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‘Flexible Software Delivery’ becomes Autodesk’s buzzword of the week

Published 21 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

Cleverly upgrading their subscriber services in the same week that Solidworks have managed to anger some of their customers, AutoCAD’s new two-pronged delivery system should have software updates into the eager hands of designers quicker and with less fuss.

In the same way that Microsoft Office gives you the option to upgrade when new feature packs are available, AutoCAD products now promise customers earlier access to new features, delivered on demand.

Subscription bonus packs containing new software features are currently available through the AutoCAD subscription centre, and are to be released on a regular basis. Meanwhile product updates will be automatically delivered to all licensed users, giving access to updated patches and fixes.

Subscription accounts for around three-quarters of AutoCAD users, and with this easier way of picking and choosing the upgrades you want it should make the most of Autodesk’s vision of a truly customisable software.

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Photoview 360 gets competitive

Published 21 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solidworks, photoview 360

As the Solidworks marketing machine for Photoview 360 continues to build up steam, having already announced a preview version available for download, a new contest for early users has opened.

The competition, which closes on September 5, offers the lucky winner not only “the fame and recognition of having your image posted to our gallery,” but they will also, “send you an item from our catalog of Solidworks promotional items.” Yes, you too could be the darling of the Solidworks user forums as you sip coffee from your official Solidworks mug.

On a brighter note, the contest rules allow entrants to stamp their entry with their name, products used or a company logo. All types of images are welcome, from architectural renderings, product shots, and engineering visualizations, to graphic design, game development, broadcast or film.

Entries must be posted onto the Photoview discussion thread and created using Photoview 360 only.

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Plastic fantastic

Published 18 August 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: inventor, plastic features technology

A nifty preview of Inventor’s Plastic Features Technology has been offered up on Autodesk Labs, giving users the chance to experiment with new technologies for simpler plastic product design.

Designers and engineers alike will be able to create thin-walled plastic parts as design tools simplify the addition of features like grills, bosses, snaps, and lips to a design.

The release comes as a result of Autodesk’s work over the last few years to strengthen their position in plastics, what Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions, has called “one of the fastest-growing engineering materials.”

By acquiring PlassoTech last year Autodesk have added advanced product simulation technology and Moldflow injection moulding simulation technology to Inventor’s armoury.

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NVIDIA launches GPU based ray tracing at Siggraph

Published 14 August 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: visualisation, nvidia, gpu, showcase, ray tracing.

NVIDIA has announced that it can calculate ray traced imagery on the fly using its GPUs, claiming an industry first. Based purely on NVIDIA GPU technology, the ray tracer shows “linear scaling rendering of a highly complex, two-million polygon, anti-aliased automotive styling application.” if you want to get down and dirty, then the image shown here was displayed at three bounces, performance was demonstrated at up to 30 frames per second (fps) at HD resolutions of 1920x1080 for an image-based lighting paint shader, ray traced shadows, and reflections and refractions running on four next-generation Quadro GPUs in an NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2100 D4 Visual Computing System (VCS).

Now, I know ray tracing is incredibly complex and calc heavy, but, really, if this is an industry first, shouldn’t these images look better? I guess my point is that whether its full ray tracing, or fudged (some systems, like Autodesk Showcase, have some tricks to get over the calc hurdle), I think today’s users expect more in terms of depth of realism.

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