Out in Anaheim, show attendees at the Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show are getting a glimpse of Delcam’s PowerSHAPE Pro software for design, modeling for manufacture and reverse engineering. On top of the list of new functionality is the software’s ability to facilitate and speed up the process of re-engineering complex parts from scanned data. By offering functionality for both modeling and reverse engineering, the software reduces the need to transfer data between multiple programs, streamlining development processes.
New tools for re-engineering
The new automated tools for re-engineering make it easier and faster to segment a mesh of scanned data into primitive regions, such as planes, spheres, cones, cylinders and tori, as well as into revolved or extruded surfaces. Primitive surfaces or solids are then fitted automatically to those regions. The user has control over the fit tolerance used when creating the geometry and over the types of primitive to be identified.
For more complex geometry, or when finer control is needed, mesh segmentation can be carried out manually. The user simply chooses the region where the geometry is to be created and selects the primitive type to be used. PowerSHAPE Pro then creates the surface or solid to the specified tolerance. As each region is converted, it changes color, indicating to the user which areas of the model still require work.
Regions with complex, free-form geometry can now be replaced with a single surface. The target area can be selected with a set of easy-to-use options, while a single dialogue box gives control of the fit of the surface to the mesh. The same technique can be used for areas with large amounts of detail, such as logos or textures.
Once the main surfaces have been created–by automatic or manual methods–they can be trimmed together to form a single, closed solid automatically. Interactive controls allow dynamic adjustment over how the surfaces are trimmed to each other, while specific faces can be marked so that they are kept or deleted.
The software “gets smart” with Smart Feature Manager
The Smart Feature Manager allows users to identify all the features (fillets, slots, bosses, etc.) within a solid in a single operation, making the analysis of the imported data easier and faster. The Smart Feature Selector then allows multiple similar features to be found and selected, regardless of where they appear in the model’s history tree.
The software includes a set of filters that enable all the features that fulfil specific criteria to be identified within the model, making it easier for users to manage the feature tree. For example, the Smart Feature Selector can find all the holes having the same, specified diameter or those having radii between two values, or it can identify all the fillets with less than 2 mm radius. Similarly, if a single feature is identified, all similar features can be selected with a single click.
Once the particular group has been isolated, all the features within it can be suppressed or deleted simultaneously. Groups of features can also be placed on layers or colored so they can be recognized as a group within any of Delcam’s CAM programs, thus simplifying manufacturing.
This post just grazes the surface of all the new functionality in PowerSHAPE Pro 2014. For more, check out the company’s web site.
Filed Under: 3D CAD World