You know when you’re walking in the park and a pigeon flies straight into your face? Autodesk University is not like that at all. It’s actually rather like a flock of pigeons flying into your face, without the pain… or trauma, which just so happen to be filled with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Autodesk and their horde of products.

Scary pigeons huh. And like a crazy flock of cooing foul we’re gonna fly right into your face with some quick Autodesk University related happenings.

If you’re at AU2009 and use an Autodesk product, your brain is likely getting slammed in new ways you don’t want to tell your family about. If you’re not here and wondering what AU is all about, this will give you a small sense of what’s going on.

The Quick Facts

  • This is the 17th Autodesk University
  • This is the 4th year it’s been in Las Vegas
  • 2009 is first year the conference is simulcasted virtually
  • Over 6,000 attendees, over 16,000 virtual attendees
  • There are over 1,000 classes and labs
  • Covers over 20 specialties from Architecture to Water and Waste

The Quick Overview

  • There was a blogger social Monday Night. There were about 150 people (~110 bloggers?) eating tapas and alcoholics.
  • I hit two Industrial Designers Design Surfacing Sessions. One went through bringing Inventor files into Showcase visualization software. The other went through the process of using scanned surface data to produce spicy surfaces in Alias.
  • The Main Keynote was in the Mandalay Bay Event Center, an indoor arena that seats 12,000. There were fog machines and pretty lights.
  • CEO, Carl Bass talked about the 5 stages of Tech – Impossible, Impractical, Possible, Expected, Required. Lots of new CAD Tech is entering the Possible stage.
  • One of those CTO, Jeff Kowalski touched on. Mobile device and augmented reality being used in product development. The slide displayed a guy holding a phone toward a street with all the pipes and junk below imposed on top. It can all happen now. Not so a year ago.
  • Green Tech is huge (of course.) Manufacturability analysis in Inventor. Green companies like Green Ocean Energy and Glomac using Autodesk products for simulation. Amory Lovins, cofounder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain lives in a cool house.
  • Autodesk is looking into getting more programs on the Mac. Also Autodesk has a strong interest in Cloud computing (Autodesk Twitch).
  • Lots of iPhone, mobile slides. Autodesk likes apps. Especially Sketchbook mobile. It’s been downloaded over 1,000,000 times (free and paid app combined.)
  • I was misrepresented 4 times as converting to the ‘dark-side’ of Autodesk or being a ‘blogger for SolidWorks.’
  • Somehow I ended up doing an Sketchbook Mobile demo at the Autodesk kiosk. Convince several people to ditch their Blackberry’s buy iPhones and start using their saving to buy apps and music.
  • Buzz Cross introduced Dr. Peter Diamandis of XPrize. He’s passionate about putting your butt in space and holding competitions for other new tech.
  • The Manufacturing Keynote also showed off Alias Sketch for AutoCAD, Fusion, Sketchbook Mobile and most interesting, Alias modeling tools inside of Inventor.

Random AU Photo Sweets

Industrial Design Session. Bringing Inventor into Showcase

Industrial Design Session. Bringing Inventor into Showcase

The AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) Lounge

The AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) Lounge

A long row of Survey Stations

A long row of Survey Stations

The Manufacturing Lounge

The Manufacturing Lounge

Press peeps watching an Inventor Publisher presentation

Press peeps watching an Inventor Publisher presentation

How Will You Design in 2020? Wall

How Will You Design in 2020? Wall

The Main Stage in the Event Center

The Main Stage in the Event Center

CTO Jeff talkin' Augmented Reality

CTO Jeff talkin' Augmented Reality

The floor of the Lunch Hall

The floor of the Lunch Hall

Carl Bass talkin' to the Press peeps.

Carl Bass talkin' to the Press peeps.

Al Dean, Kenneth Wong, Martyne Day, another guy and Greg Corke

Al Dean, Kenneth Wong, Martyne Day, another guy and Greg Corke

A coffee cup picture taken with Al Dean's 35mm Nikor lense

A coffee cup picture taken with Al Dean's 35mm Nikor lense

The entrance to the Exhibition hall

The entrance to the Exhibition hall

The nVidia Booth in the exhibition hall

The nVidia Booth in the exhibition hall

The Cut & Paste Design competions. 20 minutes to complete with loud music and everyone watching.

The Cut & Paste Design competions. 20 minutes to complete with loud music and everyone watching.

A massive 3D print from Stratasys.

A massive 3D print from Stratasys.

You can also see a chain of EXTREME (not that extreme) action shot mobile photos on the SolidSmack Twitpic page, which reminds me, if you’re following SolidSmack on Twitter, you’ll get some mildy interesting insight there as well.

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