3D investment

Enterprise Ventures, an independent venture and growth capital fund manager, has completed an investment in Bradford University spin-out Tangentix.

Tangentix has been established to commercialise a new technology for handling 3D graphic models that have been developed by a team at the university led by Prof Hassan Ugail.

A major difficulty in creating practical objects on a computer is the lack of methods for defining them in an easy and intuitive fashion.

Conventional methods typically use polynomial patches (for example, Non Uniform Rational B-Splines or NURBS), which often require hundreds of control points to represent a realistic object. Such ‘spline’-based patches often do not exactly meet at the boundaries and consequently need to be trimmed or stitched in order to close the surface of the object in question.

Ugail’s method differs from conventional spline-based techniques in that it enables the user to create the geometry of realistic objects based upon the surface information at the character lines or edges of the object to be designed.

The approach regards surface design as a solution to Partial Differential Equations (PDEs), in particular elliptic PDEs, and creates a surface as a solution to an appropriately chosen boundary-value problem. Therefore, the method defines a surface in terms of data around its edges, or along its boundary curves.

In its simplest form, the method can be thought of as creating surfaces between a given set of curves in 3D chosen by a designer.

The funding round for Tangentix was led by Enterprise Ventures via its RisingStars Growth Fund and included investment from South Yorkshire Investment Fund’s Seedcorn Fund.

Ugail said: ‘We approached a number of investors looking for help to explore the potential of our technology. Enterprise Ventures provided invaluable assistance in exploring the alternative commercial routes going forward, and has helped to identify a number of high-calibre and specialised individuals to work alongside the team to help pursue those routes.’

More on Ugail’s work can be found here.