AU2008 Day 2: Notso Live*

Published 04 December 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: rendering, visualisation, autodesk inventor, autodesk showcase, mudbox, mould design, multitouch, concept models, design review

It seems people just love watching badly recorded videos of technology products. So here’s some more for you - be warned, these are the worst of the bunch in terms of motion-sickness-inducing-quality, but there’s some good content there.

#1: Autodesk has been planning some form of mould design tool for many many years. Things got accelerated in the last two years that should see some interesting things coming out. Firstly, the plastics parts design tool, which feature the same core technology developed by ImpactXoft’s founder, Attilio Rimoldi that was perhaps best known as Functional Design in the Catia world. This lets you create intelligent components which maintain design intent in terms of thin walls for injection moulded parts, no matter how you build the feature set that describe that geometry. Alongside this, the dev team has built a pretty full looking set of mould design tools, that runs the gamut of core/cavity design, mould stack creation, gates, runners, slides etc as well as that all important documentation. What’s interesting is that this has been on Alpha test in China for quite some time, having the corners knocked off it and from vaguely recollected discussions last year, the idea was to prove it out in China before releasing it globally - looks like its coming…

#2: Showcase + Inventor: Showcase is an intriguing product. It’s currently used mostly in the Automotive industry, but the potential (read: if they lower the price) is massive across a much wider spread of the 3D using spectrum. It looks like a rendering/visualisation tool. Which is correct. You can set-up the scenes, assign materials, take advantage of HDR images for scenery set-up. But the real value is in the way that you can create presentations (in terms of camera movements around your object) to focus on points of a design (saved as Snapshots), alternatives for colour schemes. With that additional functionality, it moves beyond rendering and enables design review, presentation and exploration. It seems like Autodesk are prepping an Inventor integration (presumably standalone) that lets that user community jump all over this stuff and use it. What’s also interesting is that the there’s recently been the addition of ‘real-time’ rendering too (leveraging tech from the Opticore aquisition) that adds progressive rendering ala PhotoView360 and HyperShot et al.

And finally…

A few photos from AU2008 and the Design Matters showcase of products developed using Autodesk products - this is one of my favourite parts of any user event. You connect much more with the technology when you see what its used for. Oh and the last one is from Autodesk Labs - Multitouch + Mudbox

Series of detail parts from the Shelby Cobra GT500

Sweet Architectural Model - San Francisco’s Cathedral of Light

Hollow body Surfboard from 42 Surfboards: Built using sustainably harvested wood and designed in Inventor.

These two show the Super Bee concept car by Chrysler. It was a lovely concept model, but I don’t think you can beat the original Coronet Super Bee.

Love that they reused the same iconic graphic

This is pretty cool - HP TouchSmart machine + Autodesk Mudbox. This machine is $1600 + has fully functional touchscreen interaction capability.

* I left AU this morning and I’m now firmly ensconced in Exton, Pennsylvania, seeing the Femap team at Siemens PLM

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