Autodesk acquires AI-based design firm Spacemaker

The company also introduced its new platform Tandem, which merges project data into a single platform.

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Screen shot of Autodesk's new platform, Tandem.

Autodesk said Tuesday that it has signed a deal to acquire Spacemaker for $240 million. Based in Oslo, Norway, Spacemaker uses artificial intelligence and generative design to help architects, urban designers, and real estate developers make early-stage design decisions.

With Spacemaker's AI-driven platform, architects and developers can create and evaluate options for a building or urban development. The company's software takes into consideration key design criteria and data like terrain, maps, wind, lighting, traffic and zoning, and produces an optimized design layout for the proposed site.

Autodesk said the acquisition of Spacemaker accelerates its outcome-based design roadmap and focus on generative design, which seeks to streamline and accelerate the process of developing design ideas and getting to production.

"The acquisition of Spacemaker demonstrates our commitment to the advancement of architects and the ability of designers to change the world for the better," said Amy Bunszel, SVP for AEC Design Solutions at Autodesk. "Paired with our teams and complementary technology, Spacemaker's transformational solution will empower designers to make more informed design decisions and help solve some of the greatest challenges ahead of us all."

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Autodesk unveiled a new software product that merges project data into a single platform, with the aim of creating a digital twin of design and construction assets. According to Autdodesk, its new Tandem platform is geared toward the architecture, engineering and construction industries, where digital data is often left unused once projects are completed.

With Tandem, Autodesk posits that building owners and other project stakeholders will be able to utilize the design and construction data to improve operations. 

"Autodesk Tandem connects the digital world with the real world, creating an up-to-date reflection of a model's physical self," Autodesk explained in a blog post. "This provides unique operational insight into a facility, building, bridge, or any structure, as well as its components, including, for example, the performance of heating and cooling systems, escalators, and electrical systems."

Autodesk's upcoming beta launch of Tandem follows its announcement from last week that it has partnered with Nvidia to bring its design software suite to Nvidia's Omniverse , a platform designed for collaboration and simulation in the areas of design, robotics, autonomous vehicles and media and entertainment. 

Using the platform -- which is based on Pixar's Universal Scene Description (USD), a format for universal interchange between 3D applications -- remote teams can collaborate simultaneously on projects. Nvidia announced last week that the open source Omniverse platform can now integrate with Autodesk's software, in addition to other providers, giving designers and creators the ability to collaborate using the tool of their choice.

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