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Posts Tagged ‘Autodesk’

Bridging the Gap Between Reality Capture and Digital Construction

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

The process of creating useful 3D mesh models from point clouds and as-built images is one that can be challenging for software but is in high demand in the AEC industry. Pointfuse is a construction software solution that creates intelligent, manageable 3D mesh models with separable objects based on as-built images and point clouds. Customers around the world use it to help in clash detection, scheduling, verification, and other construction processes that benefit from reality capture.

 

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Document Management Meets Geo-Location, Real-Time MarkUp and Online Calculators

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Searching, finding, collaboration and versioning of documents is a constant challenge for AEC organizations. How to organize and visualize documents and data has resulted in the development of some interesting engineering document management solutions. The following three document management solutions take a different approach to managing, visualizing and collaborating with AEC documents and data that further users’ ability to organize projects digitally.

Bluebeam, Inc., of Pasadena, California, part of the Nemetschek Group, announced recently that it has substantially acquired all of the assets of privately held Project Atlas, LLC.

Construction industry veterans Todd Wynne and Joe Williams founded Project Atlas in 2017. They created a digital mapping engine that uses geo-location instead of traditional folder structures to organize and visualize 2D plans and construction data. According to company materials, this location-based orientation allows design and construction professionals to create and search a seamless digital map of their project that contains plans, people, material, site photos and drone imagery, all within highly detailed, zoomable layers.

“Bluebeam was founded on the idea that powerful AEC solutions should also be easy to use, capable of delivering the right information at the right time while improving the ability of all project partners to collaborate throughout the lifecycle of an entire project,” says Bluebeam CEO Jon Elliott. “We are incredibly excited to add Project Atlas to our portfolio of solutions to continue delivering on this promise. Project Atlas provides users an entirely new way to visually organize and unify location-based documents and data. This location-based methodology dramatically reduces the time it takes to find critical plans and information, empowering owners, architects, engineers, contractors and specialty contractors to access data in an immediately understandable way that will be especially beneficial in the field.”

Bluebeam looks forward to demonstrating workflows incorporating Project Atlas at the Bluebeam Extreme Conference, taking place 17–19 September in Austin, Texas (USA).

Bluebeam’s markup and collaboration solutions are intuitive to those in the AEC industry who manage and collaborate on projects digitally.

eQuorum’s ImageSite Engineering CAD Drawing Markup Software is a product that provides markup capabilities in real time, so that multiple users can collaborate on drawing files and documents at the same time along with workflows. Videos and photos can be included. Drawings can be redlined and used in the office, field or production site.
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Have a Finger on the Pulse: New System Integration Platform from IMAGINiT

Friday, June 8th, 2018

IMAGINiT Technologies’ new Pulse Platform, available now, is designed to allow engineers and architects to share data between independent software on-premise or cloud products beginning with Autodesk Vault and Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle. Other integrations with other products are forthcoming, according to Matt Mason, software development team manager for IMAGINiT.

“It’s an initial release and a big new area for us,” said Mason. “We’ve always done system integration work, and the work tends to be custom and one-off. This is our attempt to build a platform to make the process of system integration easier, more packaged and less custom.”

Mason adds that previously system integration was primarily 90% custom and required high level software developer or consultant. “We want to see 85% -95% of system integration work as a part of the package. The rest would be what a midlevel consultant could do, set up relationships between systems, map one to the other, etc.”

IMAGINiT Pulse benefits include (according to company materials):

  • Connectors for Autodesk Vault, Autodesk Fusion Lifecycle, Autodesk BIM 360 Operations and BuildingLink and other systems, allow users to automatically flow information from one software program to another. For example, individuals involved in enterprise resource planning and PLM may need to seamlessly transfer certain data in a specific format from Fusion Lifecycle to Vault.
  • Real-time visibility of datathrough an easy to read dashboard, allows users to understand exactly what information is being transferred, monitor each step in the transfer process and ensure the security and consistency of the data between the two systems.
  • Configurability gives users control over information being transferred, the systems it is being transferred between and the format in which it is being transferred – all without needing a dedicated development resource on staff. IMAGINiT technical professionals can assist Pulse users to define what data must move, in what direction, the format, and the reaction it triggers upon arrival at the destination software system.

Mason said that the connectors were built to do the heavy lifting of system integration, for working with specific products and getting data in or out of those products and doing updates.

“What’s left in the middle are workflow, rules and data mapping, and that’s modest, but doesn’t require the same level of development expertise that the actual deep integration to each system takes,” said Mason. “We’re trying to build something where we can have these pre-built connectors that do the hardest part of the work and separate the business logic and business rules into a separate part of the product.”

