SpaceClaim 2011

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I just got off a web meeting with SpaceClaim c0-founder Blake Courter in which I was given a briefing on SpaceClaim 2011 which is due to be released tomorrow. Tomorrow SpaceClaim will also announce a big customer win – Tyco Electronics. According to the press release to be issued:

Tyco Electronics, a leading global provider of engineered electronic components, network solutions and undersea telecommunication systems, has selected SpaceClaim Engineer for concept modeling, bid modeling, and model preparation for CAE simulation. SpaceClaim is being deployed as a global, enterprise solution for engineers across all Tyco Electronics (TE) business segments.

Tyco Electronics decided to give SpaceClaim Engineer to all the engineers who had AutoCAD and Pro/ENGINEER already installed on their computers. A whopping 3500 of them. Although Blake continues to insist that SpaceClaim is a complimentary product to existing CAD applications and not a replacement, I find it hard to believe that SpaceClaim didn’t replace seats of AutoCAD and Pro/ENGINEER at Tyco Electronics.

I asked Blake what happened to SpaceClaim Style, the version of SpaceClaim targeted to industrial designers, which now no longer exists. He replied, “People kept buying SpaceClaim Engineer. The volumes of SpaceClaim Style were not high enough to warrant its continued development and testing. We have already taken good care of our SpaceClaim Style customers”.

Here is a summary of what’s new in SpaceClaim 2011.

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SpaceClaim 2011 now has a mesh object for visualization. You can import STL files as meshes but you cannot edit them like solids. To do that you would need our STL import plug-in for SpaceClaim which imports STL files as solid objects. However, you can snap to the vertices of this new mesh object. Take this simple bracket for example.

You can section it and sketch curves by snapping to the vertices of the mesh.

Then use SpaceClaim’s push-pull modeling to create the solids from the sketches.

And finally mirror it to get the other half.

Later you can use SpaceClaim’s direct modeling tools to make modifications to the solid model.

I couldn’t help but notice this quote on one of the slides in Blake’s presentation.

  • d3print

    That snapping help a lot using STL files! Are there any limits for stl import plug in for SpaceClaim?

    • We have not programmed any limited. It depends on how much data your hardware and SpaceClaim can handle.

      • d3print

        Ok, so it could handle also large complex parts or assemblies also? Sounds good.

  • Anonymous

    thank for infomations!

  • Pingback: PTC - Creo - It’s Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings()

  • I appreciate the post Deelip. As you state in your article, the software will be complementary to PTC’s solutions. Want to know why we (at PTC) see this as an endorsement of our Creo vision and strategy. Some thoughts — and more:

  • Anonymous

    I’m still trying to figure out how to parse the quote you included at the end of the post…

    • Yup. There’s more than one way to read that. 😉

    • murray

      Oh yeah. I think his potential clientele demographic just took a dip….

      • Anonymous

        Or a spike…

  • JoeAggie

    Deelip — You have become the Julian Assange of CAD world 😉 You are leaking the press releases and new product information before the company is announcing.

    • LOL! Actually there is a small difference between me and Mr. Assange. I ask people before “leaking” their information. He doesn’t. 😉

  • Tomas Vargas

    Hahaha I knew you wouldn´t miss it Deelip. I thought that there could be someone that would not be able to use it, a big boss maybe, o a newly hired never used CAD engineer, but I think Steve´s right, anybody can use it ¡

  • Jeff Kunkler

    Ok, first of all, forgive me for posting about software costing, it seems like it is bad form to discuss out in the open? Anyway, I run a small product design and development firm in Shenzhen China, and we use Pro/E (have not started with Creo yet)

    So I had been reading about how wonderful SpaceClaim is and asked for a demo and quotation. I am just so surprised regarding the pricing of SpaceClaim in China… I went through SpaceClaim’s site to find the local reseller and the original quote for a SINGLE FLOATING seat was 85,400 RMB (using today’s rate exchange of  1 RMB to .154 USD) translating to 13,152 USD. and for node locked, it was 10,095 USD, When I responded with sticker shock, I was told that the price included the Translation package (had not asked for that). Without the translation package and with a 20% discount, it was ~ 6,6oo USD for locked and 9,000 USD for floating license. 

    Then a week later, without any prodding on my part, I am told by the reseller I can get a 50% discount on floating license and translator package, which comes to ~6,600 USD, but only if we purchase before mid June.

