UPDATE: 2015 Product Releases

Here are our posts covering the Autodesk 2015 product releases:

Why AutoCAD 2015 is the Best Release Ever!

Autodesk Product & Factory Design Suite 2015 Released

Autodesk Inventor 2015 Released – Whats New? T-Splines?

What’s new in Autodesk Simulation 2015 products?

Scotty, MText Me Up!

Vault Professional 2015′s Item Master is ‘da BOM’!

But keep on reading, if you fancy a giggle, Mike did a great job with this post. Also given today’s revelation about Autodesk Showcase being dropped from the Product Design Suite, you may want to vent in the comments below.

Autodesk AutoCAD 2015Big news last week (well at least for some) was the announcement of the rosters for the Olympic hockey teams. In Canada this meant an hour-long (drawn-out) event with hours of followup on who was picked and just as important who wasn’t picked. [Note: I still think Mike Richards should be going instead of Patrick Marleau]

Canada Loves Hockey

You have to understand that in Canada there is nothing bigger than hockey, its more important to us than football to the Americans and I would put it up there at the same level as football (soccer) to some of the football crazed countries like Brazil.

Brazil Soccer Fan

So  where am I going with this? It got me thinking about what if every year Autodesk “drafted” their Suites, putting the best players (products) on the team


For those who might be unfamiliar with Autodesk’s Suites, they are a collection of software in which Autodesk differentiates themselves from the competition by leveraging their wide portfolio of products, providing multiple products in a “suite” to their users. The idea is that you get access to these products at a fraction of the cost of buying each individually.

Autodesk® 3D design and creation suites provide expanded toolsets, unique interoperability, and a consistent user experience—for building design, product design, entertainment creation, and more.

I’m going to focus on the Product Design Suite, which with 2014 is available in three “flavours”: Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. You can view the current included software here

Product Design Suite 2014

Here is what I’m using as my guideline for inclusion (or exclusion) from the Suite:

  • Autodesk states that the Product Design Suiteis a comprehensive solution delivering 3D design, simulation, collaboration, and visualization tools to complete your entire engineering process.” The focus needs to be on product design and digital prototyping
  • Autodesk is in the CAM market now, big time
  • There is not enough differentiation between Premium and Ultimate, lets make Ultimate the true winner of the Suites
  • I’m allowed to removed products from the Suite. I know that this could potentially anger some users but its my blog and I’m allowed to do what I want. Plus Autodesk could always provide a “free” upgrade to the next flavour of the Suite.
  • I need to be realistic. Autodesk is a business, and like all businesses need to make money to survive so I can’t just include everything


What’s the biggest problem with the Suites? Too much software, too much for most to learn (and who has the time). I don’t have the numbers but if I was a betting man I’d bet that 75% of the users use nothing more than AutoCAD and Inventor, perhaps Vault, and maybe dabble in the rest.

By the name it is the entry level version, the basis for the other two.In my re-drafting of the suite lets go more bare-bones, back to the Inventor bundle before the introduction of the Suites. Back when you bought Inventor you got Inventor, Vault Basic and AutoCAD Mechanical in the box.

AutoCAD Inventor Suite 2011 Box Shot

Included software:

  • Autodesk Inventor
  • AutoCAD Mechanical
  • AutoCAD Electrical
  • Vault Basic

I’ve included AutoCAD Electrical because of the direction I think (hope) Autodesk is going with the integration of ACADE and Inventor…. true Mechatronics! How many products, especially machines, don’t include some electrical?

Although it only contains four (4) products you can accomplish a lot: maintain legacy drawings with AutoCAD, create conceptual and layout sketches with AutoCAD, 3D modeling and technical documentation with Inventor, Rendering and animation with Inventor Studio, and basic data management with Vault Basic. You can also do do 3.5-axis CNC milling with the free HSM Express add-in

Autodesk Recap would also be included as I believe it is included with AutoCAD

With the Suite on subscription you would will have access to all of the subscription benefits including performing product optimization with the Inventor Optimization add-in.

Autodesk Product Design Suite Icon


After reviewing the Standard offering what would someone want to do better? better conceptual sketching? better rendering and animation? better technical illustration? more advanced Inventor modeling and analysis?

Included software:

  • Inventor Professional
  • AutoCAD Mechanical & AutoCAD Electrical
  • Vault Basic
  • Inventor Publisher
  • Sketchbook Designer
  • Showcase
  • 3ds Max Design
  • Alias Design
  • Six(6) solves with Simulation 360

With my Premium Suite I’ve left it almost identical to the 2014 offering except removing Navisworks and Mudbox and including Inventor Publisher (with the hopes that if its included there will become better workflows between it and Inventor). Why is this better than the standard? Better conceptual and industrial design tools with Sketchbook and Alias Design, better rendering and animation with Showcase and 3ds Max Design, and better technical communication tools with Inventor Publisher. Lastly FEA, mold & die design, cable & wire Harness design, and tube & pipe with Inventor Professional.

I’ve also added six solves with Sim 360 which will be a subscription bonus for those who put their Suite under subscription.


As I mentioned earlier, for those sitting on Premium there is little in incentive to move to Ultimate. My solution? Add access to many of the Autodesk 360 solutions.and add the full (non-express) version of HSM Inventor.

Included software:

  • Everything included with the Product Design Suite Premium
  • Mockup 360
  • PLM 360 Participant
  • Fusion 360
  • Configurator 360
  • Inventor HSM (not Express)
  • Bump in online storage from the standard subscription 25GB to 50GB
  • 12 solves with Simulation 360

With the 360 additions Ultimate users gains real-time large assembly digital markup and review with Mockup 360, read-only access to PLM 360 with the included participant license (I know, I know, its really a teaser), and online industrial and product design with Fusion 360

For subscription customers the number of Sim 360 solves is bumped to 12 and the online storage per user is doubled to 50GB.

What didn’t make it

Stickman Feeling Excluded

I really toyed with the idea of bumping the version of Vault with the bumps in Suites… as in Standard = Vault Basic, Premium = Vault Workgroup, and Ultimate = Vault Professional, but decided that this revenue stream for Autodesk shouldn’t be removed.

I thought there was a Recap Pro version (maybe its still coming?) that I was going to include with the Ultimate version but as I couldn’t find anything on it I didn’t include it. Maybe I should include Recap 360?

Navisworks, Mudbox, and Raster Design just don’t fit for me, as they seem like throw-ins. Someone would have to argue very strongly for me to re-include those in the Suites.

There’s also Showcase 360, Publisher 360, and the upcoming Fusion Docs but my thought process was that someone using the Suite has desktop versions of those products. With how the 360 products are structured you could easily build your own 360 version of the Suites that include those products

I also considered ETO 360 and Autodesk VRED.

In Conclusion

Think of the marketing possibilities for Autodesk!  They could make this an hour long webcast “reveal” every year in which each product in the Suite is introduced with its own “bio” highlighting its features and benefits.

I think this would also provide Autodesk the option to re-align their Suites with what’s happening in the market and the demands of their customers

What do you think? What would you include or not include?