Future products will be designed with their capability to be manufactured in mind, according Autodesk executives, who spoke at Autodesk University, a gathering of users of their technology.
The company has updated its software accordingly and made strides to further the use of, cloud capabilities, generative design and additive manufacturing, said Greg Fallon, vice president of business strategy and marketing at Autodesk, a maker of engineering and construction software.
“We see our customers embracing this evolution and, for our part, we’re pushing to accelerate it. Because when you break down the silos between product designers, mechanical engineers and manufacturing engineers, and treat all these people as a real team, you improve just about everything about the product development process – speed, cost, innovation,” Fallon said.
Fallon and his colleague Steve Hooper announced updates to the company’s generative design capabilities as well as to its product design and manufacturing collection of software. This includes his includes customers such as Whill, a maker of a portable mobility chair that, that has been re-imagined and made lighter using Autodesk generative design.
”We’ve known since people started making things that thinking about how things are made while you’re designing them makes it easier to make them,” added Hooper, vice president for Fusion 360.
Updates include a collection of tools that work inside Autodesk’s Inventor (including Nastran In-CAD, HSM, and a nesting utility). Also new is a suite of specialized toolsets available with AutoCAD, and a cloud-based technology offered with Fusion 360, Fallon said.
The Fusion 360 integrated workspace includes a hybrid manufacturing experience that combines advanced additive and CAM capabilities in a single workflow, Hooper said.
“We’ve developed a comprehensive design-to-print workflow for additive manufacturing, based on Autodesk Netbabb and Fusion 360, that connects Autodesk generative design technology with HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers,” Hooper said. “By streamlining the conversion of digital design to physical part, the new workflow will increase accessibility to rapid prototyping while accelerating our customers’ ability to deliver production-ready 3D printed parts.”
“Our goal has been to develop a single product that serves the needs of this entire process and the professionals who perform it, not a point-based solution. That’s why we built Fusion 360,” he added.
Autodesk is working to expand the manufacturing for generative design to include 2- and 2.5-axis machining, meaning designers will be able to specify those machines when working on a generative design.
“While additive manufacturing and 3- and 5-axis milling constraints are already available for generative design, the addition of 2 and 2.5 is a big deal because pretty much anybody with a CNC milling machine–even the most affordable ones –has those capabilities at their disposal,” Hooper said.
In addition to having access to Fusion 360’s cloud-based generative design, advanced simulation and advanced CAM capabilities, new subscribers will receive 100 cloud credits as a one-time grant. Autodesk cloud credits are the currency for our cloud-based services, including generative design, so you pay only for what you use.
“Incorporating the unique voxel-level capabilities of HP Multi Jet Fusion with Autodesk generative design unleashes new levels of creativity, speed, and quality from prototyping all the way to production,” added Michelle Bockman, global head of 3D Printing commercial expansion and development at Hewlett Packard. “By empowering the vast Autodesk customer ecosystem to design for 3D across HP’s entire 3D printing portfolio, including our full color platform, we are unlocking new possibilities for customers and furthering our mission to change the way the world designs and manufactures.”