Behind the Scenes at Autodesk

A visit to the software developer’s San Francisco facilities reveals a company that is focused not only on unlocking designers’ creative potential, but also ensuring effective translation of ideas to reality.


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Learn more about my colleague's recent trip to Autodesk.

The design phase of any project is just that: a phase. Even the best concept is for naught if it can’t be effectively translated to reality. Software developer Autodesk not only understands that concept, but is actively seeking new opportunities in streamlining the transition from CAD model to finished product. For evidence of that, look no further than the company’s recent purchase of Delcam, a major player in the CAM industry, as well as the recent commercial availability of Inventor HSM, which generates toolpaths directly within the company’s Inventor design software.

This focus was also on full display during a visit to the software developer’s San Francisco facilities a few weeks ago. For example, one new building (opened in fall of 2013) featured a hands-on workshop dedicated to furthering the understanding of the interface between software and hardware. Beyond that, the visit demonstrated that going from concept to reality is a concern that transcends manufacturing. Displays of the company’s products being employed in industries ranging from architecture to entertainment revealed just how ubiquitous advanced design software has become in our daily lives.

Of course, it’s important to mention that this is all based on second-hand information—yours truly sat this one out. Rather, my colleague Chris Felix attended the tour as a representative of Gardner Business Media’s entire metalworking group (which includes this publication as well as Modern Machine Shop and Production Machining, where Chris is senior editor). For more information, see his full report.