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I am currently working on creating a 3D model of a Lorenz system. I want a result fairly similar to the following picture from the Internet, minus the stand:

3D model of a lorentz attractor

To accomplish this, I created a C++ program that outputs an OBJ where the lines of the Lorenz system are represented as lines in the OBJ file (via the l command). Then, I was going to apply the skin modifier to this OBJ in Blender to make it solid, as in the picture. When I do this, however, there are two issues. Firstly, the solid lines resemble extruded squares more than the cylinders that I prefer. Secondly, when the Lorentz system wraps back near to its self, there is overlap between the pseudo-extruded-squares. While this overlap is in and of itself not an issue, it creates mesh intersections which are highly problematic for any use of this mesh (ie. rendering, 3D printing):

Cross section of the bad mesh intersections Zoomed-out (kindof) view of the lorentz system and mesh overlaps

How can I use Blender to transform the line OBJ file into a model with solid cylindrical lines and correct mesh overlap (similar to a union operator)?

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Not sure about the overlap issue, but if you add a Subdivision Surface modifier then you should get circular instead of square extrusions.

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