Autodesk University 2014: The Future of Making Is Here

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Local Motors ‘ Strati, the world’s first 3D printed car. Last week, Las Vegas played host to Autodesk University, Autodesk’s annual gathering—part conference, part continuing education—for 9, 000 professional designers, engineers and animators. Below is a summary of some of the big ideas and themes that will be shaping the conversation around making in 2015. It’s alive! Design is a living process that lives past the moment of creation—a key theme for this year’s Autodesk University . From featured speakers and workshop presenters to the company’s CTO and CEO, the message was clear: we are moving swiftly past the Internet of Things, where devices interact with us, toward a broader, more complex and, ultimately, more valuable Community of Things, where products interact with each other and respond collaboratively to the environments in which they exist. Jeff Kowalski, Chief Technology Officer and SVP, Autodesk Hardware is hot, hot, hot. Three elements in the design process and manufacturing are supporting the innovation that will drive this evolution—an evolution that’s not just on the way, it’s already here. First, the advancement of 3D printing, micro-molding, capital and funding options means that production is more flexible and robust than ever before. Second, demand is continuing to grow from “a few sizes fit all” to individual customization (see Normal’s custom-fit ear buds after the jump). And finally, our attitudes towards products are changing. For a variety of reasons—sustainability, cost, our own hyper-individualized mentalities and even our desire to create better communities—we are starting to expect that products will be responsive, change and get better over time. (more…)

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Autodesk University 2014: The Future of Making Is Here

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