Importing CAD models into Blender. SolidWorks -> Rhino -> FBX -> Blender. Works fine for rendering in Cycles.

But on export to .html, I get invisible patches in the model, due to the normals being flipped in that location.

Flip normals doesn't work. Make normals consistent doesn't work.

Even Shift+G (select similar normal) and then flip those ones doesn't work.

Seems to be watertight. How can we just make it point the normals away from the interior of the object?

Ref post 1

Ref post 2

Ref post 3

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Updated Blend File Here:

(source: giantcowfilms.com)

  • $\begingroup$ There could be various reasons for that. The most possible would be that the model is too complex for Blender to decide what's "inside" and what's "outside". But then at least "select similar" should work. Consider uploading your file to blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com for further inspections. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ "Select Similar" didn't work because when selecting the surfaces near "Incorrect Normals" in the picture above, it also selected the ones marked "Correct Normals" since they're both pointing to the left. So flipping those meant the correct ones were now incorrect. $\endgroup$
    – sliver
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ That is some weird topology you have there. Apparently your "toolchain" changed everything to triangles. The worst part is that the profile faces are partly disconnected from the mesh. That's why Blender has difficulties to detect what's "inside" and "outside". What happens if you export from Solidworks to stl and import that directly into Blender? Also: Is this a one-time conversion or do you plan to do that more often? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for looking at this @metaphor_set. I didn't like stl because importing stl into Blender gives very large object scale, and incorrect orientation wrt the axes. .FBX is much nicer that way. I do this very often. Have many parts to do this way, planning to make this my new workflow going forward. $\endgroup$
    – sliver
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ Have updated the .blend file. Layer 1 is original broken mesh. Layer 2 is a re-import of a "fresh FBX file." Which appears to be mostly ok with normals. Layer 3 is .stl import, you will have to zoom way out to see it. I could just import a fresh FBX, except not really because my real models may have 10x this many parts, and will all be textured, and re-import would mean too much lost work. Would prefer if I can to find way to fix the normals if/when this happens. Sometimes have to alter the model slightly in Blender, maybe that's what ruined them. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – sliver
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 23:34


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