By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
VirtualGrid recently announced the availability of version 4.1.2 of its VRMesh family of 3D mesh modeling software for reverse modeling, rapid prototyping, and conceptual design. VRMesh is the kind of software that readers of DE use to define “design engineering.” It not only does what you want it to do without fussing but it also lets you do that stuff without busting your budget. In fact, the thing about VRMesh that I’m having trouble getting a handle on is the price. There’s a lot there for the price.
The VRMesh family has three different applications for three different needs. VRMesh Reverse is the package for reverse engineering jobs where you want to wrap point cloud data and get an accurate meshed model. VRMesh Design is for STL repair and conceptual design. The full enchilada, VRMesh Studio is the point cloud-processing and mesh-modeling environment for users requiring reverse-engineering tools and design communication in one package. It goes for $895. Reverse is $695, while Design is $495.
Since VRMesh Studio at the top has it all, let’s do a quick look at VRDesign at the bottom then check out VRMesh Reverse.
VRDesign has a full complement of STL repair, mesh editing, and mesh healing tools. It has measurement and transformation tools, and you can sweep, revolve, emboss, extrude, and glue objects. But the cool thing is Digital Clay. Digital Clay lets you create a freeform 3D object from a sketched curve. You can then shape, twist, extend, brush, and otherwise fiddle with the object until it’s what you want.
VRMesh Reverse skips the Digital Clay and a few forming tools to focus on reverse engineering concerns like point cloud processing, point cloud to mesh, measurement, inspection, mesh editing, and my favorite expression “unifying normals.”
VRMesh can handle large datasets, and has virtually no limit on point cloud or mesh size. It can import scan data directly from any scanner that pumps out ASCII. It also imports and exports STL, 3DS, WRL, DXF, TIF, and a bunch of other file formats. VRMesh uses double-precision floating-point numbers to retain the accuracy of the original input data.
I know what you’re thinking, how can VRMesh be so much less expensive than software that does what it does? Beats me. But click on the link to Mike Hudspeth’s DE review of a slightly earlier version in today’s Pick of the Week write-up and see what he says. Or go the VirtualGrid website and watch some of their videos. You can even follow a link to download a fully functional demo version if you give them your e-mail address. The price-power ratio of VRMesh is just too much to scan over it. See for yourself.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine