DesignSpark Mechanical, written by SpaceClaim, is a 3D design environment that RS says can be learned by any engineer in hours-to-days. It embodies an architecture that makes use of the power of today’s PC machines to allow flexible designs, that can be freely incrementally modified and updated. Its focus has been ease-of-use and low-cost (still free in the core package); now with chargeable extensions RS intends that it can import and export fully-detailed designs into the full manufacturing process, handing files off in common formats. DesignSpark Mechanical is “not a threat” to traditional “full” 3D CAD (SolidWorks, AutoCAD, etc.) says RS, but opens up the 3D design process to users who would otherwise not attempt it at all.
The two options will each be charged at $795, or $995 for both (details below). This is an outright purchase of the version as at the time of installation, inlcuding a year’s support and updates. After the first year, updates and support can be extended in 12-month intervals at 20% of the module purchase price.
The first premium module available is DesignSpark Mechanical Exchange, https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/3d-printing-software/8523012/ which adds advanced import/export capabilities and enables the import, modification and export of industry-standard STEP and IGES file formats, which allows full exchange of design data with CAD tools such as SolidWorks, Catia, ProEngineer and AutoCAD. The module can enable engineers to integrate DesignSpark Mechanical into a product development toolchain that works across various software platforms, moving beyond concept creation to a seamless workflow for producing final designs. It means that companies can pass designs to their mechanical department or outside contractors for final design creation and manufacturing and do not have to invest in 3D CAD licences or training. Users can import objects drawn in other 3D packages, manipulate them with DesignSpark Mechanical’s “push-pull” graphically-driven tools, and re-export them as geometry.
The second premium module – DesignSpark Mechanical Drawing – https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/3d-printing-software/8523015/ – adds SpaceClaim’s Associative Drawing environment, which allows the changing of designs, as well as the ability to create and modify geometry from within drawing views. It enables the creation of detailed dimensioned drawings allowing designers to move beyond concept development and the 3D printing of prototypes and on to final manufacturing. The drawing environment also provides a familiar workspace for those accustomed to working in 2D. In this environment, drawings support annotations, including geometric dimensioning and tolerances, notes and leaders, to JIS, ISO, and ANSI standards.
The availability of these optional premium paid-for modules, RS empahsises does not affect the base software that will remain free to all users with continued support, new versions and updates from RS into the foreseeable future. DesignSpark Mechanical is a key element of the initiative by RS to provide tools for engineers that enable them to rapidly develop prototypes in the product concept design stage. For example, the software’s STL-output format enables the direct export of designs to 3D printers.
Version 2 of the software was released in December 2014 and added several features including a simplified user interface and access to a new 3D catalogue allowing the rapid insertion of tens of thousands of 3D models from leading component manufacturers. Also integrated in version 2 were all the necessary RS purchasing data for fast Bill-of Materials (BOM) creation and also a QuickParts 3D printing service, which is available via RS in conjunction with its partner 3D Systems.
In addition to the links above, the DesignSpark Mechanical Add-On Bundle (both options) is at; https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/3d-printing-software/8523019/
RS Components; www.rs-online.com