Autodesk Unveils Cloud-based Forge Initiative to Transform How Products are Designed, Made and Used
By   |  April 08, 2016

Autodesk Unveils Cloud-based Forge Initiative to Transform How Products are Designed, Made and Used

Autodesk announced Forge, an initiative to accelerate a cloud connected ecosystem in support of the future of making things. The initiative consists of three major components – a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, a robust developer program, and a $100 million investment fund – all geared toward advancing the next wave of innovative technologies that will transform how products are designed, made and used.

“The way we design, make and use products is rapidly changing. New technologies are disrupting every aspect of the product lifecycle,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Products at Autodesk. “Autodesk is launching Forge to help developers build new businesses in the changing manufacturing landscape. We are inviting innovators to take advantage of Autodesk’s cloud platform to build services that turn today’s disconnected technologies into highly connected, personalized experiences.”

The Forge Initiative will help Autodesk realize the future of making things by partnering with developers and innovators to expand opportunities and connect all of the steps to design, make and use the next generation of products. This three-pronged effort includes services, training and a $100 million investment fund.

Code, Community, Create
Platform-as-a-Service – The Forge Platform is a set of cloud services that span early stage design, engineering, visualization, collaboration, production and operations. Open application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) enable small and large software developers alike to build intuitive cloud powered apps, services and experiences for the people making the world around us.
Developer Program – The Forge Developer Program will bring together the cloud developer community, provide ongoing training, resources and support, and host an inaugural Forge Developer Conference during the week of June 13, 2016.
Investment Fund – The Forge Fund will advance the developer ecosystem by investing up to $100 million over the next several years in emerging companies that are working to deliver innovative solutions and services on or connected to the Forge Platform. In addition to financial support, Autodesk will also provide business and technical support to startups that are contributing value to the future of making things.

An ecosystem with growing partnerships
The Forge Initiative also includes a partner program for highly motivated innovators to work closely with Autodesk. Forge partners collaborate closely with Autodesk on the use of its cloud platforms to create intuitive services for manufacturing professionals supporting the Autodesk Product Innovation Platform. Six inaugural partners include BriteHub, Proto Labs, FATHOM, 100kGarages, MakeTime and HWTrek.

“The partnership between BriteHub and Autodesk unites digital product design with manufacturing collaboration. The design for manufacturability process is complex and requires consistent communication among many project stakeholders. With Autodesk Fusion 360, A360 and BriteHub’s workflow tools the process is streamlined, like a match made in cloud-based software heaven.” – Dorian Ferlauto, Founder and CEO, BriteHub

“Proto Labs is very pleased to have our quick-turn manufacturing capabilities integrated into Autodesk Fusion 360. With a single click, Fusion users can request a quote with design for manufacturability analysis and then have their custom parts manufactured in a variety of processes, including molding, machining, and 3D printing in plastics and metals. Our service was designed to help product developers get to market faster by manufacturing custom parts in as fast as 1 day. We are excited to bring this seamless quoting and ordering process to the Fusion 360 users.” – Robert Bodor, Vice President, Proto Labs

“A favorite of designers, engineers, students, established firms, and even startups, Fusion 360 represents the highest level of online collaboration and CAD software. We’re excited to provide easy access to 3D printing for the entire Fusion 360 community.” – Rich Stump, Co-Founder and Principal, FATHOM.

“The Fusion360 API offers scaffolding for a platform that integrates design, manufacturing, and supply chain. It makes available the components of a system to link normally independent players into effective communication and collaboration networks; it provides a set of tools that can make more realistic the promise of ‘the next industrial revolution’ — local production in small entrepreneurial shops doing fulfilling work.” – Ted Hall, CEO & Founder of ShopBot Tools, Inc.

“We are excited to use the Autodesk Fusion 360 API to provide an end-to-end service for hardware developers that shortens the time to product commercialization and scaling up manufacturing production with the resources of the global supply chain.” – Lucas Wang, CEO, HWTrek

“Our partnership with Autodesk provides a true end-to-end manufacturing solution for turning design-led ideas into reality by connecting the Fusion 360 community to our virtual machine shop of scalable CNC machining and production services from qualified U.S. suppliers.” – Drura Parrish, CEO & Founder of MakeTime.

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