For all intents and purposes, direct modeler SpaceClaim is already part of ANSYS’s portfolio. The ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler is the outcome of a partnership between two companies: simulation software maker ANSYS and direct modeling software developer SpaceClaim. The corporate handshake began in 2009, when simulation software companies came to the realization that an easy CAD geometry editor was the key to broadening their outreach. (For more, read my previous post, “An Explicit-Analysis Partnership,” September 2009.) Today, the ANSYS-SpaceClaim partnership became an acquisition, also a natural outcome of the symbiotic relationship between the two.
ANSYS paid $85 million in cash to buy SpaceClaim, based in Concord, Massachusetts. Explaining the transaction, ANSYS writes, “SpaceClaim can help simplify and automate what has traditionally been a time-consuming process of preparing geometry for use in a simulation system.”
Typically, direct modelers are easier to learn and use than traditional parametric CAD packages. Some have found a modest following even in the consumer market. For simulation software users with limited exposure to CAD, direct modelers offer an easy way to refine, edit, perfect, and defeature CAD files without owning or learning a professional CAD program.
ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler and ANSYS DesignModeler serve as a good example of the two companies’ efforts to integrate technologies. The bidirectional associativity between the programs ensures that geometry changes made in one is reflected in the other with a simple update command.
Along with SpaceClaim, Autodesk Inventor Fusion, PTC Creo Direct, and Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology (ST) address the same market. But independently owned and operated SpaceClaim is an exception in the group. Inventor Fusion, Creo Direct, and Solid Edge with ST were developed by major CAD software houses: Autodesk, PTC, and Siemens PLM Software, respectively. Another independent direct modeler, Kubotek KeyCreator, is owned by Kubotek USA. Whereas SpaecClaim has explicitly positioned itself as a tool for simulation software users, Kubotek concentrates on data translation and conceptual design.
SpaceClaim users will hardly see any changes to the way the company operates or supports them. In the blog post that addresses the acquisition, SpaceClaim writes, “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 better positioned to deliver industry changing products faster than we have been before.”
For more, also read managing editor Jamie Gooch’s coverage here.