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April 16, 2012
Think Computing – Mobile, Social and Cloud
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!


Welcome to AECWeekly!

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, Alliances/Agreements/Acquisitions, Announcements,New Products, Around the Weband Upcoming Events.

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Susan Smith, Managing Editor


Industry News
Think Computing – Mobile, Social and Cloud
By Susan Smith



Autodesk Revit LT 2013


A bevy of new “consumer” customers fueled by the mobile, social and cloud platforms may be behind Autodesk’s financial success for 2011.

The Autodesk Media Summit held in San Francisco two weeks ago trumpeted news of the latest Autodesk 2013 product suites and products launch. CEO Carl Bass opened the Summit with some business results, big trends, followed by specific product information by Amar Hanspal. There is a video and partial transcription available on AECCafe Today

To reiterate what was covered in the opening keynote, last year Autodesk finished 2011 with revenue of about $2.2 billion. Bass said that in forecasting the economy he had predicted they would grow by about 10 percent last year, “I got a lot of grief from financial community because they didn’t think we could grow by 10 percent,” he said. “People were still worried about what going on with financial matters in the U.S. as well as in Europe. There was a sense the financial world was coming to the end – as it turns out we finished the year with 14 percent. Business was robust around the world, particularly a resurgence of economy in the U.S.”

Given Autodesk’s diversification across geographies, and industries, they represent where the world economy is going, according to Bass. “75 percent of our business is outside the U.S., with representation in media, manufacturing, architecture and construction. We are a proxy for overall GDP.”

“About two years we started talking publicly about what we thought was a big change in computing platform,” said Bass. “What we outlined, is a computing platform that became one of mobile, social and cloud. A lot of people didn’t know what we’re saying, or they said, ‘everybody’s doing that,’ but we were talking about a fundamental shift in the way people do their work. From the very beginning we thought this was the most important shift we’ve seen since the world moved from mainframes to PCs. The entire computing landscape is being redefined.”

He noted that people used to go to work and sit at a PC or Mac, and if they were out of the office, they would say they would email something when they returned to the office.  Now they don’t need to do that.

There are over 2 million visitors to Autodesk 360, Autodesk’s cloud offering available via subscription. This year is Autodesk’s 30th anniversary and they have about 12 billion legal users of our software. It took 28 years to get to that first 10 -12 million users, according to Bass.

AutoCAD WS, Autodesk’s mobile offering, was launched less than 2 years ago, and there are now 7 million users accessing it completely differently, on Android, iOS devices and the Web.

“What’s interesting to me about it, is the usage. Now the run rate is 300,000 files are being uploaded to WS every week, 1800 every hour, 30 files every minute,” Bass said. “This proves the point of how people are changing the way they work.”

No doubt this usage signals a shift in the way Autodesk products are being used. Although the company still has a significant user base consisting of vanilla AutoCAD users and users of their industry specific products, the advent of mobile visitors has drawn in another type of customer that Autodesk didn’t know was even interested. Their Sketchbook, for example, runs on PC and MAC, web, Android, iOS, and has attracted 10 million downloads to date in two years. They have not had this many downloads of any of their professional products over the past 20 years.

“We’re averaging 150,000 downloads a week,” said Bass. How people interact with their communities has changed dramatically.

Even more popular than the mobile downloads is Autodesk Instructables community, comprised of do it yourself and makers. The number of unique visitors on Instructables last month was 13 million.

This interest is larger than the number of visitors on Pinterest, and on Instagram and Foursquare put together.

Pixler had 21 million unique monthly visitors.

Pixlr o matic, a group of users interested in creating things, had 1 million downloads in the first 10 days.

In addition to this is the cloud, “We are now able to do in 15 minutes what it once took hours to do with the help of the cloud,” said Bass. “What would you do differently if you could get answers a lot faster?”

The cloud extends far beyond the new “consumer type” customers. Bass assured everyone that their R&D  efforts are not only geared toward those non-professional customers. Yet he cautioned everyone not to think of the new computing platforms as “toys,” because they are responsible in this case, for a paradigm shift in the way we are thinking about computing.

Bass said that computing is now centered around where you are, with the combination of mobile, cloud and social all in one place. This will open up entirely new ways of working.

When Amar Hanspal, senior vice president of Information Modeling and Platform Products Group got up and talked about the Autodesk 2013 Product Suites, the audience realized that Autodesk has been shaping their products for this new “suites” approach for some time. Although suites were introduced last year, the vision is becoming clearer, more crystallized, addressing the way buildings are being designed nowadays, with an eye to performing for an energy footprint. The building industry is borrowing from the manufacturing industry and we’re seeing more 3D printing and other manufacturing processes used in the building industry. Analysis is now part of the design process. Heavy competition for projects has driven architects, planners and engineers to showcase products much like the entertainment industry showcases upcoming movies.

