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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 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 design … More »

Machine Research and Spatial Partner to Develop Cloud-Based App

August 13th, 2015 by Jeff Rowe

Wow, it’s still summer, but what a week for cloud-based CAD apps. First, Onshape for Android, and now this development from Spatial and Machine Research.

Spatial Corp., a provider of 3D software development toolkits announced that Machine Research, a software provider that helps manufacturers increase efficiency and profitability, has leveraged Spatial’s 3D InterOp and 3D ACIS to launch the first Machine Research app for manufacturers, providing them with the ability to view, measure, collaborate, and translate virtually any CAD file type to any other file type on a secured cloud-based platform. Customers also can manage projects, utilize a visual search engine to find legacy projects of similar geometry, and customize and standardize the quotation process across their organization.


The Machine Research Multi-Purpose App

The Machine Research App provides two levels of service:

  • BASIC service allows manufacturers to avoid the expense associated with multiple CAD seats and one-off translation tools for an easy, cost-effective viewer and translator on the cloud for a monthly subscription.
  • PRO service (currently in Preview Mode) allows manufacturers the ability to search and find parts of similar geometry. Their search engine instantly gives users access to legacy parts of similar geometry to leverage the knowledge they’ve gained in the past to do things more efficiently and profitably going forward. It also allows users to take the multiple inter-connected spreadsheets out of the quotation process by providing a customizable quotation platform throughout their company.

“Leveraging Spatial’s knowledge and expertise in 3D software development solutions enabled us to deliver an extremely robust cloud solution to our customers in a short timeframe,” stated Chris Skubic, president, Machine Research. “Spatial’s 3D InterOp and 3D ACIS Modeler were extremely easy to add to the Cloud and Spatial was a great company to partner with as they completely understand our cloud-based business model, technology needs, support requirements, and our solutions’ value propositions.”

“Machine Research is providing something truly unique by leveraging their customers’ existing knowledge-base (quotes, manufacturing data, cost information, project profit margins, etc.) in a way that is currently a difficult, manual process,” stated Jean-Marc Guillard, chief executive officer, Spatial Corp. “With these new services, Machine Research has truly enabled their customers to utilize best practices and the proven methods that have made them successful.”

Spatial is no stranger to the world of interoperability and understands the importance of high-quality data reuse. Problems associated with the exchange of data may not become apparent until late in the work flow when investigation and correction of problems is more difficult, more costly and requires more investigation.  Data reuse is about much more than just data translation.

Rather than creating models, most 3D applications operate on existing data. These workflows being with ‘File -> Open’. Data reuse begins with the import of data, regardless of the format, ready to use in the workflow.

Solving the inherent problems associated with CAD data translation throughout the product design and engineering process can be challenging. Successful data reuse must address the specific requirements of the target modeler, whether it is 3D ACIS Modeler, CGM, Parasolid® or another modeling engine.  By providing quality data reuse with the ability to selectively import product structure, graphics data, geometry and PMI from a variety of leading CAD and neutral formats,  this is a complex area where 3D InterOp shines an is one of the primary reasons this technology was chosen by Machine Research.

Check out the following video for a demonstration of Spatial 3D InterOp R25.

For those who may not be familiar with Machine Research, basically it provides workflow optimization tools to manufacturers. The company develops software tools for solving problems that manufacturers encounter during the manufacturing workflow process. Machine Research is developing a set of applications on a cloud-based architecture that lets manufacturers view and translate CAD files, collaborate seamlessly, search and reuse past job information, accurately quote and cost new work, and build a shape-searchable archive of a shop’s work and the specs on every job.

For more information and a free trial of the app, visit

Even though a lot of my industry peers and pundits pooh pooh the notion of cloud-based anything, there is no denying that that the cloud is gathering steam and is just beginning to rain down the broad range of potential apps. Will they all work as advertised and succeed? Well, no, but what technology has ever guaranteed success?

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