AU 2010, Las Vegas

AU is now taking place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. We have already heard a lot about apps on Autodesk Labs, such as Fusion, a streaming application that connects history-based and direct modeling. Also exciting: apps that generate a point cloud from a consumer camera, such as an iPhone camera, and changes it to a real 3D model.

Buzz Kross says so few engineers remain after the huge job losses of the last few years that it has pushed engineeing to all ages and design levels. One example comes from SketchBook, an easy way to create geometries. He also says Industrial design software works well in the consumer design area. Candy bars are now being designed in Inventor. The Maker market needs simpler tools like Fusion, not high-end engineering software.

The next day, key note presenters focused on digital prototyping and how it is, for instance, helping to foster the exploitation of space as the next big marketing opportunity. Luckily, the word “sustainability” is often mentioned. If technology “advancements" continue as they have in the past, we will do more than "pave-over Paradise," we will pave over the entire universe!

Caltrans, the transportation department of California, uses visualization software to design large transportation systems and is now working with gaming engines to make visualization more immersive. The department uses so-called transportation simulators that let designers work as if there are in a real car. The simulator presents an accurate, 180 degree view of the actual road and surroundings.

We also got a preview of the new Tesla, a totally electric car. It's a lithe and lean car that uses zero gas.

Next, the developers of Tron showed off the new version, now an immersive 3D movie. It will be out in December. Following this was a talk on prosthetic design. The devices were quite beautiful -- not an attempt to replicate a real (lost) leg, but more like a fashion accessory.

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