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Wondering how the future of cloud-based 3D CAD is developing? More and more services are coming online with cloud-based offerings and Autodesk is certainly leading the way in both offloading processing for simulation and having complete access to your software and data via a web connection–it’s the whole anytime, anywhere scenario and they just announced pricing for the 3D design development portion of their growing 360 portfolio.

Autodesk 360 suite

Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, gave a presentation at today’s Develop3D Live conference, providing insight to their future plans for design and manufacturing and revealing pricing for Autodesk Fusion 360. If you recall the announcement of Fusion 360, it’s part of the entire Autodesk 360 product line, including BIM, PLM and Simulation. This rounds out the group of products and sets it up for, what Carl also announced, the Autodesk 360 suite.

Autodesk 360 Fusion Pricing:
Carl announced the pricing for both Fusion 360 and the Autodesk 360 Suite in his keynote at the conference. As Paul Munford from CadSetterOut blog tweeted:

$25/user/month–25 bucks/month for 3D design software–$300 per year. That is a huge difference from what software is priced at now. This will be very familiar pricing for PLM 360 customers. That’s the base tier to get up and running with PLM in the cloud. If you want PL, BIM and Simulation added, the suite at $200/month isn’t too shabby either. It’s not Adobe’s Creative Cloud with access to all software for $50/month. But Adobe’s solution is not cloud-based in the same sense. That is, you don’t have to be online to start-up/use the software.

With this, Autodesk 360 makes it much more obvious that the future of Autodesk product reside on top of the utilization of off-site resources/hardware. Carl Bass and others really adhere to the idea of ‘Infinite computing’, or to put it in more realistic terms, the availability of more computing power than we need. That exists. Computing power has gone “from scarce to abundance” as he says in his presentation. Making it seamless between desktop and web, working within the constraints of bandwidth and connection… well, that will be the challenge. We’ll have a look at how Fusion 360 handles all of that as we near its launch.

Via In the fold
Image: Paul Munford

Filed under: CAD NEWS

  • Adam

    Thrilled with the pricing model. It’s a really, really positive step forward, and I hope it will force others to follow suit. I’m disappointed that it’s cloud-only at this point (no offline-usage at all), but it’s a huge step in the right direction!

  • Charles Culp

    Infinite Computing!@#!!@#!#

    Yeah, OK. Let’s see some benchmarks. I’ve got dibs on ‘slighly slower’ computing for most users.

  • Josh M

    yeah, catch phrase of the day. Infinite computing, in my mind, would equal zero cost. But if it’s not infinite, and not efficient, it costs. hence, it’s more about purchasing more computing power instead of having access to a endless galaxy of ever-changing hardware.

    Interesting anecdote. The Microsoft Data Center in San Antonio gets it water straight from the water source and is processed in their own water treatment onsite, because it’s cheaper than getting the water from the city.

  • Adam

    Reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about for a while. We like to think that the internet is “free” because it’s “virtual”. But the fact is that the internet *is a physical thing–*PLM360 is a bunch of rack servers in office buildings. Working in “the cloud” is really just a return to old-fashioned mainframe computing, with all its strengths and foibles. By being cloud-only, F360 is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and bringing us back to the days when your data was only available when you were connected to the mother ship.

    Adobe is giving us a middle-ground by providing a solution that works both on-and-offline. Tools like Adobe Anywhere for video ( http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeanywhere.html) allow for full-fledged real-time collaboration with giant files over the net, but *simultaneously *allows
    for good old offline editing. It erases the boundaries between cloud and local computing.

    That’s what I hope F360 becomes: a location-agnostic platform that gives me the power of those rack servers when I need them, but the flexibility of an off-grid mobile PC.

  • Lee Lloyd

    Ever since they started talking about all these “in the cloud” CAD solutions, there is one thing that has really confused me. The very same factor that makes it possible for them to profit from a design like this (namely affordable, efficient, commodity hardware), also makes it kind of irrelevant. I don’t really understand who the market is for this software, aside from students and universities.

    For this to be a major selling point, there would have to be a large number of people who are working on complex, large, resource-intensive projects, but for whatever reason don’t have access to a modern desktop machine. I mean, is there really that much pent-up demand of people wanting to work on a 300-part assembly on their laptop while sitting at Starbucks?

    A decade ago, we really could have used a client/server architecture like this, but now, with quad-core processors in phones, TeraFLOP video cards for under $2,000, and memory so cheap you might as well fill all your slots with the biggest sticks you can buy, is there really any point?

