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Digital Prototyping Feature

Digital Prototyping Trumps PLM: An Interview with Autodesk VP Andrew Anagnost

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Full article is available for a fee

Rachael Dalton-Taggart, August 20, 2007

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   Autodesk's official site
   AutoCAD Reading Room - by CAD Digest

PLM as the ‘One Right Path to Progress’ is not a universal covenant in the industry. Autodesk, the largest pure software player in our industry, disowns PLM in favor of another mission, with another term: “Digital Prototyping.”

Among those leading the charge at Autodesk is Dr. Andrew J. Anagnost, PhD., vice president of CAD/CAM in the Mechanical Solutions Division. He sat down recently for an interview with CADCAMNet and a shorter version you can watch online at CCNtv.

Defining Digital Prototyping

Anagnost says Autodesk defines Digital Prototyping as, “The use of a design to digitally validate a concept, digitally model the form and fit, engineer it, and test its function. And then to hand that information digitally to the manufacturers. Form, fit and function from concept to manufacturing.”

The new Autodesk Inventor LT, now available for free download as a pre-release product at Autodesk Labs, is Autodesk’s way of bringing Digital Prototyping to the masses. “The main philosophy behind Inventor LT is to democratize digital prototyping for any size company, for anyone that wants to do it. This is the primary objective we are focused on; we think it is what the market needs. The concept of digital prototyping has been out there for 15 years but the truth of the matter is that only a very small percentage of companies actually do it.”

PLM is Dead; Long Live Digital Prototyping

Autodesk is so certain about Digital Prototyping that it disowns the PLM message adopted by its competitors in the MCAD market.

Says Anagnost, “Carl Bass made a very important point. He said ‘the only companies that have a problem with PLM are Dassault, Unigraphics [now Siemens PLM] and PTC.’ And he really hates it. That same core feeling and philosophy permeates all of Autodesk. We think the real problem our customers are struggling with is creating digital prototypes. That’s the real business problem that’s going to make the difference for the most number of people in the market.”

PLM is Dead; Long Live PDM

Anagnost emphasizes that the use of Product Data Management (PDM) tools continues to be important in the industry, and that they are important to Digital Prototyping. Anagnost argues that much of what we call PLM today is simply a renaming of PDM. Autodesk already offers a PDM solution called Autodesk Productstream, which, Anagnost says, is focused on delivering data in the format people need.


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The full article is available for a fee at CADCAMNet.

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