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Ideal formats for CAD too Max.
show user profile  BishBashRoss2

A work we've been asked to do a few product renders of some supplied CAD files. We have not worked with CAD files before and are trying to work out the best way to go about things. Currently we do not know what program the files are from. Is there a particular format we should ask to get the files in? Any tips or advice would be great.

read 714 times
4/30/2008 9:01:14 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 9:01:14 AM)
show user profile  geoffneck
Usually with CAD product models, they will export either IGES or STL.

IGES usually comes into max with untrimmed surfaces and faces flipped all over the place. In the past i used STL which were better, but also required post work.

What you need to be careful with is the CAD models can be exported at different resolutions. If you can, ask for a couple of variants (after a test to see if they work first).

Now, I use a plugin (Okino for CAD data or NPower BREP importer)... they are not free, but provide the best translation I have come across anywhere.

read 704 times
4/30/2008 9:20:03 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 9:20:03 AM)
show user profile  Jedi Ke
A good number of CAD programs will export to *.3ds. I'd ask for the original files, and 3ds. But really it depends on what program the products were created in...

Do the files not have extensions? If they don't it's possible that they were created on a mac and that you'll have to manually add the extension. But that would also cut the number of possible programs down significantly. No point in playing detective though, just ask em what they used. :)

read 692 times
4/30/2008 9:38:11 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 9:38:11 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss2
Thanks Geoff, that's really usefull info.

read 689 times
4/30/2008 9:44:04 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 9:44:04 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss2
Thanks Jedi, the thing is we don't have the files yet. I think we have a meeting with the client tomorrow but didn't want to turn up without having done a little research before hand. Awsome sig BTW!

read 688 times
4/30/2008 9:46:40 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 9:46:40 AM)
show user profile  TiMoN
I used to get them to export to Iges or STP,
then import the files in Rhino, and then export as 3dMAX Iges(its an export setting) which made the files far more likely to work in max, meaning less flipped/untrimmed surfaces and curves.

Running every file through Rhino is a bitch if there are many, but for a few files it was no problem.

The good thing about using the Nurbs files is that you can have one quality setting in the viewport and a much higher setting when rendering, where mesh only has the turbosmooth/meshsmooth option, which you really dont want to use on anything imported from CAD.

obj, is also a good format(mesh), supports more polys than 3ds, and has a better chance of still being welded than stl files, it may even support something like being eksported as quads where possible, but that depends on the CAD i suppose.

Terribly boring signature.
read 682 times
4/30/2008 9:53:06 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 9:54:47 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss2
Thanks Timon. This is sounding more and more complicated! It's possible we may outsource the conversion process if anyone here is interested. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks alot.

read 672 times
4/30/2008 10:19:20 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 10:19:20 AM)
show user profile  Jedi Ke
Thanks re: the actually was part of a desktop that I made for a coworker many many years ago. Now I just need to change my nic.... I thought it was funny when I entered it, but now I cringe every time I log in!

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled thread. OBJ sounds better than 3ds...never knew that it supported more pollies. Will have to try it next time.


read 660 times
4/30/2008 10:43:39 AM (last edit: 4/30/2008 10:43:39 AM)
show user profile  ulisei
hi there-

cad-files coming out of CATIA or AutoCAD usually
but no matter wich export format you choose, the meshes always appearing as a big dungheap.
very hard to handle, no fun at all, but wellpayed. you will need a good portion of assiduity for this.
[edit] so don't try to clean-up the mesh, better sort the polies by mat-ID if you only want to texture it.

no pain, no gain

cheers, U.

read 652 times
4/30/2008 12:37:36 PM (last edit: 4/30/2008 12:49:01 PM)
show user profile  Sypher-5
I've had STL's come through Deep Exploration fine, of course its built in volume, so there's always chunks of mesh you dont need.
Signature Pending Redesign

read 634 times
4/30/2008 6:46:20 PM (last edit: 4/30/2008 6:46:20 PM)
show user profile  del3d
autocad files (.dwg) were very messy until they severily improved the import from max version 5 on I think. Working with autocad files these days is a breeze. No mesh errors whatsover, rare glitches in arched splines if anything. Max imports layers, blocks, everything works very well.
read 628 times
4/30/2008 7:02:42 PM (last edit: 4/30/2008 7:02:42 PM)
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