Delcam’s PowerShape CAD software family has been updated for its 2013 R2 version, including new tools and other improvements for solid modeling and manipulating point clouds. Two sets of developments will make it possible to accelerate design processes for manufacturing, for shapes imported CAD data or from scanned data.
PowerShape combines solid, surface, wireframe and direct modeling to provide a comprehensive range of modeling techniques in a single CAD program. In particular, the combination of quick, direct modeling options and flexible surface modeling, make PowerShape an effective choice for design for manufacture, especially when converting product designs into tooling designs.
PowerShape Pro combines CAD tools with point-cloud and triangle modeling, including tools for the live import, repair and editing of point-cloud data from laser scanners. Because all the different technologies are offered in one software platform, the need to transfer data between multiple programs is reduced — which streamlines product development. This functionality makes PowerShape Pro an optimal tool for re-engineering existing designs, or for personalizing products (e.g., medical devices for individual patients.)
The main enhancement in the new PowerShape release is the ability to rewind the solid history tree of a model to any position using a graphical slider. Edits can then be made, either by applying the Solid Doctor to repair problematic data or by using the full range of direct modeling tools in PowerShape, without losing the history of the model. Once the required edits have been completed, the rewind point can be moved or deleted; the complete solid history is then re-built automatically.
"Apply" = "OK"
A simpler change, one that also will save significant time in production planning, is that clicking the right mouse button now has the same effect as pressing “Apply” or “OK” on all forms. This is useful when carrying out repetitive tasks like filleting around a complex model. Users can select each edge to be filleted, click the right mouse button, and then move on to the next edge.
Similarly, a series of holes can be created more quickly just by selecting the position and clicking the button for each hole.
Other solid modeling enhancements include a new dialog for the solid-split command; a more flexible replace-face option that allows faces of one solid to be replaced with faces from a separate solid; and new hole types allowing faster creation of holes for standard metric and imperial cap-head screws and bolts.
Also, the Solid Doctor has been made more flexible with the ability to relax or tighten the linking tolerances on specific edges. This is important for subsequent modeling as tolerance issues can affect the reliability of Boolean operations.
Additional improvements to PowerShape Pro will make re-engineering from scanned data quicker and easier. A new series of modeling tools allow users to extract selected points from within a cloud of point data to make a new one, or to combine separate clouds into a single set of data. And, separate clouds, or areas within a cloud, can be given different colors for easier identification.