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As I mentioned in the previous blog posting from 3D Insiders European Forum, new features that appear each year in CAD programs are first often times developed by technology providers like Spatial. For
While 3D modeling currently uses precise modeling (b-rep) successfully, it is not so good for organic models, like bones, point clouds, voxels (volume pixels), additive manufacturing (ie, 3D printing), and geology.
What's next for 3D from Spatial is polyhedra: polygonal modeling.CGM Polyhedral is an add-on to the ACIS modeler, and so is licensed separately.
Today, however, working on both precise (traditional 3D solids) and polyhedra data results in polyhedral objects. By V2017, however, Spatial hopes that such operations result in the precise data also being retained.
Hybrid modeling is where the CAD system works with exact (b-rep) and non-exact (polyhedral) geometry at the same time. One interface for both kinds of data.Data comes from raw triangular mesh data, or an ACIS body, or STL data through 3D Interop. Data is stored in the usual SAT/SAB file.
Operators that work with polyhedral data include offset, planar slice, healing, Booleans, visualization, queries, and checking. Certain some downstream operations may not be supported, because precise geometry is lost, such as blending. To get around this, entities like regions not involved in p-operations are not converted to polyhedral. Spatial plans in the future to remove this limitation.
Whether or not CAD vendors implement it depends on their target market. I asked one CAD vendor if he would implement it, and he said, "Maybe. It depends on what our customers want."
As the polyhedral modeler is license separately, customers of CAD vendors without the license will only be able to view the data. There were many questions from the floor on this issue. One asks, "Will we be able to touch the data without a license?" No. Inside the ACIS file, polyhedral data is just one more data type.