The first three connectors are built for Autodesk products currently since IMAGINiT’s consulting work largely revolves around those products. The fourth one was a non-Autodesk product called BuildingLink.

“We actually had a chance to build a product that made use of BIM 360 operations product with the BuildingLink product,” said Mason. “We expect to do more connectors over time, building our catalog of connectors. We’re expecting to do Bentley ProjectWise and other common integrations that we’ve done in the past such as Microsoft SharePoint.

People using the connectors need to be familiar with the workflows for the products involved. What is in the middle between the two is defining those workflows and some scripting is necessary, such as Microsoft.net scripting, as one product may refer to a part and another may refer to it as an item, etc.

An example, Mason said, are two Autodesk products that don’t communicate very well together such as Autodesk Vault to Fusion Lifecycle. They each have a separate language for how they describe parts and items and both are heavily customized for each customer to define the pieces of information they have. Someone has to build out the script of how to map data from this side to that side. To date, people have set up custom properties on their systems.

“We’re trying to build the connector out so it is visible to the user but not necessarily end user,” said Mason. “The person responsible for the integration wants to see what’s going on and see how integration flows from one side to the other. When you’re doing each one of these as a custom job, there wasn’t much time for polish. We wanted to invest more in the polish and see information flowing back and forth and have a way to visualize and trace. Since we were building it as a platform we could invest more than we could in a typical one off minimalist consulting project.”

In most cases IMAGINiT’s customers have already had their systems custom built for them. “We’re using the expertise of all the integrations we’ve done over the years and tried to build something so the next year’s integration will be much easier.”

Customers just want integration and want it to work, not cost too much. The Pulse Platform offers them “a nicer system that is less risk and less cost than something more custom, because so much of it is packaged,” said Mason.

Pulse will be separate from ongoing development, support and consulting, with annual use fee, including automatic updates for connectors for each company.

There will be one cost for the platform itself, and if you want two systems to connect, get a connector for each system, as each connector has a different amount of and specific complexity.

 

 

Different Interfaces for Different Folks in TurboCAD 2018

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Robert Berry IMSI Design, spoke with AECCafe Voice about the newly released TurboCAD 2018 line of products, including Pro Platinum, Expert, Deluxe and Designer versions for Windows® desktop PCs.

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New Features of Autodesk’s Civil 3D and InfraWorks

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Autodesk holds some informative webcasts for the civil community entitled “Civil Community Webcasts.” One recent one was entitled “What’s New in Civil 3D and InfraWorks.”

Bay Bridge East Span Seismic Safety Project
To prove the project was viable, the California Department of Transportation shared detailed 3D designs with potential contracting firms.

Eric Chappell, Civil Community Evangelist for Autodesk, hosted this webinar with Dan Philbrick, director of Civil Infrastructure Products, Dave Simeone, Civil 3D project manager, and Sarah Cunningham, InfraWorks product manager.

Chappell recommends the InfraWorks tool for doing preliminary design and decisions. “This year we’re focusing on continuing to drive detailed design in both InfraWorks and the platform for BIM.”

The use of Civil 3D with or without InfraWorks is valuable and both are in the same civil collection.

What’s new in InfraWorks 2018.0

Sarah Cunningham noted that they changed the name of the product and took “360” out of the name.

An InfraWorks Customer Council meets with Autodesk once a month. “They tell us about challenges,” said Cunningham. “They bounce ideas off one another. Many people aren’t sure how to implement InfraWorks yet. This group has been able to talk about how they’re using it. We’re starting to hear some interesting things: 1. Continues to be used for road and highway design 2. CAD managers are hearing from designers that they want more engineering data from the InfraWorks model, increasing in frequency. They want it to be more than a pretty picture in visualization, more toward engineering design. The Corridor project in Norway, winner of the Infrastructure in Excellence Awards 2016, was about planning a corridor and using InfraWorks for large scale planning projects. They want to use InfraWorks for more preliminary design now that planning phase is done.”

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AECCafe Special Coverage: Reality Capture Fast-Tracks Infrastructure Design

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

In recent years we have seen an explosion of the use of reality capture by traditional CAD and building information modeling companies. Its ability to capture existing conditions and create 3D models out of photographs or laser scans, without seams makes it a great fit for the AEC industry. Technologies used include 3D laser scanning, mobile and aerial LiDAR, and photogrammetry. This resulting point data is reconstructed into a 3D model. While accurate, LiDAR only captures 3D data leaving color out. Photogrammetry uses photographs to reconstruct a 3D image.

