Quality Magazine

Geomagic Acquires Sensable 3-D Design and Haptics Businesses

April 12, 2012

MORRISVILLE, N.C.-- Geomagic, a provider of 3-D software for capturing, creating and inspecting digital models of physical objects, has completed an acquisition of Sensable Technology Inc.'s 3-D design and haptics businesses. Sensable, of Wilmington, MA, 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 3-D 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 3-D 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 3-D 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 3-D 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.

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. "Customers and partners of Sensable can continue to expect the same high quality service, support and product development they have always received, which will now be infused with the innovation and investment in R&D for which Geomagic is renowned," says Tom Kurke, President and COO of Geomagic.

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.