Field data capture and asset inspection activities just got easier with the integration of ikeGPS’s Spike into Esri’s latest version of Survey123. Esri recently introduced its new software release of Survey123 for ArcGIS mobile application with Spike, a laser measurement solution offered by ikeGPS. Spike allows users to measure hard-to-reach physical objects from a distance simply by taking a photo with their smartphone or tablet. Survey123 with Spike runs on Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets.
There have been some changes to Autodesk recently. Perhaps most importantly for the users and owners, changes to the subscription program, that has been promoted by Autodesk as an “my way or the highway” approach to selling software, or cloud services as it were. As some people were not happy with being expected to purchase a subscription and give up their perpetual licenses, a new promotion has been initiated. This new promotion offers a “switch-back” option, meaning that if you own a perpetual license and you switch to a subscription, “If you’re not satisfied, you can switch back to your perpetual license.” This is the promise.
You can find out more about what this might mean for those who would like to continue with their perpetual licenses or revert to a perpetual license after finding the subscription program doesn’t work for them here.
How do I get this offer? (The first of the FAQs)
Simply trade in your qualifying old perpetual license(s) and purchase a new 1- or 3-year subscription to any eligible collection or individual product of your choice via one of the methods outlined.
Once you submit your perpetual license(s), you agree to discontinue use of the traded-in license(s). This offer ends April 20, 2018.
Which products qualify for the offer?
Most Autodesk perpetual licenses of releases R14 (release year 1998) through 2018 version product not on an active maintenance plan (as of December 31, 2017) qualify to get the offer discount.
When you trade in your qualifying perpetual license(s), you can get the offer discount on most Autodesk product subscriptions, including industry collections, AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, 3ds Max, Civil 3D, Maya, and much more.
View list of all eligible products and full offer details here.
Can I get a different product than I have now?
You do not need to purchase the same product as the perpetual trade-in license. For example, you can trade in an old, eligible perpetual license of AutoCAD and subscribe to a collection at the promotional price.
(Eds note: This might work if you wanted to buy a subscription to a collection that contains AutoCAD, thereby seeming to get more for your money.)
What does “switch-back” option mean?
We’re confident that you will be satisfied with your subscription, but if for any reason that is not the case, you are eligible to switch back to your perpetual license at the end of either the 3-year term, or the end of the second year of an annual term (1 year plus 1 year renewal). See full details here.
In those full details, note this information:
Note that customers are only able to switch back to the versions set out below.
Switch back: within “eligible term”*
• 2016 version
• same product
• same deployment (e.g. SLM or NLM)
Contact Autodesk for details of how to switch-back
1998 – 2016
• Same version as submitted
• same product
• same deployment (e.g. SLM or NLM)
Retain media kits, download and/or activation details, and any other item necessary for operation of legacy license
Do I have to be connected to the internet to use my software?
No. After initial activation, your software will work offline for 30 days. At that point, you will need to reconnect. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you 7 days prior.
Will all of my work automatically go into the cloud?
Desktop applications and all associated user data are stored on your local machine. When you use cloud service applications, you can choose to either store data in the cloud or on your local machine. You retain all of your local data even if you decide to end your subscription.
Will I have updates whether I want to or not?
As a subscriber, you can access the latest updates anytime, but you decide if and when to install them.
What else can I do with subscription that I don’t have with my old software?
The subscription offerings provide you greater value and enable you to:
Always access the latest software, updates and previous versions
Use your software anywhere you need to be – at home, at work or on the road
Share 2D or 3D views of your work online and see comments directly in your product
Try out new tools without making a big up-front investment
Easily scale up or down to fit your organization’s changing needs
Instantly grant users access to products you have purchased by deploying them directly on devices or allowing users to install them on their own from the Autodesk desktop app
Get technical support – Choose phone, online chat, email or remote desktop assistance to resolve your issues more quickly
Eds. note: Nowhere is there any mention of continued support, upgrades or maintenance if you do choose to “switch-back” to your old version of Autodesk software after dipping your toes into the subscription pool. What this offer offers: 1) the owner or user, gains the opportunity to try out the subscription-based arrangement with an option of turning back if he/she wants to. 2) Additionally, the subscription price is 25% less than it would be without this offer, so it might be a worthwhile incentive to move forward. 3) You may really save money on signing up for the Industry Collections.
