The Google of CAD

CADseek Polaris was the first, and is still the only CAD search engine to utilize a model's full, rich geometry, rather than a parametric value like surface area or volume.  

Geometry is extraordinarily superior at being able to provide search results that are comprehensive yet clutter-free because there is so much more data to work with.   

The trick is being able to capture the geometry in a manner than is simultaneously comprehensive, concise and comparable. 

We found iSEEK to exceed expectations."
Brian Rugh, IT
Fortune 100  Ag Manufacturer

Polaris Brochure

Polaris is a Windows-based search application combining shape and text searching, with tools for model inspection and comparison.  

The geometry of a part is highly correlated not just with part function, but also with cost, manufacturing process, and part performance, creating numerous use cases for a wide variety of users.  

  • Designers, for part reuse, model reuse, should-cost analysis, design insight, and general search.  

  • Supply chain for supplier selection, price validation, substitution, general search, and for employees without access to CAD Polaris provides an easy to use application for 3D model inspection and comparison which is much easier to use than CAD. 

  • Manufacturing for process insight, quotation, tool path reuse, fixture design reuse, substitution and or those without access to CAD Polaris provides an easy to use application for model inspection and comparison.  

Users: 

Accurate

CADSEEK is built using the same methods as modern CAD software for accurate search results at the same high resolution as CAD. 

Geometry-Based

Rather than rely on attribute keywords, or parameters  like surface-area, CADSEEK is the only CAD search application to utilize the pure geometry of the model making search automatic and independent of language.

Enterprise Scale

CADSEEK is enterprise grade software that has proven scalability across CAD datasets with millions of models, enterprises with thousands of users, and capable of being integrated with CAD, PLM and proprietary data structures.

Return on Investment

CADSEEK enables a long list of use cases where Polaris and  other iSEEK products provide utility across all business domains from engineering design to field services. 

 

Unique Features 

Accuracy

Unlike other search applications, CADseek doesn't work from a representative of shape like surface area or volume, but directly from the model's geometry, providing results that are accurate, comprehensive and uncluttered.   

  • CADSEEK works like modern CAD software, allowing it to compare models and assemblies at the same high resolution as CAD.  In tests, CADSEEK has the demonstrated capability to differentiate models at a small fraction of a millimeter.

  • CADSEEK utilizes pattern recognition along with other proprietary methods.  The creation of CADSEEK was initially supported by the National Science Foundation. 

The uncluttered search results shown above were produced in a real world dataset of more than 20,000 models. 

Similarity Search and Similarity Scoring

 % 

Polaris not only finds identical parts, but is the only shape-search application that can accurately report the geometric similar of any two models, providing quick feedback to users and enabling number use cases such as reuse, should-cost, supplier validation and quotation.  

Universal - Native CAD Formats, Assemblies and Neutral Formats

A shape-search application shouldn't be limited to working with a single CAD format, but instead should encompass all types an organization might encounter with collaborators and acquired companies.  CADSEEK works with: 

  • Native CAD:  All formats from leading CAD companies including PTC, Dassault, AutoDesk and Siemens.      

  • Neutral Formats:  Including IGES, STL, and STP.

  • Assemblies:  CADSEEK manages assembly files as easily as models.  

  • Laser Scans

Navigator - Visual Browsing

This tile represents a family composed of fifty-six models. 

Performing a shape search requires selecting a shape to use as the search target.  Polaris's Navigator is perhaps the most  efficient and intuitive. 

  • Polaris's Navigator module (left) displays multiple CAD datasets as families of models, where each family is  automatically created based purely on geometry. 

  • Each family is represented as a tile in the Navigator window. 

  • The families are arranged by aspect ratio, allowing an intuitive method of visually browsing the entire CAD database to efficiently begin a shape search.   

  • While browsing, the Navigator can be zoomed, tilted, rotated and flow-through.  Each tile can be clicked to reveal the detail for all members, and any member can be selected to be used as a target for a shape-search to find additional similar models and assemblies with text filters applied for attributes such as material type.    

 

Expanded / Multi-Tiered Search

Because Polaris encodes all facets of shape it has a lot of data to work with, rather that a single or limited set of parameters like volume and surface area.  This allows CADseek to consider facets independently so that a search can be expanded without overwhelming the user with clutter. 

Standard Search 

produces a very tight concentration for size, features and shape.  

Expanded Search

loosens the tolerances for shape, scale and features, retrieving a broader number of still similar models. 

Rough Sketch Search

ignores size and further loosens the tolerance for shape.    

Exploratory

Focuses on prominent features with no consideration for size. 

 

Compare Function

CAD thumbnail images often look identical even when scale and features are quite different. CADSEEK's compare function aligns and overlays selected models (including assemblies), which makes differences much easier to analyze.  

 

Extract Components(s) from Assembly for Search

Polaris's built-in CAD inspection tools allow a user to select one or more items from an assembly and use just the selected component(s) for a shape search.  This feature is especially useful for users without access to CAD software.

Original assembly selected from the Navigator module

Components are separated using CADSEEK Polaris CAD inspection tools.

On-the-fly encoding

Selected components are essentially a new model which must be encoded to produce a target for a search.

The resulting search is performed using only the extracted  components

 

CAD Model Inspection Tools

CADSEEK provides efficiency with CAD inspection tools so that designers don't have to check models out of the PLM in order to investigate geometry, and also so that supply chain and other personnel can evaluate a model's geometry without having to have CAD software on their desktops.  

