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3D File Formats

3D File Formats

Postby Curtis_F » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:51 am

I'm all for sharing detail part files, but the question of file format is one that needs to be answered. The most common 3D files are IGES (.IGS) & Stereo-lithography (.STL)

I know professional CAD and 3D Graphic programs such as Solidworks, ProE, AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, etc. can open and work with these.

What files do programs such as Google Sketchup, G-MAX, Blender, ect. import & export?


Craig did sent me a DXF file of his square nuts, but haven't had the time to try and open the files. :oops: I'll admit that in my 3D renderings I mostly use modern nuts and bolts, which have undersized heads when compared to fasteners of the 1870 - 1920 time period. The same goes for pipe fittings, I use models of the modern stuff.

Aaaaand one of the reasons I use modern nuts, bolts and pipe fittings is because they can be downloaded for free from McMaster Carr.

Another good free resource for modern pieces-parts is 3D Content Central.


Here are some standard parts I've modeled in 3D from real parts:

CAR PARTS
    Carter #3 Link & Pin Coupler
    Draft Gear Cheek Block Castings
    Carter #11 Stake Pocket
    10ton / 15 ton Car Center Bearing
    Box Car Truss Rod Washer Casting
    Box Car Door Rail Support Castings - Carter / SPNG
    Box Car Door Handle
    Carter Truss Rod Bearing (King / Queen Post)

FREIGHT TRUCK PARTS
    8ton Truck Center Bearing
    10ton / 15ton Truck Center Bearing
    10ton / 15ton Swing Motion Bolster Bearings
    8ton / 10ton Journal Box Cover
    15ton Journal Box Cover
    15ton Swing Motion Bolster Straps
    Brake Hanger Castings
    24" Brake Head
    24" Brake Shoe
    A. Whitney & Sons 24" Wheel

MISC. PARTS
    3/4" Ogee Washer
    1" Ogee Washer

I have way more than just these, but many of the models are reverse-engineered (aka. "my best guess") like an 8ton Truck Center Bearing or Miller Coupler, so I'm hesitant to give out those files as they could be completely wrong.


Cheers,

Curtis F.
Last edited by Curtis_F on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby CraigH » Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:28 am

OK, here goes!
I'll open up my CAD packages and painfully list everything they import/export. This will include a lot of stuff that's probably not nessessary but may come in handy some day.

AutoCAD: Has a LOT of options for a LOT of industries. My version imports GIS, Architectural, Civil/Survey, Mechanical, and who knows what else. It's somewhere around 40 file formats for various graphics and presentation requirements, most of which I've never used.
IMPORT
.dwg
.dxf
.3ds
.sat
Generally, I use the first 3 above. The rest are specialized for various industries (the other 37 or so). ASCI files may work, generally I import those for DTM (Digital Terrain Modeling...mapping topography). Plus there's various file formats available to me for several Land Surveying data collection programs.

I import a lot of .tiff and .bmp files (images) that I work from. I also import .doc, Excell spreadheets, .txt, and similar files.

EXPORT:
Metafiles: .dxx
ACIS: .sat
Lithography: .stl
EPS: .eps
DXX Extract: .dxx
Bitmaps: .bmp
3D Studio: .3ds
Blocks: .dwg

There's a "Publish to Web" and "e-transmit" function I've never explored to see if there's other formats available.

Google Sketch-up:
IMPORT:

.skp (native to Sketch-up)
AutoCAD .dwg, .dxf
3DS .3ds
DEM .dem, .ddf
G-Earth .kmz, .dae

Image formats:
.jpg
.png
.psd
.tif
.tga
.bmp

EXPORT:
Collada .dae
G-Earth .kmz
AutoCAD .dxf, .dwg (in versions back to Release 12. IMPORTANT to know what your software reads).
FBX .fbx
OBJ .obj
VRML .wrl
XSI .xsi

IF wanted, I can extend this list to Corel Graphics Suite (Release 3).

It would be great to come up with 2 or 3 formats that seem common enough to cover a bunch of packages, pro and hobby grade. We could then be able to share a library of common bits and save ourselves some work!

