Autodesk Inventor is generally used by engineers in mechanical design, and was available for $2,500 a year through the company’s website.
Autodesk’s senior director of manufacturing business strategy, Stephen Hooper, told Engineering.com that the company would now include Nastran and HSMWorks in an Inventor suite.
Nastran is the physics simulation software which started out as Nasa Structural Analysis, and was bought by Autodesk in 2014.
Autodesk was previously offering Nastran for $3,500.
HSMWorks is computer-aided manufacturing software which Autodesk was previously selling – or renting – for approximately $4,000 a year.
So, as a result of the new Autodesk package, customers who get Inventor for $2,500 a year will save themselves $7,500 a year by getting both Nastran and HSMWorks free.
This means that the software package provides all the tools needed for development, from design and simulation right through to sending output data to the computer numerical control computer, which can then operate the machine and produce the individual parts required.
Moreover, according to Engineering.com, Autodesk will give Inventor customers access to a number of other applications, including: 3DSMax, Factory Design Utilities, Vault, ReCap, and perhaps others.
It’s possible that this is Autodesk’s way of promoting its Fusion software, the company’s cloud-based product lifecycle management suite.
While Autodesk AutoCAD has been dominant in the architectural and, to a lesser extent, the engineering professions, the company is lagging behind in the PLM market.
Siemens Teamcenter software is said to be the PLM market leader, with almost 3,000 companies having installed the application suite, and Dassault Systemes Enovia is said to be second, with almost 2,000 installations.