backgrounder

Cyberware designs, manufactures, and markets equipment for rapid, color, three-dimensional digitizing. Pioneered by Cyberware, this laser- and video-based technology takes only a few seconds to capture the shape and color of solid objects for use on computers.

The easiest way to understand the potential of rapid 3D digitizers is to compare them with the scanners commonly used with personal computers. 2D scanners capture the details of flat objects, such as photographs. The resulting images are used in desktop publishing and a growing number of other applications.

Cyberware digitizers offer a similar function, but for 3D subjects rather than 2D photographs and drawings. Just as the market for scanners has grown dramatically in recent years, the market for rapid 3D digitizers is expanding as users in diverse fields realize the potential for working with computerized models of real-world objects.

Applications

Cyberware's digitizing technology provides a unique capability for many different types of applications in art, animation, virtual reality, fashion, medicine, orthopedics, prosthetics, ergonomics, anthropology and industrial design.

In computer-aided design and manufacturing for prototyping and reverse engineering, for example, many engineers need to work with two kinds of shapes: the geometric shapes that are easily generated by CAD/CAM programs and the curves of "natural" objects. These curves are either necessary to the function of a design, as with aircraft surfaces, or simply an aspect of a product that is pleasing to the touch and to the eye. Craftsmen have traditionally shaped these curved surfaces by hand in a medium such as clay. Cyberware technology permits design engineers to incorporate these sculpted surfaces into CAD/CAM designs quickly and easily.

For medical applications, Cyberware technology is unsurpassed in its ability to capture the shape of the human body. Bones and joints can be studied using 3-dimensional models. Better fitting burn masks improve the healing process. For artificial limbs and braces, Cyberware digitizers obtain shape information much more easily, accurately, and quickly than the traditional plaster molds and caliper measurements. For reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, surgeons can scan a patient's existing features and change them on the computer image to make sure the patient understands the intended results.

With the development of the Whole Body Color 3D Scanner, Cyberware has a leadership position in research into the use of 3D scanning in garment design and fitting, anthropometrics and ergonomics. Cyberware works with the Apparel Research Network toward its goal to improve military uniform delivery and ultimately to automate the entire process with software that can find critical measurement points and calculate correct clothing sizes.

One of the first applications for Cyberware digitizers was for personal portrait sculpture. The technology has made it a relatively simple matter to scan a person's head using the Head & Face Color 3D Scanner, and then reproduce a bust of the person on an automatic milling machine or a rapid prototyping device. These processes are far less costly and time consuming than conventional portrait sculpture. Many celebrities have been digitized, including Sir John Gielgud, Michael Caine, astronaut Eugene Cernan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and rock star Graham Nash.

Cyberware digitizers have helped the film industry with animation and special effects. Both Industrial Light & Magic and Walt Disney Imagineering use Cyberware equipment. Cyberware digitizers have played a role in the movies Star Trek IV, The Abyss, Robocop II, Nightmare on Elm Street, Terminator II, The Doors, Neuromancer, three recent Batman films, Jurassic Park, In The Line of Fire, Casper The Friendly Ghost, The Mask, and Jumanji.

Cyberware digitizers have also assisted the art world by providing a new creative tool for sculptors and scanners greatly simplify the process of making enlargements and reductions. Robert Graham combined art and Cyberware technology to create the Duke Ellington Memorial in Central Park and plaques for the Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D.C. Maquettes can be enlarged for statuary or reduced for toy and licensed-product design.

Museums are scanning artifacts to create virtual copies to study or for preservation of objects that might be damaged with handling, or deteriorate over time. Archaeologists in Greece are using a Cyberware scanner as an integral part of an excavation near Mount Olympus. The scanner is being used for studying the artifacts, reproduction, building a database, and virtual reality display of artifacts. A T-Rex skeleton acquired by Chicago's Field Museum has been scanned for sharing with researchers for virtual slicing and study of minute details. Stanford University commissioned Cyberware to design a custom 3D scanner that is being designed to scan works by Michelangelo on-site in Italy.

Cyberware digitizers serve as research tools in several fields, often as part of a computerized simulation system. The digitizer captures the shapes of objects, which are then used on the computer to simulate events that would be difficult to stage physically. The digitizers also provide the first practical way to measure the characteristics of many subjects, such as irregular specimens. IBM, NASA Ames Research Center, the US Air Force, and the Japanese communications firm Nippon Telephone & Telegraph use Cyberware digitizers for research purposes.

Cyberware Technology

Cyberware rapid 3D digitizers work by capturing a series of profiles of a subject. Assembling all the profiles creates a 3D model of the subject. Most Cyberware digitizers also capture the subject's color and surface markings.

Each profile of the subject is obtained by illuminating the subject with a low-power laser. This creates a distinct line that a video sensor can digitize instantly. By moving either the subject or the digitizing unit, another profile becomes available. In a continuous motion, the digitizer automatically takes profiles from many angles. Users can get a profile as often as every 0.5 mm (about 0.02 inch) for a highly detailed representation of the subject. In color digitizers, a second video sensor captures the subject's surface color and markings.

A Cyberware digitizer scans a typical subject in less than 30 seconds - and often in as little as 17 seconds. The collected profile and color data then go to a computer workstation, which immediately displays a 3D image of the subject. The user can rotate the image to see it from any angle and measure any part of the image, including its area and volume.

