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 »
August 10th, 2018 by Susan Smith
The built environment is increasingly more digitized, relying heavily on large building models to hold all aspects of a building project. Thus, the need for BIM Interoperability is greater as the necessity grows for stakeholders to be able to access the information inside these complex models.
August 1st, 2018 by Susan Smith
The Architecture 2030 Challenge, adopted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), offers a path to reducing the building sector’s negative impacts and reaches for carbon neutral design as standard practice by the year 2030. The building sector is the single largest consumer of energy and producer of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Designed to provide continuing education credits, the AIA+2030 Online Series provides courses in high performance design, building a comprehensive understanding with each class in the series. The series will teach and inspire architects to meet the 2030 Challenge through design strategies, efficient technologies and systems, and the application of renewable energy resources.
July 26th, 2018 by Susan Smith
Epson announced this month two new high-speed, easy-to-use wide-format SureColor® T-Series printers – the Epson SureColor T3170 24-inch desktop printer and the SureColor T5170 36-inch floor-standing printer. While these printers benefit professionals and workgroups across a range of industry segments including architecture, engineering, CAD, GIS, education, corporate, home and small office settings, the new wireless printers also feature an all-new clean and compact design coupled with the reliable printing performance inherent in Epson’s technical printer solutions.
July 20th, 2018 by Susan Smith
Cosential is a CRM market leader and proposal automation software for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) firms, that recently closed a deal of a $34 million strategic growth investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. The funding will be used to accelerate market development, expand corporate infrastructure and continue fueling the company’s rapid pace of product innovation. Dan Cornish, CEO of the company Cosential, spoke with AECCafe recently about Cosential and its role in the AEC industry.
Cornish began Cosential in 1999, as a way to help large AEC firms win large projects. What he realized was that a crucial problem people had was pulling data together.
How did you start out building Cosential?
I started building online systems early on and then started building Cosential and over the years I sort of bootstrapped it from there to get to this point today, where we have the biggest market share for CRM in the AEC industry. So many people want so much from our tool, it made sense for me to bring on a financial partner who would help me grow and realize the financial vision I’ve had all these years, because I want to help customers have better businesses. It’s such an old-fashioned industry and people have been managing with spreadsheets. The tools that are out there are either very old, not industry specific or they require an enormous amount of customization that they never get quite right and so we build a purpose-built tool for this industry and it solves a lot of problems.
July 11th, 2018 by Susan Smith
At AIA 2018, AECCafe met with Timothy R. Nass VP – National Sales of SAFTIFIRST to discuss their product line of Fire Protective and Fire Resistive products that also provide natural light for architectural projects. You can view Nass’s interview with our CEO Sanjay Gangal at the conference, as well as his replies to AECCafe Voice’s inquiry below:
July 5th, 2018 by Susan Smith
3D Repo, digital construction technology provider, has announced Clash Detection functionality has been added to their 3D Diff, software that identifies clashes in construction plans by analyzing 3D models that have been submitted by project partners and contractors.
June 28th, 2018 by Susan Smith
The process of creating useful 3D mesh models from point clouds and as-built images is one that can be challenging for software but is in high demand in the AEC industry. Pointfuse is a construction software solution that creates intelligent, manageable 3D mesh models with separable objects based on as-built images and point clouds. Customers around the world use it to help in clash detection, scheduling, verification, and other construction processes that benefit from reality capture.
June 20th, 2018 by Susan Smith
Searching, finding, collaboration and versioning of documents is a constant challenge for AEC organizations. How to organize and visualize documents and data has resulted in the development of some interesting engineering document management solutions. The following three document management solutions take a different approach to managing, visualizing and collaborating with AEC documents and data that further users’ ability to organize projects digitally.
Bluebeam, Inc., of Pasadena, California, part of the Nemetschek Group, announced recently that it has substantially acquired all of the assets of privately held Project Atlas, LLC.
Construction industry veterans Todd Wynne and Joe Williams founded Project Atlas in 2017. They created a digital mapping engine that uses geo-location instead of traditional folder structures to organize and visualize 2D plans and construction data. According to company materials, this location-based orientation allows design and construction professionals to create and search a seamless digital map of their project that contains plans, people, material, site photos and drone imagery, all within highly detailed, zoomable layers.
