One of the themes at Autodesk University 2012 here in Las Vegas is "working in a connected world." I recall during the First Internet Boom of the late 1990s when "collaboration" was so over-used by CAD vendors that we in the media began calling it the "C word," because we got so sick of hearing about it over and over.
So here we are, more than a decade later, and apparently the collaboration problem never got solved, just renamed as connected. Autodesk this morning at the keynote address is claiming that we all suffer from "connectivity schizophrenia". This is where we are all well-connected in our personal lives, but not in our professional lives. Clearly, whoever came up with that one doesn't know about our household, where it is the other way around.
Two Big MCAD Announcements this Morning
The two big MCAD announcements both involve the cloud, but the two different kinds. First, from Germany, Geomagic announced Spark, which combines their 3D point cloud processing software with SpaceCaim. The combination lets you go from point cloud to assemblies in one package priced at $10,000, and ships at the end of January, 2013. http://www.geomagic.com/en/products/spark/overview
That's one kind of cloud connectivity. The other is Fusion 360 announced by Autodesk this morning in Las Vegas. It does free-form modeling, surfaces, and solids, and has a user interface that adapts to user-experience level. There is mention of it running on Macs and PCs, and beng asissted by cloud processing. Price and shipping date not announced, other than "term" pricing and being available next year. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=20884205&siteID=123112
CEO Carl Bass
Carl Bass quickly introduced new software, two of which were announced yesterday: FormIt, Infrastructure Modeler (combines data from models, GIS, and raster, and then creates drivethroughs of road projects), and Fusion 360. He also mentioned BIM 360 as "BIM in the field." I wonder how it compares with TurboSite?
He does not, however, give any details on new software, just running over lightly all their cloud apps. This is disappointing, as it would have been nice to see a few minutes of each one in action.
"We are the first company to provide professional tools that are cloud based to do the entire projects, " he summarizes. To conclude, he addresses the concerns of cloud skeptics inadequately, and fails to address the issue of data integrity, where data leaves the design frm for destinations unknown with no guarantee of protection. (Surprisingly, he uses the long-discredited online banking analogy.) The fellow sitting next to me mutters, "Every firm I know implementing cloud software does it on private servers. They don't trust data leaving their premises."