Handling huge CAD files?

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  06 June 2013
Handling huge CAD files?

My producer thinks I'm a moron because I can't manage these .igs files we got from a vendor. One of them is 996MB. I've opened stuff from this company before, they model every screw, every tab, even the logo imprinted on the metal cases, it's all very heavy stuff. Does anyone have a trick for dealing with .igs? The 996MB took 4 hours to open (it does hang for most of the time though) in Rhino on another machine, and it exported an .fbx overnight at the lowest possible "detail level" (Rhino's words). It chokes any machine I try to use it on. I've got 32GB of RAM. Does AutoCAD handle this stuff better? I mean, if it takes 4 hours just to open, what are these people using to actually WORK on these files? I can't even move the editor, I just hit export and pray.
 
  06 June 2013
iges is the worst format its very very old and not so good these days see if you can get a stp file.

You need a very good translator to make it workable i'd suggest using Autodesk Showcase it has the best tessalator I've seen for CAD files.

Then its a matter of just deleting things your not going to see.
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  06 June 2013
Is it too much bother to ask the client to save the files to a different format?
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  06 June 2013
Ask your vendor to export separate groups - ie wheel, chassis, frame - and work with those.
As suggested, igs isn't the best format, try other exchange options, Rhino should be able to work with other file formats too.
What do you need the fbx files for? You may get better results in the 3d app you'll need to work in if you use NURBS imports right away.
 
  06 June 2013
@ scrimski - I've been doing fbx because at one point 3ds was giving me these weird looping poly artifacts but fbx wasn't, so there you go. And can you elaborate on "You may get better results in the 3d app you'll need to work in if you use NURBS imports right away"? That sounds interesting but I'm not enough of a CAD guy to know how their thing works and how it best translates to c4d.

Thanks guys. Good to know about igs being old, I'll try to start getting stp files. I definitely delete everything I can, but even that is an undertaking. They model both sides of a piece of metal, and there may be two or three pieces as the shell of some device, all cut to poly shreds because they're covered in vents, etc. It's really quite insane.

This client is notoriously hard to even get models from at all, they usually send one jpg, oh say 300x400 of a medical device, and think we can build whatever it is from scratch using only the pic. Otherwise believe me I'd be asking them to break that stuff apart and send me only what's visible.
 
  06 June 2013
Quote: @ scrimski - I've been doing fbx because at one point 3ds was giving me these weird looping poly artifacts but fbx wasn't, so there you go. And can you elaborate on "You may get better results in the 3d app you'll need to work in if you use NURBS imports right away"? That sounds interesting but I'm not enough of a CAD guy to know how their thing works and how it best translates to c4d.

Mz point was not fbx vs 3ds but NURBS vs polys. I don't know about C4D but if you have the chance to import step (I'm not sure if this is a NURBS format though)or iges files, use it.
I had to deal with models from Rhino and had better results when translating the NURBS geometry into polys in 3ds Max than in Rhino.
 
  06 June 2013
Gotcha, I just am not familiar with how NURBs work in engineering programs, because in c4d it's just an object that you put polys in to subdivide them (and I don't think more subdivision is what I'm looking for). I believe in engineering, NURBs refers to the way surfaces are constructed (because they don't use polys)?
 
  06 June 2013
is it possible to import autocad files into 3ds max as nurbs? i get a lot of times ugly triangles. the mesh looks very good in autocad.

what is the workflow ?
 
  06 June 2013
When I have to move huge assemblies into 3DS Max from Solidworks I use Vrml believe it or not! The files are way smaller than Igs. If this is a common problem I suggest you try Polytrans by Okino.
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  06 June 2013
I have to export large assemblies from SolidWorks all the time. The best format I have ever used is parasolid. Rhino opens it and SolidWorks exports it. The surfaces are clean and it is assembled on import. And it preserves the naming of the Solidworks parts. Would never have use anything else. I used to use sat and stl but I had to do too much clean up.

Go parasolid you wont regret it.
 
  06 June 2013
As soemone mentioned, maybe get the data from them in a mesh format instead of a nurbs format. That removes the need to mesh, saving time, but does mean you are stuck with what you receive. Do you know what the originating CAD software is? A 900mb+ iges is a monster and going into Rhino none of the surfaces will be joined.
 
  06 June 2013
I can try to find out. There may also be an error with one or more of the files, I'm getting error messages in Rhino and Moi3D. Thanks for your help everyone, I think the size is the primary issue so will see if I can get a different file. I did manage to export a nice obj of the paltry 250MB device.
 
  06 June 2013
We deal with CAD files on a daily basis(40 to 50 million polies), We take those files, whether it is a Pro-e,Catia or IGES file into Right Hemisphere. We then attach the objects together that need to be and sometimes run an optimization on them from that program. Works very well for us.Not sure if this is an option for you, considering how expensive Right Hemisphere(Deep CAD) is, but it absolutely worth a look.

-Brandon
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  06 June 2013
I've tried everything under the sun when it comes to CAD files believe me Autodesk Showcase hands down is the best solution for converting CAD files to usable objects for DCC use.. I'm someone who very much dislikes Adsk and go out of my way not to use their tools but Showcase really does work very very well for this task..

Nothing else that i have seen tessellates meshes across patch boundaries as well it also creates usuable logical groups based on the material color or hierarchy.
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Vizual-Element | Automotive Superstore
 
  06 June 2013
Rule of thumb, Iges files over 500MB are not possible handle.

I would suggest STEP Files anyway.

Current workflow from here with Aixsponza:

STEP File open in Rhino, Copy Hero-parts to Moi and teslate. Everything else from Rhino or from the CAD Application as PolyObject (OBJ).

Back in the days Right Hemisphere was an option, but today its MOI for the cleanest export.

Anyway I am also Open for good File handling. Hence we often loose all the hirachie with these exports.

By the way we use "PTC Creo" here as CAD Software. (8000 Parts over 10 Mio Polys) movable in Cinema with a Quadro Card. but no fun.

I'll try Showcase when that stu... download manager lets me - is there a direct link to the trial download somewhere ?

kind regards mogh
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Last edited by mogh : 06 June 2013 at 09:07 AM.
 
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