Autodesk Manufacturing Tech Day – 3D Is Not Enough

The day started with Buzz Kross welcoming the members of the press and giving a brief overview of the new features of the products of Autodesk’s Manufacturing Solutions Division. He started out with these four words “3D is not enough“, which we realized later was the underlying theme of all the presentations and discussions of the day.

Autodesk has been making a lot of noise about Digital Prototyping for quite a long time now. Buzz said, “We use to talk a lot about it and could do it to some extent. It was our vision. But now with technologies that we acquired over the past few years tightly integrated and working seamlessly across our entire product line, we have made that vision a reality. Just doing 3D is not enough. We need to take 3D to its logical conclusion of Digital Prototyping.

Speaking about the new Direct Manipulation functionality that has been added to Inventor 2011 as well as other Autodesk products, Buzz said, “It’s all I ever use now.” So do I. While testing Inventor 2011 I found myself going to the dialog boxes to set the parameters only out of habit. But pretty soon, my thought process adjusted itself to accept the in-canvas display and I almost never use the dialog boxes now. My eyes simply follow the mouse cursor and everything gets done in the graphics window itself. Autodesk just made Inventor (and its other products) a lot easier to use.

Speaking about the new visualization features of Inventor Buzz said, “We asked ourselves: why should a $5000 product have worse graphics than a $50 video game?” The visualization team at Autodesk deserves a pat on their back for a job well done. Take a look at these images and you will know why. Click the images for larger views.

This is a picture I took from the Digital Engineering presentation

This is another picture of the engine placed within a scene

These pictures do not look that stunning since they were captured from my camera. The following pictures are from the press kit handed out to the media. Note that these pictures are not renderings, but real time views that can be navigated around. Simply stunning. I strongly suggest that you click the images to open them in a new window. Zoom to full size if your browser automatically scales to fit.