New Orleans —Ping Fu sees a future of mass customization, where a customer could browse through motorcycle parts on a web site and assemble her dream bike, piece by piece.
But who has time to create precise CAD models of the hundreds of parts that would be necessary for such an application? Fu says her company's newest release, Geomagic Studio version 3.0, solves this challenge through 3D photography.
"3D photography captures color, texture, and shape," says Fu, CTO of Raindrop Geomagic (Research Triangle Park, NC). The new tool is designed for applications in manufacturing, engineering, design, and new media. Users take the output from 3D scanners, and transform the data into useable models that can each be used to create multiple outputs.
In one application, Harley-Davidson is using the Studio 3.0 to create a digital inventory of legacy motorcycle parts from the original physical parts. The company saves an enormous amount of time doing it this way instead of from traditional CAD modeling, Fu says. The technology is also popular with users who need to translate organic, aesthetic shapes—such as hearing aides—into CAD.