Posts Tagged ‘Autodesk’

Autodesk Alias Software Helps Volvo Car Corporation’s Vision of Luxury and Good Design

February 9th, 2012

Volvo Car Corporation (Volvo) one of the global car industry’s strongest brands, has revealed that Autodesk design and visualisation software was key to the successful design of its Concept You car. The fully-functional concept model was unveiled to great critical acclaim at the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn.

Following the earlier success of Volvo’s Concept Universe at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2011, the Volvo design team was under extreme pressure to further refine its ideas and produce a working model with full interior in a matter of months, in time for Frankfurt. Both concepts were created to demonstrate Volvo’s vision for the future of luxury cars under its new ownership.

Using Autodesk Alias software, the concept modelling team was able to quickly create digital prototypes from the designer’s initial sketches. This enabled the team to quickly hone and test the design on screen, helping to save time and maintain the original design integrity behind the concept. As a result, designers were able to get to the best option with the technical surfacing and visualisation of the car as quickly as possible without having to start from scratch with every iteration.

Although the Volvo team was working under a particularly tight deadline, timescales such as this are becoming typical in such a competitive industry. Cars are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated with a high technical content, yet manufacturers are under pressure to design them faster, while incurring lower costs. Like Volvo, a growing number of manufacturers are using Autodesk Alias to accelerate the entire design process from concept to class A modelling.

As part of the design workflow, Volvo also used Autodesk Showcase software for advanced visualisation of its ideas. This enabled the concept to be quickly communicated to the design management team and board so that they could easily understand what was being created. Despite the punishing time-frame, Volvo’s new concept was ready in time to create a real talking point at the show. The automotive press was full of accolades, describing the car as, “beautifully done”, “a much-needed tonic” and simply “stunning”.

A long-term user of Autodesk software, Volvo has recently become a Platinum Support customer which gives it direct access to Autodesk experts, promoting a two-way dialogue to help influence future development of Alias and other products.


AT&T Motorola Atrix 2 getting software update

February 3rd, 2012

A leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) services provider as well as a provider of Autodesk 2D and 3D CAD products and services, announced today that it has earned the new Building Engineering – MEP Systems Specialization designation for value-added resellers from Autodesk, Inc., a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. As an Autodesk Specialized Partner, Applied Software has shown that it has made significant investment in its people, has a solid business plan specific to its specialization area, has customer references and can provide a high level of expertise, experience and support to customers in the MEP industries.

The new Autodesk Partner Specializations enable value-added resellers to highlight and brand their expertise in delivering services in key industry areas. By completing the required curriculum and training, as well as meeting required levels of service and standards set by Autodesk, Applied Software demonstrates through its strong customer service and support what it means to be a trusted adviser to Autodesk customers throughout the world.

“We are excited to have earned the Building Engineering – MEP specialization,” said Richard Burroughs, president, Applied Software. “This specialization is an acknowledgement of the investment we have made in both our sales and technical staff’s industry experience to support the needs of the MEP design and construction industries.”


Autodesk and Pitney Bowes Software Elaborate on New Relationship

January 13th, 2012

Tuesday’s press release from Autodesk regarding its new relationship with Pitney Bowes Software (PBS, the new name as of January 1, 2012 for Pitney Bowes Business Insights) raised many questions. Joe Francica and I spoke with James Buckley, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Customer Data & Location Intelligence, Pitney Bowes Software and Rich Humphrey, Director of Civil Infrastructure in the AEC Division at Autodesk on Tuesday night to try to tease out some answers.

Humphrey outlined the relationship as taking advantage of the relative strength of each company across the Plan -> Design-> Build-> Manage lifecycle. While both companies have fingers across each step, Autodesk has particular strength in the middle (Design, Build) and PBS has strength on the ends (Plan, Manage). The idea is to work together to provide a deep and complete set of tools to organizations moving through those steps. With that broader perspective on projects, organizations can take on master planning and policy development. While there is overlap in some areas, Humphrey and Buckley agreed that there is synergy within that overlap. And, the bigger goal is to unlock the GIS and design data, enable analytics and make better decisions.

What sort of organizations will be ideal clients? The pair ticked off three for attention in the short term:
road and highway transportation
local government
mining and natural resource management
If those sound a bit outside of PBS’ expertise, remember that the company has acquired traffic products (Paramics) and local government asset management tools (Confirm, currently not sold in the U.S.). I for one am not that familiar with these tools or their users. There is also a vision that horizontal tools like PBS geocoding and Geosk content management system will provide value across enterprises.

We found the first of the year announcement date interesting and asked, “Why now?” The answer revealed that no single event or client launched discussions of a relationship. Instead, the more conversations continued the more value each company could offer from its products to common clients. Further, Pitney Bowes is interested in growing via alliances and has some experience in this space. Buckley noted the company’s successful relationship in the retail banking space. In short, such relationships are not without precedent.

We asked about plan for integration of products and it’s likely that will be a longer term play. That said, the two companies have already bid on projects together, the fruits of which may be known in the first half of 2012.

We asked about how Autodesk sees GIS as part of its set of offerings. Humphrey made it clear the company had not backed off its investment in GIS, but rather repositioned it to better fit client needs. “GIS means,” he said, “unleashing GIS data and analytics to a broader set of clients,” which I understood to mean both within existing client organizations and in new ones.


Autodesk and Pitney Bowes Software Enter Strategic Alliance Agreement

January 11th, 2012

Autodesk, Inc. ADSK -0.39% , a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, and Pitney Bowes Software, Inc., a global leader in customer data, location intelligence, analytics and communication software and services, today announced they have entered into a strategic alliance agreement. The new agreement will serve as a framework for both companies to provide resources, services and solutions to help infrastructure owners and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) organizations make more informed decisions and drive greater efficiencies across the plan, design, build, manage lifecycle of infrastructure.

The relationship will enable the parties to provide infrastructure professionals in transportation, government, utilities, and other key industries with the broadest range of coordinated solutions available today to help fully realize the value of project information–from planning and asset management to design and on through to operations and management. Under the terms of the strategic alliance agreement, Pitney Bowes Software and Autodesk will join forces to better address the needs of a global customer base. In addition, through coordinating the integration of existing applications, both companies will work together to deliver solutions which address some of the more immediate business issues within a number of identified vertical markets.

“We see tremendous synergies between the offerings of Autodesk and Pitney Bowes Software,” said Paul McRoberts, vice president, infrastructure product line group, Architecture, Engineering and Construction Solutions, Autodesk. “Users of our BIM for Infrastructure Solutions, including the Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite, can gain tremendous benefits from the deep insights that the MapInfo product family can provide, particularly during the planning and asset management phases of infrastructure projects. With our combined deep industry expertise and solutions for GIS, analytics, BIM, and asset management, we will be well positioned to offer a much more comprehensive end-to-end solution to the market than other providers.”

“Shared global reach and industry sectors reflect the strong affinity between Autodesk and Pitney Bowes Software. Our complementary capabilities will enhance the value of our solutions and create enormous efficiencies for our customers,” said James Buckley, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Customer Data & Location Intelligence, Pitney Bowes Software. “AEC experts will be able to take advantage of unique solutions which will shorten the modeling and construction phases within projects and will help organizations to determine optimum location and environmental impact of design scenarios and optimize asset maintenance management so that infrastructure monies can be maximized across the entire asset lifecycle.”

“A tremendous amount of valuable data is locked up in traditional GIS systems. Unlocking that value has the potential for delivering increased operational efficiencies for infrastructure projects,” said Jeff Vining, Research VP at Gartner. “This is particularly important for agencies and local government departments around the world looking to implement smart government initiatives. Combining the power of location intelligence with BIM modeling will help agencies and local governments improve decision making across the plan, design, build, manage lifecycle.”

This strategic alliance agreement also provides both organizations with a unique opportunity to develop specific, industry related, solutions in the future using the industry knowledge, products and services of both companies.


Autodesk adds cloud services for subscription customers

October 28th, 2011

Autodesk Inc. has added new cloud computing services to its design software portfolio in an attempt to make its subscription sales model more attractive for customers, and an easier sell for partners.

Autodesk Cloud is a collection about a dozen Web-based products and services with new sharing and mobility capabilities. All subscription customers will have 3GB of storage for each seat of software on subscription and 100 “cloud units” to spend on other cloud services that aren’t already included with their current software subscriptions.

“Our customers are so remote and mobile,” said Shanna Tellerman, product line manager for the cloud platform at Autodesk.

Related story: Autodesk to delve deeper in the enterprise space and the cloud
The company has added Autodesk cloud documents, a DropBox or Google Docs type of application, along with mobile apps to cater to all of its customers who work from various locations. The Design Review mobile app for viewing, reviewing and marking-up design files and AutoCAD WS design editor are available through Apple’s iOS App Store.

The company has also added other capabilities exclusively for subscription customers. Autodesk has had cloud-based services for more than a decade, through its Buzzsaw software-as-a-service offering, Tellerman said. But now, the company is pushing heavy desktop processes into the cloud. “The cloud right now is really focused on extending the design workflow for our customers,” Tellerman said.

Autodesk Cloud rendering allows Design Suite or Building Design Suite customers to render photorealistic visualizations in the cloud, aimed at reducing time.
“Rendering is generally one of those processes that … takes hours and hours to complete,” Tellerman said. By doing it in the cloud, workflow can continue without tying up hardware and the customer will receive an e-mail when rendering is complete.

The new cloud services also include a simulation tool, or Autodesk Inventor optimization for customers to simulate designs. For Autodesk Revit customers, the cloud offering includes a conceptual energy analysis stool. Autodesk Green Building Studio, a Web-based energy analysis software allows for energy analysis across multiple building design iterations.

“For channel partners, this doesn’t change their model at all,” she said. Rather, it enhances what a subscription service means, making it a stronger sell. “We’ve really enhanced what subscription actually means.”


SunPods Creates Solar Arrays with Autodesk Software

August 31st, 2011

Clean technology company SunPods Inc. is using software from Autodesk, Inc. ADSK -1.25% to design and manufacture modular solar array units that help make solar power more accessible and affordable.

Unlike conventional customized ground-mounted solar arrays that require extensive onsite assembly and construction, SunPods (which stands for “Sun Power on Demand”) are configured and built in a factory before being delivered to virtually any site — a process that reduces installation time by up to 85 percent.

The combination of Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD software has helped SunPods to design and model its arrays without the need for physical prototypes or on-site testing. During the product development process, the company was able to test and evaluate 23 different digital prototypes. Additionally, Autodesk Showcase software enabled SunPods to more effectively demonstrate the innovative concept to customers by creating realistic animations placing the ideas in context.

“At SunPods, we want to provide sun power on demand,” said Michael Gumm, managing partner and cofounder of SunPods. “At every stage, Autodesk software has helped us turn that vision into a reality and speed up our progression from ‘good idea’ to great product.”

Faster Time to Market with Digital Prototyping

As a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program — which provides software to emerging clean tech companies in North America, Europe and Japan — SunPods gained access to a variety of Digital Prototyping tools to speed the development of its modular power unit. Autodesk reseller, KETIV Technologies, helped provide training and support to enable SunPods to more quickly implement Digital Prototyping into the design process.

Each of the pre-manufactured, self-contained units is capable of generating up to 3.82 kilowatts of power — enough for a small residence. Thanks to its modular design, multiple units can be connected to one another to scale energy needs to power larger projects.

The marketplace has embraced the company’s innovative ideas: SunPods have now been deployed for commercial, residential, educational and agricultural projects across the United States. A cluster of three SunPods generates 750 kilowatts per month for a private home in Hollister, Calif., for example, while a cluster of 25 SunPods generates 10,000 kilowatts per month for a high school in Presidio, Texas.

“Digital Prototyping makes it easier for young clean tech companies with limited resources to develop products that can have a profound impact on the world around us,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “The work SunPods is doing is incredibly important and we’re glad Autodesk software can help play a role in making the transition to solar energy more financially accessible to more people.”


Nonprofit Turns to Autodesk Software to Help Amputees in Developing Nations

August 26th, 2011

Autodesk, Inc. ADSK -3.44% , has named Illini Prosthetic Technologies (IPT), a nonprofit organization, as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for August for the company’s use of Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design software in developing a more affordable and more easily fitted prosthetic arm for below-elbow amputees, particularly those living in developing nations.

There are an estimated 25 million amputees around the world, 80 percent of them in the developing world. IPT’s prosthetic arm represents an opportunity for them to regain the use of their limbs, return to work and better care for themselves and their families.

“We believe that we can live in a world where every amputee has access to affordable prosthetic care,” said Jonathan Naber, president and founder of IPT. “Autodesk Inventor software is helping us make that vision a reality much sooner by enabling us to digitally explore and refine our ideas.”

IPT’s innovation uses an open socket technology that allows prostheses to be fitted onto patients “off the shelf” and in a matter of minutes, a welcome change to the more traditional lengthy and costly custom fabrication and fitting process. The device comes in a variety of sizes that are adjustable for length, diameter and contour, thus ensuring the best fit for the largest possible range of below-elbow amputations.

IPT was founded in 2008 by six University of Illinois engineering students who noticed that while a number of low-cost prosthetics options were available for leg amputees, arm prosthetics typically remained prohibitively expensive.

Testing Ideas With Digital Prototyping

By creating digital prototypes of its prosthetic arm with Inventor, IPT has been able to streamline its product design process and create working physical prototypes that successfully incorporate and balance affordability, durability and flexibility — all important factors for users in developing countries.

IPT is currently gathering feedback from actual amputees on the most recent iteration of its prosthetic arm, and team members will be traveling to Guatemala later in the year to conduct further user testing — as well as to see the direct impact their device is having on people’s lives.

“IPT is a terrific example of bright young minds working together to make the world a better place,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “It is thrilling and inspiring to see this group using Digital Prototyping technology to take an innovative idea and turn it into reality — all in service of a great cause.”


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