Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Highlights at Autodesk University 2009

December 3, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

At Autodesk University 2009, Autodesk is highlighting a series of innovative real-world applications of digital prototyping software to inspire its manufacturing customers with better ways to design and manufacture the world’s best products for competitive advantage. Autodesk is also hosting an extensive virtual event on AU Virtual, enabling customers around the world with limited time and travel budgets to participate.  

Autodesk and Stratasys unveiled the world’s first 3-D print of a life-size commuter jet turbo prop engine at AU 2009. The engine, which includes some functional, moving parts such as the propellers, is designed exclusively in Autodesk Inventor software by Nino Caldarola, an aerospace designer and engineer based in Manitoba, Canada, who currently is an application engineer with Autodesk reseller IMAGINiT. The 10-foot-by-10-foot engine, composed of nearly 200 ABS plastic parts, was on display in the AU Design Matters pavilion and will permanently reside in the Autodesk Gallery. In a manufacturing industry context, a 3-D print of this sophistication could help aerospace engineers validate the digital prototype, conduct analysis and determine how components will fit together.

On Wednesday, users learned about the latest Autodesk digital prototyping technology from Robert “Buzz” Kross, Autodesk senior vice-president of the manufacturing industry group, in the annual industry keynote. This year’s featured guest speaker was Peter H. Diamandis, founder, CEO and chairman of X PRIZE Foundation, a pioneer and leader in the commercial space arena that awarded the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight.

Throughout the week in the AU Manufacturing Lounge, customers sat with product evangelists and shared their best tips and tricks for digital prototyping with Autodesk design and engineering software. Autodesk also encouraged customers to record their favourite best practices on video for uploading onto the Autodesk Manufacturing YouTube Channel. The top 10 videos receiving the most views by the end of AU will be awarded prizes.


Autodesk has also created the annual Manufacturing Community Achievement award to recognize individuals for their contributions to the Autodesk Manufacturing user community. Contributions can include innovative designs or use of software, leadership in discussion groups or user groups, and long-term participation at AU as an attendee or instructor. The 2009 award recognized Charlie Bliss for his lifetime of achievement. Bliss has been using Inventor since the software’s first alpha release, and his involvement and passion for Inventor software has been going strong ever since. Bliss’ contributions to the Inventor community have been significant, both in terms of quantity and breadth. For example, his website became a hub of the early Inventor community where users could find and donate Inventor part models, shaders and textures. A CAD services manager with Applied Materials for nearly 19 years, Charlie Bliss is currently consulting with green start-up companies on their design and CAD technology needs.

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