Autodesk Announces 2008 Software Releases

13 Feb, 2007

Manufacturing solutions focus on digital prototyping; Revit Architecture 2008 includes tools to promote sustainable design.

Autodesk unveiled the 2008 versions of its software solutions at its World Press Day event on Monday.

For the manufacturing industry, updates to Autodesk Inventor, Mechanical, Electrical, AliasStudio, Showcase and Productstream software include digital prototyping technology that is designed to allow manufacturers to cost-effectively validate their ideas.

"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."

The company reports that the 2008 Autodesk manufacturing solutions support and natively connect all of the disciplines involved in product development, from industrial design to mechanical and electrical engineering and manufacturing. The purpose is to 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 incorporates mechanical and electrical engineering data.

Autodesk Inventor 2008 updates include DWG TrueConnect, which enables users to read and write DWG files without translators to reuse and share 2D manufacturing data; import tools for AliasStudio surface and solid data; improved sheet metal design tools, including support for manufacturing information such as flat pattern modifications and punch tool data; enhanced ribbon cable design tools for control over the shape and routing of ribbon cables; improved sketch productivity tools with clearer constraint status information; and sketch geometry formatting tools

Along with Inventor, Autodesk is releasing new versions of complementary manufacturing products: AliasStudio for the conceptual design process, which is now interoperable with Inventor; Showcase 3D design presentation and review software; Electrical for the design and documentation of electrical control systems; Mechanical 2D design and drafting application, which features standards-based libraries of parts and content, automation tools and associative detailing of Inventor models; and Productstream software for managing engineering changes and BOM (bills of materials).

Autodesk also announced the release of AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD LT 2008 software 2D drafting software as well as Impression 2008, a new tool that enables the production of illustrations. The company's Design Review 2008 software, which enables collaboration on both 2D and model-based information, is now available free from the Autodesk Web site.

The release of Revit Architecture 2008 (formerly Revit Building) reportedly delivers new features to enable sustainable design with analysis of materials quantities, energy use and lighting. Updates also include improved management of linked model information, a Google Earth plug-in for publishing Revit models to Google Earth mapping functionality and better interoperability with Autodesk 3ds Max animation software. The latest release of Revit Structure 2008 is designed to enable structural engineers to create a building information model and related construction documentation more easily with new modeling tools, enhanced construction documentation abilities and improved interoperability with industry-standard tools and analysis applications.

New features in Revit MEP 2008 (formerly Revit Systems) include fully parametric change management, automated exchange of engineering design information and integrated building performance analysis for sustainable design through a direct link to the IES (Integrated Environmental Solutions) virtual environment.

Architecture 2008 (formerly Architectural Desktop) is designed to enable users familiar with AutoCAD to automate tedious drafting tasks. New features and functionality in Architecture 2008 reportedly include automatic scaling of drawing production, changing building elements and components display, and a new drawing compare feature available through the Autodesk Subscription program.

Details on purchasing options for all the 2008 Autodesk software updates will be available in the spring.

Autodesk also announced the company plans to continue support for design and engineering students through the Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community, which provides students and educators free access to tools and resources, as well as continued investment in Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit organization providing pre-engineering instruction for middle and high school students.