Design Engineering

What’s new in Autodesk Product Design Suite 2014

By Mark Flayler, ImaginIT Technologies   

CAD/CAM/CAE Autodesk CAD design Imaginit Technologies Innovation Inventor Mark Flayler

IMAGINiT’s Mark Flayler looks at Autodesk Raster Design, Recap and all the changes to the latest Design Suite lineup.

In this article, I’ll take a look at what has changed in the Product Design Suite as far as Suite composition and what it means to you.

To begin with, in the Standard Suite, we now have Raster Design and the newly re-branded and super awesome reality capture product called Autodesk Recap. You might need a graphics card update for your OpenGL on this one; it’s not DirectX like our beloved Inventor. So what do these two products do?

Raster Design
Make the most of raster images, maps, aerial photos, satellite imagery, and digital elevation models. With powerful raster editing and raster-to-vector conversion tools, AutoCAD Raster Design software helps you to easily clean up, edit, enhance, and maintain scanned drawings and plans in a familiar AutoCAD software environment.

Basically awesome for getting those old prints out of the file cabinet, digitizing them, and removing those unsightly coffee stains that might have accrued over the years. It’s not a raster to vector silver bullet though, so enjoy your testing with it. At the very least, it’s great to get those old paper drawings in digital form in AutoCAD.


Autodesk Recap
Autodesk ReCap delivers powerful and easy to use workflow on the desktop and in the cloud to create intelligent 3D models from laser scans and captured photos. Rather than beginning with a blank sheet, Autodesk ReCap now enables any designer, architect or engineer to add, modify, validate and document their design process in context from existing environments.

This one is for you scanner folks out there that need to make some 3D models with your LEICA or FARO scanners to get the model in Inventor quickly and efficiently. You see this used in the Manufacturing sector a little more with getting accurate as builts after a scan is taken of the installation of a piece of equipment or if you are given a scan to reference in your planning of the initial equipment.

So what’s new with the Product Design Suite Premium? Well, now you have Inventor Professional instead of just Inventor Routed Systems. Yay! Now we get to use all of Inventor instead of begging the Ultimate users to get out of the software so you could run a quick FEA or Simulation as well as the ability to push to the cloud Optimization service.

And Ultimate? Well we get a small update to Navisworks Manage instead of just Navisworks Simulate. I always saw a lot of potential for just the Simulate product without having to go to Manage though. The inclusion of the larger Navisworks grants users the ability to do clash detection with conglomerated models sets and points clouds from Recap though, so it does make sense.
Here is a feature list for quick reference…


On a personal note, I am still dismayed that Inventor Publisher is not in the Suite as well as the removal of Mudbox from everything but the Ultimate Suite. Here’s hoping next year or that the Inventor Publisher cloud technology preview shows itself sometime this year as something more than a tech preview.

Other things you will notice this year is that Inventor Fusion is not in the installer either, that because Fusion 360 has taken off quite well and is in a very rapid development cycle with a large beta test and ever growing community. It always seemed odd to me that they would package a Technology Preview with the Suites in the first place.
Anyway, give Fusion 360 a whirl; it is using some really awesome technology that blows away the old Fusion. You will see some T-Splines technology in there as well as some tech from the HSM Works acquisition for CAD/CAM (but it’s not there yet).

This article originally appeared on IMAGINiT’s Manufacturing Solutions blog.

markflayler_ImaginitMark Flayler is an application engineer with IMAGINiT Technologies, specializing in manufacturing environments. He is also PSE and ATC certified in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, Autodesk Data Management and Autodesk Inventor.


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