SensAble Technologies, Inc. announced that version 1.0 of the ClayTools system for Robert McNeel & Associates' Rhino software is scheduled to ship in May 2005. The system enables designers to use their sense of touch to create organic shapes and add sculptural details, handcrafted modifications, complex blends, and embossed textures to existing Rhino NURBS models.
Unlike traditional modeling tools, the ClayTools system uses a virtual clay metaphor that removes the constraints of technical modeling, and offers speed and creative expression. The system includes the Phantom Omni device--a true 3D interface with force feedback. Users use their sense of touch to model virtual clay just like real clay.
The ClayTools system is complementary to Rhino software. Designers can create models using their favorite tools in Rhino, and then import their models into the ClayTools system. Imported Rhino models can be used as reference or converted to virtual clay--either in total or selected parts.
Using the Phantom Omni device, designers can feel the virtual clay to create organic shapes and smudge, smooth, carve, and tug to add details, blends, and textures that are challenging to achieve with traditional modeling tools. Models can be output to RP and used for casting, or imported back into Rhino to finish the model and export for rendering, RP, or CAD/CAM.