Autodesk “suites” present workflows between the suites that are both easy to use and cloud centric.  

A brief look at each suite:

Entertainment Creation Suite –takes the concept of the one click workflow to the next level. You can see the effects of Maya and Motion Builder in one another.

“This came into being with the Avatar movie, now every user of this suite can use this,” said Hanspal. “We take what we learn with the cutting edge customer and give it to everybody.”

Product Design Suite – The initial sketches all the way to rendered presentation are linked within the suite. Launchpad lets you switch between applications. There is new interoperability between Inventor and AutoCAD that takes view creation from Inventor and links it with the documentation tools of AutoCAD.

Building Design Suite – The architectural, structural and system tools are integrated into one suite. There is only one Revit now, and the customers can switch between the discipline they want to work in. “In a multidisciplinary firm they only have to be concerned with one deployment, the engineering design problem they’re solving, rather than having to manipulate a lot of different software packages,” said Hanspal. There is now synchronization between the Building Design Suite, Vault and Buzzsaw and better integration with Revit itself so that content is managed better.

Infrastructure Design Suite – This suite spans planning, designing, building and managing infrastructure and utility projects. Infrastructure Modeler offers upfront design option tools for analyzing project performance and visualization in dealing with stakeholders. BIM for Infrastructure is broadening that concept.

Within every suite AutoCAD is resident, and interoperates with all the modeling, presentation and other products. The company is committed to creating a better interface so that all products look the same, and elements work the same. Customized workflows can be created between the products.

All Autodesk’s Cloud services are called Autodesk 360 provided to subscription customers to allow collaboration and sharing and access to their own work wherever they may be.

Autodesk 360 is good at finding things, connecting people and information. There is the app store Autodesk Exchange App Store, which is now for Revit, Inventor, 3ds Max, as well as AutoCAD. The Cloud is also good at crunching numbers and problems as its lasting brain power can solve the most challenging design problems, and provide a series of answers.

Rendering services on the cloud are growing at 22 percent each month, and right now only support Revit and AutoCAD 3D, but will begin to support more data types such as Inventor.

Some years ago, Autodesk promised a blurring of boundaries between industry segments. The suites reflect some that effort with the way the suites are arranged, for example, architectural, structural and system tools all in one suite. Under the subscription umbrella, it may be possible to pull something like Inventor from the Product Design Suite and add it to the Building Design Suite, as there may be interest in creating some custom products for building at some point in the future.

At any rate, the way it’s set up seems open-ended, appealing to the do-it-yourself nature of the new audience, while at the same time addressing the loyal customer base who looks to Autodesk to provide building, analysis and product design solutions, and offering to both an ease-of-use and broad mobility that has not been possible before.



How to create 3D objects from 2D drawings


Top News of the Week

IMSI/Designannounced the release of TurboCAD Deluxe 19.

TurboCAD Deluxe 19's significant enhancements include:

Availability and Pricing

TurboCAD Deluxe 19 is now available from IMSI/Design for $129.99 

Alliances/Agreements/Acquisitions 

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES)announced the recipients of its free Virtual Environment software for this year’s Academic Campaign. IES selected a key group of institutions offering architectural and engineering programs that promote sustainable design to receive full access to its Virtual Environment software free for one year. These schools’ mission to teach students how to deliver sustainable building design through hands-on learning and curriculum is key for the future of our buildings and cities.

The 2012 Academic Campaign participants are:

Nemetschek has joined with CadFaster to offer CadFaster|Collaborate for users of Vectorworks software. Along with the recent launch of Vectorworks Cloud Services, this partnership will further broaden the ability for Vectorworks users to access their design files from any location.

The CadFaster|Collaborate for Vectorworks plug-in provides design and engineering professional teams with the power to distribute their 3D CAD and BIM models effortlessly and to invite others to view and mark them up remotely and in real time, even from a laptop or iPad.

Applied Software announced that it has been inducted into the 2012 Autodesk Platinum Club and named the Top North American Reseller in Marketing. Autodesk, Inc., a world leader in  3D design, engineering and entertainment software, selected 36 Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Value Added Distributors (VADs) from 24 countries for induction into the exclusive club during its One Team Conference (OTC), an annual global channel partner event. Applied Software was chosen due to its strong marketing and sales performance and commitment to customer service during the Autodesk 2012 fiscal year. 

Announcements

Gehry Technologies (GT) announces that Fondation Louis Vuitton has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious BIM Excellence award, given by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community). The 2012 Technology in Architectural Practice BIM Awards jury selected Fondation Louis Vuitton for its notable contributions to the profession of architecture.

Mobile computing tools for urban and construction planning have developed dramatically over the past few years. Even by global standards, the progress made at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has been remarkable.  Augmented Reality technology developed by VTT has enabled the placement of office and residential construction in the appropriate environment and the study of the overall concept on-site, even at the planning stage, for example on a smart phone display.

The 2012 Young Architects Program, hosted by MoMA and MoMA PS1, recently announced its winner. The installation that took the prize is a temporary outdoor architectural installation that provides seating, ambiance, and water. The winners, Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, integrated an innovative nylon fabric into the design. The California School of Professional Fabric Design believes that this unique fabric use signals that current textile designers may need to start thinking about new commercial, artistic, and architectural applications for textiles.

GrabCAD announces a new challenge tasking the community to design creative and intricate 3D models with ZW3D CAD/CAM software. The winning entries will have the chance to be featured on the cover page of the ZW3D 2013 brochures, and a $2594 prize purse. If you are a CAD designer and want to showcase your talent and skills, this is your chance!

The content in your tutorial can be any object designed in ZW3D CAD/CAM, from a mobile phone to a model of a fancy sports car. Six engineers will win the competition prize purse of $2594. First place winner will take home $500 and a brand spanking new 3Dconnexion SpacePilot™ Pro 3D Mouse! To see what the 2nd to 6th place winners get, check out the challenge page here. Winners will be chosen by a jury including both GrabCAD and ZWSoft engineers.

GRAITECannounces a great growth of +52% for its steel detailing solution, Advance Steel®, in 2011 compared to 2010.

Advance Steel is specifically designed for steel professionals who require an easy-to-use 3D structural steel detailing software for automating drawing production. Developed and promoted by GRAITEC, Advance Steel reached a unique 52% growth in licenses sold in 2011 compared to 2010.

Deltek, Inc. announced that Washington SmartCEO magazine named Deltek’s CFO Michael Corkery as a 2012 SmartCXO award winner in the CFO category. Winners were recognized at last night’s Washington SmartCEO SmartCXO Awards, held at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center in College Park, MD. More than 400 DC-area C-level executives and guests attended to celebrate their achievements.

New Products

 Trimble announced  its Trimble Field Fitting Input App for the Apple iPad, providing contractors the ability to rapidly collect accurate sheet metal dimension information in the field and then share with the fabrication shop for output.

Around the Web

AECCafe Today


Events
Managing and Leading a Successful Business Development Team
Date: March 15 - July 11, 2012
Place: USA

This workshop will provide you with skills and tools to manage an effective business development program. Discover how to lead ALL of your employees to focus on client satisfaction and generate profitable business for your firm.
Professional Development Short Courses
Date: March 27 - November 23, 2012
Place: Level 8 & 9
1 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia

To meet these educational needs the SBRC, with support from the NSW Government, is offering professional development short courses for professional engineers and other interested participants.  Each short course is designed to be delivered over two days, with a significant component dedicated to hands-on, interactive, or discussion based activities.  Each short course is offered on a stand-alone basis, while also remaining complimentary to the overall programme.
SMPS Foundation Think Tank: Bridging the Gap Between Management and Marketing
Date: April 13, 2012
Place: New York, NY USA

During its Spring Think Tank on April 13 in New York, the SMPS Foundation will explore the roles of management and marketing in the A/E/C industry and how their relationship impacts the firm’s profitability and success. Senior-level marketers and their CEOs/COOs/principals are encouraged to participate together in this senior-level learning experience. Attendees will benefit from interactions with panelists and fellow attendees, hearing case studies, and networking.

Time: 7:30 am to 4:30 pm
SPAR International 2012: Conference on End-to-End 3D: Capture, Process, Deliver
Date: April 15 - 18, 2012
Place: TX USA

When it comes to 3D imaging, the pace of change is swift. Blink and the tools morph, worfkflows evolve, new applications emerge. It's hard to keep up with it all. Yet to be successful- to use the technology to drive efficiency, boost productivity, increase safety and mitigate project risk- it's essential. SPAR International can help.
Influencing the Future: A SmartPlant Engineering & Schematics Seminar
Date: April 16 - 19, 2012
Place: 1551 W Prien Lake Rd
Lake Charles, LA 70605 USA
Attend this FREE seminar to learn how SmartPlant Engineering & Schematics can help you upgrade your work processes for process systems, control systems, and electrical distribution systems.



