RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., December 22, 2003- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Geomagic two $100,000 SBIR Phase I grants to research new techniques for computer-aided geometric modeling and multiple scan alignment.

The computer-aided geometric modeling research focuses on functional decomposition, a new method for creating a CAD surface structure from polygon models. Results from the research are expected to increase surface quality and reduce design time for automotive, aerospace and consumer product industries.

“We think the research will help reach the ultimate goal in geometric design based on 3D scanning: efficiently reconstructing high-quality CAD models that reflect design intent in form and function,” says Dr. Tamas Varady, Geomagic’s chief technology officer.

The other grant addresses a key issue in 3D data capture: the ability to align multiple scans from partial point cloud data. Led by Dr. Yates Fletcher, Geomagic is researching new ways of detecting and quantifying “slippability” – a common problem encountered when there are no features to stop two pieces of scan data from gliding over one other. Accurate alignment is the first step in creating a high-quality digital representation of an as-built part.

“Our research has tremendous potential for providing more intelligent information to automate and speed the alignment process,” says Fletcher.

Over the last month, Geomagic has received three NSF grants for innovative research in capturing a physical object and transforming it into a digital model ready for manufacturing. According to Ping Fu, president and CEO of Geomagic, her company’s work is light years ahead of what some know as reverse engineering.

“There is nothing reverse about this process,” says Fu. “It is forward-looking technology that follows digitizing in 1D (signal processing) and 2D (image processing). Computing power and new sensor technology is now powerful enough to extend to 3D (geometry processing) and to handle the demanding jobs of rapid design, custom manufacturing on demand, engineering analysis, digital inventory of legacy parts, and other manufacturing processes. We are grateful to NSF for supporting our technical team and recognizing the vast commercial potential of this research.”

About Geomagic

Geomagic ( is a global company dedicated to advancing and applying 3D technology for the benefit of humanity. Geomagic’s scanning and design software solutions are used to capture and model 3D content from physical objects, organically sculpt complex shapes, and prepare products for manufacturing. In addition, the company produces powerful 3D metrology and inspection software that verifies dimensional quality by comparing as-built products to master designs. Geomagic’s Sensable Phantom haptic devices simulate the sense of touch in a digital environment. 

Geomagic’s software and hardware are utilized by world-class customers in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer products, toys, collectibles, coindesign, jewelry, fine art, heritage restoration, research, education, mold making, entertainment, training and surgical simulation. In fact, some of the world’s leading companies and research organizationsuse Geomagic software, including Ford, BMW,Boeing, Harley DavidsonTimberland, Mattel/Fisher Price, Lego, Pratt & WhitneyNASA, Schneider Electronic, 3M, Danaher and Invisalign. Geomagic is based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, with an office in Boston, subsidiaries in Europe and Asia, and channel partners worldwide.


Geomagic, Geomagic Studio, Geomagic Qualify, Geomagic Qualify Probe, Geomagic Spark, Wrap, Geomagic Wrap, Phantom, OpenHaptics, Omni, Freeform, Claytools, Sensable and Sensable Technologies, Inc. are trademarks or registered trademarks of Geomagic Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Rachael Taggart
Geomagic, Inc.
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