Idea to Object: Collaboration for Product Design and Manufacturing

Product design and manufacturing are entering a new era of connection, and software is not only keeping up, but leading the way.

Design of any kind is a highly collaborative process. Autodesk provides a myriad of product design and manufacturing offerings, from Inventor to Fusion 360, all enabling aspects of product manufacturing, design, testing, simulation, and production. A360 enables teams to bring all of these varied and complex project files together on one platform to enable collaborative working on all stages of product manufacturing.

The benefits are twofold: by eliminating the hassle of emailing files and obtaining the right software to view them, manufacturing companies can allot more time to the project at hand. A fully collaborative platform also creates a project environment that all contributors can access to make change requests, review designs, and have a central location for all project data.

“Implementation [of cloud collaboration platforms] is associated with greater collaboration among product design teams which, in turn, have a significant positive impact on product quality and a reduction in cycle time and product development cost…improvements in the frequency and intensity of collaboration leads to improved performance, in terms of greater product design quality, lower design cycle time, and reduced product development cost.”

Banker, Rajiv D., Indranil R. Bardhan, and Ozer Asdemir. Understanding the Impact of Collaboration Software on Product Design and Development

Manufacturing and product design trends toward collaboration in web and mobile browsers. Hardware trends in the industry mirror this movement toward agile iteration through increased collaboration. More companies are exploring additive manufacturing as a means of production, leading to the need for new equipment and high-tech solutions for both planning and execution:

“…if you look closely, you will find numerous indications that this historic shift is already well underway. 3D production of functional end-use parts is already one of the fastest growing areas in the manufacturing sector.”

Rick Smith, 3D Printing Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker, Author

3D printing is upping the ante on design iteration with the ability to create rapid prototypes, saving time and money on iterations, and enabling quick optimization without inhibiting creativity.

While manufacturing is on the verge of high-impact innovative change, the design process has already been fundamentally altered by project collaboration platforms. Platforms like A360 have provided a way for multiple teams to access the same models, drawings, and plans, and quickly share these designs with customers and clients.

The diagram below illustrates the role of cloud-based design and manufacturing in the product creation process:


Wu, Dazhong, J. Lane Thames, David W. Rosen, and Dirk Schaefer. “Enhancing the Product Realization Process With Cloud-Based Design and Manufacturing Systems.” Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 13.4 (2013): 041004.

For manufacturing and product design, shared information means insight into components that are used in multiple models, faster responses to input from engineering and other stakeholders, and improved manufacturing processes through cloud-based design and manufacturing.

Explore A360 to incorporate web-based design collaboration into your manufacturing workflows.

Colin Piper

Colin Piper is a Senior Marketing Manager for Project Delivery and ReCap.

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