Open side-bar Menu
 MCADCafe Editorial
Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

MCADCafe e-Magazine: SpaceClaim Announces SpaceClaim Engineer 2012

March 27th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

SpaceClaim (, announced SpaceClaim Engineer 2012. This release introduces significant new capabilities in reverse engineering, model preparation for simulation, manufacturing, and data reuse. These new capabilities build on SpaceClaim’s accessibility, ease-of-use, and low total-cost-of-ownership, enabling even more engineers, designers, and analysts to complete their projects with SpaceClaim’s innovative 3D direct modeling technology.

The combination of ease-of-use and lower cost ensures that the total cost of ownership of SpaceClaim is less than 50% of the cost of traditional CAD products. With this release, SpaceClaim continues to expand into markets where its unique tools address previously unsolved problems and where SpaceClaim Engineer meets users’ complete CAD needs. SpaceClaim continues to penetrate markets where traditional CAD is the wrong product for basic engineering tasks, and where ease-of-use, interoperability, and maturity are required to enable engineers, designers, and machinists to work in 3D.

“Before SpaceClaim, it wasn’t possible for me to do my job in 3D,” said Steve Tyler, Owner, Austmarinetech. “We deal with so many design changes that it wasn’t worth the time, let alone the investment, to use feature-based CAD. With SpaceClaim, I can open 2D and 3D designs from suppliers, assemble them into a design, and make changes on the fly. The direct modeling interface gives me instant updates and lets me communicate with team members who don’t speak English. Overall, SpaceClaim has improved my process by a factor of two and made my life a lot easier.”

“SpaceClaim 2012 is a milestone release for the company. SpaceClaim is now by far the most mature of a new generation of 3D CAD products, and we’re now seeing SpaceClaim Engineer selected as a tool of choice for the complete design process, not just for discrete tasks,” said Chris Randles, SpaceClaim President and CEO. “Traditional parametric, feature-based tools have reached the limits of their market penetration, but there still exists a huge underserved market for 3D CAD. Most users still use 2D or 3D products with limited capabilities and poor interoperability. SpaceClaim is innovative, affordable, and accessible. It makes it as easy for any user to create, document, and share 3D designs as it is to use mainstream office productivity tools. What we are seeing is the democratization of 3D CAD.”

New capabilities in SpaceClaim 2012 include:

  • New SketchUp conversion detects regions where SketchUp’s approximated, facetted geometry was derived from analytic surfaces such as cylinders and cones, and automatically replaces them with precise geometry.
  • Multiple solid editing capabilities, such as cone manipulation, surface pivoting and distance-by-angle chamfers, extend SpaceClaim’s lead in direct modeling.
  • Smart tools for manufacturing, such as recognition and editing of standard holes, make SpaceClaim increasingly practical for machine shops and detailed design.
  • Significant performance improvements to large parts and drawings further confirms that SpaceClaim is the fastest 3D direct modeler available.
  • A new lightweight viewer and Microsoft extensions that allow viewing of models from compatible programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Explorer, as well as from a new standalone application.
  • JT with PMI export, in addition to existing capabilities, makes SpaceClaim the most comprehensive JT editor on the market today.
  • Detailing improvements including exploded views, aligned and unfolded sections, arc length dimensions, text fitting and alignment tools, and BOM templates let more users create detailed drawings in SpaceClaim.
  • A new set of 2D and 3D curve repair tools facilitate working with existing drawings and wireframe data and converting them to solid models.
  • Several sheet metal enhancements representing unprecedented depth, including mitered flanges, faster unfolding, weld tabs, and improved identification and interaction with sheet metal features.
  • Environment reflection and textures enable users to work interactively on more realistic looking models.
  • Usability improvements, such as improved selection rendering and reduced selection flashing, make it easier to work on large models.
  • Flexible configuration and IT-friendly options facilitate large rollouts to corporate, government, and educational customers.
  • Improved interoperability with support for KeyShot 3, Creo 1.0, SolidWorks 2012, and Inventor 2012.
  • The improved batch file translation utility now supports all formats that SpaceClaim can read and write.
  • Expanded API coverage now includes access to more sheet metal parameters, drawing view renderings, and advanced mass properties.

