The Future of Making Things: Autodesk University 2016


Autodesk University 2016 Insight

We spent a week in Las Vegas with 10,000 of our closest friends attending Autodesk University, themed this year “The Future of Making Things.” The opening keynote featured CTO Jeff Kowalski sharing that technology is increasing at an exponential rate, a sentiment that was more than apparent at this year’s conference. The opening keynote touched on trends such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based software. Kowalski told the group that “ongoing learning is the antidote to fearing, and enabler of using new technology.” Kowalski shared that technology is not the competition, the competition is someone else adopting it before you do.

It was with this mission that we exhibited at Autodesk University, to help attendees stay on top of the software’s latest capabilities. With the push toward cloud-based software like Fusion 360, Autodesk will be updating their tools more frequently than ever. Continuous learning is essential to keeping up with the latest features and tools. Other exhibitors showcased technology like live industrial robotic 3D printing, a brick-laying construction robot, the first-ever generatively designed office building, an open-sourced 3D printed drone, a virtual reality experience to configure a full-scale Ford Mustang, and augmented reality construction hard hats.

We also heard from Anna Nixon, a 16-year-old from Westview High School who wowed the crowd. She shared her experience with FIRST Robotics Competition, saying that “through the FIRST program, students are given the chance to apply skills both in and out of the classroom to build robots for a variety of challenges.” There is a new generation of engineers that are smart, capable, and hungry to learn. “We are a generation that has grown up with technology, where technology is everywhere and accessible to anyone.” But their education can’t stop when they leave the classroom because the world keeps changing. “Technology has also brought unprecedented change across industries. Many of the jobs that exist today will have no place in the future. Technology changes how we work, where we work, and what we work on. The most valuable asset to any future worker is the ability to learn.” Students are the next generation of designers, engineers, makers, and builders. Autodesk and SolidProfessor support this bright future by partnering with and sponsoring FIRST Robotics.

In the closing keynote, we heard from Autodesk CMO Andrew Anagnost, “Did you know that after 24 hours, you’ve already forgotten 70% of the new information you’ve gotten from a presentation?” We learned so much at Autodesk University, but the learning can’t stop now that we’ve left Las Vegas. Continuous learning helps defeat that forgetting curve and keeps your skills sharp. Join SolidProfessor today by creating a free membership!

John Farmer
About the Author

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