Autodesk Snatches Up HSMWorks, Paves the Way for Cloud-Powered CAM

Autodesk's acquisition of HSMWorks paves the way for cloud-augmented CAM.

HSMWorks has already done the legwork to bring CAM to private cloud; with Autodesk‘s acquisition of the company’s assets this morning, the product now appears to be heading for the public cloud.

After buying HSMWorks assets for an undisclosed sum, Autodesk plans to “integrate the HSMWorks technology with its industry leading software and cloud services for manufacturing,” according to the announcement. It will continue to “make current HSMWorks products available for purchase and HSMXpress available as a free download.”

What distinguishes HSMWorks is its network processing function — the option to use distributed computing to speed up toolpath generation. The software’s architecture allows you to take advantage of multicore CPUs, but, perhaps more important, also the computing cores distributed across the entire network. According to HSMWorks, it does so by “automatically utilizing idle PCs on the local network to reduce toolpath calculation time. Distributed CAM is automatically used by Autodesk HSMWorks when installed on selected PCs and requires no additional setup or interaction from the user.” (For more, read “Put your idle computing cores to work,” August 2010.)

From distributed computing in a private cloud, it’s a small leap to move into distributed computing in the public cloud, the backbone of Autodesk’s new on-demand offerings branded as Autodesk 360.

The company recently launched Autodesk Simulation 360, a line of cloud-augmented analysis modules. For the most compute-intensive portion of analysis jobs, users of Autodesk Simulation 360 can tap into cloud-hosted processing power, delivered on demand, to speed up the process. The same setup could be deployed to repackage HSMWorks into what might be called Autodesk CAM 360, augmented by cloud-hosted computing power.

Currently HSMWorks is a Gold-certified partner product for SolidWorks, a rival of Autodesk. HSMWorks’ relationship with SolidWorks will likely remain for the foreseeable future, but Autodesk may also implement strategies to make the Inventor-HSMWorks combo a more appealing alternative to the SolidWorks-HSMWorks combo.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

6 Responses to Autodesk Snatches Up HSMWorks, Paves the Way for Cloud-Powered CAM

  • Jon Banquer says:

    “What distinguishes HSMWorks is its network processing function — the option to use distributed computing to speed up toolpath generation. The software’s architecture allows you to take advantage of multicore CPUs, but, perhaps more important, also the computing cores distributed across the entire network.”

    Other CAM products can do this.

    “From distributed computing in a private cloud, it’s a small leap to move into distributed computing in the public cloud, the backbone of Autodesk’s new on-demand offerings branded as Autodesk 360.”

    All machining job shop clients that I work with have zero interest in putting ITAR sensitive data on a public server. They simply won’t do it.

    Jon Banquer
    CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

  • Craig Walsh says:

    I agree Jon.

    It sounds good in theory but we have clients with data so sensitive that they don’t allow any third party access to their data at all.

    Far better to look to improve calculation times in the core CAM software itself rather than looking for spare computing power on some third party computer elsewhere.

    Craig Walsh

  • Corporal Willy says:

    I know people behind the scenes with HSMWorks and the Express Version and the way this takeover was done is really pitiful. Good people, talented people, were thrown over the side of the ship as Autodesk makes it’s way over the horizon and falls behind a cloud. Autodesk should consider what they did to those people. Public Companies cannot reveal before hand what they are doing so that some don’t get rich on these takeover buyouts. Does Autodesk care at all?

  • Pingback: Freesteel

  • Jeff Schueller says:

    Great! But how will this this help me program threaded holes, Counter Bored holes, Ream Holes, and simple pockets, contours faster?

  • Pingback: Autodesk Releases Inventor HSM, a CAD-Integrated CAM Product. | Virtual Desktop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>