RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., December 1, 2003- The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Geomagic a $100,000 SBIR Phase I grant to research the use of Morse Theory in reverse engineering.

Morse Theory is about a century old and has been used to gain insight into difficult mathematical questions. In the computing world, it has helped researchers find discrete structure in continuous, smooth data. This is valuable, for example, in calculating and visualizing scientific phenomena such as temperature distribution in the ocean and electron densities of molecular structure.

Geomagic believes that Morse Theory can be applied to further automate reverse engineering, the process of capturing a physical object and transforming it into a surface model ready for manufacturing.

“We plan to use the discrete structure that arises from studying distributions as Morse functions to solve the problem of automatically extracting features in smooth surfaces,” says Dr. Herbert Edelsbrunner, co-founder of Geomagic.

The research could help deliver a sought-after advance in reverse engineering: the ability to automatically create surface patches that follow the direction and features of a triangulated model.

“The project should allow us to make advances that will enable fast and high-quality digital duplication of physical parts and objects,” says Dr. Michael Facello, director of R&D for Geomagic and the principal investigator for the study.

“This will have a significant impact on the estimated 90 percent of products in the U.S. not created using digital processes. My thanks to NSF for realizing the importance of this project and the impact Geomagic can make on manufacturing.”

About Geomagic

Geomagic ( is a global company dedicated to advancing and applying 3D technology for the benefit of humanity. Geomagic’s scanning and design software solutions are used to capture and model 3D content from physical objects, organically sculpt complex shapes, and prepare products for manufacturing. In addition, the company produces powerful 3D metrology and inspection software that verifies dimensional quality by comparing as-built products to master designs. Geomagic’s Sensable Phantom haptic devices simulate the sense of touch in a digital environment. 

Geomagic’s software and hardware are utilized by world-class customers in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, consumer products, toys, collectibles, coindesign, jewelry, fine art, heritage restoration, research, education, mold making, entertainment, training and surgical simulation. In fact, some of the world’s leading companies and research organizationsuse Geomagic software, including Ford, BMW,Boeing, Harley DavidsonTimberland, Mattel/Fisher Price, Lego, Pratt & WhitneyNASA, Schneider Electronic, 3M, Danaher and Invisalign. Geomagic is based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, with an office in Boston, subsidiaries in Europe and Asia, and channel partners worldwide.


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