Tapping your fingers on the edge of your desk in rapid, chaotic motions may typically annoy your cube mates, but if you’re all users of one of the two Autodesk Design Suites or Simulation tools, it may prompt a head-bobbing sing-along. Autodesk just announced the release of the 2014 Design Suites and with it, they they add a measure of of assembly performance, a folder-full of factory assets and a smidgen of free surface liquid simulation to round out top new features.

Autodesk Design Suites

The Design Suites came on the scene with the thought that wider access to complementary product lines within a grouping of products would be a good idea. It requires a subscription of course and you get a range of products you may not typically use, but for some it fits in nicely and establishes a better workflow. It also beats the price of buying them all independently. While we’ve longed for an Adobe-like “Creative Cloud” model for suites of products from Autodesk (and other software makers), this release is here to improve on that idea wider access to products and better the workflow established with the initial release of the suites. Here’s a quick bullet list of the new features you’ll see:

Product Design Suite 2014

  • Inventor Professional added to Premium edition (no extra cost)
  • Navisworks manage software (project review and scheduling) added to Ultimate edition
  • AutoCAD Raster Design (raster-to-vector scan conversion) added to each edition

Factory Design Suite 2014

  • Better integration with Audodesk vault
  • 300+ new factory assets added to library
  • Improved point-cloud workflow

Simulation Software 2014

  • Project Scout matures into Simulation Mechanical
  • Free Surface liquid simulation in Simulation CFD
  • Cooling functionality added to Simulation Moldflow

The Design Suites come in three editions: Standard, Premium and Ultimate. For the Product Design Suite, if you don’t need Alias Design or Navisworks, the addition of Inventor Pro is a big plus. You can compare here, but for the price of Inventor Pro, you can get Product Design Suite Premium (subscription is about the same for both). Actually, right now, the Autodesk online store is showing that you can buy the Design Suite Premium for less than Inventor Pro.


Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2014 provides factory customers with exclusive access to interoperable, layout-specific workflows, cloud-based factory asset resources and powerful visualization and analysis tools that help increase design accuracy, efficiency and communication.

Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2014 provides factory customers with exclusive access to interoperable, layout-specific workflows, cloud-based factory asset resources and powerful visualization and analysis tools that help increase design accuracy, efficiency and communication.

Look at that slosh! (video here.) New sloshing functionality in Autodesk Simulation CFD 2014 gives users the ability to simulate free surface liquids inside another object that is also in motion.

Press Release / Click to expand

Autodesk 2014 Design Suites Fuel Manufacturing Innovation

New Suites Deliver Affordable Access to Most Advanced Digital Prototyping Workflows

March 26, 2013 Autodesk today unveiled new Digital Prototyping software that offers manufacturers unprecedented access to the Autodesk portfolio — spanning the desktop and cloud — to more efficiently design, build and deliver better products faster at reduced costs.

The Autodesk design suites geared especially for manufacturers include Autodesk Product Design Suite and Autodesk Factory Design Suite. The suites provide designers and engineers with a complete set of tools and cloud services to simplify design, visualization and simulation workflows from product development through delivery. Additionally, Autodesk’s 2014 Simulation software portfolio delivers a faster, more accurate and flexible approach to predicting, optimizing and validating designs earlier in the design process.


“Autodesk 2014 suites provide manufacturers with affordable access to the best tool for the task at hand,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk. “For our customers, this translates into increased productivity and a faster path to ROI.”


Autodesk’s 2014 design suites are available in three cost-effective, convenient editions: Standard, Premium and Ultimate. Suites highlights include:

  • The debut of Autodesk ReCap, new reality capture software and cloud services that create intelligent 3D models of physical objects and environments and allows customers to bring the actual job site into their design process;
  • Autodesk Inventor software enhancements that incorporate, among other benefits, increased scalability for extremely large product or factory assemblies; and
  • Autodesk Revit interoperability that allows building product manufacturers to easily transform detailed Inventor assemblies into simple native Revit files for use as BIM content.


Suite subscribers will continue to have access to Autodesk 360 cloud services that extend desktop functionality to better enable collaboration, optimization and to promote design sharing and reuse.


Autodesk Product Design Suite Extends Digital Prototyping for Product Development

New for the Premium edition of Product Design Suite 2014 is the inclusion of Autodesk Inventor Professional software, which provides mechanical and electrical engineers the functionality for complete Digital Prototyping with integrated simulation, control systems and tooling capabilities.


Next, Autodesk Navisworks Manage software — which provides project management capabilities including whole project review, scheduling, costing, visualization and collaboration — has been incorporated into the Ultimate edition. Finally, Product Design Suite now features AutoCAD Raster Design, a raster editing and raster-to-vector conversion tool that helps users better utilize scanned paper drawings, maps, satellite images and similar data in their AutoCAD-based workflows.


“In 2012, EnviroGuard was able to win several large projects both domestically and internationally using Autodesk Product Design Suite,” said Tanya Bradford, general manager of EnviroGuard, an industry leader in spill containment and facility safety. “We were able to design unique systems built to specification, render the designs in 3D with Product Design Suite and show the results to clients and engineering firms via online, web-based tools. The end result is they approved the designs, and we ultimately won the bids.”


Autodesk Factory Design Suite Delivers Digital Prototyping to Factory Customers

Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2014 provides factory customers with exclusive access to interoperable, layout-specific workflows, cloud-based factory asset resources and powerful visualization and analysis tools that help increase design accuracy, efficiency and communication.


Additional new features for the 2014 suite include powerful annotations, an expanded factory assets library and improved point cloud workflows to capture the as-is state of a factory. The suite also provides enhanced integration of Autodesk Vault product data management software for improved asset management.


“Using a 3D model avoids misunderstanding and improves sharing, thus, everything goes smoothly and speedy,” said Yuji Nonaka, chief of the engineering department at Hirata Corporation, which provides factory production equipment to the automotive, semiconductor and consumer electronics industries. “In fact, we’ve been able to reduce review meeting times, and now we spend less than half of what we used to spend and we have saved a lot of travel expenses for overseas projects.”


Autodesk Simulation 2014 Products Integrate into Each Phase of Development Process

The Autodesk Simulation family of products includes 2014 versions of Autodesk Simulation Mechanical, Autodesk Simulation CFD and Autodesk Simulation Moldflow and serves as a comprehensive set of simulation software tools that are highly interoperable and integrate into each phase of the product development process. Enhancements to the 2014 simulation portfolio include:

  • Autodesk Simulation Mechanical: Formerly known as Autodesk Labs technology Project Scout, Autodesk Simulation Mechanical includes a new automated process for drop tests and access to parametric design study functionality;
  • Autodesk Simulation CFD: Overall product performance up to 13 percent faster, and the ability to simulate free surface liquids such as sloshing, pouring, open channel flow and solid/liquid interaction; and
  • Autodesk Simulation Moldflow: New conformal cooling functionality allows for highly efficient cooling path designs that in turn reduces mold cycle time and increases overall product quality. Compression molding allows for the simulation of large, light weight components with high quality surface finish needs, such as automotive vehicle panels.


Product availability varies by country. Purchasing a design suite with Autodesk Subscription helps customers stay current and connected with access to the latest workflows on desktops, mobile devices and in the cloud. See details and purchasing options at www.autodesk.com/purchaseoptions.



Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.