Autodesk University 2010 – Day 1

Autodesk University 2010 officially kicks off tomorrow. Today was the Autodesk DevDays conference and a few press briefings. I am attending AU as media. But since I am also a member of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) I did a little of both.

I can’t say anything about what was shown to us at the DevDays conference since it was covered by the ADN confidentiality agreement. However, I will say that the gap between AutoCAD and its clones has widened so much that they now need to start calling themselves “once-upon-a-time-clones”. Exactly how many users need or will actually use these new whiz bang features that are being added to AutoCAD is up for discussion. But technologically, AutoCAD has gone way ahead for any of these clones to catch up. And the gap is increasing every year.

These are a few of the things I found interesting in the media briefings. Brian Mathews, VP of Autodesk Labs, spoke about what’s next at Autodesk.

For the first time in public, he showed something called Photo Scene Editor, a software based on Project Photofly. Here is a video that I captured.

Buzz Kross, Autodesk VP of Manufacturing, spoke about “Inventing for Everyone” and how Autodesk was trying to make  design creation accessible to everyone and not just engineers.

According to Buzz, Autodesk is now getting interested in the large “Do It Yourself” market. Incidentally, this is the same market that Alibre is concentrating all its efforts on. So this may turn out to be a bit of a problem for Alibre. Autodesk is partnering with TechShop to get to the DIY market.

Kevin Scheider, one of the product managers for Inventor, gave a quick demo of Inventor Fusion and showed some new surfacing capability that has been added into the recently released Technology Preview 4. Apparently, in the past 18 months that Fusion has been out there it has been downloaded about 16,000 times. Inventor itself was downloaded by students about 50,000 times this year alone.

Garin Gardner showed a new 2D game that Autodesk has developed called Autodesk TinkerBox inspired by the concept of Rube Goldberg machines. This game is meant to stimulate kids to get into Engineering. Here is a video.

Buzz Kross ended by saying, “It’s a game from a CAD company. But it is not a freaking geometry game“.