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3D Scanning Services

CAD Surface Models: Freeform Surface Modeling in CAD

Freeform organic shapes can present many 3D modeling challenges. In fact, some common, everyday products like machine parts, sporting goods and orthotics, as well as jewelry, toys, and hardware are often modeled using CAD surface modeling techniques.
CAD systems can easily represent geometrically well-defined shapes (circles, triangles, rectangles, and even some smooth rounded surfaces, such as car bodies; but, freeform organic shapes which are sculpted (such as jewelry or sporting goods) or shapes with complex surface data (manufacturing parts, tools and dies) are difficult to work within CAD.


Most modern CAD systems represent surfaces using a standard mathematical form: NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines), invented in 1975 by Ken Versprille. NURBS can be used to accurately represent both analytic surfaces (e.g., spheres, cones, cylinders, and tori), and free-form surfaces, so they’re a good, but not perfect, choice as a native geometric form for CAD.

The biggest thing problem with NURBS is that they only come in one form: 4-sided. Using a standard 4-sided NURBS to build a free-form organic shape can be difficult. That’s where we come in.

We can help you create both class A and class B surfaces. Using NURBS modeling, our parametric surfacing experts work with you to perfect the details of each project. Our advanced 3D scanning and dense point cloud software give help your projects meet the highest possible standards.

Solidworks & NX Surface Modeling

At CAD / CAM services, we use SolidWorks and NC for free for surface modeling. Using NX and Solidworks surface modeling, we can help bring your high quality designs to life.

We help clients in the following industries:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Medical
  • Wind power
  • And others requiring high accuracy

When we do organic shape modeling with NURBS, we generally take one of two approaches when we’re working with 2D sketches: (1) Start with a block and cut off what we don’t need; or (2) Start with a blank plane and add what we need. By using 2D sketches on working planes or surfaces, and extruding, rotating, sweeping, or lofting them we can create features on the 3D model.

We can also do freeform organic shape modeling by using SubDs (or T-Splines). This involves working with an initial mesh shape, then subdividing it into areas that need more detail and refinement. By pushing or pulling on its surface we can form it into the shape you need. Some of our technicians say It’s like electronic clay modeling.

Finally, if we have an original object, that is similar to the final project, we can use 3D scanning technology to create a point cloud of the object. A point cloud is a set of data points in a three-dimensional coordinate system that serves as the beginning place for the final 3D model. From the point cloud, we can convert into a mesh model in the desired CAD system, mold, and model the mesh, ultimately ending up with a final virtual model of the finished product.



CAD Conversion FAQs

There are special CAD translator software packages available on the market, why should I pay you guys?

It is better to ask the following question:

What can you do that a software translator cannot do?

  1. Verify files.
  2. Update files
  3. Fix files
  4. Convert the CAD data to native intelligent CAD data with full feature trees.
  5. Update data to the current CAD standards.
  6. Work in the native PLM systems.
  7. Correctly write scripts for this process as needed.

My company wants to change the focus of our CAD systems, is it possible to do this with your help?

Of course, we offer CAD migration services. If you want all the Cad Perfect™ files to comply with your updated company standard, just send us the guidelines and we will make Cad Perfect™ files which are perfect for you!

I have some exotic files nobody knows even how to open. Can you help me even in this case?

Yes, we performed successful conversions from many local or exotic and ancient CAD systems. You can continue the development of old projects in modern software with our help.

I have some weird CAD files from the previous century, can you help me?

Yes, absolutely. We can perform legacy CAD conversions.  Just send us some example files, and what CAD system we need to wind up in, and let us design the best solution for you.We have worked with old Computer Vision tapes, Anvil, and many other 1980’s systems.

Which CAD systems do you work with?

We support all the modern CAD systems including SolidWorks, Catia, Siemens NX, PTC Creo, Inventor, Revit, AutoCAD, and many others.

Which CAD file formats do you work with?

All the CAD file formats are listed on this page but bear in mind that we also work with exotic and legacy CAD systems.  After 31 years of providing CAD Services, we have run into almost any CAD file format.

What do I get?

You get native Cad Perfect™ files with the full-featured model tree (where applicable, since some file types have no trees), and features can be fully parametric. It all depends on your goals.  We prefer to not translate any files. Our goal is to deliver to you a file that you do not have to touch. Our work is exactly as if you had reproduced that work in-house.

What do you need to provide me with an accurate quote?

We need to know source CAD and target CAD software. Since large quantity orders can be discounted by us you can provide us with the number of parts you need to be converted.

If you tell us the desired purpose of the conversion we can offer you some conversion options. We can also convert your files into vendor-neutral file types (.STEP, .STL, etc,).

Please email us even cell phone photos, and the rough size of what you wish scanned and converted [email protected].

What is a CAD conversion?

A CAD conversion is when our team of engineers takes your sketch, physical drawing, existing CAD file, 2D CAD file, or idea and transforms it into a professional 2D or 3D CAD file. For instance, you can send us a picture of your legacy drawing, and we can create a 3D CAD model from scratch in your favorite CAD program (like NX, CREO, CATIA, SolidWorks, etc.).

A CAD conversion takes many shapes, and our engineers are able to perform most of the CAD conversions that you can think of. As long as you want high-quality 2D or 3D CAD files, then CAD/CAM Services can help.

Can you turn a sketch I have into an engineered CAD file?

Some of our most fun projects are taking someone’s sketch on a napkin, and transforming it into a manufacturable part. Yes, we can turn your sketch, idea, or dream into an engineered CAD file. Our team will go through engineering simulations, Design for Manufacturing (DFM) best practices, and tough calculations to make sure our designed part will work perfectly for you.

Allow our team at CAD/CAM Services to be your on-call engineer. We love going back and forth with inventors and dreamers like you, and our goal is to provide 3D CAD files and 2D manufacturing drawings. With our help, you can start building your dream part, assembly, or product today.