Autodesk Labs, Exploring new approaches to Design Technology.
Autodesk’s ‘Labs’ Site is where Autodesk puts it’s ‘Concept’ software until it finds it a home!
The Autodesk Labs site features new Autodesk software, alongside add-ons and extensions to current software. All of the software is free to download and trial, Autodesk just want your feedback to help them judge whether their new ideas are exciting new technologies, or dead end junk ;-)
What is Autodesk Labs?
‘Graduating’ software either ends up in an Autodesk product, such as AutoCAD or Autodesk Inventor, or becomes it’s own standalone product.
- Inventor Optimization Technology Preview
- Project Butterfly (AutoCAD WS)
- Inventor Publisher Technology Preview
- Shrink Wrap add in for Inventor (This is now in Inventor from 2010)
- The Inventor Frame generator (This is now in Inventor from 2009)
Plugin of the Month
The Autodesk Labs site also hosts ‘Plugin of the month’ – an opportunity for members of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) to have their plugins fine Tuned by the Autodesk programming teams and issued to the public at large.
These monthly plugins for AutoCAD, Inventor (and other Autodesk products) are published with the full source code, and an explenation of how it works on Kean Walmsly’s ‘Through The Interface’ Blog.
Software to keep your eye on
There are a few items on the Labs site that I recommend you keep your eyes on:
- Inventor Fusion [Edit] The desktop version is no longer available. This link is to the web version – ‘Fusion 360’.
- 2D to 3D Tool for Inventor
- 3D Annotation for Inventor (I posted about 3D Annotation for Inventor here)
- Feature recognition for Inventor
- Project Varsari (Dubbed ‘Revit Light’ – Varsari has recently earned it’s own website)
- The BIM Faily Toolkit (I posted about Inventor to Revit file exchange here)
Try it for yourself!
‘The best way to learn about Autodesk Labs is to start experimenting yourself. Check out the different technologies available on Autodesk Labs, participate in the discussion groups and blogs, and be sure to register to receive email updates when new technologies are posted. Try out our free technology previews, test them and tell us what you think. Your comments, experience and insight help drive the future of Autodesk innovation.’
Here’s a great video from Scott Shepard that tells you everything you need to know to get involved with Autodesk Labs.