Autodesk Provides Preview of 2014 Product Family

26 Mar, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Forthcoming software suites feature new tools for managing infrastructure planning and reality-capture data.

Autodesk hosted webcasts today previewing its 2014 lineup of software suites for building, product, plant, and factory design; engineering, construction and infrastructure; and digital entertainment creation. The company introduced suites two years ago, and has reported positive customer response to the bundles of software products. "Last year, our revenue from suites grew 53%," said Amar Hanspal, senior vice-president of Autodesk's Information Modeling and Platform Products Group.

The 2014 suites, which will be available soon, come in Standard, Premium, and Ultimate editions. The lineup includes:

Standard editions of all suites containing AutoCAD now include AutoCAD Raster Design,  which comprises raster editing and raster-to-vector conversion tools that help users better utilize scanned drawings, maps, satellite images, and similar data in their AutoCAD-based workflows. When the software is used with AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD Map 3D, users can display and analyze georeferenced images as well.

What's New in 2014

More cloud options. Since introducing them in its 2013 product lineup, Autodesk is continuing to expand cloud capabilities in its suites. "This year, the story should look familiar to you: Suites [plus] cloud equals the most comprehensive industry workflows for digital prototyping, building information modeling, and digital entertainment creation," said Hanspal. There are now more than 20 million Autodesk 360 accounts, said Hanspal, who asserted that customers are seeing the power of the cloud to enable them to compete more effectively.

"With the 2014 release," he explained, "all suites customers on subscription have access to select Autodesk 360 cloud services that extend those digital prototyping, building information modeling, and digital entertainment creation workflows, and extends that to the cloud to explore more design alternatives, to collaborate effectively with their teammates, as well as experience greater mobility." These customers can also purchase additional cloud capacity, at a cost of $100 for 100 additional cloud credits.

InfraWorks for AEC. The Infrastructure Design Suite 2014 and Building Design Suite 2014 introduce Autodesk InfraWorks software and InfraWorks 360 cloud services. InfraWorks, formerly known as Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler (AIM), is a 3D modeling and visualization software solution for modeling on the desktop, web, and mobile devices. The software, which enables civil engineers and planners to design within the context of the real-world environment, now offers improved visualization, conceptualization, planning, and presentation capabilities. Users can work on models, then publish them to the cloud for project team collaboration.

New road and highway design capabilities for Autodesk InfraWorks will help civil engineers and designers optimize their design process, speed project delivery and reduce costs by tapping into a new cloud-based service that automates engineering calculation and designs, according to Autodesk. This enables engineers and designers to develop engineering models in 3D from the start to help confirm scope, budget, and schedule. These capabilities are the first in a planned series of modules that will expand the functionality of Autodesk InfraWorks for specific industry segments.

Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium now includes Autodesk InfraWorks 2014, Autodesk Roads and Highways Module for InfraWorks, Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design software, and for the first time, a single, comprehensive version of Autodesk Revit products that combines tools for architectural design; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering; and structural engineering.

As with previous releases, Autodesk's 2014 suites comprise more products at higher suite levels. For example, the Premium and Ultimate versions of the Infrastructure Design Suite include InfraWorks, but the Standard version does not. 

Reality capture. AutoCAD's 2014 releases feature new software and services that incorporate laser scans and digital photographs into the 3D design and engineering process. Autodesk ReCap is a reality capture tool for building, infrastructure, and plant design. Users can clean, organize, visualize, and share reality-capture data, including point clouds, on the desktop and in the cloud.

"We have this powerful new software and cloud service that helps designers, engineers, and architects use laser scans and photographs to create intelligent 3D data," said Hanspal. "It lets our customers bring the real world directly into their designs, and lets them validate things in context and quickly and easily modify it to meet their needs."

ReCap Studio, which handles datasets such as point clouds, is integrated with all the suites and can be freely downloaded from the Autodesk Exchange store. ReCap Photo, a cloud-based service that helps users create high-resolution textured 3D models from photographs, will become available April 12, 2013.

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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