Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
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 about 60 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. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups.
The 3D Printed Ceramics exhibit is one that you see on the 2nd floor of our One Market office in San Francisco:
- Autodesk Tel-Aviv // more
- Studio Under
- Eran Gal-Or // more
- Liat Akerman // more
- Omer Merzel
- Holon Institute of Technology // more
The notion of 3D printing has been around for years but not long ago was overly hyped as in:
"In the future, we won't buy anything. We'll all have 3D printers in our homes, and we'll just print everything ourselves."
Nope. Not going to happen. As Duleesha Kulasooriya, Head of Strategy at Deloitte LLP Center for the Edge, likes to point out:
"The sewing machine has been around for 200 years yet none of us make our own clothes."
Despite the hype, 3D printing is an important technology. Manufacturers will use it more and more to make things. There are three reasons for this:
Complexity is free.
When a 3D printer creates a thing, it doesn't care how complicated the thing is. It just creates the thing a layer at a time. Think of how traditional printers work. A user puts a piece of paper in a machine. A print head moves across the paper depositing ink where it needs to go to get the desired text or image. 3D printing works the same way. A print head moves across a plate depositing material where it needs to go. The process is repeated a layer at a time. Because the thing is built a layer at a time, the 3D printer does not care how intricate the thing is. This process has opened up a world of designs that could not have been fabricated prior to the invention of 3D printing.
There is less waste.
Unlike with subtractive manufacturing, 3D printing is additive and only uses the material necessary to make the thing. In contrast, a table leg is made by starting with a block of wood, spinning it, and applying a chisel to remove material. The result is a nicely shaped table leg, but the side-effect is a collection of shards of wood that need to be repurposed or discarded. Whereas table legs are made using subtractive manufacturing, 3D printers are additive. The additive process can include supporting material in addition to permanent material, so it's not 100% waste-free, but it offers advantages over traditional subtractive processes.
Consumers will demand it.
Manufacturing is moving to a world of mass customization. In the days of yore, shoes were made by the village cobbler, one customer at a time. This was replaced by the industrial revolution where shoes were mass-produced in various sizes and sold to anyone whom the shoe fits. Since 3D printing is not based on a mold, the technology offers personalization but at industrial revolution scale since it's done by machines. More and more, consumers are opting to buy bespoke items instead of off-the-shelf goods. This trend will continue.
Studio Under, a design and research studio based in Israel, built the largest ceramic 3D printer ever made. Founded in 2012 by Eran Gal-Or, Liat Akerman, and Omer Merzel, Holon Institute of Technology grads, Studio Under focuses on designing and printing ceramic products and selling them worldwide.
These lamps in the Autodesk Gallery were produced on that world's largest ceramic 3D printer. Studio Under is pioneering quick printing of large objects with clay, metal pastes, plastic resins, and concrete. They collaborated with Autodesk's research team, who contributed innovative software that helps to meld scale and swiftness.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). 3D printing is a manufacturing technology that will allow Autodesk customers to make more and better things with less.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Ceramics are alive in the lab.