If you have never heard of the company Autodesk, you are not alone. However, it is one of the most important software designing companies, and has been so for many years now. It is an American company gone international that puts the focus on 3d and 2d design software for use in engineering, manufacturing, building construction, entertainment, media and architecture. Founded all the way back in 1982 by John Walker of San Rafael, California, Autodesk has become one of the best known companies out there largely due to their flagship software which is known as AutoCAD. It is estimated that there are more than 9 million users of this software all across the world, and the company was even named #25 on the list of “The Worlds 50 Most Innovative Companies” in Fast Company magazine.
The company has prided itself on its development and release of a variety of digital prototyping solutions which help users to visualize their design, simulate it in a computer based environment, and analyze the design’s real world performance during every step of the designing process. Autodesk also provides consumers with management software access and digital media creation across all entertainment and media disciplines, from television and film visual effects, editing and color grading, to game development, animation, and design visualization. Some of their divisions include Platform Solutions & Emerging Business, which works to develop and manage the Autodesk product foundation across many different markets, including the company’s flagship products AutoCAD, and AutoCAD LT, as well as Autodesk’s Geospatial solutions, plant solutions, and more. Next is the Architecture, Engineering & Construction division followed by the manufacturing division, and several others. Besides the AutoCAD programs, Autodesk offers consumers many more programs including Softimage, Maya, Discreet Inferno, Discreet fire, Discreet Flame, Discreet Flint, 3ds max, Lustre, Toxik, Autosketch, Autodesk LocationLogic, Autodesk Subscription Program, and Discreet Smoke. While the company offers a wide variety of programs, it is sometimes necessary for them to discontinue some of those programs. These include Volo View, Autodesk Animator Pro, Autodesk Animator Studio, and Cyberspace by Autodesk.
During its long and successful career, Autodesk has made many acquisitions which helped the company grow into the mammoth that it is today. Some of these acquisitions include Alias, Skymatter Inc who was the developer of the popular program called Mudbox, NavisWorks Inc, Opticore AB which was based out of Gothenburg, Sweden, PlassoTech who were the developers of the popular CAE applications, Robobat, Moldflow Corporation, Kynogon SA, REALVIZ S.A., Square One Research, Softimage, and more. This acquisition trend has been a key strategy for Autodesk. By buying small and medium sized companies around the world, they have been able to acquire very specific know-how at relatively low costs, and it also keeps the rise of future competitors to a minimum. However, they are not without stiff competition by companies like Bentley Systems and their program MicroStation, Nemetschek and their program VectorWorks, Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD, Buhodra Ingenieria’s Istram/Ispol, Dassault Systemes and their program SolidWorks, Siemens and their Solid Edge programs, and more.
While the company may have a lot of competition, their large product portfolio and their keen business sense should keep them afloat for many years to come. Recently, they have even gotten into the Green scene by sponsoring a PBS program called E^2 Design, which focuses making building designs more environmentally friendly all around the world.