As I sit here in a food-coma following Xmas, the most I can manage is a bit of CAD experimentation since I don’t need to move! Continuing on from a previous post about using MeshLab (free software to manipulate STL files), I’m creating some basic forms in Solidworks (where I can perfectly control dimensions), exporting them as STL files, then turning them into faceted/low-poly 3D models within MeshLab.
While this won’t give perfect geometric control of the final shape, it can give a very quick faceted form relatively close to the original dimensions. Within MeshLab the above example is using the ‘Clustering Decimation’ tool (from the top menu go to Filters>Remeshing, Simplification and Reconstruction>Clustering Decimation). Within this setting, the ‘World Unit’ used for the image above was 15, resulting in 48 faces.
I’ve also had some success using this particular tool to reduce the overall STL file size of some complex forms, just takes some experimentation. However if you want to really control your faceted 3D model within Solidworks, check out an earlier tutorial I’ve written by clicking here.
– Posted by James Novak