Senior Strategic Designer, Doug Look, is part of our efforts to streamline training, learning, and support. Please share your suggestions with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Process optimization is alive in the lab.
Senior Strategic Designer, Doug Look, is part of our efforts to streamline training, learning, and support. Please share your suggestions with us at email@example.com.
Process optimization is alive in the lab.
If I didn't work at Autodesk and could have any job, I would watch and review TED talks. TED talks are fascinating. They are educational. No one is worse off for having watched one. So one entitled "Why we should build wooden skyscrapers" recently caught my eye.
Almost half our green house gases come from buildings. When one thinks of sustainability, one thinks of saving trees, so why suggest that we build out of wood? There are several factors. Check out my infographic of facts I obtained from the video.
Since wood captures CO2 and concrete/steel emit CO2, with more and more people needing houses moving to cities, the choice is clear: build skyscrapers out of wood. Autodesk is proud to promote sustainability through the analysis capabilities included in our software offerings.
Pinocchio is alive in the lab.
On July 24, the DesignScript team provided me with an update of the technology preview. This update is build 0.6.46.9306 and includes defect corrections based on your feedback:
You can check out the new release for yourself via the Autodesk Labs site:
Please keep that feedback coming in. You can see from the corrected defects list that your efforts are making a difference. You can reach the team in a variety of ways:
Amelioration is alive in the lab.
"Trapped in a tinderbox of rage and desire
The friction was so intense, then we caught fire
We were aflame — starshine was here to stay
Then it faded away, and it all went up in smoke"
— Todd Rundgren, "Smoke," State, 2013. // amateur video
Autodesk recently leased some space at Pier 9 in San Francisco. In addition to housing our Instructables (// more) employees, it's a place for employees who are makers. The new space allows Autodesk employees to know first hand what our software can and cannot do because we make things using it. To quote our CEO Carl Bass: "You have more and better opinions about your own software if you actually use it."
I recently got this picture from Engineer of Applied Innovation, Evan Atherton, and Technical Assistant to the CEO, Arthur Harsuvanakit.
With regard to what they are making, it involves interlocking pieces of wood that can be combined in a variety of ways to make unique structures.
In terms of what they are for, let's just say that man oh man, many of you will have a burning desire to know.
Fabrication is alive in the lab.
Maybe you are not a CAD guy? Perhaps you are an ardent Media & Entertainment customer instead? If you are an illustrator, concept artist, or cartoonist, Autodesk will be hosting a CAVE Conference — a creative gathering unlike anything you have experienced before. Creativity doesn't even begin to cover it.
The Computer Arts Vegas Event (CAVE) event will be held at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas from December 1-3, 2013.
Spelunking is alive in the lab.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design - the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With more than 20 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. I am one of about 50 gallery ambassadors. As I have mentioned before, we chose the job title "ambassador" instead of "docent," because the correct way to address an ambassador is "your Excellency" yet this never happens.
A new exhibit, The SOCCKET, has garnered lots of attention.
The SOCCKET has very humble beginnings. Uncharted Play got its start in 2008 when Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman met during their junior year at Harvard College. Both were studying to be social scientists and had no experience in engineering. Despite this, they worked together on a class project to invent the SOCCKET — an energy harnessing soccer ball.
With soccer being the most popular sport in the world, their idea has real kinetic potential. Their target market is poverty-stricken areas of the world that do not have access to electricity. The premise is simple: Children kick the ball around for 30 minutes, and it stores enough energy to power an LED reading light for 3 hours. With obesity being what it is in areas of the world with electricity, perhaps all parents should make this a requirement for their school-age children? "Now put down that video controller, and go outside and kick the ball around for a half hour, so you will have enough light to do your homework tonight."
Unchartered Play is a member of Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program. Using Autodesk Inventor, the team completely redesigned the pendulum mechanism used to harness energy. The original design was prone to breakage. The SOCCKET is in its fourth iteration and features a puncture-proof exterior with a lightweight, high-density foam that surrounds the mechanism. The original design had air pockets. The design has come a long way since the initial prototype that was based on a hamster wheel and shake-powered flashlight (the kind people keep in the trunks of their cars for emergencies).
