Orthogonal Thickness Point Map - Custom Block


Using the power of repeatable workflows in nTop Platform, this tutorial walks through a custom block used to determine wall thicknesses of any implicit body. This custom block follows a method of creating rays orthogonal to the build direction of the implicit body and parallel to a user-defined build plane (based off manufacturing orientation), and determining the lengths of the rays constrained to the walls of the implicit body.

Applies to:

  • nTop Platform 2.23.7+
  • Repeatable Workflows
  • Wall Thicknesses
  • Branched Lattices



The inputs for this block include the chosen implicit body, the build plane, the number of rays you wish to sample around the normal central axis of the build plane, and the number of rays you wish to sample contained within the implicit body and parallel to the build direction. The user may specify a tolerance when constraining the rays to the design space of the implicit body.

Step 1:


The first step of this workflow involves creating the rays orthogonal to the central axis of the build plane. Using line segments, the span length of the design space is extracted from the bounding box of the implicit body, and the positive x-axis coordinate serves as a starting point, while the negative x-axis coordinate serves as an end point. This creates one line segment, which is subsequently copied through a full 360 degree rotation about the build direction. The number of rays created equals the Vertical Sampling Count parameter defined in the input section.

Step 2:


The second step of this workflow involves creating the rays which span the implicit body along the build direction. Using the new lattice pipeline, branched lattices are created from the line segments, and are subsequently arrayed in the build direction, to fill the entire design space. The number of lattice line segments created from the initial plane in step 1 corresponds to the Circum. Sampling Count input parameter. These lattice rays are then trimmed to the walls of the implicit body as a lattice body.

Step 3:mceclip3.png

The third and final step is creating a point map from the trimmed lattice body in step 2, by extracting the start and end points of the lattice beams, as well as the lengths of these beams. The points are concatenated into one list, as are the lengths, such that the points can be mapped to the lengths extracted from the lattice body line segments. This point map then allows the user to determine the wall thickness of their implicit body at various locations of the design space.


  • Orthogonal Thickness Point Map - User-defined Build Plane - CB.ntop
  • Orthogonal Thickness Point Map_Example-Application.ntop

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