Reverse Engineering with VxModel and SOLIDWORKS – Extracting Planes
Last time we spoke about reverse engineering with 3D scan and coordinate measuring machine data. The next few articles we are going to go into a deep dive in extracting entities from your scan data to send to cad and use for feature creation. We are going to start with the most fundamental feature a plane and all the ways you can extract one with VxModel.
We have a few different ways of extracting planes, think about some you do in SOLIDWORKS or other systems.
- Numerical Value: This allows you to control the center and normal of the plane by typing in xyz coordinates.
- Triangle Selection: The one is very straight forward. You use your mesh selection tools for flatness and get a plane from the selection. But did you know you could select both sides of a rib and it would do a mid-plane creation.
Point Selection: Here you pick center points of entities you have already extracted like center points of circles and cylinders.
Vertex Selection: Pretty self-explanatory, select any three vertices of the mesh and you have a plane.
Average Plane: Here you can select any already extracted planes and find the averaged plane between them
Plane Offset: Select a pre-existing plane and give it a distance.
Plane Offset through a point: Select a pre-existing plane and select any point be that a vertex or a point of an existing entity
Point and coplanar axis: This one I’ve used a lot for parts that have axial symmetry like fan blade & turbines. You are able to pick an axis for the plane to pivot around and then a point to stop and locate the plane off that pivot point.
Point and normal axis: This is very very similar to offset plane to a point, but this would work when you don’t have a planar surface in your model but you do a hole somewhere that you can use its axis for a direction of pull for a plane.
Mesh symmetry plane: One of the most interesting and very processor intensive commands I’ve seen. You can pick a plane on something like a rib or boss and it will find the mid-plane of the material for you. The other way would be to create a plane on both sides of the rib and do an average plane creation. That’s pretty nice.
- Draw Line: This is the most free form of all the plane creation tools you draw a line by holding the ctrl key, left mouse button clicking and dragging across the screen. This will create a plane the normal of the plane is perpendicular to the line you drew and you are looking at the infinitely thin plane from its side.
Next time we will go through Cylinder and Cone creation.
Bob Mcgaughey, CSWE