ReCap Enhancements

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AutoCAD 2019 Comes with Seven New Toolsets

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Autodesk’s AutoCAD 2019 just added seven new specialized toolsets to its subscriber program. These toolsets include specialized features and libraries for mechanical design, architecture, 3D mapping, and more; plus, greater mobility with the new web and mobile apps; and take advantage of new features and performance enhancements, included with new subscriptions to AutoCAD 2019 available March 22, 2018.

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Indoor Reality Captures and Processes Large Indoor Spaces

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Just when you think that the advancements in indoor mapping have come a long way, along comes another fascinating product.

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Autodesk Subscription “Switch-Back” Promotion Shows Some Heart, Sort Of

Friday, February 16th, 2018

There have been some changes to Autodesk recently. Perhaps most importantly for the users and owners, changes to the subscription program, that has been promoted by Autodesk as an “my way or the highway” approach to selling software, or cloud services as it were. As some people were not happy with being expected to purchase a subscription and give up their perpetual licenses, a new promotion has been initiated. This new promotion offers a “switch-back” option, meaning that if you own a perpetual license and you switch to a subscription, “If you’re not satisfied, you can switch back to your perpetual license.” This is the promise.

You can find out more about what this might mean for those who would like to continue with their perpetual licenses or revert to a perpetual license after finding the subscription program doesn’t work for them here.

How do I get this offer? (The first of the FAQs)

Simply trade in your qualifying old perpetual license(s) and purchase a new 1- or 3-year subscription to any eligible collection or individual product of your choice via one of the methods outlined.

Once you submit your perpetual license(s), you agree to discontinue use of the traded-in license(s). This offer ends April 20, 2018.

Which products qualify for the offer?

Most Autodesk perpetual licenses of releases R14 (release year 1998) through 2018 version product not on an active maintenance plan (as of December 31, 2017) qualify to get the offer discount.

When you trade in your qualifying perpetual license(s), you can get the offer discount on most Autodesk product subscriptions, including industry collections, AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, 3ds Max, Civil 3D, Maya, and much more.

View list of all eligible products and full offer details here.

Can I get a different product than I have now?

You do not need to purchase the same product as the perpetual trade-in license. For example, you can trade in an old, eligible perpetual license of AutoCAD and subscribe to a collection at the promotional price.

(Eds note: This might work if you wanted to buy a subscription to a collection that contains AutoCAD, thereby seeming to get more for your money.)

What does “switch-back” option mean?

We’re confident that you will be satisfied with your subscription, but if for any reason that is not the case, you are eligible to switch back to your perpetual license at the end of either the 3-year term, or the end of the second year of an annual term (1 year plus 1 year renewal). See full details here.

In those full details, note this information:

Note that customers are only able to switch back to the versions set out below.

Version submitted Switch back: within “eligible term”* Customer obligations
2017, 2018 • 2016 version
• same product
• same deployment (e.g. SLM or NLM)
Contact Autodesk for details of how to switch-back
1998 – 2016 • Same version as submitted
• same product
• same deployment (e.g. SLM or NLM)
Retain media kits, download and/or activation details, and any other item necessary for operation of legacy license

Do I have to be connected to the internet to use my software?

No. After initial activation, your software will work offline for 30 days. At that point, you will need to reconnect. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you 7 days prior.

Will all of my work automatically go into the cloud?

Desktop applications and all associated user data are stored on your local machine. When you use cloud service applications, you can choose to either store data in the cloud or on your local machine. You retain all of your local data even if you decide to end your subscription.

Will I have updates whether I want to or not?

As a subscriber, you can access the latest updates anytime, but you decide if and when to install them.

What else can I do with subscription that I don’t have with my old software?

The subscription offerings provide you greater value and enable you to:

  • Always access the latest software, updates and previous versions
  • Use your software anywhere you need to be – at home, at work or on the road
  • Share 2D or 3D views of your work online and see comments directly in your product
  • Try out new tools without making a big up-front investment
  • Easily scale up or down to fit your organization’s changing needs
  • Instantly grant users access to products you have purchased by deploying them directly on devices or allowing users to install them on their own from the Autodesk desktop app
  • Get technical support – Choose phone, online chat, email or remote desktop assistance to resolve your issues more quickly

Learn more

Eds. note: Nowhere is there any mention of continued support, upgrades or maintenance if you do choose to “switch-back” to your old version of Autodesk software after dipping your toes into the subscription pool. What this offer offers: 1) the owner or user, gains the opportunity to try out the subscription-based arrangement with an option of turning back if he/she wants to. 2) Additionally, the subscription price is 25% less than it would be without this offer, so it might be a worthwhile incentive to move forward. 3) You may really save money on signing up for the Industry Collections.

You must make your decision within 30 days, if you want to “switch-back.” If you do switch back, you don’t get to pick up your perpetual license maintenance plan. You will also be sent back (kind of like in a game of Monopoly) to your perpetual license version you had before.

