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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 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 design … More »

MCADCafe Weekly (11/29/2012): Autodesk Fusion 360 Cloud-Based Design

 
November 29th, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

Autodesk Ushers In New Era of Cloud Based Design

Autodesk previewed Autodesk Fusion 360, the world ’s first comprehensive cloud-based 3D modeling offering, at Autodesk University.

Autodesk Fusion 360 allows design and engineering professionals to more easily create 3D product designs and collaborate with others in the cloud. The cloud technology behind Autodesk Fusion 360 offers anytime, anywhere access, from virtually any mobile device or web browser and puts essential data at the center of the design experience. It also supports an open design environment, allowing designers to readily incorporate and modify CAD data from virtually any source.

“Data is at the center of the product design process, and the cloud frees that data to be accessible anywhere, anytime, ”; said Robert “Buzz ” Kross, senior vice president, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk. “Autodesk Fusion 360 will give designers and engineers the first powerful, easy-to-use and complete cloud-based design solution.”

Autodesk Fusion 360 leverages the Autodesk 360 cloud-based platform and adds to Autodesk ’s cloud portfolio for manufacturers, which includes Autodesk PLM 360, a cloud-based product lifecycle management offering, and Autodesk Simulation 360, a comprehensive set of simulation tools delivered securely in the cloud.

3D Industrial and Mechanical Design in the Cloud

A comprehensive product design tool geared toward small business professionals, Autodesk Fusion 360 capabilities span all aspects of industrial and mechanical design, melded with anytime, anywhere access to data, collaborative and social development capabilities the cloud has to offer. Autodesk Fusion 360 also connects to advanced capabilities such as large scale mockup, simulation, PLM and rendering.

Next Generation User Experience

Autodesk Fusion 360 offers a radically different user experience through an intuitive interface that conforms to the role and level of user expertise. Autodesk Fusion 360 provides built-in guidance to novice users to speed the learning curve, and the ability to turn off guidance and access deeper functionality for design experts. Regardless of their level of expertise, users can start designing in a matter of minutes and begin to leverage Autodesk Fusion 360 ’s integrated social collaboration tools.

Redpoint Studios, a New England based industrial design and product engineering consultancy, recently adopted Autodesk Fusion 360 to help their clients bring compelling new products to market faster. “The learning curve is phenomenal. In a matter of days I was modeling blends and transitions that would take months, if not years, of skill building to achieve in a NURBS modeler, ” said Matthew Harris, Industrial Designer, Redpoint Studios, LLC. “The potential for this product is huge and I can ’t wait to see what ’s next. ”;

Availability

Autodesk Fusion 360 will be available on a term basis making it affordable to businesses of all sizes. This delivery model will provide maximum flexibility and eliminate the high upfront costs of software license purchases, as well as the annual expense of software updates and upgrades. It is an ideal fit for professionals and small businesses seeking flexibility to scale their product design tools to fit changing project needs.

Autodesk Fusion 360 is expected to be generally available next year. For more information and a chance to experience Autodesk Fusion 360, visit www.autodesk.com/fusion360.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

Although I couldn’t attend Autodesk University this year, it didn’t stop me from briefly speaking with Keith Perrin, Autodesk Senior Industry Manager about Autodesk’s Fusion 360 the day before the official announcement at AU. I actually spoke with him on an Amtrak train between Chicago and Detroit while passing by the steel mills in Gary, Indiana. Somewhat fitting.

What was Project Forge when I spoke with Perrin the day before the announcement became Autodesk Fusion 360 the next day at AU.

I had been wondering about what plans Autodesk had for T-Splines after acquiring it, and the answer came in the form of Fusion 360. Also in the mix is Autodesk’s direct modeling technology, Fusion. It seems that Fusion 360 is intended to appeal to users who may or may not have other CAD experience. It combines capabilities for conceptual design for the industrial designer, as well as design refinement capabilities for the design engineer.

Fusion 360 is an extension into CAD of some other cloud-based technologies that Autodesk already offers for simulation and PLM. Perrin said that Fusion 360 is an example of another one of the jigsaw pieces coming together for Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping initiative in the cloud.

With functions coming from both T-Splines and Fusion, Autodesk Fusion 360 will offer a hybrid modeling approach with explicit, direct, and parametric modeling capabilities.

The UI sounds interesting as Perrin said it would be gesture based with relatively few buttons and pulldowns. He also said that the UI would lend to Fusion 360’s discoverable approach with no formal training required. The “training” is embedded in the application and provides self-paced guidance. Exactly what this is remains to be seen, but sounds like an interesting approach.

