Alias going down the crapper

Autodesk has agreed to buy Alias. If 3D Studio Max and Inventor are any indication, they’ll probably trash Alias too.

I don’t know. Could be a good thing. I see many more enhancements in Max on each release than in Alias. If they will throw R&D $ at Studio Tools this could be what the package needs. Think the preciseness of Alias fused with the robustness, customization and shader networks of Maya, and filters and plugins of Max. Studio Tools has not progressed at the rate it needs to. Rhino is eating their lunch. Much leaner and introducing some powerful new tools in 4.0. Right now many designers jump between 3-5 software packages to get the end result desired. For general product design progress, not automotive (which Studio Tools only seems to truly cater to currently) this could be cool.

I wonder what will become of the overall price of Alias, increase or decrease? I am hoping for decrease! But my money is on increase with the added improvements.

Look at the price of Max and then ask that question. With less competition prices usually go up so this all probably means everything will be going up in price and they may even discontinue the low cost Studio software.

They even keep it around. May just incorporate it into 3ds and kill alais.


Outstanding talent calls home.

Kiss the personal learning editions of Alias goodbye, Autodesk is notorious for not providing anything at that price point to people that want to learn yet not break the bank the process. The only way to get the software is to be a Student enrolled in a valid program with a valid ID.

This is a sign of the times, the kicker will be when they buy SolidWorks then the shit will hit the fan for good. Wildfire 3.0 is due out in 2006, talk is it won’t give PTC the edge it needs so maybe Autodesk will buy them next?

i also expect the downloadable learning editions will go away. might want to get them soon if you don’t have them now. both maya and studio.

don’t think PTC worries much about CAD nowadays. the money now is in PLM software. dont even think Autodesk is in that market. yet. need to check that.

who makes PLM based software?

PTC (who also make Pro/E)
UGS (SolidEdge and Unigraphics)
Dassault (CATIA)

PTC’s Windchill is PLMware. Wildfire is now a part of that overall system. PLM is where it’s at right now and investors are dumping money into this stuff knowing where it will lead. designers should get up to speed on this imo.

Autodesk is in the PLM market with Inventor, what the claim is the best selling 3D software on the market. Inventor is young in terms of the competition only at release 10 currently compared to the competition and doesn’t have much of the functionality and options.

Catia did an about face with V5 by going with a more user friendly windows based operating system which the Chinese are noted for hating, V4 is still being used by the masses due to this.

Dassault who owns Catia and also SolidWorks helped push the V5 move to Windows OS.

PTC sales are down, they really only have a big market in the educational sector. Wildfire didn’t really offer much of an improvement in the learning curve from the previous version (2001) and little in the way is expected with 3.0 but they are tighted lip. It’s no secret that many firms still use 2001 and have yet to upgrade to Wildfire.

my comment wasn’t about CATIA or Wildfire. those are CAD apps. and i consider Inventor to be a CAD app. not PLM. from their site:

Product Information
Start with the world’s best-selling 3D mechanical design software, Autodesk Inventor® Series. Add specialized functionality for cable and wire harness, tubing and piping, and importing PCB IDF files, and you’ve got Autodesk Inventor® Professional, the best way to connect design teams with manufacturing engineers. Because it can integrate your existing 2D designs into your 3D design environment, it’s a safe and easy path to specialized 3D design.

PLM isn’t limited to 2D/3D data (look at all the related topics on the wikipedia). from what i’ve read Inventor mostly seems to be trying to get people to move from 2D to 3D. PLM is much broader. compare this to UGS’s PLM:

UGS´ PLM Components are open software tools designed to promote industry standardization and interoperability within the product lifecycle management (PLM) market. Used by hundreds of companies all around the world, UGS´ PLM Components enable diverse manufacturing enterprises to seamlessly share information and data with their partners and suppliers regardless of the PLM applications used by the different organizations.

that information and data can be anything. not just CAD data. might be a concept sketch. or a marketing “Must Have” list. or purchasing component cost database. anything. from an article on PLM in BW:

It works like this. Click an icon on any PC loaded with UGS software, and you’re ushered into a digital forum, with a three-dimensional workspace and folders of information along one side. Marketers can post ideas for new products. Engineers can design 3D prototypes. And manufacturers can lay out a new assembly line, complete with every piece of equipment necessary. Tens of thousands of people can participate on a single project from anywhere there’s a Web connection.

if Autodesk has that capability in Inventor, i’m unaware of it and cant find it on their site.

PLM in short is software to connect anyone anywhere such that they can manage a product’s lifecycle. and when RFID gets included, that means from concept to landfill.

markets autodesk is targeting:
solidworks and pro-e users who need surfacing - why not grab some of the patents and technologies inside studio and graft them onto inventor, their solid modeling package?

automotive does not use autodesk products. autodesk wants to change that. other than the obvious, studio, autodesk might like to sell more portfolio wall to company-wide installations ($$$). pwall is a distant cousin to plm, btw, because it accepts all kinds of data such as ppt, igs, stp, alias, maya, txt, and acts as a browser for anyone with access to the server. it is targeted at upper management as a way to let the design dept communicate what they’re doing to the non-techie vp’s.

maya or max, who knows which will win? we can all guess, but for the short term they’ll both be around. will autodesk do an alias-wavefront and pull pieces together from both to create a new architecture (visualizer + power animator = maya)? will they segment the market into max for games, maya for film/video? will one wither away without dev money? anyone’s guess.

if we follow the alias direction spouted by doug walker for the last few years, that would lead to more cheap products with fewer but better (and better targeted) features, such as sketchbook or imagestudio.

poor kaydara customers…

Inventor is PLM, all PLM defines is cradle to the grave. Inventor 10 now has photorealistic rendering capability and they look to add more functionalilty in the future so users like myself hope.