“SpaceClaim and Google SketchUp share a long-term vision of enabling everybody to work in 3D. SpaceClaim’s ability to turn SketchUp files into precise solids suitable for manufacturing — without remodeling — will enable mechanical SketchUp users to more quickly realize their vision, and help SpaceClaim users take advantage of the millions of models available in our 3D Warehouse,” said Tom Wyman, Business Development Manager for Google SketchUp.

SpaceClaim more than doubled its installed base in 2011 and continues to enable more users to be productive in 3D while adding value to manufacturer’s existing investments in CAD. SpaceClaim is being rapidly adopted by small-to-medium businesses as a dedicated CAD tool and by large organizations as an engineering tool complementary to long-standing production CAD deployments, thus broadening the use of 3D throughout the entire product development lifecycle.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Founded in 2005, SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 is the ninth release of the company’s flagship 3D CAD tool. The company has never been shy about how it stacks up against and trumps the competition with regard to cost and ease of use and continues to tout those claims with this release. Founded or unfounded? We’ll see . . .

SpaceClaim’s customer base continues to expand with each release and includes several manufacturing heavy weights, including Bosch, Ford Motor Company, General Dynamics, GE Aviation, Toyota, and Volvo.

Interoperability has improved, but interestingly, (given their emphasis on direct modeling), no mention is made regarding interoperability with Solid Edge, known for its Synchronous Technology. Major? Maybe not, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

New curve cleanup tools are an important offshoot of interoperability and can be a real time saver for creating models from existing wireframes and drawings.

Manufacturing and sheet metal have come a long way in SpaceClaim Engineer, probably owing in big part to the company’s relationship with TRUMPF, a big player in sheet metal fabrication machinery and industrial lasers.

One of the most interesting recent aspects of SpaceClaim is its partnership with Geomagic. The relationship could very well make SpaceClaim a real player in reverse engineering and working with meshes. Some of this new technology will be supplied by Geomagic, but a lot will also be homegrown by SpaceClaim.

SpaceClaim has had a free viewer for some time, but it is now available as a Windows shell extension so you can now display SpaceClaim models in Windows Explorer. Pretty imaginative using something that exists on every Windows users’ desktop, and the price is right, too.

Claiming that it is the most comprehensive JT editor on the market today is quite a statement. I wonder what Siemens PLM Software has to say about that?

Also, SpaceClaim positions direct modeling as its product, and not just a feature or capability. SpaceClaim is betting the farm on this one, because direct modeling is all they do.

Targeted at the traditional CAD non-user, SpaceClaim uses ACIS as its underlying geometric modeling kernel. One of the main focuses of the 3D modeling tool has been to make it as intuitive as possible for users new to CAD or those who had experienced difficulties with it in the past, meaning that it is “design oriented,” and not necessarily “operator oriented.”

Now for the million-dollar question, “Will SpaceClaim continue to succeed where others have also succeeded, but also where many have failed?” That’s still really a loaded question for a number of different reasons. I would have to say, however, that while the odds might still be against it, based on the personnel and products coming out of the company, their collective track record betters those odds in their favor. SpaceClaim also appeals to the non-traditional CAD user, which is a good thing.

While I have been somewhat skeptical about SpaceClaim’s long-term prospects, I have tracked SpaceClaim and its products and have seen how they have fared favorably in specific parts of the MCAD marketplace. As with any vendor in the MCAD space, we continue to wish them well — the more, the merrier.

Is SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 as intuitive and easy to use as the company insists? I’m not going to touch that one until I have some personal hands-on experience with it; however, there are several aspects that continue to make it look promising.

I’ll download, try it for myself, and report back.


The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.



Engineering Simulation Software, STAR-CCM+ v7 Changes the Game

For the past 30 years, the ability of engineers to perform Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of the interaction between multiple moving objects has been severely curtailed by the need to generate an interconnected mesh between the objects. Not only did this requirement make the creation of “moving mesh” simulations an intensive manual process, it also often rendered it impossible in the case of objects with extreme ranges of motion or with very close interaction. STAR-CCM+ v7.02 changes this with the introduction of a new Overset Meshing capability. Overset Meshing (sometimes called “overlapping” or “chimera” meshing), allows the user to generate an individual mesh around each moving object which then can be moved at will over a background mesh. The Overset Meshing capability is fully compatible with the full range of unstructured meshing options in STAR-CCM+. With no need to worry about interconnecting meshes or cell distortion, Overset Meshing brings genuine moving object simulation within the grasp of all engineers. Overset Meshing can also be used for parametric studies, steady or unsteady simulations, providing an easy way to reposition or replace objects in order to study multiple design configurations.

