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Some recent events have opened what I consider for me a new dimension in manufacturing. At Delcam's recent Technical Summit at Methods Machine Tools in Sudbury, Massachusetts, I got an in-depth look at the company’s extensive range of CAD/CAM solutions. While I've long enjoyed seeing new developments in such products, the realism of 3D modeling and simulation that these systems can generate is what particularly amazes me. Moreover, the applications for this functionality are expanding.
A closer look at Delcam’s CAD-based inspection software, used in conjunction with inspection hardware such as manual and CNC CMMs, portable arms, optical measuring devices and CNC machine tools to verify the quality and accuracies of products as they are machined, got me thinking about the potential of scanning items for the purposes of reverse engineering.
In one example, a professor at Marshall University has used such technology to develop a Web-based 3D image library of fossil specimens. It allows paleontologists to quickly access and review precise measurements from the surface models, which were created from point data collected through laser scanning of the fossils.
In similar fashion, several of the Delcam modules were chosen for use in the design and production of the world’s largest statue. Check out this very big Buddha.