Remarkable changes are happening in the manufacturing industry. The global pandemic – and subsequent macroeconomic volatility – exposed weaknesses across the manufacturing ecosystem. Manufacturers have been forced to realign and reimagine their supply chains in real time. Coupled with increasing consumer demands, a growing skills gap, and the unprecedented pace of technology change, these challenges leave manufacturers feeling uncertain about the future.

And yet, despite these challenges – or perhaps because of them – manufacturing continues to grow globally. Out of constraints comes innovation.

The last few years have made one thing clear: to capitalize on this growth and to stay competitive, manufacturers must adopt digital technologies. The cloud, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) offer the opportunity for companies to not just manage but thrive amidst this uncertainty.

At Autodesk, we have always been a leader in transformational technology shifts. Autodesk Fusion launched 10 years ago with a vision of unifying the siloed product design and manufacturing process, and we continue to invest in delivering that vision. We have unified design, simulation, electronics, manufacturing, and factory operations into one fluid environment for every size of business. And we’re not done yet.

Last year, we introduced our Fusion industry cloud for manufacturing. Anchored on our Design and Make Platform, this end-to-end, connected solution will unify people, data, technologies, and workflows from product design to manufacturing, all the way through to shop floor operations.

Fusion industry cloud: a powerful solution to streamline entire design and make workflows

Fusion transforms the way organizations design and make by removing barriers caused by disconnected tools that inhibit the flow of information across teams. The first of its kind – integrating CAD, CAM, CAE, and PCB design capabilities, and connecting PLM, PDM, and MES solutions – Fusion streamlines processes across the entire product development and manufacturing lifecycle.

Whereas manufacturers traditionally relied on multiple tools throughout different phases of product development, necessitating multiple handoffs from one team to another, Fusion brings it all together. Changes made in one workflow are instantly reflected everywhere. No one works with outdated models. Everyone saves time and headaches.

Autodesk’s data model, which is the heart of Fusion, makes this possible. Leveraging our cloud-based data model, customers can automate and streamline their workflows. Autodesk AI uses the same cloud data to eliminate repetitive tasks and free people up for higher-value, creative work.

Today, data flows between Revit and Inventor, Inventor and Fusion, and Inventor and AutoCAD. And our Autodesk data model APIs mean partners and third-party developers can also build for Fusion.

AI from the design studio to the shop floor

Fusion continues to harness the power of AI for our customers across every phase of the product development lifecycle. It’s in our DNA. We were the first to introduce generative design for manufacturing in Fusion more than six years ago. We are now unlocking all kinds of opportunities to automate repetitive processes, analyze shop floor operations, and augment creativity using AI.

Generative AI technology that augments the work of industrial designers will debut in Autodesk’s automotive design studio tools.

  • Generative AI for conceptual design
    Autodesk recently acquired BlankAI, bringing us industry-leading generative AI technology that augments the work of industrial designers, enabling them to create 3D concepts in milliseconds. Initially debuting in our automotive design studio tools, the technology pulls from a company’s libraries of past work to rapidly generate new concepts that build on existing design styles and guidelines.

Fusion will provide the ability to create fully dimensioned 2D drawings from 3D models with the click of a button.

  • Automated Drawings
    One of the most time-consuming areas in product design is documentation. This largely procedural, non-value-adding task can occupy up to 80 percent of a skilled engineer’s time. Not anymore. By the end of the year, we will launch Automated Drawings in Fusion to translate 3D models into fully dimensioned drawings with the click of a button.

The CloudNC CAM Assist Automation Add-in for Fusion translates 3D models of 3-axis components into machining strategies in seconds.

  • Automated toolpaths
    Fusion streamlines data exchange with industry-leading partners, enabling technologies to work together seamlessly. One example is the CloudNC add-in for AI-powered CNC toolpath automation. CloudNC sees customers reduce tool programming times by up to 80 percent.

Expanding functionality through partnerships and acquisitions

We’re excited to share news around capabilities that increase Fusion’s value and improve design and make workflows.

  • Cadence: We’re working with Cadence, the leader in electronic systems design tools for everything from integrated circuits to printed circuit boards. Our integration as part of the Autodesk Platform ecosystem connects Cadence’s PCB design capabilities directly to Fusion, enabling data to flow in both directions.
  • Acquisition of FlexSim: Autodesk has signed a definitive agreement to acquire FlexSim, a provider of discrete event simulation technology that enables factory and logistics center operators to optimize their production processes. FlexSim powers a key link between factory design data and operational data. It helps with everything from planning and designing, to building and operating a digital factory. Autodesk brings together strengths in factory operations, building design, and construction solutions.

The Configurations capabilities in Fusion provide the ability to create and manage multiple design variations from a single, unified model, bringing unprecedented flexibility to design and manufacturing workflows.

  • Configurations: The powerful new configurations capabilities in Fusion enable the creation of multiple product variants early in the development cycle, without the pain and overhead of multiple file versions. Each new configuration does not produce a massive, new file. Instead, changes are recorded in a single cloud database, making them faster to load, easier to navigate, and easier to manage.

Rivian gains competitive advantage

This new way of working is already delivering a competitive advantage to Rivian, and other companies like it.

To create an entirely new vehicle, Rivian approached the design and make process in a new way. In addition to using Fusion for rapid design and prototyping of parts, and Autodesk Revit for design of its facilities, Rivian combines Autodesk Alias design tools with virtual reality from Autodesk VRED to give its distributed teams an immersive design review experience.

Using the cloud to make effortless data connections across an entire design and manufacturing organization increases operational efficiencies, boosting agility, innovation and creativity.

An increasingly powerful Fusion offering

Fusion is more capable and more valuable today than ever before.

We are rebalancing the price of Fusion and its extensions to reflect the additional capabilities and customer feedback on the value of our offerings. Full details of these changes are available on the Fusion Blog. As always, you have our commitment to ensure Fusion delivers the best possible design and manufacturing solutions at unprecedented value.

These are just a few of the updates we’re sharing at AU. To get a full picture of how we’re building the Fusion industry cloud to power your manufacturing teams, I invite you to join us for our keynotes, theater talks, and classes.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding Autodesk AI and the Autodesk Design and Make Platform and are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future availability of products, services, or features but merely reflect our current plans based on factors currently known to us. Further information on potential factors that could affect the financial results of Autodesk are included in Autodesk’s Form 10-K and subsequent Forms 10-Q, which are on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Autodesk disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements provided to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.