Autodesk Inc. on Friday rolled out its new package of manufacturing software and services, highlighted by beefier built-in data management capabilities that let customers get a better handle on complex model data in a multiple-user environment.
In addition, the company introduced updates to some of its 2D modeling applications.
Company officials said the products featuring Autodesk Vault design data management include Autodesk Inventor Series 8 software, the companys flagship 3D mechanical design product, and Autodesk Inventor Professional 8 software, which contains add-on applications for specific manufacturing design tasks, such as piping and tubing.
The Autodesk Vault tool is based upon Microsoft Data Engine technology, a lightweight and desktop version of Microsofts SQL Server.
"We recognize that our customers cant afford to have something introduced in their (design) process that forces them to stop doing what theyre doing," said Andrew Anagnost, senior director of product and solutions management for the San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesk. "So what were introducing data management as a feature of the product."
In addition, Anagnost said a clear trend gaining steam in the manufacturing world towards 3-D design models is largely responsible for the improvements to 2D Autodesk software, including AutoCAD Mechanical 2004 DX, AutoDesk Streamline 5.3 and AutoCAD Electrical 2004.
Autodesk improved AutoCAD Electrical to allow output to Autodesk Inventor Professional, allowing users to build a wire harness linking 2D and 3D models.
Similarly, AutoCAD Mechanical, used for mechanical design automation, can read and conduct model drawings in 3D models from AutoDesk Inventor. According to Anagnost, links between the products will be associated, so that any 3D model changes will be reflected automatically on drawn AutoCAD mechanical updates.
The latest version of Autodesks online collaboration service, Autodesk Streamline 5.3, offers integration with Autodesk Vault, globalization for non-English languages, and offline viewing enhancements.