Autodesk University 2011, Nexus 360, Fusion for Mac, and Software for all.

Welcome to AU 2011 - Shaan Hurley

Image by Shaan Hurley

If you’ve never attended Autodesk University – then I don’t recommend it. Because I would be jealous. Because I want to go!

I couldn’t make it this year, but I’ve been keeping my beady eye on events as they unfold. Although I couldn’t make it in person, I did send an Avatar in my place… more on that later.

What Happened at AU2011?

If you really haven’t been to AU before, and you’d like to know why you should, I recommend that you start off by reading this post by Robin Capper. Robin takes us through a typical day at AU – full of opportunities to learn from the best of the best, new technology previews, and networking.

Autodesk University 2011 Day 1 Innovation explosion #AU2011 – RobiNZ CAD Blog

What was the BIG NEWS this year?

This years theme at AU seemed to be ‘disruptive’ technology. i.e. not only improving on existing platforms, software or techniques, but actively searching out new ways of working.

In the keynote speech, Autodesk’s CEO Carl Bass talked about ‘Software for all’ and the idea that your data, and the software to work on your data, should be available to you wherever you are and how ever you wish to access it.

Carl also talked about different ways of paying for your software, via subscription or ‘Pay as you go’.

Check out this great footage of ‘Uncle Carl’ from John Evans at the pre-AU bloggers Q&A.

John Evans – Autodesk University 2011 Press Q&A with Carl Bass | Design & Motion

I also recommend this series of posts from Ten Links founder Roopinda Tara.

Roopinda Tara – CAD Insider: Autodesk University 2011 – Hits and Misses, Pt 1

The keynote speech was recorded and  is available  to watch on AUTV, as part of AU Virtual – see below.


AU2011 - AutoCAD WS 3D

The AutoCAD WS team took AU as an opertunity to announce the forthcoming updates to the AutoCAD WS web service.

AutoCAD WS will soon include support for 3D CAD files, GPS and Plot from your handheld device.

Will you soon be able to us 3D and GPS to place yourself ‘Inside’ you CAD model, and overlay the images onto the actual building site? Maybe, it’s certainly pretty exciting stuff.

It’s worth mentioning that AutoCAD WS is DWG viewer/editor that works behind the scenes in Buzzsaw…

What’s In The Next AutoCAD WS Release? | Autodesk | AutoCAD WS – Blog

Inventor Fusion for the Apple Mac.

Inventor Fusion for Mac - Mistress of the Dorkness

Image by Melanie Perry

One of the really exiting developments at this years AU was the announcement of Inventor Fusion for the Mac. It is often pointed out that many student’s use Mackintosh computers – only to find that the software they are used to isn’t available to them in industry.

I don’t think that Fusion for the Mac is aimed at hard-core Engineers. In fact I don’t even think that it is aimed at Students. I think that Fusion’s natural home is the cloud, much like AutoCAD WS. This would allow us to view and edit AutoCAD Inventor 3D models, without having to own Inventor or AutoCAD. If you want to know more about Fusion for Mac, read this great post by Al Dean.

DEVELOP3D blog – Live from AU: Inventor Fusion for the Mac

Melanie Perry from ‘Mistress of the Dorkness’ Blog has another great review here:

Mistress of the Dorkness: Announcing Inventor Fusion – it’s on the Mac

Vault – Buzzsaw – Nexus, BIM/PLM Autodesk 360

Possibly the biggest announcement, and most disruptive technology to come out of Autodesk University 2011 is ‘Nexus 360’.

Nexus is a complimentary product to Autodesk Vault (PDM – Project Data Management) and Autodesk Buzzsaw (Project collaboration). Vault runs on your own server and looks after your project data. Buzzsaw (also known as Streamline) runs on a web server and allows you to collaborate with your supply chain.

Autodesk 360 (Nexus) sits on top of all of this to add PLM (Project Lifecycle Management) tools to your workflow.

Autodesk 360 - Nexus 360 - PLM 360 - BIM 360

Interestingly, the same set of tools are being sold as PLM 360 and BIM 360, acknowledging that the big challenge in manufacturing and building construction is often the amount of data that needs to be coordinated and managed. The same tool set can be applied to both industries (with a little tweaking!).

There’s been quite a lot on Nexus 360 already – check out these great posts for more info.

Al Dean – DEVELOP3D blog – Live From Autodesk University: Autodesk & PLM. Strap your boots on. It’s coming

Oleg Shilovitsky – Autodesk PLM Nexus – First Hands On Demo « Daily PLM Think Tank Blog

Kennth Wong – AU 2011: Autodesk’s 180 Turn with 360 | Kenneth Wong’s Virtual Desktop

Randell Newton – GraphicSpeak » Autodesk intends PLM global domination with Nexus

Ray Kurkland – Autodesk PLM 1.0: not perfect – but a great start « Raykurland’s Blog


This video from Helge Brettschneider on the CAD relations blog  has a great explanation of how you might use Autodesk 360 from Shaun Dotson.

Special Autodesk University 2011: First customer feedback on Autodesk PLM with 360 Nexus

Autodesk University Virtual 2011

If you can’t make it to AU, then check out AU Virtual. This year’s AU Virtual interface is vastly improved since last year, it is slick and easy to navigate.

There is far more Virtual only content this year, with many classes being pre-recorded and available before AU started. This gave many presenters from outside North America (who also couldn’t attend the event in person) a chance to contribute – which I highly applaud.

AU Online is available all through the year, and as a resource is rapidly outgrowing AU itself. If you never checked up on AU online, you can find out more here.

AU Virtual 2011

The CAD Setter Out’s AU Avatar

Autodesk University 2011 Crowd Sourced Legal Disclaimer

Cadaroo at AU 2011

Although I couldn’t make it to AU this year, I was pleased to be offered the chance to have a piece of work displayed during Shaan Hurley’s crowd sourced Legal disclaimer.

I had this Cadaroo piece accepted, and I was chuffed to bits! It gave me a warm feeling to think that my artwork was on display in front of 8,000 people – however briefly!

For more on Cadaroo – check out Curt Moreno’s ‘Kung Fu Drafter Blog.

You can read more about this gargantuan power point show here:

Shaan Hurley – Crowd Sourced Edition Legal Disclaimer at Autodesk University 2011 Behind the Scenes – Between the Lines

And you can see the whole thing in all it’s glory on YouTube here:

I’d like to say thanks very much to Shaan Hurley for giving me the chance to participate in AU 2011 from afar, and I’d like to thank all the Bloggers featured in this post for sharing their experiences at Autodesk University 2011.

AU 2011 Cadaroo button

Finally I’d like to thank Curt Moreno for handing out hundreds of these Cadaroo Buttons, and Irene  Irene Radcliffe for this photo.



Still in the dark? Read up on what it’s all about… Are you attending AU?

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