15 December 2014

Mesh to Solid in Geomagic Design, New Update

CADDIT announces the availability of a new update for Geomagic Design with enhanced mesh to solid functionality and other enhancements. Geomagic Design is a complete but affordable 2D/3D CAD system for mechanical design similar to SolidWorks and Inventor, and  available through the CADDIT.net website in Australia since 2009. Version 16 recently added milestone mesh import and conversion functionality to the already large set of design tools including parametric and direct solid modelling, assembly and sheet metal design, BOM and 2D drafting along with a large collection of third party applications for motion simulation, rendering and CNC machining.

When Geomagic Design 16.0 was first announced, milestone features allowing users to convert mesh triangle models (such as from 3D scanners and printers) into useable CAD models was introduced. This means that we can read a file of discrete triangles such as in STL, OBJ or 3DS and convert these into true NURBS based solids for export as IGES, STEP or SolidWorks CAD models using a proprietary "auto-surfacing" technology. Geomagic Design 16.0.2, recently released, adds Boolean to Mesh, trim solid to 3D mesh, and the ability to "snap" to mesh edges in Sketch mode. This provides the mechanical CAD designer with a true hybrid modelling environment unique to Geomagic Design. The following table summarizes these powerful new capabilities.

Scan to CAD - scan directly into Geomagci Design using Sense Scanner
Scan to CAD - users can now attach a low-cost Sense scanner directly into Geomagic Design and begin importing 3D scan data without any need for conversion. Simply click "Launch Sense Scanner" from the main menu. The resulting 3D scanner information will be added to the parametric model history tree as "Mesh" type entities.

Convert to Solid - Mesh entities do not need to remain mesh entities anymore. Reverse engineering time is now greatly reduced with the ability to change a mesh into a solid model with just a few mouse clicks. This functionality was originally discussed in the v16 announcement here: http://cadcam3d.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/geomagic-design-3d-cad.html

This works for both mechanical or organic type mesh models. The results of this conversion process for a sample freeform surface model are shown here to the right.

Boolean to Mesh - Solid model Boolean operations are among the oldest in the direct modelling toolbox of CAD software. Shapes are changed by "adding" or "subtracting" the volume or one solid to another. Geomagic Design extends this functionality by allowing users to specify a mesh as the Boolean tool. Solids may also now be trimmed or cut against an imported or scanned mesh entity as shown below.

Version 16.0.2 also introduced the ability to "snap" to a point on a mesh while in the part sketch mode. The To-Next termination condition type for the Extrude Boss and Extrude Cut operations also now supports the selection of a surface or a mesh. Imported meshes can also now be precisely re-located and oriented against the existing model space using the new Locate Mesh function.

Geomagic Design 16.0.2 reveals the forward vision of Geomagic Design as a true parametric hybrid, capable of using both NURBS solids and triangle mesh models together in the mechanical design process. For a free trial of the new version of Geomagic Design visit the CADDIT website at this link:

27 November 2014

progeCAD Center 2014: The Toolbox You Didn't know You Had

https://www.caddit.net/progecad/progecad.phpprogeCAD is a low-cost CAD alternative for creating, editing and plotting native AutoCAD DWG files without buying AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT. Since the release of progeCAD 2013, every installation is accompanied with a toolbox called progeCAD Center. progeCAD center is also available for use during the free trial period of the software. progeCAD Center can be started from the START menu icon within the progeCAD Start Folder, or from the icon on the Desktop menu in Windows 8.1 (shown right).

Once started, there are several categories which appear in the toolbox. For progeCAD 2014 these are: Launch progeCAD, Register progeCAD, Online Support, Help / Video, Settings, Utility, Support Tools. We will review each of these as used in progeCAD 2014 professional.

  • Launch progeCAD: This CLOSES progeCAD Center and starts the progeCAD Software program.
  • Register progeCAD: When you buy a progeCAD license or install a new progeCAD Network client, use this option to activate the license code.
  • Online Support: A webpage to the contact us page for support questions is opened. progeCAD Center remains active.
  • Help / Video: Launches the progeCAD Searchable Help files, either for users or programmers. Video Tutorials open a webpage with a list of online video lessons for CAD beginners.
  • Settings: Turn graphics acceleration on or off (recommend ON), Repair (use this first if progeCAD stops running as a result of the user environment somehow becoming corrupt), Toggle Automatic Updates On or OFF (recommend ON), User support folder - direct access to progeCAD support files for templates, hatches etc.
  • Support Tools: Rescue, Troubleshooter and Dumper are all functions used when in contact with the progeCAD development team for remote access and analysis of problems that a user may be having specific to their installation of progeCAD. progeCAD Extras opens a webpage with a few extra downloads, including the VBA toolkit for progeCAD 2013 and 2014, as well as updated USB dongle drivers for mobile USB licenses.
These tools can become very useful in different situations. For example, a long running progeCAD installation may on occasion suddenly begin to crash on startup. This has to do with some way progeCAD was adjusted or reconfigured during a previous session and now the environment is corrupt. Simply using the Repair function under Settings often resolves the issue immediately.

