Autodesk Bundles Software into Single Manufacturing Portfolio
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on September 15, 2016 |
Autodesk has announced that all manufacturing software will be part of a single suite of products.

As foreshadowed in an interview at RAPID 2016, Autodesk has combined all of its manufacturing software into a single portfolio for additive and subtractive manufacturing. At IMTS 2016, the company announced that a number of its CAD products would be bundled together in order to increase efficiency during the design and manufacturing process.

Ulf Lindhe, lead of business development for additive manufacturing with Autodesk, and a 3D-printed engine component optimized for 3D printing using Netfabb.
Ulf Lindhe, lead of business development for additive manufacturing with Autodesk, and a 3D-printed engine component optimized for 3D printing using Netfabb.

Specifically, the portfolio lumps together software from Autodesk, Delcam, Netfabb, Pan Computing and Magestic Systems to include the following tools:

  • Netfabb, the popular tool for preparing and optimizing 3D models for 3D printing.
  • Fusion 360, Autodesk's central cloud-based software for creating models for a wide variety of manufacturing processes.
  • HSMWorks, SOLIDWORKS-compatible CAM software for performing a variety of machining and milling operations.
  • Inventor HSM, a tool for optimizing CNC tasks.
  • FeatureCAM (which now includes PartMaker), an intelligent software for automating subtractive manufacturing workflows.
  • PowerMill, a milling strategy tool for high-speed and 5-axis machining.
  • PowerShape, modeling software for preparing parts for a wide variety of manufacturing processes.
  • PowerInspect, 3D inspection software for quality control.

Rather than isolate each manufacturing technology, all of these tools are combined into a single hybrid manufacturing suite. All of the cloud-based tools are meant to work hand in hand depending on the manufacturing needs so that parts designed in one software can be opened seamlessly in another.

Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of products at Autodesk, elaborated on how the package fits into Autodesk's larger vision of moving beyond “additive” or “subtractive” processes and into a more general world of simply “making:” “Now, we're truly integrating the design, make and use phases of product development. This new set of solutions goes big on the ‘make’ component—equipping manufacturers with all the software they need to go from digital design to real-world product.”

Hanspal added, “This new integrated portfolio from Autodesk brings together technology that Autodesk has been growing and investing in across the full manufacturing spectrum. This combination of solutions makes modular and scalable manufacturing solutions available to manufacturers of all sizes.”

The combined portfolio will certainly complement some of the exciting initiatives being explored by Autodesk at the moment. While the software company continues to invest in 3D printing hardware, through firms like Formlabs, Autodesk's R&D team has been developing some exciting projects that fuse 3D printing and subtractive solutions to create impressive hybrid systems, such as Project Escher, a 3D manufacturing machine that can work on multiple parts of a component at once.

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