It's official: Autodesk's Project
Butterfly has graduated from a technology preview on Autodesk Labs to a
commercial product, allowing AutoCAD users to view, edit and share design and
DWG files through Web browsers and mobile devices.
The free Web application, called AutoCAD WS, employs cloud
computing technology to extend design tools beyond the desktop and to deliver a
more flexible and accessible platform for collaboration. "The need to
collaborate is an essential part of any engineering process," says Guri Stark,
vice president AutoCAD, platforms and products at Autodesk. "Whether it's collaboration
between engineer-to-engineer or with upstream or downstream people, the cloud
makes collaboration simpler."
With the new add-on tool, AutoCAD users can simply click on
a button to upload DWG files to the cloud where colleagues, peers and partners
can access them without having to have access to a full-blown version of the
software. In addition to standard viewing capabilities, AutoCAD WS has a DWG
editor, which supports more than 100 familiar AutoCAD drawing and editing tools
so users can edit and annotate drawings. The software's sharing capabilities
let users generate a unique URL to host the files online; there are permission
controls that allow users to govern how others view, edit or download drawings
and folders. Users can work on the same DWG file simultaneously and see changes
reflected in real time as they are made.
AutoCAD WS is tightly integrated with the standard AutoCAD
platform so users can access the cloud computing capabilities directly from
within their familiar environment. The application captures and tracks all
changes made to drawings, aiding in version control and audits, while providing
a convenient online storage area for organizing project materials.
The addition of AutoCAD WS lets users conduct virtual design
reviews with stakeholders located anywhere without having to share large files
via e-mail or sending paper documentation around the globe. "AutoCAD WS
releases users from the shackles of their desktop," Stark says. "There's no
more e-mailing of large files back and forth and dealing with all the
complications that come with it."
While Autodesk has made no formal announcements about
delivering similar technology for Inventor, Stark says the idea makes sense.
"We don't want to be limited to DWG files; we will want to expand this concept
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.