REVIEW: ClearEdge3D EdgeWise – Automatic Point Cloud to 3D Model Conversion

Company: ClearEdge3D
Software: EdgeWise™
Website: www.clearedge3d.com

Quick Pitch: Automatically extract vector planar surfaces from just about any type of point cloud data.

Overview:
Having used just about every piece of software on the market related to processing and extracting vector data from point clouds, I am always looking for the next best thing. The hardware side of laser scanning has come a long way in a very short period of time. However, the software side has not improved at the same blistering pace. When the availability of ClearEdge3D’s EdgeWise™ software was announced back in June and webinars were hosted to demonstrate the abilities of the software, I was anxious to get my hands on a copy of EdgeWise™ to test it out for myself. While a little reluctant to offer demo licenses in the beginning, ClearEdge3D quickly began to realize that skeptics like myself were not willing to spend $7,000.00 on a piece of software that we have not had a chance to try out for ourselves, especially in this economy. They quickly began to recognize the needs of the market and responded accordingly by providing time-based pre-release beta trials to highly interested parties.

Installation:
The pre-release software I received (v. 1.0.2b) was easy to install, although there was an issue with the hardware lock driver on my Vista 64-bit laptop. This was quickly resolved by downloading the correct driver from the SafeNet website (Note: the updated drivers will be included on future distrobutions).

First Impression:
Right out of the box (figuratively speaking, as the software was downloaded from their website) I was very impressed with the overall look and feel of the software. ClearEdge3D was obviously interested in making their software easy to use and graphically pleasing to the eye because they certainly did accomplish that. The UI is based on the latest Microsoft Office-type menu structure which made it very easy to jump right in.

Ease of Use:
ClearEdge3D insisted on a 1-hour web-based training session and, while not necessarily needed due to the exceptional design and layout of the software itself, it did prove to be very benefical and probably saved me a bit of time learning by trial and error. With exception to a few terminology questions, I found the software’s left-to-right workflow very easy to use. Every step of the conversion process was very well thought out and the routines made a lot of sense.

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