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Options to get scanned txt or csv files into SW2020

markz528

Hot Rolled
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Sep 25, 2012
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Cincinnati
I am just learning solidworks so please bear with me. I scanned a part and have it as a txt or csv file. I can get it into SW2020 as a curve, but then I have no earthly idea how to to make changes to the curve. Acts like a block, but I don't think it can be exploded. This drawing is only 2D but I don't know that it matters if its 2D or 3D.

Any suggestions? Can the curve be modified short of tracing over it to make a new part? Is there an alternate way to effectively get the part into solidworks so that I can manipulate it and make a drawing of the actual part?

I used to do this successfully in Fusion 360 but now it needs a subscription to do it so I abandoned Fusion 360 and bought solidworks back in 2021.
 
I am just learning solidworks so please bear with me. I scanned a part and have it as a txt or csv file. I can get it into SW2020 as a curve, but then I have no earthly idea how to to make changes to the curve. Acts like a block, but I don't think it can be exploded. This drawing is only 2D but I don't know that it matters if its 2D or 3D.

Any suggestions? Can the curve be modified short of tracing over it to make a new part? Is there an alternate way to effectively get the part into solidworks so that I can manipulate it and make a drawing of the actual part?

I used to do this successfully in Fusion 360 but now it needs a subscription to do it so I abandoned Fusion 360 and bought solidworks back in 2021.
SW doesnt really have any native tools to handle scanned data well. your best bet would be to draw over the scan.
you can get plugins that allow you to work with point clouds, but they aint cheap
 
Thanks! I have a buddy that has converted them for me in Fusion 360, but I can't necessarily count on that anymore.

I can't believe that I didn't document it, but years ago I did figure out how to convert csv files into dxf using some free software - took some playing with it and now I can't for the life of me even remember what software it was. Will dig out my old computer and see if I can figure out that avenue again. I did document the Fusion 360 process not that it does me any good right now.
 
You can modify the txt\cvs file in excel then use that as your curve, but that can be tricky depending how many points and if it is in 3D, 2D a little bit easier.

Since you haven't really shown a pic these are all suggestions.

if 2D you can use a style spline to go over the curve in a new sketch and then pull it to match the shape, then you can add you own dimensions to control the shape.

Do this alot when someone gives me a picture or scanned hand sketch.
 
What you have is called a 'point cloud' so if you search "point cloud to mesh" you will come up with a whole bunch of various methods. Ages ago my neighbors did 3d scanning, they'd import the points into Maya then edit the mesh there. At the end, export as stl or whatever file type your software is happy with.

The points are never perfect so it took a little attention to make the model nice, but something like that should work for you.
 
So my buddy came through and converted it into a dxf file using Fusion 360. But I do need to figure out how to do it on my own long-term.

Here is a picture of the part - it is a bench seat 4 speed shifter handle.

IMG_5895.JPG
 
Lets start over. What format did your 'scan' start as and how did you end up with CSV as a format? There are multiple ways to use Excel data to parametrically build entire models, or you can import XYZ points as a single spline. You could have also taken a picture of that sitting on the ground next to a 1 foot scale and imported the picture to a sketch within Solidworks. I reverse engineer parts that way all the time.
 
Lets start over. What format did your 'scan' start as and how did you end up with CSV as a format? There are multiple ways to use Excel data to parametrically build entire models, or you can import XYZ points as a single spline. You could have also taken a picture of that sitting on the ground next to a 1 foot scale and imported the picture to a sketch within Solidworks. I reverse engineer parts that way all the time.
I probed it on the cnc. That particular file is saved as a .cam file in the scanning software. It is compensated for the probe diameter. Other scan routines save it as a .dig file which is an uncompensated path. The software converts it to a .txt file that I just convert to a .csv file. It is a 3 axis txt/csv file that I just use as 2D.

When you import the sketch do you just trace over the picture? I have done that before in AutoCad.

I have attached one of the scanned .txt files.
 

Attachments

  • hole example.txt
    1.6 KB · Views: 5
I'm on Solidworks 2006 so you may have to hunt around to find the option. I forgot what year they screwed up the interface and went to the lame Windoze ribbon menus. On 2006, it's under INSERT, CURVE (probably under a 3D elements ribbon somewhere). I opened the file you attached. I highlighted the X and Y columns and ignored Z since they were all zeroes.

At that point you have a 3D curve in space. It happened to be parallel to the front plane. You can project it onto a sketch and do whatever you want to it, or use it for 3D operations.

The circle measures about 0.167" diameter but, not all the points are perfectly on the radius. It was probably errors on how your scanning routine works and the approach direction for the probe.
 
Now that you show us a Picture and discribe what you are doing I have more ways to get what you want beside using a scan!

I have been doing stuff like this for a long time in SW. You could have just taken a picture of the part and used that to sketch over the pic and been done in a matter of minutes getting the shape.

search out vid of how to use the insert picture feature in a sketch, plenty of them out there.

The end with the 2 holes looks like a rectangle so you could have started making that feature then add to the part for the curve and the top rectangle which I asume is a threaded shaft.

lenny


another from a camera picture

 
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Actually I have taken stuff like this and I just put it on the flat bed scanner on our printer, scan it send it to SW, open a sketch and load it as a background image.
Scale it with referencing a large dimension on the part.
scanning with a flat bed as apposed to the camera removes any perspective also.
 
Actually I have taken stuff like this and I just put it on the flat bed scanner on our printer, scan it send it to SW, open a sketch and load it as a background image.
Scale it with referencing a large dimension on the part.
scanning with a flat bed as apposed to the camera removes any perspective also.
I was going to say that 2, but didn't want to overload the their brain....:D
 
I have used sidefx Houdini 3D animation software, and Blender to convert 3D (both free versions)point cloud/mesh data into something usable for CAD/CAM.
Edit: Also I believe FreeCAD will import the OP's txt data from what I read.
 
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