By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Parametric modelers are tough to use. They also create a set of procedures that must be followed to represent a model’s geometry. If the designer is not around, other engineers might not be able to do their jobs because they don’t know how to run the modeler. And the last thing you want is to have some piker fiddling with a feature in a parametric model. The whole thing can collapse like a house of cards. This is where SpaceClaim Professional, just released in version 2008, comes in.
SpaceClaim is a bridge that links engineering disciplines. A full-function 3D MCAD application, SpaceClaim keeps the workflow cooking without having the untrained messing with your parametric modeler or with the recipe used to create the design. For that matter, they don’t even mess with your control design. Three vital attributes are the key to understanding SpaceClaim: user interface, interoperability, and explicit modeling. Well, four. Full-function 3D MCAD, but I said that already.
SpaceClaim enables design team members to import a copy of your parametric model and then interact with the geometry. Suffice it to say, it seems to support interoperability with most every format. (In today’s write-up, click the “product overview” link, then hit supported formats at the bottom to see a list.)
Explicit modeling, a term the company does not use, best describes your interaction with the geometry. Basically, you can do what you want: reach back and change a feature, scale a surface, blend points to 3D curves, etc. without worrying about the underlying intelligence as you would with a parametric modeler. In other words, you can what-if to your heart’s content. Frankly, because it’s full-featured, this almost makes SpaceClaim a strong MCAD modeler for companies that have to change their designs constantly and rapidly in response to the demands of clients.
The heart of this flexibility, however, is SpaceClaim’s user interface. While it provides situational-sensitive tools and help, the most important aspect is that it gets the MCAD tools out of your face so that you can edit the model. You just do what it is you want without going through a lot of steps to get there. It’s kind of difficult to describe this without showing it. I recommend that you download the demo from the link in today’s write-up to see what this interface is like.
SpaceClaim Professional 2008 is a productivity tool for the engineering team. Its user interface so reduces the learning curve that it makes SpaceClaim a collaboration and communication tool for the extended enterprise. You can read about the new features in the 2008 version in today’s Pick of the Week write-up. While there, sign-up for a webinar to see what’s really going on. There’s one tomorrow.
Thanks Pal – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine