We invented the concept of software to create parametric solid models from 3D scan data.

So it’s no surprise that an independent study funded by the U.S. Air Force found that “[Geomagic Design X] is the only viable choice for parametric solid modeling” from 3D scans.

The study, conducted by Professor Kuang-Hua Chang of the University of Oklahoma, took three months and compared Geomagic Design X with both dedicated reverse engineering software and mainstream CAD software. Dr. Chang and his students surveyed the landscape of software available for converting 3D scans into parametric solid models usable in CAD and evaluated and tested the front runners using practical examples.

The results were published in a paper in August 2011 in the journal CAD and Applications, an independent, international peer-reviewed technical journal dedicated to the applications of computer-aided design and manufacturing.

Study Highlights

On the need for parametric solids-based reverse engineering:

NURBS surface models converted from point clouds have made tremendous contributions to wide range of engineering applications. However, these models contain only surface patches without the additional semantics and topology inherent in feature-based parametric representation. Therefore, they are not suitable for design changes, feature-based NC toolpath generations, and technical data package preparation. Part re-engineering that involves design changes also requires parametric solid models.

The study explains that specialized reverse engineering software is superior to mainstream CAD:

The most useful and advanced shape engineering capabilities are offered in specialized, non-CAD software, such as Geomagic, that are intended to support reverse engineering. Some CAD packages, such as SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, and CATIA, offer limited capabilities for shape engineering. In general, capabilities offered in CAD are labor intensive and inferior to specialized codes while dealing with shape engineering.

Geomagic Design X’s superiority in solid modeling:

Geomagic Design X is superior in support of solid modeling (in addition to excellent auto-surfacing) that goes beyond primitive surface fitting. Geomagic Design X offers convenient sketching capabilities that support feature-based modeling. As a result, it often requires less effort yet yielding a much better solid model by interactively recovering solid features embedded in the segmented regions.
Geomagic Design X offers much better capabilities than [Geomagic Studio] for parametric solid modeling. Excellent CAD-like capabilities, including feature tree, are available to the users. These capabilities allow users to create solid models and make design changes directly in Geomagic Design X.

Conclusion of the study:

Geomagic Design X is the only viable choice for parametric solid modeling in support of 3D shape engineering and design parameterization. Geomagic Design X offers CAD-like capabilities for creating solid features, feature tree for allowing roll back for feature editing, and excellent sketching functions. In addition, the LiveTransfer module offers model exporting to mainstream CAD systems almost seamlessly.

This study offers an unbiased, expert opinion that confirms Geomagic Design X is the only viable choice for creating parametric CAD models from 3D scans.

3D Systems had no knowledge of the study or its outcome until it was published in the CAD and Applications journal.

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