Press Releases 3D Systems Solid Imaging
Modeling application is fine-tuned on IBM's IntelliStation NT workstation

Mary Woods, Public Relations Mgr.
3D Systems
26081 Avenue Hall
Valencia, CA 91355
ph: (661) 295-5600 ext. 2508
fx: (661) 295-3404

VALENCIA, California, August 4, 1999 - 3D Systems (Nasdaq NMS: TDSC) and SensAble Technologies today announced a strategic partnership to promote "3D desktop publishing" worldwide.

The companies are collaborating to demonstrate the benefits of new modeling software and solid imaging technologies.

Using SensAble Technologies' FreeForm™ modeling software and PHANTOM™ Desktop, with an IBM IntelliStation®, an artist "sculpts" an object, such as a toy, within his computer. When finished, the object is downloaded to 3D Systems' ThermoJet™ Solid Object Printer, which faithfully replicates the object in solid, usable form. The whole process takes place in an office setting.

The partnership will be formally launched at SIGGRAPH 99, a major computer graphics convention to be held Aug. 8-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"Working together, these complementary technologies are much more than just a better way to use computers," said Arthur B. Sims, chairman and chief executive officer of 3D Systems. "They enable an entirely new way to use computers to easily and quickly turn human creativity into physical forms."

Bill Aulet, president of SensAble Technologies, described the pairing of SensAble's FreeForm modeling system with 3D Systems' ThermoJet printer as "an ideal combination." Years ago, he noted, software programs like Adobe PageMaker combined with laser printers to make desktop publishing possible. Now, he said, "the FreeForm and the ThermoJet open the way to desktop publishing in three dimensions - in effect, '3D printing.'"

The SensAble and 3D Systems technologies provide unique advantages to the user, at both the input and output levels.

SensAble is maker of the PHANTOM™ hardware device that allows users to touch and manipulate digital data. Areas of use include medical simulation, seismic data interpretation and virtual assembly. The FreeForm system, which is scheduled for official launch next week, broadens the application areas to include modeling for design and content creation. This system allows sculptors and designers to use their sense of touch while modeling on the computer. It is as intuitive and expressive as physical modeling with clay or foam, yet with the productivity advantages of a digital tool.

Once the digital models are complete, designers can send the objects to 3D Systems' ThermoJet Solid Object Printer. The ThermoJet printer creates solid three-dimensional objects using a variation on the technology widely used in inkjet printing. Instead of putting dots of ink on paper, the ThermoJet printer places tiny drops of molten thermopolymer, which almost immediately solidify. As more and more drops are placed into precisely-controlled positions and quickly harden, a solid three-dimensional object is formed within the machine.

Designers can sculpt objects using the FreeForm system, send them to a ThermoJet printer, and then hold solid, three-dimensional examples of their work in a few hours. The objects provide tangible, real-world examples of designs that may be difficult to comprehend when viewed as a complex image on a computer screen.

3D Systems and SensAble Technologies will continue their strategic partnership beyond SIGGRAPH. Their goal is to acquaint the design and content-creation communities with the benefits of the two technologies through seminars, demonstration centers and a collaborative educational campaign.

About SensAble Technologies
SensAble Technologies, based in Cambridge, Mass., is a leader in developing and commercializing technology that allows users to interact with a computer in a much more intuitive and expressive manner, using the sense of touch. The company is dedicated to revolutionizing the human-computer interface by bringing 3D Touch™ technology to the desktop.

More than 200 companies in 25 countries benefit from the use of SensAble's 3D Touch technology for applications in the design, entertainment, medical and scientific visualization markets. Corporate users include General Electric, Disney and Boeing. More information is available at the company's website at, or by email at

About 3D Systems
3D Systems provides solid imaging products and services that allow users to move quickly from three-dimensional designs to finished parts, at a significantly lower cost and higher quality than more traditional methods.

The company's systems utilize patented stereolithography (SLA™) and 3D printing technologies, which fabricate solid objects from digital input. This process offers significant competitive advantages by substantially reducing the time and cost required to design, develop, and manufacture products.

The company also licenses 3D Keltool®, a commercially proven moldmaking solution that produces prototype, bridge, and production tooling inserts.

Based in Valencia, Calif., 3D Systems was founded in 1986 and is recognized as the world technology and market leader in solid imaging. For additional information, visit the company's website at or phone (888) 337-9786, ext. 708.


3D Systems, SLA and ThermoJet are trademarks, and Keltool and the 3D logo are registered trademarks, of 3D Systems. FreeForm, 3D Touch and PHANTOM are trademarks of SensAble Technologies. IntelliStation is a registered trademark of IBM.

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