Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 12 (December 2000)

Products - 12/00


Automated tooling Win Quick Tooling from Cimatron contains four standalone applications that work with any CAD/CAM system to accelerate and automate toolmaking. QuickSplit automates the search and separation of core, cavity, and sliders. QuickElectrode is used for EDM electrode design. QuickPreview allows for real-time previewing over the Internet. QuickCompare marks differences between two geometry files and documents the changes in a CAD file. The price is unavailable. (Livonia, MI; 734-432-6600;

Architectural design Win DataCAD 9 architectural design software from Datacada offers support for AutoCAD DWG and DXF import and export of files in versions R12 through R2000. It allows export to Adobe Acrobat PDF files and Windows Metafile formats so visual design concepts can be shared electronically and has a new OpenGL-based shader, view-sensitive toolbars, and a WYSIWYG print preview. An updated DataCAD applications language lets the software be customized with more than a dozen new procedures and functions. The price is $995. (Avon, CT; 860-677-4004;

Beefier MCAD Win 3D Shop 2.0 from C4W has improved performance over the previous version of the software within the 3D wire frame, solid, and surface modeling fields. It can manage large files and allows users to analyze and control imported files and address 2D drawings. It can be added to existing CAD equipment, inputs and converts as many as nine file formats, and can analyze, animate, and heal corrupted models. The price is $1000. (Hollis, NH; 888-463-7747;

Opto-mechanical solid modeler Win The new version of TracePro opto-mechanical 3D solid modeling software from Lambda Research Corp. allows users to design and analyze an entire LCD backlight larger than 50 mm. It uses a repetitive algorithm to create millions of conical bumps, dots, pyramids, brightness-enhancing films, and Fresnels on any planar surface. This allows users to create objects by specifying the shape of one tile or rows of tiles with varying features, reducing model size, audit time, and raytrace time in complicated models. The price is unavailable. (Littleton, MA; 978-486-0766;

Handheld CAD Win PocketCAD PRO from Arc Second allows users of Windows CE 2.11-based handheld PCs and similar devices to create, view, and edit CAD files. It uses Autodesk technology to draw, edit, view, and measure. The files can be uploaded to desktop programs in DXF format, and desktop CAD files can be downloaded as DWG and DXF files. The software is compatible with AutoCAD releases 12 through 2000 at a price of $199. (Dulles, VA; 703-435-5400;

Turbomachinary library Win/Unix The Turbomachinery Applications Library (TAL) has been included with the NCL V9.1 multi-axis machining software from Numerical Control Computer Sciences. The TAL contains pre-defined methods for creating 4- and 5-axis toolpaths to manufacture complex impellers, blisks, and airfoils. It provides rough, hub, finish, and leading/trailing edge machining for impellers and blisks and rough, finish, and root and tip machining for airfoil blades and vanes. The price is unavailable. (Newport Beach, CA; 949-553-1077;


Painting software Win Paint Shop Pro 7.0 from Jasc Software has new automatic tools and productivity features, including automatic filters such as color balance, contrast/brightness, and saturation; red-eye removal tools, and precision scratch-removal tools. Users can employ multicolor gradients, textures, patterns, and sculpted special effects. Layout tools allow users to group, align, and distribute shapes and objects. The included Animation Shop 3.0 allows animation of Web and presentation graphics. The price is $109. (Eden Prairie, MN; 800-622-2793;

Geomatics viewing Win/Linux/Unix Geomatica GeoGateway from PCI Geomatics is a geographical data image viewing tool that includes an integrating, visualizing, and translating environment. It can visualize any number of geographic data layers in a single viewing environment, and can import or export more than 80 imagery, vector, and other data formats without the need for conversion, including read and write support for Oracle 8i Spatial, as well as MrSID, TIFF, NITF, Arc/Info shape files, and SICAD. The price is unavailable. (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada; 905-764-0614;


Displacement maps Win/Mac Sapphire Displacer 1 from Sapphire Innovations is a collection of displacement maps for Adobe Systems' Photoshop 5. The 200 displacement maps can be used for subtle or crazy distortions or painted effects, or can be used as textures or glass distortions and text effects. The maps can also be used in applications such as Adobe After Effects and Paint Shop Pro. The price is $12.50. (London, England; 0044 020 7 795 271;

Texture paint Win/Mac Maxon Computer's new BodyPaint 3D lets artists paint and draw on 3D objects in real time, painting on as many as 10 material channels concurrently. The company's RayBrush technology enables users to paint onto a raytraced image, and reflectivity, bump, transparency, specularity, and other channels can also be painted. Tools and presets include rust, dirt, scratches, rivets, hairs, welded joints, and veins. The program works with Maxon's Cinema 4D XL or as a standalone. The price is $595. (Thousand Oaks, CA; 805-494-0718;

Paint plug-in Win/Mac Maya Paint Effects from Alias|Wavefront is now available as a plug-in for Adobe After Effects 4.1. Paint Effects gives artists the ability to create detail including animated paint strokes of plants, fibers, glows, water, metal, and other natural media along a mask, bezier path, or motion path. Artists can use hundreds of available brush presets or develop their own custom brushes. The plug-in is downloadable online. The price is $499. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 800-477-2542;

Panorama creation Win With Stitcher version 1.1 from RealViz, users can seamlessly combine horizontally and vertically overlapping photographs to create wide-angle panoramic images up to 360 by 360 degrees, for applications ranging from Web design to special effects. A grid in the display helps align panoramas before rendering. Cylindrical and stitched images can be exported to 2D compositing applications for creating matte paintings and to 3D packages for environment mapping. The price is $800. (San Francisco; 310-312-4805;


