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Editor’s Pick: InnovMetric Adds Play Inspection Tool to PolyWorks

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

If you’re long in the tooth, you might recall your first fax. It resembled an old guy’s tattoo: an amorphous blob of wrinkly ink with a somewhat comprehensible image. If you’re less chronologically advanced, you might remember your first scanning results: a billow of points, a lot of noise, and a somewhat discernible outline of what you scanned in. The tools to make sense out of those point clouds of yore were crude and primarily concerned with deleting noise then slapping on some skin so that you had an intelligible shape. My, oh my have things changed.

InnovMetric Software recently released version 12.1 of its PolyWorks high-density 3D metrology software system. PolyWorks is a universal point-cloud measurement, analysis, and modeling platform. Universal means comprehensive and that it works with most all major makes of point-cloud digitizers, scanners, and contact probing devices. PolyWorks is both a foundation and a suite of industry-specific solutions for such markets as automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, energy, and metalworking. It’s more than capable of handling the expected range of jobs like inspection and reverse engineering. But it’s also capable of creating meshes of digitized parts for finite element analyses, and there are modules tailored for things like fixtures and jigs, as well as airfoil gauging. In short, PolyWorks seems to embrace the full range of engineering metrology.

A new Play Inspection tool is the highlight of the PolyWorks 12.1 release. It complements the software’s Play Extraction tool and automatic project update capabilities, which let you directly measure and inspect a new piece from an existing inspection project without recording operations, programming, or scripting. What the Play Inspection tool does is automatically build a guided, real-time step-by-step sequence to capture 3D datasets of a new piece. The tool, which maintains synchronization between the sequence and your project, also lets you manage digitizers and probing devices as an integrated workflow.

Sounds nice. But then the Play Inspection tool can also suggest a logical order of measurement based on device positions, data alignments, object tree view sequence, and geometric constraints. It can also trigger the correct measurement method for each object and manage multiple device positions. In short, what this all means to you is that PolyWorks provides a re-measurement capability that saves you time and effort as well as manages your workflows. Oh, and it lets you modify your project whenever you need to. Sounds really nice.

You can learn more about PolyWorks 12.1 from the link over there. But what you really should do is go to the InnovMetric website. Then, look for the “Solutions” link on the left-hand side. Click on any discipline that interests you, such as dimensional control, point-cloud engineering, or polygonal manufacturing. The links offer you a quartet of brief videos showing you what PolyWorks can do in those engineering areas. Some of the videos are simply amazing.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.