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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, and Upcoming Events.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
2010 Family of Products from Autodesk
By Susan Smith
Introduced in a recent webcast was the AutoCAD 2010 family of products from Autodesk. The following are new features of AutoCAD 2010:
Free-form design - This feature allows users to design "almost any form imaginable," according to press materials.
[ Click to Enlarge ]
Users now have the power to design ideas in almost any form imaginable. Simply push/ pull faces, edges, and vertices to model complex shapes, add smooth surfaces, and much more.
- Enhanced PDF Support - PDF Import and Underlay plus enhanced publishing features have been added.
- Parametric modeling capabilities which, used in tandem with drafting, keep information parallel and are used as a data aggregation tool.
- 3D Printing capabilities make it possible for users to produce physical 3D models and prototypes by connecting to 3D printing services or personal 3D printers, much as they would with paper printing.
- Dynamic blocks make it possible for users to block author and edit, display action objects and test blocks while leaving the block editor open.
- New DWG File Format that includes a SaveAs Command to use to access DWG files created in older formats.
- Design innovation
- Sustainable design
- Usability with common look and feel
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Parametric drawing keeps everything aligned automatically, saving time and energy for more important challenges – by defining persistent relationships between objects, parallel lines remain parallel and concentric circles remain centered, all automatically.
Comparing AutoCAD Architecture 2010 with Revit Architecture 2010, technical marketing manager Kelcey Lemon said that while AutoCAD Architecture is geared toward the architect designing via drafting, Revit Architecture is a building information modeling (BIM) solution that allows an architect to better predict how a building will perform. For those architects interested in transitioning to Revit Architecture from AutoCAD Architecture, Autodesk has an AutoCAD Architecture bundle that allows customers currently using Architecture to transition to BIM via Revit Architecture.
Although what a user can bring over from an AutoCAD or AutoCAD Architecture design is limited to flat 2D DWG files, Lemon said that design teams can work together using DWG, as well as gbXML for import into products such as Green Building Studio and Ecotect for sustainable design analysis. There is also a new Autodesk exchange file format (ADSK) that has different extensions that will allow users to move an Inventor file into Revit Architecture. For example, if a user had used Inventor to design furniture, she/he could import that file into Revit Architecture to do furniture layout. This functionality also works in other AutoCAD based products.
In Revit Architecture 2010, new features include: a new streamlined user interface that is more intuitive and task oriented, a quick access toolbar above the ribbon, and users can easily add other commands to the list, plus the implementation of tooltips. The new mapping feature ribbon with the new interface is said to be easy to use in the 3D space. Revit Architecture has a pattern tool that can be used at the schematic level to add elements which will automatically map to the pattern surface without requiring scripting. New form making tools and automatic (parametric) dimensions can be used to drive the shape of the form, and parameters ensure that the form stays within the structure of the design intent while the form is being manipulated.
Productivity enhancements to AutoCAD Architecture include: a new interface and new toolbar, implementation of Toolkit, Tooltips and improved clean up capability.
3ds Max Design or 3ds Max can be used to accomplish accurate lighting analysis. This type of analysis is now being run in the early stages of the design process. With 3ds Max Design the results of light analysis can be placed over a rendered image that shows intensity. With layer control, users can determine whether or not a solution is working or not. In a BIM, this information can be saved for future analysis. Users can take designs from any one of these design products and bring it into Max for rendering and analysis. Autodesk has the SDX format for exchanging files between 3ds Max and Revit which will preserve information such as materials and rendering appearances.
Technical marketing manager Scott Hammond spoke on Autodesk Revit Structure 2010. Revit Structure 2010 brought in some analysis capabilities from Autodesk’s structural analysis program, Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional. This product is derived from the acquisition of Robobat, specifically designed for analysis and design of structures. Another product derived from Robobat is AutoCAD Structural Detailing. The combination of Revit Structure, Robot Structural Analysis Professional for analysis and design and AutoCAD Structural Detailing provides a package to complete the entire BIM workflow for structural engineering, from modeling, coordination, construction documentation analysis and design and fabrication drawings.
One of the biggest enhancements inside Revit Structure 2010 is the ability to create blended columns, not only vertical columns but ones at an angle.
Other notable enhancements are improved interoperability and workflow with BIM solutions.
Revit MEP 2010
Portfolio Technical marketing manager Armundo Darling outlined the new MEP Engineering solutions which consist of two solutions – AutoCAD MEP standalone and AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite 2010, which has a comprehensive engineering design solution for the mechanical, electrical, plumbing engineers, designers and drafters. This solution includes AutoCAD MEP 2010 software which is a more robust version of AutoCAD for MEP designers and drafters who work on construction documentation.
