SpaceClaim just rolled out its service pack which includes two utilities: LiveReview for collaboration and STL Prep for 3D print.
As multi-CAD workflows become the norm, SpaceClaim is carving out a place for itself in the middle of the design-to-manufacture pipeline. The company hopes to cement and grow that status with the introduction of its 2014 Service Pack 1. SpaceClaim’s Director of Product Management, Justin Hendrickson, tells us that although this is a Service Pack release, the company sees it as a major step in its evolution. The new Service Pack 1 includes LiveReview, a collaboration tool, and STL Prep, which helps users prepare a model for 3D printing.
LiveReview is a refinement of Spaceclaim’s Connect utility. It takes advantage of WebGL to enable users to interact with a model through a web browser. We’ve been seeing several approaches to collaboration emerge. Some use intermediary formats, some send documents, some share actual models. SpaceClaim’s approach, using WebGL, uses a host-based system. One person has the model and can share it with everyone else in on the meeting. Collaborators can join and mark up a model, add comments, etc., but the only person who would actually change geometry would be the meeting host.
Hendrickson tells us the new STL Prep feature comes in answer to customer request. There are an increasing number of services and products that enable 3D printing, but the actual process of completing a successful print can be elusive even for those who understand CAD tools. SpaceClaim’s new STL Prep offers utilities that perform the basic steps to ensuring a model is ready to be sent to a 3D printing machine and successfully printed. It has automatic checking tools and also investigation tools so the user change see what’s going on with the model. STL Prep checks for holes, repairs intersections and it can shell models according to user specifications to save on printing materials. It can also split models so they can be printed faster and can create connecting features so the split models can be reassembled.
SpaceClaim is evolving to be a tool for all CAD users. It fits into the spaces where other more complex CAD tools may have blanks. The emphasis is on easy direct modeling and it does its best to be CAD agnostic as far as working with other CAD tools. Models can be created using components from different CAD products. The company sees itself as a tool that allows conceptualization, edit, and refinement of models that speed the process of design and in the case of 3D printing, it enables companies to bring in meshes, surface models, and even 2D data to create a printable, watertight solid. It can optimize for STL/VRML output and they are also supporting the AMF file format for 3D printing. In addition to those formats, SpaceClaim’s STL Prep also ssupports OBJ and CGR formats.
The new STL Prep is an add-on module to SpaceClaim Engineer. It supports Obj, CGR, and AMF file formats.
As for LiveReview, SpaceClaim subscribers are offered free, early access to LiveReview. After the review period is completed, SpaceClaim will sell annual subscriptions to LiveReview for $500.