February 28, 2005
A Vision of Mobile CAD
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on AECcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
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 AECCafe.com. 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!


Chris Bradshaw, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Division, reported that this quarter Autodesk has “Over 1.2 billion in revenue for the entire company, so it's the first time Autodesk has been over $1 billion. In ISD you can see very impressive growth numbers, we're seeing fantastic growth in our new seats (as are other divisions) for both Map as well as our Civil products, including Civil 3D which is exceeding our expectations with just ¼ of sales under our belt.”


    ISD full-year revenue is up 22%
  • Map 3D increased new seat revenue 20% from Q3
  • Civil 3D launched to enthusiastic reception
  • Civil Sales in China Grew 38% y/y vs. FY '04

  • § 448 new seats of Civil 3D sold

    § Second most of any country after U.S.
    From the
    : “Fourth quarter net income increased to $66 million on a GAAP basis, compared to $58 million in the prior year. GAAP EPS was $0.26 per diluted share compared to $0.24 in the prior year. Fourth quarter GAAP net income included a $12 million pre-tax restructuring charge. In the fourth quarter of the prior year, GAAP net income included a tax benefit of $7 million and a $3 million pre-tax restructuring charge. Excluding these items, pro-forma net income for the fourth quarter was $75 million, compared to $53 million in the prior year. Pro-forma EPS per diluted share was
    $0.30 in the fourth quarter, and $0.22 in the fourth quarter of the prior year.”


    "Autodesk executed flawlessly again this quarter," said Carol Bartz, Autodesk chairman and CEO. "We had an outstanding year, exceeding all of our financial projections. Our results demonstrate that our strategies are working, our product portfolio is strong, and our customers are satisfied."


    “Autodesk's performance was driven by strong growth in revenues from new seats and subscriptions, increasing penetration of its 3D products, and continued improvement in productivity and efficiency.”


    DWF and JT


    I spoke with Amar Hanspal this week about the recent strategic alliance between Autodesk and UGS to jointly create interoperability between UGS' JT and Autodesk's DWF (Design Web Format), two open and very widely used formats for sharing published information. Although UGS develops PLM solutions for the manufacturing industry, it's interesting to note the alliance in the context of AEC because as Hanspal puts it, “we see DWF as a platform for sharing information. We are looking for partners that will extend DWF - our partnership with UGS is just an extension of that idea. Likewise we are looking for partners in GIS and building and other verticals to help us solve other tasks.”


    As part of the alliance, Autodesk will become a member of UGS' JT Open Program, a global initiative to support JT, while UGS will join the Autodesk Developer Network and become a DWF Developer partner.


    A couple of years ago Autodesk worked with UGS when they were part of EDS and had an agreement with them on exchanging geometry, according to Hanspal. Over the years, they've been investing in JT and Autodesk invested in DWF, because in each case it became evident that geometry doesn't work for easy lightweight consumption of information down the supply chain. “We ended up with these lightweight published formats at the same customer site. The customer getting both a JT and a DWF file would say, “I wish I just had one way to view both things!”


    “Currently our plan is to read each other's file format,” said Anspal. “Autodesk's applications will read JT and UGS's application will read DWF, and view, mark them up, and use them in their PLM applications.


    What about the next releases of Autodesk Inventor and UGS' product? Will UGS incorporate DWF into their PLM product suite and Autodesk incorporate JT into Inventor? Anspal said that UGS has a viewer, that will likely read DWF. “We will evaluate on our side whether our free viewer will read JT. Inventor is definitely targeted to read JT.”


    DWF and JT are “reasonably similar,” but JT has a couple of capabilities such as lightweight boundary representation for doing some surface calculations, that DWF does not have. It is more manufacturing specific, whereas DWF is more multi-purpose and spans many verticals and disciplines, as many as Autodesk offers in the way of solutions. “Both are container formats so they can contain multiple streams of information. They're both 3D and 2D, they both have relationships with metadata or rich data,” explained Hanspal.


    Interoperability efforts will “tap UGS' PLM XML schema, will not disrupt existing users' investment in design data. To that end, UGS will support the exchange of DWF format in all its PLM applications by expanding upon JT and PLM XML. In a like manner, Autodesk will support the exchange of JT in its applications with a complementary expansion of DWF-based tools,” according to the press release.



    Appointments


    Computer Associates International, Inc. announced that Eric-yves Mahe has been named vice president, CA Asia North Operations, effective immediately. In his new role, Eric will be responsible for CA's operations in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and report directly to John Ruthven, senior vice president and general manager, CA Asia Pacific operations, based in Beijing, China.



