Earlier this week, in an amazing cavalcade of suspense, mystery and PR firm mailings, SpaceClaim slapped a little plus sign on their current release. SpaceClaim 2011+. Some say it has the features to reduce a hurricane from a category 3 to a category 2. (We’ll see this weekend if that is actually is true.) A few things it does actually have is fancy new sheetmetal and volume features. But more than that, SpaceClaim is gettin’ comfy with the phrase ‘world domination’ and they have PowerPoint slides to prove it. Hit it!

SpaceClaim movin’ in

SpaceClaim. They’re taking you over CAD Industry, takin’ you over real good. I talked with Blake Courter of SpaceClaim last week and got the rundown on 2011+. Nice, customer focused enhancements, but they’re seeing a shift, and it’s a bit different from where they positioned themselves just a year ago. As I said, when they launched SpaceClaim 2011,

Where SpaceClaim is going to standout though, is in a company where the conceptual requirement planning and the initial stages of engineering can be controlled against the detailed design phase and production. Many times these all fall outside the control of the other and a inefficient system of product development follows. In turn however, SpaceClaim has the advantage of bringing a mindset of lean development to the design process. What am I getting at? SpaceClaim has become a valuable modeling tool that stands on it’s own.

Standing on it’s own? Please. SpaceClaim scoffs at that. Instead they’ve placed themselves firmly in the arena of DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY. Big words, but true… mostly. The Tyco deal was big news and they’re getting other big wins. But really, it’s not just SpaceClaim. All the direct modelers are jumpin’ in the cage match too, drawing a lot of attention to ‘better’ ways of modeling and forcing the chubbier CAD companies to slip into some uncomfortable lycra costumes to join along. Fun for them. More fun for us. Here’s how SpaceClaim breaks it down.

The other interesting slide Blake put up was about SpaceClaim usage. Concept modeling reigns supreme, but prep for simulation, data translation and manufacturing prep are just behind.

New Feature in SpaceClaim 2011+

Like the updates for many other 3D Software makers, this release is focused on customer requests. Here’s the bulk of them…

The new features in SpaceClaim 2011+
The new features in SpaceClaim 2011+

Out of all of these, the new features that stand out are sheetmetal and updates to volume extraction. My favorite, shown with flawless execution in the demo, was updates to the volume extraction tool. They’ve handled the challenge of isolating internal volumes quite elegantly. You select the visible openings, adjust the volume extraction slider and SpaceClaim shows you where other openings are located. Once all openings are captured, you can choose to create a solid of the volume or, and this is cool, merge the volume with the rest of the model, whereby removing internal detail you might not want prying eyes to see.

Look at this ugly chunk of metal. Spaceclaim can simplify it.
Look at this ugly chunk of metal. Spaceclaim can simplify it, from this...
...into this. New flange, hinge, doublewall and fold features
...into this. New flange, hinge, doublewall and fold features
Capturing internal volume is as easy as selecting openings. Adjust the slider to find where openings/leaks may be.
Capturing internal volume is as easy as selecting openings. Adjust the slider to find where openings/leaks may be.

The Smack

SpaceClaim, your scruffy neck beard has grown in quite well. And even though they use to go to CAD conferences and say in a cracking voice, “we’re a complimentary software,” it’s apparent there’s a lot more there. Maybe it’s all the new features they’re putting in for user, but more than likely, they’re seeing where their product is being used, who’s using it and they really, really like it. They don’t give a crap anymore. Here’s the thing. Companies like SpacClaim, Kubotek and TopSolid are smaller and more agile. They may not have as much funding, but they don’t have to wait for a million layers of bureaucracy to approve product placement and messaging.


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.