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2012 Predictions: Bentley Systems on Bridges, Civil & Transportation

Monday, January 30th, 2012

·        The growth areas for use of bridge information modeling (BrIM) practices and technologies will continue to be Design/Build and PPP projects.

·        Use of BrIM will bring measurable improvements in constructability analysis (and ultimately, in operations).

·        2012 will see greater adoption of BrIM at the Contractor level, for value engineering and cost mitigation.

·        More organizations will change how they fund IT investments based on planning a shift to cloud computing.

·        The practical realities of how enterprises are implementing sustainable business practices will continue to evolve rapidly, resulting in changes to organizational processes and the nature of sustainable business system solutions.

Commentary: Bentley’s BrIM solutions will continue to leverage Bentley platform technologies in readiness to support the shift to cloud computing.
The BrIM solutions for 2012 are well positioned to support sustainability and the changes to organizational systems and processes that will be required.

– Jackie Cissell, Bentley’s Product Marketing Manager, Civil & Transportation for BrIM (Bridge Information Modeling)

Point cloud data made usable

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

At Bentley Be Inspired last week, one of the most profound announcements was that of the company’s acquisition of Pointools Ltd. in order to integrate point cloud processing into its entire product portfolio. Bentley plans to merge their code streams with those of Pointools to create a new fundamental data type. Up until now, Bentley has embedded the Pointools Vortex engine into MicroStation, but now they plan to incorporate point cloud processing in their ProjectWise and AssetWise platforms.

This signals an acknowledgement of the importance of Lidar data for various applications, not only for retrofit projects but also for planning and presentation value. The technology has been circling around the AEC industry for awhile but has been hampered until recently by the inability to efficiently get the large amounts of 3D data processed accurately. With great advancements in point cloud processing, it is now being integrated into mainstream CAD products like Bentley’s.

At Be Inspired, many of the winners and finalists were using 3D laser scanning in innovative ways in their projects, for example in the areas of multimedia, water and wastewater, and process manufacturing.

The Pointools/Bentley relationship is not the only evidence of this trend – Autodesk also has announced rather quietly the acquisition of technology assets and and hiring of individuals associated with the Alice Labs technology, according to Michael Oldenburg, manager, Corporate Communications, Autodesk.

The announcement of what Autodesk plans to do with this new acquisition is most likely being saved for Autodesk University, to be held December 28 in Las Vegas.

Another company that has just acquired 3D laser point cloud software is AVEVA, with its recent acquisition of LFM Software. This addition to the AVEVA portfolio offers a comprehensive range of technologies exploiting the power of 3D laser surveying. This technology is said to allow users to import 3D data from various 3D laser scanning formats and export them to plant design systems.

On the path of point cloud processing is ClearEdge 3D, a company that has developed algorithms to identify and extract pipes, walls, structures and other complex building and plant features from point clouds. Their Automated Feature Extraction algorithms are designed to reduce modeling time and eliminate a lot of the manual production associated with 3D models.

This is a topic we will be hearing more about in the near future.

Intergraph releases enterprise viewing and markup software

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Intergraph just released the newest version of its enterprise viewing and markup software solution, SmartPlant Markup Plus. In an agreement with Informative Graphics Corp. Intergraph has been able to add new multi-format viewing and markup support capabilities.

The product will bundled with SmartPlant Foundation.  I would have thought it would be bundled with the CADWorx products from the COADE acquisition.

From the press release: “A major part of this new release includes embedded components developed by Informative Graphics Corp. (IGC), a leading provider of high-quality viewing, annotation, redaction and publishing software since 1990.  Further, the embedded IGC components provide an open, XML-based markup format which will enable powerful new interrogation, searching and linking capabilities.”

This release marks a direction we have seen Intergraph heading in since their acquisition of COADE a year ago, with more focus on CAD type solutions.

CEO Hexagon AB (acquirer of Intergraph in 2010) Ole Rollén, said at the time that CAD systems may be in their future again, “What we need to do is to deliver good application software and good solutions to the professionals….we have certain markets where I can see the need for CAD systems, going forward, but that’s more construction-related. You should be able to download a 3D model of a building, for example, and download that into your measurement device that will guide you where to put the air conditioning, spotlights, cabling in walls, etc. and these are technologies we are developing.”

He added that “Plant is probably our single largest application within the Hexagon group.”

Open Source CAD programs

Friday, October 29th, 2010

While Open Source software can often start out as free, it can incur costs later on in terms of hiring developers to build and implement applications. However, it offers opportunities for creative development and customization that are sometimes not available in an out-of-the-box CAD program.

 

Here are some Open Source CAD programs:

 

Open CASCADE Technology, 3D modeling & numerical simulation

Open CASCADE Technology has been around since 1990, and is a software development platform freely available in open source. It includes components for 3D surface and solid modeling, visualization, data exchange and rapid application development.

 

QCAD

QCAD is an application for 2D drafting, for creating technical drawings such as building plans and interiors. The source code of the QCAD community released under the GPL Open Source. QCAD works on Windows, Mac OS X and many Linux and Unix Systems.The current version of QCAD is 2.2. QCAD 3 is scheduled for release Q1 of 2011.

 

Cademia CADEMIA can used both by experts and occasional users. It is written in Java and runs on platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux. CADEMIA is an Open Source product of free software licensed under the GPL. “Applications of arbitrary complexity can be efficiently implemented as Plug-Ins in Java.”

 

BRL-CAD

BRL-CAD is solid modeling system developed by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (formerly known as the Ballistic Research Laboratory, or BRL) that includes an interactive geometry editor (MGED), a ray-tracing library with support for rendering and geometric analysis, network distributed framebuffer support, an embedded scripting language, image- and signal-processing tools, and a host of additional utilities.

 

 

GRAPHISOFT: ARCHICAD download 30-day FREE trial
TurboCAD pro : Start at $299
CADalog.com - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.



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