 

CADSEEK Polaris Provides           Search Initiation Options

In order to launch a shape-based search the user first has to select a search target, i.e., find more like this.   Polaris provides seven options for launching a search.

 

Text searches are a very useful way to find an initial target if attribute have been reliably applied to CAD data.  For example, if searching with the term solenoid finds just one model with reasonable similarity to the desired model, then that similar item can then be used as a search target to find all similar items even if they hack the solenoid attribute value.   

Polaris allows a virtually unlimited number of meta-data to be imported from PLM systems, spreadsheets or applications like SAP or proprietary databases.  

Searches can be started using text to select an initial search target, and then a combination of shape-based search with text-based filtering can follow using a wide range of Boolean operators.  

Text Search

Importing a Search Target

 

Often a user has received a model from a customer, supplier or colleague which they want to use as a search target.  

Polaris can encode these models (create a numerical shape signature) in just a few seconds and use them as a search target against the Polaris library.  

Bounding Box Search 

Often times a user has a good approximation of the size of the item they are looking for.  Polaris computes a bounding box for each model or assembly allowing ranges to be entered for each dimension.  Polaris even unifies the XYZ coordinates so the user doesn't have to know how the model was designed.  

 

Polaris's Navigator module (right) visualizes the entire CAD library as families of similar items.  Each family tile might contain one, several or dozens of models and assemblies, any one of which can be selected and used as a search target. 

The families are arranged by aspect ratio, allowing an intuitive method of visually browsing the entire CAD database to efficiently begin a shape search.   

 

While browsing, the Navigator can be zoomed, tilted, rotated and flow-through.  Each tile can be clicked to reveal the detail for all members and their meta-data, and any member can be selected to be used as a target for a shape-search to find all similar models and assemblies.  

3D Visualized Browsing

With CADSEEK Navigator

 

This tile represents a family composed of fifty-six models. 

From CAD

Because the CADseek search index is dynamic, on-the-fly-searches can be completed very quickly and within a couple clicks from within a CAD software application's pull-down menu.  Not all search engines have on-the-fly capability for search, which is the ability to quickly create a shape signature from a new model in a way that makes it immediately comparable to the search index. 

Export to CADseek

Rapid on-the-fly encoding 

CADSEEK Polaris search results. 

 

Sometimes a designer wants to use CAD to create a search target.  Because CADSEEK doesn't use parameters, it means a designer doesn't have to carefully dimension and detail a part.  Instead, a rough shape can be created in just a couple of minutes.  CADSEEK then performs a search in Rough Sketch mode, ignoring size and detail.  

A part is quickly sketched in CAD and with a single click is sent from for search.  

In less than a second CADSEEK retrieved 76 matches from a dataset of 20,000 models.  

CADSEEK's compare function shows the sketch (yellow) was about 40%  different  in scale and lacked a lot of detail, yet CADSEEK's Rough Sketch search was still able to find and rank dozens of high-quality search results without clutter.    

Extracting a Search Target from an Assembly

Polaris's built-in CAD inspection tools allow a user to select one or more items from an assembly and use just the selected component(s) for a shape search.  This feature is especially useful for users without access to CAD software.

Original assembly selected from the Navigator module

Components are separated using CADSEEK Polaris CAD inspection tools.

On-the-fly encoding

Selected components are encoded to use as the search target

The resulting search is performed using only the extracted  components

 

3-Dimensional Laser Scan or Point-Cloud Data

There are other types of 3-dimensional data than CAD.  One common use case is using 3-dimensional laser scans for identification of proprietary parts, or scanning a part to look for substitution opportunities. 

 

Performance & Specifications

Technical information can be found on the Technology page of this website. 

 

Use Cases

REUSE

  •   Model

  •   Part 

  •   Tool Path

  •   Tooling Fixture

The reuse of existing models / parts has the potential to eliminate unnecessary expenses for design time, prototyping, qualification, manufacturing set-up and inventory costs.  Studies shows that these costs typically range from $5,000 to $25,000 per part.  

SHOULD-COST ESTIMATION

It's logical that the cost of manufacturing a new part, allowing for material or finish, will be very similar to that of a highly similar part.  Engineers can use Polaris to quickly similar parts to estimate the cost of the parts they are designing. 

PART SUBSTITUTION

In time critical field service situation a customer may be willing to use a part with a different finish, different material grade, or even a slightly different design that can be modified to work. 

QUOTATIONS

When customers upload CAD models to request a quotation, the quotation can be delivered in real time when the new part is highly similar to existing parts that have been recently quoted in the same material.  

 

Return on Investment Examples

The table below provides ROI scenarios estimation for Reuse and Duplication Elimination use cases. 

Model and Part Reuse

Elimination of Existing Duplication

A study by the Parts Standardization and Management Committee of the Department of Defense calculated a five year inventory

carrying for an average part in of $3,750 per part.   

Discovery of Vendor Price Discrepancies

The prices charged by different suppliers for functionally duplicate parts should be similar.  Analytics makes it easy to group and align these identical or highly similar parts with cost information to spot price variances like the one shown in the table above. 

"CADSEEK offers immediate value with a simple user interface.  It solves a huge problem and transfers significant savings to our customers' bottom line."

 

Carl Rose, President, President, Impac Systems Engineering

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