Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Interview with Tom Greaves, Chief Marketing Officer at DotProduct
April 9th, 2019 by Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal interviewed Tom Greaves, Chief Marketing Officer at DotProduct at the 2019 SOLIDWORKS World Conference in Dallas, Texas.
SG: Tell us about DotProduct?
TG: We're a small software company headquartered in Boston, and we make handheld 3D capture solutions. We make software that allows off-the-shelf 3D sensors and mobile computing devices, phones, and tablets, allows them to capture 3D data and serve it up in an engineering environment.
SG: Okay, and who uses your solutions?
TG: Our use cases are wide and varied. We have manufacturing customers, discrete manufacturing customers, automotive suppliers, oil and gas companies. We also serve the shipbuilding market, we have construction customers, and a little bit off to one side, but very important to us, is crime scene mapping, so we serve the public safety market. Yeah, so these are very widely varying use cases and a challenge for the marketing department.
SG: What is new at DotProduct?
TG: There are three things new this year. This is our newest handheld 3D capture solution, the DPI-8S, it uses a Samsung tablet. We make the housing, we sell the complete solution, the hardware, the software, and the sensor. We also have… This is an Intel RealSense 3D camera and our software works with this. In this case, we just sell the software that we've written, every line of code, and this works on phones and tablets. The third thing that we're here to talk about is our relationship with Kenesto too, so we can talk about that in just a minute or two.
SG:Tell us what level of accuracy do you get with 3D technology?
TG: We get asked this question a lot, and… the short answer is, the accuracy that we get is of order of a few millimeters. In some cases it can be half a millimeter, under very controlled circumstances. Our customers are trading off accuracy, speed of data capture, cost, and ease of use. Can this tool be used by an engineer, or does it require a specialist? We're in the engineer market, so you don't need to be a metrology expert to use our equipment.
SG: How do SolidWorks customers use your products?
TG: So typically, we capture the data, we capture a color point cloud and then the data is meshed, and meshing solutions range from free to very expensive. A couple that we like, one is 3DReshaper from Hexagon, another one is Pointfuse from the UK. We mesh the data and then a tessellated surface is imported into SolidWorks, and from there the engineer can model with that.
SG: Okay. And how do you partner with Kenesto?
TG: We're absolutely thrilled to be working with Kenesto. So our customers are managing multiple versions of data, they've got the CAD geometry, they've got the as-built or the as-captured state of the project. So our data goes into the Kenesto drive, it's saved there, it can be vaulted or… And what this allows our customers to do is share this data across their own enterprise and across their partner network. So, we're absolutely thrilled to have this engineering grade PDM solution for point cloud data, it's a hole in the market. Point cloud data has traditionally not been well-served with PDM solutions, and we think Kenesto's a really good option for our customers.
SG: How do police or other crime fighters use your technology?
TG: So it's very important to law enforcement to document a crime scene when it's very fresh. So the theory here is that you wanna capture the bad guys in the first 48 hours. If you don't do it in the first 48 hours, the probability that you're ever gonna catch 'em drops way off. So the first person at the scene, the detective, the investigating officer, the idea is that they capture the scene with their phone or their tablet device and then can share that with the other detectives, share it with headquarters. Later on, it can be shared with the district attorney. So the speed and ease of use and small data sizes, are really important to that market.
SG: What is the best way for people to find out more about DotProduct on the internet?
TG: The very best way is to go to our website dotproduct3d.com, and we've got a wealth of videos and support material for people who are new to our technology.