SolidWorks: Repairing Surfaces
A common issue that occurs when importing a non-native SolidWorks file, is inconsistencies in the surfaces. When working between different CAD systems, data can be lost in translation. A common comparison in the 3D modeling world is thinking of each CAD system as its own language. When trying to translate from one language to the next, some context may be lost or misunderstood.
One common file type that is saved amongst different CAD systems is a step file. When opening a step file, the imported body/bodies will appear in the feature tree. Right click on the body and select “Import Diagnostics” from the menu that appears.
Figure 1: Import Diagnostics
An import diagnostics widow will appear showing the faulty faces/gaps between faces if they occur. If you right-click on any of the faces, you can select the “What’s Wrong?” option, and SolidWorks will provide a brief description from the issue at hand. Some common examples are “General geometry problem” or “Self-intersecting face.”
Figure 2: Faulty Faces
Next, click the “Attempt to Heal All” button. SolidWorks will then try to find a solution to the problem at hand by solving one face at a time. If you attempt to heal all, and there are still faces that cannot be solved, continue attempting to heal all until the number of faulty faces and gaps quit changing. This will save you time in the long run. Since SolidWorks is attempting to heal one face at a time, this process may take a few tries in order to heal all, because one faulty face may rely on a faces edges that just finished healing. Once the values for faulty faces and gaps between faces quit changing, a common solution is to delete the faulty face at hand, and fill with a surface. Once complete, you should have a repaired model and are in the clear to add features as needed!