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.
A recent article in Wired profiled some companies that have decided to move off the cloud and instead move most of their computing to some basic computers they can manage themselves. MemSQL, a Silicon Valley company founded by Eric Frenkiel, did exactly that about two years after it was founded, taking the company assets off the Amazon cloud, and saving money on managing their own computers.
‘I’m not a big believer in the public cloud. It’s just not effective in the long run,” said Frenkiel. While the cloud is great for many tasks, including launching a startup or running a small website, it may not sense for all applications. Zynga’s online gaming empire grew to monumental sizes in 2012, and promptly shifted a large portion of its operation off the Amazon cloud into its own data center.
In July, Bentley Systems announced their Field Supervisor, an app for the iPad that allows users to connect to multiple data sources. It extends the reach of information that is managed securely in ProjectWise and eB, and in other user repositories to field workers with online and offline access. Now construction professionals and field workers can make on-site decisions more easily with current project information.
“We’ve been doing a lot around information mobility, and how can we help infrastructure teams share and collaborate and interact with information across the phases of a project, between systems and people,” Huw Roberts, vice president, Core Marketing at Bentley said. “Fundamentally we want people to be able to interact with project information on a mobile and have that be part of their workflow, rather than a separate app or technology. Our app strategy is built around extending and building upon those secure project environments.”
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?”
Design, documentation, detailing, construction are the parts of the design. “That divide between designer and documentation team is as big a dvide as between the documentation team and the contractor, which BIM has not addressed so far.”
“There is by no means a unified objective in the design team.”
“When does design really end?” A difficult question to answer, and it really doesn’t. “There is this perception that architectural design is something like the napkin sketch. That’s not design. Design isn’t just poking a wall in and giving you a SketchUp model.”
Matt Jezyk, senior industry strategy manager and Angi Izzi, senior industry strategy manager of AEC Building Design at Autodesk talked about their new announcement of FormIt 4.0 and Dynamo to be featured at AIA this week.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal, it was announced that a software and structural system manufacturing company, Prescient, will debut its integrated and standardized AEC platform at the 2013 American Institute of Architecture (AIA) National Convention, June 20-23 in Denver.
Prescient’s platform works toward streamlining the AEC process for multi-unit buildings such as apartments, condos, senior and assisted living communities, hotels, and student and military dormitories. The software will integrate design and engineering of its framing system with project plans during the architectural design process and generates a bill of materials back to Prescient’s production facility for design-to-production manufacturing. From that information, Prescient can deliver and install the panelized structural system.
Robotic welding is used by Prescient’s manufacturing process to achieve high throughput efficiencies and very tight tolerances. This integrates engineering, architecture, manufacturing and construction into the panelized process.
In a world where blueprints are the backbone of the architectural/construction process, it sounds like heresy to consider replacing blueprints with something else – some thing digital, no less. But the ability of building information modeling (BIM) to eliminate problems before they happen with the use of analysis tools and iPads and other mobile devices, has simplified the whole AEC process. The amount of time, money, and manpower have all been reduced by the use of this technology.
When you see an article in a regional or daily newspaper about a technology topic such as BIM that you’ve known about some time, you know that topic has hit prime time:
Michelle Addington, Hines Professor of Sustainable Architectural Design at Yale University, is educated as both an architect and engineer whose teaching and research explore energy systems, advanced materials and new technologies, spoke at sg 2013 in April 2013 at the University of London on the topic, “Data and its dis-contents”.
This month IMAGINiT Technologies released their IMAGINiT Clarity 2014 Product Line, announced by parent company Rand Worldwide of which IMAGINiT is a division. IMAGINiT Technologies has released the 2014 versions of IMAGINiT Clarity-or-Autodesk-Revit-Server, IMAGINiT Clarity LT for-Autodesk-Revit-Server and IMAGINiT Clarity Workshare. These are three web-based collaboration tools that include new and improved features and the Clarity and Clarity LT for Autodesk Revit Server are designed to extend the value of the Autodesk Revit Server platform. They also enhancd control of the Revit Server set up, and automate repetitive tasks and provide data to non-Revit users.
For those users who do not use Autodesk Revit Server, IMAGINiT Clarity Workshare improves the traditional file-based work sharing approach and automates numerous time consuming Revit software related tasks, whether their BIM team is using Revit or Revit Server.
Features of the Clarity 2014 product line include (from the press release):
All Clarity products allow tasks to be automated in three ways: every time a Revit file is updated; at a scheduled time; or on demand. Mundane tasks such as exporting data to Navisworks or DGN file formats or creating ModelReview reports can now be performed on demand, freeing up staff to undertake higher value tasks. To share model data with team members who don’t use Revit, Clarity products can automatically generate a variety of file export options including PDF, DWF, DWG, IFC, GBxml, FBX and more.
Due to popular demand, all Clarity products have now greatly extended the capabilities of datasheets to go beyond the popular room data sheets. BIM team members now have almost 20 different data sheet options to choose from including furniture and equipment.