Creating a buzz in the Autodesk world is Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 for Mac released yesterday. The Mac version does not join the AutoCAD Windows release cycle but is now aligned with the Apple schedule to take advantage and be able to support major Apple OS updates. Also the release includes Apple’s release of the next version of OSX Mavericks as well as some new iPads, Apps, laptop and Mac Pro announcements.
Shown during Apple’s new product announcement live event were AutoCAD for Mac 2014 on the Mac desktop and AutoCAD 360 on the new iPad Air tablet.
Among the new features for AutoCAD 2014 for Mac and AutoCAD LT 2014 for Mac are support the new Apple Mac OSX Mavericks OS which is the release after Mountain Lion, Retina Display Support for better viewing comfort with increased pixel density, and eTransmit Support for better transmittal of DWG and reference files, called Package Drawing.
Lightworks, a leading supplier of rendering solutions announced the release of Artisan for ZWCAD+ in a technology partnership with ZWCAD Design. Artisan is an intuitive and affordable rendering application for high quality, fast visualization.
Lightworks has created an API that allows plug ins and connectors for such products as BricsCAD, TurboCAD and Archicad. They have also written an AutoCAD one but never released it. Clive Davies, business development director, said, “The reason for this is that Autodesk already has rendering functionality built into AutoCAD and other products. The clone products, those using DWG format, are less likely to already have rendering built in and so many of them would like that capability in their products. The clone products plus the rendering application are also less expensive than a seat of AutoCAD.”
According to the press release, Artisan is used worldwide by designers and architects. The release of Artisan for ZWCAD+ means that users can now visualise designs within their design workflow. The unique Artisan ‘bridge’ into ZWCAD+ allows current
drawings to be directly linked, with no need to export, therefore creating an efficient design and visualization workflow. Artisan includes high quality drag and drop material libraries and SnapShot feature that enables the creation of unlimited iterations of the same design. This simplified workflow results in a shorter design cycle and faster time to market.
David Forrester, Chief Executive Officer at Lightworks commented; “We’re pleased to be partnering with ZWCAD+ to bring our easy-to-use rendering application Artisan to ZWCAD+ users worldwide. At Lightworks we create solutions to work with existing user-workflows and we’re proud to say we now provide the ZWCAD+ users with affordable rendering technology that works intuitively with their CAD system.”
Daniel Huang, Product Manager at ZWCAD+ commented; “3D visualization enhances realism by leveraging the power of today’s rendering technology whilst also enhancing the effects that are difficult to achieve using 2D alone. The combination of Artisan and ZWCAD+ means users can flexibly handle more diverse architectural and interior tasks using high-quality rendering.” (more…)
Behance founder Scott Belsky, who will be speaking at Autodesk’s RoadMap 2013 Conference on November 5 and 6 in San Francisco, talks about what creative work will look like and how it will change the way we collaborate. Belsky talks about how the creative career will generally be accomplished by those working on their own.
In recent years we have seen a huge growth in the use of Building Information Modeling in the construction industry. At Autodesk University 2012, Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of information modeling and platform products group (IPG) at Autodesk, outlined his predictions for the construction industry in 2013. Specifically, Amar believes the following trends will drive critical change in how construction firms compete for business and deliver completed projects:
1. National Infrastructure Discussions Evolve Into Global Discussions
Discussions on national infrastructure will evolve into global conversations on interconnected transportation and financial systems. For example, completion of the Panama Canal will force the U.S. East Coast to upgrade their ports to accommodate a massive increase in traffic and ship size.
2. Infrastructure Priorities: Developing vs. Developed Regions
Today, there is a marked divide between the infrastructure priorities of developed and developing countries. Developing countries are creating, funding and building brand new infrastructure systems while developed countries are trying to fix their crumbling systems in order to address the needs of tomorrow.
3. Innovative Funding Models
No matter the end goal, funding is a critical concern across the world. We’re beginning to see alternative funding models such as PPPs emerge, and with that project teams, processes and priorities are beginning to change. A significant portion of funding will likely come from foreign investors looking for low risk projects across geographies, forcing project owners to compete on a global scale and learn to work with the increased transparency demanded by private investors.
4. Construction Green Lights Mobile Productivity
While some may consider this industry to be slow to adopt new technology, in actuality it has simply maintained a strong commitment to business objectives. They do not buy into technology for the hype or mystical promise of “cutting-edge.” In order for technology to be successful in the construction market, it must be tied to the overall business goals and processes. Most recently, the industry has been rapidly adopting mobile technology because of the time and cost benefits of using mobile devices.
5. New “Big Picture” Skill Set Required
Today, the shop floor and the construction job site are closer than they’ve ever been. For example, pre-fab construction is becoming an increasingly important conversation not only in the home building market but also in the commercial market. The use of pre-fab components requires a deeper technological understanding across all disciplines. From the get go, designers, manufacturers and builders need to ensure that the design is flawless, as one mistake could cost thousands of dollars.
Now several months into 2013, BIM is used by many construction contractors to provide information to crews before they begin their work on the project. Mobile computing has advanced as well in the past year with several useful apps to provide not only real-time field data but also geolocated field data. Even though BIM has notable 3D capabilities, for the construction industry the BIM model is generally converted to a 2D drawing with less of the available data shown to the user.