Some people have crooned "I get no kick from champagne, but I get a kick out of you." Here's to you Unchartered Play. Learn more about The SOCCKET on Buzzfeed. The gallery at One Market is open to the public on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 5 pm, and admission is free. Visit us.
Kicking is alive in the lab.
Project Falcon is our free technology preview to simulate air flow around vehicles, buildings, outdoor equipment, consumer products, bloggers, or other objects of your choosing in a virtual wind tunnel. Results update almost in real-time in response to changes in wind-direction and speeds that you specify. Project Falcon is available as a stand-alone program or add-on for AutoCAD, Inventor, or Revit. You can learn more about Project Falcon on the Autodesk Labs site.
Perhaps you are a visual learner? The page for Project Falcon has links to videos that you can watch on YouTube or download from my Buzzsaw site.
I just added a new video the other day. For those who have seen the previous ones but not this newest one, check it out:
As always we encourage you to try Project Falcon and let us know what you think.
Falconry is alive in the lab.
Every once in a while, I focus a blog article on a member of the Autodesk Labs community. Today's blog article features Subir Kumar Dutta. Subir is a Trainer and Consultant at DCS — Design Automation Consultancy Services. DCS provides corporate and personal (in batch) training on CAD customizations and Design Automation.
Subir is based in Pune, India. He loves to do fun things with the AutoCAD product line. Subir develops small applications on his own using the AutoCAD API to motivate new students to learn it. Subir has his own YouTube channel where you can too can witness the fun he is having:
I particularly like AutoCAD Under Fire.
The ADN Plugin of the Month program was intended to encourage this type of fun. Though the program is no longer active on Autodesk Labs (i.e., no new plugins coming), you can still download the plugins that were created as part of the program or visit the App Center to get the latest ones:
The Labs plugins include the source code, so if you wish to modify them to better suit your own needs, you too can have the fun. Actually Subir is open to making his plugins available as plugins of the month. You can express your opinion as to which ones he should package up, including the source code, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infographics are all the rage. Infographics, short for information graphics, are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. I have created two of them:
I create them by hand editing HTML and then view the HTML page in the browser. If I want an image-only version of the page, I capture the screen using SnagIt. Because I know HTML, this is easy for me to do. I don't spend too much time on them. They are not too fancy. On the other hand they could be worse.
Recently Technologist for the Office of the CTO, Shaan Hurley, shared an article with me:
Oh my, there are a variety of ways to make infographics.
I thought I would try some. I mostly used the defaults and tried to spend only a few minutes on each one.
I clicked on various links on their web site and responded to various automated email messages I received, but never stumbled upon anything where I could actually try something. I must have been doing something wrong.
As you can tell, I found Piktochart to be really tedious to use.
This one wasn't too bad once I broke myself of my Windows UI habits, e.g. Control-C/Control-V does not work.
Many Eyes V2
I was not sure how to generate a stacked bar chart with all years on the same graph, but for the purpose of this exercise, this looks more interesting anyway.
Unless I would learn more about these tools and put in more time, I think my infographics would make Google's list. Based on my familiarity with HTML, for now, I will stick with what I have been doing.
Visual representations are alive in the lab.
I haven't read many management books. So one day when I heard our CEO, Carl Bass, say that he thought The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Chrstensen (review) was one of the few management books he thought was "worth anything," I was puzzled. I had just read The FIVE Dysfunctions of a TEAM by Patrick Lencioni (review) and really enjoyed it. Having read the getAbstract summary of Strategy Bites Back by Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, and Joseph Lampel, I am starting to get an idea of what Carl might have been talking about.
The take-aways from the book include:
Wow. Really? Thanks to getAbstract, I just saved $21.96 (on sale, was $32.99). Was this book the inspiration for Sharknado?
I think the notions from the book are common sense. My boss, Jon Pittman, VP of Corporate Strategy, likes that, Though many of you have not read this book, you could have guessed that at Autodesk we already do what the book recommends. Some of the uncommon (as in unique to Autodesk) elements that make help us serve our customers include:
So I guess some of the best advice for leadership and management is to use one's own common sense. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for this book, there was an interesting passage:
Leaders who create strategic agendas are often the most enthusiastic and animated people in the room. Business leaders should be applauded for wanting to make positive changes, but their employees must share the vision — motivation cannot be manufactured. This is a significant challenge since change may require that people step outside of their comfort zones. page 5
At the end of the day, strategy is about:
The unique combination of people (investors, employees, partners, dealers), processes, and products positions Autodesk to be successful in the industries we serve.
