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Raindrop Geomagic Receives $2M NIST Award for Advanced Computer-Aided Inspection Research.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 11, 2003

Raindrop Geomagic has been awarded $2 million in research funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program.

The NIST ATP award - one of 44 from 467 proposals - will fund Raindrop Geomagic research to develop, validate and benchmark new computer-aided inspection (CAI) technology over a three-year period.

According to NIST, the Advanced Technology Program "bridges the gap between academic research and the marketplace, stimulating prosperity through innovation." The early-stage investments are aimed at "accelerating the development of innovative technologies that promise significant commercial payoffs and widespread benefits for the nation."

"We are thrilled that NIST agrees with and supports our vision that CAI will have a far-reaching economic impact for U.S. manufacturing," says Ping Fu, president and CEO of Raindrop Geomagic. "We are now able to apply appropriate R&D resources to develop CAI technology and standards that will have a significant impact on improving quality inspection."

Raindrop Geomagic's CAI technology is currently embodied in its Geomagic Qualify software, which enables manufacturers to compare 3D scan data of a built part with the original computer-aided design model. Geomagic Qualify is used by manufacturers such as Square D and BMW to increase the speed and accuracy of first-article inspection and parts verification.

The NIST ATP award allows Raindrop Geomagic to extend its research to address the technical challenges that arise from introducing CAI technology into the manufacturing environment. These challenges include ensuring that data alignment and analysis are repeatable and reproducible; inventing mathematical algorithms where error correction and error prevention can be used to improve quality of data measurements from high-speed, non-contact scanners; and providing analyses and reports that can be benchmarked against known methods and measurements.

"Our success in this project can help eliminate a substantial production inefficiency," says Fu. "This would result in major savings and process improvements in most manufacturing industries, including automotive, aerospace, defense, consumer products, and medical devices."

About the ATP

The ATP provides cost-shared funding to industry-led teams - which can include non-profits and universities - to help advance particularly challenging, high-risk R&D projects that have the potential to spark important, broad-based economic or social benefits for the United States. The program supports projects that industry cannot fully fund on its own because of significant technical risks.

ATP awards are made on the basis of rigorous, competitive peer review of the scientific and technical merit of each proposal. The program accelerates enabling technology research, but does not support product development work. Further information about ATP is available at www.atp.nist.gov.

About Raindrop Geomagic

Raindrop Geomagic (www.geomagic.com) provides software that enables closed-loop processes for reverse engineering, mass customization and quality assurance. Manufacturers worldwide - including Toyota, Harley-Davidson, Fisher-Price, Align and many others - turn to Raindrop Geomagic to provide the technology for customizing products, automating processes, and increasing throughput.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 11, 2003
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