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GstarCAD8 Product Launch – A 2013 Asian Odyssey

Monday, May 13th, 2013

A trip to Asia is always an intriguing opportunity, and I took advantage of an invitation from GstarCAD to witness the launch of its new CAD application — GstarCAD8.

Getting to Beijing, China can be a challenge, not just the travel time (18+ hours total), but also the logistics of getting it done. A Chinese Business Visa is required for getting into the country for any “business” purpose, including a product launch.
As product launches go, though, this one was particularly unique and made the long journey worthwhile. But first, a little company background for those who may not be familiar with GstarCAD.

Company History
Founded in 1992, Suzhou Gstarsoft Co., Ltd is a provider of 2D/3D CAD software for the AEC, mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, GIS, survey and mapping, and civil industries. With its 20-year history, GstarCAD is primarily dedicated to providing .dwg-compatible CAD software.

According to company statistics, the market share rate of GstarCAD platform and extended application software puts it in first place in terms of legitimate CAD seats in the Chinese market. GstarCAD claims a customer base of more than 200,000 architects, engineers, and designers from more than 70 countries.

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Vectorworks Nomad 2.0 mobile app released

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Nemetschek Vectorworks has released a new version of the Vectorworks Cloud Services mobile application, Vectorworks Nomad 2.0.

Much anticipated by customers, the 2.0 version of Vectorworks Nomad lets users view, share, measure and annotate files. New redline drawing shapes, a sheet layer sidebar palette, angle and path measurement modes, improved download and upload performance and improved annotation text objects are among the product’s enhancements.

The app is now available for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store (http://tinyurl.com/d6g9sdz) and the Google Play Store (http://tinyurl.com/cy3vxnh).

Dr. Biplab Sarkar, chief technology officer of Nemetschek Vectorworks, said that, “The ability to view, measure and annotate files in an offline mode provides even greater freedom, as users can make design decisions in the field without a network connection. And now, even more designers can take advantage of our mobile app, as it supports Google’s Android platform.”

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Bluebeam Software releases Revu 11 in several languages

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Bluebeam Software announced the release of Revu 11 in Swedish, German, Finnish and Norwegian. The Danish and Dutch versions are scheduled for later this month. This new version of Bluebeam’s flagship solution furthers the company’s efforts to provide collaboration on project documents and technical reviews for the AEC industry.

According to Richard Lee, Bluebeam Software president and CEO, Revu 11 allows you to keep working on files from the cloud and annotate them with enhanced PDF markup and editing options. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can work if you lose your Internet connection suddenly.

New features in Revu 11 make it easier than ever for users to:

  • Collaborate Anywhere, Anytime Revu 11’s Studio Projects Offline mode enables project teams to centrally maintain a digital master set. The enhancement to Revu’s integrated cloud feature, Bluebeam Studio, allows users to access and edit files stored in a Studio Project from a desktop, tablet PC or an iPad, even with the loss of an Internet connection. Changes can be synced as soon as connectivity is restored.
  • Get Organized – Revu 11’s AutoMark feature gives users the ability to organize PDFs by automatically creating bookmarks and page labels from PDF content. Sets, enables team members to view, navigate and edit multiple files as if they were one. This functionality is key for users in the field, who often divide multi-page documents into one file per page to allow for faster loading on iPads and tablets, but still need to quickly see related content when back in the office.
  • Standardize Annotations on the Fly – The new Format Painter quickly applies property settings across multiple annotations such as color, line styles and fonts.
  • Search for Anything – VisualSearch now performs more robust searches regardless of an object’s size, color or rotation or even another intersecting object.
  • Do more with 3D PDFs – With Revu 11, users can now create 3D PDFs from any IFC file, and do more with 3D content. Use the Section Box tool to demonstrate the exact issue at hand by exposing interior details.

 

Dealing with Construction Uncertainty – sg2013 London

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The Smartgeometry 2013 (sg2013) Conference, hosted by Bentley Systems, held in London at the Bartlett UCL Faculty for the Built Environment, assembled some of the most forward thinkers in the area of architecture today.

On Friday the venue is called “Talkshop” where a number of panelists present on various topics. Some of the highlights from those sessions are as follows:

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Autodesk Announces New 2014 Software Portfolio

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

 

Richard Humphrey, senior director, Industry Strategy at Autodesk, spoke about the company’s newly announced 2014 software portfolio in a press conference held Tuesday, March 26th.

Autodesk ReCap

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Autodesk completes Firehole Technologies acquisition

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Autodesk has completed the acquisition of Firehole Technologies (DBA Firehole Composites), a privately held software company that specializes in design and analysis software for composite materials. This acquisition will enable Autodesk to expand its expertise and technology to help its customers manage the next generation of lighter, stronger, safer and more energy efficient materials.

Based in Laramie, Wyoming, Firehole Composites answers the need for new simulation technology that can predict and optimize the performance of the new light weight composite materials. With this acquisition, Autodesk can deliver this technology to a broad spectrum of design and engineering industries. According to Buzz Kross, senior vice president for Design, Lifecycle and Simulation products at Autodesk,  the Firehole team will add significant expertise in next generation materials and non-linear analysis, as well as industry-leading technologies that strongly complement the company’s solutions for structural, thermal and plastics analysis.

