Autodesk University Sydney 2016 Manufacturing Track

Last week I had the honor of heading over to Autodesk University Sydney 2016. The event covered two days, with the first being full of inspiring keynote speeches on the main stage. The event was kicked off with this rather interesting medley of auditory entertainment, I honestly never thought I would hear the incredibly cultural didgeridoo being played alongside 3 violinists. It was a very unique way to get underway.

The opening keynote was presented by Autodesk Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Pat Williams. He covered off a preview of what to expect in the following two days, as well as providing some examples of Australian and Kiwi companies already embracing the Future of Making Things concept. It was with great pride that CADPRO’s Autodesk Fusion 360 customer Cyclexpress was featured during this segment.

Autodesk University Sydney 2016 - Cyclexpress Main Stage

There were a number of impressive keynote presentations through out the rest of the day. But there were some stand out moments for sure.

Autodesk University Sydney 2016 Keynotes Highlights

Rising Sun Pictures

Aside from the inspirational highlights shared by Pat & Andy Cunningham, the morning session delivered Rising Sun Pictures’ story via their deeply passionate producer Ian Cope. He lifted the curtain to reveal some of the incredible technology and tricks employed in the creation of X-Men: Apocalypse, Pan, Harry Potter and the final episode of the Game of Thrones’ 6th season. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to video any of his content, but hopefully something will be put up on the Autodesk University Sydney webpage in a few weeks.


Projection Mapping using ReCap

New media artist and creative technologist, Joe Crossley, then presented how Autodesk software is helping him digitally paint buildings, art installations and just about any form of structure. It felt a little irrelevant about halfway through, but in the last 15 minutes he blew us all away. He’s using drones to capture 3D imagery and LIDAR of just about any structure, allowing him to create a highly accurate 2D wireframe in under 30 minutes. Once he has the 2D wireframe, he can then ‘colour it in’ with whatever imagery he wants. Then using some pretty clever software and light projection mapping techniques, he projects the result onto the object they scanned less than an hour before hand. The result at Splendour in the Grass was quite stunning!

Autodesk University Sydney - Splendour in the Grass Joe Crossley

Formula SAE Engineering Competition

After lunch a few lads from Redback Racing presented how they use the various Autodesk CAD products to design and engineer their Formula SAE cars to dominance in this region. It’s always cool to see students kicking butt and innovating. Full credit to the University of New South Wales for investing in the Formula SAE program, I’ve personally been involved in 3 years of the program back when I was a student in Wales. I have a lot to thank that experience for. If you haven’t heard of Formula SAE yet, check it out. Massey & Auckland Universities are also involved.

Redback Racing Team

CFD, Composites, Floating & Flying Stuff

The last keynote of the day flew along quite nicely. Dario Valenza, founder & CEO of Carbonix presented the design principles and tradeoffs associated with composite structures moving through water and air. His extensive experience from working within Americas Cup racing really shone through. I’ve been wanting to know more about CFD analysis surrounding competitive sail design for years, so it was a real treat getting to hear him talk about it.


The culmination of all this knowledge and experience he and his team have, is a revolutionary hybrid approach to drone design and manufacture. The Carbonix Drone combines a highly efficient fixed wing air frame with the vertical takeoff and landing benefits of quad-copters. The result is a dramatic increase in flight times, allowing much more accurate and faster collection of survey data.

Autodesk University-Carbonix-Drone

Autodesk University Sydney – Day 2 Afternoon Sessions

The morning sessions were delivered by a few Autodesk staff, and covered some brilliant content on additive manufacturing and the Internet of Things. A large number of you have since got to see those presentations during evening events in both Auckland and Christchurch this week, and were very well received. But in all honesty the reason for this post was to share the recordings of both Aaron Powter’s and my own presentations.

Fusion 360 Master Class

So let’s start with Aaron’s presentation. If you want to see him heckle me in the crowd, as well as check out the incredible work he and his team are doing with Melbourne youth at Harvester Technical College, then you need to check out his excellent presentation. There’s even a surprise cameo by an increasingly famous American machinist. Here it is:

Aaron also has his own YouTube channel with a very respectable following, so if you want to learn more about what he gets up to in his spare time, jump on over and subscribe to his channel.

Cranking into the Future of Making Things with CXP Racing

Following on from Aaron, a highly experienced and passionate teacher was always going to be a challenge, but Bruno’s Fusion 360 and Haas local manufacturing success story is a pretty exciting one. So I relished the challenge of taking on the big fella. Hopefully you guys enjoy it.

In summary, Autodesk University Sydney is turning into a must attend event for anyone in the Australian or Kiwi design and manufacturing sector. You won’t get advanced technical training, but you do get to listen to and watch some of the best creative and technical minds, across all industries in our region. One of the best parts is then being able to network with them in between and after the sessions. So I recommend you do your best to get along next year. See you there!!

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