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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

MCADCafe Weekly (10/4/2012): Autodesk Acquiring HSMWorks CAM Technology

October 4th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

Autodesk has acquired certain assets of HSMWorks Aps, a developer of computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Through the acquisition of the HSMWorks technology, Autodesk will add software to control machine tools and related machinery to its portfolio of software for manufacturing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of the HSMWorks technology brings machining expertise and next-generation CAM technology to the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing software,” said Buzz Kross, Autodesk senior vice president, design, simulation and lifecycle products. “Autodesk has a long history of making design and engineering technology more accessible, and we look forward to bringing HSMWorks’ CAM technology to a broader group of users.”

Autodesk intends to integrate the HSMWorks technology with its industry leading software and cloud services for manufacturing, and will make current HSMWorks products available for purchase and HSMXpress available as a free download. Existing SolidWorks customers using HSMWorks will continue to receive support and product updates. HSMWorks Aps is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Over the years I’ve seen CAD/CAM/CAE customers blindsided by vendors, but this acquisition may well take the cake. It was announced on October 1, but when I went to the HSMWorks website on October 3 to look for some background company information, the only information available was about Autodesk. That was quick.

I talked briefly with Noah Cole, Autodesk Corporate PR, on the acquisition. I asked him about what Autodesk actually acquired when the press release says “certain assets.” Cole said that specifically what Autodesk acquired were the HSMWorks technology and development team. When asked who within Autodesk would head up HSMWorks going forward, Cole said that was still being decided and that no organizational structure had been announced yet.

I think the biggest consequence of this acquisition is what happens to SolidWorks customers who have HSMWorks as an integral part of their businesses? After all, until a few days ago, HSMWorks was a SolidWorks Partner, and a Gold Partner at that, but no more. Keep in mind, though, DS SolidWorks is the “decider” when it comes to partner status.

How about these sentences, though, from the HSMWorks website: “Autodesk HSMWorks is designed from the ground up to work inside SolidWorks, providing a logical extension of the parametric SolidWorks assembly environment into the CAM world. Experienced SolidWorks users will feel right at home working with Autodesk HSMWorks and will be able to create high-quality toolpaths within minutes.” Takes a little getting used to seeing Autodesk and SolidWorks in the same sentence.

The HSMWorks website also includes something I thought I’d never see in the graphic below:

The question has to be asked, how long will Autodesk continue to support HSMWorks for SolidWorks once it is integrated into Inventor? I’m sure both SolidWorks and HSMWorks customers would love to know the answer to this question.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great acquisition for Autodesk, but you have to wonder, did Dassault Systemes SolidWorks have the opportunity to make the acquisition? With HSMWorks being a SolidWorks Gold Partner, DS had to have known that the company was in play. Did they choose not to act? And if so, why?

The following is from Tom Mortenson, an HSMWorks insider on the “official” Autodesk HSMWorks forum:

“What happens to HSMWorks?

Aside from the obvious name change, nothing. The product will continue under the new name, Autodesk HSMWorks, but the technology remains the same.

Will Autodesk HSMWorks continue to be developed and Will I Get Updates?

Yes, and yes. Autodesk HSMWorks will continue to be developed and we will continue to release updates. Autodesk HSMWorks 2012 R5 is now available and supports SolidWorks 2013. Autodesk HSMWorks 2013 will be released in the near future.

Will you be able to purchase new licenses?

Yes. Autodesk HSMWorks represents the very best of integrated of CAM for SolidWorks and there are no intentions of discontinuing the product.

What about support?

Support will continue through the existing channel of resellers, email (, and the Autodesk HSMWorks forum (

What are Autodesk’s plans for the HSMWorks technology?

Autodesk intends to integrate HSMWorks technology into the Autodesk portfolio of software, suites, and cloud services for manufacturing.

Does this mean that HSMWorks technology will be integrated with Autodesk Inventor, similar to its current integration with SolidWorks?

Autodesk is not providing specific details of future product plans at this time. The intention is to leverage the HSMWorks technology across their entire manufacturing portfolio.”

However, all may not be lost. While they were rebranded with the Autodesk name, the company still sells and supports applications such as Moldflow, T-Splines, and Algor to users of CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, and SolidWorks, etc. Will that be the case with Autodesk HSMWorks? There’s no way of telling, but that might just end up being the case.

I guess a more unsettling aspect of the acquisition is that reseller contracts with HSMWorks have been discontinued effective immediately that will provide product support only through October 31, 2012. What happens after that, especially with contracts that are still in force?

