For the past three years, I have been lucky enough to attend the Develop3D Live Event put on by the publishers at Develop 3D. It is held at the Warwick University Arts center in the midlands of the UK. Develop3D covers CAD/CAM/PLM in web, mobile and a gorgeous print magazine. Al, Martyn, Steven, and the whole D3D team is a great bunch, working hard to provide good coverage of our industry. There usually is a beer or two in it too.
Here are a few thoughts and pictures from the day:
D3D Editor Martyn Day kicking off the event. Next year there will be a box for Martyn so he can see over the podium.
After Martyn, the keynote speaker was Daniel Simon. Daniel is an accomplished designer. He has worked on films like Tron, Legacy and Oblivion as well as publishing several books of his transportation racing creations. We are lucky enough to have a big poster of one of Daniel's creations hanging on the wall in one of our Lake Oswego office conference rooms. It was obvious that Daniel's talk was a big draw to many of the students. He signed books for hours after his talk. I know because the line blocked the path to the bathroom for most of the day.
After Daniel, there were a few more presentations and then Buzz Kross gave a talk about Autodesk Fusion 360 showing exactly what it is. Buzz covered why Fusion 360 is different and how customers are using it. He demoed the capabilities for design, cam as well as team collaboration. It was impressive seeing the audience react to what was shown. Some of Buzz's demos covered future capabilities coming this summer. This included progress on our animations and drawings.
I think D3D is unique because in one day, you have every major CAD vendor present. It is a singular chance to see and hear from leaders across our industry.
What I value most about getting to go to this event is the number of customers I get to meet. I enjoyed it immensely and find the chance to learn and connect with so many customers in one place the best part of my trip to the UK. Gus Petrikas, covered recently as part of our Behind the Design interviews, sat down with me and we spent some time at the event coffee shop. We talked about some of his more recent Fusion 360 designs and how he really needs to get a new computer. I was able to show off some new capabilities coming in our May update related to materials and materials assignment. I learned a lot listening to his challenges and reactions to what we looked at. The ability to manage materials and explore different appearances impressed him and It was obvious to me that it will make life easier for Gus to explore his design ideas. Gus is using blender and GPU rendering today and hopefully we can improve his workflow in the coming months.
I met so many nice customers while in the booth too. I can't remember all the names but I left hearing that people were interested to try Fusion 360. It was great to hear from those who had tried it and what their wish-lists were. The work we are doing on rendering and drawings is going to pay off because it came up more than once as I talked with people about what improvements they were looking for.
Don't worry if you did not make the event! Over the coming weeks, the D3DLive team will post videos of all the major sessions. Check their site to see if your favorite session is up and be sure to try and make it next year.
Here are a few other posts about the day:
Twitter #D3DLive ( you can see the picture of Buzz and CEO of SolidWorks )
Lastly, I want to thank the whole Develop3D Team for putting on the event.