What would you do if you were given $7 million? I’m sure you can do a lot with it, considering the belt-tightening economy.
Recently, SpaceClaim, the company behind the direct modeling software that has been grabbing headlines in the industry press, secured a new round of funding — $7 million. So I posed the same question to Chris Randles, SpaceClaim’s CEO, followed by a few more.
Question: What specific features or functions might the additional $7 million bring about?
Answer: We’re continuing to focus our development on capabilities that extend the use of 3D to under-served segments of the market, specifically in conceptual design, and support of engineering analysis and manufacturing engineering.
Q. Any statistics you can share about SpaceClaim licensing activities?
A. SpaceClaim saw tremendous growth from 07 to 08 and we expect [to see] continued accelerated growth in 09. Our paid licenses are in four figures and our customers (discrete companies) are in the hundreds. We moved from the pilot/evaluation stage in 2007/8 to the deployment stage with most companies in 2008/9. We now have many companies with multiple seats in production use.
Q. Are you currently looking for partnerships with certain hardware or software vendors? Can you discuss any of them?
A. We’re continuing to evaluate and develop partnerships with software providers in the target markets I described above. We’re also open to partnering with traditional 3D CAD vendors, with whom we see synergies. We’re looking at new hardware that will advance the state of solid modeling and expect to develop some relationships there as well.
Q. In a recent Design News article, you were quoted as saying “This is 3D modeling for engineers as opposed to 3D modeling for CAD jocks.” Can you clarify who the CAD jocks are and how they are different from engineers?
A. In larger companies (but not in small companies), there’s a distinction between engineering roles (e.g., design engineering, analysis, simulation) and CAD operator or “drafting” roles. We see ourselves as targeting the engineers, managers, or domain specialists who need fast, flexible, easy-to-use, and inexpensive 3D modeling tools, as opposed to CAD experts who are highly trained in CAD and spend a large percentage of their time using a brand name parametric, feature-based system.
A review of the company’s latest software, SpaceClaim Engineer 2009, is scheduled to appear in the next issue of Desktop Engineering. In the mean time, you can check out the video below for a glimpse of SpaceClaim.