Vendors Display Minor Updates, Workflow-Altering Solutions at AU

12 Dec, 2013 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin,Nancy Spurling Johnson

Autodesk University 2013, part 2: The exhibit hall showcases technologies for CAD users that range from the familiar to the disruptive.

Hardware: Positioning

Topcon Positioning Group, a developer of precision location and elevation measurement technologies, announced the LN-100, described as the world’s first 3D positioning system designed specifically for building information modeling (BIM)-based construction layout. The waterproof unit provides all the measurement functionality contractors require for construction layout applications, without the complexity of a total station, the company reports. An Android app enables users to connect seamlessly with the Autodesk 360 cloud, sync data from the office to the cloud and from the cloud to the field, and receive instant change notifications.

The new Topcon LN-100 3D positioning system is designed to deliver all the measurement functionality required by contractors for construction layout applications without the complexity of a total station.

Eduardo Falcon, executive vice-president and general manager for the GeoPositioning Solutions Group, described the simplicity of the new model, which he said is designed to “remove the intimidation factor” that comes with many positioning systems: “All that’s required to begin operation is to place the LN-100 anywhere on a project site — on a tripod, column, or on the ground — and press one button. The unit self-levels and an operator just has to turn on the wireless controller and get to work.” he said.

Available this week, the LN-100 includes a complete hardware system, controller software, and the Android app. It sells for $14,000–$19,000, depending on configuration.

Software: AEC

ClearEdge3D debuted its EdgeWise BIM Suite, which unites the company’s EdgeWise MEP and EdgeWise Building software into one platform. Using new object recognition and feature extraction technology, the building information modeling (BIM) suite automatically extracts piping, conduit, round ducting, walls, and windows from laser scan point cloud data to speed the process of creating Revit building models. Walls can be exported to Revit plumb and square, and best fit to the point cloud or converted to their exact as-built condition; windows, pipes, round ducting, and conduit can be extracted and exported to Revit as properly specified family objects.

Piping extracted by EdgeWise BIM Suite and exported to Revit.

Ideate was exhibiting the latest versions of two products for Autodesk Revit users. Ideate BIMLink lets users pull information from a Revit model into Microsoft Excel and easily push volumes of precise, consequential BIM data from Excel into Revit. Ideate Explorer for Revit is a quality-assurance tool that facilitates extensive model management, allowing users to locate any element in the current view or the entire file, analyze and clean up Revit projects, and delete problems that lead to unnecessarily cumbersome file sizes.

IMSI/Design introduced version 2 of TurboSite Pro and TurboSite Plus, as well as a new subscription pricing option. These apps for mobile devices such as the Apple iPad or iPhone enable AEC professionals to document site inspection findings with photos, videos, dictation, and text notes, and create field reports. TurboSite Plus v2 for iPad and iPhone is available now; subscription pricing starts at $4.99 per month or $99 per year. TurboSite Plus can also be purchased for $199. TurboSite Pro v2 for iPad and iPhone is available for a subscription price of $29.99 per month or $299 per year, or a purchase price of $499.

LATISTA Technologies unveiled BIM for the iPad at the conference. LATISTA with BIM is integrated into the LATISTA cloud and mobile solution, and enables users to navigate, interact with, and launch workflows from a model in the field. Users can publish Autodesk BIM models to the LATISTA Cloud, then synchronize these models to iPads for use in the field.

Leica Geosystems showcased its new BIM Field Trip solutions, which are designed to help contractors move information back and forth between workers in the field and models in the office. BIM Field Trip's customized packages combine hardware — such as multistations, laser scanners, and robotic total stations — with field and office software. The three available levels include BIM 101, described as the simplest way to get started with digital layout, using paper or CAD files as a starting point; BIM 102, an intermediate-level solution to help contractors improve their BIM workflows; and BIM 103, which is intended for contractors who are already experienced in BIM.

Sefaira, which creates building design software, announced that its energy analysis platform now supports Autodesk Revit models. Sefaira for Revit enables architects to perform energy analysis on Revit models throughout their design process, from the first design iterations on. According to Sefaira, this update reinforces the company's commitment to empower architects to incorporate energy analysis into the early stages of building design.

Sefaira enables users to quickly compare several design options. This function can now be accessed directly by Revit users.

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