As part of the AutoCAD 2015 bloggers day we were invited to tour Autodesk’s wicked cool Pier 9 workshop.
Pier Nine is the workshop in which Carl Bass’s Minions work on the technology to support Carl’s quest for world domination. The Autodesk Helicarrier/Flying fortress is being developed here along with Mind control helmets, Laser pistols and splurge guns. – all the equipment required by Carl’s swat team – the ‘Industructables’.
I’m joshing with you, Pier Nine makes me over excited.
Pier Nine is Autodesk’s testing workshop where Autodesk employees can test Autodesk’s Design and manufacturing software personally – literally ‘eating their own dog food’. Pier Nine has CNC milling, water jet cutting and lathe machines, along with a welding shop, wood shop, spray booth, soft fabrics shop, electronics shop, kitchen, photo studio and the largest collections of 3D printers – probably anywhere.
All of this allows Autodesk employees to become makers themselves. I can see the value of having a physical creative outlet for digitally creative staff, and the insight into how to get design from pixels on a screen to something you can hold in your hand must be invaluable.
Pier Nine is the home of the team behind ‘Instructables‘ (the website that let’s you ‘explore, document, and share your DIY creations’). This where the instructable team can do their own exploration, testing and evaluating user ideas – as well as coming up with their own.
Finally, Pier Nine is the home of Autodesk’s ‘Artist’s in residence’. This scheme pays a small stipend to local Artists who base themselves in the Pier 9 workshops and have use of all the facilities.
All of this sounds expensive (and I’m guessing it was) but the expense is relative. Compared to Autodesk’s turnover the cost of setting up and running Pier Nine must be pretty small. The knowledge and understanding of how real people actually use Autodesk products in the field must be invaluable. In fact – How could Autodesk develop manufacturing software without doing this sort of testing? To me it sounds like a win/win project for Autodesk and for the lucky people who get to play with all that cool tech.
If I worried anyone with my suggestions that Carl Bass might be trying to take over the world, I apologise. I can attest that the only thing we saw of Carl’s is a go-cart he is currently working on with his son. I didn’t see any gun placements – but it was only the chassis…
Thanks very much to Clay Helm for showing us around and Angela Simoes for hosting the Blogger day on behalf of Autodesk.