Intuitive CAD makes it easy to modify models

Paul Boughton

Spaceclaim Corporation is releasing Spaceclaim Professional 2008, the most advanced version of the company's intuitive 3D design tool, empowering users to create and edit models faster than ever before.

This latest release is said to represent a huge leap in product functionality, with significant feature enhancements, and focuses on expanded uses for Spaceclaim: rapid product design, multi-CAD model re-use and design in 2D.

Users who are challenged by the limitations of existing CAD tools can now 'design the way they think,' faster than ever before, using Spaceclaim's powerful and intuitive user interface.

According to Spaceclaim, for many parts and assemblies that designers create, existing CAD production systems can get in the way. It can be difficult to collaborate on other people's designs because of the mix of accidental and seemingly desired but inevitably complex inter-relationships of the model. The very strengths that allow design variations to be planned can become hindrances to design explorations and conceptualising within these systems.

With Spaceclaim Professional 2008, users interact directly with the model just as they like, making even dramatic design edits naturally and independently from how they or anyone else got the model to its current state.

When data is passed among multiple CAD sources and destinations (departments, systems, partners and applications), problems working with other groups' designs are inevitable. This is because traditional CAD tools are not designed to work with each other's data. Users are faced with receiving data from other systems that they cannot edit directly, and then waste their time recreating native geometry so that they can be sure it changes correctly.

With Spaceclaim Professional 2008, designs from every major CAD system can be edited directly and used as if they had originated in Spaceclaim. This complements existing CAD production environments and is critical to most product development workflows. This rings true whether the user is analysing the models, communicating design changes across the environment, making changes immediately and without repercussions, and all without worrying about how the model was built.

While for some, building parts and products in 2D views is sufficient, many users recognise the benefits of having a 3D model, namely for mass properties, interference-checking and visualisation. However, current 3D tools (parametric and explicit) require a huge investment in learning to model and, as a result, even simple tasks can become very complex.

With Spaceclaim Professional 2008's conceptual simplicity, 2D users can continue to work in an environment comfortable to them, while getting the benefits of a 3D modelling tool without having to become geometry experts. The software enables the creation of and editing in 'live' cross-sections (both in a solid model and in the drawing space), taking advantage of Spaceclaim's major modelling tools.

Learning how to navigate the user interface in CAD systems (where the complexity is visually obvious) is not the only daunting challenge for users; the procedures that must be followed are absolute since designers must adhere to a rigid set of rules or beware the result - an unchangeable model.

Danny Dean, Spaceclaim vice president of research and development, comments: “Natural 3D design is the 'natural' evolution from the parametric feature-based programming paradigm I helped create in the 1980s. There is no question that these parametric systems are extremely powerful; however, when applied to workflows that are essentially non-parametric, or where the original design intent does not include an unforeseen modification, their limitations become evident. The capabilities in Spaceclaim Professional 2008, including live cross-sections, working in concert with our simple, powerful tools - pull, move, fill, and combine - have been purposely designed to overcome these parametric pitfalls.”

Spaceclaim Professional 2008 is available immediately and offered as a lease or perpetual license.

Spaceclaim Professional 2008


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