Odds & Ends

A Peek Inside Autodesk’s Pier 9

Recently, we at Mindtribe were invited to explore Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop. Located on the waterfront in downtown San Francisco, the facility’s collection of equipment spans the spectrum of fabrication, from rapid prototyping through production. There was much wide-eyed excitement from our team, and we thought we’d share the experience here!

The first floor houses an impressive collection of CNC equipment – the kind that runs nonstop on a manufacturing floor, made available for the experimentation of Autodesk’s Artists in Residence and employees. This includes a HAAS mill and lathe, a 5-axis OMAX waterjet, a multi-axis Mori-Seiki with lathe and mill capabilities and a 5-axis DMS router with a 5’x5’x3’ bed.

Besides the equipment, the most impressive part of the facility is the level of organization. Pier 9 has won the battle against entropy, something that all communal machine shops struggle with. Their meticulous labeling system has been a source of inspiration for our own shop here in the office.

The facility is currently only available to Autodesk employees and members of the Pier 9 Artists in Residence program. But, if you’re interested in learning more about the equipment they have on hand, you can check out the Pier 9 Machine Catalog on Instructables.