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Manual: how to install DesignSpark Mechanical in VirtualBox

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Manual: how to install DesignSpark Mechanical in VirtualBox

 

DesignSpark Mechanical ("DSM") is freeware 3D-editor. It is a limited version of the commercial SpaceClaim program, and distributed for free by the well-known elektronics supplier "RS Components". It only requires registration to activate it.

 

DesignSpark Mechanical is very well suited for geometric shapes, technical models and machine parts, like the one you can see in this screendump. It is not suitable for organic shapes like animals, plants, etc.

 

dsm_screendump1.thumb.jpg.c7694bbad3e462f3c2ed04737ef6e53f.jpg

 

It has its own fileformat "RSDOC", and it can export to STL and OBJ for 3D-printing, and JPG for images of the model (these are basically screendumps of the current drawing window).

 

DSM can also read STEP-files, but can not export it, unless you buy the optional IGES/STEP import/export add-on.

 

DSM is very easy to learn: it has a similar simple push-pull user-interface like SketchUp. But it creates very good, solid STL-files for 3D-printing. In 2 years time, and after hundreds of models, I never had any problem printing its STL-files.

 

(This is contrary to SketchUp, which always causes huge trouble when 3D-printing, since it was never intended for that. SketchUp was ment to create "cardboard" 3D-images of architectural buildings for Google Earth, before Google had its own program to automatically convert aerial photos into 3D-models. So don't use SketchUp for 3D-printing. Use it for what is was designed for: making nice images of buildings.)

 

On Youtube and on other websites you can find a lot of good tutorials and demo-videos on how to use DesignSpark Mechanical. You could also use the SpaceClaim tutorials, if you keep in mind that DSM does only have a limited set of the features of SpaceClaim.

 

One disadvantage: it appears that DesignSpark Mechanical (and SpaceClaim) only exist for Windows. However, you can install it in a VirtualBox virtual machine. This might be a solution for Mac and Linux users. If you can find an old Windows 7 installer-DVD from a scrapped computer (to keep it legal), you could try installing Windows in VirtualBox. And then you can install DesignSpark Mechanical in that VM.

 

The following manuals describe how to enable 3D acceleration in VirtualBox, and how to install DesignSpark Mechanical in a virtual machine. It requires a bit of experience with software-installations. The first manual is "printed to PDF-file" from the internet. The second one is my workflow, which I wrote down for future reference.

 

virtualbox_how_to_enable_3d_acceleration_1.pdf

 

install_dsm_in_virtualbox_1.pdf

 

 

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