    So what is up with this kind of gamesmanship about sharing what the TRUE cost of the software is? At least I am in the position with local PTC guys that they don’t do this practice anymore, they know they need to keep it honest (Granted my partner factory has a long history with PTC, which is why this is so) So bottom line is why would SpaceClaim allow these kind of pricing antics? and even with the discounts, it is still way to expensive for what SpaceClaim is.

    I have been using Pro/E (sorry, Creo now) since 1991, so yes, I know my way around it pretty well, and after test driving SpaceClaim for 3 weeks, there is clearly a serious shortfall of capabilities compared to a standard seat of Pro. So besides wondering why the heck it is so expensive, I am wondering who exactly will be using a 6k plus piece of software that cannot really do the types of surfacing necessary for even simple plastic injection molded parts? If the parts are prismatic, no problem, but anything beyond that and the value of SpaceClaim falls down. Regarding simplifications for CAE, we can do that with simple suppression of features (we know how to build our parts.) and we can stay inside the current environment. And all along the way while testing SpaceClaim I wondered how I could make sure the design intent was understood and built in. (control dimension tacked on does not really do it in terms of locking in design intent)

    If I wanted to do simple conceptualization prior to the cute “release to CAD” milestone SpaceClaim talks about, there are other simple tools to do that; I think I would rather use Ironcad Inovate,  Rhino, or Bonzai 3D, etc. (I’ve reviewed all of these and many more). All a heck of a lot cheaper, more powerful, and easy to use. But since we know our tools, we use Pro/E to conceptualize without all the heartache and difficulties that the “direct modelers”talk about. (*GASP* conceptualizing using parametrics? how positively stone age!) . Lastly, Autodesk’s 123D could be super disruptive if they keep advancing it, and it’s already not far off what SpaceClaim can do now… I am sure I will get some trollers on that last comment! 😉

    Whew, feel better now!


    • Anonymous

      It sounds like SpaceClaim’s pricing model is based on the same model used by the oldest profession. I wonder if you get screwed as well.

    • gadgety

      Thank you for a really useful post. I’ve been trying to find out the price for a while. I’m comparing to IronCAD.

  • Thanks, Jeff, for your feedback. The pricing you mention does not represent our true pricing on any level.

    Most engineers who choose SpaceClaim have not enjoyed using products like Pro/E, because they either found the software hard-to-use or the history-based paradigm too complex for their needs. We’re not a replacement for Pro/E for the types of design-for-manufacturing use case you describe. When we do replace Pro/E, it’s because sales engineers, CAE experts, and other domain experts have found it to be the wrong tool for the job. SpaceClaim’s ease dedicated tools for these applications combined with its short learning curve typically deliver a fast return on investment. I would also put SpaceClaim head-to-head with any other direct modeler on its ability to robustly handle model edits.

    You make a good point that it’s hard to give up on design intent when you’ve been using history-based CAD for decades. I remember the first time I was working on a complex casting in SpaceClaim and realized that I had totally screwed up a wall thickness on some intricate surfaces. Based on my knowledge of history-based CAD, I thought I had lost at least a day and was going to basically have to start again. However, I decided to whack away at it with direct edits and fixed the thing in an hour or so. It was then that I realized that for many design applications, the all those constraints, parent-child relationships, and external dependencies often labeled “design intent” weren’t as necessary as I had been told.

    (Director of Customer Development at SpaceClaim)

  • d3print

    All depends what kind of product you design and how you do it. No doubt ProE is a powerful CAD, but ancient to use. My opinion is that Spaceclaim beat most of all MCAD`s, reason for it easy to use, it has extremly nice UI which give the speed and flexibility to do lot of design iterations. Great tools for do most of all jobs you need. Of course there are things to improve, but it is sofar the best solution in most cases ( I need). And yes, I`ve started to use ProE since 1997 and SolidEge 2003, so I have kind of experience also. It would be nice if you could show which are the most critical points in spacelaim comparing to ProE.
    I don`t say that spaceclaim is best for all users, but what I can say it is damn good;). 

  • GJD

    Ease of use, powerful, but intuitive interface and the ability, with some work, to virtually anything that NX IDEAS can do and easier.  I am most impressed with Spaceclaim and if I had a choice, would never consider buying ProE, NX, etc.