Archive for category cloud

BIM CAD Throwdown : Dassault Takes Aim with Catia Live Building and Draftsight

Holy frontal assault Batman.  Dassault, the french producer of CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) / Solidworks is making a strong move into the world of architecture.  CATIA, generally used in the aerospace and engineering fields, has also been used successfully by Gehry to produce his curvilinear buildings.  They are now introducing 2 products aimed squarely at the Autodesk Bullseye, a CAD application developed through the IntelliCAD Consortium (ITC) and the Open Drawing Alliance (ODA) called Draftsight and its going to be free, yup free. And is available here.

And while it is available for the Windows Family of OS (XP / Vista / Seven) MAC and Linux versions are in the pipeline, take that into account that IBM, you’ve heard of them, markets these solutions worldwide and that complaints about Revit not handling larger products are scattered across user groups and BIM forums one can believe there is an opening.  Additionally, if they are following the SaaS path of putting Draftsight in the cloud for file sharing/integrity it becomes a pretty powerful argument to think about switching, especially if all the ingrained keystroke commands and shortcuts from AutoCAD are copied along with it.  Having seen the Intellicad interface, I think that most likely a yes.

Excellent article at AEC Magazine that covers the introduction in depth, and thanks to @amonle / John Allsopp twitter for bringing this to my attention. I’ve included a portion below.

Based on a future version of Catia and its data management system Enovia, Dassault Systèmes is developing a competitive parametric modelling solution to compete with Autodesk’s Revit BIM (Building Information Modelling) tool. I understand that the next update of Catia will store its data in the cloud and Catia will potentially be downloaded and licensed from the desktop. This will enable Dassault Systèmes to overcome the fact that it does not have a value-added reseller channel to sell Catia Live Building but needs to compete with an established and low-cost player.

The brief demonstration showed an architectural model being rapidly developed and edited using Catia. Bernard Charlès said that the new product could do modelling in seconds, what Revit would take 45 minutes to do. And Dassault Systèmes should know — it was among the many original investors in the start-up company that developed the first version of Revit.

While Revit has captured the mindshare here in the US and Down Under among other places no one can discount the Dassault / IBM alliance and their entrance into the AEC industry in a big way.  The amount of consulting opportunities and hardware sales  should have IBM salivating.  So if Draftsight is free, what is Live Building coming in at?

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CAD Rendering in the Cloud : Project Neon

In short order Autodesk Labs is releasing a flurry of projects, and it is stuff that people want to use unlike a sub menu command in Revit 2012 that 12 people rejoice over, this is stuff that people want to use in their day to day.  I understand that there have been server farms out there that can be used for rendering and it makes absolute sense.    I also understand that there was storage on remote servers and file sync programs for a long time but until jungledisk and dropbox come along to put a pretty bow around it and make it more intuitive the percentage of the population who is going to use it would remain small, better software, better interface, bigger pie, exponentially bigger pie.

Project Neon allows for the export of dwg into the cloud viw the Neon interface, set parameters, and let it go to work.  Not ever having to watch a painful block by block rendering, much like an 96 year old man shoveling a 200 yard driveway is worth the price of admission alone, which did I tell you, is free.

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Project Butterfly : Autodesk continues with SaaS : #BIM #CAD #saas

Autodesk continues to  move forward with their Saas (software as a service) offerings.  While Project Twitch allowed users to test drive a variety of software without saving or uploading anything Project Butterfly give you space in the cloud to upload your files and drive through them, collaborate, save all within a web base AutoCAD environment.  I have just started playing around with it, although it has been out for awhile and although there is a bit of lag but  it still delivers.  I believe getting files, models, etc. in the cloud is the beginning.  The start of real collaboration, the start of value added services, the start of a more efficient work place and the market leader is starting to figure it out.

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Private Cloud BIM

Excellent article from Chris France on AECBytes on how Little Diversified is using Private Cloud Computing to deliver cost savings across its organization and powerful computing to its designers.

Excerpt below but well worth the jump to read the article.  And thanks to John Allsop and his blog @ http://blog.tropicalismo360.com/ for bringing this to my attention.

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We have heard a lot about Cloud Computing and SaaS (Software as a Service), but what about moving our high performance graphics workstations to the cloud?  This article describes how Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, located in Charlotte NC, built a private cloud that included their high performance graphics workstations (HPGW). A private cloud differs from the public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services or Google by the fact that the cloud computing infrastructure and resources are controlled by the individual business that deploys it. (See a brief discussion by Tom Bittman of Gartner on private cloud computing in this YouTube video.)

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BIM, There’s an App for that: #BIM

What is the future of BIM?  While this may seem premature as many people are new to BIM and IPD and their implications we can see parallels in the computer industry itself.  And we look at the computer industry what we are really looking at is the storage/management and use of data since the computer is only a tool and if we are not using it really its just a paperweight.

