A US based company Imaginestics has developed a new search engine which searches a catalog of 3d images using a rough engineering sketch. This sketch is used to compare with an online catalog of 6000 parts at http://www.3d-seek.com/ portal.
The search engine is supposed to help both the manufacturing companies and the retail customer. manufacturing comapnies deal with elephantine number of parts and shapes and remembering the codes and technical names of these products itself is a great headache and this search engine is made to make the job easier for the customer. Th esearch is completed in seconds compared to earlier searchs which could take hours to weeks to conduct search.
There are two obvious advantages of using this new system.
1. If comapanies want to hide the details of patented designs and only display on demand then it can certainly help the users and companies to hide the design details.
2. Also it is found that 10-16% of user parts are ordered via multiple vendors in global corporations causing millions or dollars down the drain in duplicated efforts. Duplicate designs are drawn from scratch resulting in wastage of time and effort. 3d-seek can be used to keep a track of parts and inventories in multilocation companies. It can also be used in a single location company to keep a track of spare parts.
When you submit the doodle ( Sketch ) a 3d image which can be rotated and viewed of all the parts which match the sketch is thrown up.