Driving the future of 3D design software, RS Components and Allied have launch a new 3D solid modelling and assembly tool called DesignSpark Mechanical.

This software has been developed by the distributor in conjunction with SpaceClaim, a provider of 3D modelling software for engineers and is available free of charge.

Two important aspects of this availability are that it addresses the two key issues of time and cost traditionally  faced by potential users who do not currently have access to a 3D design solution.

The distributor highlights the platforms’ simplicity of use as a key feature meaning that engineers and others involved in product development can quickly and easily become fully conversant with the software within minutes, rather than the weeks or months required to become skilled with traditional 3D CAD tools.

The launch of DesignSpark Mechanical is the first time a 3D design tool with this level of sophistication has been made freely available. Engineers will love using modelling software that is so intuitive and flexible,” said Glenn Jarrett, Global Head of Product Marketing at RS Components.

“The use of DesignSpark Mechanical early in the design cycle can eliminate much of the time-consuming rework associated with traditional product development processes. This is a highly significant initiative that helps engineers to bring innovative products to market quickly, and DesignSpark Mechanical’s STL output format enables direct export of designs to 3D printers.”

To ease the design flow, the distributor continues to offer access to more than 38,000 3D models in its extensive DesignSpark online component library. In addition to this the launch of the copany’s new mechanical platform offers engineers a route to quickly undertake an end-to-end design with professional-grade modelling tools that are at no cost.

RS and Allied have also collaborated with 3D content company TraceParts to provide access to millions of models from the online tracepartsonline.net CAD portal in DesignSpark Mechanical format.

“Allied and RS are partnering with SpaceClaim to launch DesignSpark Mechanical, which combines the power and ease-of-use of direct modelling technology from SpaceClaim with access to the massive library of standard parts from RS and Allied, trusted by millions of engineers around the world,” said Rich Moore, Vice President of business development for SpaceClaim.

“Feature-based CAD is more difficult to learn and with DesignSpark Mechanical, users can rapidly create 3D models to accelerate engineering design and improve their competitive advantage.”

“The active base of 3D CAD seats globally is currently estimated at approximately 1.5 million. However, it is also estimated that there are an additional 20 million engineers globally who do not currently use 3D CAD, but could significantly benefit from a tool such as DesignSpark Mechanical, Moore continued.

“It will not only enable design engineers to be more creative, but will also support a more efficient product development process, allowing the production of professional concepts right through to delivering highly detailed and dimensioned manufacturing blueprints.”

This new tool uses a methodology called ‘direct modelling’, which is described as “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.

The company advises, all basic designs can be achieved simply via the use of the software’s four basic tools – Pull, Move, Fill and Combine – in addition to its use of familiar Windows keyboard shortcuts such as cut/paste, undo/redo, which makes it highly intuitive for new users.

Additionally, 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 RS and Allied websites. The tool can also import circuit layout files in IDF format from any PCB design tool, including the award-winning DesignSpark PCB software.

DesignSpark Mechanical is available for free download from: www.designspark.com/mechanical

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RS Components