Okay, here are are in the boardroom in Lake O-something just south of Portland OR USA. This is the world headquarters for the MCAD division of Autodesk. Buzz Kross is just now starting the day with his introductory remarks:
"3D is not enough," he start off. "3D is not spectacular; it's just the price of entry." What's important, he says, is digital prototyping: simulation, industrial design, engineering, manufacturing,and so on.
Figure: Describing new features of Inventor 2011 -- in Buzz Kross' office (That is not Buzz).
The 27 of us media from around the world are split up into four groups. My group's first session is on digital simulation. We are being told that simulation is too expensive, and so Autodesk wants every designer to be able to use simulation -- fluid flow, motion, injection molding, frame analysis, multi-physics, mold fill, design calculators, assembly simulation, optimization, and mechanical events.
What's Inside? Goody Bag
Well, there were no iPads in the goody bags handed to journalists by Autodesk marketing people this morning, but in the small reusable shopping bag there was the Inventor 2011 DVD software, 1GB USB key, a notebook made of recycled paper, and pen (not made of recycled plastic).
Deelip Menezes, however, reports he almost bought an iPad last night at a nearby Apple store, but then decided against it. One journalist here has a Windows-based tablet PC sans keyboard.
AutoCAD 2011 Session
We are getting the overview of AutoCAD and its verticals -- and the ability to exchange data between Autodesk's incompatible software, Inventor, Revit, AutoCAD, Alias, etc.
Getting rid of dialog boxes, which block the drawing, moving them to the ribbon -- in Mechanical, not so much in AutoCAD.
"DWG is the currency for exchanging design data." Demo uses XML to exchange documentation (not design) data between AutoCAD Electrical and Inventor.
20,000 new AutoCAD Mechanical customers a year.
Photo below shows the demo guy using a Wacom tablet to sketch with Alias Sketch inside AutoCAD 2011. (Sketch is a $500 plug in.) This ain't Acad v1.4 anymore!
New spline option of the old Sketch command is meant for use with tablets. Although multi-touch is implemented in AutoCAD 2011, it is not yet turned on.
Yup, Autodesk has a couple of iPads sitting here on the conference table, but they're being ignored for the most part. (See photo below.) Point is to show off Alias Sketch for the ipad.
We realize that SolidWorks needs to resurrect Cosmic Blobs software on the iPad.
For more coverage of this event, see next Monday's upFront.eZine.
[Disclosure: Autodesk provided me with hotel accommodation, meals, and corporate gifts.]