SpaceClaim 2012 update improves SketchUp import

Other new features include new solids editing capabilities, JT with PMI export, and more. The fast-growing upstart has the feature-based CAD vendors in its sights.

SpaceClaim extends its reach into the pockets of traditional 3D CAD with its latest release today. SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 offers a variety of new features for its target users in reverse engineering, model preparation, manufacturing analysis, and other post-design editing tasks.

SpaceClaim has been around long enough for its claims of speed and cost savings to be familiar to those who follow CAD technology. What is news in 2012 is the significant number of large manufacturing firms who are now buying SpaceClaim seats on a regular basis. Named customers new this year include Daimler, Ford, Boeing, General Dynamics, Toyota, Volvo, and Dassault Falcon. Overall, SpaceClaim says it more than doubled its installed base in 2011.

One major new feature in SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 is improved SketchUp conversion technology, which detects regions where SketchUp’s approximated, facetted geometry was derived from analytic surfaces such as cylinders and cones, and automatically replaces them with precise geometry. Google was only too happy to have co-operated with SpaceClaim in developing the new ability to convert its 3D surfaces into solid geometry. “SpaceClaim’s ability to turn SketchUp files into precise solids suitable for manufacturing—without remodeling—will enable mechanical SketchUp users to more quickly realize their vision, and help SpaceClaim users take advantage of the millions of models available in our 3D Warehouse,” said Tom Wyman, Business Development Manager for Google SketchUp.

New Google SketchUp conversion capabilities in SpaceClaim Engineer detect where geometry is approximated and facetted, converting it to precise solid geometry. (Source: SpaceClaim)

Other new features in SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 include:

  • Multiple solid editing capabilities, such as cone manipulation, surface pivoting and distance-by-angle chamfers;
  • Smart tools for manufacturing, such as recognition and editing of standard holes;
  • Performance improvements to large parts and drawings;
  • A new lightweight viewer and Microsoft extensions that allow viewing of models from compatible programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Explorer, as well as from a new standalone application.
  • Improvements to JT compatibility, including PMI export;
  • Detailing improvements including exploded views, aligned and unfolded sections, arc length dimensions, text fitting and alignment, and BOM templates;
  • A new set of 2D and 3D curve repair tools for working with existing drawings and wireframe data and converting them to solid models;
  • Several sheet metal enhancements including mitered flanges, faster unfolding, weld tabs, and improved identification and interaction with sheet metal features.
  • Environment reflection and textures;
  • Usability improvements such as improved selection rendering and reduced selection flashing;
  • More flexible configuration options;
  • Improved interoperability with support for the newest CAD industry releases including KeyShot 3, Creo 1.0, SolidWorks 2012, and Inventor 2012;
  • Improved batch file translation utility now supports all formats that SpaceClaim can read and write;
  • Expanded API coverage now includes access to more sheet metal parameters, drawing view renderings, and advanced mass properties.
Austmarinetech uses SpaceClaim to open 2D and 3D designs in a variety of formats from its suppliers. “The direct modeling interface gives me instant updates and lets me communicate with team members who don’t speak English. Overall, SpaceClaim has improved my process by a factor of two and made my life a lot easier,” says owner Steve Tyler. (Source: SpaceClaim)