I have several complex 3D mesh items in an .OBJ file.

It shows a facility area of an oil and gas platform.

Most of the items are complex and it consists of many nested 3D mesh in it. For example, I have a vessel item A at the outer layer. That vessel item A has many mesh items in it. Total number of 3D mesh is around 5-10 represented by that vessel item A.

I want to simplify that vessel item A by removing all the 3D items inside that vessel item A. Instead of using multiple items, I only use 1 3D mesh object to represent that vessel.

What tool can I use to remove all 3D items encapsulated or covered by the outer 3D mesh?

Please ask for more clarification. Thank you.

  • 1
    What 3d program do you use?
    – LeoNas
    May 10, 2018 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


It would be helpful to see an image of the model, or the model file itself, but based on your description, you may discover that Meshmixer is a suitable tool for your purposes.

Meshmixer is a free program, a stand-alone download that has many features to match your requirements. Meshmixer allows import of OBJ files, meeting the first parameter.

A feature in Meshmixer allows you to create surface groups. This visually segments the model into colored areas of similar contour, especially valuable as you can easily determine cut-points for separation.

Once you've identified the separate surfaces, the Select feature allows you to indicate only those areas to be acted upon by additional features.

Separate Shells is another tool that allows you to indicate to Meshmixer that these recently selected surfaces are to be considered as separate entities.

From that point you can edit those surfaces/entities as you like, including deletion.

There is a video tutorial explaining how to separate meshes. It is directed at configuring a model to be printed in multiple colors/materials, but is appropriate for what you describe.

Meshmixer isn't particularly difficult to learn and just about any task you require is likely to have a matching tutorial and or video available on the 'net. selected surface image

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