SAN FRANCISCO, CA - The main story told to the assembled at Autodesk’s dream workshop in San Francisco's waterfront was HSMWorks for Inventor. I'm too distracted by HSMWorks' start as a SolidWorks CAM add-on, but I have to pay attention. Autodesk is telling us they have kick-ass CAM for Inventor. And that they are serious about CAM. I figured that after they bought Delcam, but they are not even mentioning Delcam this day.
So ingrained is the idea of Autodesk as a CAD company that I have to remind myself that Autodesk has become a design, manufacturing and analysis conglomerate. On the software side. $300M in acquisitions has made it a major player in CAE. $276M to buy Delcam (see press release, Nov 7, 2013) makes it a top tier CAM vendor. Having covered CAD, CAM and CAE on the professional side, Autodesk intends to be there for the next generation of “makers,” those tinkerers, kids who when they grow up, are going to be using a hundred free or cheap apps on their iPads … or whatever they have then, all courtesy of Autodesk’s hyperactive Autodesk Labs.
"We may be #3 in CAM with our Delcam acquisition, but wait," says Carl White, director of Autodesk CAM, pointing to the fractured CAM market in which the leader, Dassault, commands only 10% of the total $1.8B*.
And why stop with kids? Autodesk has been courting the consumer. For consumer making their own 3D self portrait, custom shoes, replacement parts –Autodesk is positioning itself for them. If it’s software and 3D Systems hasn’t already bought it, you can bet Autodesk is interested.
But world domination is not the story today, either. Focus. This day was about HSMWorks, which may very well be a good start in providing Autodesk credibility as a CAM vendor.
*Autodesk cites CIMData 2013 NC Market Analysis Report