“Bluebeam was founded on the idea that powerful AEC solutions should also be easy to use, capable of delivering the right information at the right time while improving the ability of all project partners to collaborate throughout the lifecycle of an entire project,” says Bluebeam CEO Jon Elliott. “We are incredibly excited to add Project Atlas to our portfolio of solutions to continue delivering on this promise. Project Atlas provides users an entirely new way to visually organize and unify location-based documents and data. This location-based methodology dramatically reduces the time it takes to find critical plans and information, empowering owners, architects, engineers, contractors and specialty contractors to access data in an immediately understandable way that will be especially beneficial in the field.”
Bluebeam looks forward to demonstrating workflows incorporating Project Atlas at the Bluebeam Extreme Conference, taking place 17–19 September in Austin, Texas (USA).
Bluebeam’s markup and collaboration solutions are intuitive to those in the AEC industry who manage and collaborate on projects digitally.
eQuorum’s ImageSite Engineering CAD Drawing Markup Software is a product that provides markup capabilities in real time, so that multiple users can collaborate on drawing files and documents at the same time along with workflows. Videos and photos can be included. Drawings can be redlined and used in the office, field or production site.
June 14th, 2018 by Susan Smith
Artec 3D presented at SPAR 3D their latest product the Artec Ray, professional metrology-grade laser scanner.
June 8th, 2018 by Susan Smith
IMAGINiT Technologies’ new Pulse Platform, available now, is designed to allow engineers and architects to share data between independent software on-premise or cloud products beginning with Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle. Other integrations with other products are forthcoming, according to Matt Mason, software development team manager for IMAGINiT.
“It’s an initial release and a big new area for us,” said Mason. “We’ve always done system integration work, and the work tends to be custom and one-off. This is our attempt to build a platform to make the process of system integration easier, more packaged and less custom.”
Mason adds that previously system integration was primarily 90% custom and required high level software developer or consultant. “We want to see 85% -95% of system integration work as a part of the package. The rest would be what a midlevel consultant could do, set up relationships between systems, map one to the other, etc.”
IMAGINiT Pulse benefits include (according to company materials):
Mason said that the connectors were built to do the heavy lifting of system integration, for working with specific products and getting data in or out of those products and doing updates.
“What’s left in the middle are workflow, rules and data mapping, and that’s modest, but doesn’t require the same level of development expertise that the actual deep integration to each system takes,” said Mason. “We’re trying to build something where we can have these pre-built connectors that do the hardest part of the work and separate the business logic and business rules into a separate part of the product.”
The first three connectors are built for Autodesk products currently since IMAGINiT’s consulting work largely revolves around those products. The fourth one was a non-Autodesk product called BuildingLink.
“We actually had a chance to build a product that made use of BIM 360 operations product with the BuildingLink product,” said Mason. “We expect to do more connectors over time, building our catalog of connectors. We’re expecting to do Bentley ProjectWise and other common integrations that we’ve done in the past such as Microsoft SharePoint.
People using the connectors need to be familiar with the workflows for the products involved. What is in the middle between the two is defining those workflows and some scripting is necessary, such as Microsoft.net scripting, as one product may refer to a part and another may refer to it as an item, etc.
An example, Mason said, are two Autodesk products that don’t communicate very well together such as Autodesk Vault to Fusion Lifecycle. They each have a separate language for how they describe parts and items and both are heavily customized for each customer to define the pieces of information they have. Someone has to build out the script of how to map data from this side to that side. To date, people have set up custom properties on their systems.
“We’re trying to build the connector out so it is visible to the user but not necessarily end user,” said Mason. “The person responsible for the integration wants to see what’s going on and see how integration flows from one side to the other. When you’re doing each one of these as a custom job, there wasn’t much time for polish. We wanted to invest more in the polish and see information flowing back and forth and have a way to visualize and trace. Since we were building it as a platform we could invest more than we could in a typical one off minimalist consulting project.”
In most cases IMAGINiT’s customers have already had their systems custom built for them. “We’re using the expertise of all the integrations we’ve done over the years and tried to build something so the next year’s integration will be much easier.”
Customers just want integration and want it to work, not cost too much. The Pulse Platform offers them “a nicer system that is less risk and less cost than something more custom, because so much of it is packaged,” said Mason.
Pulse will be separate from ongoing development, support and consulting, with annual use fee, including automatic updates for connectors for each company.
There will be one cost for the platform itself, and if you want two systems to connect, get a connector for each system, as each connector has a different amount of and specific complexity.