Autodesk has unveiled the latest versions of its manufacturing solutions, which help customers redefine the product development process by experiencing their ideas before they are real. With updates to Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, Autodesk AliasStudio, Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk Productstream software products, the company is offering a complete approach to digital prototyping that allows manufacturers to cost-effectively validate their ideas and foster product innovation.
“We have updated our products to help manufacturers leverage the power of functional design to make it fast and easy to do more digital prototyping," said Robert “Buzz” Kross, vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions. "This allows them to bring new products to market faster, without the expense and waste of multiple physical prototypes.”
According to industry research firm Aberdeen Group, best-in-class manufacturers build half the number of physical prototypes than the average manufacturer does and get products to market 58 days faster with nearly 50 percent lower prototyping costs.* Product development efforts can be undermined by paper-based processes and departmental systems’ incompatibility, isolating insight and information at various stages and points in a manufacturing organization.
The latest manufacturing solutions redefine the product design process by supporting and natively connecting all of the disciplines involved in product development, from industrial design to mechanical and electrical engineering and manufacturing. Manufacturing applications’ functionality and interoperability create an environment in which industrial designers can create and share digital concept models with engineers, who can use functional design to automatically generate 3D geometry for a digital prototype that seamlessly incorporates mechanical and electrical engineering data. With the help of a comprehensive data management system, tightly integrated calculations, stress analysis and motion simulation, engineers can test digital prototypes, optimize and validate their designs, and give customers the opportunity to experience a product’s performance before it is built, the company says. Furthermore, files in the DWF file format deliver rich design data in digital format to the shop floor.
Autodesk Inventor Software Brings 2D, 3D Together
The Inventor product line is available for designers who want to redefine their product development process and power their workflow with digital prototyping.
Key updates that aid digital prototyping include:
- DWG Interoperability — Using DWG TrueConnect users can read and write DWG files without translators while maintaining full associativity with the 3D Inventor model and increasing reuse and sharing of 2D manufacturing data.
- AliasStudio Interoperability —New capabilities for importing AutoCAD surface and solid data—combined with new DWG export from Autodesk AliasStudio—provides a quick and reliable way to transfer concept designs into Inventor.
- Sheet Metal Design Tools — Upgrades improve productivity when designing sheet metal parts and provide support for manufacturing information including flat pattern modifications and punch tool data.
- Ribbon Cable Design Tools — Full control over the shape and routing of ribbon cables simplifies the design of electrical wiring and reduces manufacturing errors by ensuring that all types of wiring can be included in the digital prototype and subsequent documentation.
- Sketch Productivity Tools — An updated 2D sketch environment reduces the learning curve for new designers and improves productivity for existing designers with clearer constraint status information and sketch geometry formatting tools.
“As a company with a large collection of 2D legacy drawings, we find the new DWG TrueConnect feature simplifies our everyday tasks and gives us more time to devote to innovation,” said Warren Sweet, engineering manager at H&T Battery Components. “We are able to take advantage of the enhanced productivity that 3D brings, without sacrificing our many years of existing AutoCAD expertise and designs.”
A Comprehensive Manufacturing Solution
Along with Inventor, Autodesk is releasing fully enhanced versions of complementary manufacturing products, including:
- AliasStudio — a complete set of tools for the conceptual design process, helping companies create superior designs — which drives superior business. AliasStudio is now interoperable with Inventor.
- Showcase — an interactive tool that facilitates informed decision-making using realistic imagery from 3D design data and an environment in which to present and review designs.
- AutoCAD Electrical — the leading application built specifically to design and document electrical control systems.
- AutoCAD Mechanical – the 2D mechanical design and drafting application that features standards-based libraries of parts and content, automation tools, and associative detailing of Autodesk Inventor models.
- Autodesk Productstream — software that automates the release-management process by managing engineering changes and bills of materials.