Autodesk adopts Mac for Alias, Inventor Plastics tools for 2010

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As I type this, the world’s media (probably all 12 of them) are sat waiting for Autodesk to unveil its product releases for the next year. As with these things, Autodesk love to group everything together and make a Huge Splash – a good idea, but you often find that while there’s a concerted effort to announce the products together, the actual shipping of code lags somewhat. Either way, whether you think that’s right or not, let’s look at the highlights:

#1: Inventor 2010: Autodesk is integrating the plastic parts design tools it’s been working on for the last few years – and it looks like the mould design tools they’ve also been beta testing out in China for at least year are finally going to ship in product, rather than on Labs.

Other news is that simulation has had a boost. Recently acquisitions see Autodesk’s armoury expanded greatly and this is the first wave of new simulation tools. There’s also some bundling going on with Inventor LT (the free version of Inventor for part design), along with AutoCAD LT.

STL output in Alias has always been flakey unless you used a workaround with spider – this fixes that.

#2: In a right world, this would be Number 1: Autodesk is making the Alias line of products available on the mac OS X platform. THIS, is HUGE news. There’s also been work done on packaging (it’s got new bundle and naming), new STL output, new rendering and materials tools and a lot more control over surfaces.

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#3: Showcase is getting the ray-tracing technology acquired from Opticore some time ago. There’s also greater support for workflows with both other Autodesk products (such as Max an Maya) and some pretty slick looking design variant comparison tools. it also has a matched material library with Alias. Oh and its going to $995 instead of five grand.

#4: Autodesk Moldflow: there’s a simplified version of Moldflow on its way. One thing I have to take issue with is the idea that Moldflow can help take someone that’s “not an expert in plastic injection moulding right through to manufacture.” Ok. That’s really not a good idea. Moldflow is good, but it can be dangerous in the wrong hands (by dangerous, I mean expensive).

NB: there should be more pics, but they weren’t. Of anything except Alias and Inventor. A Shame.


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