Because Fusion 360 is intended to work in mixed CAD environments, interoperability was a big deal and got a lot of attention during development. Built-in translators residing in the cloud will provide for import and export of design data in most major formats.

Fusion 360 is due out as a marketable application in early 2013. Going forward Fusion 360, because of its cloud/online nature, will be frequently updated throughout the year, and not restricted and subject to Autodesk’s annual major release cycle.

For now, Fusion 360 is being developed for and will initially be available for PC and Mac desktop platforms, but should be available for iOS, Android, and Windows tablets down the road. Ultimately, this will provide for design and collaboration capabilities on both desktop and mobile platforms.

When asked about pricing, Perrin said that it would be “aggressive,” but had yet to be determined.

Although I’m not totally sold on the cloud concept for design work, Autodesk Fusion 360 might be a game changer as it combines various aspects of conceptual design and design refinement. I’m anxious to sign up for a trial and experience what design in the cloud is all about.

 

The Week’s Top Stories

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

Geomagic Announces Geomagic Spark, a Revolutionary New Approach to Designing from Scan Data

Geomagic announced Geomagic Spark, the newest addition to the company’s line of 3D scan, design and inspection applications According to the company, Geomagic Spark is the only 3D software that combines a live 3D scanning interface, robust 3D point and mesh editing capabilities, comprehensive modeling design, assembly modeling, and 2D drawing creation in one complete application. While traditional CAD packages have modeling capabilities, they lack the tools to process 3D scan data into usable 3D. Geomagic Spark, however, incorporates 3D scan data functionality, integrating Geomagic’s advanced scanning technology, 15 years in the making, with the direct modeling capabilities of the SpaceClaimplatform. Now, users can create accurate, manufacturable solid models and assemblies using combined scan and CAD data in the same application, even with partial scan data.

OPEN MIND and CGTech Announce Renewed Agreement

OPEN MIND, developer of hyperMILL, software for programming CNC machine tools, and CGTech, developer of VERICUT software for simulating CNC machine tools, announced today a renewed agreement between their two companies. As part of this relationship, the two companies work closely to provide integration between their products and customer support. CGTech and OPEN MIND have already worked together to create an interface between hyperMILL and VERICUT. The interface, which continues to be enhanced, is designed to help their mutual customers create a better machining process by providing an easy way to verify hyperMILL’s post-processed machining paths in VERICUT.

Delcam CADCAM used for machining of laser-sintered metal

Additive manufacturing and machining are usually regarded as competing processes. However, the two technologies are being combined in a project at the French research centre PEP, where Delcam’s PowerSHAPE CAD software and PowerMILL CAM system are being used to finish machine parts created by laser sintering. PEP is the main technical centre for innovation in the French plastics industry, specializing in the injection molding of thermoplastics. The main areas of expertise of PEP’s researchers and engineers include design and simulation of parts and processes, injection molding processes and tooling, and plastics materials.The Delcam software was first chosen by PEP for PLATINNO, a technological innovation platform for tooling undertaken in association with CETIM, France’s main research centre for mechanical engineering. The aim of the project is to provide support – technical, human resources and financial – for companies working in the French plastics sector. With support from CETIM, which has undertaken research into high-speed machining for many years, PEP was introduced to all the main CADCAM vendors to assess their systems. The organisation particularly liked the Delcam software, not least because the company could meet all of its needs. It acquired PowerSHAPE, PowerMILL, PowerINSPECT and ArtCAM.

Aras Announces VPLM for Autodesk Vault

Aras announced the launch of a new solution designed specifically for companies that run Autodesk Vault with Inventor and AutoCAD. Aras VPLMTM for Autodesk Vault provides packaged functionality out-of-the-box for corporate-wide PLM business processes, enabling global companies that run Autodesk software to improve product quality, accelerate time to market and achieve greater profitability.Built on top of Autodesk Vault Professional, Aras VPLM extends the capabilities of Autodesk Vault to drive PLM processes throughout a company and its supply chain for collaboration across organizations including product development, operations, quality, purchasing, sales & marketing and other groups worldwide. Scalable and secure, Aras VPLM is a business-ready solution for New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI), Complex Configuration Management, Enterprise Change Management, Outsourced Manufacturing, Quality Compliance and more.

