The University of Applied Sciences Hannover, Media, Information and Design Department (www.fh-hannover.de) has long been recognized as being an academic leader for industrial and mechanical product design, across the world. The staff’s dedication to testing and analyzing technological innovations have pushed them to the forefront of academic institutes studying state-of-the-art technologies. One of the more recent technologies Hannover’s Media, Information and Design Department has worked with is industry leading reverse engineering software from 3D Systems & Geomagic: Design X.
Professor Dr.-Ing. Falk Höhn, one of the leaders of Hannover Media, Information and Design’s Faculty III, is considered an expert in developing new designs from existing geometric shapes from his studies of reverse engineering‘s history. Dr. Höhn analyzes and evaluated the activities pertaining to this technology across the commercial realm and was captivated by Trimetric GmbH (www.trimetric.de), a German-based 3D service bureau that was utilizing Geomagic Design X software to produce CAD models from 3D scan data. Their success with this innovative software captivated Dr. Höhn so much that he decided to centralize an entire course around learning how to use Design X.
One objective of the course was to successfully reverse engineer a Ducati Hypermotard motorcycle’s passenger seat with the purpose of improving both comfortability and look-appeal. Dr. Höhn tasked the students with using a CAD model from a major vendor, such as SOLIDWORKS, and reverse engineering it within Design X. One of the software’s greatest advantages is the shortened learning curve due to its user interface. Another, perhaps greater, benefit of Design X is that it allows users to create complete parametric CAD models from the 3D scan data which can then be transferred, with the entire modeling history, to a CAD system of choice. This process, known as third generation (3G) modeling, makes Design X very unique compared to competing products because the shape and history are stored when transferred.
Retaining the history of modeling is a key reason why Design X trumps alternative methods like 2G modeling. Being able to see the original intent of the design is a crucial component in defining the relationship between various features/components of the overall design. Without this capability, many designs would produce unusable models because later design changes would need to be made. 3D Systems explains:
For example, those five lug bolts on your car’s wheel are related to each other by being on a single circular pattern that is concentric to the car’s spindle. If the model did not capture this point of the designer’s intention, subsequent edits might yield an error-prone wheel that hops down the road or that doesn’t fit the lug bolt pattern. Without the design intent, one edits the CAD model at their peril.
The students working on these motorcycle seats with Design X at in the University of Applied Sciences Hannover, Media, Information and Design program will go on to become designers in the automotive, aeronautical, medical fields and more upon graduations. It is likely they will use the Design X application in the future, as the software continues to spread globally due to its advantageous features and unique modeling capabilities.