3D Printing Software User Guide

PowerPack

Adds to the base feature set of PowerPack LT plus tools to verify and repair mesh, curves, surfaces, and solids. Additional tools provided include verify and repair profile.
Mesh Tools
  • Mesh Analysis

    The Shadow Projection command projects a solid outline into a plane. Select xy, yz, xz, or WorkPlane as the plane to project the outline into.

    • Number of Facets
    • Number of Triangles
    • Number of Quads
    • Surface Area
    • Volume (if closed)
    • Open Edges
    • Collapsed or degenerative faces
    • Overlaps
    • Double faces
    • Number of parts
    • Minimum edge length
    • Maximum edge length
    • Average edge length
    • Average aspect ratio
    • Highest valence count
  • Auto Repair

    The Auto Repair command inspects and repairs a mesh for the following instances:

    • Dangling Vertices
    • Stitch Triangles
    • Remove Double Faces
    • Remove Collapsed Faces
  • Show Free Edges

    The Show Free Edges command inspects a mesh to see if there are any free edges. If there are free edges, the user is presented with an option to make permanent lines out of the edges illustrated below in red.

    Example:

    1. Select a mesh object

    Select a Mesh Object

    2. A dialog box is displayed with the number of free edges found. Free edges are displayed as red lines in the model

    Free Edges Dialog Box
    Selected Object

    3. Press Undo to remove the red lines located at the mesh free edges.

  • Show Non-Manifold Edges

    The Show Non-Manifold Edges examines all edges of a mesh to determine if any one edge has more than two facets sharing the edge. Edges that are determined to be non-manifold are displayed with a a red line along the edge. Select Undo: Non-Manifold Edges to remove the line from the file.

    Show Non-Manifold Edges
  • Remove Collapsed Facets

    A collapsed facet contains zero area and can cause issues in other operations. Use the Remove Collapsed Facets command to remove zero area facets from the mesh.

  • Identify Overlaps

    The Identify Overlaps tool examines a mesh for overlapping planar facets. If Overlaps are detected, an option is displayed to remove the facets.

    Example with Two Overlapping Facets:

    1. Select the Mesh with possible overlaps.

    Overlap Mesh Selected

    2. A dialog box is displayed reporting that two overlaps were found.

    Check Overlaps Dialog Box

    3. Pressing Yes will delete the overlaps.

    Overlaps Deleted

    4. Pressing No will show the overlaps as Line entities. Select Undo to remove the lines

    Overlap Line Entities
  • Check Intersections

    The Check Intersections tool examines a mesh for non-planar intersecting facets. If intersections are detected, an option is displayed to remove the facets or display the intersection.

    Example:

    1. Select the Mesh with possible intersections.

    Intersection Mesh Selected

    2. A dialog box is displayed with the number of intersections found.

    Show Intersections Dialog Box

    3. Pressing Yes will create lines and points at the intersections.

    Intersection Lines and Points

    4. A dialog box is displayed asking if you want to delete all facets involved with intersections.

    Delete Intersections Dialog Box

    5. Pressing Yes will remove the intersecting facets.

    Facets Removed
  • Remove Duplicated Facets

    This tool removes all facets that are duplicated.

    Example:

    1. Select a mesh with possible duplicated facets. Original mesh has 160 facets.

    Duplicated Facets Mesh Selected
    Facets Information Dialog Box

    2. Select Yes to remove the duplicated facets.

    Remove Duplicates Dialog Box

    Mesh is reduced by 16 facets to 144.

    Duplicated Facets Mesh Reduced
    Facets Information Dialog Box
  • Fix Flipped Normals

    This tool corrects surface normals that are not properly oriented.

    Fix Flipped Normals
  • Weld Vertices

    The Weld Vertices tool joins vertices of a mesh. The tool has two options:

    1. Entire Mesh

    All vertices within the mesh within the specified tolerance are examined for joining.

    2. Selected

    Only the selected vertices are joined. The selected vertices are joined independent of a tolerance.

    Example:

    1. Pick "Selected" from the pull down menu.

    Weld Vertices Selection

    2. Pick two vertices that are to be joined together.

    Two Vertices Selected

    3. Pick "Entire Mesh" from the pull down menu.

    4. Specify a tolerance from within the data entry window.

    5. Vertices within the tolerance are joined together.

    Weld Vertices Joined
  • Remove Unused Vertices

    Compacts the vertices associated with a mesh to be the minimum necessary for the definition.

