The Future of Making Things: Autodesk University 2015 Recap


The 23rd year of Autodesk University was nothing short of spectacular. Between storm troopers, breakdancers, and a robotic bartender, the nearly 10,000 attendees attended more than 700 sessions last week in Las Vegas. We explored the evolution of design and engineering technology and how we could bring our skills into the future with ongoing learning.

We at SolidProfessor contributed to the learning, ideation, and general mayhem by hosting our own happy hour event exploring the Future of Design. Guest speakers Jeremy Stadtmueller and Patrick Rainsberry from Autodesk’s Fusion 360 team shared insights on where the industry was moving. They reinforced the importance of ongoing learning as engineering software and tools are evolving more rapidly than ever before.

Opening speakers included Autodesk President and CEO Carl Bass, Chief Technology Officer Jeff Kowalski, and Hugh Herr, Professor at MIT and TED speaker. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group is building the next generation of bionic limbs and robotic prosthetics inspired by nature’s own designs. His opening address inspired us, saying that “If we innovate, architect a new design world, we can eliminate disability.”

Hot topics during Autodesk University 2015 included the Internet of Things, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, and additive manufacturing. Carl Bass challenged attendees to reframe the way they thought about difficult challenges as they looked forward towards the future of making things.

At the exhibit hall, more than 200 exhibitors showcased new hardware and software, hands-on demos and interactive experiences. SolidProfessor’s booth gave attendees the chance to check out our new Autodesk courses…and try their luck at Blackjack. Winners were entered into a raffle and winners included Martin O’Hern of J.W. Danforth, Jose Altamirano of Dibble Engineering, and Matthew Hudson of CNC Engineering who each won a SolidProfessor annual membership. Hudson was the grand prize winner, also walking away with a $100 cash prize!

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John Farmer
About the Author

SolidProfessor Digital Marketing Manager and keeper of Rahn, the office dog.