Autodesk Names Green Structures as Inventor of Year for 2011

Autodesk has named Green Structures as the Autodesk Inventor of the Year for 2011 for developing the Ventive energy-efficiency system that is ideal for building retrofits. Green Structures uses Autodesk Inventor software and a range of other Autodesk Digital Prototyping solutions to transform the way energy systems are planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated within the built environment. As a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program — an initiative that provides Autodesk Digital Prototyping software to emerging and established clean tech companies — Green Structures is an innovator in passive heat recovery ventilation and thermal energy storage systems. The firm’s Ventive heat recovery ventilation system works with existing chimneys to channel air and heat. This system contrasts with current mechanical heat recovery ventilation systems, which require that complex ductwork be installed throughout an entire building. Ventive can be installed in less than 30 minutes, providing a far faster and less expensive alternative for retrofitting buildings with the latest green technologies. Green Structures relies on Autodesk Inventor, as well as Autodesk Ecotect Analysis software, Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics software, and Autodesk Revit Architecture software in its product design and development. Green Structures accelerated the prototyping process for its Ventive heat recovery ventilation system using Autodesk Simulation software to digitally simulate wind tunnel tests and perform heat transfer analysis, saving on physical testing costs of approximately $1,550 (£1,000) per day.

Research and Markets: 3D Computer-aided Design Market in APAC 2010-2014 Report – APAC 3D CAD Market Moving Towards Cloud Computing

Research and Markets announced the addition of the “3D Computer-aided Design Market in APAC 2010-2014” report to their offering. TechNavio’s analysts forecast the 3D CAD market in the APAC region to grow at a CAGR of 21 percent over the period 2010-2014. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the need for extended product visualization for better product quality in the APAC region. The 3D CAD market in APAC region has also been witnessing aggressive marketing by CAD vendors. However, increased training costs have decreased investment in CAD software, which could pose a challenge to the growth of this market. Key vendors dominating this market space include Dassault Systmes SA, Autodesk Inc., Siemens PLM, and Parametric Technology Corp. TechNavio’s report highlights that after the impact of the global economic recession, there has been a steady increase in the economy of the Asian countries such as India and China. Further, due the threat of natural calamities such as earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, several production facilities are being shifted from Japan to other countries in the Asian region such as India, China, and Singapore. With a number of low-cost manufacturing and designing facilities companies emerging in this region, there is an increase in investment for both the domestic and international market, in these countries. Key findings from the report include Increased Outsourcing and Investments in the Automotive Sector, Increased Training Costs, Decreased Investment Towards CAD Software, and Increasing Competition Leading to Reduced Cost of Licenses.

Luxion releases KeyShot 3.1: Real-time Environment Editing, Metallic Paint and More

Luxion, a developer of advanced rendering and lighting technology and makers of KeyShot, a real time ray tracing and global illumination program, released KeyShot 3.1 and with it real-time environment editing and other features. Keyshot 3.1 marks the first major update of the release that introduced a patent-pending animation system, a revamped user interface, and over 600+ new materials. With this update we introduce time-saving new features and improvements including a new, unique metallic paint material, interactive HDR editing that allows real-time editing of the lighting environments, material templates that allow 3D professionals to ‘auto-paint’ their models, and network rendering to queue render jobs and spread them across multiple computers. KeyShot 3.1 is available at

Latest Release of Pointwise’s CFD Software Includes an Advanced Hybrid Mesher and Native CAD Readers

Pointwise announced the latest release of its Pointwise computational fluid dynamics (CFD) meshing software. This update includes an advanced implementation of the T-Rex hybrid meshing technique for viscous flows and native readers for CAD files. Pointwise’s T-Rex technique (anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion) is a highly-automated method for generating a hybrid mesh suitable for resolving boundary layers, wakes and other features of a viscous flowfield. T-Rex extrudes layers of high-quality tetrahedra (with included right angles), avoids collisions with layers extruding from adjacent geometry, and optionally combines the layered tets into prisms. The implementation in Pointwise automatically ensures consistency of the volume mesh with the adjacent surface meshes, something which previously had to be managed manually. This new Pointwise release also includes the ability to read geometry data from native CAD formats including ACIS, CATIA V4, CATIA V5, NX, Parasolid, Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, and STEP. Importing directly from a native format bypasses the requirement to produce an IGES file and avoids the possible errors introduced by translating to an intermediate format. The readers, bundled into Pointwise, operate without a license of the CAD software. Also included in Pointwise Version 17 are the ability to group entities for ease in selection and manipulation, the ability to easily re-extrude grids generated with the software’s traditional style extrusion methods, the option to restrict application of grid algorithms to a portion of the overall grid using subgrids, and updated exporters for several CAE formats.

