Autodesk University 2016 – Jhoward

It was another fine AU conference and my head is spinning with new or even evolved ideas. I had a two classes that pretty much tanked, but despite being sore from the 30 miles of walking I did have a good time and learned quite a bit about the future. This post is going to be a little rough and relatively short, but I am afraid it has to be to highlight a few important things and still be concise.

The HOB crew has a particular interest in AR/VR and I did take some of this time to understand the state of the industry on these matters. One of the standouts in this area was Skanska, they seemed to have their hands in all kinds of cool stuff I fully intend on exploring for myself. I would say that our goals are more practical rather than presentation and I have clearly determined none of the presenters are really approaching the topic from the virtualized desktop we are badly wanting to pursue. We will be digging into that topic quite a bit next year and I think my starting point (for simplicity reasons) will be the Autodesk Stingray Game Engine. I am not fully convinced it is developed to the level I need, but it will indeed make an excellent starting point and I can hopefully steer their IdeaStation a bit to incorporate some of what I believe is missing. As a side note, I also had some interesting conversations with a couple of UA guys that appear to be following a similar path and they’ve made remarkable progress with the Unity Engine. I am hoping to do some collaboration with them over the coming months

Here are a couple of good Stringray references I’ve found:
http://www.autodesk.com/makegames
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_6ApchKwjN9mPXtRhL5za_KINjqbWaGV

Revit had a number of really cool surprises too this year. I think Autodesk may have finally upgraded it to a point that people from a piping construction background could seriously consider it a primary platform. I honestly didn’t get a lot of details because it was primarily teasers, but they were very clear….. Revit MEP 2018 will have the ability to generate 2D isometric fabrication drawings!!! In addition to that, they gave me another thing I didn’t see coming any time soon; P&ID support! We will officially be able to build and link our 3D models to flat 2D P&ID Revit families. Based on a side bar conversation, this will be self-contained and not have any requirements to use AutoCAD P&ID. I can’t tell you what a big deal this is for the high purity piping industry if you’re not in it, but it was Christmas in November for me. However, I am certain they still have a ways to go and several more releases until it is to my liking, but they’ve now met us half way and I for one have been wanting to explore the Revit frontier for a long time.

In the end it was all about Fusion! I would say this was by far the most remarkable takeaway from the entire conference. The Fusion software package has really only been out for about 3 or 4 years now and it has grown at an astonishing rate. In almost in scary ways to be honest. I am going to speculate that Fusion will one day will completely replace Inventor. It has to if Autodesk doesn’t migrate the generative design and computer learning techniques from Fusion into Inventor anyway. Computer learning is the future and it appears to be coming fast. I somewhat pity people in that field because it will wind up mitigating their trades talents into a series of selections based on the thousands of design possibilities the AI generates. I guess time will tell, but the other interesting thing was the pricing and distribution platform they chose to implement. First of all it is incredibly cheap in my opinion and second it is FREE not just for educational use, but for hobbyists/enthusiasts like everyone at HOB. This is a fantastic paradigm shift that I really hope to see more of from Autodesk in the future.

I could ramble on about many many things about AU, but these were the absolute most important things to spread the word on. It isn’t possible to meet and mingle with everyone, but if you saw someone running around with a hacked light pendant, then that was probably one of us and feel free to come say hello next year.

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