thinking beyond

Computer Aided Design (CAD) is the use of the computer technology for the process of design documentation. CAD may be used to design curves and figures in two-dimensional (2D) space or curves surfaces and solids in three-dimensional (3D) space.



Mechanical Engineering students completing a class assignment on CAD software called SolidWorks.

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a numerical method which provides solutions to problems that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. In terms of fracture, FEA most often involves the determination of stress intensity factors.



FEA on pipe joint to simulate real world loads.

Rapid Prototyping is the automatic fabrication of an object directly from Computer Aided Design (CAD) using Additive Manufacturing techniques, also known as 3D printing, to produce physical prototypes and models. Theses prototypes are fabricated in plastic, metal and sand.



A rugby trophy designed, and manufactured from CAD data to produce a physical plastic model.

Product development inspired by people, driven by innovation. Reverse Engineering (RE) is one of the services offered to clients at the PDTS. RE creates an accurate digital representation of an object by means of laser scanning. This digital information can then be used to compare two objects, or an object can be compared to its original design to determine how accurately it was manufactured. PDTS has three devices to meet your Reverse Engineering needs:

  • Renishaw Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM):- up to 0.012 mm accuracy.
  • Konica Minolta 3D Non-contact 910i scanner: – which is able to scan components ranging in size from a golf ball to the size of an aeroplane up to 0.05mm accuracy.
  • Z-Scanner 800 series (Portable handheld): – up to 0.1 mm accuracy.

The scan data is imported into editing data, such as Geomagic, which can be used to manipulate the images for further processing. This technology is ideally suited to the foundry industry and will contribute to reducing production time and material costs.



Marinus Potgieter is scanning a bottle for RE purposes. The smaller captures in the image demonstrates additional RE devices.

Uploaded: 18 July 2019
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