Design Automation Software

From: Jonathon A. Landell (
Date: Fri Feb 28 1997 - 16:39:24 EET


I recently subscribed to rp-ml, but as yet there have been no messages.
Is anyone out there? I suppose there's just too much work to do and
everyone's typing away madly.

Anyway, here's my request for some input. I have an on-going research
project here, trying to build an all-titanium flute. I've been making
precious metal flutes for 25 years, and recently I decided to try
titanium because of the incredible hardness and lightness. I built the
first prototype last summer and the results were very encouraging! Many
people have played this flute and really loved its tone and response.

At the moment, I'm trying to build the keywork in titanium, which
involves reverse engineering the present design in a CAD program, to
drive a Sanders Model Maker to make accurate waxes of these parts to be
cast in titanium. I still haven't proven the casting end of the
process, but I think it could be possilbe to make the keys in this way,
rather than making them up from a lot of little pieces as we do at the

I've been looking at the various options for reverse engineering my
parts, either laser scanning or designing directly in a solid modeling
program from dimensions off the parts themselves. I know all the
dimensions, of course, except that there are some parts that are
non-geometric, free form shapes.

Recently I came across the "RevEng" design package from Design
Automation in Raleigh, NC, and it would be possible to retrofit my
Browne & Sharpe MicroVal with this package for about $8,500. Using my
CMM I understand I can design directly inside their CADKey program with
their I/O board plugged into my Pentium computer. Until this moment I
didn't think this would be possible, and now it looks like the ideal
sort of approach.

QUESTION: Has anyone had any first hand experience with this
equipment? Is this the only offering of its kind on the RP market
today? Can I expect to design my parts within this program as easily at
it seems? -both geometric as well as free-form?

I think that I'll need to build the flute ultimately within a solid
modeling CAD program, but CADKey is not parametric, so I'll have to
transfer the part drawings into somethinkg like SolidWorks or SolidEdge
(can't afford Pro-E!!), because there are a number of different "scales"
for the placement of the tone holes on the flute. I'll need to move the
placement of the tone holes depending on the pitch that the flute will
be designed to play (A=440, A=442, etc.), so all the keywork will have
to adjust accordingly. It would have been better to have this product
actually working within a parametric program rather than having to use
two CAD programs to accomplish this task.

Well, sorry about the long letter, y'all, but I did notice that there
wasn't much conversation going on at the moment! I'll look forward to
hearing from anyone who might have some insights into my project, and
first-hand experience with "RevEng" itself.


Jon Landell

Jonathon A. Landell - LANDELL FLUTES
RD 2, Box 277-B,  Richmond, VT  05477  USA
Phone/FAX  (802) 434-4317
Visit our Web Site at:

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