Free-to-download CAD tool “brings 3D design to every engineer”

September 12, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
RS Components has introduced DesignSpark Mechanical, a software package that makes 3D mechanical design, available to engineers beyond the established specialist who currently work in 3D; the package is, says RS, free, fast and intuitive, opening new possibilities from concept design through to manufacturing

DesignSpark Mechanical is a 3D solid modelling and assembly tool, developed in conjunction with SpaceClaim, provider of “flexible and affordable” 3D modelling software. RS is presenting the package as a significant step in the evolution of its DesignSpark online resource hub, and is making it available worldwide in 12 languages.

The availability of DesignSpark Mechanical overcomes, RS adds, two major barriers to entry faced by potential users who do not currently have access to a 3D design solution, but who could benefit from the use of 3D modelling to quickly develop sophisticated concepts and products. These impediments are the prohibitive costs and the considerable investment in learning time associated with traditional 3D CAD tools. Not only is DesignSpark Mechanical free, its simplicity of use means that engineers and others involved in product development can become fully conversant with the software within minutes, rather than the weeks or months required to become skilled with traditional 3D CAD tools.

The software employs the same use paradigm as SpaceClaim's own product – you manipulate geometry with four basic actions that have more in common with established Windows and mobile-device operation than with traditional CAD. RS believes that using DesignSpark Mechanical early in the design cycle can eliminate much of the time-consuming rework associated with traditional product development processes. The package can exchange data with component databases and with DesignSpark PCB (or in .IDF from many other tools), and can export files in .STL format to generate prototypes on 3D printers.

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 modelling tools that are at zero cost. RS has 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.

“RS is partnering with SpaceClaim to launch DesignSpark Mechanical,