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SOFTWARE UPDATE


ME: The software features several tie-ins to widely used manufacturing tools, such as CAM software like Mastercam,


Esprit and GibbsCAM. Can you describe how that works? Graham: A major part of SpaceClaim’s integration with CAM tools is streamlined data fl ow. Translations from one system to another often cause problems. The SpaceClaim integration with CAM systems essentially eliminates data translation problems. One feature that people love about the integrations is fi le repair. Someone may open a customer fi le in a CAM and they cannot make a toolpath. Instantly through these integrations they can send the fi le to SpaceClaim and not just repair it, but remove small features or rounds. The integrations between these systems opens up the capabilities of what people can do with STL fi les. Some CAM products export STL fi les after various steps. With SpaceClaim you could use that fi le and build fi xtures or use it with crash-


detection systems. ME: How critical is 3D modeling to users in the manu-


facturing space? Graham: Because of where manufacturing technology is today, you generally need a 3D model. And not just any


model, but a clean one to prevent garbage in/garbage out. ME: What synergies does SpaceClaim have with the wealth of simulation offerings available from Ansys, including CAE tools with computational fl uid dynamics (CFD), and even


fi nite element analysis (FEA)? Graham: Even before the acquisition of SpaceClaim, there was a working relationship with SpaceClaim and the CAE space. Since the acquisition it’s only increased. The backbone behind all Ansys products is called Ansys Workbench. Every single product will plug into Workbench, and that’s no excep- tion with SpaceClaim. If you have a model from which you’re trying to extract a midsurface or extract a vol- ume for CFD purposes, anything produced will transfer into Workbench for subsequent simulation operations. Ansys has a relatively newer product called Ansys AIM, in which SpaceClaim is the geometry backbone. It is optimized for design engineers, and has only one user interface. You can start with any CAD tool of choice, then go straight to simulation. Or begin with a SpaceClaim fi le, then simulate. You can also import a model, use SpaceClaim to edit, then simulate it. This tool was built with design engineers in mind and certainly can be used in the manufacturing space. It further shows the importance of SpaceClaim to simu- lation in Ansys products.


24 AdvancedManufacturing.org | June 2017 ME: How does the current business climate look for the


manufacturing users in your area of the software industry? Graham: The manufacturing space has constantly been changing for years. Early in my career, I was creating detailed design representations, and was somewhat limited to making parts that would be CNC machined, but nothing too complex. But things have been evolving more and more. Think about fi ve-axis machining. That has pushed what is being done in the manufacturing and design space. You can make parts that are much more complex and contain higher order curves. Then you add 3D printing into the mix. Because of all this, CAD software and geometry editors cannot be static. If so, they won’t meet the needs of the market. Just as the technologies change there has to be an evolution of the tools that people are using. I believe with the increased demand and technological improvements in 3D printing you are going to see additive manufacturing increase and the demand for subtractive manufacturing decrease. A steady balance will be reached at some point. And not only are people trying to just 3D print things but lightweighting is becoming more important through technologies like topology optimization. Tools have to keep up with demand. I believe SpaceClaim has done an excellent job at that, and you’re going to see more capabilities attached to SpaceClaim as market demands change.


New Releases I


nspection developer Verisurf Software Inc. (Anaheim, CA) announced availability of its Quality Inspection Suite, a combination of Verisurf application modules confi gured to provide an effi cient quality inspection and reporting solution. Quality Inspection Suite provides a cost-effective package


Verisurf’s Quality Inspection Suite offers users a cost-effective suite of inspection tools including CAD, Measure, Automate, and Validate modules.


Image courtesy Verisurf Software Inc.


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