SensAble Showcases Innovative Workflows for Complex Product Design and Manufacturing Using FreeForm 3D Modeling

Customers Take Complex Products to Market 50% Faster By Streamlining Design for Manufacturability, Eliminating Time-Consuming Processes and More

WOBURN, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 10, 2010 — At the PDx/amerimold show, SensAble Technologies, Inc®, the leading provider of organic 3D modeling solutions and haptic devices, is showcasing innovative workflows developed in partnership with its customers for creating complex products in dramatically reduced time using its FreeForm® 3D modeling solution. With today’s rapid pace of product development, firms must either reduce inefficiencies in the total design-to-manufacturing process or face competitive extinction. FreeForm has helped companies in many industries take complex products to market at least 50% faster, while letting product designers strike the perfect balance between aesthetics and manufacturability.

"FreeForm's design analysis tools allow artists who have never thought about the technical aspects of plastic injection molding to competently prepare 3D models for manufacturing with incredible speed," said George Sivy, North American representative for Ghost Studio, a China-based toy manufacturer. "It gives the artist unprecedented control in maintaining the integrity of his design throughout the manufacturing process, as well as a huge cost benefit in time saved. With FreeForm, we reduced the time to deliver a plastic figurine set to market by at least 50%."

Used by industry leaders including Stanley Black & Decker, Gillette, Hallmark, and Mattel/Fisher Price, FreeForm is a fast, flexible 3D modeling system for many stages of the product lifecycle – from concept and product design, to scan cleanup and production. Its intuitive, touch-enabled interface allows designers to work quickly – actually ‘feeling’ the on-screen model as they sculpt and carve digital clay. Once a digital design is done, FreeForm capabilities such as draft analysis/repair tools and the ability to create complex parting surfaces ensure efficient downstream manufacturing.

Innovative workflows on display in SensAble’s booth 447 at PDx/amerimold this week include:

1) Design-to-Tooling – allows users to design a 3D model for even the most complex, organic and sculptural shaped products, then easily identify and fix undercuts and set pull directions, and then export an industry-standard STL file to create the tooling. As used by Ghost Studio and others, FreeForm’s analysis and prep-for-manufacturing tools save time and money by enabling modelers to detect and interactively remedy design-to-manufacturing issues early in the product life cycle, while maintaining their original design intent.

2) No-Fail Sculpt and Refit – for adding intricate sculptural details or textures to CAD parts while eliminating “stitching failure” – a possibility in any CAD system when users cut and stitch parts together. FreeForm’s unique ‘Sculpt and Re-fit’ workflow maintains the integrity of the original CAD data and eliminates both the cutting and stitching processes – making it fast, reliable, and accurate. Using this workflow, designers can marry ornamental textures and artistic sculptural details with parametric CAD parts, worry-free.

3) Automated Ring Patch – dramatically reduces tedious and time-consuming manufacturing prep work, especially for family molds. FreeForm automates the creation of the series or “ring” of patches needed to transition between the 3D parting line on the mold cavity and the 2D parting surface of the mold block. Users can interactively adjust individual curves and all patches within the ring will update automatically. Safe-guard tools such as the ability to lock the parting line curve maintain accuracy.

“The digital workflows we are demonstrating show the unlimited design and manufacturing flexibility that FreeForm Modeling Systems provide our customers,” said Joan Lockhart, vice president of marketing. “Designers don’t have to be constrained by the geometry of parametric modelers or worried about downstream modifications to their designs. With FreeForm, they can design what they want, easily check for manufacturability, combine sculptural details with mechanical parts, optimize for tooling and ensure that consumers get great designs – with less cost and in record time.”

For more information on the full line of FreeForm Modeling products, call SensAble at +1-781-939-7457.

About SensAble Technologies

Founded in 1993, SensAble Technologies is the leading developer of 3D touch-enabled (force feedback) solutions and technology that allow users to not only see and hear an on-screen computer application, but to actually “feel” it. With 41 patents granted and over 7,000 systems installed worldwide, SensAble Technologies' haptic technology is being used in applications ranging from designing toys and footwear, to surgical simulation and stroke rehabilitation, to dental restorations, as well as a range of research and robotic applications. The company markets its own 3D modeling solutions as well as its haptic devices and developer toolkits to medical, dental, design, and manufacturing companies; educational and research institutions; and OEMs. SensAble products are available through direct and reseller channels worldwide.

SensAble, and SensAble Technologies, Inc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of SensAble Technologies, Inc. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective holders.

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