GAME FACES Win The FaceGen SDK from Singular Inversions allows developers to author games in which players can create photorealistic faces with over 50 controls. Users start with their own existing head models and use FaceGen to warp the faces to various shapes. Built-in controls ensure that all combinations will produce realistic faces. Pricing starts at $25,000. (Vancouver, BC, Canada; 604-730-1727;

Broadcast graphics Unix Frost 2.5 from Discreet is real-time graphics software for television broadcasters. New project management tools allow users to publish, archive, and restore all elements of a project for transfer between machines and/or facilities. Animation controls for cameras, text, and textures reduce scripting. The text page editor and extended font support offer CG-like editing and displays, including WYSIWYG fonts, wrap, alignment, variable sizing, positioning, and per-character kerning. The price is unavailable. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 800-869-3504;


Real-time simulation Win/Unix MultiGen Creator 2.4 and Vega 3.5 from MultiGen-Paradigm are real-time 3D software packages for visual simulation, urban simulation, entertainment, and animation-based training applications. MultiGen Creator includes multi-texturing of up to 8 textures per polygon, and an update of OpenFlight file format to version 15.7. Vega 3.5 includes Visual Texture, streaming audio, detail texture support, and exposed API for Sensor Products Utility Library. The price is unavailable. (San Jose, CA; 408-261-4100;


Web page animation Win Emotion 3D Web Edition 1.5 from Anark Corp. allows users to create 3D animations for web pages using a point-and-click interface. It algorithmically applies animations to any 3D object or 2D image, making it spin, ripple, rotate, bend, stretch, or perform any of more than 60 behaviors. Emotion 3D can import images from any Twain-based image capture device, supports a maximum image size of 512 by 512 pixels, allows the export of 3D animations to PowerPoint presentations, and offers HTML-based help. The price is $39.95. (Boulder, CO; 303-545-2592;


Laser scanner Win The Cyrax 2500 3D Laser Scanner from Cyra Technologies is about the size of a common computer monitor and can be set up and operated by one person. It can scan a typical 3-inch spherical target in 75 seconds, collecting 30,000 3D points at 0.5 by 0.7 mm resolution grid spacing. It includes Cyclone 3.0 software for processing 3D point clouds, and has batteries that can be hot-swapped so that scanning is not interrupted, a pan-and-tilt mount, two connection cables, and shock-absorbing skins and fewer internal components to improve ruggedness. The price is $125,000. (Oakland, CA; 510-633-5000;

Wide-format printer Win The NovaJet 850 wide-format printer from Encad has an 8-head print engine and the company's Octachrome ink sets, which provide 11 ink configurations. Its Dynamic Thermal Drying System adjusts to ambient temperature and humidity, allowing lamination of prints with 200 percent ink coverage down to 10 minutes. It comes in 42-inch-wide and 60-inch-wide models. Three new media are available for printing upon. The price is $17,495. (San Diego, CA; 888-436-2347;

Scene scanner Win The DeltaSphere-3000 Laser 3D Scene Digitizer from 3rdTech produces panoramic 3D point sets over large spaces. The portable system resembles a video camera on a tripod, and includes a computer-controlled laser range-finder with azimuth and elevation positioning motors, and imbedded CPU, a rechargeable battery pack, and an optional digital color camera. It can scan 150 degree elevation and 360 degree azimuth over a range of 1 to 40 feet in 10 to 30 minutes, capturing from 1 million to 50 million 3D points. The price is $45,000. (Cary, NC; 919-481-2500;

FireWire scanner Win/Mac The Astra 6400 and 6450 scanners from UMAX Technologies have a FireWire/IEEE-1394 interface for general consumer and small office/home office markets. The single-pass, flatbed, color CCD devices scan images at 600 by 1200 dpi with a 14-bit analog-to-digital converter for true 42-bit color output. Both are plug-and-play systems with image scalability. The 6450 includes a universal transparency cover for scanning slides and positives and negatives up to 4 by 5 inches. The price is $249 for the 6400 and $299 for the 6450. (Fremont, CA; 510-651-4000;


SCSI connector Mac/Win/Unix The ExpressPCI UL3D from ATTO Technology is an Ultra3 SCSI dual-channel host adapter for data-intensive environments such as digital video, pre-press, broadcast, digital audio, and imaging. It offers data transfer rates up to 320 MBps (160 MBps per channel). The ExpressPCI is 33/66 MHz compatible, and has low voltage differential SCSI signaling, connectivity for up to 30 SCSI IDs, 12 meters of cabling, a 32/64 PCI interface, and bus mastering capability. The price is unavailable. (Amherst, NY; 716-691-1999;


Full-body capture Win Gypsy 3 from Meta Motion provides full-body motion capture at a rate of 120 frames per second. Used in conjunction with facial motion capture software from Animazoo and Famous Technologies and a hand motion capture glove from 5DT, Gypsy combines skeletal and character motion capture to provide full-body motion. The device is portable for on-location work. The price is $25,000. (San Francisco, CA; 415-550-6382;


Document storage Win The eCabinet from Ricoh Silicon Valley is an information storage device for paper and digital documents, including images from peripherals, fax machines, the Web, email, and copiers. It has an online storage capacity of 17 GB, and unlimited offline capacity via DVD RAM disks, DVD Jukeboxes, and NFS file servers. It includes document indexing and security and uses a Web browser as an interface. The price is unavailable. (Menlo Park, CA; 650-496-5700;

Rewriteable CD Win/Mac Iomega Corp. has announced the Predator, an external CD-RW that features 8X write-once, 4X rewrite, and 32X read speeds. The drive sports the new low-profile design of Iomega's latest products, and also replaces the motorized front-loading drive tray of most other external drives with a top-loading design similar to that of portable CD players. The USB version is the first to ship. Firewire and PC card versions will follow. The price is $270 for the USB drive. (Roy, UT; 801-332-1000;