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STL Repair, Editing Tool for Simulation/Manufacturing

By DE Editors

Discretize Inc. (Covington, LA) has announced the release of its first product, Xtl, a new tool for repairing and editing dirty STL geometries. Xtl is said to come with a prototype intelligent wrapping algorithm intended to solve the difficulties encountered with traditional STL wrapping algorithms when attempting to differentiate between features to preserve and features to eliminate. Xtl, says the product was developed with the needs of the simulation and manufacturing communities in mind.

An example of the Stanford Bunny cut into five pieces taken from an online
picture tutorial demonstrating how it can be repaired using either Xtl’s surface
construction tools or wrapping algorithm. Image courtesy of Discretize Inc.

Discretize says Xtl moves beyond treating STL models as a set of triangular facets and nodes. Instead, it supports the construction of a CAD-like topology consisting of bodies, surfaces, curves, and vertices overlaying the faceted model. This, in turn, is said to provide users with control over the application of the repair tools.

Traditional wrapping algorithms for creating surfaces, typically used when a closed manifold surface is required for simulation or 3D printing, often have difficulty differentiating between features that must be kept and features that must be eliminated, explains the company. Xtl, on the other hand, offers a prototype intelligent wrapping algorithm that is capable of closing large gaps while preserving small features. Although the algorithm remains classified as a prototype, the company says it has solved problems that are not easily addressed using any other automated algorithm.

On the left and taken from an online picture tutorial is an overly coarse
model of a dune buggy prior to enhancement with Xtl. The image on the
right shows the results after selected surfaces were smoothed from coarse
triangulations using Xtl. Image courtesy of Discretize Inc.

The software is said to have powerful surface mesh refinement and coarsening algorithms that enable users to produce high-quality meshes with their desired resolution. The refinement algorithm, says Discretize, includes the ability to reconstruct high-resolution smooth surfaces from low-resolution models. In conjunction with coarsening and smoothing, Xtl’s topology management capabilities “make it easy to remove unwanted features from a model,” according to the company.

Xtl’s surface construction and modification algorithms reportedly make it possible to repair large, topologically complex gaps or to replace groups of surfaces. Xtl offers both Laplacian and curvature-based smoothing. The Laplacian smoother is said to be more aggressive while the curvature-based algorithm is described as being able to remove high-frequency errors while minimizing its impact on the overall shape of the surface. The Xtl blending tool enables surfaces to be blended with surrounding surfaces, providing tangent continuity at boundaries. Translation, scaling, and rotation operations can be applied to selected bodies, surfaces, and curves as well as to individual nodes.

Discretize Xtl image
Xtl image courtesy of Discretize Inc.

Xtl also incorporates traditional STL tools, including calculating surface intersections, as well as tools for low level (facet and node) and high level (curve and surface) editing, hole filling, stitching, Booleans, and construction of primitives. Miscellaneous features include the ability to automatically identify and fill holes in selected bodies or surfaces, repair normals, stitch-free edges in close proximity to one another, and disconnect a surface from surrounding surfaces so that it can be independently modified.

Xtl is currently available for Microsoft Windows platforms. Apple and Linux releases are “being planned for the near future.” Xtl is available for purchase online for $895. Pricing includes updates and one year of support.

For more information, visit Discretize.

See a pictorial demonstration of the Xtl Boolean and defeaturing capabilities.

See a pictorial demonstration of the Xtl taking on the Stanford Bunny.

See Xtl creating a surface mesh from improperly matched and disconnected surfaces.

Contact Discretize about a 30-day free trial of Xtl.

See why DE’s Editors selected Xtl from Discretize as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About DE Editors

DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.