The Suite includes Autodesk Revit MEP software which provides BIM for sustainable building design and analysis. Advantages to the suite is it allows users to enhance competitive advantage while allowing them to move to BIM at their own pace while maintaining productivity and past investments made on AutoCAD software. They can model in energy analysis in Revit MEP while at the same time create constructing documents in AutoCAD MEP.
Two highlights of the Revit MEP release are more robust native heating and cooling loads and enhanced gbXML data exchange between Revit design models and building performance analysis applications. More information can be added into those spaces to make more accurate calculations, so engineers can understand peak energy usage for the building. Engineers can then use that information downstream in the design process. This helps them select their equipment, and also reduces energy output for that building. Engineers can now size ductwork and pipes based on calculation results received from analysis. The new gbXML export, that is in both Revit MEP and AutoCAD MEP allows users to leverage third party analysis programs such as Green Building Studio and Ecotect for more robust thermal energy analysis, CFDs and other energy analyses are required throughout the building systems.
With Revit MEP, two trends intersect: climate change and the global economic slowdown. Darling noted that goals are already in place around energy efficiency and carbon reduction. The Energy Independent and Security Act requires that all new and renovated buildings use 55% less fossil fuels and must be carbon neutral by 2030. Some version of the President’s Stimulus Plan is expected to include some version of this. California is requiring net zero energy for all new residential buildings by 2030 and all new commercial buildings by 2030. The 2010 release of Revit MEP will address these opportunities head-on.
Autodesk NavisWorks Manage 2010 provides the ability to generate a virtual model that is almost exactly the same as a built model. Contractors can see the model come together over time as it simulates the construction process. The product can do class detection by interrogating ductwork and pipe work, looking for clashes.
NavisWorks is said to provide better insight and predictability in construction projects. In a 3D project review, 3D data can be brought together from multiple software products to share and understand documents for design. New with the current release is JT Open Support for manufacturing customers. This enables users to open very large models. New features also include the Steering Wheel and View Cube, making it possible for someone who is not a CAD user to manipulate this information. Another key feature of the release is the Clash Detective that allows interrogation of ductwork and piping and other processes. Also 4D technology in the form of project scheduling can be integrated with the 3D model.
In the area of transportation, Civil 3D 2010 sports new user interface, better organization and easier access to tools and commands. The ribbon interface which is resident in all the Autodesk products now is part of this product as well. According to the Department of Transportation, roadway rehabilitation accounts for over 50% of money spent on transportation projects. Typically, there are 33 steps in the workflow of laying out the geometry for a road and modeling each individual region in 3D. Autodesk claims that these 33 steps can be reduced to 3 steps by using Civil 3D 2010. Also Revit Structure 2010 includes a new Bridge Modeling extension that allows the creation of 3D parametric bridge structures.
Alan Saunders makes the case that transportation is a BIM project because BIM is “coordinated consistent information about discreet information.” The types of problems they are trying to solve in a BIM are similar to those of transpiration engineers. Engineers can use Civil 3D in a BIM environment to connect bridges or interchanges to a highway network, and that is where infrastructure modeling comes in.
In conclusion, integrated project delivery in its evolutionary role ties everything together, in the hopes of changing the relationship between owners and other stakeholders in the building process. The idea is that architects, engineers and constructors can all be on the same page with the same information regardless of their role, with one version of the truth on the project. Autodesk sees BIM as spearheading this process.
Other products in the AutoCAD lineup include: AutoCAD Electrical 2010, AutoCAD Map 2010, AutoCAD Mechanical 2010, AutoCAD P&ID 2010 and the free AutoCAD Design Review 2010 software.
For a full report on the new Autodesk geospatial products see GISWeekly February 19, 2009
For more on Energy and Building Performance Tools, see AECWeekly, February 9, 2009
Top News of the Week
McGraw-Hill Construction, part of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), announced an alliance with Meridian Systems, the market share leader for construction project management software, that will provide more streamlined tools for managing digital program and project controls, project documents, and construction information.
Lack of interoperability is estimated to cost the U.S. construction industry $15.8 billion every year; thus, getting systems to work together is a top priority for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms and owners. McGraw-Hill Construction and Meridian are determined to solve interoperability issues faced by AEC clients, starting with connecting their software solutions.
Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances
Metso Automation has signed an agreement with Bricsys NV for integrating Bricscad V9 into Metso's software applications. The software controls industrial processes and power plants. Metso Automation supplies process automation for the pulp and paper industry globally, and serves customers in the energy, power, and process industries.
