What are the limitations of exporting lattice structures to CAD?


  • What is the maximum size of a lattice that will export to CAD?
  • Can I export a lattice structure to CAD?

Applies to:

  • nTop 3.28+
  • SolidWorks, CATIA, Siemens NX, PTC Creo, STEP, Parasolid


There isn't a definite answer to the maximum lattice size we can export to CAD. Generally, this isn't a function of lattice size. The constraint relates to the resulting number of faces. Most CAD software reaches the upper limits of performance somewhere in the range of 10,000 faces. With lattice structures, it's easy to reach 10,000 faces very quickly.  This screenshot shows a single 10 X 10 X 10 unit cell with 1 mm thick beams - it's already 452 faces.




We have now released a new block to help with this issue, CAD Body from Implicit Body. With this block, you will now be able to export low to medium complexity lattice structures from nTopology to your desired CAD format. For high complexity structures, we still recommend that the lattice be exported as a mesh or slices for optimal results. To learn more about what is considered low, medium, and high complexity, please consult the How to export geometry article.


More on this topic:


 cad mesh lattice export solidworks creo nx catia parasolid step quadrangulate quad 
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