CAD SOFTWARE FIRM Autodesk has unveiled Fusion 360, a cloud based version of its 3D engineering software suite that allows designers to collaborate on 3D product designs.
Fusion 360 is what the firm calls the world's first "comprehensive cloud-based 3D modelling offering" and offers access from any location at any time from mobile devices or web browsers. Putting "data at the centre of the design experience", the software also supports an open design environment, allowing designers to incorporate and modify CAD data from a range of sources.
Speaking in a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Autodesk's head of Simulations Sales Erwin Burth said the software grants access to tools that enable a new way or working, removing the barriers that prevent customers' access to powerful technology.
"Fusion 360 makes industrial design faster and easier than ever before and is integrated in the cloud to provide an incredible powerful and intuitive way of modifying surfaces," Burth said.
"Also, taking it the next step, surfaces can be directly leveraged on an engineering side. This gives the designer the ability to quickly create and modify organic shapes using direct surface manipulations to bring the ideas to life."
The Autodesk Fusion 360 portfolio for manufacturers includes Autodesk PLM 360, a cloud based product lifecycle management application, and Autodesk Simulation 360, a set of simulation tools delivered securely in the cloud.
Autodesk said that the software spans all aspects of industrial and mechanical design, with "anytime, anywhere access" to data as well as collaborative and social development capabilities.
"It also connects to advanced capabilities such as large scale mock-up, simulation, product lifecycle management (PLM) and rendering," Autodesk said.
Fusion 360 includes a redesigned user interface that can be edited depending on the role and level of the user's expertise, with built-in guidance to speed learning by novice users and the ability to turn off guidance and access more complex functions for design experts.
Burth said that Fusion 360 will kick off with smaller businesses, but expects it to spread across the different levels of the industry eventually.
"We see [Fusion 360] starting with small businesses. SMBs and enterprises are not immune to this," Burth said. "It will be spread over manufacturers of all sizes, I'd say, over the next three to five years."
Fusion 360 will be available to manufacturers on a term basis so that businesses of all sizes can use it as they see fit. Autodesk said this is to provide "flexibility and eliminate the high upfront costs of software license purchases" as well as the annual expense of software updates and upgrades.
The Fusion 360 software suite is expected to become generally available at some point next year. µ
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