Keeping the model in 3D for a longer part of the construction process allows all professionals on the job to access a greater level of accuracy at the jobsite. With the help of laser scanners, total stations and multi-stations to gather real-world data in the field, users can merge this data with the model data already in the office for a bigger picture. This would help with scheduling dilemmas later on in the process and ensure valid information at every stage in the lifecycle of the project.
IMSI Design is a pioneer in many areas of CAD, most recently in the area of mobile solutions for AEC. Adding to their list of credits is the launch this week of the free TurboSite Plug-In for Autodesk AutoCAD, a free plug-in that allows AutoCAD users to view geolocated video, photos, markup and text notes gleaned from the field all inside the AutoCAD application. The addition of the “geolocation” technology developed in-house, into an IMSI app elevates this product beyond a regular mobile app. According to CEO Bob Mayer, geolocation was added into the first version of TurboSite. With the new app, at any point in a building or plan, you can create an accurate geolocated GeoMark and using the built-in camera, take as many photos, videos, dictation, and text notes needed for the job. Then you can view the geolocated video, photo, markup, and text documentation directly within AutoCAD.
Although AutoCAD has been used over the years by many who are self-taught in the CAD software, in the last year the number of US and Canadian professionals seeking certification in the use of Autodesk software has risen by 10% as employers and employees recognize the benefits of validating skills. There are now 14,181 architects, designers, engineers and CAD professionals certified across North America; 60% increase since 2010.
“Globalization and the increasing competitiveness of the job market are driving the need for a universal standard to demonstrate skills levels,” says Julie Gaudet, Senior Director, Customer Operations of Gilmore Global Logistics Services, Inc, worldwide distributor for Autodesk training and course materials. “Also, businesses need to maximize their investment in new software. Training and certification help ensure best practice which in turn helps accelerate productivity and encourage higher quality design.”
To meet this growing demand, there are now 231 Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) across North America and 615 authorized training instructors; 18% more than 3 years ago.
This morning Autodesk announced a pay-as-you-go model for all the company’s desktop software including the latest Design and Creation Suites, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Maya LT. A “hangout” was held this morning on Google this morning where Andrew Anagnost, SVP, Industry Strategy & Marketing for Autodesk and other industry specialists, discussed this new offering.
Businesses are increasingly adopting this type of model for consuming services and products as opposed to owning software. Options generally include renting, sharing or purchasing subscriptions such as this “pay-as-you-go” model. This way designers, engineers and architects no longer will have to be concerned about purchasing the next version of the software. New comers will also be able to get up and running on the software with few up-front costs, and get projects started with this software.
Options include quarterly and monthly or annual rental plans for customers who want to stay current with product updates, use of Autodesk 360 cloud services and support. This is a similar option to what Autodesk Subscription customers already enjoy. The rental plan will be available beginning September 2013 and applies to Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite, AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite, AutoCAD Revit LT Suite, Building Design Suite, Entertainment Creation Suite, Factory Design Suite, Infrastructure Design Suite, Plant Design Suite, Product Design Suite, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya LT.
This past week Autodesk announced three acquisitions: two for BIM for infrastructure – the technology assets from Bestech Systems and Savoy Computing, Ltd. These investments extend Autodesk’s infrastructure portfolio for road and bridge design and greater adoption of BIM. For third are technology assets from Get The Point, LLC.
Sam — A suite of software modules from UK-based Bestech Systems for loading, analysis and design of small and medium bridge spans. The software will help Autodesk customers save time and increase accuracy and data consistency during the analysis phase of bridge design..
AutoTrack – A suite of software from Savoy Computing, LTD for road, light rail, airport, parking and intersection analysis and design. The technology will further support infrastructure planning by architects, designers and engineers.
Secondly, Autodesk acquired technology assets from Colorado-based Get The Point, LLC and introduced Autodesk Point Layout, new software for layout at construction sites. The acquisition will extend Autodesk’s construction solutions portfolio and BIM in the field.
Autodesk Point Layout automatically creates points from BIM and CAD models within Autodesk Revit, Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Navisworks software. The point data drives robotic total station hardware, such as Topcon’s line of positioning systems and related hand-held devices or tablets, to give contractors and sub-contractors laser-guided pinpoint accuracy for the placement and verification of building elements.
By removing error-prone manual layout techniques, Autodesk Point Layout improves field accuracy and productivity, as building designs are more available and accurate at the construction site. The software used in combination with Autodesk BIM 360 portfolio for field management and coordination will add to the productivity at construction sites and on entire projects.
Paul McRoberts, vice president of Autodesk’s Infrastructure Business, talked this week about the company’s announcement today of Autodesk InfraWorks 360 Pro, that offers the latest 3D modeling, visualization and cloud-based collaboration technologies to address the estimated $30 trillion gap worldwide between desperately needed infrastructure and the funding required to deliver it.
To expand access to the critical BIM solutions that design professionals need to address this challenge, the new solution is available via a quarterly plan, making it ideal for firms to test-drive Autodesk 360 Pro, or use it for short-term project needs.
Those users who have been aware of the Autodesk InfraWorks environment will note that the product goes to the next level with cloud capability and the ability to integrate lots of disparate Big Data. “We are still struggling with how to manage this Big Data world,” said Paul McRoberts. “Things have been focused around the single user, GIS analyst, GIS technician, drafter, a very expert oriented environment. As were building out the InfraWorks 360 environment, we ask how does that environment get us to change?”