Will this latest acquisition by a competitor be reason for some customers to jump ship to a completely new CAD platform? A few might, but I suspect relatively few. However, I suspect a larger number of current HSMWorks customers will be shopping for standalone CAM alternatives, but might include an associated CAD alternative, as well.

So, the march of CAD/CAM acquisitions and market consolidation goes on. Is this necessarily a bad thing? That all depends which side of the fence you’re on. Could this be a good thing? That depends on how Autodesk decides to treat current HSMWorks users – continue to support SolidWorks users for a steady income stream or discontinue support and force the hand of current users to make major decisions about CAD and CAM software. That’s all in Autodesk’s hands now.


The Week’s Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

MSC Software Acquires UCL Spin-off e-Xstream

MSC Software has acquired e-Xstream engineering, a spin-off of the Division of Applied Mechanics at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), renowned for multi-scale simulation. e-Xstream’s software platform, Digimat, is the reference solution for manufacturers and research scientists allowing them to design high performance composite materials more quickly and at lower cost by means of an accurate and reliable computational approach. The cplatform for modeling composite materials developed by e-Xstream offers advanced technology to materials suppliers, automotive and aerospace industries, and consumer product manufacturers as a way to innovate and reduce cost. Digimat multi-scale simulations can predict the physical behavior of a composite material from numerical simulations, the properties of its constituents, and the morphology of its microstructure.

Rapidform XOV Adds New Probe-Based Measurement and Speeds Up Inspection

INUS Technology released a new version of its inspection software, Rapidform XOV3. With this release, Rapidform XOV becomes a full-fledged contact inspection platform, with support for every major portable CMM device on the market. The completely new LiveInspect system, unique to Rapidform XOV, offers an automatic measurement guide that makes inspecting parts with a probe easy. After defining dimensions and tolerances on a nominal model, the software guides the operator how to measure a part and then generates a report automatically. Calculations are up to 10x faster than before, making the process of aligning, deviation analysis and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) faster. XOV is also the only native point cloud software with in-depth GD&T support for every callout in the ASME Y14.5 standard. Highlights of the 50+ enhancements include:

  • LiveInspect, Rapidform’s new probing interface for more streamlined inspection processes
  • Performance improvements resulting in times savings with calculations that are now up to 10x faster
  • Real-time preview of scan pair geometry by simple mouse-over for instant verification
  • Improved Reporting using customizable templates to share inspection results.

iPhone-Controlled Robots Could be the Future of Manufacturing Industry

As Quantum International works to deliver robotics innovations to customers, the market is trending toward smaller, more user-friendly robots designed to work alongside humans—not replace them. “Small manufacturers are the future for industrial robotics,” said Quantum CEO Robert Federowicz. “We’re exploring the development of smaller, safer assembly line robots that you won’t need a hard hat to get near. Smartphones and tablets like the Apple iPad could provide the ideal interface for these new machines.” This more affordable, more flexible generation of robots could help bring more manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., eliminating the need to outsource complex, repetitive tasks in the manufacture of electronics such as smartphones and laptops to countries with low wages. “The next generation of industrial robots will be closer to iRobot’s Roomba than the one-armed giants welding cars together today,” Federowicz said.

PTC Completes Acquisition of Servigistics

PTC has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Servigistics, developer of a suite of service lifecycle management (SLM) software solutions. The combination of the two companies firmly establishes PTC’s market presence in SLM by positioning PTC with the most comprehensive “system for service” in the industry. By adding Servigistics, PTC is now fully able to help global manufacturers service those same products. From a technology perspective, PTC’s SLM solution portfolio is now covers technical information, service knowledge management, service parts management, warranty and contract management, field service management, and service logistics. With its comprehensive SLM capabilities, PTC is now positioned to help discrete manufacturers transform their service strategies and operations into a true source of sustainable competitive edge – what PTC describes as “service advantage.”

Stratasys and Objet Provide Update on Merger Closing

Stratasys and Objet Ltd. announced that the closing of their pending merger will not occur during the third quarter as previously announced, as the process under the Defense Production Act of 1950 is not yet complete. The statutory period for completion of the process under the Act has extended beyond the end of the third quarter. Stratasys and Objet expect a conclusion in the fourth quarter. Since the parties did not close the merger by the end of the third quarter, Stratasys and Objet have agreed to amend their merger agreement to extend the end date under the merger agreement to October 19, 2012. Under the merger agreement as amended, either party can terminate the merger agreement if the merger is not completed on or before that date. As announced on April 16, 2012, Stratasys and Objet entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction with a combined equity value of approximately $1.4 billion, based upon the closing price of Stratasys’ common stock on April 13, 2012. The transaction has received HSR approval and also been approved by Stratasys stockholders.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at or 719.221.1867.

