Reduce Mesh Body Complexity with the SOLIDWORKS 2020 Decimate Mesh Tool

Article by Bryan Sprange, CSWE updated September 20, 2019


New in the 2020 release of SOLIDWORKS comes even more capability to work with imported mesh files!

As is often the case with scanned geometry, the number of graphics triangles (facets) can be overwhelming for many SOLIDWORKS users’ hardware. It usually is also excessive for an accurate representation of the model. Now the number of facets can be reduced using a tool directly in SOLIDWORKS which will dramatically improve performance.

How the Decimate Mesh Body tool works

The Decimate Mesh Body tool is easy to use, simply select the body and then choose what definition to reduce the model by.

Either percentage reduction in number of facets (in this case 50%), or using Maximum error tolerance which will compare the resulting mesh to the original body. With percentage reduction set, let SOLIDWORKS do the rest.

Decimate Mesh Body property manager

The resulting Mesh Body is much easier to work with due to having fewer facets while still retaining the required accuracy. This will make leveraging new tools such as extracting reference geometry and adding features to a mesh body faster!

Before and After using the Decimate Mesh Body tool

If only a selected area of the graphics body needs simplification, multiple options for selecting facets can be used to ensure only areas requiring it are decimated.

Watch a demo video to see the tool in action:

When to use it

Having tools such as the new Decimate Mesh Body command available in every level of SOLIDWORKS makes working with mesh files a breeze, and removes the need for 3rd party software which can slow down the workflow due to importing and exporting. This means directly bringing 3D scan data into SOLIDWORKS for any possible adjustments or additions, and the ability to rapidly process models for 3D printing.

Check out the SOLIDWORKS What’s New demonstrations to learn more,

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Bryan Sprange, CSWE

Bryan Sprange is a Technical Solutions Expert at Javelin located in Winnipeg, MB., Canada. He has previously worked in the Aerospace industry as a Designer, and a Manufacturing Engineering Planner. Additionally, he has used many different CAD packages ranging from AutoCAD to CATIA. Bryan has a background in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and enjoys using all of the SOLIDWORKS features to their limits to find new and interesting ways to be efficient and accurate when helping customers with their designs.