For more information about progeCAD as a low-cost AutoCAD solution, contact CADDIT or visit the website HERE.

18 November 2014

AutoCAD Tables in progeCAD 2014 - Create and Edit

A new feature in progeCAD 2014 is comprehensive support for the AutoCAD data "table" entity set which was first introduced in AutoCAD 2005 version but improved in 2008. The data table is supported in both the full version of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, although the LT version does not support entity data extraction feature. It was also discussed for earlier versions of progeCAD, but had to wait for the milestone 2013 DRX-based release before it could be implemented. In a further step in AutoCAD compatibility, progeCAD 2014 can now both create new data tables and edit existing data tables from AutoCAD DWG files.

To create a new, empty data table in progeCAD, simply click either the Table icon in the Draw toolbar
, OR select "Draw" -> "Table" form the progeCAD menu. The following familiar dialogue box will appear:

Simply specify the desired number or rows and columns, pick a size for these and set the cell styles. For now we will leave the Insert options as "Start from empty table". Then you can locate the new data table either by a single point, or cross-corner and allow the cell sizes to emerge as a calculated value. Once the table is inserted into your drawing, you can begin entering data, such as naming the headers or inserting values. This is done simply by double-clicking into one of the cells much like we would in Excel. This highlights the selected cell in red and opens up the cell's entry box:

Note that from here we can easily control many aspects of the individual data cell, like background colour, text height and much more. Text itself can be entered directly here, or formatted in the MTEXT window which can be called up by clicking the "Double AA" icon to the right of the text field.

progeCAD tables also support entity data extraction to a new table, something only supported in the full version of AutoCAD and not in AutoCAD LT. To do this we select the "from object in the drawing" insert option instead. Afterwards we are prompted to select the entities from which we want to extract the data and a template as well, if desired.

progeCAD 2014 also supports an insert from CSV file option as well.

progeCAD is a popular AutoCAD alternative in Australia because of it's low cost, local support and large community of users. For more information on progeCAD 2014 or for a free, no-obligation trial version to test for yourself, visit the progeCAD Australia webpage or contact us at our Parramatta training office.

28 October 2014

Geomagic Freeform Released on CADDIT.net; New 2014 Version Offers Mouse Input, More..

Sydney, Australia 28 October 2014 - After several years of successful partnership with 3D Systems in Australia and users of their affordable Geomagic Design mechanical design software, CADDIT Australia has released Geomagic FREEFORM - a highly advanced organic CAD modelling and digital sculpting solution. Sensable Freeform was acquired by 3D Systems in April 2012 and is now a key component of the Geomagic software platform. Geomagic Freeform offers several unique features useful for artistic / organic computer aided design and digital sculpting:
  • 21st century cutting-edge, virtual-reality artist's studio software
  • Direct, natural carving and shaping technique like that used in traditional clay sculpting.
  • Virtual "clay" using relative-placement point cloud datasets of 3D pixels (called "voxels").
  • Human interaction with the computer model using "haptic" articulating arm device providing physical tactile "touch" sensation with the computer model.
  • Edit / clean / analyse / export CAD mesh datasets such as STL or OBJ.
  • Unique Bi-direction NURBS-mesh and mesh-NURBS conversion
  • Open C++ toolkit for development of custom haptic applications.
Geomagic Freeform is not a mechanical design software in the traditional sense. Aptly named, Freeform is mainly an artistic tool for digital sculpting, reverse engineering and content creation. Examples of uses for Geomagic Freeform are in the areas of fine art, toys and merchandise design, jewellery, footwear and apparel design, aftermarket product customizations, 3D printing, movie entertainment and animation content and model development, historical and restoration work, dental, medical and rehabilitation organic fittings and frames... virtually any application where design needs to fit natural freeform shapes as opposed to a more rigid mechanical specification.

The new version of Geomagic Freeform was first shown in June 2014 with 3D Systems and CADDIT at NMW in Sydney, with successive demonstrations held at various industry events. CADDIT is now happy to announce the availability of free brief demonstration bookings, by appointment, for this new haptic technology locally at their new Parramatta office location. Freeform can also be downloaded for a free trial from CADDIT and the software will now work with just a mouse (although having the haptic device is still strongly advised).