This Week

Lead Story

Autodesk Acquires HSMWorks Technology

Product and Company News

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Hardware Review: BOXX Technologies GoBOXX G1840

Industrial Espionage and PLM Security (The PLM Insider Blog)

Autodesk and Jitterbit Partner to Increase Access to Vital Product Lifecycle Management Data

ThinkDesign Product Suite Built with HOOPS Exchange and HOOPS Publish

SpaceClaim and First Trace Announce Integration of SpaceClaim Engineer and Kinnosa

The Foundry and Luxology Join Forces

CT Core Technologie offers free 3D visualization tool

Comet Solutions Expands Its Presence in China

CAD Automation App Reduces Quoting Time by 30%

MSC Software Acquires Composite Material Simulation Leader e-Xstream

GPI Prototype Announces Addition of Third Direct Metal Laser Sintering Machine

Acacia Subsidiary Acquires Patents for Product Lifecycle Management Technology

CIMdata Publishes “Beyond Simulation Data Management”

Siemens Introduces Environmental Impact Calculator

GstarCAD MC PRO Officially Released, Directly Transmit and Convert Drawings between Mobile Devices

Delcam adds more milling options for FeatureCAM

QUAN: Cutting-edge Robotics Allow Users to Be in 2 Places at Once

ANSYS Listed On Software 500 Index For Sixth Consecutive Year

Chad Jackson, Lifecycle Insight’s President and Founder, to unveil findings of a new research report on the State of PLM at PLM Innovation Americas 2012

Rapid Sheet Metal Inc Boosts Sales Coverage for Prototype Services

i GET IT Training, 3Dconnexion SpacePilot Pro 3D Mouse Productivity Bundle – Enhanced Engineering Efficiency

Speakers Announced for Aberdeen Group 2012 Manufacturing Industry Summit

Alphacam Keeps Amorini Production Shining

NASA Selects Contract For Aerospace Modeling And Simulation

Dassault Systèmes Introduces “Licensed to Cure”, a New Industry Solution Experience for Fully Compliant Medical Devices

CDS Catalog and CAD Download Solution Selected by UC Components

TransMagic Releases MagicCheck for 3D Geometry Comparison

Canvas 14 CAD Software Released

Vero Strengthens Online Presence

Lantek increases its turnover by 8.3% in the first half of 2012

A Little Homework Goes a Long Way – Research & Analysis on Autodesk, Inc. and Parametric Technology Corporation

Digital Manufacturing Software Market in the APAC Region 2011-2015

Applied Instrument Technologies Deploys SofTech’s ProductCenter PLM

CADCAMConnect Expands its Supplier Network by Partnering with GPI Prototype to Offer 3D Metal Printed Parts

CDS Catalog and CAD Download Solution Launched by Brennan Industries

ZWCAD+ Launch: New Core. New Possibilities.

Research and Markets: Digital Manufacturing Software Market in the APAC Region 2011-2015: Dassault Systemes, Mentor Graphics and Siemens PLM software Inc Dominate Market Space

Computer-aided Engineering Software Market in China 2011-2015

Hexagon Metrology Releases High Precision Scanning Probe Head

PLMIG issues the PLM-ERP 10-Year Challenge

Research and Markets: Computer-aided Engineering Software Market in India 2011-2015

CMTC Adds New Position to Stimulate Manufacturing Growth

Edison Nation and Stratasys Partner for Ninth Annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge

Paragon Medical adopts NCSIMUL SOLUTIONS to drive machining simulation process

Day2Night Uses SolidWorks Software to Bring Convertible Heels to Market (FISHER/UNITECH)

All Formtek Software Products Now Available for the Alfresco 4 ECM Platform

Solutions for Repairing Defective STL Files

ITRI And SoftInWay Collaborated To Develop A Next Generation ORC Turbine

Autodesk Product Design Suite Helps Position Turkish Auto Company for Global Success

Handling complex CAD assemblies with filtering tools of Kisters 3DViewStation V11.3

Latest Javelin Targets Time-Saving and Efficiency (Vero Software)

GstarCAD MC PRO Released

Hydrocontrol SpA of Italy Implements Aras PLM Solution Suite

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Research and Markets: Up and Running with AutoCAD 2012: Edition No. 2

Hawk Ridge Systems Adds CAMWorks to CAD/CAM Portfolio

Computer-aided Engineering Software Market in India 2011-2015

EOS and IMDS Join Forces to Create Breakthrough Medical Products

Hand-Tied to Profitability – Conducting CFD During Product Development in a Tough Economy

Research and Markets: Computer-Aided Engineering Software Market in China 2011-2015: Manufacture Outsourcing to China Driving Market Growth

