Recent advancements in reality modeling have made the technology, which was once limited to highly skilled, well-trained individuals and costly equipment, now accessible to everyone. Faraz Ravi, a Bentley fellow and project manager for reality modeling spoke with AECCafe Voice about Bentley’s new innovations in reality modeling technology which greatly simplify the process of capturing, processing, and using data to create engineering-ready 3D models.
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IMSI® Design announced the release of TurboCAD Pro Platinum 2017 recently, the company’s premium 2D drafting and 3D Surface and Solid modeling application for Windows desktop PCs. Dave Taylor of TurboCAD, demoed the product and some of its notable features, which actually number close to 50.
CloudCities announced an update to their cloud platform for building insights that adds procedural terrains and advanced search features. CloudCities for AEC professionals and their clients highly simplifies the process of creating 3D plans and combining them with data. The new version makes it possible to immerse the models in beautiful terrains that load quickly and are generated procedurally. The new CloudCities is now available at cloudcities.io.
In a world where we hear mostly about leading CAD design software programs, it’s refreshing to note that it’s possible to find low cost conceptual CAD design tools with file-level compatibility and a multitude of functions at a fraction of the price. The usual concerns of, “will this software integrate with the software I already have?” or “will I be able to execute this function on the cheaper software?” or, “will my intellectual property retain its integrity in the low cost software?” are all valid concerns for the cost-saving seeker.
“Disruptive technology changes the face of industries, but we are also in an age of disruptive data.” – Anne Kemp
Carl Storms, Senior Applications Expert, for Rand IMAGINiT and Matt Mason, director of Software Development, for Rand IMAGINiT spoke with AECCafe at Autodesk University in November 2016 about the direction of the AEC industry. Rand IMAGINiT is a consulting and software development firm and Autodesk Partner. Carl Storms is “out in the trenches,” working with real world problems in AEC while Matt Mason is behind the scenes in the software development department, realizing the solutions to those challenges.
When asked about popular products and trends in AEC, Storm said, “Dynamo and visual programming are still a big thing. It’s been around a couple of years and now people more comfortable with it. Autodesk’s latest release of Dynamo Player is for people who are maybe not well versed in technology. They can just hit a button and play something. It’s like a playlist, you can pick a track you want to play. It accesses the information inside of your Revit model. It will, for example, have your text go from lower case to upper case with just the click of a button. It really gives people the benefit of using the technology without spending a lot of time learning the programming.”
According to Matt Mason, “Dynamo is still used by the power users, but to make it available to the rest of the people in the firm it needs to be more approachable. It’s been a challenge historically because you had to open the power users’ big complicated graph and understand it. From a usability standpoint, for the other 95% who aren’t at the level of doing Dynamo, it really helps democratize and leverage the Dynamo concept. The players can take advantage of the power users’ skills and have pretty much on-demand access.”
“Another big thing is augmented and virtual realities,” said Storms. “It’s now in more client and consumer based products. You have things as simple as Google Cardboard where you spend $12 to get the little lens and use your own smartphone, to high end devices, but they all allow you to immerse yourself in the data. Whether it’s a virtual reality type of device where you get immersed in the world of your model, you can walk around in your model and see what’s going on. Or you bring the reality into your reality so you can still see people and have conversations. You can see your interaction. People have been talking about it and have lots of thoughts and ideas for using it, and it will become more mainstream.”
AEC technology company spokespeople weigh in on what their predictions are for 2017, with their thoughts on “going digital,” virtual and augmented reality, smart cities, “assembled architecture,” drones, self-driving cars, big data and much more.
Stay tuned for some very insightful comments on the state of industry going forward this year.
“A smart city is a visionary statement for urban development that aims to converge information technology, operational technology, and engineering technology to better manage a city’s assets, and ultimately improve the quality of life for all. Technology is the enabler for smart cities around the globe, spanning mega projects to smaller scale initiatives that focus on streamlining processes, realizing efficiency gains, and improving services to its citizens. To realize the potential of a smart city, a concerted focus is being placed on a digital strategy that will enable comprehensive project delivery and enhanced asset performance for the supply chain and asset owners that build, construct, and operate and maintain infrastructure.” — Aidan Mercer, Industry Marketing Director, Government, Bentley Systems
In an AECCafe Voice interview with Paul Burden of ASCENT Center for Technical Knowledge, the courseware segment of Rand Worldwide, he spoke of the trends he saw in the provision of technical training for their customers.
Most of what AEC professionals need and want is how to get their designs expressed, realized and built efficiently, accurately, quickly and on budget. The solutions to these challenges can be provided with a mix of software, cloud and gadgetry, much of which you will find here.
One of the exciting developments that came out of The Year in Infrastructure 2016 Conference was the growth of Bentley’s ContextCapture reality modeling offering over the past year. Introduced at the 2015 conference, and derived from the acquisition of Acute3D, ContextCapture is used to process digital photos from a variety of cameras including smartphone cameras, and aerial photography, including UAVs, to provide engineering-ready reality meshes.