Autodesk Teams up with AWS for Free Cloud Computing
Phillip Keane posted on July 01, 2018 |

The future of CAD and simulation is going to be based largely on the cloud, but is the public on board with the concept of cloud-based CAE applications?

While the cloud simulation and CAD fields are late entrants to the cloud party, companies are counting on the paradigm to shift from on-premises activities to cloud-based ones. And, naturally, they want customers along for the ride.

Engine block designed with Autodesk's generative design. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Engine block designed with Autodesk's generative design. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
To kickstart public interest in cloud-based CAD/CAE, Autodesk has teamed up with its cloud services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide free cloud credits to Autodesk Fusion 360 Ultimate subscribers.

Starting on July 1,2018, Amazon and AWS will be giving away 500 cloud credits to 1,000 new annual Fusion 360 Ultimate CAD subscribers. The offer will end on September 1, 2018 (or when the 1,000 new subscriber count has elapsed—whichever happens first). This is in addition to the 1,000 credits that new subscribers will automatically receive. While this offer is running, new subscribers can receive a total of 1,500 credits with their subscriptions.

And, of course, Fusion 360 Ultimate now comes with Autodesk generative design, so users can make the most of their free credits by trying out Autodesk’s revolutionary cloud-based design tools.

“The power of the cloud is a key enabler to bring generative design technology to designers and engineers in a fast and cost-effective way,” said Josef Waltl, global segment lead of Industrial Software at AWS. “With the close collaboration between Autodesk and AWS, customers will be enabled to design and produce highly innovative products which outpace existing design in economic and environmental dimensions.”

Autodesk generative design began life as the experimental Project Dreamcatcher, deep in the bowels of the company’s research labs. The technology finally emerged as consumer software in the form of Fusion 360 Ultimate in April earlier this year, as we discussed in this previous article.

For those of you who don’t know, Fusion 360 Ultimate allows users to design a model, apply various constraints and goals, and then upload the model to the cloud, where many different optimized design options will be made available to select from (see following image).

Many design options are available at your fingertips. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Many design options are available at your fingertips. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Users can then select the most optimum design, as well as refine it further or export the file for manufacturing. The following image shows an optimized, manufactured product that was designed in Fusion 360 Ultimate.
Final product—optimized and generated. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
Final product—optimized and generated. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
So, what can you get with your 1,500 credits?

A cloud credit expenditure looks a little like this:

With Fusion 360 Ultimate, users can perform generative design studies (for 25 cloud credits), explore options, and download their chosen design (for 100 cloud credits). Customers who take part in this offer will be able to complete several design studies with their 1,500 credits. That’s not a bad deal, when you consider that 1 credit = $1.

And the good news for those migrating from other CAD platforms is that your previous designs will be compatible with Fusion 360 thanks to Autodesk’s AnyCAD technology.

We previously spoke to Autodesk and a bunch of other generative design companies to find out when generative design was going to trickle down into consumer goods. Perhaps with these free credits, we might be writing an article about your own generatively designed product very soon! If that is the case, Autodesk and AWS will have succeeded with their new initiative.

You can obtain a subscription for Autodesk Fusion 360 Ultimate by clicking this link. Try it today and you may get your hands on some free compute credits! Good luck!


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