On our second conference call, Justin Hendrickson showed me some of the features new to SpaceClaim 2011+.
Firstly, sheet metal. You can now select parts in a model and SpaceClaim turns them into sheet metal parts; the software recognizes them by their thinness. It notices sharp corners and turns them into bends, and so on. It creates tabs that connect one piece of sheet metal at 90 degrees to another; creates sheet metal hinges from cutting and bending the sheet metal walls, automatically. (This las one avoids a real hinge and the screws that would otherwise be needed.) See figure below.
The company credits Trumpf (one of the world’s largest producers of sheet metal fabricating equipment) for teaching them which features to add to sheet metal design. For instance, you can now drag a piece of sheet metal to make a double-wall (folded over against itself); when you fold over a piece of sheet metal, SpaceClaim recognizes it as a hem; and you can add gussets for strength. And the unfolding of the sheet metal design:
There is a new ribbon tab for creating holes. The hole info is maintained as a smart object, so it can be edited parametrically later.
Patterns (arrays) are moved out of the Move tool, and is now its own command; new release also has previews of patterns.
"For a SpaceClaim users, GrabCAD is just gold, because you can grab models in any format and work with them."
Volume capping: need to create a solid that represents the interior volume for fluid dynamics. Problem is finding all leaks. New feature allows you to get SpacClaim to find leaks, which you can then close off. (This feature is also used to seal off the inside to protect IP when sharing the drawing with others.)
Many new selection techniques. Select all instances of a part; select by color, and so on. Can cut a model using planes to look at the interior; can also use multiple planes, rotate the planes, and so on.
WorldCAD Access: Does SpaceClaim do any parametrics?
Mr Hendrickson: Can set up driving dimensions. So not like a parametric CAD system where EVERY feature is stored, only important ones are stored. For example, a slot has to be a certain distance anmd angle from an edge, you can apply the dimensional constraints. These are saved as groups. You can leave the rest of the model alone.
WorldCAD Access: You mentioned that the driving dimensions can be controlled by an analysis program. How does this work?
Mr Hendrickson: You can do that inside ANSYS, or you can use SpaceClaim's APIs. Other vendors can read the data and act on it.
Optimus and modeFRONTIER sit on top of solvers and manage simulation runs between multiple CAE programs, such as one solver for fluid flow, another for heat simulation. This allows SpaceClaim to work with more solvers, although direct integration will increase.