Bentley Systems’ ProjectWise Essentials is an innovative, cloud-based, design integration environment designed for the mid-tier AEC market. Bentley’s popular ProjectWise design collaboration and work sharing solution has been addressing the needs of large AEC organizations for over 20 years.
Environmental Systems Design is a consulting engineering firm that addresses the AEC industry. According to vice president ESD Global, the company does all the engineering in the building that you can’t see “but you really notice unless it doesn’t work, such as, heating, cooling, electrical, lighting, low voltage work, computer networking and data centers.”
The $1.2 billion Kingdom Tower, which will stretch 3,280ft into the Saudi Arabian sky, has so far only been illustrated through concept sketches and a rendering showing the bank-busting building from afar.
Bentley Systems announced that it has acquired the French company Acute3D, provider of Smart3DCapture software for reality modeling.
Acute3D Smart3DCapture has five different editions, two of which are what the company refers to as “prosumer” editions; consumer customers and professionals working on small non-georeferenced projects can use these two editions to simply generate 3D models from photos.
Through reality modeling, photos from a variety of sources, including those from smartphones as well as high-resolution aerial imaging, can capture existing conditions that are then identified, processed and assigned points and texturized automatically into accurate representations of reality. The resulting high resolution, 3D mesh can be exported into GIS or CAD software. This is a standalone application for the desktop.
Bentley’s broad view of products dedicated to infrastructure is a good fit for Acute3D and helps both organizations extend their reach, as they are focused on the infrastructure lifecycle, from design through construction and into operations.
Acute3D is designing reality capture software for UAV operators who consume photos from various sources. “UAVs are capturing data with cameras for specific purposes,” said Dr. Jean-Philippe Pons of Acute3D. “They are used largely for land surveying for volume calculations features and reporting changes to the owners. The rest of the technology is the same whether you’re using it for UAVs or for mobile mapping.”
Acute3D already has amassed a number of customers and UAV manufacturers who are using their reality modeling Smart3DCapture.
Other areas in which Acute3D products are being used are on the site-to-city scale, for transportation, roads, mining, oil and gas. The beauty of the Smart3DCapture is that, with very little effort, customers can automatically generate from photos a 3D ‘reality mesh’ that is very accurate and detailed. These 3D ‘reality meshes’ can be exported into different software and can be used in the final data representations for contextual alignment for design modelingand construction modeling environments.
By beginning with existing conditions garnered from photos of the site, data capture can be achieved more simply and more affordably than from laser scanning.
Acute3D was co-founded in 2011 by researchers Dr. Jean-Philippe Pons and Dr. Renaud Keriven, who have led an accomplished team of researchers and developers, headquartered in Sophia Antipolis. In the beginning, Acute3D worked with an OEM in a cloud-based capacity that acquired over 6 million users of this solution; they focused on geospatial and became more involved in mobile mapping.
They decided to develop their own desktop application rather than remain with OEMs, because they wanted contact with the end users and wanted to be ready to react to the market. Smart3DCapture is the result of that decision.
Since the company was founded, Acute3D has attracted an impressive, expanding user base that includes Nokia, PASCO, and Saint-Gobain, and OEM licensees like Autodesk. Large-scale 3D city modeling is an area being explored by Acute3D with Internet giant Tencent where they are teaming up to design and build several mega-cities in China, from both aerial and street view photography. Acute3D applications also extend to gathering existing conditions capture for construction sites, manufacturing facilities, mining operations, pipelines, and oil and gas exploration.
Bentley Systems Founder and CTO Keith Bentley said, “The world-class Acute3D developers have already achieved two breakthroughs, which remove the barriers to the adoption of reality modeling. First, Acute3D has made it possible for anyone to sufficiently capture existing conditions with just a camera. Of equal importance is the value of the Acute3D result. Rather than a voluminous cloud of discrete points, Acute3D produces a 3D ‘reality mesh’ – intrinsically in the same geometric idiom as engineering models, readily aligning the real-world context.
“Just as Acute3D’s innovations have now brought reality modeling within reach of every infrastructure professional, we and our new colleagues are excited to be working together to incorporate Acute3D functionality throughout our platform and application portfolio, enhancing information mobility throughout infrastructure asset lifecycles.”
Acute3D Dr. Jean-Philippe Pons said, “When Renaud and I founded Acute3D, our vision was to make widely available, at industrial precision, what we now describe as reality modeling. With our team, we are very pleased to be joining Bentley to complete our reach. Together, we have already shared and embarked upon many new initiatives to incorporate reality modeling within design and construction modeling. Voila!”
Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk senior vice president of Industry Strategy & Marketing, spoke recently about the new initiative from Autodesk in which new commercial seats of most standalone desktop software products will be available only by Desktop Subscription beginning February 1, 2016.
Autodesk Desktop Subscription and Cloud Service Subscription Model
I’ve been reviewing what people have been discussing at conferences this year, and what their thoughts are for 2015. While so many topics such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) have been around for awhile, they are still very relevant moving forward. Customers are still grappling with challenging problems surrounding project delivery and collaboration. Others want to ensure that the model they build will not only last through the life of the project, but will extend beyond it into the future, for operations and maintenance. Reality capture, UAVs, scanning, data management, data acquisition as a service, cloud computing, are all technologies we have today, yet will be front and center in the AEC community going forward into the new year.
Bentley’s newly announced CONNECT Edition provides a very complex and deep common environment to extend across work groups and enterprises, without changing the basic file format of the products that users have an investment in already.
Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president at Bentley Systems, gave a keynote Thursday, November 7th at the Bentley Year in Infrastructure 2014 event in which CONNECT Edition was explained to the audience.
Singh began by saying that Bentley’s platform approach is to extend it to include your desktops, servers and handheld devices.
“When you have suites, there is still a disconnect,” said Singh. “A goal was to improve information mobility with CONNECT Edition. When you begin you connect to a project, everyone connects to a project profile, then there is a project playbook, and personal playlist – an individual set of apps for the user.” This is similar to the playlist you get with your Apple iTunes music list.
The benefits are: reducing time it takes to get project started, to get supply chains on board, and the data you have becomes increasingly more valuable. (more…)
The ability to integrate video surveillance into building information modeling adds a new very important dimension to the design of buildings.Vince Lupe, director of Business Development, Hikvision USA (pronounced “HikeVision”), discussed the way Hikvision’s cameras and video surveillance systems are made an integral part of all architectural design, by being considered in the Building Information Model from the early design phase.
AECCafe Voice: How are Hikvision’s cameras considered CAD elements?
Vince Lupe: System layout and camera field of view are accurately viewed at the earliest stages of the design process, improving device placement, decreasing incompatibility issues, and boosting efficiency overall. In this way, video surveillance is transformed from an afterthought to an architectural cornerstone – a trend that is especially suited for Hikvision’s user-friendly and highly scalable products.
Hikvision’s award-winning array of video surveillance solutions, including bullet, dome, box, turret, PTZ, and fisheye cameras, as well as rackmount and standalone DVRs and NVRs, are all available options. With functionality and usability as Hikvision trademarks, the BIM counterparts to the real-life technology follow suit.
AECCafe Voice: Who are your customers?
Security consultants, architects and engineering firms, security specifiers
End-user customers, building owners, property managers
Security distribution channels
AECCafe Voice: Do users utilize Hikvision content in Autodesk Seek or can it go directly into Autodesk Revit?
Vince Lupe: They can access the content in Seek for use in Revit.
AECCafe Voice: Is the content in the cloud?
Vince Lupe: Not yet. It will be part of our AE portal for easy download and accessibility for our customers.
AECCafe Voice:Can you suggest a sample workflow including Hikvision?
Vince Lupe: An architect, engineer, or security system designer can download Hikvision camera models directly into their BIM model to see exactly where a camera will be placed, what the scene will look like through the camera lens, and what its blind spots might be, allowing for adjustments to be made in terms of the physical construction of the structure, or in terms of the types of cameras and where they will be placed. The BIM model can even be dropped into a three dimensional area of the neighborhood where the building will be located, in order to get a glimpse of what the fields of view of any exterior cameras would be. Important details such as product features, model numbers, and physical characteristics are included in the models for a quick reference to designers and can be changed with a click of the mouse. One of the most important elements of such a streamlined workflow is that it allows for a true collaborative process from the very earliest stages. Electrical wiring, lighting, location of building entrances, and other design elements can be taken into consideration to create the most efficient and effective video surveillance system.
AECCafe Voice:Is the federal government interested in this product or using it currently?
Vince Lupe: We’re thrilled at the prospect that the federal government will be able to incorporate Hikvision into their BIM models, and we’re eager to hear of the success stories from that market.