News of Autodesk’s intent to acquire MoldFlow came as a bit of a surprise. Considering Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping plan over the next few years, to enable users to take a product from concept to manfuacture without too much in the way of physical prototypes, the move makes perfect sense – but how?
The answer is that if you look at what Autodesk are openly (to the media anyway) about in terms of current developments – such as Mould and Die design tools currently on test in China, its establishment of the ‘Computers in Manufacturing’ group (headed up by people instrumental in the development of IronCAD and CoCreate’s SolidDesigner/OneSpace modelling tool), the demonstrations of Functional Design tools developed in partnership with Attilo Rimoldi of ImpactXoft fame), then the ability to simulate the injection moulding process is a missing piece.
What’s perhaps interesting and won’t become clear is how this will effect MoldFlow’s work with other vendors. MoldFlow technology is built into SolidWorks (MoldflowXpress), CoCreate, and many others. There is also a huge range of MoldFlow products that are not quite so well known, but provide a huge arsenal that covers everything ‘injection moulding’ related.
The deal is expected to go through in the second quarter of 2008, so stay tuned.