I don’t think I’ve ever been to a user conference quite like Autodesk University. This thing is huge.

There are an estimated 10,000 people in Las Vegas this week who use the company’s software products in industries ranging from HVAC construction to TV and movie production. (If you saw the movie “Avatar,” many of its pioneering special effects were created with Autodesk software.

Unless many of the buttoned-down sheet metal works conferences I attend, “AU” as the company calls it, attracts one of the most diverse groups I have ever seen. Middle-aged engineers walk next to heavily tattooed hipsters and people from all over the world. The number of languages and dialects you hear spoken in the halls of Mandalay Bay’s convention center seems like it could rival the United Nations.

Clearly this is a company with global reach.

At this morning’s opening keynote session – large enough to be held in Mandalay Bay’s arena – company President and CEO Carl Bass said 3-D design and fabrication is changing every industry around the world.

"There's been a radical rethinking of how things will be made in the future,” he said. "New manufacturing processes and materials, coupled with infinite computing and ubiquitous connectivity are completely changing how companies innovate and deliver new products.”

The next few days will be a blur of activity as users and Autodesk’s employees explain how the company’s products are changing construction and manufacturing.

Be sure to visit our Twitter and Facebook pages for pictures and updates from the event. And if you want to learn more on how Autodesk is changing construction, be sure to register to attend our free webinar sponsored by SNIPS and Autodesk at 2 p.m. Eastern Dec. 11. “The ROI of Intelligent Field Layout” will feature Jim Morgan of Worcester Air Conditioning and Autodesk industry marketing manager Sam Robins. Morgan is expected to explain how his company’s use of field layout has made it more efficient.