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Many mechanical designers and engineers use 3D Programs for their powerful Materials Editor, lighting features, and animation tools. However, they plan to do all the modeling in a CAD program and import the finished 3D models into that 3D Applications. You will discover some of the reasons why you may want to rethink that strategy. You will easily create objects that are often very difficult to construct in a CAD program. If you like, you can export these 3D objects to your CAD software later. Remember, most objects can be created in more than one wayextruding, lofting, or lathing-or with more than one program. The more exposure you have to all modeling options, the easier it is to use the right tool for the right job. Some of the issues the chapter will consider are: Transferring between 3D Applications and CAD software. Balancing detail and efficiency Creating a threaded bolt. Providing a flexible connection between two objects. Lathing and lofting. Building superstructures with Lattice. Using NURBS as a smooth surfacing tool.
File Transfer Between MAX and CAD Software: No matter where you start the creative process, chances are your models will end up being transferred between 3D Programs and a CAD program at some point. To find the most efficient flow for your project, carefully analyze the reasons you are using each program and some of the pitfalls of object transfer.
You will probably have to make compromises to work efficiently, because CAD software for engineering and visualization programs, such as MAX, still suffer from imperfect communication. Information is always lost in the transfer. For example: - Parametric or Solid CAD objects become "dumb" mesh in 3D Programs. - Parametric 3D Programs objects become surface polygon mesh in CAD. - 3D Programs NURBS objects become surface polygons in CAD. - 3D Programs material assignments are lost in some CAD formats.