CAD Tech News (#55)

7 Dec, 2016 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ Event Report: Autodesk University 2016,
Part 1 — Tomorrow's Design Reality
Is Already Here

At its annual user conference, the company details how "futuristic" technologies such as machine learning, generative design, and virtual reality are becoming integral to the CAD workflow.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

Autodesk is envisioning a future for designers and engineers wherein your computer could be your closest, most essential collaborator. Machine learning, generative design, virtual reality — these and other technologies, which sound futuristic but are here today, will inform and direct design decisions in ways previously thought to require a human.

Thousands gathered for the Autodesk University 2016 opening keynote, which included presentations from CEO Carl Bass, CTO Jeff Kowalski (above), and others.
Thousands gathered for the Autodesk University 2016 opening keynote, which included presentations from CEO Carl Bass, CTO Jeff Kowalski (above), and others.

Such was the theme at Autodesk University 2016 in Las Vegas last month, where the company played off its latest slogan, "The Future of Making Things," to expound on the trends and technological leaps it believes will most greatly impact architecture and construction, civil engineering, and product and machine design in coming years. Nearly 10,000 attended the three-day user conference, and virtual participants tuned in a total of 150,000 times for live-streamed presentations, the company reported.

In the opening keynote, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass said, "I have something to confess: Sometimes when I listen to things being said [during our main-stage presentations], it sounds like science fiction. As crazy as this stuff seems, I come back a few years later and many of you are actually doing the things we were speculating about. ... We are doing today what a few years ago seemed impossible." For example, he said, "Our customer SpaceX flew its first reusable rocket."

More "human" trends, too, are shaping how we work, according to Autodesk: a growing contingent workforce, millennials' working styles, and the pace of change that demands continual education (and reeducation) if we want to stay employable. Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is the content director for Longitude Media, publisher of Cadalyst.


▶ IrisVR Promises Virtual Reality in the Blink of an Eye

Two new software solutions cater to AEC professionals who have neither the experience nor the time to create VR walkthroughs and presentations.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

After nearly two years of beta testing, New York City–based startup IrisVR has announced the commercial launch of its first virtual reality (VR) software products. The company's goal is to enable architects, designers, and other AEC professionals to create VR presentations and interact with their models in virtual environments, even if they have no VR expertise.

"We started with the goal of making virtual reality — and all the technology around it — accessible to the AEC space," said Shane Scranton, IrisVR CEO and cofounder. Scranton began experimenting with VR in his architectural work several years ago, using the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) with clients, and quickly realized the potential it held. "It was very clear that VR was a medium that was going to be very powerful in this industry," he observed. "It unlocks the actual potential of a model … you're able to digest it in the way you envisioned it in your mind."

At that time, however, VR could not meet the needs of AEC professionals who lacked the time and technical knowledge to transform their 3D models into virtual experiences. "It was an incredibly time-intensive process," Scranton noted, requiring multiple programs and hundreds of hours, in some cases. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.


AutoCAD DraftSight LIVE — An Event for Design and Drafting Professionals
February 6-7, 2017
Los Angeles, California
Experience 2D and 3D design technologies and learn how AR & VR change the way we design and manufacture products. Learn more and register »


AutoCAD Video Tips: Migrate Your AutoCAD Settings Between Computers
You just bought a shiny new computer and installed the latest release of AutoCAD. Your amazing custom settings, however, are still on your old computer! How can you move them from one computer to another? Join Lynn Allen as she shows you three different solutions for migrating custom settings, and find one that's suited to your current scenario. Watch the video »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Troubleshooting Inventor Errors from Duplicate Files
Learn about the "Duplicate Files" and "Different Than Expected" dialog boxes in Autodesk Inventor, and how to correct the issues that cause them to appear. Read more »

Working with Tools in MicroStation
Pluralsight presenter Eric DeLeon leads new users of Bentley MicroStation software through selecting tools, changing tool settings, following status bar prompts, and customizing mouse buttons. Watch the video »

What Is Dynamo?
In this tutorial, presenter Kevin Griendling introduces viewers to Dynamo, a visual programming plugin that helps Revit users harness generative design methodologies. Watch the video »

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