The computer originally was used to compute data, numbers, and one of its first big hits for mass consumption was Visi-Calc, an electronic spreadsheet that did the math for you, which took the place of paper.  That was good.  The spread sheets got more robust in power and features.  New entrants came in, remember Lotus 1-2-3.  It started getting really popular and more entrants came in, Microsoft brought out Excel, and now Microsoft Office, which Excel is a part of is the main revenue generator for the company.  Companies were created to add functionality to these programs, in templates and automated worksheets, bolt ons and the like.  It became such a big industry that a consortium lead by Sun created Open Office, free for the taking.  Google then created its own spreadsheet program on the Web utilizing cloud computing.  And google, if anything, is about the data, and cloud computing with its data available to all allows firms and individuals to add value with products and services and bid on projects immediately accessible to them.

BIM is the format for data that will allow this same revolution take hold in the A/E/C Community.  And its already starting to happen.  The building in 3D allows all sorts of data to be embedded or available in the project.  Revit, Microstation, ArchiCAD all allow you to build on a 3D platform.  Navisworks for collision detection, Ecotect or IES for performance analysis, etc.  Now with the adoption and creation a new data portability standards IFCxml, AGCxml, etc. it starts to become easier to work cross platform.  Companies like Onuma are working on BIM servers that will host the models so everyone can start to work together.  Once the BIM gets up in the cloud it afford more firms to add value through products and services.

Andersen comes up with an app that can pick out the windows and provide bids for replacement windows, with ROI and energy savings calculators built in, Trane same thing for retrofitting.  Contractors can bid on the digital projects, anyone who fabricates or installs building products can so digitally. Rendering firms, etc.  The building becomes the operating system that people build on.  This type of platform breaks up the hegemony that is Autodesk, but that acquire companies to fortify it, like the purchase of Naviswork and Ecotoect so you can program a building from design to destruction within their family but their business model will also have to shift.  IBM made the transition to a powerful services vendor.  But you need to get energy analysis on a building, get bids on a new roof, find a new commercial cleaner, yea there will be an app for that.

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Project Twitch : #Revit #SaaS #Cloud, Cool

So I had been ruminating in a post awhile back about using Revit and or BIM authoring tools as a service, Saas , or computing in the cloud.  If you have been to any business or venture conference in the last 18 months+  inevitably someone will ask you what your SaaS model is, or you’ll hear the word cloud more than it’s repeated on the weather channel.  Well sometimes you can tire of this chatter and discount it but this makes sense,  rather than devoting your time and resources managing hardware boxes and upgrading software, etc. it makes more sense to just go to work.  Wit regards to the BIM world, you want to have the BIM centrally stored and distributable, I mean this model makes more sense to me for BIM than most.  So in comes Project Twitch from Autodesk, which is the “remote delivery of (Autodesk) application over the internet..” and included in the test is Revit Architecture 2010.  For latency reason they say you should be within 1000 miles of the test lab in San Fran…really?  slackers.  This is a very good thing.

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BIM Cloud : #BIM #Cloud #saas

The idea of BIM and IPD is a fantastic one but the biggest goal that remains is getting all disciplines working within the same BIM.  Today there are multiple products that perform a wide variety of tasks from BIM authoring tools, like Revit, to energy analysis packages like Ecotect and IES, and integration tools like Navisworks.  To facilitate cross communication file formats and schemas have been introduced like IFCxml, GBxml, AGCxml, etc.  How is one to understand let alone implement best practices?  While the options makes ones head spin there are corollaries in the software world and well established ones at that can help guide us.  For simplicity sake I will use the one I am using today to publish this blog.  The software or authoring tool I am using resides on the internet, or in the ‘cloud.’  It is saved in bytes and I continuously misspell words it helps me correct them.  This blog also automatically publishes to twitter because of a plug-in I installed and if you are reading this it is because it was picked up by an RSS feed, or keyword alert, or through a google search, etc.  The data can then be diced up and delivered in a variety of ways that serves the most value to you.  This example holds true across all data.  Facebook, Salesforce, etc. are all platforms that allow you to distribute and interact with data that resides in the cloud because people smarter than me have written programs designed specifically to do a particular task.  Imagine interacting with a BIM in the same way.  Imagine ripping of data that is important to you without having 5 different programs installed and each needs to be translated into the next.  This is why the idea of cloud computing and SaaS are so powerful and prevalent in the marketplace today.  There are firms working on this today and when they become widespread and put into use we will see the promise of BIM become a reality.

A couple of examples are linked below.

Towards a New BIM Paradigm, Architecture Week

A model server example and open architecture

Onuma

Build Smart Alliance

Don’t we want to see as many programmers as we can working on the problems effecting us as possible?  The more plug ins and apps we have working in an open environment, the better.

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