Delcam will highlight the reverse engineering capabilities of its PowerSHAPE Pro CAD software at the RAPID 2012 exhibition to be held in Atlanta from May 22 to 25. The latest data repair and direct modeling functionality in PowerSHAPE Pro will also be demonstrated on booth 248.
The easy affordability has been achieved by combining the functionality from Delcam's CopyCAD reverse engineering package into PowerSHAPE Pro. This extended range of functionality is ideal both for the creation of CAD models from all types of digitized scan data, and for the re-engineering of existing products into improved or customized designs. The complete package is priced at about one third of the cost of current reverse engineering systems with similar functionality.
PowerSHAPE Pro is still the only CAD software to offer "Tribrid Modeling"; the addition of triangle modeling to the combination of surface and solid modeling that is offered in many other CAD packages as "hybrid modeling". Having all the different modeling techniques in a single package reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs and so streamlines the whole product development process. The extended range of functionality, such as the ability to undertake Boolean operations between triangle meshes and solids or surfaces, makes PowerSHAPE Pro ideal for the re-engineering of existing products into improved designs or for creating specialized products, for individual patients in the healthcare industry, for example.
With Tribrid Modelling, PowerSHAPE Pro offers a flexible and pragmatic approach that allows the design intent to be captured from the physical model rather than simply producing a duplicate digital representation. This is particularly important when generating models from items that might be worn or damaged, and in cases where the quality of the initial data is less than perfect. Three techniques can be used to convert the scan data into the CAD model, based on key points, surface patches or surface sketching.
The first technique is most suitable when creating simple geometric entities. PowerSHAPE Pro can use the positions of key points to create arcs and lines, and then convert them into the full range of prismatic solids. This approach will usually be much quicker than methods based on a complete scan of the object. To produce simpler geometry, for example, surfaces that are perfectly flat or cylinders that are perfectly round, might otherwise require considerable editing of the triangle file to compensate for any defects in the physical part or any errors in the scan data collected.
For more complex shapes, PowerSHAPE Pro now contains all the sculpting and model repair tools previously available only in CopyCAD to edit triangle files. These tools allow uneven surfaces to be smoothed out, gaps in the data to be filled, and extra points to be added in areas where only sparse data has been collected.
The edited triangle data can then be converted into the component features. The user has total control over the way the complete data set is divided into the various elements. Each area can then be converted into CAD data by generating a network of curves and then projecting it onto the mesh of triangles. A single surface is generated within the complete set of curves, using PowerSHAPE's unique Smart Surfacing functionality to analyze the curves and determine automatically the most appropriate way to create the surface. If the user is unhappy with the automatic selection, or is simply curious to see other options, he can scroll through the alternative solutions.
The third approach allows the user to sketch onto the surface of a triangle file and use the resulting lines to create the geometry. This can be done by rotating or extruding a single line to create a surface, or by sketching two or more cross-sections and then flowing a surface between them. The solid model can then be completed with the wide range of filleting and blending options within PowerSHAPE Pro. These allow the creation of consistent, smooth fillets and blends, rather than the sets of complex, free-form patches, often with inconsistent radii, that would be produced from the scan data in a conventional reverse engineering system.