Autodesk Beefs Up Digital Prototyping Efforts with Introduction of 2010 Manufacturing Software

18 Feb, 2009

Company upgrades design, visualization, simulation capabilities in a variety of MCAD products.

Autodesk yesterday unveiled the latest releases of its 2D and 3D design and engineering software for manufacturers. Significant enhancements and newly packaged product suites were introduced to help manufacturers build better products in less time.

The new 2010 product lineup for manufacturers includes the Autodesk Inventor family of products, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, the Alias family of products, Moldflow, Navisworks, Showcase, 3ds Max Design and Autodesk Vault software -- all of which round out what the company calls its solution for digital prototyping. The 2010 software releases introduce a range of design, visualization, and simulation capabilities, along with tighter interoperability than ever before with both Autodesk software applications and other CAD tools.

“Putting powerful 2D and 3D software within the reach of mainstream manufacturers positions companies of all sizes -- not just large enterprises -- to compete on a global scale,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “With our 2010 product line, customers can achieve greater collaboration than ever before between industrial design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing teams that are all responsible for bringing quality products to market.”

Autodesk digital prototyping software gives manufacturers the ability to digitally design, visualize, and simulate how a product will work under real-world conditions before it is built, aiming to reduce reliance on physical prototypes, which helps reduce cost and accelerate time to market in competitive industries.

Autodesk Inventor 2010
As the foundation for digital prototyping, Autodesk Inventor software helps produce an accurate 3D model that validates the form, fit, and function of a design before it is built. The Autodesk Inventor 2010 product line introduces new usability and productivity enhancements for 2D product documentation, 3D product design, extended simulation capabilities, a strong focus on plastic part creation, and new data management and exchange capabilities.

New features in the Autodesk Inventor 2010 product line include:

  • Plastic part design and tooling: The Autodesk Inventor product line aims to simplify the design of high-quality molded part models with automated capabilities for designing injection molds for plastic parts. Incorporating Autodesk Moldflow technology, Inventor enables users to design complex plastic parts and quickly create and validate their corresponding mold design, helping to reduce errors and improve mold performance.
  • Ability to simulate product performance: The Autodesk Inventor 2010 product line provides improved support for motion simulation and static and modal finite element analysis at both the part and assembly level.
  • Design productivity: Continuing to improve usability and productivity, Inventor offers a new user interface that combines an intuitive 3D design environment for creating parts and assemblies with tools that enable engineers to focus on a design’s function to drive the automatic creation of intelligent components such as plastic parts, steel frames, and rotating machinery.

In addition, Inventor 2010 incorporates an enhanced architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) Exchange functionality that enables building products manufacturers to publish 3D data in a format that is easy to use in building information modeling (BIM) applications, such as the Autodesk Revit 2010 product line.

“The Autodesk solution for digital prototyping allows us to design and manufacture at the speed of thought. Using Inventor to simulate real-world conditions means we don’t need full-scale physical prototypes,” said Kurt Bender, CAD manager at Viking Yacht Company, which produces luxurious, high-performance sport and cruising yachts. “We’re also doing design reviews and marketing with digital prototyping, saving substantial time and money on each boat design. We’re especially looking forward to the latest simulation capabilities coming in the 2010 release.”

Along with the Inventor software, Autodesk is releasing new digital prototyping applications that support and streamline design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing workflows, including:

  • AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite: Introduced in the 2010 release, this new suite combines Autodesk Inventor LT and AutoCAD LT to make it more practical and affordable for mechanical design professionals to pursue 3D design and digital prototyping workflows. Autodesk Inventor LT offers part-level 3D parametric modeling, multi-CAD translation capabilities, automated DWG drawing views, and many other advanced capabilities found in Inventor.
  • AutoCAD Mechanical: New, more intelligent drafting features help automate common design tasks and increase productivity. New features include a streamlined design environment and bill of materials enhancements that help produce consistent results on the shop floor.
  • AutoCAD Electrical: Purpose-built to accelerate the creation of electrical control systems, AutoCAD Electrical now offers a streamlined design environment and a new “one-line” circuit symbol library to increase productivity for control engineers. Enhancements to the powerful Circuit Builder tool enable designers to analyze the energy efficiency of circuits and help them to make “green” engineering decisions.
  • Autodesk Alias family of products: Autodesk Alias 2010 industrial design software marks a major milestone with its first release on the Macintosh platform. Now available for Mac OS X, the new product family focuses on the specific needs and workflow requirements of three user profiles: creative professionals, digital modeler/sculptors, and automotive/transportation designers. New and improved functionality further lowers barriers of adoption and helps to increase modeling productivity and quality. The Alias family provides fast, high-quality data integration and exchange with Autodesk Inventor and other third-party CAD software.
  • Autodesk Showcase: Now with integrated raytracing, the 2010 design visualization software enables design, engineering, and marketing teams to quickly and efficiently create accurate, photorealistic, and compelling imagery from 3D CAD data to convey form and create environmental context to communicate brand character. Users can easily change the appearance and position of a product and manipulate parts such as wheels, body panels or mirrors.
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Design: 3ds Max Design software makes it easier to prepare digital prototypes and create photorealistic design imagery. A render-quality viewport in the 2010 version facilitates the creative process by enabling users to iterate quickly and explore more design options. 
  • Autodesk Vault: The Autodesk Vault product line features extensive new document management capabilities that enable users to easily manage design revisions and control who can access data, and when. New revision control processes are built directly into Autodesk Inventor software, resulting in faster cycle times and better-quality engineering data. It also helps workgroups maintain control over the digital prototype at all times, so design departments can efficiently create and share digital prototyping information.
  • Autodesk Navisworks: A new part of the Autodesk solution for digital prototyping, the Autodesk Navisworks product line for manufacturing helps extended project teams visualize, optimize, and collaborate on the most complex projects. Customers can combine large assemblies consisting of machinery, tooling, layout, and facilities data from multiple CAD vendors to create a single, lightweight 3D digital model of factories and manufacturing plants. Navisworks reliably aggregates data to enable a real-time, whole-project view.
  • Autodesk Moldflow: Autodesk has simplified the Moldflow product line in the 2010 release to bring customers more value at a lower cost, the company reports. The software suite for simulation, analysis, optimization, and validation of plastic parts and their molds introduces new sustainability features, along with enhanced performance and quality. Moldflow Insight offers powerful, in-depth simulation of the industry’s most advanced molding processes using the world’s largest plastics material database. Moldflow Adviser simplifies plastics injection molding simulation and guides designers through analysis and interpretation, helping to avoid manufacturing delays and costly mold rework.

Product availability may vary by country, according to Autodesk. Details and purchasing options will be accessible on March 24 at An archive of the Autodesk Manufacturing product launch virtual press conference is available online.