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I'm trying to rig and render models that I'm exporting from Siemens NX. The models therefor have sharp edges, and in rendering them I would like to round/bevel the edges. I am at the moment attempting to use the bevel modifier, but it typically fails to work at all, and when it does it runs into some pretty bad failure modes. I'm hoping that this is something that someone else has done before. Thanks!

Here is a sample widget exported straight from NX (stl): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8j_hMJwdVcBcFBXLWpXTHVZMUU/view?usp=sharing

Bevel with angle limit (80deg, but happens with most angles): enter image description here Failure also happens when there is no limit; the edges become notched.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the main reason for beveling not working as expected here is bad topology of mesh. There are many tiny polygons which make beveling with Clamp set to be nearly invisible, while without Clamp it will create even worse results. If you use X > Limited Dissolve the results will be better yet, but you'll need to get rid of Ngons. I think the most useful way here is retopologizing mesh somehow. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Mar 9 '16 at 22:21
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As mentioned by Mr Zak, the problem here is your topology which, as is common importing from CAD-Like solid modeling applications, is quite messy and unfriendly for mesh based subdivision modeling.

Ideally you should bevel directly in the CAD application, as it is the most accurate and geometrically correct way to do it, otherwise, cleaning up your mesh may give some positive results.

  1. After importing enter edit mode on your object and press Alt + J to convert all triangles to quads.
  2. Then add a decimate modifier and set it to Planar, adjust the angle limit to a desired value, not to high as to remove too much detail from your geometry, not to low, as to leave too much geometry for beveling (around 2º worked fine for me)
  3. Add a a bevel modifier and set the Limit Method to Angle

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks very much, this works better than anything else I've tried! $\endgroup$ – Vincent Lee Mar 14 '16 at 23:22

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