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Autodesk Software Part of New Beginning for Quadriplegic Engineer

Thu, 07/29/2010 - 7:08am
SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Engineer Frank Alioto is using 3D design software from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) to steadily recover following an accident that left him with limited mobility. Autodesk donated the software in partnership with the NBC reality TV series “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins” produced by Reveille. In “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins,” Tony Robbins helps people to make new starts and transform their lives. Together, Autodesk and “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins” are helping Alioto help overcome obstacles, change his life and redesign his future.

Before his accident, Alioto worked on the design of aftermarket automotive products. On the evening of his wedding in December 2007, Alioto sustained a serious spinal cord injury that paralyzed his legs, limited his hand movement and temporarily put his personal and professional life on hold. To resume working as an engineer, Alioto had several obstacles to overcome. In addition to the cost of computer hardware and software, Alioto’s physical impairments made it a challenge to interface with advanced software applications.

Alioto’s plight came to the attention of the production team at “Breakthrough with Tony Robbins,” who worked with Autodesk to find a solution. Autodesk provided a donation of hardware, software and training services from Autodesk Consulting to help Alioto achieve his goal.

Digital Prototyping Made Accessible
Using a special adaptive touch pad and stylus, Alioto has been able to effectively use the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping, which enables designers and engineers to design, visualize and simulate their products and processes using a single digital model that integrates design data from all phases of product development. The suite of donated Autodesk technologies includes:

-- Autodesk Alias Design, to rapidly develop and communicate product concepts

-- Autodesk Alias Surface, to evolve concept models into high-quality production surfaces

-- Autodesk Inventor Professional, to develop complete product designs

-- Autodesk Showcase, to rapidly create accurate, highly realistic imagery from 3D CAD

data

-- Autodesk 3ds Max Design, to create dynamic game, film, and video content using advanced 3D modeling, animation and rendering capabilities

“I’ve been very fortunate to have the Autodesk software at my disposal, and the onsite training that they provided was invaluable in helping me quickly get up to speed and be productive,” said Alioto. “The combined tools and training have allowed me to get back to doing what I do best: being an engineer.”

While working with Tony Robbins, family, friends and medical specialists to overcome his physical impairments, Alioto has set his sights on returning to the automotive products field, either by telecommuting for an established company or by forming his own venture — a feat that would have seemed nearly impossible only months ago.

“We are delighted that Autodesk could contribute toward Alioto’s success in breaking through the challenges he faced following his accident,” said Tom Wujec, fellow at Autodesk. “We hope that he, in turn, inspires others who face limitations of their own.”

The episode focused on Alioto’s story aired on NBC on July 27, 2010.



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