Autodesk invited us to attend its 2018 Autodesk Accelerate event, held earlier this month in Toronto. The conference was attended by designers and companies eager to hear about the new developments coming out of the Autodesk camp. The new software unveiling from the company revealed a platform that leans heavy on generative design and a single system for all your design needs.
Autodesk’s New Platform
Autodesk wants users to design, test, simulate, and build all within its software platform. The new software model, the Autodesk Product Design & Manufacturing Collection, offers several design tools all at one single price. Gone are the multiple level tiers. Through Fusion 360, designers and engineers can now access all the software tools for a single fee. Fusion 360 subscription is valued at $495 (U.S.) a year and includes access to generative design technologies, advanced simulation, and 5-axis CAM.
Autodesk is also introducing a credit system. Autodesk Cloud Credits will allow users to simulate or perform higher level-based tasks. These higher level service include cloud rendering, simulation, and reality capture. This is another way of providing users with design freedom instead of locking them into a license.
VP of Fusion 360, Stephen Hooper highlights how GM uses Autodesk Generative Design tool to create lighter car frames.
Generative Design is a heavy focus at Autodesk. The company wants all users to have access to this tool. When a user creates a generative design at Autodesk, they create a completely modifiable model. The model is not just a physical representation but something the users can manipulate and modify. The software provides thousands of iterations based on the user’s parameters. These parameters can be anything including size constrains, load, weight, space, material, cost, and manufacturing tools. Stephen Hooper, VP and GM of Fusion 360, showcased how GM used Autodesk’s Generative Design platform to lessen the weight of a vehicles frame.
Autodesk Case Studies
Steelcase demonstrates its plan to create visual-based assembly instructions for their furniture.
At the show, several companies presented their everyday use of Autodesk software, and how they use it to solve problems and help design their products. Steelcase, one of the world’s oldest furniture manufacturers, highlighted how the Autodesk software helps it visualize its designs digitally and create an assembly process which is reliant on video and visual instructions. Steelcase’s goal is to simplify the process of office furniture assembly by using universal visual tools.
Synaptive uses Fusion 360 to help automate workflows in its medical design process.
Synaptive, a medical device and imaging company, highlighted how it uses Fusion 360 to find errors in its equipment. The software allowed them document and review the mechanisms of brain surgery and helped automate 12 different process workflows, creating 60-plus advanced automated scripts.
Autodesk Technology Center
The new Toronto location for Autodesk is located in the MARS Center in downtown Toronto.
Along with the case studies, was a tour of Autodesk’s new Toronto--based headquarters. The office is located in the MARS Center, founded to be a bio-tech hub for the city. The Toronto location hosts a representative of every single division of Autodesk. The space was designed using Generative Design, combining open-office floor plans with private offices.
The Autodesk Technology Center plays host to different tech companies and uses the latest design tools for their prototypes.
The new office is also home to the Autodesk Technology Center. Here, Autodesk invites different companies to fabricate their designs using a combination of Autodesk software and modern tools such as 3D printing and CAD integrated CNC machining. The main purpose of the space is to realize prototypes and help designers bring their ideas to life, which is Autodesk’s main mission.