At the Las Vegas-based Autodesk University in mid-November, a new wave of design software and technology was announced by company executives and revealed the lengths to which technology is currently progressing.
Autodesk University is an annual event held by Autodesk, Inc. that brings together thousands of global professionals from industries such as engineering, manufacturing, construction, and more. The four-day event features networking experiences and events, classroom learning sessions, and panel-style talks and discussions. Autodesk University aims to provide its attendees with the knowledge needed for a better future of ‘making’.
Andrew Anagnost, President and CEO of Autodesk, said, "AU Las Vegas is a celebration of the very real ways our customers are using technology to make an impact and embrace the opportunity for better," says Anagnost. "We're hoping attendees leave this year's conference feeling inspired and empowered to do the same within their respective industries."
Audience at Autodesk University 2019 event. Image Credit: Autodesk.
Autodesk University 2019 Takeaways
As expected, a lot was announced, said, and done at this year’s Autodesk University event.
This year, its themes primarily centred around the importance of focusing on the “opportunity for better” as industries continue to grow, evolve, and make significant efforts in pursuit of carbon neutrality. Keynotes at the event also focused on the latest developments for customers in architecture, engineering, construction, and the design and manufacturing industries.
Automated Construction Sites and Tools
Construction is an industry that has not yet adopted advanced software tools to the same extent as others. However, Autodesk says that this is about to change. The company is pushing to help construction companies shift away from contemporary practices by “working on the policy side as well as the relations with unions” as Anagnost said.
On the topic of construction, it was also said by Anagnost that the modern way of doing business and creating products has intrinsic value for the environment. He added that “[Autodesk] solutions impact the environment. Construction is responsible for 30% to 40% of the materials in landfill. The more you can automate construction, the more you can reduce that waste,”
By bringing modern manufacturing values to the construction industry, something that Autodesk’s many solutions can do, there will be fewer materials wasted.
A Focus on Generative Design
Generative design is starting to be used for problem-solving beyond 3D printing. By using it as a machine-generated problem solver, Anagnost said that “Generative design is the engine that we use to bridge design and manufacturing. With generative design we’re consolidating the parts,”
Several new improvements have been made to Autodesk Inventor 2020 to push generative design, too. Performance improvements continue to tackle larger and more complex designs in assemblies, parts, and drawings whilst additional supported file types and translation and interoperability features help design engineers explore generative design for the conceptualizing of alternative ways of doing things.
Gaming Software Integrated with Design Tools
Autodesk is beginning to use gaming software to attract users and entice them into using advanced tools they would have otherwise not given a second thought.
Anangost said, “We’re bringing gaming tools into our software to engage with our highly skilled users. It’s a positive attention grabber. It drags you into something you really want to accomplish. It guides you to choose this new path, and if you do, you’ll quickly get better at the new tools.”
By bringing this gaming software into existing Autodesk tools, the company aims to make the design experience fun for its users. This software and gaming engine will eventually appear across the entire portfolio of Autodesk products.
Autodesk University Reaches a Worldwide Audience
Autodesk products and Autodesk University reach a worldwide audience. The event is a series of conferences and online learning exercises focused on inspiring and challenging Autodesk software users.
Autodesk University conferences bring together more than 20,000 participants per year around the world, both in-person and online, at live events through classes, forums, and keynotes presented by thought leaders.
Each year, more than 2.5 million people engage with Autodesk University online, which offers free year-round access to e-learning content, professional development, and talks from Autodesk University conferences.