Strategory [sic] is alive in the lab.
The POV Dispatch is our monthly internal newsletter where we discuss the big ideas that are important to Autodesk and our customers. The July issue covered aspects of leadership. In my submission for the POV Dispatch, I wanted to share with Autodesk employees what I learned from the 5-page getAbstract summary of Leadership Development Factbook 2012: Benchmark and Trends in U.S. Leadership Development by Karen O'Leonard and Laci Loew.
Here is what I submitted.
The take-aways from getAbstract included:
American firms spend more on leadership development now than they have in the past.
In the recovering economy, firms need leaders who can exploit global opportunities.
Enterprises with mature leadership development programs invest more in their initiatives and report better results than firms with newer programs.
More and more organizations are investing in grooming leaders at all levels, not just their senior personnel.
Most US companies today target and develop "high-potential employees," or "HiPos."
The "70-20-10" model calls for on-the-job learning to make up 70% of leadership development; coaching and networking, 20%; and formal education, 10%.
Assessment tools such as 360-degree feedback discover and track promising leaders.
Senior executives add value to development programs as "leaders teaching leaders."
Top firms such as Dow Chemical, Mars, and Hewitt Associates are on the cutting edge of leadership development.
Autodesk's vision is to help people imagine, design, and create a better world. Our mission is to build tools to enable people to experience their ideas before they are real. Our management philosophy is based on shared responsibility teams as opposed to individual heroic management. Leadership Development Factbook 2012 did not list Autodesk as one of the top firms in leadership development, but if you were ever curious about what Autodesk does to develop its leaders:
Autodesk is a mature global company, not just with leaders who pursue global opportunities, but who are also actually located across the globe.
Autodesk has a long-standing tradition of "org reviews." Org reviews are characterized by succession planning as well as the identification of high potential employees who can be nurtured for faster-than-average advancement up the technical or management ladder.
360 degree feedback has always been a critical part of performance evaluations at Autodesk. Now with our emphasis on more timely feedback than just the annual performance review, they are of even more important today. The results from the feedback are factored into personalized development plans for each employee.
The Autodesk mentor program allows senior executives and other leaders to gain satisfaction from helping to develop other employees. The MAGIC Mentorship Program (MAGIC = Mentor + Achieve + Grow + Inspire + Connect) provides all Autodesk regular employees with an opportunity to: focus on growth and development, network with other employees, and learn about other parts of Autodesk.
The Employee Leadership Program (ELP) provides a unique opportunity for Autodeskers to network with others in the class and focus on learning. The program is intensive with evening sessions, team projects, and homework. Everyone learns what it means to be a shared responsibility team.
Along the lines of how the book recommends that "leaders teaching leaders," Autodesk has a Leadership Mentoring Program where 20 or so directors and above are nominated each year (by senior management) and are paired with VPs and above in a yearlong mentoring program with specific goals around developing leadership competencies.
The "70-20-10" model is at play at Autodesk. Though most learning is on the job, the Senior Executive Education Development (SEED) program is a coaching program for 10 to 20 VPs and above annually. They are enrolled in executive coaching where the goal is to develop leadership in areas that are identified by their direct reports, peers, and managers.
The Autodesk Employee Survey is a fundamental part of our ongoing commitment to measure and enhance the Autodesk employee experience. Conducted annually, it is a key global metric through which we understand our management effectiveness and employee engagement. The Employee Survey provides important information in many areas, including leadership and communication effectiveness, views on recognition and rewards, development opportunities and work/life balance. The actions that arise from the survey results provide opportunities to demonstrate leadership at all levels.
The list above are some examples. Overall Autodesk has a standing Management Development Curriculum aimed at various levels of Autodesk leaders. I recently spent a week in Boston attending the Autodesk Business Leadership Experience (ABLE) course. The course consists of a competitive simulation where teams manage a fictitious company named Autotable. We had 29 students from 9 countries. The course helps employees gain leadership experience, deepen their business acumen, and broaden their professional networks.
