Autodesk is adding to its growing menu of cloud-based
projects with two new design tool offerings meant to bring supercomputer-like
functionality to smaller firms, which can't necessarily afford it. The
company's latest cloud-based efforts are Project Photofly and Project Neon,
both currently available for a free test drive at Autodesk
Photofly is a
technology preview of a Web service that allows users in architectural, design,
media & entertainment and manufacturing firms to easily create 3-D models
from a series of photographs. Unlike most image-based modeling techniques,
which require manual calibration of photographs and a high level of expertise,
Project Photofly employs the "Camera Factory" automatic calibration engine to
simplify and automate the process. Using a Windows-based client called "Photo
Scene Editor," customers connect to the Camera Factory Web service and then
enlist Autodesk 3-D modeling software (AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk 3ds Max,
etc.) to consume the data in a DWG format while leveraging the Camera Factory
tool to model on top of the images.
brings the possibility of reality capture to designers, creative artists and
engineers who didn't have the resources or expertise for image-based modeling
and expedites the process for those who are used to spending endless hours
manually stitching together images to create a 3-D model," said Brian Mathews,
vice president of Autodesk Labs, in a press release. "Reality capture
gives designers and engineers the ability to better measure, analyze, document
and plan for projects."
Project Photofly announcement is the release of Project
Neon, a technology
preview of a Web service that delivers high-quality rendering off of the
desktop using the cloud. With such a capability, engineering teams can create
photo-realistic renderings of their projects without the need for dedicated
rendering hardware. Given that rendering multiple files can take days and add
time and expense to projects, Project Neon's support of the cloud promises to
allow firms to render multiple views of a project simultaneously in a fraction
of the time.
In addition to these efforts,
Autodesk has a number of cloud-based design tool projects
the Project Butterfly collaboration service and Project Cumulus, a Web service
for plastics simulation.
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Parallax Inc. is known for developing the Basic Stamp microcontroller development board and educational accessory kits. In addition to developing a user-friendly educational platform to learn about 8-bit microcontrollers and software programming, it created a multicore 32-bit chip called the Propeller.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
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