  • Close Simple Holes

    The Close Simple Holes tool attempts to fill with quads or triangles holes identified in a mesh. The tool has two options allowing for Closing All Holes or Close specific edges.

    Example 1: Close All Holes

    1. Select a mesh to close all holes.

    Close All Holes Mesh Selected

    2. Mesh is filled with triangles or quads

    Filled Mesh

    Example 2: Close Edge

    1. Select an edge of a mesh to close.

    Mesh Edge Selected

    2. Edge is triangulated and filled with facets.

    Mesh Edge Filled

    3. From the Option menu, select "Add Center Point" to close a mesh about an approximated hole center.

    Mesh Closed At Point
  • Rebuild Normals

    The Rebuild Normal tool recalculates all normals. The normal at a vertex is the average of the neighbors.

    Example:

    1. Select mesh model to rebuild normals.

    Rebuild Normals Mesh Selected

    2. Mesh normals are updated.

    Rebuild Normals Result
  • Flip One Normal

    The Flip One Normal command prompts the user to select a specific facet to flip the normal.

  • Close Seam

    The Close Seam tool will move vertices within a specified tolerance between to mesh objects.

    Example:

    1. Select the Close Seam tool.

    2. Box select a region that captures the two mesh vertices to check.

    Close Seam Mesh Selected

    3. Vertices of Mesh 2 that are within the specified distance are moved to Mesh 1.

    Close Seam Mesh Fixed
  • Make Vertices Planar

    The Make Vertices Planar tool takes the selected vertices and projects the vertices into a specified plane.

    Example:

    Make Vertices Planar

    1. Select the Make Vertices Planar command

    2. Select the YZ Projection Plane from the data entry window pull down menu.

    Data Entry Window Pull Down Menu

    3. Select the vertices to project

    Planar Vertices Selection

    4. Select a point in the projection plane

    Planar Point Selection

    5. The mesh vertices are projected into the plane.

    Mesh Vertices Projected
  • Segment Mesh

    The Segment Mesh tool decimates a mesh into planar and connected components.

    Example:

    1. Select the Segment Mesh tool

    2. Select the single mesh object to segment.

    Segment Mesh Selection

    3. The selected mesh is converted into a collection of meshes separated by planar and connected elements. In this example 67 additional mesh objects created.

    4. Meshes colored by other tools to better show individual meshes.

    Colored Meshes

    5. Meshes exploded by additional tools to better show individual meshes.

    Exploded Meshes
  • Separate All Parts

    The Separate All Parts command examines the connectivity between facets to determine individual mesh parts. This is useful for separating individual meshes that come in as one mesh as a result of a file import such as STL.

    In the example below, an OBJ file representing a F-16 was imported as one mesh. Using the Separate All Parts command, 166 individual components were extracted.

    Separate All Parts
  • Facet From Lines

    The Facet Fro Lines tools create triangles from a collection of connected line objects.

    Example 1:

    1. Select the Facet From Lines tool

    2. Select the lines to facet.

    Facet From Lines Selection

    3. Resultant triangles from lines

    Facet From Lines Triangles

    Example 2:

    1. Select the Facet From Lines tool

    2. Select the lines to facet.

    Line Selection

    3. Resultant triangles from lines

    Line Selection Triangles
  • Add Facet

    The Add Facet command will insert 3 or 4 sided facets into an existing mesh by the user specifying vertex locations.

    Example:

    1. Select the Add Facet command.

    2. Select the mesh

    Add Facet Selection

    3. Specify four vertex locations for first facet.

    First Facet Vertices

    4. Specify four vertex locations for second facet.

    Second Facet Vertices

    5. Specify four vertex locations for third facet.

    Third Facet Vertices

    6. Continue until all desired facets are added.

    Add Facets Complete
  • Delete Facet

    The Delete Facets command removes facets using the box selection interface.

    Use Deep Select to delete one facet at a time from a mesh.

    Example:

    Delete Facet Example

    1. Select the Delete Facets command.

    2. View the modeling in an orientation that allows you to select the facets to delete. Box select the region to delete.

    Delete Facet Example Side View

    3. Selected facets are removed from the mesh.

    Delete Facet Example Complete
  • Split Facet Edge

    The Split Facet Edge command takes a triangle or quad and splits an edge introducing two additional facets.