Leadership development is alive in the lab.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading that started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. With two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize. As I understand it, the TED Conference is moving from Long Beach to Vancouver, Canada. The TEDGlobal Conference is moving to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. So this was our last time to visit Edinburgh.
The Autodesk participation in TED events includes being hosts (Tom Wujec), gallery exhibits (Jason Medal-Katz and Matthew Tierney), and activities (Jon Pittman, Jonathan Knowles, and Maurice Conti) such as Cage Match or Formula Veg. The pictures from the event bear this out.
Here are some Flickr links with additional photos.
Though it looks like fun and games, as a premiere thought-leadership event, it connects us with like-minded organizations and individuals.
Tom hosted a session on solving wicked problems. Autodesk was able to brainstorm with other companies as to how to address sustainability and climate change — solutions we can certainly be a part of with our design software.
Participation is alive in the lab.
Many of the Autodesk Labs Community members are also participants in the Autodesk Beta program. For those of you who are not, you might want to get your Autodesk Beta profiles up to date. Why? Because we are looking to unify the Autodesk Labs and Autodesk Beta processes.
When you think about it, the Autodesk Labs process and Autodesk Beta process are very similar. Both are about getting feedback. One big difference is that all Autodesk Lab technology previews are wide open to the public and most (but certainly not all) Autodesk Betas are by invitation under a NonDisclosure Agreement. This affects when a user has to log in to learn about a technology under our processes. (Post-login activities are depicted by red arrows in the flows below.)
Back in 2006, when Shaan Hurley originally spun Labs out of the Beta program, it was to make Labs differentiated by technologies that were new with no guarantee of their future. Despite this difference, as the Program Manager for Autodesk Labs, I have Autodesk Beta envy because the need to process feedback is the same. The user/team interaction capabilities are better on Autodesk Beta than the minimal infrastructure we have on Autodesk Labs. So now it's time to have the best of both worlds.
Since both Autodesk Labs and Autodesk Beta use Autodesk Single Sign-on credentials, we can make this a fairly seamless process. When we add a new technology preview to Autodesk Labs, we will:
What's the same:
This approach will provide a consistent user experience for our customers who evaluate technology previews as well as participate in our Beta programs. This also leverages the power of the Beta portal for the Autodesk Labs process. It’s a win-win for customers and Autodesk alike.
Unification is alive in the lab.
My colleague, Bill O'Connor, is one of our corporate strategists. Bill crafts papers, speeches, visuals, and videos to support the CEO, CTO, and other members of Exec Staff in sharing Autodesk's thoughts on technology and innovation. So it should not be a shock that Bill is the force behind:
Inspired by how biologists were able to map the human genome, Bill was able to map innovation by studying the make-up of hundreds of innovations over mankind's history. Bill found that a simple set of questions were at the heart of many of these innovations, and that these questions could be applied to any project or idea to make it more innovative.
These seven essential innovation questions are:
What could we look at in a new way?
What could we use in a new way, or for the first time?
What could we move, changing its position in space or time?
What could we interconnect, for the first time or in a new way?
What could we alter, in terms of design and performance?
What can we make that is truly new?
What can we imagine that would create a great experience for someone?
The latest productive use of these essential innovation questions is a project called Pulse — an SMS based, food savings program aimed at allowing urban slum dwellers living on small, and irregular incomes a more consistent access to nutritious, and dignified food. The force behind Pulse is a group of dedicated students at the Hult International Business School. The team formed in November 2012 to pursue the 2013 Hult Prize as part of President Bill Clinton's Global Initiative.
Bill has been working with the Pulse team. He has helped them think outside the box to come up with clever and simple solutions to complex and difficult challenges. Currently there is enough food in these large urban centers, yet people go hungry because they don't have the means to access the food they need on a daily basis. We hear statistics that people live on $2 a day, but that number is an average. One day they may earn $2, the next day $3, but they might go 4 days without earning anything. With no access to credit, and no safety net, people in this situation go hungry. Pulse aims to level out peoples' incomes and give the 200+ million people in urban slums a way to help their own cause. Pulse aims to get to the root of the problem and repair the cracks in the foundation.
