Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk Releases Inventor HSM, a CAD-Integrated CAM Product

For a long time, HSMWorks for SolidWorks was the envy of Autodesk Inventor users. The computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) program was best known for its tight integration with SolidWorks’ CAD program. Even the “-Works” in HSMWorks, I suspect, might have been the creators’ deliberate tie to SolidWorks in branding. The only way the SolidWorks-HSMWorks integration could have been tighter was for Dassault Systemes, SolidWorks’ parent company, to acquire HSMWorks.

HSMWorks eventually did get bought, but not by Dassault. It was by Autodesk, which owns SolidWorks’ CAD rival Autodesk Inventor. The fierce competition between SolidWorks and Inventor notwithstanding, the new owner vows to keep HSMWorks interoperable with SolidWorks. At the same time, the lack of an Inventor-integrated HSMWorks became an imbalance that needs to be corrected. This week, the correction comes in the form of Autodesk Inventor HSM, a CAD-CAM bundle that includes both Autodesk Inventor design software and CAM features. Continue reading

Autodesk Completes Delcam Acquisition, Increases Its Footprint in CAM Sector

Last December at Autodesk University (The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada), when Autodesk CEO Carl Bass took a tour of the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) booths, he was flanked by the executive team of Delcam — Glenn McMinn, president, Delcam North America; Clive Martell, CEO, Delcam; Steve Hobbs, development director, Delcam; and Bart Simpson, commercial director. It was a photo op that told what the legalities of mergers and acquisitions forbid them to discuss publicly — Delcam was about to become part of Autodesk. Continue reading

Project Falcon Graduates to Become Autodesk Flow Design

Nearly two years ago, Project Falcon made its debut in Autodesk Labs, as a preview of the company’s wind-tunnel simulation technology. This week, the project becomes a bona fide product. Returning as Autodesk Flow Design, the product functions both as a standalone application (PC or Mac) or a plug-in for Autodesk Inventor (for mechanical design) and Revit (for architectural design).

Wind tunnel or airflow simulation is usually the domain of experts, a market served by high end CFD software makers. Autodesk Flow Design, however, targets designers with limited exposure to simulation. The simple wizard-like setup lets users import existing geometry and set up simulation scenarios (for instance, simulating the airflow around a vehicle traveling at a certain speed, or a stadium of a certain shape) with just a few input parameters. Continue reading

Autodesk Readies Browser-Based CAD Products

If the transition of 3D design capabilities to the cloud has been a series of measured steps, think of Autodesk’s latest move as a leap for CAD.

Autodesk, which has been the most aggressive of the CAD vendors to embrace the new software delivery paradigm, has announced a technology preview of full-fledged versions of its 3D design, engineering, and entertainment tools running in a Web browser for the first time. These browser-based versions of Autodesk Inventor, Revit, Maya, and 3ds Max provide access to the bulk of functionality in the traditional desktop versions on any Internet-connected system or device without requiring a full license of the program, and without keeping the user tied to any specific PC. Continue reading

Autodesk Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max, and Maya, Now Available for Monthly Rental

The future of professional design software may look a lot more like Netflix and Zipcar, judging from the rental licensing options just launched by Autodesk and Siemens PLM Software.

Last week, Siemens began offering its Solid Edge CAD package under a subscription program. For as little as $130 a month, you could download, install, and start using the software. With no commitment to a specific time (for example, an annual commitment), you can technically subscribe to use the software for one month, then cancel your subscription with no penalty for early termination.

This week, Autodesk launched its own rental program, offering popular titles like Autodesk Inventor, Revit, 3dx Max, and Maya under monthly, quarterly, and annual subscription fees. Some of the most economic options include Standard rental plans for Maya LT at $50 per month and Inventor LT Suite for $95 per month. Continue reading