You must make your decision within 30 days, if you want to “switch-back.” If you do switch back, you don’t get to pick up your perpetual license maintenance plan. You will also be sent back (kind of like in a game of Monopoly) to your perpetual license version you had before.
Extraordinary as it may seem, if you had purchased a 2017 or 2018 perpetual license, it appears (see above chart) that if you were not happy with your subscription plan, you would be switched back to a 2016 perpetual license. I’m hoping this is a typo, but so far that is what is stated on the website. Stay tuned; I have contacted Autodesk to find out further information.
Twenty or so years ago, software programs were developing as the manuals were being written, and often the latest updates in the software didn’t make their way into the final manual. This opened the door for magazines providing software training, and physical classes. Since then, the internet, YouTube and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have increased the opportunity for technology education several fold. Training guides are still valuable learning resources, however, and ASCENT now offers videos inside the guides of various exercises.
Jennifer MacMillan, ASCENT, Instructional Design Projects Manager, talked about the trends and latest instructional curriculum offered by ASCENT. As the traditional instructor-led training is definitely in decline, the need for other types of learning opportunities abound.
“At ASCENT, we definitely feel there is room for both types of learning,” said MacMillan. “The instructor-led side of things absolutely has to occur to set the foundation for learning. As you start to develop the skills you need, you can rely on YouTube and on your peers to learn more. Understanding of high-level strategies is much easier once you’ve learned the basics. Definitely that self-paced learning is what you’re seeing.”
The biggest focus for ASCENT right now is around Autodesk Fusion 360’s curriculum.
“Many are not given the opportunity to go off and take a five-day training class,” said MacMillan. “They’re expected to hit the ground running with new projects all the time. Even if they run into a new software, they still have to get that project done. There’s no room to let that slip.”
In terms of ASCENT’s latest software offering with the Fusion 360 training guide, Fusion 360 is new within the last few years.
“What we found when we started to investigate this software product was there was tons of learning online, such as YouTube,” said MacMillan. “Even Autodesk released tons of learning that was video based, but everything was not at that foundational basic level. It assumed you had those skills. So, we asked, where do users get that skill? We wanted to fill that void with our training guides, because we felt that foundation was absolutely missing in terms of what was available online.”
Considering the fact that students can’t get away from the office for very long, ASCENT developed the Fusion 360 Guide. Fusion 360 is an easy-to-use software product from Autodesk. The book is self-paced so the student can purchase the book, and the training guide and work at their own pace. There is a lot of video content included inside the online training guide so students can learn from that.
“We’ve also found in our most recent training guide, often times the exercises we go through in the book are very focused on this or that task,” said MacMillan. “We felt there was a need to bring all the tasks and requirements together in project-based projects. We did that in the latest training guide, the Sculpting Training guide, where we also included videos. That’s the first time we’ve done that, including videos of the exercises. In the past, videos were always of the learning content and then you used those skills to do the exercises on your own. If you got lost, the only reference you had was going back to the learning content again. But with this latest training guide, it was complex enough that for these projects that we actually embedded some videos so that if a student got lost, they could watch these videos to figure out what was going on.”
Each chapter starts with objectives and what you will learn in each chapter, and then there’s a set of review questions, to be sure students have learned the objectives and content for the chapter.
Students can go to the e-store or go to Amazon and buy it. In ASCENT’s online learning portal, there would be a certification of completion at the end of that course.
The content is designed for people with different learning styles. Some people want it shown to them in video, some people want to read content. Some people want to go straight to the exercise and by trial and error try to figure it out themselves, or go back to resources as they make mistakes or as they need to. “Everyone’s style is completely different and that book has something for everyone,” said MacMillan.
