SolidWorks

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

Dell Starts the Party at SXSW with Virtualization

After Dell made headlines last year for taking the publicly traded company private to allow it to innovate more freely, the company’s workstation division is having its “coming out party,” as Jeff Clark, who founded Dell’s workstation business 17 years ago called it. It’s a virtualization party, and the guest list includes the company’s software and hardware partners, as well as its customers.

The press event is taking place just a few miles up the road from Austin, where the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference begins tomorrow. At the event today, Dell announced that it is working with independent software vendors (ISVs), channel partners, virtualization software providers and its customers to move their applications from the desktop to the datacenter. The innovation comes in the knowledge of how to optimize virtualization for specific applications, so that software from Siemens, PTC, SolidWorks or Autodesk, for instance, runs as quickly as possible in a virtual environment.

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GPU-Accelerated Romance, 3D-Printed Valentines, and CAD-Cut Jewels

Most of you rely on the GPU to render your CAD assemblies into ray-traced eye candies or pump up the blood and gore in your favorite first-person shooter games. (Did I hear someone mention Battlefield 3?) It turns out, with a little bit of programming — and a lot of ingenuity — you might also be able to use the graphics processor to speed up your search for a love match. 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

SolidWorks World 2014: Two New Products and a Move Toward Subscription

Along the San Diego Bay and the popular Gaslamp Quarter, the week began with a cloudy sky. Inside the San Diego Convention Center’s 90,000 sq. ft. twin-ballroom theater, SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot kicked off the day with a warm welcome to the 6,000-plus customers who’d flown or driven into town for the annual user conference, SolidWorks World 2014.

Sicot said, “Our goal at SolidWorks World is to inspire you — to be more creative, to be more productive, to be more passionate. We believe inspired people create inspired design.”

Most attendees knew this year they might bear witness to the birth of a brand new product. The industry press had tipped them off a full year ago with tidbits about Mechanical Conceptual. But the company had another surprise in store. Continue reading