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Carl Bass, chief executive at Autodesk.

The chief executive at Autodesk obviously prepared this talk for kids, and he arrived at Maker Faire dressed for the part: wearing a baseball cap, t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers.

Not what he wears when he’s talking to shareholders about fiscal year 2013.

But Bass can pull it off: he has a marvelously casual style, and a real passion for making.

The result: this is a fantastic primer on computer aided design (CAD) for kids — and for anyone who would like a very easy-going intro to some of the most basic, free tools and services available.

The emphasis is on Autodesk products, of course, but this is not a handicap since the company has a comprehensive collection of tools at the beginner level.

Bass’s CAD tour seques seamlessly through Autodesk’s intro suite: from 123D Design, to 123D Creature, to 123D Catch, to 123D Make. Along the way he touches on Instructables and TechShop, both Autodesk investments. TinkerCad and MakerBot 3D printers also get shout outs.

Bass introduces some of the company’s more advanced products as well, like Fusion 360, highlighting the free and student discounts available to amateurs.

Although he stays within the Autodesk universe, this is a lot more than just a tour of Autodesk’s products. Bass keeps the focus wide, and consistently highlights the broader view of what the tools can do.



DC Denison

DC Denison

DC Denison is the editor of The Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection of makers and business. That means hardware startups, new products, and market trends.

The former technology editor of The Boston Globe, DC is also interested in content management systems.

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