Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autodesk Release New Structural & MEP Fabrication Suites

Announcement of two New Suites by Autodesk today Autodesk Release Structural Fabrication Suite with a annual desktop subscription price of $3,500 and Autodesk MEP Fabrication Suite with a annual desktop subscription price of $4,600, if the usual Autodesk policy works forget conversion from $ to £ use $ = £  
OK what do you get for your money? According to Autodesk
"The Autodesk Structural Fabrication Suite, which includes Autodesk Advance Steel 2016, AutoCAD 2016, Autodesk Revit 2016 and Navisworks Simulate 2016, offers tools to better connect structural design to detailing by allowing you to work more collaboratively within a BIM environment. Revit, AutoCAD, and Advance Steel together can help users streamline the detailing process by integrating steel detailing expertise alongside the design.  Advance Steel’s model based environment helps users produce accurate detailed drawings faster, helping to speed time to fabrication. The inclusion of Navisworks Simulate helps extend fabrication to the field by supporting estimation, coordination, and 4D simulation of steel projects. Models can be easily shared and viewed with contractors, improving coordination and reducing waste."
The reality is that especially in the UK not many structural engineers actually details the connections in a steel; framed building they provide the moments and shear loads and leave it to the steel manufacturers to produce. Indeed if you actually bothered the steel manufacturer would normally replace it for one of their own anyway. So in the UK I see a very limited user base for this suite.

OK so what is Advanced Steel - Its another program that Autodesk have purchased, modified and now piggyback it off Autodesk. The Video below is very informative.

Regarding the Revit and Advanced Steel workflow and connectivity there is a video below however the narrators accent plus he appears to have his head in a galvanised bucket producing loads of echo and reverberation is so strong it's detrimental to the watching experience unless your really into 'Allo 'Allo! 

Hopefully a heads up to Autodesk about accent, diction and sound quality of recordings on demo videos. 

In the UK can only really see fabricators buying this suite and most of them already have their own software, so additional copies for existing Advance Steel users maybe but very few structural engineering practices would buy this. The odd one or two like Arups and Atkins may want to buy Advanced Steel on it's own to add to their existing building design suites.    

According the Autodesk In the Fold

"The MEP Fabrication Suite is a portfolio of interoperable 3D construction software that enables MEP contractors, detailers, estimators and fabricators to move to BIM based workflows at a lower cost of entry.  The Suite offers tools to streamline your detailing and fabrication workflows, including the latest versions of CADmep, ESTmep, CAMduct, AutoCAD 2016, Autodesk Revit 2016 and Point Layout." 

So where does this leave Building Design Suite owners who only want to pick up CADmep, ESTmep, CAMduct and Point Layout already having their copies of Revit and AutoCAD  2016?.

Autodesk are seriously worried about the switch to the subscription format and these suites and the new pricing structures benefit the larger companies but not the smaller companies.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Revit & Dynamo - What Is It & How Do I Use It?

Dynamo is a new way or working with Revit, its an open source application not owned by Autodesk (yet) but it has been shipped with Revit since 2015. It adds intelligence and extends the logic & functionality of Revit. It's a very visual programming language that allows you to add behaviour to the model that makes it easy to automate tasks.

Below are a couple of recent webinars that have introduced Dynamo to users.

This recorded webinar will introduce you to Dynamo, an open-source add-in for Autodesk Revit. Dynamo gives Revit users a fundamentally new way of working, with new tools to solve design problems. Learn how this easy-to-learn visual programming environment has practical uses in in your day-to-day Revit work.

Dynamo is creating waves in the industry as a visual programming tool that greatly extends the power of Revit. At the end of this presentation you will understand what Dynamo does very well and how it can help you improve quality, simplify design iterations and reduce tedious tasks in Revit.

There are going to be many videos on this subject but here are just a few to get you going from AutodeskEd keep an eye out on AU this year as there are bound to be masses of Dynamo classes

Part 1A - Getting Situated  
Part 1B - Getting Started with Nodes
Part 2A - Basic List Management
Part 2B - Nested List Management
Part 3A - Computational Logic
Part 3B - Computational Logic  
Part 4A - Parametric Assembly
Part 4B - Parametric Assembly
Part 5A - Advanced Topics - Custom Nodes
Part 5B - Advanced Topics - Python Programming