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

This Week

Lead Story

Autodesk Ushers In New Era of Cloud Based Design

Product and Company News

The Cloud Takes Center-stage at Autodesk University 2012

Dassault Systèmes Announces the V6 Release 2013x of its 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

PLMIG Workshop Series produces first draft Version 3.0 PLM-ERP Handbook

SofTech Announces Latest Release: ProductCenter PLM 9.3.0

MecSoft releases VisualXPORT 2.0 for SolidWorks

Granta Announces Foundation Partnership Integrating Materials Information Management with Siemens PLM Software

Pratt & Whitney Canada Selects Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

RS Components Enhances its 3D CAD Model Selection Tools for Engineers

Missler Software introduces TopSolid’Split 7.7

Autodesk Reports Third Quarter Results

SIMPOE announces 45 day SimpoEdge free trial program for Solid Edge users

Optomec and Stratasys to Present Capability Assessment of 3D Printing Integrated with Printed Electronics

Geomagic Announces the 2013 Editions of Geomagic Qualify and Geomagic Qualify Probe

Moldex3D partners with OPM to leverage two companies’ technologies in conformal cooling solution

BOXX Unveils New Multi-GPU Workstation at Autodesk University 2012

Tech Soft 3D Brings Leading Desktop Technology to the Cloud with HOOPS Communicator

GibbsCAM Extends Educational Program into Student Homes

KeyShot Now Available with PTC Creo 2.0 Academic Edition

Free CAD data translation from Delcam

Mentor Graphics and PTC Support the Real World Design Challenge Program with Software Donations

CIMdata Releases Series of Country-Specific PLM Market Analysis Reports

New KOMPAS-3D V13 Plus Available

Impressive solutions for manufacturers from ROBOTMASTER and its partners

Solutions for manufacturers from ROBOTMASTER and its partners

NAFEMS: Download Free SDM White Paper

Siemens PLM Software is Named 2012 China’s Best CAE Supplier for its Advanced Simulation Solution

Lakowa Utilizes ZW3D

ESPower Electronics Implements Aras PLM Platform for Product Portfolio Management

Liquidmetal Technologies’ Manufacturing Partner Moves Beyond Prototypes to Ship First Production Parts

CAE and HPC experts wanted!

Software Cradle scSTREAM and HEAT Designer Version10 Release

Robots App Brings Amazing World of Robotics to iPad

pewag and TraceParts present together for the first time a world first in lifting technology

tetra4D Releases New 3D PDF Plug-Ins for Autodesk Products

Related MCAD News

Autodesk Named One of the Top 25 Best Workplaces

Visteon Expands Information and Controls Portfolio with Head-Up Display Technology

SAE International Responds to Recent CO2 Statement – Invites Automakers for Collaboration on CO2 as an Automotive Refrigerant

Mazor Robotics Announces Financial Results for the Third Quarter 2012 and Provides Update on Operating Progress

HP Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results

Corporate Moves

Boeing Moving to New Complex in Huntsville

AMT Technical Director Tim Shinbara Selected for National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute Executive Committee

Industry Events

Call For Speakers Opens For 2013 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (CIC)

Phenomenal Response to NAFEMS World Congress’ Call for Papers

GibbsCAM Triple-Feature at Autodesk University 2012

MecSoft Announces Presence at EuroMold 2012

Improved Corrosion Protection and Instant Cure Coatings for Tube and Pipe Manufacturing at FABTECH

CimatronE’s Complete Mold Solution on Show at EuroMold

HP Demonstrates Cloud-based Large-format Printing Solutions and Workstations at Autodesk University

Webinar: What’s New in NX 8.5 CAM (Saratech – Dec. 13, 2012)

Webinar: Innovations in Engineering Simulation for Today’s Electric & Hybrid Vehicles (CD-adapco – December 6, 2012)

ModuleWorks to show latest CAD/CAM components at Euromold

Delcam to show latest in CADCAM for toolmakers in Indonesia

Webinar: Vehicle Thermal Management System Performance Modeling with System Level Fluid Simulation (Mentor Graphics – Dec. 12, 2012)

Creaform’s Go!SCAN 3D Handheld and White Light 3D Scanner Showcased at EuroMOLD 2012

ZW3D Design Challenge – Holiday Edition

IMAGINiT Technologies and ASCENT Experts Speak at Autodesk University and ATC Summit 2012

Webinar: Simplify programming with Refer-Operation in ZW3D (ZWSoft – December 6, 2012)

IMAGINiT Technologies Releases New Software and Services at Autodesk University 2012

Actify Announces Viewing 2.0, the Next Generation Platform in Product Data Viewing at EuroMold

Robotmaster at Euromold 2012

Tata Technologies Urges Manufacturers: ‘Learn, Connect, Explore’ at Autodesk University 2012

Productivity solutions at EuroMOLD include the latest developments in all WorkNC CAD/CAM solutions and a preview of WorkNC Robot

SURFCAM 6 to be Demonstrated at EuroMold 2012

Delcam India to show Vortex high-speed roughing at IMTEX

Corporate Newsletters

FEA Information Journal – November 2012

Hawk Ridge Systems SolidWorks Newsletter – December 2012

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