Load and Plot from a File


Load and Plot from a File#

Read a dataset from a known file type.

We try to make loading a mesh as easy as possible - if your data is in one of the many supported file formats, simply use pyvista.read() to load your spatially referenced dataset into a PyVista mesh object.

The following code block uses a built-in example file and displays an airplane mesh.

import pyvista as pv
from pyvista import examples

PyVista supports a wide variety of file formats. The supported file extensions are listed in an internal function:

The following code block uses a built-in example file, displays an airplane mesh and returns the camera’s position:

# Get a sample file
filename = examples.planefile

Note the above filename, it’s a .ply file - one of the many supported formats in PyVista.

Use pv.read to load the file as a mesh:

mesh = ...
cpos = mesh.plot()

The points from the mesh are directly accessible as a NumPy array:


The faces from the mesh are also directly accessible as a NumPy array:

mesh.faces.reshape(-1, 4)[:, 1:]  # triangular faces

Loading other files types is just as easy! Simply pass your file path to the pyvista.read() function and that’s it!

Here are a few other examples - simply replace examples.download_* in the examples below with pyvista.read('path/to/you/file.ext')

Example STL file:

mesh = examples.download_cad_model()
cpos = [(107.0, 68.5, 204.0), (128.0, 86.5, 223.5), (0.45, 0.36, -0.8)]

Example OBJ file

mesh = examples.download_doorman()

Example BYU file

mesh = examples.download_teapot()
mesh.plot(cpos=[-1, 2, -5], show_edges=True)

Example VTK file

mesh = examples.download_bunny_coarse()
cpos = [(0.2, 0.3, 0.9), (0, 0, 0), (0, 1, 0)]
mesh.plot(cpos=cpos, show_edges=True, color=True)


Read a file yourself with pyvista.read(). If you have a supported file format, use that! Otherwise, download this file: pyvista/pyvista-tutorial

# (your code here)
# mesh = pv.read('path/to/file.vtk)
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