Low and behold. SpaceClaim, the company slapping the history out 3D modeling just launched SpaceClaim Engineer 2012. As the name implies it’s for Engineers only. Just kidding, it also works for people who write ‘Engineer’ on a piece of paper with crayon and tape it to their chest. Features? We talked with Blake Courter, co-founder of SpaceClaim, last week and got the squeeze on the new capabilities coming to the 9th version of the direct modeling app.

SpaceClaim Engineer 2012

According to Mr. Courter, SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 has a focus on speed. I’d agree. SpaceClaim 2012 takes geometry manipulation to the level of liquid butter, making older version look cold and chunky. If you recall their last version, they slide deep into the sheet metal pool adding a lot of new functionality there. They add a few more sheet metal enhancements with this version, but that’s definitely not the best part. The coolest bits of SpaceClaim 2012 are the new SketchUp functionality that allows you to automatically convert faceted geometry to solid geometry and a slick Hole recognition option that not only allows you to detect holes, but also update them.

Some other notable features include a Windows shell extension that allows you to view your model in Outlook and Explorer and the addition of some very nice 2D/3D curve repair tools that make importing, repair and modeling up sketch geometry so painless, it should be illegal in most countries.

Here’s the quick list of all the newness in SpaceClaim Engineer 2012:

  • New SketchUp conversion 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.
  • Multiple solid editing capabilities, such as cone manipulation, surface pivoting and distance-by-angle chamfers, extend SpaceClaim’s lead in direct modeling.
  • Smart tools for manufacturing, such as recognition and editing of standard holes, make SpaceClaim increasingly practical for machine shops and detailed design.
  • Significant performance improvements to large parts and drawings further confirms that SpaceClaim is the fastest 3D direct modeler available.
  • 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.
  • JT with PMI export, in addition to existing capabilities, makes SpaceClaim the most comprehensive JT editor on the market today.
  • Detailing improvements including exploded views, aligned and unfolded sections, arc length dimensions, text fitting and alignment tools, and BOM templates let more users create detailed drawings in SpaceClaim.
  • A new set of 2D and 3D curve repair tools facilitate working with existing drawings and wireframe data and converting them to solid models.
  • Several sheet metal enhancements representing unprecedented depth, including mitered flanges, faster unfolding, weld tabs, and improved identification and interaction with sheet metal features.
  • Environment reflection and textures enable users to work interactively on more realistic looking models.
  • Usability improvements, such as improved selection rendering and reduced selection flashing, make it easier to work on large models.
  • Flexible configuration and IT-friendly options facilitate large rollouts to corporate, government, and educational customers.
  • Improved interoperability with support for KeyShot 3, Creo 1.0, SolidWorks 2012, and Inventor 2012 ensures compatibility with data from colleagues, customers and suppliers.
  • The 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.

To get some eyes on what’s new in SpaceClaim 2012, they’re holding a webinar, Wednesday March 21st, to highlight the new features.

This image depicts a global Marine (Australia) 16 meter aluminum catamaran with Austmarintech-engineered propulsion, power generation, and plumbing systems in the context of a wide variety of imported 2D and 3D CAD data.

The new SketchUp functionality in SpaceClaim 2012. the chairs of the left were opened without automatic clean-up, revealing the underlying facets. The ones on the right show the results of automatic clean-up, with clean cylindrical and NURBS geometry.


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.