Article in Xconomy

“Only a handful of months ago, this whole thing was only an idea, and at times what seemed like a really crazy idea,” said Autodesk president and CEO Carl Bass. “Now it is the envy of everybody’s workshops.”

The leader of the San Rafael, CA-based design software maker was speaking last week at the official opening his company’s newest facility, a state-of-the-art fabrication workshop on San Francisco’s Pier 9.

A stone’s throw from the new Exploratorium, the workshop is designed to serve as a showcase and idea laboratory for Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK), while at the same time boosting efforts to bring more high-tech businesses to San Francisco’s historic Port district.

The 27,000-square-foot facility, which occupies the southern half of the pier, features a 3D printing lab, a fleet of huge computer-controlled rapid-prototyping machines, metal and wood shops, and office and conference space. It’s also the new home for Autodesk’s consumer products group, as well as an advanced research group in synthetic biology and nanotechnology.

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