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At its flagship annual user event, Autodesk highlighted the disruptions altering how things are designed and made, explored how the natural world can inspire design, and previewed new software tools and programs to make 3D design and fabrication more accessible. The company also laid out its plans to help designers and engineers transition to a new era of connection where they achieve better outcomes by realizing their ideas in context of the real world.

"There's been a radical rethinking of how things will be made in the future," said Carl Bass, Autodesk president and CEO. "New manufacturing processes and materials, coupled with infinite computing and ubiquitous connectivity are completely changing how companies innovate and deliver new products."

Bass welcomed Autodesk University's 10,000 attendees in a keynote address where he demonstrated a range of the company's cloud-based products for 3D design and engineering, reality computing and 3D printing, and announced plans to introduce a new offering next year that will provide access to the entire Autodesk portfolio of products with a single subscription. In this presentation and throughout the event, the company introduced new programs and tools that will help the design and manufacturing industries achieve new levels of connectivity and collaboration:

Autodesk Fusion 360, the world's first cloud-based 3D CAD/CAM tool for product development that merges industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing will be made available for no additional cost to Autodesk Product Design Suite subscribers. In addition, Autodesk announced that in the future, Fusion will run entirely in a web browser.

A360 Team will be available globally later this month. A360 Team is a modern tool for collaborating that breaks down silos, brings teams together across time and space, and enables data management to recede into the background to be essentially invisible to users. In addition, A360 Collaboration for Revit (formerly codenamed Project Skyscraper) connects building project teams with centralized access to BIM data in the cloud and will be available later this month.

Autodesk is now offering a limited number of early build Ember 3D printers for purchase and product feedback through the Ember Explorer Program. Ember is the first 3D printer built on the Spark open 3D printing platform. Apply for access at http://spark.autodesk.com/ember-explorer
Autodesk has made its industry leading design, engineering and entertainment software and cloud services free** to students, instructors and academic institutions worldwide. With this move, more than 680 million students and educators from over 790,000 schools worldwide can now take advantage of access to Autodesk software and cloud services via the Autodesk Academic Resource Center.

Joining Bass on stage were Emily Pilloton, Founder and Executive Director of Project H and Jeff Kowalski, Autodesk SVP and Chief Technology Officer, who discussed how Autodesk is looking at technology and design through the lens of nature. He said, "We've started to think of the design process as a living process, and to think of the things we create as living things. We can't continue to use the same old processes to make the things we design significantly better, or even live sustainably on our own planet. The next breakthroughs will co­opt some of the actual processes of nature, bringing what works in the living world into the world of the things we create."

Autodesk University Reaches Worldwide Audience

Autodesk University is a series of conferences and an online learning destination focused on inspiring, challenging and energizing Autodesk software users, partners, and industry leaders about the future of design and engineering. Now in its 22nd year, the AU conferences attract more than 25,000 participants throughout the year including the flagship event in Las Vegas, which began today; international AU events in Japan, India, Brazil, Russia, Germany, and China; and AU Extension events in an additional six countries.

A highlight of AU Las Vegas are the five Innovation Forums, a series of sessions focused on the future of making buildings, products, infrastructure and other things. The AU Exhibit Hall showcases the latest technology and innovative work by Autodesk customers across multiple industries. This year in the exhibit hall AU attendees can volunteer time with Autodesk cleantech partner TayaSola to assemble solar lantern kits for Kenyan families who lack adequate lighting. In addition, AU attendees can opt-out of the conference bag and instead have a $25 donation made on their behalf to the Autodesk Foundation, who invests in organizations practicing impact design to help create a better world.

Autodesk University events provide attendees with a mix of presentations, instruction, and social activities to network, share ideas with peers, and meet industry leaders from around the world. Most of these presentations are available online for no charge at au.autodesk.com.