The Future of Making Things: On Demand and in the Cloud

Tony Glockler
by Tony Glockler 4 years ago 2 min read

CTO Jeff Kowalski opened up Autodesk University 2016 by sharing that technology is increasing at an exponential rate. This sentiment was apparent at the 2016 conference. As part of an inspiring keynote that touched on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, using design to enact positive change, and empowering the next generation of engineers, Kowalski reassured the group by saying, “ongoing learning is the antidote to fearing, an enabler of using, new technology.” Kowalski wanted to convey that technology is not the competition; the competition is someone else adopting it before we do.

 

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With that mission in hand, we look forward at the future of making things, pioneered with Fusion 360. Autodesk understands that its customers are expecting products that are custom and interactive. That said, the traditional product life cycle paints manufacturers into a corner with an inflexible business process. We are starting to see a big shift to manufacturing that is agile, with products as a service and greater overall lifetime customer value. Some key features of Fusion 360 that support this trend include:

 

For manufacturing companies, how fast you can make an impact is the definition of success. The move to the cloud will allow for rapid iteration, tight communication between a geographically diverse team, innovation, and greater accessibility to engineering software. With these changes however, come challenges associated with the move to the cloud. One being the difficulty for engineers to stay current on rapidly evolving software capabilities. As a response the industry is evolving.  Training is now more often seen as ongoing professional development versus a once yearly event.

 

At the closing keynote, Autodesk CMO Andrew Anagnost commented, “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 keep your skills sharp.

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