C3D Labs has announced B-Shaper, an innovative software tool for transforming polygonal meshes to CAD models. For those developing AEC and BIM applications, C3D B-Shaper brings an opportunity to work with polygonal models by converting them to boundary representation (B-rep) bodies.
Moscow-based C3D Labs is a leading provider of software development toolkits and its new B-Shaper tool lets AEC/BIM/CAE/MCAD developers work with polygonal mesh models that come from a diverse range of sources.
The C3D B-Shaper technology is used either as a standalone in a CAD tool or together with the C3D modeler geometry kernel and other modules in the company’s C3D Toolkit. The users include:
- Reverse engineering parts from 3D scanned files
- Converting models from online product catalogs
- Post-processing the output from CAE operations
- Enhancing polygonal models by smoothing their grids, decimating surfaces, and applying compression algorithms
More and more data is created in CAD systems today but the source of models are often from online libraries, 3D scanners, and non-CAD 3D modeling software. This data is often in the form of polygonal models in STL and VRML formats, with the former being the common format for 3D printers for rapid prototyping.
Large files sizes for polygonal meshes slow down engineering applications and more importantly cannot be edited with typical CAD tools. This separates the editing of polygonal models from the typical CAD-based design process.
What B-Shaper Does
C3D B-Shaper solves these problems by converting polygonal meshes to b-rep models. After this conversion, standard CAD tools can edit the formerly inaccessible models, such as applying chamfers and performing Boolean operations, as well as generating additional representations like projection and sections.
A case study includes the software developer ASCON (parent company of C3D Labs), which is using B-Shaper for its Pilot-BIM, a new system for creating and updating a single, global building information model (BIM).
“We found that by using C3D B-Shaper we improve the readability of BIM elements, and so they look much smoother new,” said Dmitry Poskrebyshev, head of the Pilot-BIM development team. “By reducing the number of edges, navigation through 3D models has become more fluent. This is especially important with large BIM models.”
ASCON is experimenting with B-Shaper by applying it to non-parametric BIM elements that are imported into Pilot-BIM in a tessellated IFC format. Such items include things like furniture or plumbing items.
A Deep Dive Into B-Shaper
Through the C3D API, B-Shaper works in two modes. One mode is automatic and the other mode is interactive.
B-Shaper first segments mesh models by dividing sets of polygons into subsets (segments), which become prototypes for probable faces. In the next step, selected areas are recognized as elementary surfaces, such as planes, cylinders, cones, spheres, or tori.
Intersection curves are then calculated between adjacent segments, and then these curves become the basis for constructing edges of the body’s faces. The operating accuracy of the B-Shaper algorithm follows the maximum deviation allowed between the recognized surfaces and the vertices of the underlying polygonal meshes. Users can specify this accuracy, or let B-Shaper determine a default value.
Price and Availability
C3D B-Shaper is available for a free 90-day evaluation. Pricing is available upon request. For more information please visit C3D B-Shaper here online.
To learn more about C3D Labs go here.