Geomagic may not be a company many in the games industry have heard of but it is an incredibly interesting company that I have known about for many years. Ping Fu is CEO of Geomagic, a technology company that creates digital models from real world objects. In March Forbes named Ping Fu as one of the top Female Founders to watch at SXSW and back in 2005 Inc. magazine named her Entrepreneur of the Year.
On Thursday, Geomagic announced they had acquired Sensable’s 3D design and haptic business, which combined will bring extremely interesting applications to more creative development of 3D modeling.
Geomagic provides 3D software for capturing, creating and inspecting digital models of physical objects. Sensable, of Wilmington, Mass., is a leading developer of volumetric CAD/CAM solutions, and the inventor of Phantom force-feedback haptic devices that simulate the physical sensation of touch in the virtual world.
This acquisition expands Geomagic’s vision to advance and apply 3D technology for the benefit of humanity. “Geomagic specializes in capturing digital data from the real world and real people. Now we can add the sensation of touch as well; Sight and feel are two major human sensibilities that enhance the design experience.” Said Ping Fu, CEO of Geomagic. “For Geomagic customers, Sensable solutions are a natural extension for modeling and enhancing the scan data from Geomagic; for Sensable customers, starting with a scanned model rather than blank screen makes it far easier and faster to start a design, requires less time to sculpt the 3D model, and the finished designs can be exchanged into CAD surfaces using the Geomagic family of software. The synergies will be a tremendous value to existing and new customers.”
Sensable has a range of voxel-based 3D design software including the FreeForm and ClayTools solutions. The combination of voxel-based software and haptic input creates an intuitive, tactile and precise user experience for sculpting “virtual clay.” Some of the Sensable 3D design solutions also include powerful tools for preparing digital models for manufacturing (particularly for mold and casting production methods) including draft analysis and complex parting line creation.
Geomagic software creates digital models from physical parts to be used in design and engineering workflows, archiving and the visual arts. Inspection tools from Geomagic lead the market in accurate, automated measurement and quality control of manufactured parts. The products from the combined companies encompass much broader design-to-manufacture workflows with added freedom to allow product designers, engineers and innovators to design in very natural and intuitive ways.
Warner Bros. used Geomagic’s software to scan and create a dolphin for the movie Dolphin Tale:
The customer-base of the combined company includes almost every major worldwide manufacturer resulting in a strong installed base of users, many of whom already use both Geomagic and Sensable solutions. Medical research customers and OEMs are also a significant segment of the Sensable haptics customer base.
Geomagic will continue to support Phantom haptic input devices, further develop Freeform design and manufacturing solutions, and the developer’s API for haptics research. Geomagic will retain Sensable’s operations and employees in the Boston area giving the company a strategic Northeast location where we plan to hire additional employees.
In addition to the product portfolio, Geomagic is also acquiring the majority of Sensable’s considerable patent portfolio, which extends across haptic device designs and applications and voxel-based modeling. Sensable’s dental products are not included in this acquisition.