I was recently refered to Rhino for a project I'm working on. I have a mesh from an STL file that I need to convert into a solid object for further design work. I am however new to Rhino. I found quite a few add-ins that might be able to do this with Rhino 4. Does anybody know how I should do this in Rhino 5 or do I need an older version?
Any help would be appreciated.
This is a fairly advanced use of Rhino. It's certainly not the sort of project that would be useful for learning Rhino.
I'd recommend a sequence of things:
First go to the Support page, click on Getting Started, then download the Getting Started User's Guide. It starts with a good overview of the U/I, then has a series of tutorials to get you going with Rhino.
Second, download this Scan, Cleanup, Remodel document. It was written for V4 but will help you get your head around the enormity of the task in front of you.
Scan, cleanup, remodel - http://www.rhino3d.com/resources?id=1055
Third, evaluate the reverse engineering plug-ins based on what you will understand about the process.
Mesh objects (as well as laser scans) are usually not worth trying to edit. I have found that it's best to use the data for general reference, like on a locked layer, but re-build the geometry entirely in fresh new Rhino NURBS. Then you have a clean model that is infinitely easier to generate wall thicknesses, create fillets, make changes, etc.
Some of these polygonal meshes are just too messed up. It takes longer to edit and fix them than it does to re-build from scratch. Not to mention -- a simple NURBS surface can be 100 times smaller (and easier to work with) than a high-density mesh surface.