Portions of this blog article are from the Pulse web site. Check them out:
Innovation is alive in the lab.
Some of your are familiar with our IDEAS program.
As I have blogged before, our IDEAS program can be described as:
In May we held an IDEAS conference on What Should We Design Imagine Next? From our web site:
"The worlds envisioned by science fiction have entertained generations of readers and movie-goers for over a century. These same words have inspired scientists, inventors, explorers and entrepreneurs to repeatedly push against the boundaries of possibility. Ideas once thought fanciful — deep ocean and space explorations, AI, even nanotechnology and synthetic biology — now form the backdrop of our everyday lives. Today, as exponentially growing technologies demonstrate almost daily how invention is only limited by our imaginations, we can realistically ask the questions:
Autodesk gathered a diverse and notable group of thinkers and doers that included renowned science fiction authors, designers, inventors and entrepreneurs to contemplate and better understand the rapidly shrinking gap between imagination and tangible reality.
Autodesk software helps people imagine, design, and create a better world. Science fiction stirs the imagination. True science results in actual creation. Design is what connects the two. But don't take my word for it. You can look for an article about the IDEAS conference in the "Science Fiction Prototyping From NASA" section, by Intel Corporation's Futurist & Principal Engineer — Interactions and Experience Research, Brian David Johnson, in this month's edition of IEEE Computer magazine. I am certainly looking forward to it. In addition, check out this audio interview with Ramez Naam (book review):
Ideas are alive in the lab.
The Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) is a thriving partnership between Autodesk and those who develop applications that add customer value to our products. In July of 2009, Kean Walmsley (Through the Interface) approached me about setting up an ADN Plugin of the Month program on Autodesk Labs. The idea was that we would feature a new plugin each month and include its source code to encourage people to develop their own plugins as well as showcase some of the fine work of our ADN members. Now that we have the Autodesk Exchange Apps site in place, we can end the technology preview on Labs.
The old plugins can still be downloaded from the Autodesk Labs site. For Autodesk Subscription customers who want plugins that are compatible with 2013 and 2014 releases, the graduated versions can be found on the Exchange Apps site. For your convenience, I have provided links to old and new downloads on the Autodesk Labs page.
Click on the image on the right to visit the catalog page on Labs.
Thanks to all of the ADN members who submitted plugins over the last 4 years and to all of the Labs community members who provided feedback to help improve these plugins. Thanks to Kean Walmsley, Jim Quanci, and Stephen Preston who provided Autodesk ADN support.
Unplugging is alive in the lab.
DesignScript is a unique language that helps designers build and analyze complex geometric models that would be difficult to model with interactive techniques. DesignScript introduces the distinction between a generative description of a design (as a script) and the resulting generated model. The designer no longer directly models the resulting design: instead he develops a script whose execution generates the model.
Dr. Robert Aish is one of our Directors of Software Development here at Autodesk. Luke Church is Senior Principal Engineer on the DesignScript team. I got the following email from Luke that accompanied this latest update of the free DesignScript technology preview on Autodesk Labs.
Different tools are good for different things. One of the key ideas in DesignScript has been to allow people to use whatever tool serves their current task, and to remove any barriers between these tools. This is why we introduced both [Imperative] and [Associative] programming.
Today - we're announcing the biggest addition to DesignScript so far. Hybrid visual/textual programming.
With the new DesignScript Studio you can start designing by dragging some nodes, then do some text coding, and then go back to using nodes again. DesignScript Studio can even do the conversion to code automatically for you!
We think that this offers the advantages of visual programming, whilst also allowing people to deal with the challenges as their graphs grow into spaghetti. Other exciting features include always on, live execution and preview-as-you-work making exploring different geometries more interactive and enjoyable.
Secondly - we've heard from many users that they wanted a lighter version that they could use on computers without AutoCAD. So we're introducing a new package of the tool that run completely separate from AutoCAD. You can install it on any 64-bit computer running Windows 7 or 8!
It’s early days for the technology, that’s why we're releasing it here - to get more feedback and continue improving DesignScript.
To get started, head over to the Labs Page, and hit download.
Remember there’s our forums, our community site, and our email address. Please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you and see what you make!
