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Ongoing Autodesk ShapeManager Development Delivers Manufacturing Customers Greater Software Quality and Functionality

Kernel’s industry-specific features and rich development put competitors at a disadvantage

SAN RAFAEL, California, October 20, 2003—Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), the world's leading design software and digital content company, today announced that since taking over development of the company’s own 3D geometric modeling kernel, the Autodesk® ShapeManager, nearly two years ago, the company has delivered advanced robustness, geometry coverage, and performance to its manufacturing customers who are under tremendous pressure to bring higher quality products to market faster for less cost. Autodesk ShapeManager was introduced with Autodesk Inventor® Series 5.3 software in February 2002 and continues to be significantly enhanced with each new release of Autodesk Inventor Series—the best-selling 3D design software product in the manufacturing industry.

The Autodesk ShapeManager geometric modeling kernel is a purpose-built, feature-based modeling engine unique to Autodesk, which is fine-tuned for the demands of 3D users in the manufacturing marketplace. It is derived from ACIS®, a generic 3D modeling technology available from Spatial Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of competitor Dassault Systemes. By managing its own geometric modeling kernel development, Autodesk provides its mechanical design software an edge in the market unmatched by competitors and demonstrates the company’s commitment to the manufacturing marketplace.

“ShapeManager gives our customers the power they need to create higher quality designs,” said Robert Kross, vice president of the Manufacturing Solutions Division at Autodesk. “With each release of the Autodesk Inventor Series we increase functionality of the ShapeManager kernel to boost performance, robustness, and overall quality so our users reap more advanced benefits from our software. Because of the rich development of our ShapeManager kernel, competitive products that rely upon generic modeling technology are now at a disadvantage.”

The goal of developing a dedicated 3D modeling kernel was to incorporate it in Autodesk design software, particularly Autodesk Inventor, to allow users to design more complex parts and modify more complex virtual models than they could with the generic ACIS kernel, and to provide increasing application stability and performance, all of which require sophisticated mathematical computations to define and communicate three-dimensional design intent. Autodesk continues to support a dedicated development team with substantial experience in solid modeling to develop ShapeManager for the Autodesk Inventor software application and fine-tune it for the demands of 3D users in the manufacturing marketplace.

Key enhancements to ShapeManager include:

  • Innovative shape description tools that let users seamlessly mix solids and surfaces to create stylized, complex, and sculpted parts such as those in the consumer products industries;
  • Powerful lofting capabilities that enable customers to easily create aesthetic shapes;
  • The addition of a significant amount of offset and thicken functionality, giving users a simple way to transition from surfaces to solids;
  • Improved shelling performance; and
  • Integration of the kernel with AutoCAD® 2004 software to reduce the DWG file size for solid data, allowing users to quickly open and save drawings as well as conserve system memory and disk space.

Autodesk Manufacturing’s Design and Data Management Solutions

Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions Division offers companies the most comprehensive selection of 2D and 3D design and data management solutions to help customers solve critical business challenges by giving them the tools to innovate, increase productivity, optimize processes, and bring higher quality products to market faster for less cost. Unlike other offerings on the market today, Autodesk’s design and data management solutions solve problems for small and medium-sized manufacturers, especially those that cannot tolerate large-scale product lifecycle management installations. Autodesk’s design and data management solutions are easy to install and use, providing rapid results without complex, costly installations. These solutions include AutoCAD and AutoCAD® Mechanical software, the Autodesk Inventor® Professional and Autodesk Inventor Series 3D mechanical design packages that are integrated with the new Autodesk® Vault functionality that is available to subscriptions users only, and the Autodesk Streamline® collaboration service. In addition, customers can take advantage of widely available third-party applications purpose-built for Autodesk software and they can utilize Autodesk Professional Services to garner greater value from their software.

For an annual fee, Autodesk® Subscription customers benefit from a complete technology, training and support program that protects their software investments by providing them with the most current design technology, Web Support direct from Autodesk, flexible self-paced training options and a broad range of other technology and business benefits. For products like Autodesk Inventor software with a history of rapid development, the program provides a timely cycle of new releases with rich new content as soon as it becomes available. For more information about Autodesk Subscription, visit www.autodesk.com/subscription.

About Autodesk

Autodesk is the world's leading design software and digital content company, offering customers progressive business solutions through powerful technology products and services. Autodesk helps customers in the building, manufacturing, infrastructure, digital media, and wireless data services fields increase the value of their digital design data and improve efficiencies across their entire project lifecycle management processes. For more information about the company, see www.autodesk.com.

Occasionally, Autodesk makes statements regarding planned or future development efforts for our existing or new products and services. These statements are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services, or features but merely reflect our current plans, which may change. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect any change in circumstances, after the statements are made.

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and Autodesk Streamline are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

© 2003 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.