Recovering Legacy Products and Reverse Engineering, Simplified

New plug-in allows direct scanning into CAD.

Recovering design data for older products and products developed with obsolete CAD software is an ongoing challenge for most engineers. Often, a legacy product requires a minor revision, but the high level of effort required to redraw and remodel the part manually in current CAD tools requires significant effort and discourages updating the design.

3D Systems hopes to solve this problem by providing a method to scan an existing 3D part directly into SOLIDWORKS (SW), creating a complete model in minutes rather than hours to days. Geomagic imports 3D scan data directly into SW to allow users to easily create feature-based solid and surface data models. Drawings and models can be recreated by scanning the actual part, thus avoiding tedious and time-consuming manual re-entry of the design.

Integration directly into SW is a key feature of the Geomagic plug-in. Most other options require the scan data to be captured in a separate application and then imported, which requires users to rebuild CAD databases. Geomagic integrates directly into SW and seamlessly provides scanning capability within the software, allowing a solid object to be scanned and modeled in SW in minutes rather than hours.

In addition to offering higher speed and accuracy, Geomagic promises to improve user productivity further with added features such as direct scanning into the modeling tool, scan registration, smoothing and surface refining, and automated “Smart Selection” tools.

Automated extraction wizards reduce the learning curve and help create CAD sketches, surfaces and solid part models within the CAD tool. A wide range of scanners are supported, including scanners from FARO, Hexagon, Nikon, Creaform, Artec and 3D Systems.

Geomagic allows direct scanning of any part into SOLIDWORKS (Image courtesy of 3D Systems.)

Geomagic allows direct scanning of any part into SOLIDWORKS (Image courtesy of 3D Systems.)

A trial version of Geomagic is available to allow you to try before you buy. For more information on the Geomagic tool, check out the Geomagic website.