Continuing the industry momentum behind direct modeling, SpaceClaim rolled out the fourth release
of its 3-D design tool offerings, including new model preparation and enhanced
analysis functions along with enhancements for dealing with multi-CAD models.
SpaceClaim, a direct modeling program released
in April 2007, reopened an ongoing debate in the CAD industry over the
merits of parametric or history-based CAD tools popularized by PTC's Pro/ENGINEER and now sold by the majority of
CAD vendors and direct modelers which up until recently constituted only a
handful of products. In the year or so since the SpaceClaim debut, there has
been a flurry of announcements and activity in the direct modeling space, most
PLM Software's Synchronous Technology, found in its NX and Solid Edge 3-D
MCAD tools, PTC's
acquisition of CoCreate and most recently Autodesk's preview of its Inventor
According to SpaceClaim and others jumping into the market,
direct modeling capabilities provide greater flexibility, a shorter learning
curve and more "design freedom" than traditional history-based CAD tools,
thereby serving to open up the market to non-CAD jockeys. "We see direct
modeling as the vehicle to break the glass ceiling of one million seats sold of
solid modeling tools and get an order of magnitude of new growth in the
market," says Blake Courter, SpaceClaim's co-founder.
SpaceClaim is hoping the features of its first new 2009
release will help propel such growth. SpaceClaim Engineer, the flagship tool,
has new model-preparation tools to detect and repair problems with imported
designs and to simplify models prior to analysis, Courter says. The software
also offers increased surfacing power for highly stylized designs and features
new analysis tools for industrial design visualization and manufacturing
validation, including curvature display, zebra striping and draft creation.
There are also improved translators to open and edit 3-D PDFs and open
Pricing for SpaceClaim Engineers starts at $1,995 a seat.