Autodesk 2015 Product & Factory Design Suites Marketing WheelWe had a bit of fun last month with Mike’s post ‘Which Products will be in Autodesk’s 2015 Suites’, which stirred up some discussion, but the buck stops with today. Autodesk have announced new for 2015, Digital Prototyping software releases for the Manufacturing, Architecture, Engineering & Construction industry segments. Once again Suites and their makeup are a strong point of focus with respect to how they are enabling customers to get to market faster, cheaper, more reliably & generally just knocking out better stuff. The manufacturing design suites aren’t just about Product & Factory Design Suites, but also the related data management and simulation offerings Autodesk have. The 2015 product line brings those bang up to date with some dramatic changes across the board.

“Our suites provide designers and engineers with a complete set of tools and cloud services that allow them to simplify design, visualization and simulation workflows from product development through delivery,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk.  “By offering solutions that are scalable, cost effective and open, our customers have the opportunity to design, manufacture and sell great products.”

Autodesk haven’t mentioned anything about which products will be in the Suites yet, other than an interesting change for the Product Design Suite. So in that regard I suppose they are just going to surprise their customers when they get access to their downloads. Worryingly, this screams there is controversy ahead to me. I’m tempted to speculate, but I might get in trouble, so I can’t. Anyway I digress….

Design and Motion will be bringing you a series of posts covering the new features in the core products within the suites over the next few days and coming weeks. Here are a few right off the bat:

AutoCAD 2015 Announced – Whats New?

Scotty, MText Me Up!

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

What’s new in Autodesk Simulation 2015 products?

Autodesk Vault 2015

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

Still to come….

More AutoCAD goodness from Mike.

Suite news as it becomes apparent.

Product Design Suite

“We understand that customers today don’t have a single homogeneous environment. Inventor is one of the best tools on the market today, when it comes to interoperability with other 3d tools and solutions, and being able to make changes to that geometry. You can actually do full manipulation of imported geometry with Direct Edit tool within Product Design Suite 2015.” – Jeff Wymer, Senior Industry Manager, Manufacturing

The big change here is Autodesk Product Design Suite Standard has been discontinued! All those PrDS Standard customers are being upgraded to Product Design Suite Premium. Which means those who elected to upgrade from AutoCAD 2 years ago, scored basic Inventor last year & look to be gaining Inventor Professional this year. So one would assume then, PrDS Premium seats will now be upgraded to PrDS Ultimate.

I wonder if there will be any casualties here? Will Mudbox finally be removed from the Suite? How about Alias in the Ultimate Suite? Will those Ultimate seats get any compensation for having their asset value watered down by the upgrade of Premium seats to Ultimate? Maybe Autodesk will lower the Ultimate subs rate to match the Premium subs rate of yesteryear? Time will tell.

Anyway, there is some very solid stuff appearing in this years PrDS, a lot of what I can bring up here is covered in Gavin’s Inventor What’s New post. So I will just share some pretty pictures highlighting an overview of the new goodies:

Freeform/T-Splines

Autodesk Inventor 2015 Freeform T-Spine Seat

Autodesk Product Design Suite 2015 Freeform TrailerFreeform tools provide an alternate modeling approach to explore and create freeform shaped models.

Direct/History free modelling

Autodesk Product Design Suite 2015 Direct Edit FlangeThe new Direct Editing tool lets users easily manipulate native or imported geometry and parametrically move, size, rotate, and delete imported solid models or native Inventor files.

Improved Start Up & Learning Experience

Autodesk Inventor 2015 Home Tab

Autodesk PrDS 2015 Learning ExperienceWhile I’m far from impressed with the first version of the Home Tab shown above, I do REALLY like the learning paths including the continuation and expansion of the interactive tutorials. These really are a nice & modern touch for first time users. Hopefully this is a solid indication of where Autodesk are going with this new Home tab experience.

Factory Design Suite

Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2015 Themes

Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2015 Point CloudsAccess point cloud tools more easily with Autodesk ReCap.

Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2015 FDS BOMThe new Bill of Materials command on the Factory ribbon in Inventor software allows users to quickly create, edit and process a list of equipment used in factory layout.

Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2015 Process Analysis 360This is an interesting addition to the Factory Design Suite in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to taking it for a spin, but I hope it’s indicative of a future direction for the Autodesk Suites…. Core software is Desktop based, with Cloud based power tools which take advantage of server farms & collaboration where appropriate. That would mean only snippets of IP would be exposed to the Cloud, while maintaining ultimate control inside your firewall or within your private Cloud.

Conclusion

Other than the doubt about which products will actually be in the Suites (due to no announcement at this point) and the heavy focus on Inventor’s new features being pivotal to the Suite story this year, it does look rather promising. There are some great new features in Inventor & AutoCAD for that matter, but once again Factory Design Suite is the stand out, it’s workflows are maturing nicely and it’s increasingly becoming an excellent product to work with…. we just need some AutoCAD Electrical love in there please Autodesk.

I’ve been using Inventor 2015 for a while now as a Beta product, and I miss it whenever I step back to 2014. There are some stunning new tools in the sketch environment, which translate to huge productivity gains & if you do have to perform any rework, the new tools really help you out. I just can’t wait to get my hands dirty and start tying everything together across the products. FDS, iLogic, Vault Data Standard, PLM, 360 & even Microsoft Office 365. It’s a Geeky exciting world out there & 2014 is shaping up brilliantly.

You will start to see products appearing for download in Subscription Center from now & over the next week. AutoCAD 2015 is already there & so is Autodesk Vault 2015.

Thanks for reading guys

UPDATE:

Based on this image released by InventorTopix there are some big losses in the Product Design Suite:

Showcase removed from Product Design Suite 2015So that means the following applications have been removed from the Product Design Suite:

  • Alias Design is gone from Product Design Suite Ultimate
  • Autodesk Showcase has been removed from all the suites
  • Autodesk Sketchbook Designer has been removed from all the suites
  • Autodesk Mudbox (as predicted) has been removed from all the suites.

To compensate for that, the buy price of each suite has been reduced & so has the price of the standalone products (which may mean the subscription costs will go down as well). I wonder if there will be similarly dramatic changes with the Factory Design Suite?

Also I would put good money on Showcase 360 making an appearance sometime soon, with access via Cloud Credits, which if you are on Subscription you will have a chunk of included with your Suite. Soooo it may end up working out. Again, time will tell.

I can also confirm that Autodesk Showcase 2014 WILL NOT import Inventor 2015 parts & assemblies.Inventor 2015 to Showcase 2014 import failureMake sure you politely express any frustrations you have with your Reseller, there may be something they can work out with Autodesk. You never know, power to the people & all that. It’s possible they made this decision based on CIP data, how many opt out of that? User interface changes are based on CIP data, so if you want to make sure your input counts, be sure to opt in for CIP.

Most of the Images shown hereon were furnished by Autodesk, Inc.

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