  • Adam

    “is there really that much pent-up demand of people wanting to work on a 300-part assembly on their laptop while sitting at Starbucks?”

    I agree with most of what you said above, but yes, I do work on 300-part multi-GB assemblies on a laptop at Starbucks. And yes, doing it in the cloud would have advantages.

  • Lee Lloyd

    To expand on that, I really have this bad feeling in my gut, that a lot of these cloud schemes are really a way to provide a nominal perceived benefit, while tricking the user into the most egregious form of vendor lock-in, because they will have all your data. People forget, but that was the single biggest problem with the old “Big Iron” days of computing. Once IBM got their hooks into your organization, good luck ever even looking at another vendor, because everything was formatted to use IBM’s software, on IBM’s OS, on IBM’s hardware. There are companies that are carrying legacy costs to this day, because there is no practical way to get their data out of IBM’s ecosystem, without an entire code rewrite, and recreating a lot of work.

    File portability has always been a problem in 3D/CAD, and is just now getting to a point where you can trust a file to reliably move from one application to another without a ton of middleware in the pipeline. I would hate to see that trend reverse, once the “software as service” provider has your data locked in their servers.

  • diverso

    300? more like 300K, For that same reasons you list,we’re looking into having or own in-house Cloud Computing service, using the new NVIDIA GRID technology, still need to see how those 300K assemblies perform on those rack stations and over the Internet (on yes, we do need to access them on the go).

  • Lee Lloyd

    I wasn’t saying no one does it. I’ve found myself needing to do work on the go too. What I was asking, is whether there is such a demand for it, that it necessitates a complete change in software architecture, to service that pent-up demand? Sure, all things being equal, I would love to be able to pull up and modify any design I’ve ever worked on, right on my phone, and then send it straight from there to an output device like a milling machine or 3D printer.

    However, when it really comes down to it, that is, at least for me, a really whiz-bang cool feature, I probably wouldn’t use 90% of the time. I certainly can think of all sorts of minor things (like wording in an EULA I wasn’t comfortable with), that could keep me from ever using the feature. What I’m wondering is, are there really that many customers who put portability and low system requirements at the top of their list, that an architecture like this makes sense?

    I can certainly see in architecture and construction how it might be a “must have” feature, but in product design, I’m less convinced.

  • Lee Lloyd

    Really, 300,000 parts, in inventor? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never used Inventor, but from what I’ve heard from my friends who use it, I’m shocked that anyone does assemblies that complex in Inventor. I would have assumed with something that complex, you would be using Catia or something like that.

  • Homer Sanchez

    I don’t think it is all that cloud based yet. I think you just store your part on their network and the software is on your computer. You probably access your part from their site and it looks like you are work on the cloud. If it truly is cloud based you should be able to go to any computer to access their software and open your part, from anywhere, right?

  • How does that Anywhere work exactly? Almost sounds like EPDM but for Adobe files. Is it really streaming the files from a network location/drive?

  • Adam

    They talk about it a bit in the videos on the link I provided. I don’t know much about the technical underpinnings, but yes, the information is stored centrally and streamed in real-time. The important thing is that they allow you to do that, but also work locally if and when you prefer. That’s the real beauty, IMHO. Rather than a new and fundamentally separate “cloud” system, they’re allowing people to have it both ways.

  • ion

    + Autodesk will be the first to have a (holodeck) fully immersive platform.
    + Oculus Rift.
    + The direction of current game development will change everything.
    + Future there will not be a cloud versus local the world will be fully immersive for design and play.

    “Resistance is futile” – but it sure is fun!


  • I was at the presentation, and the way Carl Bass presented it was $1=1 computer x 10,000 seconds OR $1=10,000 computers x 1 seconds.

    So for certain complex problems, I can see the cloud really helping. For low complexity stuff your PC/tablet/Phone can do things practically instantly, so why add extra time by going through the internet?

  • I haven’t used this Adobe stuff but I can totally see why you keep banging on about it in their forums ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds very sensible and gives you the best of both worlds. They may well still get there.

  • diverso

    We use Solidworks, my comment was on the need of powerful mobile or remote computing regardless of application.

  • Adam

    I know I sound like a broken record over there, but it’s only because I’m genuinely excited about the product and want to be able to use it in my own work. It doesn’t matter how good the modeling software is if I can’t access my data!

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