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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Archicad 17 Addresses the Details in BIM Models

 
May 21st, 2013 by Susan Smith

Akos Pfemeter, Director of Graphisoft Global Marketing, talked about the upcoming release of Archicad 17 in June – a major upgrade for Archicad.

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New version of Autodesk BIM 360 Glue provides greater access to project information

 
May 16th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Sarah Hodges, senior industry marketing manager for Autodesk, spoke this week about the new version of Autodesk BIM 360 Glue that addresses the big data explosion in the AEC industry and the adoption of BIM. Autodesk BIM 360 Glue extends the BIM process from design to construction by providing all stakeholders access to project information for model coordination and clash detection via desktop, mobile and web.

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GstarCAD8 Product Launch – A 2013 Asian Odyssey

 
May 13th, 2013 by Jeff Rowe

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

 
May 9th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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

 
May 3rd, 2013 by Susan Smith

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

 
April 30th, 2013 by Susan Smith

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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Smartgeometry 2013 London kicks off

 
April 22nd, 2013 by Susan Smith

This year’s Smartgeometry event (sg2013) was held at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment UCL and the Institute of Education in London from April 15-20. The event began with a description of how the group began and how the Bartlett School architects were the inspiration for this year’s conference.

I was in London for a few days before the beginning of the conference and was impressed by the amount of construction there. The question that came to my mind was – how do they create structures that can complement the vast and rich history of this old city? There are many skyscrapers that are interspersed with historic buildings, some of which may be finding an unusual peace with the existing infrastructure.

There is a peer review process of choosing the teams who will present at sg each year.  Out of 200 applications, there are 10 workshops comprised of ten people in each who will be the lucky ones chosen to present.

This is the first year an sg event has been held in London. According to Shane Burger, this year’s program entitled “Constructing for Uncertainty” builds upon what has been accomplished in past years. This year’s teams are using data in design, working with the environment, are much more information-centric, recognizing that there are “only a subset of relevant factors that can be modeled in a traditional design CAD package.” The built environment must last for generations.

Topics such as how we explore efficiency, environmental or program changes, and bridging the gap between digitally fabricated calibration and construction tolerance and the “uncertain future of occupant behavior” were part of the day’s discussion.

Huw Roberts, director of Core Marketing at Bentley, spoke briefly about Bentley’s Applied Reseach group which has a $112 million of investment done in partnership with their software companies and users. “Our “syndicated development’ takes something the user wants to do, defines what the software needs to be and Bentley will test it,” said Roberts. “This relationship model is a direct descendant of how our relationship model was for sg. GenerativeComponents was the first child of our research activities. We’re now integrating that with our optimization engines, like Darwin Optmization Framework. It was previously in our water products, used to tell where pipes are going to leak based on the data system. The framework is a very complex bunch of math that allows a bunch of iterative processes to run.”

Augmented reality allows us to  see what is under streets, in pipes, or show sections of inside the walls, looking at the construction model and seeing where pipes and conduits are inside walls, using iPads and other mobile devices.

Because the work done in the Smartgeometry clusters appears to be a far cry from real world applications of technology, several examples were given of projects completed using GenerativeComponents and other tools used for iterative design.

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Green BIM is here to stay

 
April 17th, 2013 by Susan Smith

$US 60 trillion is needed between now and 2030 to meet the needs of U.S. infrastructure, according to recent statistics. Current industry has the capacity to put in place less than half of that. World energy consumption continues to be unrelenting and the need for Green Building Information Modeling is definitely here to stay.

The benefits of Green Building Information Modeling have been well outlined in the following article from TrueCADD on Green Building Information Modeling in Today’s World

  • The information generated from a green building information model leads to fewer number of errors on site caused by uncoordinated and inaccurate information.
  • The model saves wastage of time on site.
  • Extra coordination checks on site are largely unnecessary.
  • Managing building information using a green BIM can lead to substantial cost savings, from construction and design through to maintenance.
  • As all of the construction team members work on the same model — right from early design all the way through completion, changes are coordinated automatically across the project.

There is also a new website called www.greenbim.com, and numerous other websites and vendors addressing this topic.

sg2013 will be held in London next week

 
April 11th, 2013 by Susan Smith

sg2013 “Constructing for Uncertainty” will be at The Bartlett / UCL, London, UK from 15-20 April 2013. The Workshop and Conference, hosted in part by Bentley Systems, is an unusual gathering  of innovators and pioneers committed to finding new approaches in the fields of architecture, design and engineering.

The description of the conference is: “Constructing for Uncertainty will transition computational design from the hard space of the ideal to the soft reality of an uncertain built environment,” according to published literature. In years past, research has taken the participants into the realms of materials science, 3D printing and many other groundbreaking technologies in an exploration of what might be the tools to build future structures.

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TurboSite v1.2 for field documentation

 
April 8th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Bob Mayer, COO, of IMSI/Design talked about the latest release of TurboSite, TurboSite v1.2, a mobile app that does field documentation.

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