Do Samurais kick? I’m pretty sure they do. Especially after getting an arm or two sliced off. Sensable is taking the sword to 3D Geometry launching the new version of it’s flagship modeling software Freeform, slapping a big ol’ Version 12 on the box and shipping out an app that can take on anything from polygon and voxels to meshes and NURBS. WHAT!? Yes, that’s correct. They can handle all that CAD geometry and then some.

Sensable Freeform

Have you used this software? I’ve not used it, but what’s incredibly interesting is their take on working with multiple type of CAD geometry AND doing it from the standpoint of manufacturabilty.

“Freeform is the only organic CAD software that supports manufacturing-ready designs across so many types of CAD models – meshes, NURBS, voxels, and polygons. Other software may make a great looking model, but Freeform lets you rest assured it can be manufactured to the highest quality standards, efficiently.” – Joan Lockhart, vice president of sales and marketing at Sensable.

Sensable does more than just software though. They also produce a line of Haptic devices that allow a 3D touch-enabled modeling environment and an open API to allow developers to plu into the Haptic controls.

New features you’ll see in the release of Freeform include:

Support for Booleans between CAD surfaces/solids, meshes and/or voxels or across any combination of these
Saving time while keeping the integrity of the design. For example, users can import a polygon model of a toy into Freeform without the need to convert it into voxels. Once in Freeform, users can “carve up” the toy to indicate articulation points, such as the arm and leg joints – then add further engineering design and export the model as a polygon file – all while keeping the perfectly sharp edges essential for mold tools.

New Mesh tools such as Mesh Division, Mesh Smooth, Mesh Booleans
Allowd modeling in the designer’s native format, which protects against potential loss of data as well as the pervasive “gotchas” that can occur when converting between formats. Mesh Division allows a toy designer, for example, to take an animated character model that is highly faceted, and in 1 or 2 clicks create a model that removes the facets and can be used for production.

Project patch to clay
A one button, fast and easy command for converting low level relief sculptures in NURBS surfaces. Ideal for incorporating sculptural detail into CAD models for further detailing, or for downstream machining where only NURBS surfaces are supported.

Autosurfacing Improvements
Autosurfacing usually means many hundreds of patches to adequately capture detail and this can dramatically slow down downstream CAD/CAM applications. The new improvements dramatically reduce the number of patches required by adding t-joints and further control parameters.

Other Features include:

Curve Spheres
Replicating the sculptor’s real world armature, this allows designers and sculptors to quickly create volumetric models controlled by an underling curve skeleton. Allowing quick volume studies, fast re-posing and base model generation.

Bend and Twist
Allows designers more flexibility to dynamically pose figures by recreating the natural bend and twist of human joints. Extreme deformations like corkscrewing can be achieved, without damaging the model typically associated with such operations.

Ideal for action toy designers, medical modelers and anyone creating articulated joints in their designs. Allows for fast and easy joint definition and re-posing to aesthetically test range of movement.

Hot Wax Tool
Replicating more subtle sculpting procedures, this allows sculptors to gain a finer control over their modeling as well as combining multiples tools into one for a faster, more natural workflow.

Interactively optimized mold pull directions
Ideal for turning complex organic models into fully drafted, production ready designs. This new tool allows designers to interactively change the pull direction with real time draft analysis to find the optimal pull direction before the task of removing undercuts has begun.

FreeForm Version 12 starts at $9,900 and is shipped on all new systems. It is provided free to existing customers on maintenance. If you’ve used this software or any of the haptic devices made by Sensable, definitely let us know your experience in the comments!

via Sensable


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.