NEWS: Autodesk’s AEC Collection expanded at no cost

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Autodesk bundles game engine VR, structural analysis, computational design and more

In our recent interview with Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost, when confronted with feedback we’ve heard from customers and the disapproval of the value for money in subscription, the company head pleaded for customers to give him one year to hold off judgement.

Today, coinciding with Revit’s birthday, Autodesk has gone some way to providing a lot more functionality for exactly the same subscription price as before, adding a number of applications to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Collection for BIM and Revit-based workflows.

The new additions include Revit Live (game engine viz and VR), Robot Structural Analysis Professional, Structural Bridge Design, Dynamo Studio Advance Steel and Fabrication CADmep. This builds on the core applications of Revit, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Navisworks Manage, Infraworks and 3ds Max.

According to Vikram Dutt, Sr. Director, Building Business Line at Autodesk, the move now enables Revit models for virtual reality, fabrication, computational design, and analysis supporting BIM processes from planning and design through pre-construction.

This is obviously the addition of a considerable tranche of new capability and welcome that there is no additional subscription fee. The question is, will firms actually use the additional products, with associated training and staffing costs, as well as the flexibility of licenses with a design department? It will also mean more difficult decisions in working out the cost / product balance between existing perpetual licensed products on maintenance, individual product subscriptions and these new mega Collections.

It’s wise to keep one eye on the future and consider how underlying subscription costs may change over time and could negatively impact department budgets.

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There is certainly enough capability now included to explore emerging and cutting edge uses of design technology such as VR, Analysis, Computational Design and Digital Fabrication. Obviously with owning most of the applications, Autodesk hopes the benefits of the BIM 360 cloud backbone will become even more apparent.

With the announcement Autodesk released a video to give customers a feel for how the tools in the Collection can impact project development, highlighting the Italian design and engineering firm Open Project which worked on Bulgari’s new factory in Valenza, Italy, taking BIM workflows to the next level and using integrated software to leverage their models for visualisation, fabrication, and multidiscipline coordination.

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