Luke and Robert
P.S. — Throughout the next week or so we'll posting more graphs and models to our gallery.
Thanks Luke and Robert.
A hybrid is alive in the lab.
FABmep Import for Revit MEP is our free technology preview that enables you to import Autodesk Fabrication FABmep models into Autodesk Revit MEP, providing round-tripping capabilities for as-built/record drawing purposes. For users with Autodesk Fabrication, Autodesk Revit allows you to export FABmep models. You can then open, modify, and save the models using Autodesk Fabrication. This technology preview asks the question "What if you could import the modified models back into Revit?"
The other day I uploaded three videos to YouTube:
Since these videos are silent, the team created a workflow document that aids in understanding what you see in the videos. They packaged the videos, the document, and some sample files to help you get started. Check it out:
Education is alive in the lab.
In addition to download, email, and forum, the right side of each Autodesk Labs page has links to various social media assets, specifically:
The links are not present on every page — only ones where they apply. Today I want to talk about two of them: Facebook and Twitter.
I started using Facebook and Twitter long ago. It was so long ago that although my primary usage is work-related, my accounts are in my name:
This is because way back when it was frowned upon to create IDs for these social media presences that were not a real person. I am scottsh115 on Twitter by the way because years ago I lived at 115 Justin Circle.
Now Facebook and Twitter are all about supporting commerce. Creating pages and accounts for products is all the rage. With this in mind I was tempted to replace my person-based accounts with new ones created specifically for Autodesk Labs. Rather than do that, I decided to leverage our existing social media accounts.
|AutoCAD Civil 3D||
|Autodesk 3ds Max||
So when providing feedback on a technology preview, you can post messages on these Facebook walls. There are teams of "real people" who pay attention to these accounts.
Social media is alive in the lab.
I got my undergraduate degree in Computer Science from what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The abbreviation for the school is UL Lafayette but since the state abbreviation for Louisiana is LA and the city of Lafayette could be truncated to La, some people envision ULALa and refer to my alma mater as ooh-la-la. As an alumnus, I receive the college magazine. I recently saw a story that I thought I would share.
Wave Robber Land Reclamation Device
"Gaining Ground," La Louisiane, Summer 2013 issue, pages 2-3.
Louisiana has a problem with coastal erosion that is endangering its wetlands. Louisiana loses about 100 yards (the length of an American football field) of land every hour.
Webster Pierce from Cutoff, LA has invented a device he calls the Wave Robber which collects sediment to replenish eroding coastlines. Webster got the idea for his invention by observing other communities that would place discarded Christmas trees along the shore to prevent erosion. When the trees eventually disintegrated, the erosion would resume.
A UL Lafayette research team, led by Dr. Daniel Gang, is testing the Wave Robber in the laboratory and in the field. The college wants to refine the design for commercial viability. One of the researchers is Scott LeBlanc — the Wave Robber is the subject of his master's thesis in civil engineering.
UL Lafayette installed a prototype in Cutoff, LA. Initial results are encouraging as in the first 7 months, the device has stemmed the tide of erosion and collected an inch of sediment.
Deploying the device has proven less costly than creating artificial barriers with rocks and has the advantage that it can be moved to another location after enough erosion has been reversed. The device also operates in harmony with the existing ecosystem.
Federal officials believe the project is worthy of attention, so the next step for the Wave Robber is a demonstration project for the National Resources Conservation Service.
It's great to see the Ragin' Cajuns® help image, design, and create a better world.
Reclamation is alive in the lab.
Today is July 4 - Independence day - recognition of the day the Declaration of Independence was first read publicly by Colonel John Nixon. (Although actually it occurred on July 8, 1776.) The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence did not sign at the same time, nor did they sign on July 4, 1776. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776, when 50 men signed it. source: PurpleTrail.com Perhaps we should take the day off on August 2 as well?
Autodesk employees in the United States have the day off to celebrate the founding of our country. As he has the desire to be the next Les Stroud or Bear Grillis, Shaan Hurley is probably off in the woods somewhere. So for those of you submitting feedback on our technology previews on the Autodesk Labs site, fear not, we will answer tomorrow. For now, we will enjoy the day.
