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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 »

CloudCities Adds Procedural Terrains for AEC Professionals

 
March 30th, 2017 by Susan Smith

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.

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AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2018 Released

 
March 23rd, 2017 by Susan Smith

AutoCAD 2018 and AutoCAD LT 2018 have been released, Autodesk’s flagship products for the AEC industry.

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Upcoming Special Report: Low Cost Conceptual CAD Design Tools

 
March 14th, 2017 by Susan Smith

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.

Perot-Museum-of-Nature-and-Science-main Read the rest of Upcoming Special Report: Low Cost Conceptual CAD Design Tools

Presenting 2030 Districts: Urban Sustainability Through Collaboration

 
March 7th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Dave Low, Network Liaison for the private-sector led 2030 Districts, spoke about the recent development of that group’s establishment of a non-profit separate from Architecture 2030, an organization that provides support for the goal of reaching carbon-neutrality in buildings by the year 2030.

After five years of support and oversight from Architecture 2030, the fifteen 2030 Districts across North America have established their own non-profit.

As part of this move, the 2030 Districts have selected the following thirteen members to its initial Board of Governors:

Name Organization Name Organization
Tyler Harris General Services Administration (GSA) Anna Siefken Carnegie Mellon University
Jason Kobeda Major League Baseball Jiri Skopek Jones Lang LaSalle
Edward Mazria Architecture 2030 Tim Thiel Covestro, LLC
Sara Neff Kilroy Realty Jon Utech The Cleveland Clinic
Brett Phillips Unico Properties Jenita Warner Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
Dave Pogue CBRE Jill Ziegler Forest City Realty Trust
Megan Saunders Stamford 2030 District

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Autodesk Revit Live Brings Designs to Life

 
March 2nd, 2017 by Susan Smith

Autodesk Revit Live (formerly Autodesk LIVE), a new interactive cloud-based visualization service which offers Revit AEC users the ability to transform their designs into fully-interactive 3D models, was launched in July 2016. The service draws viewers into the story of an architectural design much like a video game.

Autodesk Live Edition Launch Screen

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Knowing What’s Underground with BIM and GIS

 
February 21st, 2017 by Susan Smith

“Disruptive technology changes the face of industries, but we are also in an age of disruptive data.” – Anne Kemp

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Ease-of-Use, Owner Involvement are Big Themes at Rand IMAGINiT

 
February 16th, 2017 by Susan Smith

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.”

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3D Repo Develops Mobile Platform for Crossrail

 
February 8th, 2017 by Susan Smith

British company 3D Repo, known as a multi-award winning provider of cloud software solutions for collaborative Building Information Modelling (BIM), has begun development on a mobile platform for Crossrail in the UK, designed to manage lifecycle assets. Among the company’s other solutions is a health and safety virtual reality app designed for the Zero Harm Health and Safety Training that is part of the Smart Motorway programme, to make highway and construction projects safer through improved training.

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AEC Predictions for 2017

 
February 2nd, 2017 by Susan Smith

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.

Self driving electronic computer car on road, 3D illustration (courtesy Bentley Systems)

Smart Cities

City of Helsinki – Helsinki 3D+
Helsinki, Finland. Image Courtesy of City of Helsinki

“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

Read the rest of AEC Predictions for 2017

Top Trends in AEC Technical Training from ASCENT Center for Technical Knowledge

 
January 26th, 2017 by Susan Smith

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.

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