Use Shape Search to Shorten Time to Market

By Erwin Argyle

This is the fourth article in a series on the business value of geometry as search criteria, or Shape Search, a new technology that can help you reach greater returns on your Teamcenter investment. Let’s explore shape search in Active Workspace.

Catch up on the whole series by reading part1, part 2part 3 and part 5.

Active Workspace is a powerful platform for shape search. The client runs in a web browser and does not need any additional download. It is a Teamcenter client. Shape and Teamcenter attributes work together as search criteria, all the while adhering to Teamcenter security.

So how does shape search help shorten time to market? The image below shows the steps needed to add in-house and purchased parts to the inventory. Both processes are expensive and take time.


The time and resources each step consumes are saved when an existing part is found and reused.

Active Workspace is nicely organized so that you can find combine shape and Teamcenter attributes as search criteria. The best candidate parts can be viewed side by side, along with their properties for further inspection. Active Workspace can fetch the desired result from the vault and load it into a downstream application. Applications that support embedded browsers or HTML5 plugins enable a user experience of smoothly integrated applications. The video in this blog shows exactly this with Active Workspace embedded in NX. This user refines an initial shape search and then makes a choice after reviewing a custom table of associated attributes. The chosen part is then opened in NX.

This article focused on design use case. However, we could just as easily have focused on a procurement use case. The range of use cases is greatly extended by the flexibility of being able to search by shape in a web browser.

This is the fourth article in a series of five. The other articles are:

The series was inspired by the article “Five Ways Shape Search Drives Business Value” by Jim Brown, President of Tech-Clarity.

Erwin Argyle is a Senior Product Manager and can be contacted for more information on shape search

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at