    Example 1:

    Split Facet Edge Example 1

    1. Select the Split Facet Edge command

    2. Select the mesh to split an edge

    3. Specify location to split edge.

    Split Facet Edge Example 1 Location

    4. Selected mesh is split into three triangles

    Split Facet Mesh Example 1 Split

    Example 2:

    1. Select the Split Facet Edge command

    2. Select the mesh to split an edge

    Mesh Selected

    3. Specify location to split edge.

    Edge Location

    4. Selected mesh is split into two triangles

    Mesh Split
  • Convert To Quads

    The Convert To Quads command examines a triangle mesh and recreates quads were possible.

    Convert to Quads

    The following cases are supported:

    1. Shared Edge (Two Triangles -> One Quad)

    Shared Edge

    2. Shared Center Vertex (Four Triangles -> One Quad)

    Shared Center Four Triangles

    3. Shared Center Vertex (Three Triangles -> One Quad)

    Shared Center Three Triangles

    4. Doublet (Two Quads -> One Quad)

    Doublet

    5. Inner Quad Diamonds (Five Quads -> Four Quads)

    Inner Quad Diamonds

    Convert to Quad Demonstration Video

    Converts a 47k STL file (all triangles) into a quad dominate mesh suitable for conversion to a NURB solid.

  • Convert To Triangles

    The Convert To Triangles command changes all quads into triangles.

    Example:

    1. Select the Convert to Triangles command.

    2. Select the mesh objects to convert to triangles.

    Mesh Objects Selected

    3. Selected mesh is converted into triangles. A dialog box displays how many quads were converted into triangles.

    Mesh Converted
  • Reduce Triangles

    The Reduce Triangles command removes facets based on edge length size and curvature. The model below was reduced from 139,422 facets to 4,352.

    Reduce Triangles
  • Combine

    The Combine tool merges two meshes into one. Vertices that are shared are merged together.

    Example:

    Combine Tool

    1. Select the Combine tool

    2. Select the two mesh objects to join as one mesh.

    Combine Tool Meshes Selected

    Note: The combine tool does not perform a boolean operation.

  • Split By Select

    The Split by Select tool separates a collection of selected facets into a new mesh.

    Example:

    Split by Select

    1. Select the Split by Select tool

    2. Box select the facets to split into a new mesh object.

    Facets Selected
    Split be Select Angle View

    3. Facets are split and two new mesh objects are created. Image below moves and colors the objects using separate tools for visualization.

    Facets Split
Curve, Surface, and Solid Modeling Tools

Draw

  • Line Bisector

    The Line Bisector command creates a line that bisects at specified angle using four point locations.

    Line Bisector

    Example:

    1. Select the Line Bisector command

    2. Pick the start of the bisector line, shown by label 1 in the above figure.

    3. Pick the start of the angle to bisect, as shown by label 2 in the above figure.

    4. Pick the end of the angle to bisect, as shown by label 3 in the above figure.

    5. Pick the end of the end of the line, as shown by label 4 in the above figure. This location defines the length of the line.

  • Line Best Fit

    The Best Fit Line calculates a line that best represents the data. This tool works only with 2D XY data.

    Example:

    1. Select the Best Fit Line Tool

    2. Pick or digitize a location for the points to best fit.

    Line Best Fit Selection

    3. A line entity is created that best fits the data.

    Line Best Fit Complete
  • Line Normal To Surface

    Constructs a line normal to a surface or face of solid.

    Line Normal To Surface

    Example:

    1. Select the Line Normal to Surface/Face

    2. Select the face line is normal to.

    Face Selected

    3. Pick a location on the surface where line is normal

    Location Selected

    4. Line is created normal to surface

    Line Normal to Surface Complete
  • Line Perpendicular To Two Curves

    This tool will calculate a line that is perpendicular between two curves.

    Example:

    1. Select the Line Perpendicular from Two Curves tool.

    2. Select two curves that are in the same plane.

    Curve Selection

    3. A line is created between the two curves.

    Line Perpendicular Complete
  • Best Fit Circle

    The Best Fit Circle command will calculate a 3D circle for the supplied points.

