star wars
Star Wars’ Ships Have Terrible Aerodynamic Designs

When you’re flying around in space, where there’s no air or wind resistance, aerodynamics aren’t important. That’s why the Star Trek Borg ship is just a giant cube and still works just fine. But when ships are also visiting planets with atmospheres, aerodynamics do come into play — and apparently neither the Rebels nor the Empire in Star Wars know the first thing about properly designing flying vehicles. Read More >>

3d printing
Simple Software Turns any 3D-Printed Model Into a Playable Instrument

You no longer have to be a Stradivarius, a Gibson, or even a Steinway to make your own musical instruments. Anyone with access to a 3D printer and this simple software, developed by Autodesk Research, can turn any 3D model into a wind instrument capable of playing a variety of different notes. Read More >>

robots
If You Hate People, Get a Tattoo From a Robot

There is a certain intimacy that comes with getting a tattoo. Not only are you decorating your own skin in a unique way, but you’re also sharing that experience with the artist who is essentially making you bleed over and over again. Read More >>

3d printing
Giant Multi-Headed 3D Printer Can Create Massive Objects in One Pass

The trade-off of an affordable 3D printer is that they’re usually small and can only produce small objects. To make something big, you have to break it down into smaller parts first. But Autodesk has come up with a better approach: a 3D printer with multiple heads that all work together to churn out massive creations. Read More >>

design
​How Autodesk’s Experimental Lab Gave Us an Odd Little Star Wars Movie

The long rectangles of San Francisco's famous piers gave the city a blocky, geometric border with the Bay over a century ago. Now these abandoned remnants of the Barbary Coast are being rejuvenated by companies like software giant Autodesk, whose Pier 9 Workshop is so experimental that it feels like science fiction. Read More >>

architecture
Why Today’s Architects Build Digital Simulations Instead of Scale Models

When I was a grad student in architecture school in the '80s, one of our professors was on a mission. Each semester he'd give a design project in downtown Manhattan, asking his students to spend the first two weeks of the term building a beautiful wood model of the surrounding site. The next year he would move to a new site, adjacent to last year's. Over the years his students built a humongous wood model of lower Manhattan, and each successive generation got the benefit of their predecessor's slowly accumulating analogue "database" of Manhattan architecture. Read More >>

history
Dive Into This Digital USS Arizona in the Name of Conservation

For nearly three quarters of a century, the USS Arizona has rested practically untouched in the waters of Pearl Harbor, acting as both the final resting place of and enduring tribute to the 1100 marines and sailors that lost their lives aboard it. Read More >>

design
Six Designs That Would’ve Been Impossible Without Computer Modelling

After three decades on the market, Autodesk's software has radically transformed modern architecture, science, and art. In downtown San Francisco, Autodesk exhibits a rotating 20-item gallery showing twenty of its most impressive design feats. On a recent tour, Gizmodo saw the stunning range of the program's capabilities. Engineers use it to plan the most the world's major buildings, and scientists use it to make scale models of molecules. For an artist, it's a way to finally design a giant dinosaur made of LEGO. Read More >>