Anna Liza Montenegro, director of marketing for Microsol Resources, a value-added reseller (VAR) of BIM technology solutions, spoke with AECCafe Voice about their new Technology Partnership with UK-based Asite, a cloud technology provider.
New York-based Microsol Resources is also an Autodesk Platinum Partner and Partner of the Year for 2014 serving the AEC industry.
Microsol Resources is not just a software sales outlet but also provides services for the AEC industry, buildings, and civil infrastructure. The driving force behind the partnership with Asite is that the company provides cloud technology to every industry that is document driven. Their Adoddle platform allows firms to store and manage all of their project data in one central and secure repository. It also enables customers to fully customize the structure of their content with highly controlled access and rich configurable workflows to allow project controls. It is used by AEC firms as well as property owners to manage their capital investment programs.
Barry Phillips, the CMO of Panzura talked with AECCafe Voice about Panzura’s Global File System and subsequent involvement in the AEC industry, providing cross-site collaboration with their global locking file systems. Moving from CAD to BIM in a single office is not a problem, according to Phillips, but when you try to have project teams spread across distributed offices it doesn’t work. “There have been lots of attempts to solve this problem,” said Phillips. Collaboration is what drives the need for cloud storage.
At AIA, Autodesk’s Phil Bernstein spoke about “Next Era BIM” and how technology is evolving in the building industry. In an example, he said a Chinese developer built a 30-story building in seven days. The same developer wants to build a 202-story building in a week. The delivery implications of this are quite mind-boggling.
“Design became separated from construction in the Renaissance era,” said Bernstein, with Alberti. Now digital technology has drive ideas of construction/architecture with the following concepts:
1) It took analog and translated it to CAD.
2) The transition from electronic drawing to digital – making files into models
3) Context – the advent of the cloud, social networking, design and construction in a systems context.
The evolvement of this went from diagrams to prototypes to integrated simulations. Now we can build new spaces with new types of data, according to Bernstein.
The concept of “archetypal relationships” was touched upon, but I’m not sure what was being referred to here, an Oedipal complex or the relationship between documentation and the way things are connected?
“The way I see it, the computer puts architects back in the driver’s seat, because we can control all that information,” said Frank Gehry.
Anthony Houch of Autodesk introduced Project Skyscraper, a new cloud-based collaboration software for Revit that allows architects, engineers and contractors to collaborate on the Autodesk 360 cloud platform. This allows extended teams to search, view, and provide feedback on project models on any device. The tool is in beta now with full commercial release of the software expected by the end of the year.
In addition Autodesk spotlighted Dynamo at the conference, exploring computational BIM with Dynamo and Revit, as well as generating different design options for varying elements including façade systems.
In discussion about the Case Building, the discussion turned to how architects put data to work. And how do they leverage building data in order to set the bar for future content? Autodesk’s interest in reality capture continues on, while they work on figuring out how to turn that information into something meaningful for architects as well as the movie industry.
Houch said that Autodesk is “agnostic about how people access information.” This appears to extend to the new way that Autodesk is delivering information to the media as well. One PR person said they don’t send out as many press releases; everything is available on their site and on their blogs, and Autodesk Labs. This presumes that we are all going to go looking for press materials rather than them arriving conveniently in the newsfeed.
Perhaps the “new spaces with new types of data” that Bernstein envisions will be places that we will all readily visit, just as we open our email each morning.
Autodesk recently made a very unusual acquisition: that of the architecture and design firm, The Living, owned by architect David Benjamin. This acquisition was made in order to create the new “first-of-its-kind” Autodesk Studio.
AECCafe, in the form of Editor, Susan Smith, will be at the AIA National Convention in Chicago June 26-27th.
What that means is that our focus remains on architecture, engineering and construction from a CAD and Building Information Modeling perspective. As I ready for this conference, I would like to hear from more CAD and BIM companies to have an awareness of your booth presence and events you might be hosting.
The areas we cover are quite vast: building information modeling, visualization, CAD, 3D printing, document management, project management, laser scanning, conceptual design, integrated project delivery, and specifications.
If you wish to set up a meeting during the convention, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to seeing many of you there!
Josh Lowe, senior innovation advisor and Mike Whaley, president of TURIS Systems,spoke at Autodesk University during the session entitled, “BuildX: Construction Site of the Future.” Lowe and Whaley talked about the scanning revolution, or “reality capture” as it is now called. TURIS develops and implements project-specific Building Innovation Systems that utilize a technology-based modular approach for knowledge management. Laser scanning or reality capture has become more accessible, portable and more applicable.
Dan Philbrick, senior product line manager in the infrastructure division at Autodesk, spoke with AECWeekly regarding the company’s new Autodesk Vehicle Tracking 2014 software for vehicle simulation, based on field-proven technology assets recently acquired from Savoy Computing Services in the UK.
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.”
Pictometry International Corp., inventor of measurable, aerial oblique imagery and analytics tools, launched Pictometry Integration for Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 and 2012 products at Autodesk University the last week of November 2012. Now users’ high resolution geo-referenced aerial imagery can be accessed from directly within the AutoCAD Civil 3D workspace, enabling users to visualize and take measurements of real-world field environments, helping reduce the need for field visits. AutoCAD Civil 3D use has grown phenomenally over the past two-three years, and continues to climb, according to experts in the field. It will also certainly benefit Pictometry to gain access to Autodesk’s millions of users.
According to Pictometry’s David Petterson, product manager, solutions integration, the integration with AutoCAD Civil 3D follows last year’s integration with AutoCAD Map 3D. Both of these integrations utilize the new Pictometry Connect platform that allows users to instantly access Pictometry’s 2.1 petabyte library of olique and orthogonal imagery, as well as accurate geospatial content.