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Hey guys, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I'm also not sure where else to ask. I have a 3D model in Solidworks that is imported from a STL file. Solidworks imports the file multiple triangular faces and as either a solid, or a surface. See pic below:

alt text

What I need to do is take the model and have it be hollow but with a thickness, not that big. Also it would help to have the surface be one smooth surface since I will be imported it to another program, ADINA. Any ideas or suggestions?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm a bit confused to be honest, is this a 3d modeling question or an export question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cristina
    Sep 9, 2010 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess that's where I can see the confusion, it's really kinda either or both. I just need the result to be a model in solidworks that is a continuous surface and hollow with a thickness. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2010 at 18:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok so it's a 3D Modeling question, now provide more details about where do you want it to be hollow. Sorry but it's still really vague to pin down an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cristina
    Sep 9, 2010 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Solidworks is an engineering CAD tool, you might have better luck asking about Blender. \$\endgroup\$
    – coderanger
    Sep 9, 2010 at 20:01

3 Answers 3

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That's a nice teapot :)

Not sure about details of Solidworks, but you could go about it like:

  1. Duplicate the mesh
  2. Scale down the copy
  3. Subtract the space of the smaller model from the larger model

If you can't figure out #3 do a search for 'solidworks boolean operations'.

I'd probably optimize the model before I subtracted it too, as scaling down can lead to too much detail in some areas.

You might find more specific help on a dedicated 3d modelling or solidworks forum, here's one I found on google.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To help future 3d questioners but not this guy, simply scaling a copy will only work with shapes that are mostly convex. That is, without limbs or big projections. \$\endgroup\$
    – willc2
    May 6, 2013 at 0:53
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I don't know what sort of interface you have available, but my guess is that you want to...

Copy all of the faces and vertices. Flip the copied faces' normals. Move the copied verts (and/or the original verts) along their normals, as far as you need to get the thickness that you desire.

Otherwise I can't think of what you mean by "thickness" and "hollow," as presumably this triangle mesh only represents the object's surface and there are no vertices/edges/faces in the interior.

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If you open the object in a proper polygonal editor, you can extrude faces by a negative amount to turn it hollow. The main idea is to have a smaller copy sitting inside the larger and have all faces reversed. You could even do it by hand, though that is impractically tedious.

You can try Blender, Cheetah3D, Hexagon, Wings3D, Silo, Nvil, 3ds Max, or Maya.

Warning: The less sphere-like the original shape is, the thinner the walls have to be without generating a malformed object.

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