The device you talk of is not only an input device but also an output device
and the general terminology for this device is a 'Haptic' and can be
explained as having a forced feed back operation to the user.
PERA are also using this type of device in a BioMedical project that helps
simulate the feel of a surgeons knife cutting into soft tissue during a VR
I too agree that the Freeform software is great. With more and more
designers beginning to use it, their user requests can only improve the
software options it has at the moment. Given time it will make it a very
powerful design tool rather that just the digital sculpting market it may be
I can see more standard CAD packages also developing haptic controlling
modules that will help users be able to model more intricate details with
greater ease. The only problem will be which CAD packages will be able to
have its mathematical surfaces manipulated in this ornate and detailed way?
Maybe some more well known CAD packages will fall by the wayside in favour
of newer heterogeneous mathematical surface modelling CAD manipulation
Jan Andrzejewski email@example.com
RP Project Manager
Tel +44 (0) 1664 501501 Fax +44 (0) 1664 501556
From: Tom Richards [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, January 19, 2001 6:45 PM
Subject: Nifty Software
Be advised there's a nifty new software and design machine combination out
there, which enables one holding a stylus to mold, carve, sand and otherwise
create a 3D CAD file model, much as you would carve a block of wood or mold
a piece of clay. You can work back and forth between this combination and
your 3D CAD program using igs, obj or stl files. The stylus provides "feel"
and has a button to turn on any one of a number of tools such as carvers,
sanders, molders and the like. When the button is not depressed, you can
feel the stylus gliding over but not through the model! Even around the
Obviously one could apply constraints and dimensions in his CAD program and
work freely back and forth with the combination to design industrial parts.
Every university should have one! I want one!
I tried it out yesterday as a guest of interpro-rtc.com at sensable.com. The
program is called FreeForm, but the name of the stylus machine (small desk
topper) escapes me.
Best Regards, Tom Richards, Metallurgist
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