Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AutoCAD WS for iPhone and iPad…



Thanks to Clark Morgan at VirCon for making me aware of the AutoCAD WS app for iPhone and iPad.

I downloaded it tonight to my brand new iPad. (Happy Birthday to me, thanks honey (p.s. don’t tell her that there is a new version to be released sometime around Christmas. Ignorance is Bliss.))

So, the APP is kind of cool, but I think the concept is awesome!

Here is an application for portable devices that lets you take AutoCAD drawings with you wherever you go.  No more rolled up plan or “lap set” to get coffee stains (please, keep you mug off my iPad, thank you very much.)

The usefulness remains to be seen.  You can zoom right in to the area that you want to review.  You can cloud and markup.  You can even measure (although I have yet to figure out how to set units. That might be set in the drawing file. Not sure.)

Here’s the kicker.  I haven’t investigated this yet, but the App’s documentation claims that I can share a drawing and work on it in tandem with another user.  Read that again.  A collaborative software that allows multiple users to work in a file and see the work being done by the other users.  You had me at “take .dwgs in the field on your tablet.”  I’m blown away by the thought of real time collaboration “in the Cloud.”

From there website:

Sharing drawings

Share drawings with others directly from your device. Use permissions controls to restrict editing and download of the drawing. If other users are also viewing the drawing you can see each other's changes and collaborate in real-time.

If this actually the way the application works, and given the blog chatter about the Revit Server Extension, I think we are in for some interesting times ahead.

Seems like Autodesk is still proving that their not afraid of the Big Bad BIM…

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vico is hiring

For those looking, Vico has some interesting opportunities.

General Description

Vico Project Engineers are embedded in customer projects as project resources and perform standard Project Engineer tasks, powered by Vico Software tools. Project Engineers typically work on a large construction project for one or two years. After a successful Project Engineer project, PEs can become On-Site Project Managers and coordinate multiple Project Engineers and provide high level consulting to customer companies.

Check out the full description here.


Friday, September 24, 2010

BIM Texas 2010

My man on the scene reports that BIM Texas 2010 is well attended by representatives from all sectors of the AECO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owners) industry.

This year’s theme is “Understanding the Gap: What Owners want v. what Contractors can deliver.”

I have a feeling that good things will come from this event and it will inspire at least a few posts on this blog.

Thank you to Texas A&M and TEXO for sponsoring this event to get Contractors and Owners talking about what BIM means to them.

Gig ‘em!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In the event of a discrepancy…

While commenting on a post at BIM MANAGER, I started to think about how we reconcile discrepancies in project information. Traditionally the drawings have taken precedent. But which drawing?  The design intent drawing or the shop drawing? Plumbing waste plan or the waste isometric? Heck, even plan, section and elevation are known to have information that’s not coordinated in traditionally drafted drawing sets (even in sets produced from a model, but that’s poor use of the tool.)  Add to this the additional layers of complexity of Specifications, Cut Sheets, Hardware and Equipment Schedules, etc and you have ample opportunity for discrepancies. Cue RFI. Cue Change Order.

Enter the BIM.  Your one stop depository of information about the project. Today, right now, we all have at our disposal the tools necessary to link ALL project information to a BIM. Read that last again. Think about it, Design Intent, Specifications, Construction Sequencing, Client Meeting results (Approvals and Markups,) Fabrication Drawings, As-Builts, O&M manuals, Asset management, Building Controls, etc. etc.  ALL IN ONE PLACE.

All of this information can either be derived from the model or linked to it.  So there should be NO MORE DISCREPANCIES.  Bold statement for sure.  But hear me out.  If your spec is linked to what’s in the model, it can only reflect the information you need based on design intent.  If your drawing sets are extracted from the model, it must reflect what is there.

Discrepancies enter the picture when the deliverable doesn’t reflect the current state of the model. The spec is compiled by hand, the model changes (programs that extract specs from BIM often update “instantly.”)  Static, stock details that represent “typical” conditions (they are never typical.) Text that calls out door sizes (practically every BIM authoring solution allows “tagging” of smart objects, so the text changes when the object changes.) 

So, given that discrepancies will creep into our project (through poor use of our tools, scheduling pressures, lack of technology, etc) how should we rectify and reconcile them? I attest that the MODEL should have the final word. Why?  If the model is constructed from objects that are dimensionally accurate and data rich, you have the actual building (just before it exists in reality) to guide your decision making.

When a condition isn’t clear in the “printed” documents, go look at it in the model. View it from infinite angles, I guarantee you will have a more clear understanding of the condition than you can receive from ANY number of 2D drawings.

If information is missing from the plan set (and the model) MODEL IT!! Take the time to model the condition.  What wouldn’t we give to have the budget for unlimited mock-ups. Well, we don’t have unlimited budget (I don’t anyway) but Virtual Mock-ups offer extreme value.  Model any conditions that aren’t clear. Communicate with images or even videos of those conditions.  Get the model in the hands of the decision makers. The closer you can get the model to those asking the questions, the better.

Model correctly and use those models to reconcile any discrepancies.

Don’t let discrepancies in your project information make you afraid of the Big Bad BIM.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Remembrance- 9-11-2001

Never Forget...
All gave some, and Some gave all.

In Remembrance of the 2700+...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

AU 2010 Advance Registration

In case you didn't get your reminder email.  Advanced registration for attending AU in Las Vegas opens today (for AU members.)

Get busy.  Click Here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vela Systems and Autodesk

I’m a little behind in talking about this, but Vela Systems has closed a Series B round of investing in which they raised a reported $6 M. Autodesk was a significant partner in this investment.

Read the press release.

The the thing that I find encouraging is that this shows Autodesk’s commitment to using BIM in the field and throughout the Building Lifecycle.

Good luck to Vela Systems as they put this investment to good use making BIM accessible and useful in the field.