What's New In PowerSHAPE 2013

UK based CAD software vendor Delcam is known mainly for its flagship CAM solution called PowerMILL. However, their lesser known CAD offering called PowerSHAPE has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years that I have been tracking it.

Here are some of the improvements in PowerSHAPE 2013 that peaked my interest.


Direct Modeling

There is a new command called “Replace Face” which allows you to replace selected faces on a solid with other faces on the same solid on another solid. As you can imagine after the replacement you will end up with holes and protruding surfaces all over the place. So the command extends and trims the neighboring surfaces to fix the model. This has interesting uses. Here is a Delcam TV video showing how you can use the Replace Face command to quickly extend and trim entire features.

Here is another video showing how the Replace Face command can be used to make some major changes to geometry quite intelligently and swiftly.

The Replace Face command can also be employed to do more powerful things. In this video you can see how it was used to intelligently fix a problem that caused the draft command to fail.


Reverse Engineering

Delcam has added “Dynamic Data Capture” to PowerSHAPE 2013 which means that as you scan a part using a laser scanner the points are immediately shown to you on the screen. This neat feature avoids unnecessary re-scanning because you missed a spot. Here is a video showing Dynamic Data Capture in action.



PowerSHAPE 2013 comes with a new 2D part nesting feature that helps you optimize material utilization.


Solid Core

Delcam products are heavily used in the mold and die industry. PowerSHAPE 2013 comes with a new feature called Solid Core to easily extract geometry to create cores and electrodes.

Here is another video showing the Solid Core command and as well as the lasso face selection feature which is new in PowerSHAPE 2013.

You can get information about other new features at the PowerSHAPE 2013 Learning Zone. A document describing the highlights can be downloaded from here.

You can try out PowerSHAPE by download a fully functional free version called PowerSHAPE-e, which works in an interesting way. You can model all you want and save to a proprietary file format called .emodel. But when you want to export to a format that you can import into another CAD system, you purchase a voucher.

The odd thing is PowerSHAPE 2013 was released a month ago and the version of PowerSHAPE-e available to download is still 2012. I hope Delcam upgrades to 2013 so that people can try out all these new features.

If I have peaked your interest in PowerSHAPE I highly recommend you read my 7 part series on PowerSHAPE 2010 I wrote back in 2009.


Update (6-Aug-2012)

Delcam tells me that they hope to release PowerSHAPE-e 2013 soon. Until then if you are interested in trying out PowerSHAPE 2013 please send an email to marketing (at) delcam (dot) com and they will ship you a DVD.