Autodesk Supports Moduleworks MDES to Simplify CAD-CAM-CNC Data Exchange

Anna Lazar Anna Lazar October 2, 2023

1 min read

See why Autodesk supports the development of ModuleWorks MDES, an open, industry-standard data exchange format for CAD/CAM systems and CNC controls.

For over 35 years, Autodesk’s mission has been to empower innovators with design and make technology so they can achieve the new possible. We strive to enable our customers to succeed and to partner with industry leaders, like ModuleWorks to drive the industry forward as a whole. 

Fusion 360’s library of hundreds of free post-processors makes it easier for users to transfer data between our partners’ CAD/CAM systems and CNC controls. However, there are still differing export and import formats for each system. The industry needs a solution that doesn’t require custom translators, which can be expensive and a huge burden for system developers. 

Introducing Moduleworks MDES 


As a step forward in this direction, Autodesk is supporting the development of ModuleWorks MDES, which the company announced to the world last week at EMO. This open, industry-standard data exchange format aims to provide a universal solution that all systems can adopt. 

By backing this development, Autodesk is committed to making CAD-CAM-CNC workflows as seamless as possible for users, regardless of the systems they use. With an industry-wide standard in place, there will be no need for expensive custom translators or ongoing support for new versions of each system. 

Fusion 360 integration

Autodesk is currently integrating this MDES export feature within Fusion 360’s manufacturing workspace. This development will bring the benefits of MDES directly to users of Fusion 360, allowing them to effortlessly transfer their manufacturing data to MDES-supported machine tools and guarantee the error-free execution of their programs on the first attempt. 

“We’re eliminating bottlenecks that reduce accurate and effective communication,” says Al Whatmough, Autodesk’s director of product design and manufacturing solutions. “Smarter machines on the shop floor, using CAM data, will yield better outcomes when they understand an operator’s intent, rather than just blindly following commands. The MDES open standard is the major step the industry needs toward improving the problematic communication between CAM software and machine tools.” 

Overall, the adoption of Moduleworks MDES will reduce costs and streamline workflows for users, making it easier to transfer data between CAD-CAM systems and CNC controls. Learn more about MDES here and encourage your CNC controllers to adopt it today.

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