Common iSEEK Questions

What is CADseek?

CADseek is a mathematical transformation of geometry to a numerical signature using the principles of pattern recognition and some additional magic. The resulting numerical signatures express the full 3-dimensional geometry of CAD models at the resolution of CAD. In simplistic terms, the closer the value of two signatures the more similar the parts.  Once these numerical signatures are created for each CAD model, the signatures can then be compared for use cases involving geometric search or geometric analytics.  Geometric analytics is the analysis of data using the dimension of shape.  For example, an entire CAD library could be analyzed to discover situations where highly similar parts (90% or greater similarity), with the same material, finish and tolerance, where cost is materially different; or where warranty performance is materially different.

What data can CADseek encode?

CADseek can encode all types of CAD (both surface models and solid models), assemblies and neutral formats like IGES and STEP, derivatives like STLs, 3D laser scans and other point-cloud data.  All types of formats can be comingled in the same search index.

How accurate is CADseek?

CADseek works at the resolution of CAD to detect extremely small variances in geometry, including minor differences in curvature and tessellation.  CADseek’s accuracy, and its ability to not be fooled by changes in scale, aspect ratio, part orientation, inscribing, and many other factors that confuse or disable parameter or model tree approaches is CADseek’s key differentiator.

What facets of shape are captured by CADseek?

A CADseek signature captures all facets of geometry, including internal geometry.

Does CADseek require putting data in the cloud?

No.  CADseek is normally deployed 100% within the corporate firewall.  However, CADseek’s numerical signatures have been proven to be irreversible to the model’s shape, which would provide security in a cloud deployment if desired.

Do orientation or translation difference change the CADseek shape-signature?

CADseek will produce the same signature for a model regardless of the model’s saved orientation or translation.

What data preparation is required?

The process of encoding and classifying models is fully automated and does not require any human effort for the development of a classification structure or any manual tagging or sorting regardless of the type of part or industry.

What parametric data is required?

CADseek does not require parametric data, but parametric data can be imported when desired.  For example, including pipe diameter might be useful for filtering search results, or for creating distinct datasets.  A virtually unlimited number of attributes categories can be imported, and then used as inputs for an attribute-based search (as a precursor to a shape search), or for use as search filters for a shape search.

What industries, or what types of parts does CADseek work best on?

CADseek is not an artificial intelligence, learning or training approach.  Those approaches require thousands of similar items, such as a steering wheel, to train the algorithm, making such approaches impractical.  CADseek works, without customization, on all types of parts and assemblies in any industry.  CADseek has been used to encode 3D animation figures, molecular models and full tractor assemblies using the same algorithm with no customization.

Does CADseek work with 2D data?

Yes, so long as the 2D input is not cluttered with dimensional call out lines and text.

What is required for a CADseek installation?

CADseek requires Microsoft Server environment and can be installed in a virtual machine (VM).  The deployment of the software typically requires a few hours.  The encoding process for each CAD model requires a few seconds per model, but for large assemblies may require a few minutes.  This process can be run in parallel if faster deployment is desired, allowing even very large datasets to be encoded in a few days. The typical encoding time for large datasets runs from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the hardware specifications.  Attribute data, such as cost information, can be imported into CADseek from other sources such as ERP. The same is true that CAD files from outside the PLM, or from additional PLMs, can be imported to CADseek as well.

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