    Example:

    1. Select the Best Fit Circle command.

    2. Specify locations for the Best Fit Circle.

    Best Fit Circle Locations

    3. A circle object is created for the given data.

    Best Fit Circle Complete
  • Circle Normal To Curve

    This tool constructs a circle normal to a curve at a specified location.

    Example:

    1. Select the Circle Normal to Curve tool.

    2. Specify a location for circle center along the curve.

    Circle Normal To Curve Location

    3. Move cursor to set the circle diameter. Use data entry window to set precise diameter.

    Circle Diameter Set

    4. As an example use, the circles can be used as a profile of a skinned solid.

    Circle Normal to Curve Skinned Solid 1
    Circle Normal to Curve Skinned Solid 2
    Circle Normal to Curve Skinned Solid 3
  • Average Two Curves

    The Average Two Curves command takes as input two curves and averages the closest between to create a third curve.

    Average Two Curves Example 1

    Example:

    1. Select the Average Two Curves command.

    2. Select two curves.

    Average Two Curves Selection

    3. A curve is created that is the average to the two selected curves. In the image below, the red curve is the average of the blue and brown input curves.

    Average Two Curves Selection Average
  • Curve From Two Views

    The Curve Normal to Two Views tool projects creates a curve by the intersection of two projected curves.

    Curve Normal to Two Views Tool

    Example:

    1. Select the Curve Normal to Two Views

    2. Select the first curve for first projection

    Curve Normal to Two Views Selection 1

    3. Select the second curve for second projection

    Curve Normal to Two Views Selection 2

    4. Specify start point for first projection direction

    5. Specify end point for first projection direction

    Curve Normal to Two Views Start Point
    Curve Normal to Two Views End Point

    6. Specify start point for second projection direction

    7. Specify end point for second projection direction

    8. A spline is created at the intersection of the two projected curves

    Curve Normal to Two Views Spline Created
  • Best Fit Plane

    The Best Fit Plane tool calculates an infinite plane object from a collection of supplied 3D points.

    Example:

    1. Select the Best Fit Plane tool

    Best Fit Plane Tool

    2. Pick 3D points for best plane fit. Seen as red spheres for this example.

    Best Fit Plane Spheres

    3. Infinite plane object is created from the data.

    Best Fit Plane Object

    4. An example use is shown below where the plane is used to project the curves into a common plane.

    Best Fit Plane Example
  • Surface Grid

    The Surface Grid creates a NURB surface from either a reference surface or by specifying two diagonals.

    Data Entry Values

    #U

    Number of grid points along the u direction

    #V

    Number of grid points along the v direction

    Tolerance

    The tolerance between the grid points and resulting surface

    Surface Grid Tolerance

    Example 1: Grid By Reference Surface

    1. Select the Surface Grid command

    2. Select Reference Surface from the pull down menu

    3. Specify the grid settings

    Surface Grid Settings

    4. Select a reference face or surface

    Surface Grid Reference Face

    5. Select a reference face or surface. A new surface is created with the specified grid settings.

    Surface Grid New Surface

    Example 2: Grid By Diagonals

    1. Select the Surface Grid command

    2. Select Reference Surface from the pull down menu

    3. Specify the grid settings

    Surface Grid Settings

    4. Select start diagonal

    Surface Grid Diagonal

    5. Select end diagonal

    6. A surface grid is created between the diagonals.

    Surface Grid Created

    7. Display and edit the grid points by turning on Edit: Show Points.

    Surface Grid Show Points
  • Shadow Projections

    The Shadow Projection command projects a solid outline into a plane. Select xy, yz, xz, or WorkPlane as the plane to project the outline into.

Modify

  • Repair Profile

    The Repair Profile command examines and repairs the following common issues with a closed collection of curves.

    • Small Overlaps
    • Small Gaps
    • Non-Planar curves

    Example 1:

    1. Select the Repair Profile command

    2. Select the curves in a profile to repair

    Repair Profile Example 1
    Repair Profile Example 1

    3. Overlap issue detected and repaired. Profile is then suitable for profile based operations such as extrude into a solid.

