Once tolerances are checked using XOV, a “live transfer” can export the design trees to SolidWorks, Siemens NX Unigraphics (U-G), Creo Elements Pro (Pro-E), Inventor, AutoCAD, CATIA, and other programs compatible with Rapidform’s Parasolid CAD kernel.
This method is used by a wide range of manufacturers including Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, Hitachi, Panasonic, Oakley, Samsung, and Sony. But universities and other organizations use the software, as well.
The researchers that discovered and studied ancient drawings made on the walls of caves in Altamira, Spain, have used Rapidform in order to reproduce it and share it with humanity. After a section of a cave broke off, the team decided to perform a 3D scan of the drawings and carvings. It was able to reproduce the ancient artworks using XOR, and after careful inspection by the researchers, a CNC machine carved the drawings onto foam. Finally, they fit the pieces together and produced a complete artificial cave safe for visitors.
The Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Denmark uses the software to produce ultra-high-quality physical models needed to perform aerodynamic testing in wind tunnels and out on the field, but it also produces virtual models to test using computational fluid dynamic simulation software.
The program is still improving to save mouse clicks and time with updates like XOR3 SP1. This tool will continue to expand into many other fields as 3D scanning improves and people become more familiar with what the Rapidform process entails. I, for one, would love to see modeling of biological systems or structures too intricate for engineers to design.
Is this a tool every engineer needs to have under his belt to stay competitive in the modern manufacturing industry? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Cabe--Great article. I have spent hour upon hour measuring dimensions from actual part configurations to produce drawings. Early in my career, I was a team member given the task of reproducing drawings after a fire that destroyed much of the data base for many of the products manufactured by our company. Back in those days everything was "paper", no CAD, etc etc. We, of course, did have copies but many of those were unreliable for various reasons. This project took the better part of six months and was a painstaking process. I will say one thing, as a "rookie" engineer, I certainly did get the feel for the products we were manufacturing and that greatly aided my efforts in understanding design processes and reasons for certain features. We certainly could have used the software from Rapidform 3D at that time.
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