Transforming a high-detail Artec 3D Scan with SOLIDWORKS Mesh Decimation tool

Article by Rod Mackay updated February 24, 2021


When using SOLIDWORKS to create CAD models of complex, high-detail meshes, you need to start with a first-rate 3D scan of the model, such as this example from an Artec Space Spider 3D scanner. Then use the SOLIDWORKS Mesh Decimation tool to simplify the geometry.

Using an Artec Scanner you are guaranteed detailed scanned models every time. Watch the video to learn more:

As seen in the video, after running the Mesh Decimation tool to simplify your model, you can generate a solid model and then use the Body Compare tool to compare it with the initial mesh data for identifying (via a visual heat map) any inaccuracies or features that weren’t modeled at all.

About the Artec Space Spider 3D Scanner

Artec Space Spider is a handheld 3D scanner designed specifically for SOLIDWORKS CAD users and perfect for reverse engineering, product design, quality control and mass production. Together with Artec Studio software, it is a powerful, desktop tool for designers, engineers and inventors of every kind.

Artec Space Spider 3D Scan for SOLIDWORKS Mesh Decimation tool

Artec Space Spider 3D Scan

How does it work?

Space Spider is a high-resolution 3D scanner based on blue light technology. It is perfect for capturing small objects or intricate details of large industrial objects in high resolution, with steadfast accuracy and brilliant colour.

The scanner’s ability to render complex geometry, sharp edges and thin ribs sets the technology apart. It is an ideal industrial 3D scanner for high resolution capturing of objects such as molding parts, PCBs, keys, coins or even a human ear, followed by the export of the final 3D model to SOLIDWORKS software.

Artec Space Spider in Use

Artec Space Spider in Use

Why choose an Artec Space Spider?

Designed with engineers and CAD specialists in mind, Artec Space Spider is used by thousands of professionals in a myriad of fields including metrology, reverse engineering, quality control, healthcare, research, VR, AR, and many others:

  • SUPREME ACCURACY AND RESOLUTION: Create highly accurate 3D models of small industrial objects or sections of larger objects in fine detail with up to 0.05 mm accuracy and an impressive 0.1 mm resolution. You also have the option of exporting directly to SOLIDWORKS or Geomagic Design X.
  • SAVES YOU TIME: Thanks to smart temperature stabilization, Space Spider maintains precision in a wide range of temperatures, and adjusts to any conditions in only 3 minutes, saving you precious time.
  • TARGET-FREE SCANNING: Space Spider uses hybrid geometry and color tracking technologies for the best possible data capturing and faster processing. This means no targets are required to achieve accurate results.
  • EASY TO USE: Just plug the scanner in and point it at and around the item, as you would with a video camera. It’s that simple.
  • PORTABILITY: Lightweight and compact, Space Spider was designed for a comfortable and flawless 3D scanning experience across all environments. Even in remote locations or without a power supply, you can simply connect it to the Artec battery pack for up to six hours of scanning.
  • GREAT FOR BLACK & SHINY SURFACES: A nightmare for many scanners, reflective and dark surfaces can be digitized in full color and with great resolution, like any other “easy to capture” surface.

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.