2024 Forecasts: Autodesk Researchers Weigh In

Erin Arnold


We asked some of our Researchers to share their thoughts on what technology advances and trends they expect to see more of in 2024. It’s hard to forecast anything in the technology world without touching on AI and according to Kean Walmsley, Software Architect and Senior Manager, “it’s almost a non-prediction to say that AI will influence the coming year.”

“While in many ways the initial excitement around generative AI is abating–with significant issues around copyright and transparency working through the courts–we will inevitably continue to see increasingly pervasive use of AI in everyday workflows. Our customers are already using text to image tools for stakeholder ideation, for instance, and I expect to see more of this and tighter integrations of AI into design workflows,” said Kean.

Hilmar Koch, Research Director, Media and Entertainment, also sees 2024 as a consequential year for AI, potentially “redefining the rules of what a design and make platform can offer.”

“Many big tech players are releasing new competitive models at a furious pace. Models are becoming huge, being trained on ever more data at enormous financial and environmental cost. Curiously, while being multi-modal and multi-scale out of the gate, their growth in generative and cognitive capabilities is not keeping pace with the growth of training data or capital investment. For Autodesk, there is an opportunity to integrate workflows, combining classic engineering, design and compute capabilities and interaction models with those offered by emergent AIs,” said Hilmar.

Earlier this year, the Research blog highlighted how to design, the materials and sensors needed, and the manufacturing process for 3D printing a five-meter smart bridge early last year. Peter Storey, Principal Research Engineer, expects to see more 3D printing in construction this year.

“With the publication of the first ASTM standard for Additive Construction, and companies like Mighty Buildings continuing to receive strong funding I’d wager that we’ll see more stories of 3D printed housing and infrastructure, beyond the one-off showcases that we have seen to date,” said Peter.

And with a focus on construction, sustainability efforts are top of mind. Fope Bademosi, Circular Economy and Construction Researcher, believes that in 2024 the construction industry will adopt more circular principles, “thanks to the rise of digital technology like digital twins and materials passports.”

“These advancements will improve the management of materials for reuse and recycling, promoting compliance with environmental regulations and reducing carbon footprint. Additionally, there is a continuous move towards the industrialization of construction, which will enhance efficiency and reduce waste, aligning with net zero objectives. Overall, in 2024, the construction industry will make significant strides toward sustainability, driven by digital innovation and a solid commitment to the circular economy,” said Fope.

Furthering a focus on sustainability, Angie Foss, Strategic Relationship Development Manager, sees the potential for even greater commitment to automation.

“Because the sustainability policies and requirements globally are going to become more real and closer in terms of deadlines, we will see a new willingness to adopt supportive automation and technology. I believe we will see at least a few significant challenges unlocked this year in AEC. Whether that is through small example projects or some policy movement,” said Angie.

Follow Autodesk Research to keep an eye on how these trends play out in 2024 and beyond!

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