2024 State of Design & Make Report

Key themes for D&M

D&M leaders and experts are optimistic about the global landscape, as well as their companies’ resilience, preparedness, performance, investment, and level of digital transformation—a noticeable change from Autodesk’s 2023 State of Design & Make report.

Percentage of respondents who agree with statements: 1. My company is well prepared to handle unforeseen future macroeconomic and geopolitical changes. 2. The future global landscape feels more uncertain now than 3 years ago. 5-point scale. Top two = agree.

Not all manufacturing companies are equally ready for the unexpected

Optimism returns

“The key to becoming more resilient is navigating the pace of change and making sure the organization has enough agility to lean in when it’s appropriate, adopt new things quickly, and manage risk around that.”

– Dave Mackenzie, Managing Principal for Digital, Aurecon, a design, engineering, and advisory firm

Axis: Percentage of respondents who say investments will increase in each area. 
Survey question: How do you think your company or organization's investment in these areas will shift in the next 3 years? 5-point scale. Top two = increase.

Top priorities for future investments differ among D&M segments

Cost control

Percent of respondents who selected “very mature” in each process. Survey question: In your company or organization, how mature are the following? 5-point scale. 

What does digital maturity mean for D&M companies?

Digital maturity

Digitally mature D&M companies outpace their peers in a number of important areas.

Survey question: What are the use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) in your company or organization? Select all that apply.

Beyond productivity, AI use cases vary for D&M segments

All-in on AI

“AI is going to allow robots to be able to adapt dynamically during their missions. For example, a robot could be taking pictures inside a water pipe. It might detect a crack. If that crack is a certain shape and a certain length, the robot would stop and take a closer took. This is just one way AI can proactively help with pipe maintenance while gathering more accurate data.”

– Jean-Francois Guiderdoni, Director of Business Development and General Manager, ACWA Robotics, a robotics solutions for water management company

Survey question: What technical or digital skills do you believe your company or organization will be prioritizing when hiring over the next 3 years? Select all that apply.

D&M skills of the future


It is not much of a stretch to say that the D&M industry is in a constant state of digital disruption.

D&M spotlight: Steelcase

Talent crunch

Leaders at Steelcase, a furniture manufacturer, spend a great deal of time thinking about how to build a positive workplace culture.

Survey question: How influential is the next generation in pressuring your company or organization to create and meet sustainability goals? 5-point scale. Top option = very influential.

The future of D&M is sustainable

Sustainability actions

The next generation of employees is “very influential” in motivating its companies to become more sustainable in the D&M sector.

D&M spotlight: Baosteel Engineering & Technology Co., Ltd.

Business health

Lei Yuan, chief engineer at Chinese iron and steel company China Baowu Design Institute/ Baosteel Engineering & Technology Group Co., Ltd, says the firm has five main areas of focus when it comes to sustainability.

Explore themes


Business resilience

Digitization boosts business resilience amid continued challenges.



Companies tackle talent challenges with upskilling, digitization, and sustainability initiatives.



Business value drives sustainability actions.

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