Allied Electronics and its Britain-based counterpart RS Components have added to their DesignSpark online resource with DesignSpark Mechanical, a new solid 3D modeling and assembly tool available to engineers for free at www.designspark.com/mechanical.
Developed in conjunction with 3D modeling software provider SpaceClaim, the easy-to-use program is available in multiple languages and addresses two barriers to entry for engineers looking for 3D design tools: prohibitive cost and extensive time investment. Not only is DesignSpark Mechanical free, its easy-to-use format allows engineers and others to get up to speed on the software within minutes as opposed to the weeks or months required to become skilled with traditional 3D CAD tools, according to the companies.
“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 modeling software that is so intuitive and flexible,” said Dan Stewart, vice president of marketing at Allied Electronics. “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.”
The program also provides access to more than 38,000 3D models in the DesignSpark online component library, allowing engineers to rapidly undertake an end-to-end design with professional-grade modeling tools 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 modeling technology from SpaceClaim with access to the massive library of standard parts from Allied and RS, 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.”
DesignSpark Mechanical uses “direct modeling,” which is different from traditional feature- or parametric-based 3D CAD software. The tool uses simple gestures that enable real-time editing and instant feedback, allowing engineers and others to create geometry and easily explore ideas and product concepts in 3D, the companies say. It also features familiar Windows-based shortcuts, making it easy for new users to get up to speed fast.
Allied Electronics and RS Components are trading brands of Britain-based Electrocomponents plc. Allied ranked 4th in Global Purchasing’s 2013 Top 50 Distributors report, which ranks the largest electronics distributors in North America.