SpaceClaim is spreading its mechanical design tentacles across a wider range of end-users today. With the 10th release of the amiable CAD beast, those tentacles become electrified grapplers sending shocks of manufacturing and mesh-pulling joy into the users. SpaceClaim 2012+ brings new connections to CAM software, mesh and solid comparison and a pattern shifting feature that makes modifying geometry smarter, not harder. Here’s a wrap up of what you’ll see in the new release.

SpaceClaim 2012+

SpaceClaim is sneaky with these little releases they tack a ‘+’ on the end of. They don’t put one out every year, but since their first release in 2007, they’ve released the occasional mid-year update to bring out a few more features to their users. More than just new features though, I think these plus releases have come to signify the direction of the company and solidify how important they have become in manufacturing and design. We’ll get to that in a moment. First, here’s a bullet list of what you’ll see in this release.

New manufacturing features:

  • connections to Mastercam and Esprit
  • new annotation types like weld symbols and semantic datums
  • machinist-friendly measuring and positioning
  • broken and broken out section views
  • advanced sheet metal capabilities such as formed bends

New tools for mesh and STL data:

  • compare a mesh to a solid
  • improved section curve fitting
  • plane and cylinder fitting
  • mesh splitting
  • improved selection and coloring

Modeling improvements:

  • performance improvement
  • radial move
  • curve filling
  • structure search
  • section properties
  • and XYZ-based move

When remodeling parts from a mesh it’s nice to see the cross-section through the mesh. The curve fitting feature allows you to create an arbitrary cross section, fitting lines, arcs, and splines as desired.

When recreating models from scan and STL data or comparing scans of produced parts to as-designed parts, you can use the new mesh remodeling capabilities to make updates to the geometry.

This imported assembly contains a hole pattern with bolts. To move the location of the holes radially, along with each instance of bolt only requires the selection of one instance.

SpaceClaim Understand CAD…

And, where it fits into business. During the 2012+ briefing, these slides were shown. I think they’re fabulous. If you’re like most engineers or designers, you know CAD tasks are just one thing you have to take care of during the day. Maybe those tasks are the majority of your day, but depending on what you’re managing or what environment you’re working in, the impact of CAD may remain the same, but the focus becomes very different. Understanding how CAD is used in the manufacturing and engineering environment as a whole, I would say, helps software developers create a more well-rounded product. SpaceClaim seems to get that.

Press Release / Click to expand

SpaceClaim Announces SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+ to Further Broaden Access to 3D for Mechnical Design

CONCORD, MA, October 10, 2012SpaceClaim, the leading provider of flexible and affordable 3D for engineering, design, and manufacturing, today announced the immediate availability of SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+. This release introduces significant new capabilities for manufacturing, simulation, concept development, and mesh remodeling. These enhancements will help all engineers work more effectively in 3D, without the high cost and complexity of traditional CAD.

SpaceClaim has revolutionized modern mechanical design by providing an easy-to-use and affordable way for engineers and product teams to create, modify, repair, and enhance 3D CAD geometry, without compromising existing processes and methods. SpaceClaim users can leverage existing 2D and 3D designs, including customer and supplier models, analysis and simulation results, mesh and STL data, and surface models, along with PMI and tolerance data, in all their work.

SpaceClaim adds value to existing CAD and PLM infrastructure while removing the waste and rework caused by incompatible file formats. In stark contrast to overpriced and inefficient history-based solid modelers, SpaceClaim works with foreign CAD data as easily as it does its own. It directly opens and edits all leading 2D and 3D CAD file formats as well as neutral file formats, such as JT (with PMI), STEP, and 3D PDF.

SpaceClaim Engineer 2012+ enables small and large manufacturers competing in a global market to get parts out the door faster, finish projects on budget and ahead of schedule, and win more business. SpaceClaim makes it easy for companies specializing in CNC machining, tool and fixture design, injection molding, sheet metal, and production automation to communicate more efficiently with their customers, focus on value-added work, and increase production rates.

“SpaceClaim provides discrete manufacturers with the competitive edge needed in today’s tough global economy,” said Chris Randles, SpaceClaim President and CEO. “Access to 3D is not the same as access to traditional CAD. The benefits of 3D solid modeling extend far beyond detailed design, but it is impossible for companies to make the large investments required to deploy expensive and complicated CAD and PLM systems to every user. Traditional CAD plays a valuable role in the detailed design process, but SpaceClaim Engineer is the first and only product that enables all members of a product team to use 3D to do their jobs more effectively.”

New capabilities in SpaceClaim 2012+ include:

  • Numerous enhancements for manufacturing workflows, including connections to Mastercam and Esprit, new annotation types like weld symbols and semantic datums, machinist-friendly measuring and positioning, broken and broken out section views, and advanced sheet metal capabilities such as formed bends.
  • New tools to work with mesh and STL data, such as the ability to compare a mesh to a solid, improved section curve fitting, plane and cylinder fitting, mesh splitting, and improved selection and coloring.
  • Major improvements to core modeling, including significant performance improvements, radial move, curve filling, structure search, section properties, and XYZ-based move.
  • SpaceClaim 2012+ is certified for Windows 8.
  • New language support for Polish, Czech, and Portuguese, bringing the total number of languages supported by SpaceClaim to 12, including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, as well as Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
  • The production release of version 10 of the SpaceClaim API, including mesh support, animation handlers, custom window support, the ability to replace panels, asynchronous threading to update custom objects in the background, and the ability to add custom items to the structure tree.
  • As previously announced, built-in, free PDM using Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Go to the What’s New page for a review of all the enhancements found in this release plus videos that showcase the new features.

In addition to appealing to a wider range of end-users with this release, SpaceClaim is continuing to expand its partner and OEM channels. SpaceClaim’s direct modeling technology better serves independent software vendors, as its technology is easily adapted to specialized and proprietary tools and processes. In addition, SpaceClaim’s modern and extensive API makes it the most flexible 3D platform for third-party customization, and the fastest route to market for ISVs. New Solution Partners include fluid simulation experts Simerics, EDM provider First Trace, and 2D drafting provider SofTech. AMC Bridge is a new Software Development Partner offering services to develop SpaceClaim customizations for end-user customers and partners.

About SpaceClaim
SpaceClaim, the leading provider of 3D Direct Modeling software, develops the best and fastest direct modeling solution for engineering design and manufacturing. SpaceClaim’s acclaimed software is easy to learn and use and is completely CAD-neutral. It enables engineers and other manufacturing professionals to rapidly create new designs or manipulate and edit existing 2D and 3D geometry, without the complexity of traditional CAD. Customers include Toyota Motor Corporation, Nokia Siemens Networks, Bosch, TE Connectivity, BorgWarner, Medtronic, Lotus Cars, Sharp, Ford Motor Company, LG Electronics, Eaton, K2 Medical Systems, FuelCell Energy, Emhart Glass, GE Aviation, Carl Zeiss, General Dynamics, and the U.S. Navy. SpaceClaim is privately held and backed by Borealis Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Needham Capital. For more information on SpaceClaim, please visit


Josh is founder and editor at, 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.