ECAD, LLC, an engineering consulting company located in Columbus, Ohio, is now offering on-site training courses and production work for AutoCAD and Civil 3D to engineering firms in the Mid-West.
ECAD, LLC has partnered with Wally-CAD, a local Civil Engineering services provider, to offer firms field experience training, production work, and consulting to their design teams on-site and at their convenience. Wally-CAD specializes in AutoCAD and Civil 3D. Flexible schedule hours and training is available along with follow-up support.
ZweigWhite's just-released 2009 AEC Industry Outlook: Strategy and Insight for Design & Construction Firms reveals a shake-up in the markets that firm leaders in the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industries expect to be most promising. While health care still holds the top spot, despite the impact that financial markets have had on project funding, three of last year's top five ranked markets (higher education, K-12 schools, and the office market) did not even make the list in 2009. Instead, industry leaders have tapped the municipal government, transportation, energy/power and green building markets to round out the top five most promising markets in 2009.
Function:, an integrated marketing agency that specializes in reaching the building, architecture and design community, hosted its quarterly Construct Knowledge Series session and found that architects and industry experts think green building is moving beyond individual products and into an integrated design approach with the objective of achieving very clear environmental goals. The roundtable featured a diverse group of professionals with backgrounds in architecture, design, engineering and contracting. Discussion topics ranged from sustainable building practices, industry trends and challenges, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and useful technologies, to the Architecture 2030 challenge and more.
Intergraph has been ranked the No. 1 overall worldwide leader in the engineering design 3D software and Process Engineering Tools (PET) market according to the just-released PET Worldwide Outlook Market Analysis and Forecast through 2013 by the ARC Advisory Group.
Designing a 3D heart sculpture, representative of America's love for Times Square, was no simple task, so when New York firm Gage/Clemenceau Architects was presented with the opportunity, they turned to 3D software from Autodesk, Inc. AutoCAD software, the world's leading design and documentation platform, and Autodesk Maya software served as the platform to design and construct the ten foot heart, which weighs more than two tons and is sheathed in highly reflective, molded and laser cut metal sheeting. The metallic surface of the heart reflects the surrounding lights of Times Square, and is lit from inside with highly advanced, sustainable LED lighting.
Graphisoft sponsored “Chinese Educational Partners Conference on 3D Virtual Building Design and ArchiCAD.” The event brought together teachers and professors of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) from 19 Chinese universities and institutions. They were presented an introduction to 3D architectural design using ArchiCAD’s functions and workflow.
Vela Systems, developer of mobile field software for the AECO industry, announced that Standard Supplies, provider of construction materials and structural steel fabrication to professional contractors, will use Vela's Materials Tracker software with Tekla Structures' building information modeling (BIM) solution to do radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging of fabricated steel.
Internationally acclaimed architect and designer David Rockwell, who was selected by Academy Awards producers Laurence Mark and Bill Condon to design the sets for this year's Oscar telecast, is now revealing select design elements of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, airing February 22, 2009 at 8:00pm EST on ABC. The first architect to design the sets, he took his creative cue from the Kodak Theatre, which he also designed, to craft an immersive environment evocative of an intimate club.
Avatech Solutions, Inc. announced the appointment of Aris Melissaratos to serve as an independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors, effective February 11, 2009. Avatech’s Board of Directors has nine members, eight of which are independent, including Melissaratos.
COADE announced that Sonia Delgadillo has joined the design and engineering software company as Senior Applications Specialist for COADE's Plant Design Solutions, with special focus on Latin America, Spain and Portugal. In this position she will provide technical and sales instruction and support for the company’s dealer channel, with special responsibility for the COADE CADWorx Plant Design Suite of products.
Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Ltd., a leading provider of integrated building analysis software, announces the promotion of Kevin Settlemyre to President of IES North America. As the demand for sustainable building design analysis tools and sustainability consulting increases in North America, IES promoted Kevin and hired additional staff to support this growing market. Kevin will further reinforce IES’ software suites and consulting services as the go-to option for energy and performance analysis for sustainable building design in the North America.
COADE announced its 2009 training schedule for PVElite, the company’s popular software for pressure vessel and heat exchanger analysis and design, with the first scheduled for March 2-4 in Houston, Texas. These COADE-approved courses, which qualify the attendee for Continuing Education units, combine technical knowledge with practical training and cover case studies on how to solve real-world problems, including new features in the latest edition, PVElite 2009. PVElite courses are designed for the engineer or designer involved in the initial design, fabrication or re-rating of horizontal or vertical pressure vessels, tall towers or heat exchangers.
