Autodesk's Plans For Inventor Fusion

Today Buzz Kross, head of Autodesk’s Manufacturing Division, disclosed a couple of things he intends to do with Inventor Fusion, the standalone application created by Autodesk as part of its Direct Modeling solution to Inventor.

Inventor Fusion will be shipped along with AutoCAD for free. I believe this is an excellent move. This puts powerful and easy to use 3D capability right into the hands of 2D AutoCAD users. They do not need to look anywhere else for 3D.

In a post titled “AutoCAD Fusion” which I published a year and a half ago, I wrote:

“I don’t believe the purpose of Inventor Fusion is to make people switch from SolidWorks or Solid Edge. Rather it will be more effective as a deterrent for preventing AutoCAD users from looking to other CAD vendors for solutions to adopt 3D in their work flow.”

Inventor Fusion will be the application that will be targeted to the “Do It Yourself” market. In my last post I mentioned that Autodesk was interested in going after the large DIY market. These people are not very CAD literate, if at all. So giving then a history based parametric modeling system like Inventor may not be the best way to go about it. Inventor Fusion seems to be the perfect solution for them. But Fusion does not have drawing capabilities. When I asked Buzz about that he smiled and replied, “You’ll see“.

People in the DIY market are extremely cost conscious. So Autodesk will need to come up with a price point that appeals to them. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As I mentioned earlier, the DIY market is of interest to low cost CAD vendors like Alibre, Punch Software and similar. Alibre Design Personal is priced at $99 and so is VIACAD 2D/3D. Does this mean that Autodesk will price Fusion (or whatever it will be called then) at $99? I don’t know.

I also feel that one company that should be worried about this move by Autodesk is SpaceClaim, a company that is going after Engineers trying to sell them their CAD system to do design modifications quickly and easily so that they can run their simulation and analysis on the models without having to go back to the CAD people. Autodesk already has Algor for FEA and MoldFlow for CFD. Plugging these technologies into Fusion will be an easy task for Autodesk. Fusion can and will be a direct competitor to SpaceClaim Engineer.