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Direct global editing of STL mesh model for product design and rapid prototyping

N. Adhikary (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore, India and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)
B. Gurumoorthy (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Publication date: 20 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose an automatic and direct method to manipulate global parameters of the object for prototyping and simulation, given an STL mesh model of a thin-walled object. Proposed method is useful in rapid prototyping, where changing the global parameters such as thickness, scaling local features or draft of walls of an STL mesh is often required. Presently, user needs to iterate over the cycle of modification of the computer-aided design (CAD) model and tessellating it to change the global parameters. The proposed algorithm eliminates the need for CAD model while manipulating those global properties, as it works directly with the mesh model.

Design/methodology/approach

Proposed algorithm automatically identifies walls and its thickness, and then, it extracts mid-surface from each wall. Global parameters are then modified by using these mid-surfaces.

Findings

Mesh directly modified and the mesh obtained by tessellating modified CAD model has same global properties; proposed method can also allow multiple parameters to be modified at the same time.

Research limitations/implications

Input STL model is assumed to be error-free, where models containing errors like self-intersection will lead to incorrect mid-surfaces. Present algorithm assumes that the mid-surface represent of the input STL model is a manifold surface.

Originality/value

A novel algorithm of directly manipulating global parameters of a thin-walled object in its STL mesh model is proposed. The paper also presents a novel method of extracting mid-surface representation from a thin-wall STL mesh.

Keywords

Citation

Adhikary, N. and Gurumoorthy, B. (2017), "Direct global editing of STL mesh model for product design and rapid prototyping", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 781-795. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-06-2015-0064

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited