September 17, 2012
CadFaster Offers Free Cloud Service
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
CadFaster Offers Free Cloud Service
By Susan Smith
In conversation with Tuomas Holma, vice president in charge of sales and marketing for CadFaster, he talked about the latest developments with that company including the announcement of its new MyCadBox free Cloud service, adding to the robust list of features for its popular CadFaster|Collaborate 3D CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) collaboration software.
According to press materials, the new service gives project teams of architects, designers, engineers and contractors an easy method of downloading and archiving all mark-ups and discussion threads associated with models shared in CadFaster|Collaborate. Users can also generate a PDF file, making it that much easier to create a permanent record. For professionals always working in the field, mark-ups can be retrieved on-demand in a standard data format with just a browser and a click from any internet-connected device, such as an iPad.
CadFaster|Collaborate is a cloud-based collaboration software tool available as a plug-in for major design platforms including Autodesk Revit, Bentley MicroStation, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks and Vectorworks. This tool lets users distribute 3D CAD models and BIM designs for instant review and mark-up with anyone, anywhere, in real-time.
Founded in 2009, CadFaster introduced their flagship product, CadFaster|Collaborate in 2010 during Autodesk University. It was initially a web plug-in. In 2011 they introduced the same product for Bentley MicroStation and Bentley Architecture at the BE Conference. In 2011 they also introduced their first iPad app, which is also very popular on Vectorworks.
CadFaster|Collaborate allows users to share a 3D or BIM model on their laptops and mobile devices. “We have a lot of use cases where the iPad has become very important and people wanted to review and markup the models on their iPads,” said Holma. “One of our specialties is large models on the iPads and providing memory and processing power.”
Construction companies now want to take models to the site in order to check the model against the current status of the project. Compression rate plus easy navigation are what make CadFaster|Collaborate a valuable tool for AEC professionals.
“Recently we have had requests for viewing even larger models and viewing the consolidated or federated models onsite,” said Holma. They are working on that technology currently, hoping to use cloud computing to help solve the challenge of large models for mobile viewing.
Since mobile devices have limited memory and computational skills, the challenge is to optimize 3D properties on mobile devices using cloud computing.
The current format for the product is a plug-in, which will send the model to the cloud. Holma said they are working on making this process easier for those who don’t have a CAD platform, and those mobile users who need to browse their project management system on their mobile device. They need some access to the 3D model from the mobile device.
"At the moment we focus very heavily on the large model," said Holma. "We have some technology which can help us to optimize the models in the cloud for mobile devices. So far we’ve not seen any solutions that can bring large models to the mobile devices. Construction companies in particular, end up with the largest models." He added that initially users thought the iPad was not rugged enough to be used onsite but it has proved a valuable tool to the construction industry.
“Cloud tools such as MyCadbox facilitate better communication and documentation in the design, fabrication, and construction processes,” said Paul Wilkinson, blogger and author of Construction Collaboration Technologies: The Extranet Evolution. “Some organizations are legally required to keep records for up to 10 years and are often asked to produce reports for their customers, contractors, suppliers or engineers. Having quick and easy access to their latest design collaborations in the Cloud eases the complexity of compliance and boosts accuracy of data by ensuring everyone is working with up-to-date project information.”
In addition to MyCadbox, CadFaster|Collaborate offers unique features such as a walk-through mode with inside point-of-views of interiors and design details. Architects and designers can even use CadFaster’s free iPad application that was awarded Best of Show Mobile App for Architects at AIA 2012 National Convention by Architosh, to review and share the model with others. Currently MyCadbox and CadFaster|Collaborate is only available on iPhone and iPad, but the company is looking to make them available on other mobile devices.
Top News of the Week
Autodesk, Inc. unveiled Autodesk Simulation 360—a comprehensive set of tools delivered securely in the cloud with a pay-as-you-go pricing model that enables any company to make simulation part of their everyday design and engineering processes.
Autodesk Simulation 360 enables any company to make simulation part of their everyday design and engineering processes. The desktop printer here shows Moldflow injection pressure, Mechanical stress and fluid and thermal simulation results using Autodesk Simulation 360. (Photo: Business Wire)
With Autodesk Simulation 360, designers, engineers and analysts can predict, optimize and validate the performance of things in the world around them. The virtually infinite power of the cloud allows complex engineering tests that were once limited to simulation specialists to be performed by mainstream designers.
IMSI/Design, announced TurboReview, said to be the first 2D and 3D mobile mark-up solution for the AEC world to support 3D PDF (U3D).
The release includes text that is "always facing" and arrow leaders that will snap to a 3D object, both important when orbiting in 3D.
Autodesk, Inc. announced Autodesk Revit LT software, a new addition to its award winning family of Revit software products. Designed for architects, designers and building industry professionals using 2D workflows who are looking to transition to the Building Information Modeling (BIM) process, Autodesk Revit LT software delivers a focused 3D application to help users create higher-quality and more accurate designs and documentation.
Nemetschek AG and CABR Technology Co., Ltd, enterprise provider of construction industry software, signed a strategic partnership in Beijing.
Mr. Jiefeng Xu, President of CABR Technology Co. Ltd and Ms. Tanja Tamara Dreilich, CFO of Nemetschek AG signed the Memorandum setting out the terms of their three-year strategic partnership. CABR and Nemetschek agreed to work closely with the objective to promote and implement Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the China AEC industry, to strengthen the products integration, the brand influence of CABR TECH and NEMETSCHEK, to support the growth of BIM in China, and to contribute to technical development of the China AEC industry.
CASE is pleased to announce the addition of David Light as Director of Implementation and head of a new London-based presence for the firm. Mark Green, who joined the firm in 2009, has taken on the new role of Director of Learning. The launch of the UK office and the firm’s recent appointments signify CASE’s commitment to technology innovation through education of the AEC industry.
Research and Markets has announced the addition of Elsevier Science and Technology's new report "Sustainable Communities Design Handbook. Green Engineering, Architecture, and Technology" to their offering.
The objective of this book is to ensure a better quality of life for everyone, both now and for generations to come. This means creating a better and safer environment internationally through the sustainable use of natural resources, encouraging sustainable development which supports a strong economy, and ensuring a high quality environment that can be enjoyed by all.
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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.