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ANSYS Acquires SpaceClaim to Further Simulation-Driven Product Development

SpaceClaim Engineer's 3D direct modeling capabilities are expected to help ANSYS expand its user base and simulation-led product design initiatives.

SpaceClaim Engineer’s 3D direct modeling capabilities are expected to help ANSYS expand its user base and simulation-led product design initiatives. Image courtesy of SpaceClaim.

ANSYS, a provider of engineering simulation software, acquired SpaceClaim Corporation, a provider of 3D modeling software for engineers, for a purchase price of $85 million in cash, plus retention and an adjustment for working capital. The transaction was closed yesterday.

SpaceClaim offers direct, 3D modeling software that can be utilized by engineers during the product development process. SpaceClaim and ANSYS have partnered in the past to offer customers ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler.

According to a press release announcing the acquisition, ANSYS’ longtime vision is “Simulation Driven Product Development,” in which organizations can derive value by harnessing computer simulation early in the design cycle to predict how a product will perform in the real world. With the addition of SpaceClaim, ANSYS will provide customers with a 3D direct modeling solution to author new concepts and then leverage simulation to rapidly iterate on these designs from the earliest stages of the design cycle.

SpaceClaim addresses 3D modeling needs in the conceptual modeling, manufacturing and 3D printing spaces, which ANSYS says represents an audience of 5 million users. ANSYS says it expects to broaden its user base from analysts and expert users to millions of design and systems engineers in the industry.

In an email to customers announcing the acquisition from Stig Jensen, Senior vice president of worldwide Sales and Steve Costello, vice president of Sales, Americas for SpaceClaim Corporation wrote:

Not only is this acquisition a continuation of SpaceClaim’s customer-focused strategy of providing intuitive and powerful tools to engineers, but also ANSYS’s resources helps us realize that strategy faster and more efficiently than ever before. We will be able to get SpaceClaim Engineer into more hands. We will also have more resources to continue to innovate and create fantastic products for our customers and prospects.

SpaceClaim’s letter to customers also featured some questions and answers about the acquisition:

How does this affect SpaceClaim’s products?

We will continue to develop enhancements our customers have requested and continue to innovate to bring quality products and solutions to the market. Going forward, we will continue to develop, support and innovate for SpaceClaim Engineer and its modules. In fact, with ANSYS’s resources behind us, we will be in a better position to deliver industry-changing products faster than we have been before.

Is SpaceClaim going to support and develop for the same markets in future?  
Absolutely. One of the main reasons for ANSYS’s interest in us is SpaceClaim’s ability to extend their reach into new markets. If we develop solutions for your market today, we will continue to do so in the future.

Who should I go to for any support or sales questions going forward?
Continue to contact SpaceClaim’s support and sales representatives with whom you’ve worked in the past. There are no plans to change your current support or technical contacts.

How does this affect SpaceClaim licensing?
There are no plans to change any licensing agreements or policies because of the acquisition.

How does this change SpaceClaim Engineer’s openness?
SpaceClaim has always pursued a CAD-neutral approach.  ANSYS too has always been an open platform and will remain so even as it enables its customers to edit and modify geometries using SpaceClaim Engineer, regardless of the system in which they were created.

In its press release, ANSYS says the benefits of the acquisition include:

  • SpaceClaim can help simplify and automate what has traditionally been a time-consuming process of preparing geometry for use in a simulation system, enhancing ease-of-use to help ANSYS accelerate product adoption and the growth of the simulation market overall.
  • Enabling ANSYS to provide its customers with a powerful and intuitive 3D direct modeling solution to author new concepts and then leverage the power of simulation to rapidly iterate on these designs to drive innovation.
  • Helping ANSYS deliver simulation tools to any engineer in any industry — at the earliest stages of the design cycle.
  • SpaceClaim’s flagship product, SpaceClaim Engineer, gives the company a 3D direct modeler.
ANSYS' Acquisition History

ANSYS’ acquisition history, courtesy of ANSYS.

ANSYS says it will be able to leverage its infrastructure and global footprint to accelerate the combined company’s growth and profitability. Additionally, it says SpaceClaim has net operating losses, which ANSYS will be able to carry forward to reduce future tax payments.

For more information, read ANSYS’s press release and SpaceClaim’s blog post.

Watch a video from SpaceClaim highlighting the features of SpaceClaim Engineer 2014:

About Jamie J. Gooch

Jamie Gooch is the managing editor of Desktop Engineering. Contact him at de-editors@deskeng.com.
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