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Commander_Chaos
03-07-2019, 08:44 AM
I created a virtual product prototype for a presentation and now the manufacturer wants to go directly from my model to production. They're asking for "step iges" files. Anyone know how this is done? The little bit I found online says I need software for it but I don't know which one.

Ztreem
03-07-2019, 09:23 AM
Oh my! Usually you would not want to go that way. Depends on the production method (works if its for 3D printing), but usually you want to make the model in a CAD/CAID environment to make sure all surfaces and angles is in good condition. You will need some special software to convert your LW model to a step file. If it is a pure subD model you can use Tsplines or similar type of software to convert the model to NURBS surfaces and then save as a STEP. Otherwise you can take your polygon model and import it into a CAD environment and reverse engineer it. (rebuilding it from scratch). Good luck!

Commander_Chaos
03-07-2019, 09:30 AM
I don't have any choice, since this is what the other supplier (via the client) is asking for. What "special software" are you talking about?

raymondtrace
03-07-2019, 09:40 AM
A trial of Rhino 3D may do it. But Ztreem is correct in pointing out the ideal route is to start in CAD software, not convert a rough mesh to it. STEP and IGES are CAD formats that include more data than what a mesh would hold. To simplify in graphic design terms... imagine converting a bitmap image from Photoshop into a vector image in Illustrator. It is far from ideal.

Ztreem
03-07-2019, 09:46 AM
If it's a polygon model you can't save it as a STEP as it doesn't support polygons. As I said if its a sub division surface model with only quad it is possible to convert the poly surfaces to NURBS with Tsplines or similar product. If it's not a subD model you have to remodel it in a CAD app. I think there is a free version of Fusion 360, you maybe can use that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z0IiVKt5Hg

Edit: Tsplines was a plugin for Rhino3d, but Autodesk bought it and as usual killed it for Rhino and it's now inside Fusion 360 instead. Rhino is working on its own solution but it's not ready yet.

raymondtrace
03-07-2019, 10:49 AM
You can still get the T-Splines plug-in for Rhino 5. https://www.tsplines.com/latest_version/

And you can still get a 90-day trial of Rhino 5 to run it. https://www.rhino3d.com/download/rhino/5/latest

I'm not encouraging any conversion attempt from a LWO/OBJ to STEP/IGES. I was just sharing which special software might work.

Ma3rk
03-07-2019, 11:33 AM
I created a virtual product prototype for a presentation and now the manufacturer wants to go directly from my model to production. They're asking for "step iges" files. Anyone know how this is done? The little bit I found online says I need software for it but I don't know which one.

Well, since the client "insists", just cut to the chase & write it off as biz cost:

https://www.okino.com/conv/filefrmt_3dexport.htm

raymondtrace
03-07-2019, 12:19 PM
Here's how to generate a STEP file for free. It will be crap because it was not reasonably generated in CAD software...but it will fulfill the client request. One benefit of delivering this 'dumb' STEP file is that it will be harder for the recipient to modify/reuse...a good way to protect your intellectual property.

Of course, you can still utilize Ma3rk's idea to expense this effort to the client. :D


Export a STL or OBJ file from LightWave 3D.
Open the STL or OBJ file in FreeCAD.
Select the mesh under the "Model" window.
Change your workbench to "Part".
Select "Part menu -> Create shape from mesh".
Delete the original mesh under the "Model" window (right-click, delete).
Select the newly created shape under the "Model" window.
Select "Part menu -> Convert to solid".
Delete shape (non solid) under the "Model" window (right-click, delete).
Select the solid under the "Model" window.
Select "File menu -> Export" to STEP.