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  • Writer's pictureArkify Team

Mesh Editing for CAD, 3D Printing, Mold Making, And More

Exploring a few of the popular mesh editing services Arkify offers with 3D scans

Need a 3D scan to be cut in half, given a flat base, or have certain features smoothed or removed? Our team can edit your mesh before exporting to speed up your project's timeline! Our mesh editing services can assist you with a wide variety of needs from autosurfacing your model to creating a 3D printable mold. While there are a number of modifications we can apply to your scan, we'll be using this blog to discuss our most commonly requested ones.

1 — Cutting Planes

We can divide a 3D scan into multiple pieces using planes. Planes create a perfectly flat surface where they cut, ideal for tasks like 3D printing that require a flat base.

2 — Creating Hole Locations

Occasionally, hole locations don't turn out perfectly round on a 3D scan. By using a cylinder tool to redefine them, we can do things like creating a rounder hole feature or adding a new fitting for a bolt location. We recently touched on this process in a case study here.

3 — Scaling and Mirroring

By default, a 3D scanned object will be the same size as its real-world equivalent. We are able to scale your model up or down by your desired percentage as pictured in our example on the left. Increasing or decreasing the scale of the model will not affect the resolution and it will retain its original quality of detail.

In the example pictured right, we mirrored a 3D scan of a right-footed shoe to create another shoe that could be worn on the left foot. Mirroring can be helpful in a number of different scenarios. For example, you may take a 3D scan of a traditional right-handed mouse and mirror it to create a left-handed one that could be produced and sold to consumers who are left-handed.

4 — Defeaturing and Smoothing

Our defeaturing and smoothing processes create cleaner, simplified meshes, useful for projects you wouldn't want small bumps to appear in, such as mold making and 3D printing. The smoothing process softens and removes noise from the mesh, while the defeaturing process removes small bumps and unwanted elements (pictured below).

5 — Autosurfacing

Autosurfacing converts a 3D mesh into a solid body, a process ideal for those who are CAD modeling. Autosurfacing is great for situations in which you don't want to modify the main body of a scan. For example, if you have a 3D scan of a bike seat you'd like to add new mounting locations to within a CAD software. Autosurfacing the seat will convert it to a one-to-one solid body duplicate of the original mesh, allowing for boolean operations to be done on the autosurfaced solid. This is handy for cases where you want to scan a part but not modify the base scan, just add a few additional features or cuts to it.

6 — Mold Making

This process uses a combination of tools to create the start of a 3D printable mold. Removing your 3D scan's shape from a block is often the hardest and most time-consuming step in the mold-making process. We have ways to smooth and remove a 3D scan from a block and split it in half. This can quickly create a base of the mold which can be exported and brought into another modeling software for further development, giving you an excellent jumping-off point for developing your mold.

In this blog, we've explored just a few of the tools we have available and assist with your projects. If you are curious about a specific process or would like a scan edited with one of these methods, please reach out via or the Contact page of our website for more information!

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