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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 Weekly (10/18/2012) SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+ Launched
October 18th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe
CONCORD, MA, October 10, 2012 – SpaceClaim, the leading provider of flexible and affordable 3D for engineering, design, and manufacturing, today announced the immediate availability of SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+. This release introduces significant new capabilities for manufacturing, simulation, concept development, and mesh remodeling. These enhancements will help all engineers work more effectively in 3D, without the high cost and complexity of traditional CAD.
SpaceClaim has revolutionized modern mechanical design by providing an easy-to-use and affordable way for engineers and product teams to create, modify, repair, and enhance 3D CAD geometry, without compromising existing processes and methods. SpaceClaim users can leverage existing 2D and 3D designs, including customer and supplier models, analysis and simulation results, mesh and STL data, and surface models, along with PMI and tolerance data, in all their work.
SpaceClaim adds value to existing CAD and PLM infrastructure while removing the waste and rework caused by incompatible file formats. In stark contrast to overpriced and inefficient history-based solid modelers, SpaceClaim works with foreign CAD data as easily as it does its own. It directly opens and edits all leading 2D and 3D CAD file formats as well as neutral file formats, such as JT (with PMI), STEP, and 3D PDF.
SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+ enables small and large manufacturers competing in a global market to get parts out the door faster, finish projects on budget and ahead of schedule, and win more business. SpaceClaim makes it easy for companies specializing in CNC machining, tool and fixture design, injection molding, sheet metal, and production automation to communicate more efficiently with their customers, focus on value-added work, and increase production rates.
“SpaceClaim provides discrete manufacturers with the competitive edge needed in today’s tough global economy,” said Chris Randles, SpaceClaim President and CEO. “Access to 3D is not the same as access to traditional CAD. The benefits of 3D solid modeling extend far beyond detailed design, but it is impossible for companies to make the large investments required to deploy expensive and complicated CAD and PLM systems to every user. Traditional CAD plays a valuable role in the detailed design process, but SpaceClaim Engineer is the first and only product that enables all members of a product team to use 3D to do their jobs more effectively.”
New capabilities in SpaceClaim 2012+ include:
In addition to appealing to a wider range of end-users with this release, SpaceClaim is continuing to expand its partner and OEM channels. SpaceClaim’s direct modeling technology better serves independent software vendors, as its technology is easily adapted to specialized and proprietary tools and processes. In addition, SpaceClaim’s modern and extensive API makes it the most flexible 3D platform for third-party customization, and the fastest route to market for ISVs. New Solution Partners include fluid simulation experts Simerics, EDM provider First Trace, and 2D drafting provider SofTech. AMC Bridge is a new Software Development Partner offering services to develop SpaceClaim customizations for end-user customers and partners.
Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor
The day before this announcement was made, I spoke with Blake Courter, Director of Customer Development at SpaceClaim. He walked me through some aspects of SpaceClaim’s business, what’s new in SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+, and demos of some of the newest features and capabilities. I’ve known Blake for a number of years at SpaceClaim, as well as previous employers, and his enthusiasm and understanding of the technologies he is representing and presenting have not diminished.
Founded in 2005, it’s hard to believe that SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+ is the tenth version of the software, but it is. How time flies. From the beginning as a CAD technology, SpaceClaim has had a different philosophy and market target than most of its competition. The company has never been shy about how it stacks up against and bests the competition with regard to cost and ease of use, and continues to do so with this release.
In SpaceClaim’s way of thinking, CAD is NOT the center of the universe. CAD does not translate to customers and actual business needs, and is not a business driver.
Rather, according to Courter, SpaceClaim has humility, but an understanding of what its customers need because it attempts to truly understand their business problems. In other words, SpaceClaim doesn’t let its collective ego get in the way. SpaceClaim views its software products not so much as a traditional design tool for just engineers, but more of a competitive weapon for sales to be employed by under-served software users. Targeted at the traditional CAD non-user (or non-traditional CAD user), 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.” Definitely a different and refreshing take on CAD tools.
Also, SpaceClaim positions direct modeling as its product, and not just a feature or capability. A high stakes bet, because direct modeling is all they do, but one they seem to be winning.
I had forgotten, but Blake reminded me of the tight relationship that SpaceClaim has with Dassault Systemes Spatial Technologies. SpaceClaim still happily integrates Spatial’s ACIS modeling kernel into its products. So happy, in fact, that SpaceClaim has no plans at present to switch to Spatial’s CGM technology, because “it’s not time yet,” said Courter.
