Global Haptics Inc. of Albuquerque is creating a device that helps computer users manipulate three-dimensional digital models.
The new firm showed third-phase prototypes of the GeOrb mouse at Siggraph 2002, a computer graphics exhibition held July 23-25 in San Antonio. The device allows a user to create an original model, select from existing shapes or manipulate imported files.
Development work began in 1997. In May, Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque used a rapid-prototyping technique to produce parts for four nylon GeOrb shells under a small-business assistance program. Sandia is affiliated with the Energy Department's nuclear security administration.
Global Haptics is selling the prototypes with stand-alone software for $995 each and a software developer's tool kit as a $500 option, said Lem Hunter, chief executive officer of both Global Haptics and engineering-design firm Mechanical Solutions Inc. in Albuquerque.
Global Haptics may begin low-volume production in epoxy and, in the next six months, move to injection molding, possibly using an engineering thermoplastic resin such as ABS or acetal, Hunter said. ``We want to keep manufacturing flexibility early-on,'' he said.