Three-day classes on PVElite are scheduled for March 2-4 and October 5-7, 2009, in COADE’s state-of-the-art training facility in Houston, Texas. Course information is at the COADE Training website, and the registration form is here.
Intergraph is pleased to offer process, power, and marine customers, more hands-on training sessions than ever before at our Intergraph 2009 annual users’ conference. The conference will be held in Washington, D.C., at the Gaylord National, June 15-18.
In our commitment to ensure you gain the maximum value from your Intergraph 2009 conference experience, we’ve designed our training sessions to help you reap the most benefit from the Intergraph solutions you already own, as well as increase your productivity and skill set. You’ll receive expert training from our talented and experienced team of instructors in a collaborative, interactive environment.
All sessions are scheduled for Sunday, June 14, or Monday, June 15. For session times, duration, fees, descriptions, and prerequisites, please visit Intergraph 2009 training
ArchVision is celebrating its fourth program year with the VisMasters Design Modeling & Visualization Conference. As part of the celebration, ArchVision has launched a call for submission for two of its supported platforms, Bentley MicroStation and Autodesk Revit. Images submitted between February 16 – March 18, 2009 will be eligible to win a free 2009 VisMasters Design Modeling and Conference Pass (VM DMVC). Winners will be recognized in an upcoming ArchVision newsletter.
The VisMasters DMVC will be held at the Marriott San Francisco, across from the Moscone Convention Center, April 28, 2009. For more information on this event visit the website
Océ’s Wide Format Printing Systems division will begin accepting applications for its second annual “Green Reprographer of the Year” award. Applicants will be asked to submit, in writing, their achievements in the area of green business practices and explain how these efforts have assisted their customers to meet their own sustainability goals. The winning reprographer will be announced on April 30, 2009.
Print-for-Pay reprographers can view criteria and submit applications through March 27, 2009 via an online application form, which can be downloaded by visiting
Green Repro Award site.
Deltek, Inc. announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2008. Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $71.7 million, compared to $77.0 million in the prior year period. License revenue for Q4 was $19.8 million, compared to $27.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. See press release
Avatech Solutions, Inc. announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2008. See press release
Beck Technology released DProfiler with RSMeans 2009 Release 1.0. The latest release of DProfiler, the world’s first and only macro BIM application, continues Beck Technology’s focus on ease of use and rapid deployment of the technology.
This latest release also introduces a new Dynamic Help System, which includes context specific help and show-me videos that enable new users to become productive in less time.
Kalexo announced the general availability of Kalexo Teamwork, the first Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Platform for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industries.
Integrated project delivery is a deeply collaborative process leveraging the talents and insights of all participants in design and construction through the best collaboration technologies. "At a practical level, most firms are challenged to integrate best-of-breed tools to enable the Integrated Practice, and it is an expensive proposition," says Kalexo CEO Dr. Hannes Marais. "Kalexo's Integrated Project Delivery Platform seamlessly combines advanced task management with communication tools such as file sharing, online meetings and video chat for a complete software-as-a-service solution."
Cadac Organice BV announced the release of Organice Publish 2008 R2. This new release of Organice Publish brings a number of enhancements including an administration site with an overview of all jobs.
SYCODE launched TerrainCAD for Bricscad, a terrain modeling plug-in for Bricscad.
TerrainCAD for Bricscad can read a set of points from a text file and create point objects in a Bricscad drawing. It can then triangulate these points using a fast and robust Delaunay Triangulation Algorithm to arrive at a superior terrain mesh. The plug-in even triangulates the area between contours and gives the user the freedom to add breaklines in order to control the topology of the resulting terrain mesh.
SYCODE launched Point Cloud for Bricscad, a reverse engineering plug-in for Bricscad.
Using a digitizer or a 3D scanner a Bricscad user can scan a physical part and record points on its surface to arrive at a point cloud. Thereafter, Point Cloud for Bricscad can be used to drape a surface along a particular direction or wrap a mesh all around the point cloud to create a watertight model. While wrapping a mesh around a point cloud, the plug-in treats concave and convex meshes differently, thereby giving the user a higher degree of control over the final surface mesh. This plug-in allows Bricscad to be employed in a manner way different than what it was originally designed for.
Graphisoft introduced an interactive Virtual Building Explorer solution for ArchiCAD 12. The Graphisoft Virtual Building Explorer (VBE) allows architects to present their virtual building projects in a revolutionary new way. It combines the fun and easy navigation of a first-person video-game with the power of intelligent virtual building models to let users easily share designs with colleagues and partners.
Ideate, Inc, Autodesk Value Added Reseller, has expanded its offerings of building information modeling (BIM) solutions to include SmartBIM LibraryTM 3.0 from Reed Construction Data.
