Twas the night before Vegas, when all through the land

Not a mouse was stirring, not even a digitizer or Leap Motion that I control with my hand..

The tablets (and other smart devices) were charging by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Autodesk University soon would be there.

The students were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Lynn Allen danced in their heads.

And with Inventor and Revit on their laptop, and Autodesk 360 ready to take a lap,

they all settled their brains for a long Fall nap.


When out on twitter there arose such a clatter,

They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.

Away to their phones they flew like a flash,

Tore open the app and flipped through with such sass.


The moon on the breast of the new-fallen Tweets

Gave the luster of mid-day to make them seen sweet.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature tweet, and eight tiny retweets.

With such a description, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment there is no time for sleep.

More rapid than eagles the courses, they came,

There are too many classes to pick from and I know them all by name!

AU Logo

So AU is upon us and I am still tweaking my schedule, why do all the good classes or the ones that I’m most interested in always seem to fall on the same time slot? Argggghhhhh!

Other than my classes (of course) here are a couple I’m really looking forward too.

Classes, Classes, and more Classes

PL1749Looking into the Crystal Ball: The Future of PDM at Autodesk”. I usually have a good idea of what’s going on in the data-management world but this year I don’t know… and actually I hope I don’t know until this class as I like the excitement of the reveal of new things.

MA3501“Introduction to Computer-Aided Machining (CAM)“. I haven’t seriously looked at CAM since my tech-school days, so I’m ready for this refresher and re-introduction.

MA2330 – “Creating Interactive 3D Documentation with Autodesk® Publisher 360“. Inventor Publisher really became a “dead” product after it was introduced with so much hype. I’ve got one seat ready to be dusted off and have something done with it… just hope their is an easy migration path to 360

What we will see from Autodesk

I talked last time about some (hopeful) acquisitions outside of this what do I think we’ll see from Autodesk? I think two things will be front-and-center: the Cloud and 3D Printing. How could it not be?

With the release of HSM Express and the pending acquisition of Delcam, Autodesk is about ready to explode into the CAM market. With the commercialization of 3D Printing and the industry move to additive manufacturing, this is a huge market that not only Autodesk will be diving into head first. CAM 360 will be presented as the first CAM in the cloud.

“the Cloud”… its been the message for at least 3-years. Now with the traditional desktop products (like Inventor and Revit) working in a browser what is holding everyone back? What are we going to see? Additional 360 products and services: CAM 360, Publisher 360, Showcase 360(?), and probably some type of drafting and detailing engine for Fusion 360. I would also imagine better integration between Vault and PLM 360. What if there was a Vault 360? (Gasp!). And what about Design Review?

I’m hoping to see how long time traditional desktop users will gain access to the newer Cloud initiatives. Will there be a Navisworks / Mockup 360 bundle? Will there be a migration path for existing Inventor Publisher users to Publisher 360? (I really hope so).

What about Suite users? Is there really enough differentiation between the “flavours” of the Suites? For example the difference between PDS Premium and Ultimate is Alias Design and a bump from Navisworks Simulate to Manage. If I was a betting man I’d be betting that the “Ultimate” is going to get more stuff added, in the form of Cloud Services.

It will also be interesting to see how they will “spin” the death of the upgrade

Twitter here we come!

Other things I’m looking forward to? Meeting and putting faces to all my “twitter friends” that I’ve made over the past year. If we meet and I’m not sure who you are introduce yourself by twitter handle (ha!).

My suggestions for first comers?

There are dozens of articles, blog posts, and tweets with suggestions for first-times to AU. They are all great but really you only need to know two things to make it the best experience:

  1. Meet with and talk with as MANY people as you can. Autodesk people, vendors, resellers, and of course other AU’ers. Even if they are in different industry segments everyone is always so willing to talk. My wife refers to it as “Geek Talk” and how I must be in “Geek Heaven” for a whole week. I had some phenomenal conversations with some Architectural folks last year regarding CAD Management, Project Management, and their use of the Cloud. It didn’t matter that I was of a Manufacturing background, we found the common ground and found a lot to share and discuss.
  2. Drink as much water as possible! I can’t stress this enough… my first year I ended up with one of the worst headaches of my life all because I went like 12-hours without water. Your first thought will be for coffee (morning) and beer (evening) but try to fit in a couple glasses of water, trust me.

So, if you’re going to AU hunt me down, and lets talk. If you are not going to AU make sure to check out the live and online sessions. Last and not least check back here as we will all be doing AU wrap-ups and reviews during and after the event.

What’s everyone else looking forward to?