by Roopinder Tara, Tenlinks.com
If you've been listening to CEO Carl Bass, Autodesk would have to be looking for a company that would help the future generations, kids and their adult-ish counterparts, the makers.
The company, lock-step behind its leader, is embracing new business models:
- Design apps -- not monolithic software on archaic workstations, but apps for mobile devices
- Cloud-based, preferably
And helping design is just getting started. Let's make things, they say. But in a new way. Let's make what you (the consumer) wants to make, be it a copy of a sculpture you like, some furniture, something frivolous, a replacement for the knob that broke off your oven...
The company with its overabundance of design tools seemed to be itching to help the entire population hold in its hands whatever may have popped into its head, but was lacking the design-engineering-manufacturing-financial skills-resources expertise.
No worries: Autodesk was going to make it happen. Mass customization. The very democratization of creation. It had to be simple enough for any person off the street. Autodesk would just have to buy a 3D printing company, right?
On November 6, Autodesk announced it would be buying Delcam, old school CAM at its finest. Picture metal shavings on shop floors, and skilled machinists running hulking metal cutting machines. Delcam is a market leader in mainstream CAM.
Even with the fanciest multi-axis CNC set up, the state of the art in subtractive machining, is basically the way things were always made. Metal maybe have given way to plastic. More parts today are made from composites for which no surface machining is required.
But the latest generation doesn't even want-need any of that. They want to hit a button, and see the part come out.
Even five years ago, it would have surprised no one if Big CAD bought Big CAM. But today, different ways of making things has all of us in rapt attention: 3D printing everything from guns to livers is capturing the public's attention, and advancements show promise of 3D printing in real manufacturing.
It is a promise from which Autodesk seems to have diverted.
[Reprinted with permission of CAD Insider.]