For a maker of things, it’s completely natural to think in terms of shape, to remember shapes made before and to dream of the shape of things to come. The trouble is that we name our parts with descriptive language and complicated numbering conventions that attempt to describe shapes but don’t do it very well. Instead of typing words and numbers into a search box, imagine inputting a shape — in the form of a 3D CAD model — into a search box and finding everything similar. It’s intuitive, productive, accurate, and — most importantly —language- and number-free.
Shape search just may be the fastest way to locate your preexisting hard-won manufacturing knowledge so you can put it to work. Oftentimes in the world of manufacturing, you find that something new that you are being asked to make is is 95% the same as something you made once in the past — but it’s hard, or outright impossible, to find that old part. Maybe you can remember what it looked like, but you can’t remember the name or the part number, which are the essential pieces of information you need to locate it. By searching with shape,a new world of productivity opens to us as we easily find manufacturing knowledge that can be used once again.