Las Vegas, 2 December, 2014: Autodesk University 2014 – the annual design spectacle – kicked off here today with Autodesk President & CEO Carl Bass and Jeff Kowalski, CTO setting the tone for the future technology directions of the American software multinational engaged with architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media and entertainment industries. While 10,000 people participated in this year’s conference, thousands of people around the world participating in the AU experience digitally.
Generative design and collaboration: Presenting the premise of Autodesk’s futuristic design outlook, Jeff Kowalski said, “Technology is enabling people to survive and create a modern world. However, through technology, we have been working in opposition of nature. At Autodesk, we started looking at technology through the lens of nature. We started thinking of design process as living process and started looking at devices as living things. Adding context reveals not only what things are, but what they do and how they are. This helps the computer understand how individual components relate to each other. The outcome is closer to life.” Autodesk is developing a platform for generative design, which would mimic nature’s design process. Though relatively an older concept, generative design is gaining traction now with the increased power of computing and cloud access, opening up new space which was previously out of scope.
Technology is getting obsolete much faster than imagined with new versions in the market every day. However, future design approach would be capable of sensing, responding and collaborating with the dynamic world, Jeff opined. “Technology needs to sense, able to predict changes and decide on its course of action. We are exactly on that technology threshold, Jeff said calling on the architects and engineers to design devices that allow such experience.
The Future of Making is Here: Betting big on the future of making things, Carl Bass said, “Industrial revolution has broadened and radicalised the way we make things. Computers are the driving force behind that thinking. The biggest change however has been the ability to work with much richer data, which enables us to capture the complexity of real world. We can now move fluidly from physical world to its digital representation.” Carl indicated that reality capturing and collaborating between teams are ways to create rich models and Autodesk is supporting with its cloud platforms like A 360 in better project collaboration. “In this new world, collaboration and design management is built into everything. In understanding the future of making great things, the most important thing is how we can all work together to make it happen.”
Taking the technology of making things to the next level, Autodesk is bringing digital models into real world through 3D printing. While Autodesk itself is working to push the limits of 3D printing, it established a $100 million Spark investment fund to support entrepreneurs, start-ups and researchers working in this new domain to spur innovation. Autodesk also announced the commercial availability of Ember Explorer, its 3D printer, from 2015.
According to Carl, the evolution of 3D printing will have huge influence in the digitisation of construction process, facilitating huge opportunity to print digital tools to actual construction site. This would make construction more reliable and productive. In the construction space, Autodesk’s BIM360 is the fasting growing product. On this occasion, Autodesk also introduced a new way of accessing all its tools with a single subscription on any platform for one price. Autodesk has also announced that it is making all its software available for free to any student or faculty from any institution anywhere in the world.
A learner’s paradise, Autodesk University 2014 is also engaging the participants with several innovation forums, large exhibit space, classes, labs and certifications.