While the initial release of Autodesk Cloud could not include the final version of Autodesk Inventor Optimization, it has finally become available. As many of you know it is a tool that offers parametric analysis functionality with three major areas of improvement:
1) the user interface that allows users to pick the features they wish to analyze, and receive immediate feedback and access to variations through a mini-dialog leadered to the selected feature.
2) the model and variation instructions are offloaded to Autodesk’s cloud server where it is rebuilt in every possible combination requested. During the process, improved notifications are available on the desktop to keep users current on the status of the process.
3) the server then analyses the results against the user’s specified criteria, loading these results into a report, which is then sent back to the user to review. Once the user designates which report solution is best, Inventor will rebuild the model according to those specifications.
This service is running for subscribers of Inventor Professional 2012, If you head over to Autodesk.com/cloud you will now find yourself directed into subscription center like many other Cloud offerings.
While there is nothing substantially different with the product, Autodesk says that most improvements were delivered in account sign on procedures and the notification of results. I like this as during the original technology previews on Autodesk Labs, one of my Optimizations developed issues on the Cloud server, and I wasn’t able to see the problem. These issues seem to have been resolved in the newer notification system.
While the results are quite preliminary, adoption is quite parallel to last year’s Lab offering. The same cross section of Subscribers are trying the service and feedback is almost identical. One interesting thing that has come from this service is that users by and large do not see this process as simulation, but instead Optimization is viewed and used as a tool that delivers the best case scenario to start their designs with. This is a significant shift in the perception of the tool, and in my opinion an indicator of it’s success, which was to simply to gain insight into the best way to proceed with a design from the earliest possible point in the design process, based on mathematical predictions and not best guess scenarios.
As the tool is still only about a month old, actual adoption results models vary. The most current data I have been given is that typical design optimization jobs average over 6 simulations. Some reports have come in as strong as 20+ simulations on the average, however Autodesk feels that it is far too soon to say how the adoption will take shape.
…it would have been highly unlikely for users to perform [this many] simulations to conduct design optimization prior to the availability of this technology. Now, it’s being done over and over again. Autodesk Inventor optimization technology is finally helping users realize the full potential of simulation software when it comes to optimizing their products.” noted Bob Williams, Marketing Manager for Autodesk Simulation.