A model of the Masdar headquarters
Courtesy Autodesk
Like a scene straight out of Star Trek, a 3-D printer spits out perfect little plastic models — some with moving parts. This is just one example of the jaw-dropping exhibits at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. Here you will discover Biome, a Mercedes-Benz concept car made from ultralightweight biological material grown from seed. You can wander in a virtual 3-D environment or see a model of the first building ever that will produce more energy than it uses (Masdar headquarters, near Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates). You can follow the design and reconstruction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the largest engineering project in California history, or be bowled over by an
8½-foot dinosaur composed of 62,500 Legos.

Autodesk — the San Rafael, Calif.-based company that invented AutoCAD (computer-aided design) — created the gallery to show how modern-day miracles evolve from an inspiration (think a sketch on a napkin) to a final product via computer design and testing. The museum, located on the second floor at One Market Street, is open Wednesdays only, from noon to 5 p.m. Wander at your leisure or take a docent-led tour at 12:30 p.m.