Here is Quote from Autodesk

A Practical Approach to PLM
To extend the value of design data, Autodesk also announced the latest release of its data management solution, comprised of Autodesk Vault (integrated into all Autodesk manufacturing design products), Autodesk Productstream, Autodesk Streamline and Autodesk DWF. This solution solidifies Autodesk’s role as a player in the PLM market and enables manufacturers to drive design re-use, release design data to manufacturing in an efficient and timely manner and achieve maximum project visibility with suppliers and customers.

“With this comprehensive solution, our customers can address their most pressing business requirements. The new Functional Design capabilities within Autodesk Inventor software give 2D users a dramatically more intuitive way to design in 3D so they can accelerate product development cycles,” said Robert Kross, vice president of Autodesk’s manufacturing division. “Our solution also provides them with a practical approach to deploy PLM in order to manage their design information and automate processes for greatly improved cross-functional productivity.”

i disagree. from your Autodesk quotes sounds like Inventor is just like Pro/E or SolidEdge. components of a larger PLM solution.

Autodesk also announced the latest release of its data management solution, comprised of Autodesk Vault (integrated into all Autodesk manufacturing design products), Autodesk Productstream, Autodesk Streamline and Autodesk DWF.

just bc Inventor is tied to PLMware doesn’t make it PLM anymore than Wildfire is PLM. sounds like these other four are their PLMware. but found this interesting: “achieve maximum project visibility with suppliers and customers.” visibility? how about interoperability? doesn’t sound too solid or comprehensive to me.

[edit: missed that you’re a user defending his software of choice]

Disagree all you want, it can do more then solid modeling if it wasn’t then no-one would be using it, maybe not as full circle and complete as the competition but the program is young. Pro/E and UG now NX has been around a long time in comparision.

Not everyone uses Brand X CAD software and try on a global scale to keep your subcontractors on the update wagon when they are complaining about the bottom end.

Yeah I use Inventor, I’ve also used plenty of others and still prefer to be using something else but right now I don’t have much of a choice. The software is not there yet and lacks some functionality. 10,000 parts in an assembly will bog it down like molasses on a cold Montreal morning.

The first toilet was invented by john crapper right? That’s why they call it the John.

The news of the Alias agreement for purchase came as a shock to everyone. Most people I spoke with wanted to see Alias merge with the likes of Wildfire and or Solidworks. (solidworks could use it the most) But to go with Autodesk? Humm… For the low to mid range solidmoders like Inventor to gain a boost from surfacing tools? Would that make it a true mid range modeler? I wait to see.

When first heard the news, I did want to take the day off like Sept 11th. Autodesk has always been the symbol of archaic software like the big shinny IBM logo. I look at it and see old and inflexible archaic garbage.

Now after reading some positive comments on this and other boards I must say we should wait and see. There were positive changes made to Rivet when that purchase went through. Money was pumped into marketing it at least to students. UIC architecture ‘Art and Architecture’ building has some Rivet propaganda up. Could be positive.

why do you continue to bring up Pro/E and CAD software? PLM is not CAD software.

Wait till Autodesk buy’s PTC, then maybe they will fix the number of mouse clicks it takes to get a simple task done. Archaic? Yes 3D Max is so ancient :unamused: If PTC drags their feet any longer on release dates then they better start worrying about an aggressive takeover.

i guess you couldnt answer the question.

as for mouse clicks, Wildfire isn’t 2001.

Engineers using Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire were able to design a series of objects ranging from a screwdriver to a game controller using as few as half of the mouse clicks that SolidWorks 2001+ users needed to complete the same tasks. The results were based on a series of ease-of-use tests sponsored by PTC and conducted by tool, Inc., a research and product development firm based in Marblehead, MA. “In every test, Pro/ENGINEER users were able to complete their assigned projects more efficiently than SolidWorks users,” said John Fiegener, owner and principal of design engineering of tool, Inc. “When users with comparable skill levels faced off, on average Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire users used 36.8 percent fewer mouse clicks than their peers did using SolidWorks’ software.”

not saying this is unbiased. or even accurate. other sites claim roughly 30% fewer clicks in Wildfire compared to 2001. but your comment is old news. so the mouse-click comment is worthless. and people i know who use both SW and Wildfire almost always prefer WF. no one i know prefers Inventor.

as for Autodesk taking over PTC, who knows. but my point was that they don’t have to worry about 3D software like Inventor. they can instead concentrate on the hot property: PLM. right now it looks like the only way Autodesk can get functionality is by buying it. like they bought Alias. that’s sad.

Who REALLY cares? All that is going to happen is the evolution of some software company. I still have my pen and paper.

Sorry. Having a long day…