by: Anthony Garland
UPDATE: Changed from experimental to production on 8/9/2016. No known bugs exist.
Graderworks 2.3 is now available.
This version may contain a few minor bugs.
As an example of the similarity score comparison of .stl files compared to .stl files, I will give a short example analyzing 'wheel' files from Thingiverse. I downloaded several wheels from Thingiverse, put them into a single folder, copied the absolute file path of this folder to the root folder textbox in Graderworks, selected '.Stl files' as the assignment type, and entered 'Volant.stl' as the reference to compare against, and checked the "Compare Part to References Specified Below" and "Autoscale and Recompare" checkboxes.
Download the files here.
After running Graderworks (Analysis->Start), the output.Csv file showed the raw similarity, scaling factors, and scaled similarities after scaling.
After manual scaling the parts according to column E, this is the size they look on the build platform.
The similarity score at first seems suspiring since we think of all wheels the same. Indeed, we think in terms of schemas of what constitutes a wheel. We have a mental model of what 'wheelness' means. While examining the results, the key geometric features that raise the similarity score are 1. The width of the wheel and 2. having spokes of some sort.
To test this hypothesis, I drew a simple wheel in SOLIDWORKS and then reran the comparison. As expected, my wheel with a simple rim and spokes had a high similarity score when compared to the reference model, 'volant'. I put the test wheel on Thingiverse.
Give Graderworks a try even if you don't have SOLIDWORKS on you computer. Graderworks only takes about 2 minutes to download and install! Try analyzing some .stl files and let me know what you think!
.stl files with errors do not work well with Graderworks. So be sure your file is a manifold.
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