THE latest release of Delcam’s new CopyCAD reverse engineering program includes improved methods for generating split lines, therefore providing an even more efficient process for moving directly from scan data to mould design. Delcam is represented in Australia by Camplex Pty Ltd.
Other enhancements include the ability to flatten 3D triangle models into 2D shapes and an extra wrapping option, together with significant speed improvements throughout the program.
Most reverse engineering software requires the user to create a surface model from the scan data before work can start on the tooling design. In contrast, CopyCAD's range of triangle modeling tools allows mould cores and cavities to be generated directly from triangle models, thereby providing major time savings.
A key part of this process is the generation of the horizon lines on the model. CopyCAD now allows smoother curves to be produced by applying a user-defined angular tolerance to the curve. This avoids the jagged split lines that would otherwise be produced from the edges of the triangles.
Once the curve has been created, developments in triangle splitting mean that dividing large or complex models is now up to ten times faster.
The classification of the two parts of the split have been improved to give more consistent results, with fewer leftover triangles. Furthermore, CopyCAD now has the ability to handle nested splits, when split surfaces need to be generated to fill any gaps within the model.
Another common problem with reverse engineering is the difficulty in creating geometrically-perfect forms within the model, since scan data will always include a degree of error.
CopyCAD previously had the ability to create standard shapes, such as cubes, spheres and cylinders. The software can now use its morphing technology to convert scan data into perfect geometry. For example, the user can sketch a boundary around part of the model and then morph it into a perfectly flat surface.
The flattening of 3D triangle models is expected to be used mainly in the footwear industry to create leather patterns from reverse-engineered models of lasts. It could also be used to generate cutting patterns for reinforcement in composites manufacture.
The new wrapping option makes it possible to wrap a triangle model onto a surface model or another triangle model. This will be useful when creating a new design incorporating reverse-engineered data from two or more existing designs.
As well as the much faster splitting already mentioned, other improvements include an increase in the speed of Boolean operations of up to four times and a similar reduction in time taken for triangle intersection limiting.