As we do every year on this day, only relaxation is alive in the lab today.
It's July, and yesterday we released a new technology preview. Process Analysis is our technology preview that allows you to quickly model and simulate processes you are designing before implementing them. You build a functional model of your proposed assembly line, factory, or industrial machine, and simulate its operation to identify potential bottlenecks and to optimize performance based on design criteria. Check it out for yourself:
What do you think about the functionality? How about the user interface? Does the performance meet your expectations? Let us know what you think:
Process analysis is alive in the lab.
Design Night is an events program at the Autodesk Gallery. At each event, guests explore a different theme — such as biomimicry, light, or robotics — that challenges the conventionally narrow definition of design. The theme is reflected in all aspects of the event, from the activities guests enjoy to the food they eat to the music they hear. The result is a fun and fascinating venue for exploration, networking, and the exchange of ideas. So far we have had:
On Thursday, August 1, 6-10 p.m., the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco will host another Design Night: Techno? Tech-yes!, where we will explore the design's impact on music. So get your musical self over to Design Night and experience:
Talk by Tyler Kicera, stage and automation design guru from Tait Towers // more
Live performance from musical alchemist Elizaveta // more
Self-playing drums (or Arduino if you want to sound "with it") // more
Musical Instructables // more
From classical opera and jazz fusion to rock ‘n roll and techno funk, music is more than just entertainment — it’s art, communication, a way of connecting us all. More than just listening to music, we feel it. And the rapid evolution of design technology is changing the way we experience it—how it’s delivered, how it’s performed, and the music itself. But what hasn’t changed is its spirit and why we create it.
So come to Design Night if you're curious about music and what it means to be influenced by the future of design. Also enjoy an open bar, food, activities, and much, much more so...um...hurry! The previous Design Nights have sold out quickly. Registration is required and ticket pricing is as follows:
To attend the event:
Admission fees include admission to the presentation, as well as an open bar, food, music, and hands-on activities. The last five Design Nights have sold out in advance!
Music is alive in the lab.
When you download a technology preview from Autodesk Labs, you need to log in first. Why? Because when you do, the Labs download process captures your email address. Unlike the NSA, we really don't care what else you do in life, we just want to be able to contact you to ask you about the technology preview. You are free to browse the Labs site at will without logging in. It's only when you download something that we want to know who we're working with.
This process allowed me to email the users who have downloaded the Design Checker for Inventor technology preview. Design Checker for Inventor provides instant feedback on the adherence to company and customer standards. It can be configured to define not only what type of features are checked, but also the standards that dictate if a check passes or fails. Custom checks can also be defined. These configurations are stored in a Profile and can be separated into different work environments (Parts, Drawings, Assemblies). This allows Profiles to be created that define different checks for different product types, different customers, or any other end user variances. By changing profiles, Design Checker checks the models based on the rules defined in that profile.
As this is a new technology preview, there were 453 unique email addresses associated with downloads. I used Survey Monkey to collect the responses. In my email request for users to complete the survey, I promised to share the results, So here goes. There were 6 questions. As of June 11, there were 61 responses.
Have you successfully downloaded and installed Design Checker?
The most common reason for not doing so was that respondents had upgraded to Inventor 2104, and the technology preview is collecting feedback from 2013 users.
We have standards that apply at the following levels (check all that apply):
Although I thought project-wide standards might be the most prevalent in the manufacturing industry, company wide standards are quite popular.
We have created separate Design Checker profiles for (check all that apply):
Standards seem to be applied fairly equally.
Please describe your success or failure with the technology preview
A sampling of answers included (good to bad):
Please provide your email address if you would like to be contacted to discuss your survey responses (optional):
Thanks to the 29 respondents who opted to do so. I will email you for follow-up comments.
My overall satisfaction with the technology preview is:
Between pleased and ecstatic, more than half of the respondents view this technology favorably. Though technology previews aim to please, Design Checker for Inventor failed to meet the expectations of 3% of the respondents.
Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey. Your experience shapes the future of our technology. If Design Checker for Inventor was a sure thing, the Inventor team would have gone straight to Beta. Feedback like the kind in these responses helps teams decide what to do next.
Feedback analysis is alive in the lab.