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Preview: Autodesk talks to Architosh about Inventor Fusion

Autodesk has been competing with the “Big Boys” of MCAD for several years now with its Autodesk Inventor line of software. When it comes to the big leagues of mechanical CAD, platforms have been limited for years to Windows primarily and UNIX. Now the company is touting its upcoming Inventor Fusion for Mac, signaling a change in generation expectations.

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Technology Preview

Autodesk Inventor Fusion for Mac is in a Technology Preview stage and this is different than a beta. The goal of the Technology Preview is to provide early access to the software and to get customers engaged so they can influence product direction.


Kevin Schneider stated there were three themes with Fusion for Mac. The first is capturing the next-generation user. The next two themes follow along with what defines the hallmark qualities of the next-generation user. She will require “anywhere access” to her data and secondly she will demand superior “ease-of-use.” Those elements shape the three themes of Fusion.

02 - Autodesk Inventor Fusion for Mac. The upcoming software tool is the first mCAD product from Autodesk written for the Mac platform.

Autodesk says that the Facebook generation “requires us to step back and talk about the language we use in our software.” “Today we don’t use as much mathematical and esoteric language to engage students,” states Schneider.

As part of the “anywhere access” demand by next-generation users Autodesk is reworking its development processes around the assumptions that users both want and require choice in platforms. This includes mobile, Web and desktop (Windows and Mac).

Fusion Technology

Anywhere access to data also means seamless access to Autodesk Web services. These include online data hosting and sharing, collaboration, Web viewing and mobile viewing.

I asked the Autodesk team why Inventor Fusion? And this is what they said. “Autodesk Inventor Fusion is pretty unique,” stated Schneider, “we are unaware of anything in the market today that is a mechanical specific, entry level product like this.” Inventor Fusion on Mac (or Windows) is intended to be an introduction mechanical designer product…simpler and more affordable than the company’s flagship Autodesk Inventor software.

03 - Inventor Fusion for the Mac was written from the ground up on OS X and Autodesk is impressed with the performance they are able to get out of the platform. Even on a MacBook Air, Fusion for Mac is fast.

As part of the ease-of-use theme Autodesk has not only built a simple, state-of-the-art user interface–the tools look and work like they do in the real world–but has robust help services via a product Wiki, YouTube channel videos and Facebook community page.

next page: Made for Mac: Advances in the Previews

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