We found iSEEK to exceed expectations."
Brian Rugh, John Deere
"CADSEEK was the hands down winner. 
CADSEEK accomplishes search with ease and simplicity. 

CADSEEK Polaris is the most advanced technology for 3-dimensional search.

Unprecedented Precision for Shape-based Search

Accurate

CADSEEK is surfaced-based like 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. 

Companion Products

CADSEEK Connect is a browser-based version of CADSEEK Polaris which utilizes the same CADSEEK Server database as CADSEEK Polaris.

CADSEEK Excel is an application that provides access to the CADSEEK Server database via Microsoft Excel, providing a convenient way to view and filter by attributes and shape within Excel.  

CADSEEK Adviser Live-Search is an integration with CAD that monitors a CAD design in process and periodically performs a search for similar models to foster model and part reuse.  

 

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, provide results that are accurate, comprehensive and uncluttered.   

  • CADSEEK is surface-based 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 is an artificial intelligence technology utilizing 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

 % 

While most shape-search application are focused on trying to identify identical models, CADSEEK is able to also identify similar models. 

  • Similarity is a much more difficult challenge than determining if models are identical.   

  • CADSEEK's ability to accurately determine the degree the similarity of any two models means that it is not only a shape-search application, but also a new and powerful method to classify an entire CAD database by geometry, ending the reliance on human-based attributes or manual sorting.   

  • CADSEEK's ability to determine the similarity of models is the primary difference between it and other search applications, enabling a far broader range of use cases including powerful analytics capability. 

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.  

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 targetPolaris'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 CADSEEK encodes all facets of shape (topography, constraints and scale), it has a lot of data to work with.  This allows CADSEEK to consider facets independently so that a search can be expanded without overwhelming the user with clutter. 

Family Browsing

Clicking on a tile in the Navigator reveals the family members.  Families are selected with primary attention to shape, and less paid to scale and features, providing a broader starting point to select a target for a search.  

Inspection

Any model can be examined for attributes values, or with CAD-style tools prior to selecting a family member as a target for a shape-search.    

Standard Search

Clicking the search button for any family member retrieves results from within and also across other families or datasets.  

Expanded Search

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

Rough Sketch Search

pays attention only to major elements of shape without consideration of scale, resulting in a broad search without clutter. 

 

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 Part(s) from 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 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.  

Micro-Analytics Reports

 

Many engineering-related issues such as cost are correlated with shape.  With CADSEEK, search results can be exported so that a group of highly similar parts, with filters applied for material type, finish quality, etc., can be aligned with data from other systems for analysis.  The table below shows a group of highly similar parts that has been aligned with cost data to calculate cost variances. 

 

CADSEEK Polaris Provides           Search Initiation Options

In order to launch a shape-based search the user first has to somehow select a search input (a 'target') which is typically a CAD model.  How easily a target can be selected has a lot of impact on convenience.   Polaris provides seven options for launching a search.

 

Polaris's Navigator module (right) displays one or more CAD datasets as families of models with similar shape.  Each family is  automatically created based purely on geometry and is represented as a tile in the Navigator. 

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. 

 

Text searches are a very useful way to find an initial target for a shape-based search.  Polaris allows a virtually unlimited number of meta-data fields and attribute values 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

 

Search 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, 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

The File Open command allows the user to browse for a model on their local or network drive, encode the model on-the-fly and perform a search. 

File Open

 

PLM Search

iSEEK can be deployed either with interoperability with the PLM, or fully integrated.  Interoperability allows

  • automatic updating of the CADSEEK search index for new or modified models,

  • searches launched from the PLM

  • links from CADSEEK directly back to a model's page in the PLM so that model's can be checked out appropriately

 

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