When most people think of Autodesk, they probably think of the rapidly growing collection of design software and service solutions for engineering, architecture, manufacturing, and construction. These areas of activity date back to the inception of the company in 1982. They all quickly turned to the company’s first product, AutoCAD, which took advantage of the advent of the desktop computer to create the program. most successful computer-aided design. in the world. Today, almost 40 years later, Autodesk is a multi-billion dollar company, with annual sales of $ 3.8 billion and net income of $ 1.2 billion.
So far, Autodesk has grown by developing its own new design tools and acquiring companies that have developed others. But where does the business go from here?
The first thing to know is that it has spread beyond those roots of engineering design into areas such as media, entertainment, and even water management. So while Autodesk always helps manufacturers like SRAM and Hyundai do some super cool things like reinventing bike crank design and designing the ultimate mobility vehicle, it also helps the folks at LAIKA Studios make their films.
The most important thing to know is that at Autodesk the focus is now on knitting everything together. “What you’ll hear a lot about here is the platform approach, with Forge tying all the data together,” said Scott Reese, executive vice president of product design and manufacturing solutions at the ‘business. “We will leverage AI to automate the creation of drawings from data and to automatically create G code for production machines. We’ll also use generative design to digitize processes and access a push-button workshop. Forge is Autodesk’s cloud-based development platform, and Generative Design is a set of algorithms within the company’s Fusion 360 design software that allows engineers and designers to enter required parameters. and run thousands of design iterations to generate optimal solutions.
“Forge isn’t new, it’s been around for a long time,” added Andrew Anagnost, President and CEO of Autodesk. “Forge will play an increasingly important role in everything our customers do and in our various piles. The journey consists of creating a collaborative relationship between the user and the machine.
It’s a bold vision that will affect every platform and revamp the way customers interact with technology and create new designs. “We’re going to automate everything a machine shop does,” Reese said. “Then, the convergence of our different areas of activity becomes exciting. We will apply manufacturing automation to construction and all of our other areas. For example, we will use generative planning wherever time is critical. Generative Planning uses machine learning to automatically produce optimized project schedules, and comes from Autodesk’s ShotGrid platform, a cloud-based production tracking, review, and asset management suite that was originally intended for the entertainment industry. A key part of the company’s vision for the future is to leverage its many tools and platforms that have been designed for particular industry segments to serve all of its disparate customers.
“We talk a lot about the convergence of all of these tools,” said Jim Lynch, senior vice president and general manager of Autodesk Construction Solutions, whose team is focused on improving the way construction teams work. buildings connect and use data throughout their project lifecycle, with the goals of reducing costs and improving construction predictability and sustainability.. Industrialize construction by applying design and manufacturing techniques to the built environment, linking construction processes together, is a great way to do it. “Autodesk is truly in a unique position to help industrialize construction, using our tools like Autodesk Construction Cloud, Fusion 360 and Inventor to reduce waste and build faster and more efficiently. Because the construction is so complex, there are a lot of intricacies in its processes. We want to enable a better future for construction by connecting these processes, the people and the data that underpin them. Our studies show that around 50% of rework in construction is due to poor data and communication. Fixing this will save billions.
Diana Colella, senior vice president of entertainment and media solutions, echoed Lynch’s insights. “There is a convergence of technology happening,” she said. “Game engines are used in design and manufacturing and in architecture, engineering and construction, all for visualization. We have now started to share technology between our companies.
“We help our customers cross digital boundaries,” said Amy Bunszel, executive vice president of architecture, engineering and construction design at Autodesk. “We are helping them enter the digital age. We start by automating manual processes and then move on to digitization – automating mundane tasks, for example. The emphasis is on results-based design. We understand the importance of choices. The construction is rich in targets, with enormous waste. Offsite assembly can help and also improves safety. We help them achieve longer lasting and more resilient results.
This emphasis on sustainability is obviously not unique to Autodesk. Joe Speicher, Head of Sustainability, sees the company’s holistic technology approach as a benefit not only for increasing sales, but also as a way to help his customers in their sustainability efforts. “Our customers design and build the world,” he said. “It’s very likely that a company’s product has gone through an Autodesk tool. The industries we serve are associated with very high CO emissions2 emissions. We have a disproportionate influence in this space – we can help you. Autodesk as a company recognizes that for the future of the industry we need to consider climate change, work, inequality, etc. We are building a data infrastructure to include carbon impacts, with learning and training opportunities. Autodesk has a tool in their specific Revit building information modeling software, Total Carbon. It combines Revit data with open source energy analysis and materials carbon data, in the cloud, to provide insight into a project’s embodied carbon from design to construction and operation.
“The future we imagine is everywhere and for everyone,” said Anagnost. “Our goal is to offer maximum flexibility and accessibility to our solutions. As Autodesk will continue to seek further acquisitions and partnerships that will expand the range of tools and platforms it offers, a key driver of its future growth will be in the expanded use of platforms. existing, facilitated by advancements in centralized data management through AI and machine learning.