Related MCAD News

Frost & Sullivan: Sourcing Collaboration in the Cloud

Automotive Manufacturing – Top 5 Emerging Markets Industry Guide

Ball Aerospace Ships First James Webb Space Telescope Mirrors to NASA

Aerospace Composites Market Worth $10.3 Billion in 2012

Robotics Teams from Grand Blanc, Ortonville and Sterling Heights Win the 13th Annual Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics Contest at Kettering University

Intergraph Releases Video on How to Use CADWorx DraftPro Line Numbers for Faster and Easier Creation of Intelligent 2D Drawings

Mazor Robotics Announces Humble Surgical Hospital Acquires Renaissance System

Dassault Systèmes and HYDROCHINA CHENGDU Establish Partnership to Provide Hydropower Engineering Industry Solution Experiences

Corporate Moves

Stephen Bodnar Joins Kenesto as Vice President, Products and Marketing

Roland DGA Announces Two New Appointments and a Promotion

Visteon Corporation Names Timothy D. Leuliette CEO and President

aPriori Appoints Eric Sockol as New Chief Financial Officer

Industry Events

MCADCafe Awards an Amazon Kindle to Lucky IMTS Attendee

IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 Results Prove Continued Strong Manufacturing Picture

Talk to Truman Du, CEO of ZWSOFT

IMTS 2012 Video Interview: Kubotek’s KeyCreator 2012 Delivers a Complete CAD, FEA, and CAM Solution

Webinar – Oct. 24, 2012: Automating the Pre-processing of 3D Data for Computer Aided Engineering (CT Core Technologies)

See a ‘Sneak Peak’ of SolidCAM’s all new 3D iMachining!

Mcor to Demonstrate Matrix Technology and More at Tct Live 2012

Delcam celebrates record visitor numbers at IMTS

IMTS 2012 Video Interview: Delcam celebrates record visitor numbers at IMTS

OPEN MIND Debuted hyperMILL 2012 at IMTS

Geometric showcases the futuristic CAMWorks(r) 2013 at IMTS 2012

ZW3D Webinars Enlightened Users

Successful 1st semester results for Missler Software

IMTS 2012 Video Interview – SolidCAM’s iMachining revolutionizes CAM technology to deliver high-productivity milling

On Demand Webinar: Engineering Simulation for Designing Better Products Faster (ANSYS)

SoftInWay to Exhibit at Turbomachinery Symposium

BobCAD-CAM Demonstrates Ground Breaking Milling Software Advancements at IMTS 2012

Video Interview: BobCAD-CAM Demonstrates Ground Breaking Milling Software Advancements at IMTS 2012

Video Press Release: Geometric showcases the futuristic CAMWorks 2013 at IMTS 2012

PLM-ERP Atlanta Workshop will formalise American best practice

GibbsCAM 2012+ on show at BI-MU, Italy

Lantek brings its most powerful sheet metal software solutions to EuroBLECH 2012

Camstar Launches Global Manufacturing Workshop and Plant Tour Series

SCHOTT SYSTEME GmbH Witness Increased Demand for CAD/CAM at AMB

CimatronE 11 to be Previewed at BI-MU, Italy

Webinar: Live 3D iMachining – A Sneak Peek of SolidCAM’s all new 3D iMachining (Oct. 10, 2012)

ASCON Presents KOMPAS-3D V13 at AMB 2012 in Germany Successfully

Engineering Simulation for Designing Better Products Faster (ANSYS Webinar – 9/26/12)

SoftInWay Hosts a Free Webinar called Green energy – Turbomachinery for ORC

World Maker Faire 2012 Announces Hands-On Workshops, DIY Presentations, and Opportunities to Learn About How to Be a Maker

Webinar: Flexibly Milling with 2D Geometry (ZW3D)

Delcam to show integrated electrode solution at Euromold

CollabNet’s Angela Druckman To Outline The Role Of Product Owners Within Scrum Development Teams At Agile New York City

Radan to Highlight WebQuoting and Bending at EuroBLECH

3D3 Solutions Introduces the HDI Blitz 3D Scanner at TCT Live 2012

Delcam to show new DentMILL dental milling software at Dentech China

OPEN MIND Technologies, USA is holding a Tire Mold Seminar with two partners in Bluffton, OH on October 2nd, 2012

Dassault Systèmes Announces New Capabilities for Five Key GEOVIA Mining Applications at MINExpo 2012

Corporate Newsletters

Hawk Ridge Systems Newsletter – September 2012

TopSolid’Newsletter #71 (Sept. 2012)

FEA Information Engineering Solutions – September 2012

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