    Repair Profile Example 1
    Repair Profile Example 1

    Example 2:

    1. Select the Repair Profile command

    2. Select the curves in a profile to repair

    Repair Profile Example 2
    Repair Profile Example 2

    3. Gap issue detected and repaired. Profile is then suitable for profile based operations such as extrude into a solid.

    Repair Profile Example 2
    Repair Profile Example 2
  • Simplify Profile

    The Simplify Profile command converts lines/polylines into simplified line, arcs, circles, and splines.

    Example 1:

    1. Select the lines in the profile to simplify.

    Simplify Profile Line Selection

    2.Dialog is displayed showing results. In this example, 470 lines are converted into 17 arcs and 13 lines.

    Simplify Profile Dialog Box
    Simplify Profile Object

    Example 2:

    1. Select the lines in the profile to simplify.

    Simplify Profile Line Selection

    2. Dialog is displayed showing results. In this example, 885 lines are converted into 45 arcs and 31 lines.

    Simplify Profile Dialog Box
    Simplify Profile Object
  • Create Outline

    The Create Outlines tool takes a group of selected curves and finds the outline relative to the current workplane.

    Example:

    1. Select the Create Outlines command.

    2. Set the WorkPlane for the outline

    3. Select the curves for the outline command.

    Create Outline Selection

    4. Curves are trimmed or removed from the original selection set to correspond to the profile outline.

    Create Outline Curves Trimmed
  • Remove Duplicates

    The Remove Duplicates command examines curves and solids for duplicate representations.

    Example:

    1. Select the Remove Duplicates command

    Remove Duplicates

    2. Select the objects to check for duplicates.

    Remove Duplicates Selection

    3. Select Yes to remove the duplicates. Selecting No leaves the duplicates within the drawing file.

  • Remove Zero Length Curves

    The Remove Zero Length Curves commands deletes curves below a specified length and radius.

    Example:

    1. Select the Remove Zero Length Curves tool

    2. Set the tolerance value for smallest length and radius.

    3. Select the curves to check for lengths and radius.

    Remove Zero Length Curves Selection

    4. Select Yes to remove small length curves.

    Remove Zero Length Curves Complete

    5. Select Yes to remove small radius curves.

    Remove Zero Length Curves Complete
  • Convert to Spline Surface

    The Convert to Spline Surface tool changes analytic faces to NURBs providing access to control vertices.

    Example:

    1. Select the Convert To Spline Surface

    2. Select the objects to convert.

    Convert to Spline Surface Selection

    3. Illustration with converted spline surfaces and Show Points enabled.

    Convert to Spline Surface Illustration
  • Simplify Solid

    The Simplify Solid tool converts NURB into analytic faces. The following operations are performed as part of simplification.

    • Replacement of small sliver faces
    • Merge similar neighboring faces
    • Convert NURB faces into planar, cylinder, and cone.
    • Clean the body of unnecessary edges

    Example:

    1. Select the Simplify Solid tool.

    2. Select the part to simplify.

    Simplify Solid Selection

    3. Results from simplify

    Simplify Solid Results
  • Part Repair

    Attempts to repair a part using alternate stitching, repair, and translator technology.

    Example:

    1. Select the surface or solid to repair

    2. Confirm there are issues with the Verify: Check Object

    Part Repair Verify

    3. Select the Part Repair tool. Part is repaired if possible.

    4. Select the surface or solid to repair. Repaired part is created as separate object from the original. Verify Check Object confirms part is now repaired.

    Part Repair Object Created

Verify

  • Show Overlaps

    The Show Overlaps command examines selected curves for overlaps. Options are provided to remove the overlaps and to show the overlaps in a thickened red color.

    Illustration below shows an arc overlapping a circle and a line overlapping another line.

    Show Overlaps Illustration

    Example:

    1. Select the Show Overlaps tool.

    Show Overlaps Tool

    2. Select the curves to be examined. A dialog box reports the number of overlaps identified. Clicking YES will delete the overlaps. Clicking No will highlight overlaps in a thickened red color.

    Show Overlaps Selection

    3. Click Yes to remove the overlaps.

    Show Overlaps Complete
  • Show Gaps

    The Show Gaps tool identifies open regions in a curve profile.

    Example:

    1. Select the Show Gaps command

    2. Select the curves to examine

    Show Gaps Selection

    3. A dialog box is displayed reporting the results.

    Show Gaps Dialog Box

    4. Gaps locations are marked with point objects.

    Show Gaps Marked
  • Locate Inflections

    The Locate Inflection tool identifies positions on curves where the second derivative equals zero. This is the location where the sign of the curvature changes. Often inflections points are used as indicators of curve smoothness.

