Acquisitions just keep coming: Autodesk, Hexagon

Just a couple of days ago, we posted a quick recap of recent acquisitions — and already that post needs to be updated with new info.

Autodesk announced that is has acquired PI-VR, maker of VRED, real-time visualization technology that’s used primarily by automotive customers right now. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Buzz Kross, Autodesk’s SVP, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation said in prepared remarks that “The VRED technology helps solve a broad set of problems in the process of car design and engineering, and reduces the need for physical prototypes through the use of real-time, highly realistic visualization. The key part of the announcement was this: Autodesk says it will “integrate Autodesk technologies into the PI-VR platform, while continuing to sell, support and enhance the PI-VR product line. The VRED products will join Autodesk’s existing solutions for the automotive industry including Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Alias, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and the Autodesk Design and Creation Suites.” Translated: expect to see Autodesk leverage VRED to make high-caliber visualization accessible to many more users than can currently afford it. I mean, just check out this engine from the PI-VR website:

Image courtesy of PI-VR

Image courtesy of PI-VR

But that wasn’t the only acquisition announced yesterday. Hexagon said that it has acquired New River Kinematics (NRK), maker of SpatialAnalyzer, a 3D analysis software package for portable metrology. In September, the two companies announced that they would distribute one another’s products, with NRK becoming a preferred software partner for Hexagon’s Leica Laser Tracker instrument sales and Hexagon Metrology offering NRK’s SpatialAnalyzer as a recommended option with their Laser Trackers. Apparently, things worked so well and customers were so receptive that a more formal, permanent structure became a good idea.

SpatialAnalyzer (SA) lets users inspect objects, from very small components to large assemblies. SA has historically been instrument-independent, interfacing with just about all of the portable metrology instruments on the market. Hexagon hasn’t said whether this will change, but it is unlikely to — customers expect to be able to choose their hardware platform.  What’s so cool about this acquisition is that Hexagon plans to “increase SA’s penetration in international markets and growing segments like aerospace, and to team up with Intergraph to strengthen applications in shipbuilding, component fabrication and other large-scale markets,” according to Hexagon CEO Ola Rollén.

This is an image, from New River Kinematics, that shows how SA can combine a laser scan point cloud with other types of data to extract features for easy comparison to CAD or analysis using geometric dimensioning and tolerancing techniques.

Image courtesy of New River Kinematics

Image courtesy of New River Kinematics

It’s only Wednesday — wonder what’s next?

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