In an unfortunately rare sign of an established company getting with the times, Autodesk, make of computer assisted design software and similar tools, is unveiling a new cloud service the Autodesk Simulation 360.
The tool leverages the power of the cloud to run simulations at a rate that would be unfeasible even for a designer with a powerful workstation at his disposal.
The tool can simulate real-world conditions to test the validity of a design. What's interesting is that the tool is not aimed at testing one design, but a large number of variations.
This brute force approach can have huge benefits in the prototype phase as a designer or an engineer can test a wide number of configurations and could uncover some interesting and unexpected results.
It's a classic example of what the cloud is good for. Companies using the new service would not afford to build the infrastructure needed for this kind of testing and then only use it once a month or even once a week.