Design & Manufacturing Midwest – and its five co-located shows – kicked off this morning with a number of exhibitors showing brand-new products for the first time. Attendees are crowding the aisles to see the latest in electronics, medical, design, materials, assembly, and automation products and services.

Here’s what I’ve seen so far today that I think you’ll want to check out:

CGI Inspection is displaying its Pearl-700 desktop 3D inspection system that measures injection-molded parts. The process starts by encasing a part in the system’s Encase-It material, which covers and fills the entire part completely. Once it’s encased, it’s placed in the inspection system, and a thin layer of the part is machined off. The system’s camera captures a high-res image of each newly exposed cross-section. The images are converted into edge-detection points that are stacked up, layer by layer, to create a 3D point cloud model of the part. The “wow” part of this system: it performs complete 3D scanning of parts with internal features, including hollow areas. If you have the chance, visit CGI Inspection at Booth 4231.

NComputing has the answer for companies looking to tap the unused capacity of their PCs with their X-series desktop virtualization kits. It lets up to 11 users simultaneously share a single PC. Each user gets their own virtual workspace (including applications, settings, files, etc.), so although they’re sharing a single system, they each get their own “PC experience.” The kit includes software, a PCI card, and access device. Check it out in Booth 2416.

I just saw a number of new machines from Carl Zeiss IMT , including the METROTOM 800 CT-based coordinate measuring machine for 3D measurement and structural inspection of complex parts made of plastic, composite materials, and ceramics. With the system, parts with difficult-to-reach structures can be easily measured non-destructively. Zeiss also introduced today to the North American market its ACCTeePro software that measures surface finish, roundness, and contour.

That’s it for now – back to walking the aisles and finding more exciting products to report to you.