The Autodesk Fusion 360: Introduction to Parametric Modeling book is a foundation book, including the interface and basics of working with parametric modeling. The one introduced prior to AU is one step up above the fundamentals. However, if someone is only working in that environment, that book is standalone as well. It would provide them with foundations if they were doing freeform organic modeling.
ASCENT is very much involved with Autodesk so they have access to their beta programs and beta software prior to release. By working with Autodesk’s developers and product teams they can learn the software and get a head start on building the books and materials before the software is actually released.
Courseware materials in the works include manufacturing and Inventor HSM. On the architectural side, the Autodesk Advance Steel 2018: Fundamentals book is due to release in early February, dealing with the Advance Steel product that Autodesk released.
Everything is in print. Purchases can be made through ASCENT’s e-store, Amazon or through ASCENT. You can purchase an online license to get into the learning portal, you can also purchase everything as an e-book, which gives you an access on your computer, not a PDF, but through a proprietary e-book provider.
Harry Vitelli, senior vice president, Construction and Field, Project Delivery and Eric Law, senior director, Product Management at Bentley Systems spoke with AECCafe Voice at the Bentley Year In Infrastructure Thought Leadership Conference in Singapore in October, 2017.
China Construction Sixth Engineering Division, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin Tianhe-Cloud Building Engineering Technology Co., Ltd – Sanya New Airport Reclamation Project – Sanya, Hainan, China
Bentley and TopCon teamed up to help construction industry professionals to learn best practices in constructioneering, a process of managing and integrating survey, engineering, and construction data, to streamline construction workflows and improve project delivery.
Constructioneering enables engineers to begin work with an accurate 3D model of current construction site conditions (as captured by Topcon’s UAS photogrammetry and laser scanners) which then can be processed into engineering-ready 3D reality meshes (by Bentley’s ContextCapture software). Cloud services convey the engineers’ work directly to construction processes in the field.
Eric Law: Construction process automating the workflows, what we’re doing is going after design build teams and helping them to pursue projects better, by using reality modeling, drones, and ContextCapture.
We’re automating workflows with TopCon and Bentley to move data throughout their process. So, this way I can take a drone, fly a site, capture the site, use Bentley’s ConceptStation to develop essential designs, get my client to buy off on a design. I can say here’s a budget concept, pick an option then take it to detailed design. In detailed design, we can actually move it back to TopCon and out to the field where it is driving machines. We can take the design all the way back to the equipment on the field, where we’re doing surveying stakes, redoing drawings, all that redundant stuff. By working with TopCon we’re streamlining that workflow process. It’s a really big step forward for the industry. Everyone talks about inefficiency in construction and one of the things we’re doing is how do we improve that design and construction, how do we get rid of data loss and move data across the process. We’re going to be educating in the Academy on how constructioneering can help the design and build teams better execute their budgets. We’ve put together the Constructioneering Academy and take these workflows out to the audience and educate them on how they can leverage this in their projects. It’s a great way of combining technology, education, working together as a collaborative team in the industry. (more…)
Looking back over 2017, AEC milestones and ongoing challenges preside over the year. It was exciting this year to visit Singapore, a nation/state/city that is truly a “smart nation,” as well as a “smart city,” employing more technologies that are linked and integrated than generally used in design projects.
In terms of adoption of products, the year has seen many ways software companies help customers adopt new workflow processes, product releases and maintain upgrades.
This interview was conducted with Andy Smith director product management – Building Design Modeling and Santanu Das, senior vice president, Design & Modeling, at Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2017 thought leadership conference, Singapore.
Leighton Asia Hong Kong Boundary Crossing – BIM Advancements in Construction – Be Inspired Award Winner (photo courtesy of Bentley Systems)
In the recent CADWorx webinar for CADWorx Plant 2018, offered by parent company Hexagon, the focus of the release was demonstrated to be improving the consistency between workflows and through the model. In a Q&A portion, it was found that many of the attendees were using AutoCAD 2015 and 2016. CADWorx Plant 2018 supports AutoCAD 2018 and can run on that platform and the BricsCAD platform.