Another piece of software we got a good look at at this year's Autodesk University is Autodesk 360. The company has created a Facebook-like interface for projects and design teams; collaborators log on to a cleanly-designed dashboard page containing "all of the data, projects, people, tasks, discussions, activities, issues and alerts that are associated with design or architecture projects that they are working on."
Clicking on a project, for instance, is like clicking on someone's Facebook wall; you get a linear view of all developments concerning that project, with your fellow collaborators' updates taking the place of comments. People can upload relevant files as updates, and anyone with access can view any file, regardless of whether it's an Autodesk format or not. (This includes non-design data, like spreadsheets and such.) And yes, Autodesk 360 can also be used from your phone or tablet, just as with Facebook.
While we were treated to an on-stage, well-explained visual presentation of how it all works, we realize text is not the best way to drive home how this software would impact your workflow. Thankfully, Autodesk has made available the videos they used for their presentation. These are hot off the presses so they haven't added the voiceover yet, but we'll provide the relevant text:
Projects at the Center
In Autodesk 360 users can see all the projects they are working on in one place. Because customers work on lots of projects, they can pin or unpin them, to indicate which ones are most important.
Todd McLellan meets Ferris Bueller's friend Cameron? For his contribution to the "exploded object" genre of photography, Fabian Oefner ratchets up the intensity by seemingly having taken a ratchet to exotic cars, disassembling them piece by piece.
The Swiss artist's Disintegrating series features some of the most beloved classic car models--a Ferrari 250 GTO, a Gullwing Benz, a Jag E-type--and shows you what they're made of, deconstructing those beautiful forms to float the mechanicals out into space.
It's digitally manipulated, sure, but each piece is the result of a real photograph. How does he do it? Well, guess:
So you've designed your product, run simulations on the model, figured out the PLM and rendered countless iterations. Now it's time to actually machine the thing. Autodesk is now addressing this final step, taking advantage of Autodesk University's packed attendance (10,000-plus people this year!) to announce their new CAM 360 software, which they're billing as the world's first cloud-based CAM solution.
CAM 360 is seen as the final puzzle piece in their cloud-based digital manufacturing software suite, following on the heels of PLM 360 (product lifecycle management), Sim 360 (analysis) and Fusion 360 (design). By finally integrating the thing that actually generates the toolpaths for CNC, the company reckons manufacturers will enjoy a huge time savings. And the cloud-based approach confers three distinct benefits: 1) Customers no longer need worry which version of the software they and their collaborators are on; 2) Files can be accessed anywhere, anytime; and 3) they've got virtually limitless cloud-based computing power available to quickly crunch those monster files.
The CAM 360 release date is pegged for next year.
On 7th Street in Manhattan's East Village stands McSorley's Old Ale House, one of NYC's older Irish pubs, dating back to the mid-1800s. Since its inception the bar had a no-women-allowed policy—an anachronism they held onto until 1970 (!) when the Civil Rights Bill was passed. The first woman invited inside was Barbara Shaum.
If being invited inside a bar doesn't sound like an accomplishment, what Shaum was achieving just two doors down the block was. As a 21-one-year-old woman living in 1950s NYC, she had begun learning leathersmithing. By 1970 she'd had nearly 20 years of experience, and had her own leathergoods shop—in both senses of the word—next-next-door to McSorley's. (And she'd actually had beers inside the bar before the ballyhoo, as local shopkeepers were once a lot friendlier with each other.)
Barbara Shaum is the leathersmith whom Kika Vliegenthart apprenticed under. And now, at age 83, she's 62 years into the business and still running her shop. Rising rents have forced her off of 7th Street, but she's still keeping it East Village real enough, now relocated to 4th.
Shaum refers to the leather sandals she makes as "like wearing a T-shirt on your feet." It's not uncommon for them to last for decades, as her business has. Over the course of her six-decade career she's made bags, briefcases, sandals, belts, and a variety of custom work (her strangest "client" was a llama). Here's her story:
This is a true story. Descriptions of companies, clients, schools, projects, and designers may be altered and anonymized to protect the innocent.
Editor: After a nasty paycheck surprise, suddenly underpaid "Family Man" has to figure out where he went wrong with his new employment contract. Has he screwed himself and his family, or are they getting screwed by the company?
It was well after closing when I got to the office, so everyone else was long gone. I flipped the lights on, headed over to my desk and ripped the drawer open. There was the contract. I pulled it out, slammed it down on my desk and started reading through it, to see where I'd screwed up. To be told you were going to be paid an annual salary only to have some clause slipped under your nose in the contract stipulating you'd instead be paid hourly wages—this made me angry, and I had to figure out where I'd make the mistake so that I'd never make it again.
I spent fifteen minutes going through the contract from top to bottom, and could find no such clause. So I read through it again. And again. Then, a fourth time.
There was nothing in the contract like that, no clause, no loopholes. It was totally straightforward. I was supposed to be paid $85,000 a year in biweekly installments, no ifs, ands or buts. So I had read the thing correctly the first time. That made me breathe a sigh of relief since it meant the error wasn't mine, but my anger shortly returned. The boss was shortchanging me.
I went home that night angry, and when my wife asked me what was wrong I lied and said I had to learn some new software for work that was giving me a headache. I couldn't bring myself to tell her how much less money we were going to have, not until I talked to the boss and figured out what the hell was going on.