Autodesk & Amazon: Reshaping Design and Engineering in the Cloud

Categories: Architecture Engineering Generative design Custom Manufacturing

At Autodesk, we have long appreciated the cloud’s broad connectivity paired with its raw computing power and lower costs. To put it simply: the cloud changes everything. It’s changing and reshaping the entire business landscape, and it’s changing the way the world is designed and made.

Autodesk, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), has been at the forefront of adoption as cloud computing growth has exploded. Six years ago, we launched AutoCAD 360, a web and mobile CAD app that enables millions of users to create, modify and view over 600,000 unique drawings a month.

Autodesk Tinkercad, our entry level cloud 3D modeling platform open to users of all ages, has more than 25 million designs created with an average of 50,000+ being added every day. And users upload more than 1.5 million files to our cloud collaboration platform A360 on a daily basis.

While few would dispute Autodesk has led the design and engineering software industry to the cloud, we’ve certainly had some help. For example, our cloud applications leveraged Amazon Web Services (AWS) to scale to meet customer demand.

Autodesk has long tapped into the AWS Cloud to fuel some of the most resource-intensive applications taking place on the cloud in a manner that is secure, highly available and accessible instantly from anywhere around the world.

With the help of AWS, our customers can essentially “rent” computing resources as needed – scaling compute up or down based on demand. Designers and engineers across numerous industries only pay for what they use. Need a single Web server for an hour or two to test out the user interface of a design collaboration app? All yours. Need the equivalent of a supercomputer for several days to calculate some flow dynamics associated with a new airplane? No problem.

And even the most daunting cloud task will have a price tag orders of magnitudes less than the one associated with actually owning and operating the equivalent datacenter infrastructure. This puts more money back into the business, so that customers can innovate more, expand faster, and are better positioned to take advantage of new opportunities. For a wide swath of industries, this ready availability of low- or no-cost computing can change everything about the way they do business. For example:

  • Airbus and Autodesk collaborated to design and make the world’s largest 3D printed airplane cabin component to date – dubbed the “bionic partition”. Using generative design, the bionic partition was created with custom algorithms made possible by the AWS Cloud that generated a design that mimics cellular structure and bone growth, and then produced using additive manufacturing techniques. This pioneering design and manufacture process renders the structure stronger and more light-weight than would be possible using traditional processes.
  • JE Dunn Construction is a leading provider of construction management services, design-build, and integrated project delivery. Key to JE Dunn’s success is the innovative use of the AWS Cloud, specifically with Autodesk BIM360, to enable true collaboration with team members on major commercial projects.

“From the super computer-like capabilities driving every design, validation, rendering and sharing of data, to the infrastructure on which the future of Autodesk is being built, AWS has played an instrumental role,” said Amar Hanspal, SVP of Products at Autodesk. “We look forward to continued innovation together in the future, and our Forge platform holds exciting possibilities for that ongoing collaboration.”

The Autodesk Forge platform is a set of cloud services that connects design, engineering, visualization, collaboration, production and operations workflows. Small and large software developers alike are using Forge to build intuitive cloud-powered applications, services and experiences for the people making the world around us.

To learn more about the collaboration, tune into: