Ulysse Nardin Gains Time for Design With Autodesk Inventor Software

Autodesk Names Swiss Watchmaker as Inventor of the Month for Digital Prototyping Innovations That Cut Development Time in Half

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., May 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- It used to take Ulysse Nardin, one of the world's premier makers of fine mechanical watches, four years to develop the complex insides of a new watch that can contain as many as 400 moving parts. The process has been cut in half using Autodesk Inventor software.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090527/SF22715)

Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) has named Ulysse Nardin as the Inventor of the Month for May 2009 for bringing its innovative and artistic watches to market in 50 percent less time with fewer physical prototypes.

Few products pack so much mechanical complexity into such a small area as fine watches. Working with a 3D model in Inventor, Ulysse Nardin designers can visualize how the gears and springs fit with other components as they design. This capability makes it much easier to identify and fix interferences early in the design process. Designers can also optimize the position of mechanical parts that integrate with external portions of the watch, such as the case or the watchband, which are initially drawn in 2D by a conceptual designer.

The Inventor of the Month program recognizes the most innovative design and engineering advancements made by the extensive community using Inventor software - the foundation of the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping. A digital prototype is a 3D digital model of the entire end product, used to virtually explore and validate a product before it is built to reduce the necessity of constructing physical prototypes.

"Having a clear 3D view is a significant advantage," said Loic Pellaton, technical manager at Ulysse Nardin. "Autodesk Inventor helps us to place parts and explore different options very quickly. It has significantly accelerated the most complicated aspects of watch design."

Digital Prototyping Speeds New Product Development

By using Inventor software in collaboration with Autodesk reseller and training partner HURNI ENGINEERING SARL to explore and hone digital prototypes, Ulysse Nardin has reduced the need to produce multiple rounds of physical prototypes. Because watch movements are largely refined during the design phase, the company produces just one physical prototype instead of three. This streamlining helps Ulysse Nardin realize its vision twice as quickly when developing and introducing new product lines.

To help refine its watch cases, Ulysse Nardin designers also use Autodesk Showcase software to create accurate, photorealistic images of digital prototypes created in Inventor, enabling more efficient decision making. For example, design teams can visually explore a wide range of decorative and watchband options without having to produce a single physical prototype.

"From the beautiful case to the movement Ulysse Nardin watches are renowned for, Digital Prototyping helps us to create the kind of watches people dream of owning," said Pierre Gygax, executive vice president of production at Ulysse Nardin.

"Ulysse Nardin is successfully using Autodesk Inventor to move beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping and continue its tradition of innovation in the art of mechanical watchmaking," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk.

About the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program

Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the users of Autodesk Inventor software, the foundation for Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation. For more information about Autodesk Inventor of the Month, contact us at Email Contact.

About Ulysse Nardin

Based in Le Locle, Switzerland, Ulysse Nardin is one of the world's premier watch manufacturers. Since opening its doors in 1846, Ulysse Nardin has been the recipient of 4,300-plus awards in watchmaking - 18 of them gold medals - and has received the greatest number of patents in mechanical watchmaking. For additional information about Ulysse Nardin, visit www.ulysse-nardin.com.


Located in the heart of the Watch Valley, HURNI ENGINEERING SARL is a leading provider of design and engineering solutions to the machine and the watch industry. Mainly active in the French part of Switzerland, HURNI ENGINEERING offers knowledge and experience to clients through technical support, training and consulting services. In 2009 HURNI ENGINEERING was awarded "Best Digital Prototyping Partner" by Autodesk in Central Europe. For more information please visit www.hurni.ch

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art Digital Prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Inventor and Showcase are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

(C) 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

    Contact:      Clay Helm 415.547.2425          Alyson Moses 312.297.7430
    Email:        clay.helm@autodesk.com          alyson.moses@edelman.com

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Web site: http://www.autodesk.com/

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