Major developments are the roll-out of the Autodesk Industry Collections and the extension of its solutions to the cloud. Industry Collections simplifies 20 different suite configurations of next-generation design and engineering software into three simple solutions that are native to the cloud, namely Architecture, Engineering & Construction; Product Design; and Movies & Entertainment. Customers who subscribe to their choice of suite will have access to all of the desktop products and cloud services they need.
The cloud provides infinite computing capability such that Autodesk software can generate thousands of designs for a single product based on criteria that a designer determines – such as weight, strength, cost, size, materials. Generative design, as it is called, allows the computer to provide a large set of potential solutions, based on a designer’s well-stated problem.
The collision of simplified software functionalities and reduced complexities has raised the demand for new types of skills in the industries being served by Autodesk including manufacturing. New technological breakthroughs necessarily give rise to novel expertise to handle unique and unprecedented tasks.
“This year, Autodesk aims to focus on connecting teams and data seamlessly to put projects – buildings, products, movies – in the center and let designers move seamlessly from one context to another,” said Teddy D. Tiu, Autodesk Philippines country manager. “And with all the innovative features that are coming out, we would also be able to predict the potential design and engineering jobs in the coming decade.”
According to Tiu, some of these emerging jobs are:
• AR / (VR) Experience Curator: Right now, many AR/VR apps are related to gaming and entertainment. Organizations that are new to this territory — architectural firms, manufacturers, vocational programs and schools — will need skilled staff to create and curate AR and VR experiences.
• Robot Trainer: Increasingly, robots are being used in many industries, especially in construction where high risk jobs that need to get done are being given to robots similar to what is happening in manufacturing. Robots will work alongside human colleagues. Human trainers will therefore be needed to demonstrate complex tasks for robots to learn and perform.
• Sensor System Integrators: More products with sensors will be created and will have to communicate with each other. Because intelligence is being put in almost all products, even simple products will have all different sensors embedded in them by a skilled integrator. The sensor system integrator will also set up networks in commercial buildings, or aside from the product development stage.
• Generative Designer: Advanced algorithmic design tools will change how a designer works. Instead of creating a 3D model from scratch, the designers need only use artificial intelligence-based generative design software to create a solution that they will refine into the ultimate design. They just have to identify the weight, strength, cost, size, materials and everything else will be generated by the machine. The designer is thereby enabled to churn out many more alternatives.
• 3D Printing Specialist: The boom in 3D printing – especially with the rise of 3D printed buildings – will require skilled machinists who can operate ‘subtractive’ manufacturing machines. Before, when they launch a space capsule, they have to bring in all the different parts to test if something may go wrong. Now, all that is needed is a 3D printer with all the 3-D models of the spaces vehicle that’s being built. Before anything can go wrong, design faults can be checked first using the 3D printout.
Tiu said the Autodesk’s Elbo chair, which placed 3rd among Wired magazine’s most innovative objects of 2016, has been designed by algorithms, not humans. It is the result of a collaboration between human and machine. The human designers decided the basic elements of they wanted from a chair then they fed the data to Autodesk’s generative design system. The software proceeded to come up with hundreds of alternatives in search of the optimal design. It settled for the most viable final design that went into producing the actual Elbo chair.
Highlight of 2016
“The year 2016 marked an important milestone for Autodesk,” Teddy D. Tiu added. “Autodesk fully transitioned to a subscription-based business, and now offers the broadest portfolio of single-user and multi-user licenses under one-quarter, one-year or even multiple-year subscriptions.”
In October 2014, Autodesk announced that on top of the perpetual license, it would have a subscription only model. The combination was unlike the other companies that transitioned instantly.
It was a slow shift from perpetual to subscription-only so that people will have the time to adjust to what they plan to do and align their vision for the future with Autodesk’s offerings and services. In moving 100% to a subscription only model, Autodesk reached a landmark last year in recognition of the direction the industry was headed.