will cause an import taking hours or even days.  In this situation 3DViewStation will help you removing internal parts completely and save the result as i.e. STEP file again. Customers report, that by following this approach they were able to reduce import time from 1 day to 40 minutes.

2. 3D printing

Many CAD assemblies will be scaled down when being printed in 3D. Not an issue for single parts or small assemblies, but for more complex ones. First step can be automatically removing all internal parts. Another option is o reduce the number of triangles (tesselation) as 3D printer typically get tesselated data for printing. This will reduce the time need for preparation and printing. In some cases only the reduction will allow to print at all.

3. VR & AR applications

It might take days up to a week in order to prepare a VR or AR session with complex 3D CAD data. Also in such a case we need to reduce complexity significantly as a) VR glasses like the HTC Vive need framerates of 2x 90 fps – which is a challenge - and b) most AR glasses show low performance. If you decide not to go for our 3DViewStation VR-Edition but choose for an application, which is based on the popular Unity engine then you might be forced to reduce you data drastically. Again, 3DViewStation and KAS, our batch tool, will provide you tools to automatically remove objects and to reduce the tessellation.



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