One of the most powerful aspects of the Cyberware technology is that it allows users to modify the three-dimensional image. Instead of going to the trouble of modifying a physical object, users can quickly change the image on the computer. They can slice the subject, stretch it, smooth it, erase portions, combine different images, and make many other changes.

A common way to utilize a digitized image is to modify it in some way, then make a physical likeness of the image using an automatic milling machine or the stereo-lithography process. The image data is used to control the milling machine's cutting tool or 3D printer, which automatically recreates the 3D image.

The Cyberware technology thus allows users to go quickly from a physical prototype to a 3D image, modify the image on the computer as desired, and produce a new physical prototype automatically. These capabilities help erase the separation between ideas and physical reality.

Cyberware Products and Services

The Cyberware product line includes the digitizer hardware, motion platforms, and software tools for 3D scanning. Cyberware's standard line of 3D scanners includes systems for live subjects and inanimate objects.

The Head and Face Color 3D Scanner Bundle is used for scanning the human head and face. The Whole Body Color 3D Scanner Bundle scans the entire human body in one 17-second pass. Three different standard systems are available for scanning inanimate objects of different sizes. The Desktop 3D Scanner Bundle scans small objects up to about 200mm in size. The Model Shop Color 3D Scanner Bundle quickly adjusts to accommodate a wide range of objects with one meter of linear travel for the object in front of the scan head and one meter of vertical travel for the scan head. Custom scanning systems are also available from Cyberware.

Cyberware offers several software programs that allow users to perform various tasks. One program automatically controls the motion platform and digitizing unit to obtain the desired scan. Other programs allow users to view the 3D images, assemble and edit multiple scans, reshape and surface them, reduce the number of polygons and recreate the image/object on virtually any automatic milling machine. Cyberware images can also be used to drive various rapid prototyping machines now available.

Additionally, Cyberware supplies translation software that converts the image data to formats suitable for popular third-party software programs. This feature permits users to take advantage of other companies' programs, standard tools in the CAD/CAM, mechanical-analysis, and animation fields.

Company Information

Incorporated in December of 1982, Cyberware spent more than two years developing its rapid 3D digitizing technology. The company holds several key patents on this technology.

Business in the company's early years consisted mainly of digitizing and model shop services and sales of custom digitizers. Applications broadened from portrait sculpture and other art-related work to medical uses, special effects for movies, CAD/CAM, and a variety of research projects.

Today, Cyberware concentrates on manufacturing its standard line of 3D scanners and continues research and development around custom digitizer projects. Customers who have purchased Cyberware scanners now provide scanning and related services.

Cyberware sells its products directly and worldwide through value-added resellers (VAR's) in Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, Australia, Korea, and Israel. Please request a distributor listing or review our web site: http://www.cyberware.com

Cyberware is privately funded.

The Market

Cyberware has sold digitizers to customers in 27 countries. Many of these sales occurred in 1990, when the introduction of the general-purpose Model Shop Color 3D Scanner Bundle spurred significant sales increases. As computer-based tools for working with 3D images has become more powerful and popular, Cyberware digitizers are enjoying an ever-expanding market.

Cyberware occupies the leading position in the 3D digitizing market, with a range of equipment providing resolution, speed, price, and features that suit the largest group of potential users. As Cyberware further develops its technology, future products will digitize faster and provide higher shape and color resolution. As applications for 3D digitizers unfold, Cyberware is in the forefront of the 3D computing revolution.

Management

Owned and managed by members of the Addleman family, Cyberware takes advantage of their diverse technical and business talents:

David Addleman - President and Co-founder
David created the software that supports the 3D digitizing process and jointly holds several digitizing-related patents. He provides overall corporate direction and manages the programming and engineering departments. David's previous experience in software engineering has included work on the Unix kernel for various companies and contract work for the US Air Force and City and County of San Francisco where he did development work on the computer controls for the rapid transit system.

Lloyd Addleman - Director of Engineering, Treasurer and Co-founder
Lloyd did the pioneering work on the Cyberware rapid 3D digitizer and continues to refine and enhance the technology. He has almost 50 years of experience in such diverse areas as cryptographic communications, automated reconnaissance systems, a cross-correlation Loran system, and countermeasure systems. He holds a number of patents in these fields, as well as jointly holding several digitizing-related patents. Before co-founding Cyberware, Lloyd held positions with companies such as Hazeltine and Sylvania, and was a founder of Melabs Inc., a manufacturer of microwave components and systems.

Stephen Addleman - Vice President
Steve manages day-to-day operations of Cyberware's various departments, and additional responsibilities include management of special development projects and government contracts. Steve's work at Cyberware has included system sales and installation, customer training and system manufacturing. He has also worked as an analytical and compounding chemist.

Sue Addleman - Vice President
Sue's management responsibilities focus on the needs of our customers and include the areas of product information, sales, quality control, technical support and other services. Sue has a degree in Psychology and recently retired from a 15-year career with the American Red Cross as a Manager, Relief Provider and Business Ethics facilitator.

Patricia Addleman - Secretary
Pat oversees day-to-day financial, payroll and personnel matters and currently uses her art background for publicity - advertising and newsletters. Previously she developed the processes for finishing portrait sculptures.