By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Yesterday, SpaceClaim released the 2012+ edition of its eponymously named 3D direct modeling system SpaceClaim Engineer. That plus sign might fool you into thinking that this is just another release cleaning up bugs and tossing in a tool or two fresh out of development. You’d be wrong. There’s plenty of stuff happening in this release across all areas. Before we get into a quick rundown of that, let’s start with SpaceClaim’s second most-cited claim to fame behind its 3D direct-modeling technology: interoperability.
SpaceClaim has built its reputation in part through its vast interoperability elasticity, particularly its ability to open and edit most every 2D and 3D CAD file format as well as neutral file formats like JT, STEP, 3D PDF, and so on. Equally notable is its direct-connect interoperability with leading applications and technologies, and the big news in Version 2012+ is that Microsoft SharePoint is directly supported from the SpaceClaim user interface.
This should make the SpaceClaim Data Management for SharePoint workgroup tool — think a PDM (product data management) system — announced over the summer a smoother operation while enhancing your document management capabilities. BTW, that SharePoint document capability is built-in, making it available to all SpaceClaim 2012 and 2012+ users at no charge.
Interoperability with ANSYS now sees the ability to explode groups into multiple groups and enclosed faces now update associatively. SpaceClaim 2012+ also introduces direct connections to the Esprit and Mastercam CAM product lines. Those direct connections surely indicate that SpaceClaim is grabbing hold in the machine shop.
Other enhancements for manufacturing back up that opinion, I confess. Here, you also have new annotation types like weld symbols and semantic datum symbols. There are measuring and positioning tools designed with machinists in mind, and broken and broken out section views.
SpaceClaim’s sheet metal capabilities keep evolving. Version 2012+ offers a bunch of new capabilities such as formed bends, the ability to create walls in different directions simultaneously, and long joggles. A number of the sheet-metal updates, such as new support for conical bends and the ability to have formed geometry on bends, sound to me (i.e., I’m guessing) as if they are inspired by user feedback.
Mesh remodeling gets a lot of attention: Improved section curve fitting, plane and cylinder fitting, mesh splitting by plane, cross-section curves can be fit to meshes with tolerances, and you can now compare meshes to solid geometry.
So, as you can see, there’s a whole lot that’s new in the 2012+ edition of SpaceClaim. Hit the link, read more, and then check out the assortment of video demos to get the scoop.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering