Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Autodesk unveils 2012 manufacturing software portfolio

March 28, 2011
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Autodesk has officially launched its new product line for 2012. The new 3D design and engineering software portfolio for manufacturers includes the new Autodesk Product Design Suite, which is meant to make design, visualization and simulation software easier to adopt, use and maintain. According to the company, the complete Autodesk Digital Prototyping software portfolio helps manufacturers to design and build better, more sustainable products, reduce development costs and get to market faster.

“No product design and development challenge is too complex to overcome when you combine the powerful 3D mechanical design capabilities of Autodesk Inventor together with world-leading Autodesk visualization and simulation software,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice-president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “Our customers need to create remarkable products more efficiently. The new Autodesk Product Design Suite makes it easier for manufacturers to adopt Digital Prototyping workflows to achieve this goal.”

Autodesk Product Design Suite is a new solution for creating compelling products, the company explained. Containing Autodesk’s leading design, visualization and simulation software for manufacturers, the new suite provides flexibility to innovate and more easily respond to changing business requirements from early concepts to detailed engineering and simulation.

Autodesk offers three editions of the Product Design Suite:
• Product Design Suite Standard includes foundational product design tools for conceptual design, intuitive 3D surface and solid modelling, drafting and presentations. It features AutoCAD Mechanical with Inventor Fusion, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk SketchBook Designer, Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Mudbox software.
• Product Design Suite Premium includes optimized digital prototyping and visualization tools for maximum performance that features Standard edition tools along with Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk 3ds Max Design software.
• Product Design Suite Ultimate features advanced surfacing, simulation and tooling, featuring the same tools as the Premium edition, along with Autodesk Inventor Professional and Autodesk Alias Design software.


Launched in 2010 and updated this year, Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2012 is a factory layout and optimization solution that helps manufacturers make better layout decisions through the creation of a digital factory model, helping to save time and money. It offers factory-specific functionality in both AutoCAD Architecture and Autodesk Inventor, combined with Autodesk Navisworks’ powerful visualization and analysis, and Autodesk Vault to improve collaboration. New additions to the suite in 2012 include AutoCAD Mechanical for automating mechanical CAD tasks and 3ds Max Design and Showcase for enhancing communication and bids.

In addition, as a result of the strategic partnership announced in October 2010, Autodesk and Granta Design Ltd. have built new design methods into Autodesk Inventor 2012 software that help designers estimate a product’s environmental impact and make more sustainable design decisions. The new Eco Materials Adviser in Inventor 2012 addresses sustainable design requirements early in the design process, enabling manufacturers to choose materials that minimize environmental impact without compromising on cost and performance. Powered by Granta’s expert materials database and proven sustainable design methodology, Eco Materials Adviser helps guide material selection and generates eco-impact reports so engineers can record and communicate the benefits of their sustainable design decisions.

Autodesk Inventor Fusion makes its commercial debut following its popular technology preview on Autodesk Labs. It is now included at no extra cost as a companion application to Autodesk Alias Design and Alias Automotive, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Moldflow, Autodesk Simulation and AutoCAD products. Inventor Fusion provides robust 3D modelling ease-of-use and direct modelling for rapid design changes. It also unites direct and parametric workflows within a single digital model created in Autodesk Inventor.

Along with the Autodesk Product Design Suite, each product in the Autodesk Manufacturing portfolio offers powerful new capabilities, spanning conceptual design, engineering, manufacturing and technical documentation.
• AutoCAD Electrical 2012 software expands its support for international standards and now allows electrical controls designers to view, edit and share their DWG files on web browsers or mobile devices through AutoCAD WS.
• AutoCAD Mechanical 2012 software now enables editing 3D models from any source with Inventor Fusion and intelligent drawing view creation with a new model documentation feature. Also new is mobile and web viewing and editing through AutoCAD WS, so mechanical engineers can spend more time innovating.
• Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2012 visualization software enables you to demonstrate the operation of designs in real-world settings, providing seamless aggregation of CAD data and transforming digital prototypes into high-quality visuals with “push-button” rendering, cinematic-quality animation and effects, and an extensive material and texture library.
• Autodesk Alias 2012 products – Alias Design, Alias Surface and Alias Automotive software – make it easier to create accurate 3D models with Class-A surfaces and feature improvements to the technical surfacing process with modelling tools that are dramatically easier to use.
• Autodesk Inventor 2012 software provides easier ways to interact with 3D mechanical design data; new opportunities for sharing, accepting and updating CAD data regardless of source and complexity; and high-impact performance and productivity improvements for both users and IT departments.
• Autodesk Inventor Publisher 2012 software makes it easy to create highly visual and interactive assembly instructions, operating procedures and technical documentation from 2D and 3D CAD data. Users can publish interactive, 3D instructions in multiple formats directly to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch mobile devices.
• Autodesk Moldflow 2012 software introduces new real-time injection-molding simulation functionality, enabling dynamic evaluation of a range of plastic part design alternatives in a fraction of the time it takes to perform a standard simulation, helping to pinpoint the best design more quickly.
• Autodesk Showcase 2012 visualization software is a key element of the Product Design Suite, transforming CAD data into compelling imagery, movies and interactive presentations to improve the design review process, secure internal buy-in and win competitive bids.
• Autodesk Simulation 2012 software, previously known as Autodesk Algor Simulation, offers an all-new user interface as well as Autodesk Vault integration, introducing new revision management capabilities for easier management of design and engineering information.
• Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2012 software provides digital sketching and illustration to enhance the creative process. Design professionals can export vector artwork from SketchBook Designer and bring it into Alias as curve data, transforming 2D concept sketches directly into 3D product designs.
• Autodesk Vault 2012 product data management software gives workgroups across multiple locations more control over engineering data and documents from design through manufacturing, expanding its integration to additional Autodesk applications, including Navisworks, Inventor Publisher and Autodesk Simulation.

For more information, visit

Print this page


Story continue below