Autodesk introduces new cloud and IoT solutions at Accelerate 2017

The new Fusion platform seeks to improve cloud-based development, while the IoT Discovery Toolkit enables companies to test the waters of a nascent industry.

Autodesk unveiled a number of new collaborative toolkits at the Accelerate 2017 conference in Boston earlier this week. The Fusion platform is a suite of products aimed at increasing collaboration and efficiency in new product lifecycles, while the IoT Discovery Toolkit provides a firm foundation for the development of secure IoT (Internet of Things) solutions.

Autodesk says the Fusion platform can help companies solve complex manufacturing challenges in the development of high technology solutions. The core of the platform is ‘Fusion 360,’ a cloud-based collection of tools for CAD/CAM and CAE. In theory, customers can design, test, and build a product all within the Fusion suite of tools.

Autodesk Fusion aims to serve as a central pillar for product lifecycle management. (Source: Autodesk)

Additionally, the Fusion platform also takes advantage of ‘Fusion Lifecycle’ for PLM (product lifecycle management) and ‘Fusion Connect’ for IoT (Internet of Things) data management. The Fusion platform aims to serve as an all-encompassing product innovation and development suite for enterprise customers.

Autodesk highlights Advanced Oncotherapy, a company using the Fusion platform. They are attempting to improve cancer treatments by reducing the amount of toxic radiation that patients are exposed to. Advanced Oncotherapy is using Fusion Lifecycle to develop workflows and business processes. They are creating new systems for proton therapy treatments that are reportedly smaller and cheaper than any in existence today.

“The medical industry is exceptionally risk averse. One of the main reasons we’re using Fusion Lifecycle is to reduce risk—in terms of our product, and in terms of the ultimate result of the treatment of patients,” stated Advanced Oncotherapy’s Neil Barker during a keynote address at Accelerate 2017.

The cloud-based nature of the Fusion platform allows the company’s international team to collaborate and share data from anywhere in the world. “We are operating an outsourced manufacturing model, so it’s important to be able to securely share data with our partners, and reduce errors resulting from miscommunication,” said Barker. “The capabilities in Fusion Lifecycle will facilitate collaboration with our suppliers and manufacturing partners worldwide.”

The IoT Discovery Toolkit aims to help companies take their first steps into the IoT market. (Source: Autodesk)

In addition to the Fusion platform, Autodesk also launched its new IoT Discovery Toolkit, a secure end-to-end IoT framework solution. The toolkit is aimed at manufacturing OEMs who want to expand their IoT product offerings. The IoT Discovery Toolkit is supported by Electric Imp for firmware development while Autodesk provides data management and analytics.

Autodesk’s director of IoT, Bryan Kester stated, “IoT is a very complex challenge because it combines a wide range of hardware, networking, and cloud technologies. By teaming up with Electric Imp, our goal is to simplify the technology so that businesses can move straight to evaluating IoT business opportunities.”

IoT products are by nature always connected to the Internet and rely on this connection to carry out their functions successfully (think Amazon’s Alexa), but for small companies the development of such firmware can prove both expensive and time consuming. With the IoT Discovery Toolkit,  companies can port the work they do directly into custom commercial products with minimal modifications to the software, cloud capabilities, or end-to-end security already present.

More information on Fusion 360, Fusion Lifecycle, and Fusion Connect is available via Autodesk’s official channels. Autodesk is also offering a limited number of free IoT Discovery Toolkits to companies seeking to enter the IoT market.