by Richard McPartland
AU explores the "future of making things - an ideal chance to experience what's next for your field, connect with fellow professionals and generally immerse yourself in the future of the industry.
Over three days (14-16 November) organisers promise a packed programme of classes, workshops, presentations and interactive galleries.
Why not decide for yourself as we single out seven things not to miss at Autodesk University 2017 Las Vegas?
1. A tailored event experience
There's so much on offer at Autodesk University 2017 it's possible to tailor the conference topics and experiences around areas that best support your interests and developments.
Take a deep delve into improving energy and material efficiency for buildings and products, explore connected detailing and fabrication, learn techniques for interactive visualisation, find out more about construction and the circular economy... the list goes on.
2. Timely keynotes
This year the opening keynote focuses on insights and inspiration on automation and the future of work. Autodesk's new president and CEO Andrew Anagnost draws on a network of presenters as the conference officially gets underway.
The technology keynote sees Amy Bunszel, VP of Digital Engineering take to the stage to show how the products you use every day are evolving to fit the changing ways you work. There's plenty of practical detail promised as customers share their own groundbreaking projects and processes.
The architecture, engineering and construction keynote looks at products specific to AEC with practical demonstrations of a raft of new features. There's a special focus on industrialised construction too.
The design and manufacturing keynote brings together product experts to discuss Autodesk's design and manufacturing product strategy. Again, there's plenty of practical demonstrations to show off new features that might just hold the key to solving your next manufacturing challenge.
3. Get practical experience developing with Autodesk Forge
Autodesk Forge DevCon is a two-day programme of special classes, keynotes, panels and labs aimed at design and engineering software developers. It's a chance to find out what it takes to create, deploy or market data-driven web and mobile applications powered by the Forge Platform.
Elsewhere, NBS's own Dr Stephen Hamil will be presenting a session (DC124113) on how project teams come together to develop information on a BIM project. The core part of the class will look at how Autodesk Forge can be used as the platform to develop a collaborative cloud based solution to allow models and associated information to be viewed through the web-browser and how this has come to life as the NBS Online Viewer.
Where else could you group together to play ring toss, visit the Hoover Dam and get all competitive with a marshmallow challenge?
4. Get an education!
Autodesk University offers a wide range of interactive learning opportunities in the form of industry talks, instructional demos, panels, round tables exploring challenges and answering pressing questions, and hand-on labs offering step-by-step instruction.
This year, for the first time, there's a self-paced lab offering delegates a dedicated learning space to work through a variety of interactive courses at their own speed. There's no excuse not to hone those skills!
5. Get hands on!
Autodesk University isn't just an opportunity to be told about what's happening and what's possible. It's a chance to try things for yourself and get hands on with the technologies that are changing how we design, make and build.
This year you'll be able to experience designs before they're built with immersive design, see how generative design uses computation to explore thousands of design solutions and see the new opportunities in fabrication that are made possible by intelligent robots.
6. See the tech of today and tomorrow on the big screen
New this year - a dedicated space for technology presentations with a Theater Session programme drawing on the expertise of thought leaders.
There's also a special screening of Blade Runner 2049 with Framestore VFX Supervisor Richard Hoover sharing his experience working on the film.
7. Work the network
With over 10,000 construction professionals descending on The Venetian you'd expect the networking opportunities to be pretty special and you'd be right. The Hub offers spaces to relax, play games, meet peers or take advantage of one of the more formal meeting spaces. Throughout the three days there's a series of social meet-ups around a myriad of themes. Where else could you group together to play ring toss, visit the Hoover Dam and get all competitive with a marshmallow challenge?