    Note:

    Lines, arcs, ellipses, and conics do not have inflection points.

    Example:

    1. Select a spline to calculate inflection points.

    Locate Inflections Selection

    2. Inflections are calculated and added as point objects to the file.

    Locate Inflections Added
  • Check Curve Tangency

    The Check Curve Tangency examines a collection of curves checking on the tangency at the connection location.

    Example:

    1. Select the Check Curve Tangency command.

    2. Select two or more curves to examine tangency.

    Check Curve Tangency Selection

    3. A dialog box is displayed reporting possible issues.

    Check Curve Tangency Dialog Box

    4. Point objects are created at those locations where tangency issues exist.

    Check Curve Tangency Objects Created

    5. Use Edit: Show Points to show tangency handles to manually correction issues.

    Check Curve Tangency Tangency
  • Locate Minimum Curvature

    The Locate Minimum Curvature tool identifies the minimum curvature location on a curve. The location is marked with the creation of a circle.

    Example:

    1. Select a curve to calculate the minimum curvature location.

    Locate Minimum Curvature Selection

    2. The minimum curvature location is marked with a circle.

    Locate Minimum Curvature Circle
  • Show Free Edges

    The Show Free Edges command creates new curves at surface edges that have only one face attached. The new curves are highlighted in red. Use Undo to remove the curves.

    Example 1:

    1. Select the Show Free Edges command

    Show Free Edges

    2. Edges are recreated as curves highlighted in red. A dialog box indicates how many free edges were found.

    Show Free Edges Dialog Box
    Show Free Edges Recreated

    Example 2: Using Free Edges to Convert to Solid

    1. Hide the surface from the previous command, leaving just the free edges.

    Show Free Edges Surface Hidden

    2. Select the Cover tool from the surface palette and select all the curves to create a planar surface.

    Show Free Edges Cover Tool

    3. Select the Stitch tool to combine the surfaces into a water tight volume suitable for mass property calculations or shelling modeling operations.

    Show Free Edges Stitch Tool
  • Show Non-Manifold Edge

    The Show Non-Manifold Edge tool identifiers edges in a solid part that have more then 2 shared faces.

    Example:

    1. Select the Show Non-Manifold Edge tool

    2. Select the solid part to examine.

    Show Non-Manifold Edge Selection

    3. Non-Manifold edges are displayed as red lines added to the drawing file.

    Show Non-Manifold Edge Lines Added
  • Identify Suspect Edges

    Creates a point, edge, or face along a feature that appears to have either topology or geometry issues.

    Example:

    1. Select the Identify Suspect Edges tool.

    2. Select the solid part.

    3. An error dialog indicating the number of possibly bad features within the selected part. In this example, 12 vertices are identified as problems with locations identified as red point objects added to the drawing.

    Identify Suspect Edges Dialog Box
Feature Selections
  • Select Blend Network

    The Select Blend Network tool is used to remove blends from a part which is especially useful when the part does not have history.

    Example:

    1. Select one face that is part of a blend network of faces.

    Select Blend Network Selection

    2. All blends connected to the selected blend are highlighted as selected.

    Select Blend Network Highlighted

    3. To remove all selected blend faces, select the Edit: Cut tool.

    Select Blend Network Cut Tool
  • Select Protrusion Network

    The Select Protrusion Network helps you quickly select all faces associated with a protrusion within a solid part.

    Example:

    1. Pick the Select Protrusion Network command.

    Select Protrusion Network

    2. Select one face of the protrusion face network. All associated faces will be added to the selection.

    Select Protrusion Network Selection

    3. Use Edit: Cut to delete the selected faces.

    Select Protrusion Network Edit
  • Select Depression Feature

    The Select Depression Feature helps you quickly select all faces associated with a depression within a solid part.

    Example:

    1. Pick the Select Depression Feature tool.

    Select Depression Feature

    2. Select any face that is part of the depression network of faces. All associated faces will be added to the selection.

    Select Depression Feature Selection
    Select Depression Feature Selection

    3. Select the Edit: Cut command to remove all selected faces.

    Select Depression Feature Cut