DESIGN SOFTWARE FIRM Autodesk announced today that its 3D simulation tool called Simulation 360 will be available through the cloud to reduce development time in product manufacturing by up to three times compared to the desktop version.
In order to provide services quicker and make it easier for its customers to collaborate internally, Simulation 360 means that cloud based simulation tools take away all hardware requirements and thus lower costs for businesses.
Speaking at an exclusive launch event, Autodesk's technical sales manager Jonah Normand introduced the new software as "a change in business model". He explained that it can advantage businesses by outsourcing product design rendering to the cloud and sending the results back instantly as they are being calculated, thus giving more flexibility in development time.
Referring to the Microsoft Xbox 360 recall that cost the firm $1bn after it found Xbox systems were overheating shortly after launch, Normand said simulation is an important step in the development process because it helps reduce risk for customers and avoid potential product hiccups.
However, Normand said companies have specific barriers preventing them from employing simulation tools in their product development, such as hardware requirements, costs and ease of use, but Simulation 360 aims to make simulation more accessible to everyone.
"Our strategy at Autodesk is to remove these barriers and give access to simulation," he said. "Our vision is to move simulation to the front end of design."
Therefore, Autodesk has developed the cloud based service so that companies can more easily make the transition to having simulation in their product development.
Normand said small-to-medium businesses can now take advantage of the firm's simulation software in Simulation 360 as it is available in three different packages, one of which is a pay-as-you-go service, making it more flexible so costs can remain low if need be.
The cheapest options is aimed towards those who would use it only occasionally and is limited to 120 jobs, costing €4,000 for 12 months.
The next step up is the Unlimited package, which at €8,000 for 12 months has an unlimited number of jobs. The last and most expensive is the Poweruser package, which for €18,000 provides an unlimited number of jobs along with a desktop edition and security product.
So far, the packages are available only on Windows systems. Autodesk said it has no plans to release it for other operating systems such as Mac OS X in the future. µ
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