As part of our 3D Scanning service, we offer advanced 3D modeling, using the latest 3D CAD software, including AutoCAD; Revit; SolidWorks; Catia and other popular 3D CAD programs.
CAD 3D modeling allows us to create drawings using solid, surface, and mesh objects. Each has a different functionality. For instance, a mesh object lets us take advantage of creasing and smoothing, while a surface model will let us take advantage of associativity and NURBS modeling. We can also convert one model type to another.
A typical modeling workflow would use using mesh, solids, and procedural surfaces, and then convert them to NURBS surfaces. This allows us to utilize not only the unique tools and primitive shapes offered by solids and meshes, but also the shaping capabilities provided by surfaces – associative modeling and NURBS modeling. Here’s how they each model type differs:
A solid model represents a 3D object. As such, it has properties like mass, the center of gravity, and moments of inertia. 3D solid models can be created from primitive solids such as cones, boxes, cylinders, and pyramids, or by using closed 2D objects.
A surface model is a thin shell that does not have mass or volume.
We create surface models using some of the same tools that you use for solid models: sweeping, lofting, extruding, and revolving. You can also create surfaces by blending, patching, offsetting, filleting, and extending other surfaces.
A mesh model consists of vertices, edges, and faces that use polygonal representation (including triangles and quads) to define a 3D shape.
Unlike solid models, the mesh has no mass properties. However, as with 3D solids, we can create primitive mesh forms such as boxes, cones, and pyramids. These mesh models can be modified in ways that are not available for 3D solids or surfaces. For example, we can apply creases, splits, and increasing levels of smoothness. Or, we can drag mesh sub-objects (faces, edges, and vertices) to shape the object. To achieve more granular results, we refine the mesh in specific areas before modifying it.
We use mesh models to provide the hiding, shading, and rendering capabilities of a solid model without the physical properties such as mass, moments of inertia, and so on.