does solidworks have a feature to measure total volume of a model??

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by pdb, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. pdb
    pdb New Member
    hey the title pretty much says it all.

    i imagine that solidworks would have something like this but cant seem to find it......
    .......if not can anyone suggest a program?
  2. VeryWetPaint
    VeryWetPaint New Member
    Would it be acceptable to export the model to STL when you want to measure it? VisCAM View (freeware) reports surface area and volume for an STL file as soon as you open it.

    I use it regularly to check models before I build them on my SD300; there's a nice tool for measuring wall thickness and another for cutting models into section views.
  3. Nane
    Nane New Member
    For Solidworks, Mass Properties from the Tool Menu. TID=585&PN=17

    Does it measure the outer volume of a model excluding intersecting shells? The reason I ask is that I use Netfabb which also has a free version that measures the volume and surface area. However in Netfabb it says my volume is 4.70 cm3 on a model but when I upload it to Shapeways they say it is 3.81 cm3. I think this is because Shapeways is calculating the model volume once all shells have been merged as one. The free version of Netfabb cannot combine shells so I can never get an accurate volume on a multi-shell model. I'll give Viscam a shot for fun.

    Hmmm... Bummer, same volume/surface stats as Netfabb. Cool, no big deal.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  4. Roy_Stevens
    Roy_Stevens New Member
    If you have Solidworks, why are you bothering with Netfab? It's like having a Ferrari and then complaining that it doesn't drive like a Hyundai. Your problem is that you are exporting an assembly with overlapping parts, and mass properties evaluates each part individually without checking for interferences. If want an accurate volume from a Solidworks assembly then you need to avoid interferences, or just realize that your volume will be smaller when exporting to a STL.
  5. pdb
    pdb New Member
    much appreciated guys

    found mass properties ...thx....k new there must have been something , just couldn't find it.

    the model contains 57 solid bodies that aren't merged so i doubt this is giving an accurate reading

    Volume = 58277.89 cubic millimeters

    why cant you use mass properties on an STL.?

    can you make an STL. into an editable solid body? or is it a one way deal?

    what do shapeways techies use?
  6. GWMT
    GWMT New Member
    If you used an assembly to create your file you will not be able to easily get a total volume for your piece if any objects overlap.

    I build my final prints as assemblies, save the assembly as a part, then Combine all the bodies in the part into one solid piece before I create the STL. Even after the Combine command is done Solidworks still lists the volume as the sum total of all the bodies instead of the actual combined volume with all the overlaps removed.

    The only way to get the true volume is to open the assembly, click on Interference Detection, add up all the interference volumes listed in the table and subtract that number from the total volume listed under Mass Properties for the assembly.

    FIle an Enhancement Request with Solidworks to give the true volume of a combined part; eventually they'll make the program more 3D print friendly.
  7. pdb
    pdb New Member
    thanks for that.....i imagine calculating the interference of all solid bodies would take a while. ........ will just upload and use shapeways cubic measurement .

    agreed solidworks needs to think about these things..... ....well they would silly not to.

    thanks again
    kind regards

  8. VeryWetPaint
    VeryWetPaint New Member
    VisCAM can give measurements for a user-selected combination of part shells, but you have to manually select the combination of shells. (Turning off invidivual shells can also be helpful for inspecting some models.)

    In VisCAM View open the Object Manager window (choose Object Manager in the Options menu if it isn't already open.)

    In the Object Manager, choose "Demerge Shells" to break the model into a list of individual shells. Then use the right-click button to enable/disable "Visible" to remove all the hidden shells you think would be removed by Shapeways and then choose "Check Model" in the View menu to get measurements for all the visible shells.

    You can also get individual measurements for each shell via right-click "Properties" in the Object Manager window.
  9. GWMT
    GWMT New Member
    thanks for that...

    Any time - it's what this forum's for!

    I just ran Interference Detection on an assembly; it only takes a few seconds to run but there are 158 numbers to add up....
  10. Nane
    Nane New Member

    I don't have Solidworks, which is why I use the free Netfabb :) I just Googled his answer for him which is why I posted the link to it as well.

    Plus others answered much better and in much more detail than me, sigh...
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012