Autodesk's BUILD Space Opens Its Doors for Innovation in AEC Design
Erin Green posted on October 05, 2016 |

It’s one thing to encourage creative design in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) but it’s quite another to enable it.

Autodesk is not shrinking from the challenge. With company initiatives such as the Artists in Residence program and internship programs using Fusion 360 at its home base at Pier 9, it was only a matter of time until we saw something aimed toward AEC.

The BUILD Space. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
The BUILD Space. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

That is exactly what’s happened with the Building, Innovation, Learning and Design (BUILD) Space in Boston. The 34,000-sq-ft facility, which officially opened its doors on Oct. 5, 2016, aims to offer a highly equipped space for AEC teams to test out materials before they hit the construction site.

 

Enabling AEC Design

Modern construction sites have no shortage of material options. Steel, wood, stone, concrete, ceramics, glass and carbon fiber are some of the popular ones, which is why they’ll be some of the headliners at the BUILD Space.

The industrial workshop and innovation studio will enable teams to test out new practices using these materials in fields such as digital fabrication, design robotics and industrialized construction in the hopes of improving how things are made in the built environment. 

The main floor of the BUILD Space, along with some of its robotic inhabitants. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
The main floor of the BUILD Space, along with some of its robotic inhabitants. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

The teams will have access to more than 60 pieces of large-scale industrial equipment, including:

  • Six industrial robots
  • 11 workshops equipped for work with wood, metal fabrication, composites, 3D printing, laser cutting and large-format CNC machining (router and waterjet)
  • A five-ton bridge crane to help with larger projects and moving various equipment and materials between the studio’s floors

 

The BUILD Space: Free for All

Autodesk followers will be familiar with the company’s mission to provide free licenses of its software to students, hobbyists and start-ups. The BUILD Space will follow this trend, so teams (academic, industry and practice-based alike) will have full access to the studio for free. This could bode well for start-ups and student groups looking to bring new ideas to the built environment.

The facility includes spaces where teams can work and collaborate on designs before bringing them to life. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
The facility includes spaces where teams can work and collaborate on designs before bringing them to life. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Full access will include the workspace, the necessary training and equipment and Autodesk personnel, executives and other industry leaders.

By providing the space free of charge, the company hopes to gain insight into the needs of the construction industry and what the future might hold for AEC.

“The way things are being designed, made and used is radically transforming,” said Carl Bass, president and CEO of Autodesk. “The Autodesk BUILD Space is a powerful place to influence the future of making things for the built world around us and the feedback loop our team gains from being in such close proximity to industry futurists is extraordinary.”

For more information on the BUILD Space, check it out on Facebook and Twitter.

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