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Autodesk transforms product development process with manufacturing solution updates

16 February 2007

At its Global Product Launch event yesterday in London, Autodesk unveiled the latest versions of its manufacturing solutions, which help customers redefine the product development process by experiencing their ideas before they get anywhere near the physical prototyping stage. 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 validate their ideas and foster product innovation in the most cost-effective way.

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 organisation.

The latest Autodesk manufacturing solutions redefine the product design process by supporting and connecting all of the disciplines involved in product development, from industrial design to mechanical and electrical engineering and manufacturing. Autodesk manufacturing applications’ functionality and interoperability create an environment in which industrial designers can create and share digital concept models with engineers, who can then use functional design to generate 3D geometry for a digital prototype. With the help of a comprehensive data management system, tightly integrated calculations, stress analysis and motion simulation, engineers can test digital prototypes, optimise and validate their designs, and give customers the opportunity to experience a product’s performance before it is built. Furthermore, files in the DWF file format deliver rich design data in digital format to the shop floor.

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.

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.

Autodesk Offers Options

Customers have options when it comes to purchasing and implementing Autodesk manufacturing solutions. Autodesk Subscription provides an alternative to individual upgrade purchases and delivers added benefits. Subscription customers receive the latest versions of their licensed Autodesk software, web support direct from Autodesk, self-paced training options, and a broad range of other technology and business benefits for an annual fee.

Autodesk Consulting is available for customers who want to maximise the value of their investment in Autodesk manufacturing solutions through integrated consulting and training. Locally based classroom training is also available through Autodesk's 1,200 Authorised Training Centers, with sites in more than 75 countries around the world.

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