Autodesk University 2011 Report

Today we have the ability to digitally print and reproduce inventions without a manufacturing process.

CEO Carl Bass pointed out: “We are beginning to blur the boundaries of computer platforms. It just won’t matter which ones. We’ve also introduced Autodesk Cloud.  Seven million use Sketchbook. A new product, ForceEffect, lets you sketch and gives you immediate feedback.”

Why don’t we sketch in 3D? Bass says we save 3D for when ideas are more developed.  Now complex 3D modeling can be done within a browser. New product 123D Sculpt allows you to sketch in 3D. “Little kids pick up this program and make stuff in minutes,” said Bass, adding: “Grownups are using it too. You can share ideas with dimensional and visual fidelity that wasn’t available before. If it’s fun enough for an eight year old to use, it’s probably a good tool.”

Analysis tools include Eco Impact Dashboard and Eco Materials Advisor. These  tools show how materials and choice impact cost, manufacturing and sustainability of buildings.  This will move users from file centric to data centric approach. It’s all about empowering access to data you really need by linking documents together in intelligent ways.

Although we don’t talk too much about Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) in AEC,  Bass  talked about his Anti-PLM rap that he did on YouTube:  “I said on YouTube no one had a problem with it except companies trying to implement it. Today we’re introducing a brand new solution that will change how people will do PLM, will decrease complexity of managing your project. It’s easy to configure and extend, flexible, allows you to focus on what you’re doing with the tool.”

“What pleases me is that we didn’t do PLM until we could do it right,” added Bass.

Autodesk 360 includes three products:

  • Autodesk Vault manages change process , on premise adjacent to where design tools live today
  • Autodesk Buzzsaw is now integrated with other solutions – helps customers collaborate from a design perspective. Buzzsaw integrates with AutoCAD WS for DWG review and edit workflows.
  • New product – Autodesk 360 Nexus, a cloud based product or project lifecycle management solutions designed to provide business applications to facilitate the entire lifecycle from concept to retirement. Built from the ground up to facilitate the cloud based experience.  It is available anywhere anytime as long as the user has rights to access it.

In conclusion, we are seeing a trend at Autodesk away from the software subscription model where you buy a software package and then get updates from time to time. That may still be available, but the cloud is now another option.

This may be part of Autodesk’s appeal to those up and coming users – the consumer/creator/inventor/small business customer, who might not be a customer yet. They use all the free or almost free stuff out there. They are agnostic users, not wedded to any one product. They might be outside the corporate landscape. They may also not want to own their software, but rather rent it or have it on a pay-as-you-go model, sort of like Netflix or Avis Rent-a-Car.

This potential brash new market, while largely individuals and small businesses, holds the promise of creativity, of being able to offer a vital source of inspiration to Autodesk products,  unhampered by the regulations of large corporations. At one point Carl Bass said he didn’t think the most complex products should be more expensive than the easier to use ones. I’m looking forward to finding out how that plays out, if it does.

Perhaps one of the new waves Kowalski was talking about will be the new wave of creativity that is generated – not just for the small business – but to lap upon the shores of the large organizations as well, where there are projects to try on implementation.

See AECCafe Today blog for more coverage of Autodesk University.




He who would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools – Confucius

Top News of the Week

HP demonstrated at Autodesk University its portfolio of web-connected large-format printing and sharing solutions and workstations that improve mobility, collaboration and efficiency.

In booth 100, HP will showcase its award-winning HP Z Workstations, as well as its web-connected HP Designjet ePrinters and eMFP with the new HP ePrint & Share mobile application for the iPhone, iPad® or iPod touch®(1) that allows professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to print and share plans through the cloud where they work.(2) Since the mobile application launched in October, registrations for HP ePrint & Share(3) have tripled, demonstrating the high demand from AEC professionals for mobile tools.

Oracle announced Oracle WebLogic Server, 12c, the latest release of the #1 application server for conventional systems, engineered systems and cloud environments.

As the center piece of Oracle's Cloud Application Foundation, and a core part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware product family, Oracle WebLogic Server continues to deliver innovative new capabilities for building, deploying and running Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) applications.

Oracle WebLogic Server 12c provides significant enhancements to help customers and partners lower their total cost of ownership and derive more value from their current application infrastructure, while accelerating the development cycle and reducing time-to-market for their applications.  


As 2012 approaches, Microdesk has announced its list of Architecture, Engineering, Construction & Operations (AECO) industry predictions and a resolution for the upcoming year at Autodesk University.

Calling on their experience working closely with some of the nation's largest architecture, engineering and construction companies , Microdesk has compiled the following list of predictions that reflect the current technological innovations taking place in the AECO industry, highlighting trends that firms can stay ahead of in order to succeed in an increasingly competitive and tech-savvy market. The top five trends for 2012 that AECO companies should prepare for now include:

  • Let's Go Virtual: Firms will look to pushing the envelope of what's possible in the cloud.
  • Proliferation of Building Information Modeling (BIM): BIM is here to stay – and expect more companies to embrace this technology that is transforming an entire industry.
  • Beyond the Desktop: Mobile will take AECO whenever and wherever, moving past desktop limitations.
  • Stronger Reliance on New Technologies: Firms will speed up to keep pace with innovation.
  • A Holistic Approach: It's time for a collaboration the industry has never seen before.

One year ago , International Data Corporation ( IDC) predicted that the IT industry's next dominant platform, built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies, would begin its transition into the mainstream. Today, spending on these technologies is growing at about 18% per year and is expected to account for at least 80% of IT spending growth between now and 2020. With future market revenues at stake, IDC predicts that 2012 will be marked by some of the first high-stakes battles as companies seek to position themselves for leadership in these critical and fast-growing technology areas.

Dennis Shelden, CTO of Gehry Technologies (GT) and Associate Professor of the Practice, Department of Architecture at MIT will be a featured speaker at Ecobuild America, which takes place Dec. 5 - 9 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

What: Shelden will serve as a speaker in two back-to-back sessions, "BIM Practices and Case Studies" and "The Wikification of Design: Cloud-based Project Delivery"

When: Tuesday, Dec. 6: 1:15-2:45 in room 202B and 3:00-4:30 p.m. PT in room 202A (respectively)

Where: Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

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