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CT Scan to Solidworks FEA


New member
Hi guys, I have been having trouble forming a solid from a CT scan data. I have the CT images, which I have used a separate program (tried Simpleware and Mimics) form the 3D model, which I could then export as an IGES or a point cloud (there had a few other options too, which did not look suitable).

I thought the IGES would be the easiest, as there is an option to form the solid from opening it but it uses up a ridiculous amount of RAM, and anything with enough detail to be close to acceptable just will not open.

I used ScanTo3D to open up the point cloud, and make it into a surface body, but this is as far as I have managed to get. I have read a lot about this 'Thicken' feature, but I have tried on 3 different computers and it just seems to lock it up, and the preview seems to self intersect anyway. I also found people suggesting the 'knit' feature - however I get the error message, 'cannot knit to itself'

I seem to have tried everything, does anyone have any suggestions or hints to help me out - the output I want eventually is FEA analysis (on the broken bone, including the impant) using what was previously known as CosmosWorks (now just called 'Simulation' I think)

Cheers in advanced

Kevin De Smet

New member
Looking up Mimics online quickly, to me it looks like the right software of choice as a bridge between. Odd it doesn't work out.

.IGES is absolutely your best bet, however they can be finicky files, try exporting as a .STEP if you can -- even better would be a parasolid file (.X_T or .X_B)
Don't mess with point clouds for this, the organic shape of CT/MRI scan data is to much effort. It's useful for smooth products such as those seen in industrial design, though.

If .IGES is all you got, try opening and on the open dialog box open up the "options" on your lower right and choose: do not knit also make sure to uncheck "perform full entity check".
This will give you the raw file, you can use the Solidworks surfacing tools to repair any gaps or holes, if there aren't to many of them it can be done with acceptable results.