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RS adds premium add-on modules for 3D design tool

12 Jun 2015

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RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, has rolled out a couple of optional premium modules as the latest addition to its DesignSpark Mechanical solution. Developed together with SpaceClaim, DesignSpark Mechanical is an advanced 3D direct modelling tool that can be downloaded free of charge.

Notwithstanding the availability of these optional premium paid-for modules, which can now be purchased from RS, very importantly the fundamental software that is available today 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.


The first premium module available is DesignSpark Mechanical Exchange, 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 highly expensive 3D CAD licences or training.

The second premium module, DesignSpark Mechanical Drawing, 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.

These two premium modules build on top of the latest version of free-to-download DesignSpark Mechanical. Version 2 of the software was released in December 2014 and added several features that had been requested by DesignSpark Mechanical users to enable an even better 3D design experience. These improvements include a simplified user interface and access to a 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.

The DesignSpark Mechanical Add-On modules are available for purchase on the RS site: DesignSpark Mechanical Exchange is priced at $795, DesignSpark Mechanical Drawing is priced at $795, and the DesignSpark Mechanical Add-On Bundle, comprising both the Exchange and Drawing modules, is priced at $995.

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