•        Half-day Seminar for Engineering Contractors: Increasing productivity and design quality

•        Joint Lunch: Networking

•        Half-day Seminar for Plant Owners: Lowering operational risk




What's New in AutoCAD 2013? Find Out Directly from Lynn Allen in New York City
Date: April 17, 2012
Place: 1350 Avenue of the Americas
Ground Floor, New York, NY 10019 USA
When: 8:00am - 12:00pm, Tuesday April 17, 2012 

Where: Dolby 88 Screening Room

1350 Avenue of the Americas, Ground Floor, New York, NY 10019

 

Presented by Lynn Allen, Cadalyst Columnist and Autodesk Technical Evangelist

 

AutoCAD® 2013 is here – and here is your chance to check out the new features first hand! Join Microsol Resources and renowned Cadalyst columnist and Autodesk Technical Evangelist, Lynn Allen as she takes you through a tour of the latest features and puts you on the road to instant productivity!



Explore your design ideas with the powerful new features of AutoCAD® 2013 software. Connect with Autodesk® Cloud, share your designs with your social world, and work more productively with model documentation enhancements. And with AutoCAD Apps on Autodesk Exchange, it’s easier than ever to customize your AutoCAD experience.



You will learn more about the new Autodesk Suites, Autodesk 360, cloud computing, cool mobile applications, and how this comprehensive set of tools is changing the way the AEC industry designs and communicates ideas. See all the latest new features of AutoCAD 2013 including:



- Section and Details View  

- Strike-Thru Text

- Autodesk Cloud Connectivity

- Customization and Support File Sync

- Social Media Sharing

- AutoCAD Apps on Autodesk Exchange

- Context Sensitive PressPull

- Inventor File Import

- Surface Curve Extraction

- Modern User Interaction

- Property Edit Preview

- Simplified Migration to AutoCAD 2013



Knowing Lynn, she’s sure to throw in some tips and tricks you can use regardless of the release you are using.



Register at: 
https://www.microsolresources.com/events/eventDetails.cfm?ID=696
What's New in AutoCAD 2013? Find Out Directly from Lynn Allen in Philadelphia
Date: April 18, 2012
Place: Ten Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19102 USA
When: 8:00am - 12:00pm, Wednesday April 18, 2012 

Where: The Ritz Carlton, Philadelphia

Ten Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102

 

Presented by Lynn Allen, Cadalyst Columnist and Autodesk Technical Evangelist

 

AutoCAD® 2013 is here – and here is your chance to check out the new features first hand! Join Microsol Resources and renowned Cadalyst columnist and Autodesk Technical Evangelist, Lynn Allen as she takes you through a tour of the latest features and puts you on the road to instant productivity!



Explore your design ideas with the powerful new features of AutoCAD® 2013 software. Connect with Autodesk® Cloud, share your designs with your social world, and work more productively with model documentation enhancements. And with AutoCAD Apps on Autodesk Exchange, it’s easier than ever to customize your AutoCAD experience.



You will learn more about the new Autodesk Suites, Autodesk 360, cloud computing, cool mobile applications, and how this comprehensive set of tools is changing the way the AEC industry designs and communicates ideas. See all the latest new features of AutoCAD 2013 including:



- Section and Details View  

- Strike-Thru Text

- Autodesk Cloud Connectivity

- Customization and Support File Sync

- Social Media Sharing

- AutoCAD Apps on Autodesk Exchange

- Context Sensitive PressPull

- Inventor File Import

- Surface Curve Extraction

- Modern User Interaction

- Property Edit Preview

- Simplified Migration to AutoCAD 2013



Knowing Lynn, she’s sure to throw in some tips and tricks you can use regardless of the release you are using.



Register at: 
https://www.microsolresources.com/events/eventDetails.cfm?ID=700
International CAD Consortium 2012
Date: April 29 - May 3, 2012
Place: Sheraton Charlotte Hotel
3315 Scott Futrell Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208 USA

The International CAD Consortium (ICC) is a non-profit organization comprised of leaders working in the field of public safety to implement technological solutions for emergency response organizations (police force, fire department, 911, etc.). ICC members come from municipalities, emergency services or a regional corporation and they are namely responsible for providing emergency call dispatching systems, communication infrastructures, geomatics solutions and for managing communication centers as well as all other activities directly related to the routing of emergency workers to emergency response sites.
2012 CIMdata & NAFEMS Events for the Simulation and Analysis Community
Date: May 1, 2012
Place: Cincinnati, OH USA

CIMdata’s Simulation & Analysis Council and the NAFEMS Simulation Data Management Working Group
will join together to produce a unique two-day program that will explore emerging best practices on
addressing the critical issues facing members of the simulation and analysis community.

The events will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 1 and 2, 2012.

For more information on these events
 
https://plmforesight.cimdata.com/download/index.cfm?download=ASCWorkshop512

BuildingsNY 2012
Date: May 2 - 3, 2012
Place: NY USA

BuildingsNY provides small/mid-sized building owners and managers with the products & services they require to make decisions, make deals, issue RFPs and ultimately save money. Building Owners/Managers will have the opportunity to source products & services they need for all phases of their buildings' lifecycle.


You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.


-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.