Delcam plc (www.delcam.com) has introduced free software, PowerSHAPE-e, that allows everyone involved in the product development process, especially those that are not CAD specialists, to view, experiment with and comment on CAD data throughout any project. It can be downloaded from (www.powershape-e.com).
The software is useful to people who do not normally use CAD systems, such as sales staff that need to discuss progress with the customer, or market researchers that need to get feedback from potential customers or retailers on new design proposals. Users can experiment with unlimited different variants to improve the appearance or functionality of the design. Once the suggested modifications are agreed, the model can be marked up with the changes requested to any dimensions. Similarly, staff in manufacturing can suggest changes to improve productivity.
PowerSHAPE-e incorporates a wide range of easy-to-use surface and solid modelling functionality to modify imported models. The software incorporates all the Delcam Exchange data translation options and so can read in files from all the main CAD systems, including CATIA, UG, Pro/Engineer, IDEAS, SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor and Solid Edge, as well as neutral formats such as IGES and STEP. It does not import the history of operations used to create the CAD file, so minimizing the possibility of a modification to one part of the model producing an unexpected change in another area.