The previous posts in the 3D Conceptual Design series stepped you through a modeling process where you used solid modeling tools to create precise primitive-based objects and mesh modeling tools to create free-form shapes. At some point you may want to integrate free-form mesh shapes with the precision solid shapes. For example, while we want the rubber grip to fit the shape of a hand, it must also fit snuggly over the plastic air hockey paddle.
Conversion tools on the Mesh Modeling tab enable you to convert mesh objects to solid objects. You can select from different combinations of smooth or faceted; optimized or not optimized. First we’ll look at smooth versus faceted. Notice the smoothness of the original mesh object is maintained when you choose one of the Smooth conversion options. If you choose one of the faceted options, the original smooth mesh faces are converted to flat faces, which can cause the model to become angular.
Next we’ll look at optimized versus not optimized. When you choose the optimized option, coplanar faces are merged together. If you choose not-optimized, each face in the original mesh object is retained in the converted solid.
After choosing the conversion option, you can select the Convert to Solid tool. There’s also a Convert to Surface tool.
I converted the rubber grip mesh to a solid using the smooth optimized option.
After you convert a mesh to a solid, you can use solid editing tools to combine the free-from shape with the precision of solids.
- Convert mesh to solid