Jeffrey Rowe is the executive editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at or 719.221.1867.

This Week

Lead Story

SpaceClaim Announces SpaceClaim Engineer 2012

Product and Company News

Nanosoft Releases nanoCAD

Arena Launches New Products to Help Engineers Go From Prototype to Production

Nikon Metrology LC15Dx scanner closes the gap with tactile probe accuracy

Elecworks Introduces Integrated Wire Harness Design within SolidWorks

Yazaki North America Selects PTC as Its Software Systems Solution for Electronic Instrumentation

OMAX Corporation and ICAM Collaborate on Multiple CAM Interfaces

Tech Soft 3D Releases Latest Versions of HOOPS Exchange and HOOPS Publish

Sensable Ships Major New Release of Freeform 3D Modeling Software

Cimatron Solving Canadian Die Shop Needs

Autodesk Inventor Engineer-to-Order Software Offers New Web Access

Renault Sport F1 Racing Ahead with CD-adapco’s Engineering Simulation Software

Dassault Systèmes Helps GID Launch BodyDock Cellphone Armor for iPhone 4S

New Generation of CAD Comparison Tools Confidently Identify and Communicate Change White Paper

CCE Announces Release of ConfigLink 2012

Rapid Sheet Metal Inc Unveils “PTC Creo Online 3D Tooling Library”

QuadriSpace announces Widetech LTD as European Master Reseller

CVG-Avtec Implements Product Lifecycle Management Solution From Omnify Software

Liquid Robotics’ PacX Challenge Wave Gliders Break World Record for Distance by an Unmanned Wave Powered Vehicle

Formtek Releases New Software Extensions for the Alfresco ECM Platform

MecSoft announces RhinoCAM 2012

Applied Engineering and ExactFlat Partner to Bring 3D-to-2D Flattening

RedEye On Demand Broadens Low-Volume Manufacturing Capabilities with Addition of Cast Urethane Molding

UAB School of Engineering launches micro-air vehicle program (CD-adapco)

pester pac automation GmbH Transforms Technical Documentation with 3DVIA Composer

Radan Doubles Output for Aerospace Engineer

CIMdata Publishes “Breaking Down the Barriers to Simulation—Autodesk Broadens Simulation Offerings”

AutoForm Hydroforming – A New Level of Accuracy and Speed of Tube Hydroforming

Xisis Partners with Geomagic in UK to deliver 3D Reverse Engineering and Metrology tools for more accurate, productive design and manufacturing

Creaform Completes 2011 with Record-Breaking Sales in Q4

BEIRENS Selects MSC Software’s SimXpert to Develop Chimneys That Withstand Wind and Earthquakes

Dassault Systèmes Helps GID Launch BodyDock Cellphone Armor for iPhone 4S

NobleTek Joins the Aras Partner Program

Top 10 Finalists Announced in Extreme Redesign Contest by Dimension 3D Printing

Cimatron Meeting Brazilian Manufacturers’ CAD/CAM Needs

JETCAM’s Chinese distributor expands territory amid strong growth

SigmaTEK Academy Brings Fabricators Face-to-Face with Industry Leaders

Autodesk Celebrates 25 Years with Six Value-Added Resellers

PADT Kicks Off “3D Printing on Every Desktop” in the Southwest with Stratasys uPrint SE Systems

Autodesk Executives Named CRN Channel Chiefs Four Years Running

Invention Machine Expands Partnership With Springer

FISHER/UNITECH Named 2011 Top Stratasys Reseller

Autodesk Expands 2012 Platinum Club to Recognize Channel Partners Globally

ATEK offers new CAD product catalogue for gearbox configuration

Improve Collaboration…Foster Innovation for your Organization (3D CIC)

Autodesk Names Ideate Q4 Reseller of the Quarter

Related MCAD News

Strong start for manufacturing technology orders in 2012 (USMTO)