It is expected that Autodesk will sell and support the existing Firehole Composites product line, which includes Helius:MCT and Helius:CompositePro. Ultimately the technology will be geared up for closer integration with Autodesk products.

Newforma product line spring 2013 release

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Bob Batcheler, co-founder and executive vice president of Strategy for Newforma, talked with AECCafe Voice about the new spring 2013 release of the Newforma product line. The company is well known for its Newforma Project Center, a project information management software (PIM). The product line also includes Newforma Building Information Management, Newforma Contract Management, Newforma Project Analyzer and Newforma Project Cloud. Its new enterprise project resource management software, Newforma Project Analyzer, is a product built expressly for project managers and principals in architecture and engineering firms.

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Autodesk CEO Carl Bass on Autodesk Financials

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

In a webcast this week, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass addressed the company’s financials. “As we near the 2-year anniversary of the launch of our design and creation suites, we couldn’t be more pleased with their progress and growth. Revenue from Suites increased 50% over that 2-year period. Suites now represent 30% of total revenue, up from 23% just 2 years ago. We’re delivering exceptional value to our customers, who get to utilize and experience more of our broad product portfolio. What’s more, we have seen a meaningful increase in our ASPs. It’s a win-win. Growth in our Suites help drive the record revenue results in both our AEC and Manufacturing business segments.”

Bass went on to say that the investments made over the past couple of years in major account direct sales continue to pay off. In the fourth quarter, Autodesk had a record 45 transactions that exceeded $1 million in value. This is up 25% year-on-year. The total value for these large deals increased 36% year-on-year. For FY ’13, large deals increased by 18%.

Autodesk’s AEC business had record quarterly results. Strong growth in AEC Suites to the growing implementation of BIM across all disciplines of the AEC industry, including infrastructure. BIM 360 wins in Q4 were concentrated in construction, reflecting Autodesk’s leadership role in providing cloud and mobile technologies to that industry.

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Beyond the desktop with IMSI/Design’s TurboSite and free TurboSite Reader for iPad

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

IMSI/Design announced TurboSite and free TurboSite Reader for iPad in November. I spoke to Bob Mayer about this release at Autodesk University.

TurboSite is a field and site survey mobile app that facilitates drawing in the field and geolocation using a GPS on an iPad. It also has an indoor sensor based positioning system which tracks your position indoors.

Royal Farros, CEO of IMSI/Design, said: “TurboSite is the first true mobile AEC app… a professional building app that can’t be done on a desktop or laptop computer.”

This product eliminates the need for laptops, full sets of building plans, table and chairs and digital cameras that were all a part of the site visit process in the past. The information gathering is also simplified by having this app on the iPad where all building plans can be electronically viewed and navigated with the touch screen.

According to the press release, GeoWalk tracks location within a structure, while GeoNudge pinpoints exact location. When documentation is required, a photo or video is taken using iPad’s built-in camera and is automatically positioned correctly in a separate layer over the electronic file. Text notes and audio annotations can also be added. Even your orientation when taking notes and photos is denoted by TurboSite’s unique GeoMarks. GeoMarks offers a collection of rich data that are geolocated, according to Mayer. This can includes audio, notes, photos, dictation, and many other data types.

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TopCon offers ScanMaster CAD Link interactive link with AutoCAD

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

 

At AU I spoke with TopCon Positioning Systems (TPS)’ Brad Burgess, North American sales manager for scanning products, about the ScanMaster CAD Link which they were demonstrating at the show. CAD Link provides users with an interactive link between ScanMaster and AutoCAD and enables them to efficiently extract and draw objects.

The ScanMaster CAD Link makes editing point cloud data collected by the GLS-1500 scanner through the drawing operation via AutoCAD very smooth and efficient.

The main functions of CAD Link for ScanMaster are as follows:
— Synchronize views between ScanMaster and AutoCAD.
— Send coordinates, distances by picking scans data.
— Send ortho-images as background images of AutoCAD screen.
— Synchronizing UCS (User Coordinate System).

CAD Link had been released several weeks before the show. TopCon is active in various industry segments, and very busy in the heavy construction and machine control industries. The scanning product division covers a couple of vertical markets.

Where once before TopCon was known more as a traditional hardware manufacturer, now they are very involved on the office side. There has always been some software packaged with TopCon hardware.

“It’s a necessity today because once you collect the data it’s got to be processed in some manner so it can be consumed in the traditional design packages like Autodesk and MicroStation, and Carlson,” said Burgess. “You don’t have a solution unless you can move your data off your hardware platform and into your customers’ CAD platform.”

In the past 10-20 years or more, there has always been a multi-step process to move data. There were always a number of hoops to jump through to get that done. “What is different about this is a customer that’s using our scanning technology in conjunction with our ScanMaster software, doesn’t have to export a certain file format and then import that back with the CAD Link data. With the link created, as you’re working in ScanMaster software extracting features, those features are automatically and simultaneously populated in the AutoCAD environment.  So there is no import/exporting, it’s just happening in real time.”

By creating this link you’ve really streamlined a couple of keystrokes and there is no glitch of having to have compatible versions, it’s a seamless workflow.

CAD Link provides a link between the two worlds of data production and design. “Even if you went to a surveying engineering company you might find surveyors in the basement and the designers are on the second or third floor,” Burgess pointed out. “Now we truly have a product that links these communities together with one piece of software.”

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