PolyWorks Beginner’s Guide

The PolyWorks Beginner’s Guide will walk you through a typical reverse-engineering process
and a typical inspection process using PolyWorks V10. You will learn basic notions and do exer
cises that result in a reverse-engineering and an inspection application. This guide:
• Is goal oriented – we provide you with the procedures, parameter values, and data files and you
do the work.
• Uses workflow charts and a step-by-step approach; the workflow charts can be used as a gen
eral summary of all the steps needed to accomplish a basic inspection or reverse-engineering
project in PolyWorks.
• References other PolyWorks tools not seen in this guide to round up your learning experience.
In order to use this guide and do the exercises, the PolyWorks software must be installed and the
license keys obtained that activate the software.

Typical PolyWorks Workflow
PolyWorks is the leading reverse-engineering and inspection software solution on the market to
day. The PolyWorks process consists of three sub-processes, as shown in the workflow below:
Acquiring Data – You either have point clouds or can scan a part using your digitizer and
PolyWorks plug-ins. Then, align the point clouds accurately, or if your point clouds are already aligned, verify the alignment quality prior to reverse engineering or inspection.
Reverse Engineering – Generate a high-quality polygonal model from the aligned point clouds, then improve the polygonal model to meet your downstream application requirements, and even create high-quality NURBS surfaces.
Inspection – Compare the aligned point clouds to a reference object using user-defined tolerances. Take accurate measurements. Create customized reports. Then, send the results to your partners for viewing with the free PolyWorks inspection project viewer.

In PolyWorks Basics, you will first become familiar with the PolyWorks/Workspace Manager (WM).
This tool lets you use the PolyWorks modules and manages workspaces that contain your files
and the IMAlign, IMEdit, and IMInspect Projects that you create using PolyWorks. The second part of PolyWorks Basics lets you become familiar with the PolyWorks graphical user interface. Thecontent is part information and part exercise.

Acquiring Data 
PolyWorks enables reverse-engineering and inspection applications using high-density point clouds. Acquiring data is the first item in the PolyWorks workflow. It consists of two steps.

Reverse engineering is a process that involves converting the aligned scans of a physical part,
which may require editing, into a high-quality, highly accurate surface represented by polygons. If
desired, NURBS surfaces may be fitted to the polygonal model for use in downstream applica
tions, such as CAD software. The reverse-engineering process consists of three steps.

The inspection process typically uses the aligned datasets as the Data object, which is compared
to a NURBS-based Reference object.  

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