Spider compares to a certain extent with reverse engineering products such as Raindrop Geomagic's Studio and Paraform. Each of these products is designed to aid in creating digital models from physical originals by converting pointclouds from scans to polygons, and from polygons to NURBs in turn. But Spider is designed more to enhance the capabilities of Studio Tools, so that product can more easily incorporate physical models into its digital design workflow. While Spider does not itself convert polygonal meshes to NURBs models, other Studio Tools programs, such as Studio, AutoStudio, or SurfaceStudio can be used for conversion to NURBS for surface fitting and modeling.
Spider takes scanned data in a variety of file formats and allows users to convert and edit it, with tools provided for hole filling, meshing, and section cutting-in. According to Alias, the particular strengths of Spider are its ability to handle very large pointclouds and files, and of course, its integration with the Studio Tools family of products.
Spider costs $5000. The product is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of this year. Compatible operating systems for Spider and Eval Viewer are Windows NT/2000, Solaris, Irix, and HP-UX. (Alias|Wavefront; Toronto, Canada; 800-447-2542; www.aliaswavefront.com) -JD