Ideate, Inc., announced it is now authorized to sell Z Corporation 3D printers. Z Corporation is a leading manufacturer of 3D high-definition printing and scanning hardware that produces full color building models from digital data. Ideate is convinced that Z Corporation. 3D printing technology is now essential for its architectural and GIS clients who want to produce accurate 3D models within a few short hours instead of days.
LightWork Design announced the release of its first Service Pack for LightWorks 7.9.
The Service Pack is available as a download for both Windows and Mac platforms from the LightWorks Support site at the website support with other supported platforms available on demand.
Dexter + Chaney will exhibit new features and modules in its Spectrum(R) Construction Software at AGC CONSTRUCTOR Expo 2009 March 4-6 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Around the Web
Frank Gehry’s Software Keeps Buildings on Budget ,Alec Applebaum, February 11, 2009 The New York Times (registration required)
An $80 Billion Start February 17, 2009, Editorial, The New York Times (registration required) - Wrapped inside the economic stimulus package is about $80 billion in spending, loan guarantees and tax incentives aimed at promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, higher-mileage cars and coal that is truly clean. As a stand-alone measure, these investments would amount to the biggest energy bill in history.
|Date:||February 23 - 25, 2009|
Houston, TX USA
Owner/Operators in Chemicals/Petrochemicals, Energy/Power, Oil & Gas and Shipbuilding industries rely on the world’s leading plant asset lifecycle management event for unmatched knowledge sharing. The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of CIOs, CTOs, CSOs and other senior engineering, operations, maintenance and IT leaders. If it affects the plant industries, it is covered at daratechPLANT. Gain unparalleled strategic insights. Discover best-of-breed solutions to maximize ROI in an ever resource constrained world. Get a glimpse into the future from the people shaping it. Connect with your peers at top-caliber receptions.
|Revit Architecture Test Drive|
|Date:||February 26 - April 10, 2009|
See how Revit® Architecture handles at our complimentary test drive, where you will learn to work naturally, design freely, and deliver projects efficiently.
|Carlson PointCloud to be Project Ready|
|Date:||February 26, 2009|
Learn how to go from field scan to finished plat as you tour the features of Carlson PointCloud with Jim Reinbold, regional sales director for Carlson. You'll see how large data sets can be managed, viewed and used as the basis for design data. Plus you'll see how to create TIN surfaces, 3D views, profiles and calculate volumes. If you have been wanting a tool to use when working with scanned data, DEM files, or LIDAR, then you should attend this Carlson webinar.
|AGC's 90th Annual Convention|
|Date:||March 4 - 7, 2009|
|Place:||San Diego, CA USA|
AGC's vision is to promote a better industry for the professionals who build America's future.AGC serves our nation's construction professionals by promoting the skill, integrity and responsibility of those who build America.
|Managing Multi-Discipline Projects with Revit|
|Date:||March 6 - 26, 2009|
Join us at our complimentary seminar to learn how managing multi-discipline projects with Revit® can help you streamline coordination across disciplines and give you more accurate construction documents. We’ll also cover best practices for creating workflows with multiple design partners.
|AutoCAD Civil 3D and Roadway Design – Transportation for a New Age|
|Date:||March 6 - April 3, 2009|
Come to your local Avatech office to explore the Autodesk solutions for transportation.
|World of Asphalt 2009 Show and Conference|
|Date:||March 9 - 12, 2009|
|Place:||Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL USA
World of Asphalt features two prestigious educational conferences, the Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) Asphalt Pavement Conference and the People, Plants and Paving Training Program, in addition to extensive exhibits of the latest innovations and technologies in asphalt-related equipment, products and services.
|WinEst User Conference 2009|
|Date:||March 16 - 18, 2009|
|Place:||Seattle, WA USA|
WinEst has a service department that is second to none. Our Professional Services Group is training and implementing WinEst worldwide, and receives the highest praise from our clients. At WinEst, it is important to us that our clients know and understand our powerful software.
|AutoCAD Map 3D|
|Date:||March 17 - 19, 2009|
|Place:||Seiler Instrument Franklin (Milwaukee) Office
9755 Airways Court, Franklin, WI 53132 USA
This course is designed to enable new users to learn in-depth features and functions of AutoCAD Map 3D software and how to create, mange and analyze mapping data.
|Seiler Technology Conference|
|Date:||March 19, 2009|
|Place:||Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center
6200 Martway, Mission, KS 66202 USA
Seiler invites you to jump ahead of your competition and experience a jam packed day filled with various educational seminars where we will address your workflows and business challenges and their “Solutions” for your Industry.