April 20, 2016
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
The inventiveness of engineers delivers products that empower the creativity and inventiveness of professionals ranging from surgeons to backhoe operators to scientists and chefs. But the trick for any manufacturing organization is empowering engineers with the tools that enable creativity and inventiveness to flourish. Today’s Pick of the Week seems to fit that bill.3D Systems recently released version 2016 of its Geomagic Freeform line of design and digital sculpting software. They like to say that it picks up where traditional CAD software stops since it provides the flexibility of different modeling paradigms such as surfaces, solids, mesh, SubDs and clay. That’s techie talk meaning that it’s a toolset for enabling the what-iffing of inventiveness. It can help you create designs that you can 3D print or manufacture traditionally and that stand out from your competitors and engage your end users. But that’s just a part of it.
The hasty brief is that Geomagic Freeform is for free-form 3D design. It combines functionality for sculpting, surfacing, design intent modeling, 3D scan processing and CAD interoperability. It includes a haptic device so that you can feel your digital “clay” as you sculpt, detail and deform models into the shapes you’re after.
It comes in two flavors: Geomagic Freeform and Geomagic Freeform Plus. The former provides the comprehensive design and sculpting toolset. Geomagic Freeform Plus builds off these tools for advanced manufacturing design. It has features like automatic conversion of digital clay and polygons to NURBS surfaces, mold and die design, shelling, draft analysis, parting line and surface creation tools for complex organic shapes.
Geomagic Freeform 2016 sees improved 3D CAD and direct scan data input functionality and a number of features to enhance 3D printing, including tools to fix low-grade 3D data for 3D printing, manufacturing or file format exports.
A key new feature, the StructureFX toolset provides 3D lattice and structure tools. With it, you can select an existing pattern or create custom complex, internal and external lattice structures for lightweight designs. You can see how StructureFX works as part of a short video linked at the end of today’s main write-up. It looks pretty easy to use, fast and neat.
Hit today’s Pick of the Week link to learn more about the Geomagic Freeform line of software. Make sure to watch the on-demand webinar. It’s an excellent example of how someone creative and inventive put this software to good use.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering