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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

Geomagic Spark: 3D Scan-to-CAD

 
December 20th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

We have seen a lot of interesting things happen in the MCAD industry this year – everything from acquisitions to new products. One of the things that I’ll remember this year for is an especially innovative product that was announced this month and will be introduced in January – Geomagic Spark.

Geomagic Spark enters a competitive market, but as unique 3D software that combines a live 3D scanning interface, 3D point and mesh editing capabilities, modeling design, assembly modeling, and 2D drawing creation in one comprehensive application. While traditional CAD packages have modeling capabilities, (with few exceptions) they lack the tools to process 3D scan data into usable 3D for modeling. Geomagic Spark, however, incorporates 3D scan data functionality, integrating Geomagic’s scanning technology with direct modeling capabilities, using the SpaceClaim platform. With this combination, you can create accurate, manufacturable solid model parts and assemblies using combined scan and CAD data in the same application. Partial scan data also can be used for creating models.

Geomagic Spark is well-suited for engineers and manufacturers that design in 3D from existing objects or those that need to finish or modify scanned parts.

Geomagic Spark can handle scan and mesh data from both parts and assemblies

Geomagic Spark is the result of a collaborative effort between Geomagic and SpaceClaim, a company known for its 3D direct modeling capabilities. The companies’ partnership began when Geomagic introduced its initial SpaceClaim integration in the 2012 release of Geomagic Studio. Based on user feedback, both realized that a fully integrated application was viable and could change the landscape of designing directly from 3D scans. This resulted in the creation of Geomagic Spark.

“Geomagic Spark, in a single application, introduces a whole new paradigm for the capture/modify/make process. It can be used by CAD professionals but, more importantly, by the millions of manufacturing engineers who are not CAD experts,” said Tom Kurke, president and COO, Geomagic. “The high level of support, technical expertise and the quality API from SpaceClaim allowed Geomagic Spark to come to market quickly.”

Geomagic Spark’s integrated package includes point cloud, mesh, and CAD modeling in the same user interface. You can scan directly into Geomagic Spark or load an existing point cloud or polygon mesh. From there you can choose from the range of automated tools used to convert and edit data into a polygon mesh: sampling, noise reduction, wrap, mesh simplification, etc. Geomagic Spark’s solid modeling tools simplify the process of creating solid geometry from the mesh, with curve, surface, and solid extraction. Once a solid model is created, you can compare the solid model to the mesh upon which it is based, identifying areas of deviation. 2D drawings with annotations and dimensions are available and can be created interactively with the 3D data. This combination of 3D data processing and CAD functionality promotes process efficiency in reverse engineering, production-focused manufacturing, prototyping, concept modeling and creation, documentation, and production.

Geomagic Spark makes scanning and designing in 3D a more straightforward process. With SpaceClaim’s direct modeling you can interact with models without the complexities and limitations of a multi-level feature tree.

Geomagic Spark follows the typical Geomagic workflow logic, starting with Spark and transitioning over to SpaceClaim in a seamless process under the same UI.

Some of the features in Geomagic Spark include:

  • Direct scanning into Geomagic Spark using hardware plug-ins for Faro, Hexagon and Creaform (others to be announced)
  • Point cloud editing – Deletion, sampling, noise reduction, etc.
  • Native CAD format import via add-ins from SpaceClaim
  • Mesh editing – Deletion, hole filling, trim and repair
  • Intelligent selection tools
  • Accurate extraction of surfaces, solids and sketches from the mesh
  • Push/pull geometry modification tools
  • Sketching and solid modeling capability
  • Mesh-to-solid deviation analysis
  • 2D drawing creation
  • 3D PDF generation
  • Assembly creation, manipulation and editing
  • Compatible with a powerful collection of third-party add-ins for SpaceClaim (e.g., photorealistic visualization, PDM, analysis and CAM)
  • Interoperable with a range of CAD and PLM tools in addition to neutral file formats (IGES, STEP, OBJ, ACIS, and PDF)

According to Evan Fader, Geomagic regional manager, Geomagic Spark was not created to replace other Geomagic products, such as Qualify and Studio, but rather, to complement them. In a nutshell, Spark is intended to quickly reverse engineer and model parts and assemblies. Beyond availability as a standalone product, Geomagic Spark also will be available as part of Geomagic’s new Enterprise Bundle, which will also include Geomagic Studio and Geomagic Qualify.

When it hits the market early next year on January 28, 2013, the price for Geomagic Spark will be $9,900, plus $1,800 maintenance.

I’m on the list for a software trial when Geomagic Spark is released next month. Based just on a brief Web demo, this is one I’m looking forward to because it could really be a game changer for directly converting scanned data into 3D models.

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