Autodesk acquires Virtual Shape Research Technology Assets

Autodesk furthers its industrial design line of tools with the acquisition of VSR’s technology for class A surface design and modeling tools.

Autodesk has announced the acquisition of certain technology assets from Virtual Shape Research (VSR), GmbH. Along with those assets, Autodesk will take on 10 VSR employees. Headquartered in Hannover, Germany, Virtual Shape Technology develops tools for working with class A surfaces required for automotive design.  Class A refers to the quality of the surface and the way surfaces fit together. VSR’s tools have been sold as plug-ins for design tools including Autodesk’s Alias and McNeel’s Rhino. Autodesk says they will use VSR’s technology to enhance Alias, but they will continue to sell the Rhino plug-in from its online store.

Audi render
Model courtesy of AUDI AG,
rendered with VSR Realtime Renderer

In addition, those 10 employees from  VSR will collaborate with their new Autodesk colleagues to develop new technical surfacing services and design tools.

“Autodesk continues to invest in developing and acquiring technology to support our customers in the automotive industry,” said Buzz Kross, senior vice president of Design, Lifecycle and Simulation products at Autodesk. “The addition of the VSR technology to Autodesk will help our customers achieve a more efficient development process with production-ready, high-quality technical surfaces. We are excited to welcome VSR employees, customers and partners to the Autodesk community.”

What do we think?

Autodesk wants to push up into wider use within the automotive industry so it makes sense to improve the quality of its Alias tools, which are widely used in Automotive design. We’d expect Autodesk to use the technology from VSR in other products as well. Rhino’s community of jewelry designers also use VSR and the response from that side has been less than joyous. There is a reasonable fear that although Autodesk has pledged to continue sales of the Rhino plug-in, it is not a long term commitment.