Autodesk Revit Live (formerly Autodesk LIVE), a new interactive cloud-based visualization service which offers Revit AEC users the ability to transform their designs into fully-interactive 3D models, was launched in July 2016. The service draws viewers into the story of an architectural design much like a video game.
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Carl Storms, Senior Applications Expert, for Rand IMAGINiT and Matt Mason, director of Software Development, for Rand IMAGINiT spoke with AECCafe at Autodesk University in November 2016 about the direction of the AEC industry. Rand IMAGINiT is a consulting and software development firm and Autodesk Partner. Carl Storms is “out in the trenches,” working with real world problems in AEC while Matt Mason is behind the scenes in the software development department, realizing the solutions to those challenges.
When asked about popular products and trends in AEC, Storm said, “Dynamo and visual programming are still a big thing. It’s been around a couple of years and now people more comfortable with it. Autodesk’s latest release of Dynamo Player is for people who are maybe not well versed in technology. They can just hit a button and play something. It’s like a playlist, you can pick a track you want to play. It accesses the information inside of your Revit model. It will, for example, have your text go from lower case to upper case with just the click of a button. It really gives people the benefit of using the technology without spending a lot of time learning the programming.”
According to Matt Mason, “Dynamo is still used by the power users, but to make it available to the rest of the people in the firm it needs to be more approachable. It’s been a challenge historically because you had to open the power users’ big complicated graph and understand it. From a usability standpoint, for the other 95% who aren’t at the level of doing Dynamo, it really helps democratize and leverage the Dynamo concept. The players can take advantage of the power users’ skills and have pretty much on-demand access.”
“Another big thing is augmented and virtual realities,” said Storms. “It’s now in more client and consumer based products. You have things as simple as Google Cardboard where you spend $12 to get the little lens and use your own smartphone, to high end devices, but they all allow you to immerse yourself in the data. Whether it’s a virtual reality type of device where you get immersed in the world of your model, you can walk around in your model and see what’s going on. Or you bring the reality into your reality so you can still see people and have conversations. You can see your interaction. People have been talking about it and have lots of thoughts and ideas for using it, and it will become more mainstream.”
AEC technology company spokespeople weigh in on what their predictions are for 2017, with their thoughts on “going digital,” virtual and augmented reality, smart cities, “assembled architecture,” drones, self-driving cars, big data and much more.
Stay tuned for some very insightful comments on the state of industry going forward this year.
“A smart city is a visionary statement for urban development that aims to converge information technology, operational technology, and engineering technology to better manage a city’s assets, and ultimately improve the quality of life for all. Technology is the enabler for smart cities around the globe, spanning mega projects to smaller scale initiatives that focus on streamlining processes, realizing efficiency gains, and improving services to its citizens. To realize the potential of a smart city, a concerted focus is being placed on a digital strategy that will enable comprehensive project delivery and enhanced asset performance for the supply chain and asset owners that build, construct, and operate and maintain infrastructure.” — Aidan Mercer, Industry Marketing Director, Government, Bentley Systems
In an AECCafe Voice interview with Paul Burden of ASCENT Center for Technical Knowledge, the courseware segment of Rand Worldwide, he spoke of the trends he saw in the provision of technical training for their customers.
Most of what AEC professionals need and want is how to get their designs expressed, realized and built efficiently, accurately, quickly and on budget. The solutions to these challenges can be provided with a mix of software, cloud and gadgetry, much of which you will find here.
The Autodesk University 2016 keynote kicked off this Tuesday morning at the Venetian Congress Center, Las Vegas, with some rousing state-of-the-art rock and roll, followed by an introduction by Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski.
An ongoing topic in the AEC industry for over a year now has been the issue of Autodesk’s moving its customer base to a subscription only program. While Autodesk has given customers a lot of time to make this transition, nevertheless, the Autodesk Subscription Program means the end of the perpetual license program. The Autodesk Subscription Program is heralded by the company as the best thing for customers of Autodesk products and they have the recent earnings to prove it. In Q1 of this year, they were up 132,000 to 2.71 million.
A year ago when Autodesk announced it was discontinuing perpetual software licenses for desktop standalone desktop products, many people were outraged and said they would continue to use their perpetual licenses but would not upgrade to the newly announced subscription-only model. Many users said that the cost of the subscription model would ultimately cost them more money than to have the license (licenses aren’t owned).
Trimble and Autodesk, Inc. entered into an interoperability agreement to improve current data exchanges, aimed at saving customers’ time and reducing project costs typically associated with workflow inefficiency across different suppliers’ technologies. This will benefit architects, engineers and contractors, and importantly, project owners by enabling more freedom to optimize technology workflows needed to meet the complex requirements of today’s construction projects.
At the AIA Convention 2016 held in Philadelphia last week, the Exhibit Hall showcased software, hardware and all types of building materials.
Emphasis for AEC technology this year is on reality capture or modeling, building information modeling, zero carbon energy initiatives, conceptual modeling and the inclusion of metadata in projects.