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3D Direct Modeling Optimized for CAE

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SpaceClaim for CAE

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The New Competitive Edge:  3D Conceptual Design

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SpaceClaim Engineer

CAE Model/Geometry Preparation Overview


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Modeling for CAE

SpaceClaim provides CAE analysts the easiest and fastest tools possible to get geometry ready for simulation. Whether de-featuring CAD geometry, creating new concepts from scratch, or optimizing existing models, SpaceClaim removes the geometry bottleneck, thus freeing engineers to focus on the physics and modeling. By putting simulation users in control of geometry, CAE can drive product development by optimizing models before CAD and validating results post-CAD.


Traditional CAD software, designed for manufacturing documentation, is not optimized for CAE experts.  Before SpaceClaim, CAE users were forced to use CAD tools designed for CAD specialists or ask the CAD team to create or simplify models for them. The result: wasted time and energy. All too often, engineers wouldn’t be able to perform simulation until after the detailed models were complete, causing unnecessary compromises and time-consuming changes late in the process.

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Review this video to see how easy it is to prepare models for fluid analysis in your CAE package.

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Watch this video to see how easy it is to prepare models for structural analysis in your CAE package.


SpaceClaim’s unique user interface and modeling technology enables analysts to easily create and modify geometry without the complexity of traditional CAD. When working with existing CAD models, simulation users can de-feature and simplify geometry with automated, easy-to-learn tools. SpaceClaim is ideal for engineers who don’t have time for CAD but want and need to get fast answers using 3D.


SpaceClaim enables simulation experts to:
  • Open native CAD models from all major systems including Pro/ENGINEER, CATIA, SolidWorks, Inventor, and NX
  • Quickly repair poor geometry quality created by old legacy CAD systems and surface modelers
  • Optimize CAD models for input to all major CAE products including ANSYS, COMSOL, Simulia, Autodesk Simulation, and Nastran
  • Works with leading MDAO tools, such as Noesis Optimus, Esteco ModeFrontier, ANSYS workbench, and Comet Solutions
  • Remove manufacturing detail (holes, rounds, chamfers, etc.) without needing to understand the original CAD models
  • Make geometry modifications in a fraction of the time it would take in the original CAD authoring package
  • Easily prepare CAD models for meshing and analysis
  • Confidently work in 3D without climbing the learning curve of traditional CAD


  • Support and enable simulation-driven design initiatives
  • Empower CAE analysts to work in 3D while keeping the CAD team focused on detailed design
  • Optimize the value stream between detailed design and CAE work groups
  • Increase early phase CAE capacity to address innovation initiatives
  • Eliminate waste and get higher-quality products to market faster
  • Strong ROI (return on investment) with very fast pay back
  • Save days or weeks by removing CAD bottlenecks in the CAE workflow


Unique De-Featuring Technology

SpaceClaim’s de-featuring capabilities quickly create ideal models for meshing.
  • Remove stubborn rounds, including those that overlap or have complex intersections
  • Automatically detect and remove small holes and faces and other irrelevant geometry
  • Delete geometry unrelated to your simulation
  • Split models according to symmetry
  • Hide, isolate, and delete parts in an assembly without regeneration failures
  • Merge, replace, and simplify faces to reduce mesh complexity

State-of-the-Art Direct Modeling Tools

Direct Modeling lets you quickly create model and edit CAD designs regardless of the origin. SpaceClaim uniquely delivers direct modeling to engineers who aren't CAD experts.
  • Add or remove from the design using the Pull tool
  • Modify the design with the Move tool
  • Merge and cut solids with the Combine tool
  • Remove and clean geometry with the Fill tool
  • Use custom dimensions to precisely edit created and imported models
  • Make edits from any convenient cross section
  • Edit any design in any part or assembly context

Streamline the Pathways between CAD and CAE

No need to wait hours, days, or longer for the CAD team to make engineering changes.  
  • Open native data from all major CAD systems and edit it as if it were originally created with SpaceClaim
  • Powerful automated tools clean dirty and corrupt data from legacy systems or surface modelers that don’t produce watertight solids
  • Special tools detect and remove features irrelevant to analysis, such as rounds and small holes
  • Sophisticated algorithms detect midplanes and extract beams for speeding structural analysis
  • Extract internal and external volumes to get regions suitable for fluid analysis
  • Optimize models using custom parameters, regardless of the parameters in the CAD file
  • Specify improvements to the CAD team with an accurate solid model and a 3D markup of your changes


CAE Package Integrations

SpaceClaim and our partners offer integrations with numerous CAE packages. Refer to the Interoperability page for a complete list of CAE packages that SpaceClaim is able to directly integrate with.

Example: Preparing, Optimizing, and Communicating Changes to a Bracket

1 The original CAD file loading in SpaceClaim, with small holes, and rounds that can be removed before simulation.
2 SpaceClaim makes it easy to remove the unnecessary features without worrying about the model's history.
3 Some types of analysis work best off of midplanes. SpaceClaim can quickly calculate midplanes from thin-walled solids.
4 Extra copies of the original rib strengthen the design.
5 To optimize material and strength, new driving dimensions permit the analysis tool to drive the rib size.
6 The final analysis model with optimized ribs.


Once analysis has optimized the model, SpaceClaim returns an accurate solid and a
marked-up version specifying the changes.