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THREEL
10-31-2008, 02:30 PM
Has anyone ever heard of a Step file? Is there a conversion process to bring in into modeler as a lwo?

tHANX in advance!

tHREEL, but you can call me AL.

THREEL
10-31-2008, 08:48 PM
I found out that a STEP file is a generic file created in ProE and some other solid modeling software. Now, all I have to do is find a way to convert it into a file that will open in :lwicon: 8.5.

JeffrySG
10-31-2008, 09:03 PM
Did you look into PolyTrans?

http://www.okino.com/conv/conv.htm

THREEL
10-31-2008, 10:00 PM
tHANX Jeff, but I really can't afford that right now. Is there any other way? It would be nice if LW could import more file types without requiring any 3rd party software.

AL

Andrew March
11-01-2008, 01:16 AM
The problem is a lot of other file types are proprietary and Newtek would likely have to pay a license fee to the proprietor for Lightwave to open them, which mean an increase in the price of Lightwave for every file type added.

So, it's probably not realistic to expect Lightwave to open many more file types than it does already.

biliousfrog
11-01-2008, 04:03 AM
I use Polytrans or an old version of Deep Exploration but there are cheaper alternatives such as: http://web.axelero.hu/karpo/

There might also be importers for other apps such as Blender, Sketchup, Softimage ModTool etc.

Be aware that Step files are NURBs surfaces so the converted file can have far more detail than you'll ever need and can take a lot of tweaking to convert successfully...I spent almost two days with Polytrans and DE trying to get a usable mesh from a STEP file earlier in the year. It might be worth requesting as many alternative formats as possible such as DWG, IGES and U3D.

THREEL
11-03-2008, 09:14 AM
Well, supposedly Blender is supposed to import Pro/E files and export lwo files. But, when I try to import the Pro/E file nothing shows up. It says it has over 200,000 polygons, but nothing can be seen. Any idea as to why this is? Are the number of polys too high?

Actually, the file I received from my client shows a STP file extension, but according to Pro/E it should be a SLP file extension. Could this have anything to do with it? I copied the file and changed the extension to SLP, but it didn't seem to help any.

tHANX!

tHREEL

biliousfrog
11-03-2008, 09:59 AM
That's what I had to do just this morning:
Get Rhino Demo version, allows you to save 25 times. In any case it's cheaper than DE.
Load your stp, save lwo. Worked for me.
Thanks to Blochi for the tip.

Greets.
Oliver.

That's good to know, there doesn't seem to be a cure-all solution for file conversions and STP/STEP files are probably the least reliable.

falogfx
11-04-2008, 07:22 AM
Well, supposedly Blender is supposed to import Pro/E files and export lwo files. But, when I try to import the Pro/E file nothing shows up. It says it has over 200,000 polygons, but nothing can be seen. Any idea as to why this is? Are the number of polys too high?

Actually, the file I received from my client shows a STP file extension, but according to Pro/E it should be a SLP file extension. Could this have anything to do with it? I copied the file and changed the extension to SLP, but it didn't seem to help any.

tHANX!

tHREEL

Can't tell you why nothing shows up in Blender but I might have some info on the file formats you are mentioning.

STEP (often with extension .STEP but sometimes with just .STP) is a CAD, nurbs based format and yes, Pro|ENGINEER can export to this format although it is not its native file format.

SLP (extension .SLP) is a polygon based file format that I think is used by ProE's internal renderer, at least in older versions of the software.
If your client is using ProE then you could ask him to export to this format and then you can use some of the softwares mentioned in this thread to convert it to LWO. That shareware program in post #6 has support for SLP (PRO/Engineer render in the formats lists) but I haven't tried it. PolyTrans converts SLP files easily, but DeepExploration does not currently have support for this format.
Tip: To check if the file you have is a SLP file, open it in notepad and check if the first word on the first line is "solid" followed by a name. SLP files are text based and as such can be extremely large so be careful, Notepad might hang.

ProE can also export Wavefront .OBJ files and these can import directly to Lightwave.

Both SLP and OBJ export from ProE are quite frustrating to use and needs some tweaking to produce a decent mesh so you might want to visit your client if possible during the export. When things go smoothly, ProE in my opinion gives some of the best poly meshes I've seen from a CAD system.

Last week I started working on a LScript for SLP import for my personal use, it is still not really finished and also kind of slow. Send me a PM if you would like to give it a try.

Otherwise the tip about Rhino is a good one for using the STEP file directly! It was a long time since I last had a go at Rhino but from what I remember it could often import even really bad IGES and STEP files that none of the CAD systems to my disposal could handle.

From my experience I'd say that you will always get the best results and the least hassle when creating the poly mesh in the software the object was originally created in, when possible.

/Michael

gristle
11-04-2008, 12:38 PM
When you are exporting a tesselated file in ProE, enter 0 in the chord length requester, and it will enter the smallest value allowable. You might end up with a coarse mesh however, especially if the part you are exporting is large, with very small details. In this case you might have to make the accuracy smaller. Only problem is that the part will then need to be regenerated and some features might fall over.

Another path to lightwave, with more control over the mesh, is to export via IGES and use MOI (moment of inspiration?) or Rhino as others here have said.

biliousfrog
11-05-2008, 04:16 PM
Quick update...

Tried Rhino with some 3d DWG's and after some testing discovered a great way to convert...just in time for the trial to run out!

The most reliable solution I found was to export the nurbs surfaces as OBJ's with the mesh quality at around half. I tried converting to solid meshes within Rhino and also exporting LWO's but it would often screw up a little...but the OBJ's were fantastic.

Rhino is now on the 'to buy' list for my increasing amount of CAD work.

THREEL
11-05-2008, 08:28 PM
tHANX for all the replies!

I tried Rhino and got the Pro/E model to come in. I won't know how accurate it is, until my client tells me from the renders I sent him. I imported it as a STEP file and exported to lwo. The import came in as a bunch of tris and quads. There are a bunch of holes, so that could be the reason for that. Also, it came in as a bunch of separate parts as in none of the sides, or holes were connected. I'll try some of your other suggestions and see if that gives me any different results.

AL

gristle
11-05-2008, 09:14 PM
Normally Rhino imports Step files with the surfaces joined. Eg, if it was a solid part in the CAD package, it will import as a closed volume. Sometimes this is not the case and you will have to manually join the surfaces.

I never use Step to import into Rhino, I use IGES instead. It seems to be a bit quicker, and you get feedback during the import, so you can tell how long to go. Only problem is that none of the surfaces come in joined. If the import is one part, no problem. Select all and hit join. If it is an assembly you have imported, then you need to make each part in ProE a different colour. Then when the IGES is imported, you can use the colour select filter to pick the surfaces for each part, then join.