Autodesk University 2015 Grab Bag Wrap-Up Part 2: Not There Yet

It’s time for the umpteenth AU write-up that you’ve seen! And I am probably a whole week later than all the others that you read!

Not There Yet

In yesterday’s AU wrap up write up, I went over some long promised technology that feels like it’s time to take a serious look at it. Today I want to go over some items that I saw at AU that have been talked about for a while now, but they still just don’t seem ready.

When I look at these things, I am approaching them from a very practical point of view. I want to balance cost with amount of effort involved. I’ve said it before, there are firms out there that have the resources to push the limits of technology and throw time and money at these things, and that is awesome. But I am looking at these things for the rest of us.

Desktop 3D Printer

3D Printing

It breaks my heart, but as far as desktop 3D printing used for day to day design work, it’s not there yet. You can either spend a little amount of money and have a piece of equipment that is closer to a science fair experiment than office equipment, or pay gobs of money and have something that works… but it costs gobs of money. There was only one small footprint, low cost, extrusion printer at AU this year. This tells me that they know it’s not just ready yet. The other printers are the types of models that cost more than my car. I have been in love with the concept with 3D printers for years, and the potential is there, but the hardware and/or cost is not.

Microsoft Hololens

Augmented Reality

The close cousin to Virtual Reality is something called Augmented Reality, and they actually talked about it a lot at AU. The keynote referred to the Augmented Age, and that is cool and exciting but it’s not ready for prime time in the AEC industry. I was fortunate enough to sit in on a live demo of the Microsoft Hololens, and it is impressive. It’s so well put together, you forget how impressive it is, it’s one of those things. But the tools they demonstrated, and the form factor lends it more to the industrial design folks than large scale design for the AEC folks. It will be there someday, and hopefully soon, but not quite yet.

Tomorrow, check out part three of my wrap-up, wherein I get a little excited over something really nerdy.


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