Sometimes, when a combination has the right ingredients, great performers are paired with other great performers, and the result is outstanding. The whole becomes greater then the sum of its parts.
The newly released SpaceClaim Style makes such a powerful combination when paired with Rhino. Rhino and SpaceClaim Style are not only excellent on their own; they are perfectly compatible and complement each other ideally. These are the key fundamental elements of a power couple. Let’s analyze them in more detail.
Compatible – not only can Rhino and SpaceClaim Style read and write .3dm files without any data loss, but they are both direct modeling systems. This means that they are compatible at the semantic level, not just at the (required) data level. This is different from parametric systems that are still highly incompatible. Geometry data can be transferred reliably but all the parametric modeling history is lost and different systems use different operators to generate the same geometry (the semantic dichotomy). Rhino and SpaceClaim on the other hand have moved the design intelligence into the software and away from the data - making it thankfully very easy for the user to manipulate the same data with different systems.
Complementary – while being impressive products on their own Rhino and SpaceClaim tend to excel at different types of modeling. Rhino is best at free form modeling and SpaceClaim is best at solid modeling of parts and assemblies. Once used in combination the two systems can tackle more challenging design tasks because the user can chose the best system for the problem at hand and seamlessly switch between the two. For example, SpaceClaim offers a free Rhino plug-in that provides a button within Rhino allowing for easy import and export of Rhino data with SpaceClaim.
Industrial designers looking for a strong solid and assembly modeling tool will find SpaceClaim Style perfectly suited for their needs and will not find themselves entangled in the complexity of parametric systems. Mechanical designers looking for high quality Class A surface modeling will find Rhino a seamless addition to SpaceClaim’s capabilities.
If you are a user of either Rhino or SpaceClaim I believe you owe it to yourself to try this combination. And if you are using neither one, well, I think you should try them both to see for yourself what they can do for you.