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The SpaceClaim Blog

Marking the expansion of 3D modeling software to all engineers

SpaceClaim’s Approach to Cloud-Enabled 3D Collaboration

We’re ready to talk publicly for the first time about a project we’ve been building secretly for months, working closely with a select number of customers to get it ready to share with the world.

Our customers know we’re happy to discuss functionality they want us to build, and the most popular request over the past year has been data-secure collaboration with remote colleagues. When we can program our DVRs from vacation on a secluded beach, it’s only natural that we also want to use cloud technology to help our teams work faster and better.

We put a team together to look into making collaboration possible, and set a high bar for what we would release as a SpaceClaim product. It had to be fast and it had to allow all participants to interact simultaneously with a design. Customers weren’t asking for “cloud” independent of value to their process. They wanted collaboration that improved their workflow. Anything that wasn’t faster, easier and fundamentally better than sending files back and forth over email or hosting a web conference wasn’t worth the resources it would take to build it.

Our team came back with a framework that met all of the requirements and then some. 

  • It is as fast and secure as working on your desktop, the host controls the session and only the host has the model data.
  • It is flexible, because participants can connect to a session from any device in any location with nothing to download, install or save.
  • It is interactive and simultaneous, because every person in the session has access to the same data at the same time. It is a modeling conversation in a 3D environment rather than passing data back and forth or a “show and tell” with only one person accessing the underlying data. There is only one model, seen and shared by everyone concurrently.

What the team mapped out goes beyond even these groundbreaking features, and we look forward to sharing all of the details soon. But for now, we want to get you used to the idea that collaboration on 3D models can be far better than anything you’ve seen so far.

You can see the underlying structure described in the video and whiteboard. At its core, our collaboration product, codenamed “Connect,” uses the SpaceClaim system as the brains of a hosted session. Clients are invited in, and have access to the core geometry of the model. That means, for example, when a client selects a set of surfaces on the model using a smartphone, those surfaces are selected on the host’s desktop.

This is what true data-secure collaboration looks like, and only SpaceClaim can bring it to you.

We can’t wait to share it with you. The Beta program will begin in a few weeks, and it will be widely available early in 2014. SpaceClaim customers can register for the Beta program here. Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Whiteboard image SpaceClaim "Connect"
Click image to enlarge

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