AMT- The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA- The American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association Announce Merger

The European Cross-Border Electricity Interconnectors Market 2012-2022

HP Revolutionizes Enterprise Customer Support for the Cloud Era

Intergraph Introduces SmartPlant FreeView

Delcam’s ArtCAM helps Aitkens Pewter to exceed customer expectations

Lumenpulse Sponsors, Mentors Walpole High School’s Robotics Team

Corporate Moves

Roland Strengthens Sales and Product Management Teams

SAE Foundation to Honor Edsel B. Ford II

The Association For Manufacturing Technology Elects New Board of Directors and Officers

Aras Joins 3D PDF Consortium as Founding Member

SigmaTEK Announces Addition to Southeast Region Team

Industry Events

Hundreds of Manufacturers Convene for Successful Second Editon of “Manufacturing for Growth” Meeting

Altair Brings High-Tech Innovation Back to Detroit With the 2012 Americas HyperWorks Technology Conference

Delcam offers cost-effective reverse engineering at RAPID 2012

Autodesk Extends Invitation to Join Webinar on Manufacturing Business Segment

HACOMA and SPRING Technologies together at the JEC COMPOSITES 2012 show in Paris

SURFCAM 6 to Be Unveiled at WESTEC 2012

Delcam’s Vortex headed for MACH

Geometric to demonstrate CAMWorks 2012 at WESTEC

CIMdata Bringing PLM Certificate Program to Ann Arbor, MI – May 14 -18, 2012

PLMIG announces Knorr-Bremse and Thales PLM Benchmark Coaching Workshop dates

GO2cam 5-Axis CAM showcased at Industrie Paris (ModuleWorks)

Radan to Exhibit at WESTEC 2012

ESPRIT 2012 by DP Technology to be exhibited at Westec

ADT Sponsors FAN 2012, Provides Speaker on 3D Inverse Design

Media Are Invited to Attend the FIRST Robotics Competition Arizona Regional

IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 Rally Fighter Graphic CarSkin Competition Winner Named

High School Robotics Teams Head to Richmond For Regional Tournament

TDT Hosts FREE Webinar March 21: Key Advantages of 3D Inverse Design in Turbomachinery Design Process, by Professor Mehrdad Zangeneh, PhD

Omnify Software Hosts Webinar on Design Control for Medical Devices

Metrology Speaker Agenda Published for Hexagon 2012 International Conference

The European Cross-Border Electricity Interconnectors Market 2012-2022

Delcam to show easier inspection software at Control

SimuTech Group Offers Innovative ANSYS Training Courses

ESPRIT 2012 by DP Technology to be exhibited at Industrie

OPEN MIND to exhibit hyperMILL® aerospace functions at Westec 2012

A preview of new developments and anniversary celebrations for Sescoi at Industrie

Webinar: What’s New in SpaceClaim 2012

PLM Expert Dr. Michael Grieves to Present Cummins Case Study

Columbus Offers Industrial Equipment Manufacturers Series of Webinars on ‘Discrete Manufacturing Solutions’

First Quebec Robotics Festival

First Quebec Robotics Festival-More Than 5,000 Persons to Gather in Montreal to Take Part in the First Quebec Robotics Festival

GPI Prototype Presents Additive Manufacturing technologies at Design & Manufacturing Texas

FREE Webinar: Key Advantages of 3D Inverse Design in Turbomachinery (4/17/12)

See How Edgecam is Improving Machining Productivity at WESTEC 2012

Bechtel-Sponsored Teams to Compete in FIRST Robotics Competition

OPEN MIND exhibits at SolidWorks World 2012 – SolidWorks users show strong interest in hyperMILL

The Manufacturing Industry Exhibition (SIMM) in Shenzhen

Bimba Shows Off New 3D CAD Product Configurator Powered by PARTsolutions on iPad at the National Fluid Power Association Conference

Delcam to launch new orthotics CADCAM software and scanner in Leipzig

Mid-West CAD Announces Autodesk Revit API Training

Corporate Newsletters

TopSolid Newsletter #65 – March 2012

Vero Quarterly Newsletter – March 2012

News.Delcam – Issue 51c – March 2012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kenesto: 30 day trial

Internet Business Systems © 2019 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
25 North 14th Steet, Suite 710, San Jose, CA 95112
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise