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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 »

sg2011 conference (SmartGeometry) comes to Copenhagen

March 30th, 2011 by Susan Smith

I am here in Copenhagen for the annual SmartGeometry Conference, sg2011, hosted by Bentley Systems, from March 28-April 2.

The event will come in three parts, a Workshop (28th-31st March), a public Talkshop (1 April), and a public Symposium and Reception (2 April).

Speakers include: Ben van Berkel (UN Studio), Usman Haque (Haque Design + Research), Billie Faircloth (KieranTimberlake), Craig Schwitter (Buro Happold + Adaptive Building Initiative), Lisa Amini (IBM Smarter Cities Lab), and Mette Ramsgaard Thomsen (CITA)

I have also covered GenerativeComponents, the technology that actually spawned the SmartGeometry Conference in a recent issue of AECWeekly:

Look for conference updates in the coming days.

Autodesk moves from products to “suites”

March 23rd, 2011 by Susan Smith

In a Webex this week Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Platform Solutions and Emerging Business for Autodesk talked about the 2012 portfolio which will soon be available.

Because customers are successful using multiple products, Autodesk is not offering single products in this release, but rather suites of products for all kinds of design. He called it an “integrated software approach.” A lot of discussion was spent on artists and production facilitators in the entertainment industry, a big customer of Autodesk products.

The suites cost “a few hundred dollars more than an individual software program” but offer more in terms of interoperability and the entire suite will be offered on a USB thumb drive.

Here is a list of the various suites:
Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, Showcase, Sketchbook Designer, Mudbox, 3ds Max Design and Alias Design)

Building Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, Showcase, SketchBook Designer, Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, Revit MEP, 3ds Max Design, Inventor, Navisworks Manage and Quantity Takeoff)

Infrastructure Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map 3D, Navisworks Simulate, AutoCAD Civil 3D, 3ds Max Design and Navisworks Manage)

Plant Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD, AutoCAD P&ID, AutoCAD Plant 3D, Navisworks Simulate and Navisworks Manage)

Factory Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Factory Design Suite Utilities, Inventor, 3ds Max, Navisworks Siimulate and Inventor Professional)

Product Design Suite*
(inc. AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Sketchbook Designer, Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Mudbox, Inventor, 3ds Max Design, Inventor Professional and Alias Design)

Entertainment Creation Suite*
(inc. Autodesk 3ds Max or Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Softimage, Autodesk MotionBuilder and Autodesk Mudbox)

* – Software included varies according to Suite versions; Standard, Premium or Ultimate.

I will be attending the AEC Media Summit in Waltham, Mass. in two weeks and will have a full report on the suites at that time.

Planning Required service for ordering site plans

March 8th, 2011 by Susan Smith

Geospatial company Getmapping has announced a new monthly account for its online ‘Planning Required’ planning map service ( According to the company, architects, home improvement companies and professionals who are regular users of the service will benefit from significant savings when they sign up for accounts. Customers will receive a single bill for multiple transactions.

Launched in 2010 the Planning Required service is used by thousands of architects, developers and members of the public who need to submit a site and block plan as part of a planning application. Planning Required provides an easy and quick way to order site plans in the format required by Local Authorities.

President’s Better Buildings Initiative promises to put commercial real estate industry in recovery mode

March 8th, 2011 by Susan Smith

According to an independent analysis conducted by Architecture 2030, and released in a Fact Sheet, illustrates that the President’s Better Buildings Initiative (BBI) can put the nation’s commercial real estate (CRE) market on the road to recovery, creating at least 300,000 new U.S. jobs and boosting tax revenue to begin putting money back into federal, state, and local coffers.

Bentley’s first annual corporate update

March 3rd, 2011 by Susan Smith

Bentley Systems held its first annual corporate update yesterday, which was not an earnings call, as they are a privately held company. Coupled with that update was the announcement of the acquisition of SACS, an integrated finite element specialized offshore structural analysis software, the launch of iWare Apps to facilitate the use of Bentley iModels, and new sustainable licensing through what the company is calling “annual portfolio balancing.”

Each product launch announced – SACS and the iWare Apps – circles back to structural analysis, an area that Bentley is focusing on a lot. SACS opens up offshore oil & gas industry to Bentley, where previously they have focused on onshore accounts. iWare Apps extend iModel which provides integrated structural modeling (ISM) methodology for the creators and consumers of structural project information across multiple vendors’ apps.

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