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 by informing visitors about what our customers imagine, design, and make using our software.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, for this year's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 16 new exhibits. Some of these may resurface in San Francisco.
The Type 20 electric-infused showcase vehicle exhibit is one such exhibit that will be at AU:
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of its largest vehicle research facility outside of Germany, the team at Volkswagen's Innovation and Engineering Center has reimagined the VW bus, an iconic symbol of the company’s heritage and values. The Type 20 electric-infused showcase vehicle combines classic Volkswagen design with new technologies that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
With a focus on maximizing strength while minimizing weight, the VW team collaborated with Autodesk, applying generative design to the wheels to reduce the overall weight and lessen rolling resistance on the tires. The new wheels are 18% lighter than a standard set, and the overall development time from design to manufacture was cut from 1.5 years to a matter of months. Generative design was also used to reconceptualize the steering wheel, as well as the support structure for the rear bench seating and the external side mirror mounts.
"Today we don’t even understand to the full extent the potential of generative design. In the coming years we'll have to figure out where human engineering combined with artificial intelligence can lead to lighter, smarter, more sustainable products. This will revolutionize not just the products we're making but also the ways that we work."
— Nikolai Reimer, Executive Director, Volkswagen Innovation and Engineering Center
Beyond serving as a tool for design exploration and for making lighter, stronger parts, generative design technology created faster workflows, allowing the designers to rapidly develop options for reducing mass in the wheels while exploring multiple manufacturing methods.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
I happened to be at our Autodesk Technology Center at Pier 9 in San Francisco when early prototypes of the wheels arrived:
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., efficiency, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, sustainability, return on investment).
When it comes to achieving better project outcomes, automation is the key — whether you're making buildings, products, or media. Automation is changing how we work, what we work with, and what we're capable of making — for the better. At Autodesk, we make tools to help people with design challenges every day. We help our customers design and make anything. We automate how things are designed in the digital world and made in the physical world. Through human innovation and automation, we can shape the world around us. Better things, better work, a better world. Together, we can make anything.
Perhaps post AU, this exhibit will make its way to San Francisco? 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.
Auto-mation is alive in the lab.