The developer of AutoCAD products will begin developing a dedicated 3D modeling kernel, Autodesk ShapeManager, to go into Autodesk Inventor. The kernel is a foundation of mathematical functions that lets a modeler shape designs by, for example, blending corners, removing hidden lines, or repairing flawed models. All modeling systems have a kernel. ShapeManager will be based on the ACIS 7.0 kernel licensed from Spatial Corp, a division of Dassault Systemes.

Autodesk says the new kernel will let users devise models which are complicated enough to require sophisticated mathematical computations for communicating 3D design intent.

Robert Kross, vice president of the manufacturing division at Autodesk says because the new kernel shares its heritage with the same ACIS kernel present in current and legacy versions of Autodesk products, integration of ShapeManager will create no file-migration problems, nor will it need geometrymigration utilities. The kernel will maintain compatibility with ACIS V7.0 and below. Future kernel development efforts will be narrowly focused on the requirements of feature modeling for Inventor and on advanced shape descriptions for complex geometric designs, such as consumer products.