To obtain a proper STL file, you need a program that triangulates the points to create the appropriate vectors. The shell created in STL is what the cutting machine slices. Here are a few tips, as appended below.

Tip # 1: Use MeshLab

It has great potential when converting point cloud CAD files to Mesh STL files. This tool is best suited for files that have at least the bulk of the shell. It can also fix damaged STL files. Scattered images from Autodesk ReCap’s point file format must be written (saved) to a PTS file. Next, change the name of the .pts file on *.ASC extension. You can import ASC files directly into MeshLab. It is desirable to simplify large models by reducing the number of points (Filters> Sampling> Sampling fish). First, it generates normals in the loaded model:

  • Rendering> Display Vertex Normals
  • Save the file (Export Mesh, .ply) with Standard and open it again
  • Filters> Creating Points> Calculating Standards for Setting Points

It is, therefore, possible to create a 3D mesh model:

  • Filters> Creating Points> Surface Renewal: Fish

Do not forget to use the top command line to switch to the 3D mesh model.

The resulting 3D model can then be saved in DXF format that can be loaded into any standard 3D CAD application.

Tip # 2: Use Unigraphics NX8

Designers also use Unigraphics NX8. This CAD / CAM software is very effective and has tools to create clouds of nodes. Other CAD programs, such as SolidWorks, Rhino, AutoCAD, etc. They can have similar characteristics.

Tip # 3: Use SketchUp

You can also convert 3D dot clouds to SketchUp. If the cloud has elevation layers and each layer is on the same Z plane, you may be able to automate the creation of lines at the nearest points on the same plane. Then you will do some manual work for “fix” and prepare for 3D printing. View this post in the forum, it seems that someone has been lucky to convert clouds.

Tip # 4: Use CAD Images Directly

Totally alternately, you can also convert some CAD images directly to STL. Some designers apply this technique and it turns out to be fruitful many times.  If you can find the topographic map of the lake, you can edit the image in gray (play with it). Then use the software to convert the grayscale image to STL.

Tip # 5: Use Autodesk Recap

The Autodesk ReCap application provides advanced tools for processing and indexing large files, for example from 3D Laser Scanning (LIDAR). The current versions of the CAD software can be used directly with the indexed files. However, in some cases, the object being analyzed will need a simple 3D model.

 

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