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Tool promises to bring 3D design capability to all engineers

Thu, 09/12/2013 - 5:55pm

3D softwareAllied Electronics (Allied) and RS Components (RS), the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc announced DesignSpark Mechanical, a new 3D solid modeling and assembly tool that is available to all –free of charge. Developed in conjunction with SpaceClaim, the new easy-to-use DesignSpark Mechanical are intended to overcome the prohibitive costs and the considerable investment in learning time associated with traditional 3D CAD tools. With access to more than 38,000 3D models in the extensive DesignSpark online component library, DesignSpark Mechanical gives all engineers the ability to rapidly undertake an end-to-end design with professional-grade modeling tools that are at zero cost. RS and Allied have also collaborated with world-leading 3D content company TraceParts to provide access to millions of models from the online tracepartsonline.net CAD portal in DesignSpark Mechanical format. DesignSpark Mechanical employs a powerful methodology called ‘direct modeling’, which is very different from traditional feature- or parametric-based 3D CAD software. The tool uses simple gestures that enable real-time editing and instant feedback, making it possible for engineers and others to create geometry and easily explore ideas and product concepts in 3D. All basic designs can be achieved quickly and easily via the use of the software’s four basic tools – Pull, Move, Fill and Combine – in addition to its employment of familiar Windows keyboard shortcuts such as cut/paste, undo/redo.

The software can also be used as a complementary 3D tool in the product development process for the creation of early concept designs, for instance, alongside 3D CAD tools that are already in use today. The tool can remove bottlenecks in the early design process by allowing changes and additions in seconds, rather than having to wait for the CAD department using the traditional 3D tools to rework the design. 3D designs can also be exported in STL, the standard file format to enable rapid prototyping builds and computer-aided manufacturing, in addition to providing the ability to quickly obtain Bill-of-Materials (BOM) quotes via the Allied and RS websites. The tool can also import circuit layout files in IDF format from any PCB design tool, including the award-winning DesignSpark PCB software.

Allied Electronics and RS Components, www.alliedelec.com, www.rs-components.com

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