I suppose it's taken as a given that we'd all agree on crediting any shared work and bits for down the road when people start publishing in magazines, books, and internet sites. How do you feel about some format with creator's name and if the part file came from a PacificNG.com archive, either the logo or URL smaller than the creator's name?
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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby Curtis_F » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:06 pm

Just for the record, here are the file formats supported by Solidworks:

IMPORT:
PCNG Part Save-As.jpg
Solidworks Open/Import Supported Files
PCNG Part Save-As.jpg (75.23 KiB) Viewed 4284 times


EXPORT 3D PART FILES:
PCNG Part Import.jpg
Solidworks Part Files "Save-As" Options
PCNG Part Import.jpg (53.42 KiB) Viewed 4284 times


EXPORT 3D ASSEMBLY FILES:
PCNG Assembly Save-As.jpg
Solidworks Assembly Files "Save-As" Options
PCNG Assembly Save-As.jpg (52.97 KiB) Viewed 4284 times


EXPORT 2D DRAWING FILE TYPES:
    Solidworks Drawing (.slddrw)
    AutoCAD DXF R12 or later version (.dxf)
    AutoCAD DWG R12 or later version (.dwg)
    Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf)
    eDrawing (.edrw)
    JPEG image (.jpg)
    TIFF image (.tif)
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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby CraigH » Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:03 pm

Andrew and I have been having an off list discussion on incorporating a 3D and virtual modeling section into the site.

What we're coming up with, for the interum, is a new sub-section on PacificNG in the modeling section. It will be for Virtual, 3D, and 2D work, plans, etc.

We want to have a Web based CAD Viewer so people can experience, rotate, and view 2D and 3D work.
We want to be able to let people see jpeg renderings of 2D and 3D work.

We CAN"T for the short haul do a library of shapes on site UNLESS they are freely downloadable. I wanted a locked down section for registered users ONLY but that's difficult coding (down the road so we can share/trade files off list).
SO:
Any prefered free Web based viewer programs? We found one we like but would like suggestions.
Any Section suggestions, wants, desires?

1) Site standards for renderings will be 400dpi minimum. We will dumb them down a bit from there.
2) The Artist/Drafter will need to make sure text for thier name, software used, and any copyright notice is on the image along with anything else they feel is important (WIP, date, etc.).
3) We would appreciate permission to attach www.pacificng.com to each image. We want to help make sure intelectual rights, etc. are maintained when these images start showing up elsewhere. We're not proud, we also want to advertise the site and cause.
4) Your input on 1-3 above! Suggestions are highly desireable, wanted, and needed.

I'll email a link to a few people to the beta version of the page later today for tests and comments.
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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby Curtis_F » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:44 pm

Craig,

I have to admit that I've grown to find DropBox.com an indispensable tool in my life. I collaborate with several people and groups using it.

If you want to open a new DropBox folder just for 3D CAD files I'd contribute to it, and we could also control who has access until such time as we work out copyright issues and move it to a more public forum.


As to a web based CAD Viewer, then right now eDrawings is well worth looking at. It's very versatile, and has a function of being able to lock the files so you can only view them or open enough that you can use a measuring tool to get dimensions off the parts, and all at the discretion of he who make the 2D/3D files.


For your suggestions 1-3, I like them and would have no problem abiding by them.


You mention "3D and virtual modeling section", would that also include people modeling real-life route in Microsoft Train Simulator and TrainZ Railroad Simulator? I know of one gentleman who's modeling the Gilpin Tram in TrainZ and it's pretty spectacular, it would be awesome to be able to see some of the same for the West Coast roads.


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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby Curtis Reid » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:48 pm

GMAX will import .3DS, .PRJ, .DXF, AND .SHP. However, GMAX hasn't been supported for quite some time (since 2005, I think), and doesn't run as well on Vista or Win 7. GMAX also doesn't export to any formats unless you have a specific exporter for a game - it can be hard to get a file out of GMAX for use in another 3D program (which I've found to my detriment).

Blender will import:
Image

and export
Image

Note for Blender I probably have a couple of importers and exporters that don't come installed by default, but it is *much* easier to get models into and out of.

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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby Solomani » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:24 pm

Hi everyone,

Did we ever settle on file formats we can upload? Alibre allows me to convert 2d drawing files to pdf. Alibre also allows a 3d pdf to be created that can be rotated and zoomed. I tried loading both types but the file types appear to be blocked. The 3d view has a number of options for the user such as changing the lighting, drawing view and the transparency of the 3d object.

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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby Curtis Reid » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:04 pm

I've had decent experience using .3ds and .obj in Blender. It's supposed to support .stl, .x3d, and .wrl, but I haven't had opportunity to try those. I also found an experimental .pdf importer. Perhaps we could try some sample export / imports of items across our various packages and see which one(s) work best?

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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby Solomani » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:36 pm

I can also export in .STL so I could join the party with that format. the others I cannot. The 3d pdf would be useful for folks that do not have a cad program to be able to view the part.
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Re: 3D File Formats

Postby pcngadmin » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:28 am

PDF posting capability should be active now, I am not sure why that was disabled. I will work to get the additional 3D formats available to be uploaded as well.
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