Industry Directory - Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc. is one of the largest design software companies in the world, trusted by more than 100 million people in over 85 countries. It was founded in 1982 by computer programmer and entrepreneur John Walker but has since become a household name in several industries. With a mission to empower innovators with design tools, Autodesk has developed several product lines for a wide variety of fields, including architecture, engineering, construction, mechanical and civil engineering, entertainment, and additive manufacturing. Autodesk’s AutoCAD software allows users to visualize their designs in real-time before printing.
Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Autodesk’s flagship computer-aided design (CAD) software, AutoCAD and Revit, are primarily used by architects, engineers, and structural designers to create, draft, and model buildings and other structures. However, Autodesk products have spanned to include other software products, like Navisworks, Maya, 3ds Max, Bim 360, AutoCAD LT, Civil 3D, and SketchBook, helping users unlock their creativity and solve crucial 3D design, business, and sustainability challenges.
Since becoming publicly listed on Nasdaq in 1985 under the symbol “ADSK,” Autodesk has gone on to have a market cap of more than $69 billion and a 2021 earnings per share (EPS) of more than $5. Moreover, this forty-year-old software firm has remained ahead of the curve even as manufacturing technologies have evolved, competing against other cloud-based software firms, and strategically partnering with industry giants like Microsoft.
Driven by the increasing need to support growing industries, Autodesk has transitioned to become a strategic partner to the customers it serves. Through this evolving business model, Autodesk has gone from software vendor to strategic collaborator, helping businesses create more value through end-to-end cloud-based solutions and workflows, business model evolution, automation, and connected data. For example, in 2021, Autodesk decided to invest up to $100 million in the thriving 3D printing industry. Through its Spark Investment Fund, it partnered with 3D-printing service provider network 3D Hubs, automobile-centric hardware developer Local Motors, and intellectual property and quality assurance partner Authentise to provide financial support to researchers that want to emerge in the sector.
Furthermore, through research and development centers in several countries and a $933 million development budget, Autodesk creates solutions, such as design-to-print workflows for 3D printing, to meet the most demanding customers, whether they are startups or industry giants. In the additive manufacturing industry, in particular, Autodesk’s digital prototyping software suits, like Fusion 360, Netfabb, and TinkerCAD, have been used for fabricating everything from automotive parts and prosthetics to architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) designs.
With Fusion 360 3D modeling software, users have the flexibility to select 3D printing parameters, automatically orient parts, and generate fully associative support structures for efficient programming thanks to its complete CAD, CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing), and CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) tools. As for Netfabb, it has been developed explicitly for additive manufacturing, 3D design, and simulation to streamline workflows and reduce build errors before fabrication. Moreover, one of its most popular Autodesk software platforms is TinkerCAD, which runs through a web browser free of charge. As a result, the online 3D modeling program has become a mainstream platform for creating 3D printing models.
Additionally, Autodesk’s Inventor is one of the world’s most used 3D mechanical CAD design software for creating 3D digital prototypes. It is very suitable for 3D mechanical design, simulation, tooling, visualization, and documentation, helping users create integrate 2D AutoCAD drawings and 3D data into a single digital model, allowing for quick changes and adaptation of the geometric characteristics of the product’s design, lower development costs and time to market.
One of Autodesk’s strong points throughout the last decade has been its media and entertainment collection. Described as a robust and scalable 3D animation pipeline for complex simulations, effects, and rendering, Autodesk’s platform for digital media, puts decades of production experience, software expertise, and data management in real-time in the hands of millions of creators and artists around the world, leading to enhanced visual effects for the 3D animation industry. Leaning primarily on Autodesk’s Maya software, creative minds in the entertainment sector have brought beloved characters to life in many renowned franchises from some significant animation studios, like Disney and Pixar.
Through the convergence of digital design, visualization, and manufacturing, Autodesk wants companies to improve their creative processes. Under the motto “changing how the world is designed and made,” Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost wants the company to be part of the global trend that will help accelerate investment in digitization, which is driving growth in many industries it serves.