Many of my support ticket responses start with a simple question. Is your data"aligned" or oriented? What does that mean?

It means are the scans, or points, or polygons, or even CAD information rotated and translated to a position in 3D space that makes sense to your project? If I scan the water bottle on my desk and try to match it to my CAD model: Is the scan of the bottle superimposed over my CAD model automatically? Is it orented properly? Was my CAD model built off in space somewhere rather than revolved around the Z-Axis and resting on the XY Plane? If they are are not aligned,"How do I fix it?"

This week's Nugget is how to align you data to"The World." That is matched to and rotated"correctly" in relation to the World Coordinate System. This coordinate system exists in every wrp file and is tursned off (not visisble) be default. You can turn it on by putting a check in the World Coordinate checkbox on the Display Tab (behind the Model Manager Tab.)

Most of our solutions in Geomagic software do not require this"alignment" to operate and you will find many ways to align data (Best Fit, Global Registration, Target Based, etc)...which can become confusing. Don't worry, most of those methods are geard toward a specfic workflow. Perhaps yours? You should investigate each of them to find out for yourself.

For some solutions, like Parametric Surfacing, your part should be aligned prior entering the command to fully or more easily exlpoit the tools within the workflow. Sub commands, such as Primary Surface Constraint can use the System Axis and Planes as directions and if your part is not aligned, these would not make sense as a usable direction. Yes, it could be argued that a Feature plane could be constructed and that used to align an extruded surface....and that you need to create Features to Align to World anyway? Why not just use those?

Well, most (if not all) of our workflows were desiged to export their geometry to other systems. If the data you scanned is not aligned properly, any geometry you create from that data will be mislaigned as well. Using features on the data is fine, but if the part is not aligned...what's the point? And....yes, what is the point...

Today we will assume you do not want to keep the aribitrary alignment of the scan data. We will also assume you know what parts of the scan need to be aligned to the World (Center of Rotation, Parting Line, hole pattern, etc.) Today we use Align to World to move your scan data to the World Coordinate System to better match your blueprint, CAD model, or ???...don't forget to Tools->Move->Reorient your model when done with the alignment to"bake" in the new"home" location for your scan data. If you do not Reorient your model and you use Tools->Move->Reset, Studio will send your model back to it's original location (when you imported the data.)

If you want to"remember" this"move" or alignment so you can scan something else and reapply the same move...then you need to do two things.

One, be sure your model's Transform is Reset prior to Aligning.

Navigate to Tools->Move->Transform->Save and look for anything but this:

If you see numbers in the matrix, apply Tools->Move->Reset your model.

Then perform your alignment.

...and finally, Two...return to Tranform Save command and save the tranformation out to disk. This will save a .tfm file with a name of your choosing. This file can then be Tools->Move->Transform->Load'ed each time you scan something else with the same scanner (hardware) alignment. Be aware that this transformation is only good for the active hardware/software setup. If you restart, recalibrate, or move your scanner and/or part in relation to each other, this transformation will become invalidated and you will need to Align to World again manually.

On to the Nugget...Align to World...

Q: How do I align my model to the World?

A: In Alignment>Object Alignment>Align to World, you can easily align datums or features of a selected object to planes, axes, or the origin of the World object, or to datums that may have been copied to the World object.

There is a Self-Paced Training activity named Aligning Data to World Coordinate System for users to follow the steps for aligning to the World. It is located in the Geomagic Studio Support Video Learning Center.