Materialise Announces Rapid Shell Modeling 4.0

Materialise pre-announces next generation of automated hearing aid design software
RSM 4.0 to be released in April 2006

Materialise, leading developer of software solutions for the rapid prototyping and manufacturing industry, announces the pending release of the 4th generation of its Rapid Shell Modeling (RSM) software. With the new release Materialise is taking this innovative software for the automated design of hearing aid shells to the next level. This latest version takes in major enhancements to the user interface and introduces comprehensive binaural modeling. Materialise has updated and extended its functionality for In The Ear (ITE) modeling. The key innovation however is the possibility to design earmolds. Scheduled for release early April, RSM version 4 is expected to greatly advance its ease-of-use and to significantly speed up the design process for hearing aid shells.

The new Earmold module expands the software’s application scope to Behind The Ear (BTE) hearing aids and the hearing protection market. This way Materialise completes its product offering, meeting the growing demand for affordable earmold design software. Similar to RSM’s ITE shell design, the Earmold module offers the operator complete design freedom through its variety of modeling tools. The software’s wizard structure guides the operator step-by step and design automation is provided through parameterization.

Martin Roth, Phonak AG, who has been closely involved in the development of RSM 4 comments: “Thanks to the enhancements to the graphical user interface, RSM has not only become more attractive but also particularly user-intuitive, allowing for even more efficient ways of operating. Using the advanced binaural modeling technology you can quickly design the left and right device simultaneously. As the majority of our work orders are binaural projects, we expect to save a lot of time because of this improved technology.”

Highlights of RSM 4.0 are
        Renewed, clearly organized user interface increasing ease-of-use and efficiency
        Spaceball View Manipulation support, allowing for a simultaneous manipulation of the shell and positioning of the electronics
        Binaural modeling dramatically increases design speed by applying all operations on both the left and right ear shell simultaneously, guaranteeing an optimal symmetry
        The new Earmold module enables sophisticated modeling of earmolds
        “Align&Compare” includes new functionality supporting various verification and quality control tasks.

In the next weeks, RSM 4 will go through an extensive Beta testing period by Materialise and its partners. Its release is scheduled for early April.

About RSM software
RSM software reads a 3D scan of the ear impression and guides the operators step-by-step through the entire shell design process. The result is a geometry that can be read directly by a rapid prototyping machine. Throughout the process, RSM’s intelligent design automation tools and ear-anatomy recognition capabilities make the life of the operator as easy as possible. The visualization and device-type-aware, automated placement of the different electronic components guarantee an optimal design.

A single hearing aid shell can be detailed and modeled in a few minutes and the left and right shells can be produced simultaneously. After modeling these shells, the geometries and the steps taken to produce them are archived automatically, supporting the production of remakes and replacement devices. An open database interface (Order Management Module) offers the option to integrate RSM smoothly into the scanning infrastructure and existing ERP and/or ordering systems.

Since the start of the RSM project in 2001, Materialise collaborates closely with Phonak. Toni Schrofner, Executive Vice President Operations & Supply Chain, Phonak Group states: "RSM is the most powerful and flexible shell modeling tool in the market. We are very happy and satisfied with the quality and reliability of the RSM software."

The project represents over 30 man-years of research and development. With more then 1.5 million shells already produced the software is proving to be a winner. Several hearing aid manufacturers are successfully building hearing aid shells directly from designs produced by RSM in their various production sites worldwide.

About Materialise
Materialise started out in 1990 as a rapid prototyping service bureau. Since then, it has grown to become one of the leaders in software development for rapid prototyping and manufacturing processes. Materialise software equips customers to accomplish their most challenging tasks with ease. The software can be summed up this way: integrated solutions whose key element is design automation, and whose goal is to offer a competitive advantage by driving efficiency and cutting costs. The company has development, sales and training offices all over the world. Its software development team is the largest in the market.

Contact Geert Van Goethem for more information:
E-mail: Email Contact
Phone: +32 16 39 66 46

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