Well, I’m home again…I did warn you that the Day 3 recap wouldn’t appear right away!

The Last Day

The morning started with a feedback meeting on a new website that Autodesk is developing. I can’t say much about it yet, but it looked pretty nice. (And when I get released from my NDA, maybe I’ll review it for real.)

Then I went to a session on incorporating analysis into the structural design workflow. It was a good overview of some of the new tools available within Revit (gravity load takedowns) and the link with Robot. I have to say, it looks like Robot’s usability has improved a lot lately…but I’m more interested in React Structures.

In the afternoon, I did another feedback session on Autodesk Support. (If you haven’t been to http://knowledge.autodesk.com in the last couple weeks, go check it out — they just launched a nice redesign!)

Then I had the privilege of sitting on a CAD Management panel with Robert Green, Curt Moreno, and R.K. McSwain, moderated by Rick Ellis. We had a great time talking about our experiences — it was a little like the conversations you get just hanging around the exhibit hall or coffee stations. You can read some of the attendee’s comments under #Ask4AUexperts. (Although I know there are more than are listed under that link…not sure where they went.)

AU wrapped up with a more low-key closing session than in years past, but it was still engaging. They continued the theme of “meaningful work”, and once again I live-tweeted it. My takeaways:

  • If you ask people, “Who does meaningful work?” they often list doctors and teachers. But you shouldn’t forget designers.
  • Volunteers at AU assembled 150 prosthetic hands for children via eNable kits
  • Instead of buying new fleets of electric buses, retrofit diesels with new hybrid engines
  • Paraphrase of one of my favorite parts: “Why air condition the building when it’s the people who get hot?”
  • The Antikythera shipwreck (from 60 BC!) is being mapped & documented with reality capture technologies
  • It’s good enough to read the instructions off the case of an ancient calculator, and to be able to re-cast a fragile artifact after it went to pieces

The AU wrap party was a circus, as it is every year…this year, I mainly found it to be loud, crowded, and cold. (Can you tell I’m not one for big parties?) But it picked up after I ran into some friends–I’ll never understand how, in a crowd of 10,000, you can run into the same people over and over!

I’ll leave you with a final thought from the closing session, a reminder that we can’t just wait around for things to happen:

Be the change. Make the difference.

Hope to see you all in Vegas next year — November 15-17, 2016!

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