On Twitter, DEVELOP3D co-founder Al Dean explains why it is a mistake for Autodesk to limit running its generative design software on a cloud service:
So here’s the thing with this. Autodesk’s Generative Design tools run in the cloud, its rationalization being that it needs parallel computation and it needs collaboration.
The issue is that this is going to restrict experimentation -- experimentation that’s vital in both an industrial and an educational context. (It’s unlikely to be made available in Fusion Educational licenses.)
There’s also the fact that Autodesk say they need to recoup the costs of that computation. That’s entirely their decision.
Autodesk’s Generative Design tools run on GPUs, specifically CUDA. GPUs are cheap. Folks could stack out a machine and do the computation on their own hardware -- as they do now for rendering and viz[ulization].
My personal belief is that it’s a huge error on Autodesk’s part, and one that I doubt they’ll correct any time soon. </rant>
As a reference point, all other CAD vendors to offer generative design do so via desktop software, proving that no cloud is needed. Generative design from Autodesk is available through Fusion 360 Ultimate. https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/compare#generative-design