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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Autodesk 2015 AEC Design Suites released

March 27th, 2014 by Susan Smith

Autodesk InfraWorks 2015 now offers a new, more intuitive user interface to help speed workflows. Image courtesy of Autodesk

Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Information Modeling and Platform Divisioin at Autodesk, talked about the Autodesk 2015 product lineup for AEC.

Hanspal said that the economy has come back in the U.S. and Eastern Europe, yet customers are continuing to face challenges in terms of economic depression, more global competition plus there are lot more people bidding on work.

Customers want technology that holds the promise of getting project teams on schedule and managing workflows. Building information modeling has been the heart of the AEC industry in last decade. BIM is now reflected in policy as well as adoption.

BIM promises to unite disciplines involved in design and construction, management, approval, and minimize back and forth and also make that digital model the source of decision making from performance or quantities, cost estimation and scheduling.

The new release centers around the Building Design Suite, Plant Design Suite, and Infrastructure Design Suite. “Those three products are the heart of what we do for the industry and BIM has been reflected in all those three suites though hundreds of enhancements to this workflow,” said Hanspal.

“The other thing we’ve done in the suites is make sure the products are better connected to the cloud,” said Hanspal. “The Autodesk 360 environment enables people collaboration, leverages the elastic capabilities of the cloud, assimilation or visualization, we’ve also been paying attention to being able to do laser scans, which has been an underlying change in all the product portfolios this year.”

New sketchy lines feature for Autodesk Revit 2015 software enables designers to apply a hand-sketched graphic style to views of a model to encourage client feedback and input when reviewing a design. Image courtesy of Autodesk

Building Design Suite

The Building Design Suite is a collection of products, not just one application. The Suite is designed against outcomes, with all of what one needs to design the building. The flagship of the Building Design Suite is Revit. “In Revit we’ve provided a lot of tools for better visualization of buildings, sketching lines, hidden lines, images, to make the experience more real,” said Hanspal. “The point cloud support in Revit handles bigger and better point clouds.”

AutoCAD has undergone an overhaul, especially in terms of user interaction, and the way things are presented from a selection, highlighting perspective. “Navisworks really focused on the whole quantification, and now people can pull together all the information for the BIM and do a better job of estimating or generating quantities.”

Based on the acquisition last fall of GRAITEC, new products called Advanced Steel and Advanced Concrete are available now for steel and concrete detailing.

For those doing more analysis for wind or air flows in the environment such as hospitals, data centers or stadiums, Autodesk has the new Flow Design which is CFD -based.

For architectural firms at the front end of the design process, there are Form-It and Dynamo used for conceptualizing buildings.

Form-It is a “smarter SketchUp that runs on tablets and mobile devices,” said Hanspal. You can use it directly in Revit, which was not possible in past products.

Dynamo is the next level up, for generative designs. It is the environment the generates the geometry. Many firms people hire experts to write algorithms for glass, and other building features, expressed mathematically. Dynamo runs that code then generates geometry inside Revit. “All the user has to do is describe the mathematics, and Dynamo takes care of drawing it inside Revit, it’s part of BIM, just two approaches in terms of coming up with form.” Said Hanspal. “Dynamo is a game-changer. It’s about getting the computer get more involved in the process. It will be the next level of BIM.”

BIM 360 is the product line for construction with field taking it to the jobsite, Glue is taking it to the trailer for construction planning.

“The big change is we’re doing a much better job in terms of round tripping.  A BIM tool like Revit gets reflected in Field’ what happens in Field now goes back to Revit or Navisworks with the information that happens in the field, so it’s much more of a connected experience,” said Hanspal. “The other thing we did is make the app itself easier to use, with PDF handling so people are referencing spec sheets just as well as handling BIM based models.”

Autodesk Navisworks 2015 now offers ReCap Enhancements (Point-cloud Subset Selection) to help engage all project stakeholders on a project who contribute to a point cloud workflow. Image Courtesy of Autodesk

Infrastructure Design Suite

In Civil 3D Autodesk continues to enhance corridor modeling and profile layout as those are the types of activities engineers engage in every day. Interoperability is key in this release, so data exchange with MicroStation, GEOPAK and MX customers have been improved.  My guess is that this interoperability was spurred into action as a result of the DOT wins that Autodesk has made in recent years. Most of the DOTs were Bentley customers, that Bentley had inherited from the Intergraph days. Most CAD vendors do not address interoperability outside their own product lines until they must.

All the benefits of Navisworks and AutoCAD are in the Civil 3D and the point cloud support.

InfraWorks is in the suite to help engineers to win work. The product is much easier to work with and addresses interoperability with other data sources, which makes pulling proposals together much easier.

InfraWorks 360 is used for roadway design, bridge design, etc. There are products set up for vertical capability, where BIM for infrastructure is really playing out, in the sense that roadway design is model based design, and procedural design. It generates 3D, and it has procedural capabilities with necessary rules and codes encoded into the process. “InfraWorks 360 is taking BIM into BIM for Infrastructure and embodying it into a product much like Revit would be embodiment of BIM for building,” said Hanspal.

Autodesk Navisworks 2015 now offers a one-button access to Autodesk BIM 360 Glue to provide the ability to collaborate and communicate model information more quickly to stakeholders in real time. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Plant Design Suite

The Autodesk Plant Design Suite rolls out significant enhancements to AutoCAD Plant 3D software, including center of gravity, bill of materials (BOM), fixed length pipe modeling, piping and instrumentation drawing (P&ID), and isometric improvements.

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Categories: AEC, architecture, AutoCAD, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, construction, engineering, field solutions, infrastructure, integrated project delivery, MEP, mobile, plant design, project management, site planning

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