Extraordinary as it may seem, if you had purchased a 2017 or 2018 perpetual license, it appears (see above chart) that if you were not happy with your subscription plan, you would be switched back to a 2016 perpetual license. I’m hoping this is a typo, but so far that is what is stated on the website. Stay tuned; I have contacted Autodesk to find out further information.

ASCENT’s New Courseware Materials

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Twenty or so years ago, software programs were developing as the manuals were being written, and often the latest updates in the software didn’t make their way into the final manual. This opened the door for magazines providing software training, and physical classes. Since then, the internet, YouTube and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have increased the opportunity for technology education several fold. Training guides are still valuable learning resources, however, and ASCENT now offers videos inside the guides of various exercises.

Jennifer MacMillan, ASCENT, Instructional Design Projects Manager, talked about the trends and latest instructional curriculum offered by ASCENT. As the traditional instructor-led training is definitely in decline, the need for other types of learning opportunities abound.

“At ASCENT, we definitely feel there is room for both types of learning,” said MacMillan. “The instructor-led side of things absolutely has to occur to set the foundation for learning. As you start to develop the skills you need, you can rely on YouTube and on your peers to learn more. Understanding of high-level strategies is much easier once you’ve learned the basics. Definitely that self-paced learning is what you’re seeing.”

The biggest focus for ASCENT right now is around Autodesk Fusion 360’s curriculum.

“Many are not given the opportunity to go off and take a five-day training class,” said MacMillan. “They’re expected to hit the ground running with new projects all the time. Even if they run into a new software, they still have to get that project done. There’s no room to let that slip.”

In terms of ASCENT’s latest software offering with the Fusion 360 training guide, Fusion 360 is new within the last few years.

“What we found when we started to investigate this software product was there was tons of learning online, such as YouTube,” said MacMillan. “Even Autodesk released tons of learning that was video based, but everything was not at that foundational basic level. It assumed you had those skills. So, we asked, where do users get that skill? We wanted to fill that void with our training guides, because we felt that foundation was absolutely missing in terms of what was available online.”

Considering the fact that students can’t get away from the office for very long, ASCENT developed the Fusion 360 Guide. Fusion 360 is an easy-to-use software product from Autodesk. The book is self-paced so the student can purchase the book, and the training guide and work at their own pace. There is a lot of video content included inside the online training guide so students can learn from that.

“We’ve also found in our most recent training guide, often times the exercises we go through in the book are very focused on this or that task,” said MacMillan. “We felt there was a need to bring all the tasks and requirements together in project-based projects. We did that in the latest training guide, the Sculpting Training guide, where we also included videos. That’s the first time we’ve done that, including videos of the exercises. In the past, videos were always of the learning content and then you used those skills to do the exercises on your own. If you got lost, the only reference you had was going back to the learning content again. But with this latest training guide, it was complex enough that for these projects that we actually embedded some videos so that if a student got lost, they could watch these videos to figure out what was going on.”

Each chapter starts with objectives and what you will learn in each chapter, and then there’s a set of review questions, to be sure students have learned the objectives and content for the chapter.

Students can go to the e-store or go to Amazon and buy it. In ASCENT’s online learning portal, there would be a certification of completion at the end of that course.

The content is designed for people with different learning styles. Some people want it shown to them in video, some people want to read content. Some people want to go straight to the exercise and by trial and error try to figure it out themselves, or go back to resources as they make mistakes or as they need to. “Everyone’s style is completely different and that book has something for everyone,” said MacMillan.

The Autodesk Fusion 360: Introduction to Parametric Modeling book is a foundation book, including the interface and basics of working with parametric modeling. The one introduced prior to AU is one step up above the fundamentals. However, if someone is only working in that environment, that book is standalone as well. It would provide them with foundations if they were doing freeform organic modeling.

ASCENT is very much involved with Autodesk so they have access to their beta programs and beta software prior to release. By working with Autodesk’s developers and product teams they can learn the software and get a head start on building the books and materials before the software is actually released.

Courseware materials in the works include manufacturing and Inventor HSM. On the architectural side, the Autodesk Advance Steel 2018: Fundamentals book is due to release in early February, dealing with the Advance Steel product that Autodesk released.

Everything is in print. Purchases can be made through ASCENT’s e-store, Amazon or through ASCENT. You can purchase an online license to get into the learning portal, you can also purchase everything as an e-book, which gives you an access on your computer, not a PDF, but through a proprietary e-book provider.

Canon: oce crystalPoint
Kenesto: 30 day trial
Bentley: RealityModeling
CADalog.com - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.



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