    Announcements


    NavisWorks Ltd., developers of interactive viewing technology and the leading 3D computer aided design review solution announced the successful inclusion of extensive laser scan file format support in NavisWorks JetStream. The introduction of file readers for data from multiple laser scanner manufacturers in the latest NavisWorks release enables the 3D virtual world to be combined seamlessly with an existing 3D structure to deliver a host of benefits and opportunities.


    Author Donald Totter will demonstrate DataCAD projects from his book, Architectural Design Presentations Using DataCAD, at the 93rd ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) Annual Meeting. Mr. Totter will be showcasing his newest textbook in the Tech Ed Concepts (TEC) booth at the ACSA Annual Meeting; Intercontinental Hotel, Chicago, IL; March 3-6, 2005.


    Graphisoft, Inc. has kicked off its nationwide seminar series aimed at educating the architecture community on the benefits of ArchiCAD's design/modeling capabilities. Graphisoft's ArchiCAD has been developed, from its inception, based on the principles of Building Information Modeling -- what Graphisoft still prefers to refer to as "Virtual Building(TM) modeling." The seminars will be held February 23 through March 23. To register for a seminar please visit



    New Products


    PLP Digital Systems, digital reprographics solutions provider, announced the release of PlotWorks version 5.5.1. The latest generation of PLP's reprographics software includes new features that improve performance, output quality and interoperability - including native support for the DWF file format from Autodesk, Inc. The Autodesk DWF file format is the standard in the engineering and design industry for sharing complex design data.


    BOXX Technologies introduces the BOXX 4300 series of workstations featuring the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor Extreme Edition with HT technology and EM64T 64-bit memory extensions.


    AutoDWG recently released a new product FlashDWG; it is a DWG to Flash Converter. By converting dwg to flash, you can share and publish AutoCAD DWG files on the web. FlashDWG is a DWG Viewer without need of a DWG Viewer; no additional programs or plug-ins are necessary. The following is two samples file created by FlashDWG:




    NewTek, Inc. announced the release of the seventh edition of NewTek's free Texture Collection. As with previous editions, this new set includes fifty high-resolution textures available for free download at NewTek.com. The total number of free textures available from NewTek is now at 350. The seventh edition of the texture collection contains images in the categories Asphalt, Landscape, Metal, Rocks, and Soil. As with the preceding sixth set, most images in this latest set are at even higher pixel resolutions than NewTek's first five sets. NewTek's Texture Collection, Seventh Edition, is available for free download at:


    LightWork Design announced the release of LightWorks 7.5. This newest release builds upon the product's success within the industry by adding some significant new features, including LightWorks Real-time, radiosity, new GUI components, new shaders in the Architectural and Industrial toolboxes, and cross-platform plug-in shaders.


    You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.


    To read more news, click here.



    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


    Reviews:
    Review Article
    • October 09, 2008
      Reviewed by 'Dmitry Shkipin'
      As a field measuring professional and a General Partner at Prime Edge As-Built Services (http://www.primeedge.com) use of CAD applications such as AutoCAD has been a given for many years. With the technology advances in handheld devices, PowerCAD and PocketCAD both came to light, a very good direction for ever-mobile construction industry. In my experience, this Laser and Mobile CAD technology is good combination for certain tasks, but not all by far. When completing asbuilt verification process different information needs to be verified such as wall lengths, reflected ceilings plan layouts, electrical outlet locations – from entire sets of construction drawings to simple floor plans. When existing CAD files are available for use, PowerCAD or PocketCAD combined with laser technology allows direct and, more importantly, instant understanding of the space and project in general. However, in my own experience, working with such small device to create drawings from scratch is simply an effective approach. After numerous attempts our company found it to be more effective in using a somewhat a “hybrid” combination of using a link between laser equipment and a handheld device while sketching. Data is collected into a database and later gets transferred into desktop CAD application. In a nutshell, technology is still new and definitely has a long future ahead of itself. Feel free to play with it; I think both PowerCAD and PocketCAD will give you a free trial. These two packages, by the way, are far more advanced then any others you may find at this time.
      Dmitry Shkipin, Associate AIA
      Prime Edge As-Built Services
      1684 Decoto Rd., Unit 157
      Union City CA, 94587
      (510) 499-4148 Tel.
      (510) 794-4178 Fax
      www.PrimeEdge.com
      www.AsbuiltEdge.com

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