January 5, 2016

Posted on January 5, 2016 by Synergis Applications Consultant Jim Swain
I recently attended AU 2015, and have had some time to think about my experience there.
The previous year I was very impressed with the many exhibitors that were demonstrating additive manufacturing technologies. That was very exciting for me as I have been following these technologies since the ‘80’s. The number of booths showcasing this technology was down this year, but I still enjoyed looking at a product called The Other Mill. While it was shown as a pre-production unit last year I enjoyed checking out the real deal this time. This small 3 axis mill looks to be great for the education and hobbyist market as well as for use specific manufacturing development jobs.
While there was ample manufacturing technology on display in one of several Autodesk areas on the floor the biggest amount of real estate looked to be in the scanning technologies. And the MacLaren super-car in the Autodesk Manufacturing area was very cool, just saying. Everyone was showing variations on scanning and post-scan data manipulation. I figured the drones and scanning equipment was cool for a mechanical engineer by themselves!
Once again I found I had to choose between two or three classes that I would have enjoyed taking for every available session. That seems to be a given every year. I was able to find time to be a lab assistant for both a CFD and a ROBOT structural analysis lab this time. Even as a lab assistant I find I learn something in every class I attend. Not only do I get useful technical information, but I get to see how others present their info. This has helped me to improve as an instructor and consultant over the years.
Perhaps the biggest benefit I get from going to AU every year is this: I get to talk about how to apply different software to different situations with many people. This includes customers, other attendees, other resellers and Autodesk technical experts.
With that in mind I can’t wait for next year! And next year AU will be the week before Thanksgiving, not the week after. I finally get a chance to put up Christmas decorations without worrying about practicing my presentation “one more time”!
Jim brings over 30 years of experience from the manufacturing industry to the Synergis Engineering Design Solutions technical team and is a certified Inventor Expert. Jim earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and has spent time in the both the electronics and automotive industries. His proven expertise allowed him to take a role as CAD Administrator while working in the field.