Interview with Chris Randles and Blake Courter – Part 4

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Deelip: Up untill now, this whole conversation has been mostly about SpaceClaim Engineer. You have hardly mentioned SpaceClaim Style. Could you give me a break up or maybe a percentage of these percentages that you have been disclosing regarding the breakup of SpaceClaim Style and SpaceClaim Engineer?

Chris: Well, one of the advantages that we have of being a privately held companies is that we don’t have to disclose our numbers. But I can tell you that the majority of our sales are SpaceClaim Engineer.

Deelip: I feel that you are going to be known more for SpaceClaim Engineer and less for SpaceClaim Style.

Chris: Yes, I think that’s true. But I can say unashamed that we ar the biggest innovation that the CAD market has been in 20 to 25 years. PTC invented feature based parametric CAD. Solidworks took it to a new level. There’s been progressive imnprovements. But nobody has rethought the modeling paradigm. I think this is a rethinking of that paradigm.

Deelip: When you read a parametric feature based model into SpaceClaim all of the intelligence is lost. So there is a chance that someone editing the geometry in SpaceClaim could be violating some of the rules set up by the author of the original model. Say if the length of a box should be twice its breadth, pushing and pulling faces in SpaceClaim can easily mess thing up.

Chris: The way I look at it is like this. You can either retain all of the features and parameters or you cannot. And there’s probnably not a half way. What we have built is a smart 3D application. So when you take that model in and you start modifying it – remove rounds, add a rib, remodel it, run it through ANSYS and make ANSYS drive that geometry, the engineer does not have to think about that design intent. They can then pass that information back to their CAD guy and say “Here it is. This is exactly what changed.” It does not matter whether the CAD guy set it up to be 2 times the square root of Pi. He says, “This is what my analysis demands and this is how you should change that model”. So we have done the job of making it very easy for the non-CAD specialist to to change a model and also very easy for him to communicate back to the CAD user the changes in the model. And in some sense, I challenge the notion that the CAD guy has got it right and the engineer doing the analysis has somehow got it wrong and has to comply. Because I think that is an upside down notion. The CAD guy mayhave set it up with some relationship. But if that needs to change it will change and if it does not need to change, it won’t change.

: What I most commonly hear from simulation users is that before it was faster to rebuild the part from scratch the way I wanted to analyuze it. But with SpaceClaim I can actually reuse the CAD geometry. That design intent was all thrown out anyhow. You bring up a valid point that there may be some hard rules that you cannot change and its upto the simulation engineer to maybe look at the assembly or talk to the design engineer and agree that certain things are important and the rest is all up for change. But they are doing things like changing plaastic parts to sheet metal parts to save money. So the concept of design intent of some little equation that makes the length twice the breadth is meaningless when it comes to doing the real engineering stuff. The CAD vendors have done an very effective job with a little semantic twist that these parameters and constraint are the actual engineering intent of the model. And that is just hogwash. The design intent is rarely ever captured in the CAD file.

Part 5 >>