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Zeiss Reverse Engineering - doubts boolean operations + example


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Hello Zeiss team and members! Sorry in advance for posting this in here as there is no subforum for ZRE.

I'm getting inside the ZRE software and playing a little bit to get more confidence.

I need some help about some doubts in the workflow in doing reverse engineering and also the exact difference between the tools of combine elements and unite elements (which hopefully after this long explanation you are able to understand me and let me know what I'm doing wrong).

I have this part, which I've been able to make solids of the top and middle part ( I will mirror it later), but I have some problems and doubts about the ring (with a red arrow in the screenshot 2). I model the surface cylinder and the top and bottom plane, so I have a disc later ( screenshot 3).

After this, I've tried different ways:

1) Combining them and extracting the body (1 solid + 3 surfaces), I don't get a volume even though I have no edges errors (screenshot 4).

2) Combining the 3 surfaces (cylinder + 2 planes), extracting body (disc) and it is not a closed volume even there are no edge errors (screenshot 5). So after combining or uniting them, I get also no volume and neighboring surface error(screenshot 6).

3) Combining the 3 surfaces (cylinder + 2 planes), erase the extra parts of the planes and cylinder with the geometry selection tool to get the same disc(this one gives me NO edge error but no volume) (screenshot 7). So after COMBINING, I get also an error, but if I try the UNITE ELEMENTS tool, I get the volume EVEN THOUGH I have some edge erros (screenshot 8)...

So after this explanation, I don't get the difference between these tools. Maybe i have the wrong concept of the boolean operations.

Hope someone can help me understand this so I get to finish this model










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After "finishing" my model, i exported it into Inventor... somehow it does not recognice the two discs are solids but as surfaces.

Any idea why even I got the volume which I guess it means my solid is fully closed?



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Hello Luis,

in ZRE,  a body is valid when 2 properties are given:
All edges are coincident and the normal directions must point outwards.
The first property can be checked with the edge analysis, the second can be checked with the Boolean operations.
(Select the body to be tested as Auxiliary element and enable Show orientation.

After combing elements, you should use the function Extract solid body if possible.
Click on a geometry which belongs to the expected body and check the normal direction.
If the normal direction don't point outwards, simple click on the tip of the yellow arrow to change the direction.

If extract solid body creates no new body, then you have a gap or a folded surfaces in your data.

The Boolean operations are used to unite, intersect or subtract valid bodies,
with not valid bodies the Boolean operations will fail.

I hope this helps you.
If not, please send me an email with your session and I will have a closer look on it.

Best regards

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Hello Wolfgang,

Thank you for your help. I've been practicing the whole day and think I've finally understood the workflow.

I still don't understand why when I have an error in the edge analysis, I can still get the volume (sometimes).

I didn't understand the checking part with the boolean operation. I know I have to see the arrows pointing outside, but even if I execute the tool with the arrows pointing inside, I can still get the body.



I'm sending you to the e-mail my session with also 2 video links, in one I show the method I used to finally get the solid and in the other I show the first method I was trying so hopefully you can make me understand the difference between the Unite and the Combine tool. Also, any other recommendation is appreciated!

Best Regards,



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