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Lo and behold, a wee update popped up on the Autodesk CAM page today. An update with a shiny ‘NEW’ badge to share that Autodesk has actually finished development of their very own native CAM app for Inventor. And like its companion app and predecessor HSMXpress for SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor HSM Express is completely free.

Inventor peeps, Get Your Toolpath On

For those keeping a watchful eye you’ll know, HSM Express for Inventor has been in beta since early summer for select Inventor users. It’s been a long time coming since HSMWorks was acquired by Autodesk in October of 2012. Now Autodesk and users of Inventor bent on breaking in the digital tool path on their native models are celebrating. Capabilities in image form are as follows:

Autodesk has been committed to continue development of the HSMXpress SolidWorks version of the software, even though Dassault SolidWorks Corp. yanked the product from the the Partner Product page hours after the acquisition was announced by Autodesk. You’ll still find reseller support for the product and support via Autodesk’s CAM group. It’s uncertain, however, if this new Inventor version precludes the lessening of effort put into the SolidWorks product as we’ve seen happen to similar competitor related products.

To run HSM Express, you need a valid license of Autodesk Inventor (or LT) 2014. You can download Inventor HSM Express for free in exchange for your name and details right here.

What’s next for CAM?

Make no mistake, Autodesk isn’t shy about its Cloud (ad)ventures. They’ve brought Fusion 360 to the cloud carrying card members of the design community with the T-Splines tech they acquired. They’re learning quite a bit of what works and doesn’t work through that and will be making a move to bring CAM to the Cloud next (as evidence by their ‘camcloud.jpg’ image on their CAM site). A move we expect to be announced at Autodesk University this year, if not sooner.

Update 09/26/13
Anthony Graves, PM, CAM at Autodesk commented with great insight into the software development process at Autodesk. Autodesk’s In the fold blog announced the news later on Thursday.

Disclaimer: Autodesk and Autodesk CAM division are advertisers on SolidSmack. This post, however, was not arranged and is not a paid notice or endorsement for the product.

Filed under: CAD FAB

  • Anthony Graves


    Thanks for helping spread the word. This is a pretty big day for us here in the Autodesk CAM Group and we are excited that you were the first to notice the release.

    I did want to post a quick note about a comment you made that deserves a little background, because what you put in print is no doubt on the minds of more than a few people who have been following the development of our CAM solutions for SoildWorks software – HSMWorks and HSMXpress. I want to assure our HSMWorks customers that we are in no way neglecting the development of our SolidWorks based product. I’ll explain how this is possible.

    Our CAM solutions are built on what we refer to in our Autodesk CAM Team as a 90/10 platform. 90% of our code is comprised of the core functionality shared across all of our CAM products; HSMWorks, HSMXpress, and now, Inventor HSM Express. The remaining 10% is CAD tool specific (Autodesk Inventor and SolidWorks by Dassualt Systemes SolidWorks Corp.) By doubling our development staff we were able to keep the development of this core, or 90%, moving forward as we committed specific resources to our CAD specific integrations. This is the reason we are releasing Inventor HSM Express only and not full-blown Inventor HSM at the same time. We want to make sure we are meeting all of our internal goals with respect to building out the underlying CAM engine and systems including our simulation tools and post processor system. Not only because we owe this to our customers, but because it is, after all, the foundation for all of our CAM solutions.

    Last year there was a lot of speculation about whether or not we would “kill” our SolidWorks based product, and whether Autodesk was going to kill off our HSMWorks reseller channel. Almost immediately we went public with our intentions of continuing the development of HSMWorks/HSMXpress and our commitment the SolidWorks platform. And, we asked people to give us the opportunity to demonstrate that commitment. By January Autodesk had resigned 21 of the original 23 Authorized HSMWorks Resellers. As we approach the one year anniversary of the acquisition of HSMWorks by Autodesk (1 October), we have released several updates to HSMWorks 2013 and HSMXpress 2013, and are poised to release HSMWorks 2014 and HSMXpress 2014 in the near future.

    Side note: We just exhibited at EMO in Hannover last week where we had a huge presence dedicated to exclusively to HSMWorks.

    Anyhow, I’m glad you raised the issue. Like I said, you’re not the first to mention this and are only saying what others may be thinking. So, I hope I helped clarify our development efforts for those who were curious.

    If anyone else has any questions they can email me at anthony.graves@autodesk.com or you can post a question over at our updated Autodesk CAM Forum at http://camforum.autodesk.com. (Posting requires you create a user account.)

    Best regards,

    Anthony Graves
    Product Manager, CAM
    Autodesk Inc

  • Josh M

    Wow Anthony, thanks for that insight. Interesting to know a little behind the scenes on the development front.

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