In the past, while I have been somewhat skeptical about SpaceClaim’s long-term prospects, I have tracked the company and its products and have seen how well they have fared in specific segments of the MCAD marketplace. SpaceClaim has always done things a little differently than the competition and maybe that’s a good thing because maybe the MCAD industry as whole should be doing things a little differently.
In a few weeks I’ll gets some hands-on time with SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+. I haven’t personally spent much time with it for a couple years and am anxious to see how it has evolved since then.
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.
Autodesk has completed the acquisition of Qontext, enterprise social collaboration software, from India-based Pramati Technologies. The acquisition of the Qontext technology and development team will accelerate Autodesk’s ongoing move to the cloud and expansion of social capabilities in the Autodesk 360 cloud-based service. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Autodesk intends to use the Qontext technology to add new social capabilities to Autodesk 360, a cloud-based platform that offers users the ability to store, search, and view critical design data improving the way they design, visualize, simulate and share work with others at anytime from anywhere.
3D Systems announced that it acquired Rapidform, a leading global provider of 3D scan-to-CAD and inspection software tools, located in Seoul, South Korea for $35 million in cash, subject to final closing adjustments. Rapidform’s reverse engineering and inspection software combines scan data processing, mesh optimization, auto surfacing and CAD modeling in a single, integrated tool. 3D Systems expects Rapidform to contribute $15 million of revenue and deliver between $0.06 and $0.09 in earnings per share to its 2013 non-GAAP results. With the addition of Rapidform, 3D Systems has secured the cornerstone of its fifth growth initiative: to create a seamless, digital scan, design and print platform for the benefit of its customers. This important growth initiative is consistent with the company’s overall drive to democratize and deliver integrated 3D content-to-print solutions. Rapidform broadens 3D Systems’ range of capabilities with complementary products and technology, and extends its coverage and breadth globally with a significant foothold in South Korea and Japan.
Delcam has launched the 2013 version of Delcam for SolidWorks, the integrated CAM system for SolidWorks. The new release includes a new entry-level 3D milling option, plus many of the enhancements made to the 2013 version of the FeatureCAM feature-based programming system on which it is based. As a Gold Partner CAM product, it is, of course, fully compatible with the latest release of SolidWorks. The new entry-level 3D option includes all the 2D and 2.5D strategies available in Delcam for SolidWorks, plus the 3D single-surface strategies for Z-level roughing, with either offset or raster, and finishing with raster, isoline or spiral. It is intended mainly as an introductory level program for companies new to 3D machining but will also be useful for users that only have an occasional need for 3D capabilities or that only machine softer materials. A number of new strategies have been added to the high-speed machining module in Delcam for SolidWorks. Step cutting has been added within area clearance to remove large terraces that can be left on the part when using deeper roughing cuts. Extra toolpaths can now be generated that step back up the terrace with the existing large tool, adding extra cuts at intermediate levels. This results in more material being removed, using the same tool within the same toolpath. New five-axis strategies available in Delcam for SolidWorks 2013 include flowline machining between two curves, pencil machining and corner re-machining. These options for simultaneous five-axis machining allow a better surface finish to be achieved as well as ensuring access to more areas within the part in a single set-up. Delcam for SolidWorks is fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment so that the program looks and behaves like SolidWorks. It offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model are reflected automatically in the toolpaths. However, this associativity is more intelligent than that offered in many other integrated CAM systems.
Siemens Building Technologies announced today it has introduced the Environmental Impact Calculator, a new application now available free-of-charge through the Apple Store. Siemens’ new tool allows energy engineers, facility managers and others to estimate a building’s baseline carbon footprint from purchased electricity, natural gas and heating oil. In addition, users can measure the impact of energy efficiency improvements on an annual basis or throughout the length of a given project’s term. The calculator will convert building energy consumption data into relevant comparisons including the number of cars and light trucks removed from the road, the number of acres of forest absorbing carbon, and barrels of oil consumed. Results can be used to communicate reduction targets, develop a greenhouse gas reduction strategy or support a range of initiatives to reduce a building’s environmental impact. The app, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with iOS 4.0 or later, is available free-of-charge from Apple Store’s iTunes.
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