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SpaceClaim - A new Way of 3D Modeling

Ansys SpaceClaim’s unique user interface, modeling technology and versatile tool set help you create and modify imported geometry — without the complexity associated with traditional CAD systems.



SpaceClaim is a powerful multipurpose CAD software built on direct modeling technology. It has a versatile set of tools that are easy to learn and start using in a short amount of time, requiring much less training than other software. It’s capable of things like model creation, editing, repair, and much more without worrying about the complex constraints found in traditional CAD software. There are no history requirements to adhere to, so you can import a model from anywhere and instantly start making edits freely. All of this makes it a fast and flexible modeling solution that’s effective for any skill level.

The streamlined tools and workflows found in SpaceClaim make creating geometry quick and easy. There are three different modes that you can switch between seamlessly as you design. Sketch Mode lets you define a sketch plane that will intuitively snap to things like axes and models. The 2D drawing tools are what you would expect from a high end CAD software. Points, lines, circles, splines, and shapes can all be created using a variety of functions that can be driven by the dimensions you enter. Each function also has a set of options that can change its behavior to handle different applications. Tools like corner rounding, offsetting, mirroring, patterning, and trimming can be used to modify the geometry to suit its purpose. The 2D geometry can be used to aid in 3D design, or for things like drawing sheets/blueprints.

3D Mode is used when working with solid models and surfaces, some of which will come from the 2D sketches mentioned above. SpaceClaim uses four main tools, Pull/Move/Fill/Combine, to accomplish the majority of design tasks using direct modeling. Each of them has tooltips and buttons on screen that help walk you through how to use it for your intended purpose. The Pull tool will be used for many common solid modeling functions. Depending on the selection, things like extruding, revolving, drafting, sweeping, scaling, and corner rounding/chamfering can all be done with the Pull tool. As you learn the different functions and picks required you can use shortcuts to speed things up even more.

Throughout the geometry creation workflow the Move tool is used to translate and rotate entire 2D and 3D items. You can also use the Move tool to edit things by making specific selections. For example, if you were to translate a single face on a cube, it would extrude much like the Pull tool would do. While translating and rotating faces and edges, the rest of the model will stay associated and follow along if possible. The different mass selection methods make it quick to highlight and move entire features like pockets, bosses, and engravings. Many streamlining options can be used to move things in relation to geometry that already exists. Using the Move or Pull tool to copy edges and surfaces for use elsewhere is another way to improve efficiency.

If possible, the Fill tool will remove the selected features from shapes, surfaces and solids. It can be used to de-feature or simplify a model by removing things like pockets, holes, bosses, and radii. The Combine tool is used to perform Boolean operations. It can merge models to-gether, slice them apart, and remove the mass of one from the other. There are several other tools available to do everything from automatically shelling a model in seconds to manually tweaking a face one control point at a time.

If Sketch Mode is active then the sketch plane will slice through any solid model and display a section view that you can draw on. Section Mode will give you that same user defined section view, but lets you use the modeling tools that would usually be present in 3D Mode. When activated, it will prompt you to select how to slice the model. The section plane can be positioned with the Move tool and snaps to things automatically just like a sketch plane. It becomes seamless to move through everything as you design, swapping between Sketch/Section/3D Mode while using all of the modeling tools together.

All of that is just the beginning of what Space-Claim has to offer. On top of its enjoyable design workflow, it has many other tools to help in a variety of ways. Do things like create assemblies, use the automated repair tools, and make drawing sheets all in the same user-friendly interface. There are also add-ons like Keyshot and Momentum available.

SpaceClaim gets better with every release. Among other things, the newest version features improvements for its reverse engineering tools and adds constraint based sketching tools. Check out the videos and feel free to contact us for more information.