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.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in London, Paris, and Tokyo. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, at this year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 19 new exhibits. These exhibits have the potential to resurface in San Francisco.
The Automated Construction on the Moon or Mars exhibit is one such exhibit from AU:
NASA's vision is to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind. The idea of colonizing another world has always been a fantasy of theirs. It is in our nature to pioneer new lands, to settle and inhabit even the most unforgiving environments.
Building habitable structures on other planets is a goal of NASA's, but shipping materials aboard a rocket isn't practical nor cost effective.
If NASA's astronauts are to have a long-term presence on the moon or on Mars, they’ll need to figure out ways to build habitable structures — something that will protect them from the extreme temperatures, radiation, and micrometeorites. Shipping building materials aboard a rocket isn't practical nor cost-effective. So, engineers at NASA's Swamp Works are developing a solution: 3D printing habitats on other planets using natural resources and plastic waste.
NASA is exploring Autodesk additive manufacturing technology to 3D print habitats on other planets by combining plastic waste with native Lunar or Martian regolith (dirt or rock).
By mixing small amounts of plastic waste with lunar or Martian regolith (similar to dirt and rock found in desert climates on Earth), a cement-like structure can be formed and composited into place with robotic precision. NASA engineers are using Autodesk additive manufacturing technology to explore the possibility of 3D printing habitats on other planets. Though this is the stuff of space dreams, additive manufacturing technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we do construction here on Earth. If we can repurpose plastic pollution and use readily available natural resources to robotically print houses on other planets, we can use the same approach to sustainably build streets, sidewalks, playgrounds, and even structures here at home.
The project is led by Autodesk Advanced Consulting (AC) and several members of the AC team have been using the BUILD Space's large robotic 3D printing cell. Autodesk Technology Centers are where the future of making takes shape. With locations around the world, we invite industry, academic, and entrepreneurial communities to reimagine what it means to design and make, and create a shared vision of the future that will enable people to do more and make better things with less negative impact. Autodesk provides the facilities, technology/equipment, training, and expertise for these communities to explore ideas that will shape the future. The BUILD Space in Boston is an Autodesk Technology Center.
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). The construction and manufacturing industries are converging. Customers who make buildings are adopting processes traditionally employed by customers who make things. Practices like mass production and quality control are being applied at construction sites. This approach helps builders do more and better with less — even on the moon or other planets. This is a moment that matters. The inevitability of more demand and the reality of less resources means an opportunity for something better. With advances in design and automation, lessons learned through adjacent industries and peers, and integrations across the technology spectrum, we can design and make a better world. Together, we can make anything.
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.
Habitation is alive in the lab.