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Autodesk Inventor Gets its Name in Lights

Shining Performance Marks Chocolate Factory Debut

Although Autodesk Inventor is a star in the manufacturing industry, the 3D design software has not, until now, been associated with films.  However, now thanks to Autodesk customer Sugg Lighting, Inventor is getting its share of the limelight – playing a role in such recent blockbusters as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Chronicles of Narnia. 


And while there is no evidence to suggest that Willy Wonka himself used Inventor to design his ingenious gum and candy-making contraptions, we do know that Sugg Lighting’s traditional style lamp posts that feature in the film were designed using the 3D modelling software.


“We do a lot of work for films – and the thing that all the commissions have in common is that they are needed quickly,” says Mark Jones, technical manager, Sugg Lighting.  “Autodesk Inventor enables us to respond within the tight deadlines.”


Sugg Lighting was established in 1834 and is now the UK’s top name in decorative and heritage lighting.   For a company that specialises in the old-fashioned, it has always been forward thinking about 3D modelling having previously used a Cadkey solution in this way.


“It was difficult to use and we wanted a solution with a long-term future, so after careful consideration of the market, looking at all the main products available, we chose Inventor,” says Jones.  Since then Sugg Lighting hasn’t looked back as it has also invested in Autodesk Inventor Professional in order to make use of its FEA functionality.


“As you may guess, not all our work is as glamorous as contributing to film sets.  With the increase in demand for heritage and reproduction lighting and for the restoration of existing lighting, we’re kept busy working for local authorities and other customers such as London Underground where we are doing a major refurbishment project.


“A lighting column needs just the right combination of strength and flexibility and there are extensive safety standards to comply with.  Inventor’s stress analysis means that rather than pay a consultant to do all the calculations for us, as we did previously, the technology does all the work for us.  So there’s been a quick return on our purchase of Inventor Professional as it has saved us so much money,” says Jones.


Although he admits that the “pull of the Autodesk name” helped sway the decision to buy Inventor in the first place he has never had cause to regret the investment describing it as, “in my view, the best money we’ve ever spent”.


“Sugg Lighting is typical of many, smaller well-established companies who are getting excellent value from Inventor,” says John Jervis of MICE Technical Graphics Ltd, the Autodesk reseller.  “And, of course, we are delighted that it is helping the company’s continuing success in film.”


It certainly means that Sugg Lighting can be ready for the next call from Pinewood or even Hollywood, confident that it can meet demands within a tight timeframe.  “I must be the only person to watch a film not for the stars or the story, but to look out for the lampposts,” says Jones.

Sugg Lighting press release (doc - 0Kb)

Further information from


Neil Dunsmuir, Autodesk

Tel: 01252 456600

Email: Click here to contact Neil

Laura Slade, Whiteoaks

Tel: 01252 727313

Email: Click here to contact Laura