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18 Feb 2020, 16:43

CAD-Neutral Model Libraries

DesignSpark offers its members unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of 3D models, for use both in mCAD software (such as DS Mechanical) and in eCAD software (such as DS PCB). We provide these models free to our members, which is just one of the benefits of being a member of the DesignSpark Community.

Our CAD-neutral approach allows you to use these models regardless of your preferred software package. For example, the mCAD models can be used with SolidWorks and AutoCAD, as well as our own tool, DS Mechanical. In fact, you can download over 70 different mCAD formats for every model that we list*.

As a membership benefit, you do need to be logged in to access the models in our libraries, but remember, DesignSpark membership is free! You can browse and download mCAD models from within the DS Mechanical software, and access the eCAD models to add to your own eCAD model library.

Active Model Expansion

Since last April, we have doubled the size of the RS mCAD model library, from 65,000 models to 130,000 models, and we are devoting considerable effort to expanding this further. Outside of the core RS library, you can access over 100 million other products via our hosting partner, TraceParts.

Our current emphasis is on building strategic relationships with major industry players, with the goal of adding full parts coverage wherever practicable. We have recently added 28,000 parts from TE and are the first partner to add KEMET products, having worked closely with them over the last few months.

This investment isn't solely on models, we released DesignSpark PCB Pro towards the end of last year, and we continue to invest in our freely-available software toolset.

Coming Soon

In December we added local-language translations of the product categories to the mCAD library, which is the first step towards fuller local-language support. We are currently creating local-language part names and descriptions, to allow model libraries to be searched in one of five languages (English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese). This is a significant endeavour, but will hopefully bear fruit in the next two months.

Beyond that, we wish to increase coverage of semiconductor/active components in our parts libraries and are looking at how to make our model libraries easier to find.

Conclusion

Providing comprehensive CAD libraries is a key priority for us. It helps underpin DesignSpark as your go-to design engineering platform, and it is a major benefit of your free membership.

* Supported CAD formats:
SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER & Creo, Inventor, AutoCAD, Solid Edge, TopSolid, Geomagic Design, Kompas 3D, SpaceClaim, SketchUp, Autodesk REVIT, ZW3D, Draftsight, HiCAD, TurboCAD, T-FLEX, SolidFace, Elecworks, Gstarcad, IronCAD, MagicPart, SolidWorks Electrical, DesignSpark Mechanical, DesignSpark Electrical and supports the majority of neutral CAD formats including DWG, DXF, IGES, STEP, SAT, JT, STL, VRML and many more.

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18 Feb 2020, 16:43