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To represent a 3D object digitally, there are three common categories: point clouds, polygonal mesh, and NURBS curves and surfaces. Each representation has its own merits and drawbacks.

A point cloud model is normally generated directly by a scanner. It can represent any shape given enough sampling points. On the other hand, it takes a very large number of points to describe a form. When it comes to sharp corners, thin walls, and edges, point cloud has lots of difficulties to describe a form in precise manner. Most of all, a point cloud approach would be hard to use.

Comparing with point cloud model, a polygonal model contains additional topological information that defines the neighboring relationship and order among points. Polygonal model can represent any shape or form and it can be watertight. It can be two manifold and can easily capture thin walls and sharp corners. Most milling machines can take polygonal mesh model as input (i.e. STL). Finite Element Analysis (FEA) usually uses polygonal mesh representation. The down side of polygonal model is that it lack of precision and it requires large number of polygons to describe a form.

NURBS representation is the most compact way to represent a model. Since most traditional CAD programs use NURBS, once a model is captured by NURBS curved and surfaces, it can be used directly by CAD tools. It can precisely define a surface. Models described by NURBS can be two manifold and watertight. Most milling machine can take NURBS model as input. It is very easy to covert a NURBS model to polygonal mesh using tessellation. Although NURBS are flexible, in practice, NURBS are not used for describe arbitrary shapes alone.

GSI Studio can capture a model in any one of these representations. Internally, GSI Studio uses flexible point representation combined with highly optimized mesh structure. GSI Studio fully utilizes two manifold properties from mesh to create curve and Boundary Representation (BRep) on mesh surface. This effectively reduces 3D design complexity to 2D operations, which are much more intuitive and easy to manage.

Leveraging the strength from each one, GSI Studio provides designer with a wide range of tools to intuitively and efficiently editing, sculpting, and surfacing a model. These tools include comprehensive set of polygonal mesh operations, curve operations, and NURBS/analytic surface operations. GSI Studio also balances automatic operations for efficiency and fast turn-around and user control for engineering precision and improve design quality.

Realizing the dynamic nature in 3D design and unlimited possibilities in other applications like engineering finite element analysis (FEA), GSI Studio offers a solid platform for adding new or user specific tools and algorithms. This is accomplished by providing a cleanly defined Tool Extension API so that domain experts can utilize the GSI Studio infrastructure to create application specific tools or algorithms to achieve their objective. The architecture of GSI Studio Design Environment is shown in Figure 1. The same infrastructure that is used for 3D design tasks can also be used for FEA purposes when different set of “tools” is attached.

In the GUI front-end, GSI Studio offers a truly configurable user interface not just to change its look-and-feel at skin deep but also to entirely adapt to different customer specific workflow process. GUI reconfiguration only involves metadata modification and there no need to change any program code and no recompilation.
Using the analogy of a real symphony orchestra, the GSI product and its underline infrastructure allow customers to easily and flexibly conduct their own music by re-arranging the instruments, creating and adding new ones.

The GSI Studio Benefits

Easy to learn and use

GSI Studio design environment is easy to learn and intuitive to use. New users can be productive and see results in matter of days instead of weeks or months.

Fast product design turn-around time

The GSI Studio design environment provides a wide array of tools to allow designers to quickly editing, sculpting, and surfacing a model with engineering precision control and measurement. With GSI Studio, the entire product design cycle can be greatly reduced.

High design quality

GSI Studio can handle larger polygonal models. Instead of decimating the model to reduce its size, GSI Studio preserves the model’s high definition details and leverages the detailed model information to create precise NURBS curves and continuous surfaces.

Open to future evolution and protecting investment

Tasks changes and so is the working environment. GSI Studio’s architecture will protect its customer’s investment by evolving with the work requirement through adding new tools and reconfigure workflow process.

GSI Studio Features

- Easy and intuitive to use

- High degree engineering precision and control

- Configurable GUI (metadata driven) to adapt to customer specific workflow

- Tool Extension API supports plug-in tools and algorithms as well as individual tool upgrade

- Modular and Object Oriented architecture for flexible solution packaging

- Maintain high degree of model data resolution

- Efficient system resource usage

- Great performance and scalability to handle over 10 million polygons and preserve model high definition without decimation

- Infrastructure can handle a wide range of application from 3D graphic design to finite element analysis and support rapid development of new algorithms

- Easy to interface with 3rd party applications or being used as a component

- Hardware and OS platform independent

- Support international languages


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