How do I read in an obj file as a MeshRegion so I can e.g. compute its area?

If I just import the object and try Area[O] it tells me it is not a correctly specified region, even for e.g. the StanfordBunny.

Also, how do I turn Geometry3D into a MeshRegion? For example

Area[ExampleData[{"Geometry3D", "SpaceShuttle"}]]

does not work either.

It seems that geometry has more than one representation in different parts of Mathematica - bad.


1 Answer 1


Well, you have to first convert it to a MeshRegion. Let's take the space shuttle for example:

shuttle = ExampleData[{"Geometry3D", "SpaceShuttle"}]

Mathematica graphics

Now, we discretize it, since it's a Graphics3D object, we use DiscretizeGraphics:

ds = DiscretizeGraphics[shuttle]

Mathematica graphics

Now, we can find the Area easily:



Similarly for the horse:

horse = ExampleData[{"Geometry3D", "Horse"}]

Mathematica graphics

dh = DiscretizeGraphics[horse]

Mathematica graphics

We compute the surface area:



  • $\begingroup$ Does not always work. Area[DiscretizeGraphics[Import["somefile.obj"]]] still give a not correctly specified region error. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph
    Aug 18, 2014 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Retried it and it did work. Apologies. I must have typed something wrong. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph
    Aug 19, 2014 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ I have some cases where Mathematica computes the volume of a closed surface mesh as zero, even though FindMeshDefects doesn't find any defects and all the MeshCoordinates are points in 3D. I might formulate an MVE and another SE question, but this one seems very closely related. $\endgroup$
    – Reb.Cabin
    Jul 16, 2017 at 21:59

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