Autodesk encourages 3D printing

Autodesk encourages 3D printing

Brandt: Future in digital technology
Brandt: Future in digital technology

The government should encourage industries to shift from conventional manufacturing methods to digital manufacturing technologies to create value by improving operational effectiveness and product innovation, says Autodesk Inc.

"Embracing industrial three-dimensional printing technology can help companies to localise their production and transform industries," said Jordan Brandt, a technology futurist at Autodesk Inc, the US-based 3D design, engineering and entertainment company.

"Advanced technologies in manufacturing and the advent of industrial 3D printing allow mass customisation of production with lower capital investment," he said in an interview with the Bangkok Post.

Mr Brandt said the cost of building a factory should decline significantly over the next 10 years, thanks to digital manufacturing technologies that integrate computer-based systems comprised of simulation, 3D visualisation, analytics and collaborative tools.

"Factory location will no longer be a primary focus for companies because innovation and creativity will play vital roles in operating a business," Mr Brandt said.

The emergence of 3D printing technology can be seen in Europe, the US and China.

To capitalise on these emerging opportunities Autodesk is gearing up to strengthen its position in the 3D printing space, Mr Brant said.

Autodesk recently introduced the Ember 3D printer, a high-resolution stereolithographic 3D printing platform, which can deliver smoother, more complex and more detailed objects.

Over the next few years, the company plans to introduce a feature that facilitates 3D shape searching, which allows for a more accurate and speedy design process, he said.

Autodesk has created a US$100-million fund to back 3D printing technology and has sought a handful of partnerships in diverse areas covering hardware, software and services.

The company is continuing its transition to a subscription-based channel for its products, which provide customers with a simplified product management and deployment experience, and makes it easier to introduce new tools and technology into the workflow with lower upfront costs, plus the ability to pay as you go.

"Next year will be the last year we offer our software under the conventional licence model," said Mr Brandt.

Autodesk recently acquired SeeControl, a San Francisco-based developer of an Internet of Things cloud service platform. The SeeControl service helps manufacturers and systems integrators connect, analyse, control and manage remote products, objects and assets and will also create new service revenue opportunities.

"We plan to integrate our design software to connect to the Internet of Things," said Mr Brandt.

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