Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
A couple of weeks ago, Geomagic announced a new version of its Geomagic Studio, its software for creating 3D digital models and surfaces out of scanned data. Geomagic has been pushing the envelope on what you can do with scanned data for quite some time now, and version 11 is yet more proof of that.
Geomagic Studio 11 has a lot of enhancements intended to compress design cycles—things like a new tangent hole capability that helps you fill in complex, missing data in your scan data. Also new are interactive polygon sculpting tools for editing and reshaping models in early design stages, as well as curvature-sensitive smoothing, which is said to increase polygon mesh quality by polishing noisy data in flatter areas while preserving highly curved areas and details. Version 11 also introduces you to the Mesh Doctor, which automatically detects and corrects errors in a polygon mesh. I suspect that we're just getting to know the Doctor, so keep your eye on it in future releases.
But what you really should eyeball in Geomagic Studio 11 is its new parametric exchange functionality. Let's stop here a second. The first thing to keep in mind is that Geomagic Studio lets you extrapolate design intent as well as create optimized CAD surfaces from your scanned data. Now, after you're done using Geomagic Studio to, for example, optimize a swept or freeform surface, fix meshes, and fill in holes, you then use its parametric exchange capability to convert and export your Geomagic model to native Inventor, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, or SolidWorks CAD geometry.
Talk about compressing the process. What this means is that after you finish repairing and making your point clouds polygons then surfaces, you don't have to convert it to STEP or IGES for export into your CAD system, where you get to fuss with so-called dumb shapes before you get down to serious modeling. Better yet, you no longer have to export several, say, IGES, files and then match them up in SolidWorks manually. Now, how much time would that save you? My guess is a lot more than a lot.
One more thought on this. Geomagic says that the parametric exchange capability is “currently” available for the MCAD platforms I mentioned above. Like Mesh Doctor, I suspect that we'll hear more about Geomagic Studio's parametric exchange abilities over time.
Geomagic has emerged over the years as a developer of gold-standard applications for reverse engineering, product design, digital archiving, medical reconstruction, and rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Its software is found at places like NASA and Harley-Davidson as well as a ton more outfits in that nebulous “small” as in “small to mid-sized business” market than you might imagine. The company just seems to understand what you want in software to cope with scanned data—powerful tools to whip that scanned data into optimal shape so that you can use your MCAD system to work with it efficiently. Geomagic Studio 11 does all that and more. Which is one reason why I recommend that you sign up for a trial version of Geomagic Studio 11 from the link in today's Pick of the Week write-up (there are registration-free videos as well).
Thanks, pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony . Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine
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