May 12, 2008
What’s New in Design Review 2009
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

Welcome to AECWeekly!

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Top News of the Week, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.

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Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

What’s New in Design Review 2009

by Susan Smith

Autodesk Design Review 2009 is one product with new functionality that is packaged with all Autodesk’s design applications such as Revit, Inventor and AutoCAD, and also available as a free download from the Autodesk website.

Chris Hession, senior product marketing manager for Design Review and technical marketing manager, Cliff Medling, related the product’s new features.

According to Hession, the new version has the same goal as the previous version had, which is to improve customer process efficiencies, and help customers communicate clearly both internally and externally about their design data. The product also helps them reduce their costs associated with shipping designs back and forth, and with time delays in the whole design review process.

Seasoned AutoCAD users will recall that Design Review transitioned from DWF Composer with the 2008 release. “In a typical month we see 220,000-250,000 downloads of the product,” said Hession.

For AEC workflows, Design Review is valuable in following the process from the draftsperson, MEP engineer and structural engineer, all the way out to the government agencies and contractors. In the past, customers have experienced great time delays and errors during their workflows, but with Design Review the same customers are able to reduce errors and save time, communicate better with much less rework. The product supports geospatial and manufacturing workflows as well as AEC, and is very useful for field staff who need to locate assets in the field.

Design Review is also used in customers’ sales team as part of their presentations, so they can show prospective customers what the proposed design is going to look like.

Dalpo Architects, of Syracuse, NY moved to BIM three years ago, and uses Design Review to share their 3D models and gather feedback. One of their latest projects, a shopping mall with LEED gold certification, is planned without using any paper using Design Review.

The primary goal for the 2009 release of Design Review was to increase customer efficiencies, according to Hession.

Features include:

•        find and locate design data quickly and easily

•        customizable user interface

•        enhanced measure and markup capabilities

•        navigation tools

The new DWFX format, which is the next generation of the DWF file, allows the user of all design applications to publish DWFX files and do an integrated batch print directly into the product.

Users can now send files from Design Review to Project Freewheel with the Share functionality, to form an online collaboration session, as it is now integrated into the product as a downloadable plug-in.

Users have continually asked for help with finding and locating design data. With the new Find tools in Design Review you can quickly do a search and find what you’re looking for. The new user interface allows for predefined layouts, and you can create your own layout with the specific tools you want available to you. The SteeringWheels and ViewCube tools that are available in AutoCAD and other Autodesk products are enhanced in the 2009 versions and available in Design Review to facilitate navigation.

4,500 total participated in the beta program for Design Review. Richard Johnson, GIS information officer, City of Vancouver, said, “The new Find feature enables us to search attribute information from within Design Review. For instance, we can now search all valves in an area and see the results almost instantly. It’s faster and less error prone than manual methods.”

Another customer stated that the performance of the latest Design Review is noticeably enhanced and handles large 3D files more easily as they move their plan design review process to 3D.

Performance was a key focus in the 2009 release. The following are performance points for Design Review 2009 for manufacturing (from the press materials)-

Get Reviews Done Quicker

Directly connect with customers, suppliers, planners, and purchasing professionals sooner to complete design reviews faster and shorten product development lifecycles.

Track Markups and Annotations

Automatically track comments and their status to ensure no information is lost, and eliminate error-prone data re-entry.

Accurately Communicate Digital Prototypes to Key Stakeholders

Even team members not familiar with complex CAD software can fully visualize digital prototypes created in Autodesk Inventor software and AutoCAD-based applications, including detailed manufacturing design data such as bill of materials information and animated assembly instructions.

Protect Your Intellectual Property

Protect your intellectual property by sharing designs as DWF files, which provide complete accuracy and fidelity with password protection, encryption, and digital rights management capabilities.

Design Review shows you how to plot to DWF using the Compare tool, and publish all files into one repository so you can keep the review process in one compressed file.

3D models can make use of the walkthrough tool for architectural models, and the ability to measure in the 3D space. With Design Review, you can markup the model and get the information back to the designer.

If the 2D sheet is built off the 3D model, when you change the 3D model it will automatically be updated in the 2D sheet.

Using the DWF Writer technology (also a free download), you can take Word documents, PDF files, and many other types of drawing files, quickly convert those to a DWF and pull them right into the existing repository. You can publish a DWF file or DWFX, also open Excel and print it out. DWF Writer will create a DWF which is easier than clicking and dragging it right into Design Review.

The Find command gives you a list, tells you which sheet you are on and gives you a link to find the result you’re looking for. It will find object properties, and data in the model markups and any text in the files.

After you’ve made markups, you can go back into your design program such as AutoCAD, and load the markup set from Design Review. It can show all the sheets in your DWF file or just the markup ones. The designer can see all markups and changes he has to make and walk through and change them. They contain all the status data, which you can change, then you can publish right back out. The Compare tool allows you to see what has been updated since the last version. This tool saves a lot of time in change orders.

The publishing from Revit is slightly different although on the Design Review end, you won’t see a difference. On the main published menu, you have options for 2D sheets and 3D models and you must publish 3D models separately from 2D sheets. The 3D models can be merged with 2D sheets in one DWF repository. The XPS Viewer doesn’t support 3D, so if you open the repository in Microsoft, it won’t show the 3D model. DWF Writer is a free download available from the website, which enables you to print from DWF, Word or anywhere that you can print from.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.


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