AEC Tech News (#274)

15 Jul, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

Océ Sees Green in the Future of Color Printing

Wide-format hardware developer believes opportunity lies in courting the masses of 2D CAD users.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

With 3D-based buzzwords such as BIM, IPD, VDC, and sustainable design being bandied about these days, it's easy to forget that most CAD users in the AEC field remain firmly planted in 2D. But the reality is just that, and nowhere is this more true than at the construction end of the traditional AEC workflow.

Wide-format imaging hardware developer Océ is setting its sights squarely on this 2D user base. The company told a gathering of industry press and analysts in May that it believes one of its prime opportunities, at least for the foreseeable future, lies in converting the traditionally monochrome 2D crowd to color printing.

Moving to 3D modeling (where most design work is done in color) from 2D drawing (traditionally a monochrome environment) necessitates a move to color printing. You'd be smart to think this is great news for developers of wide-format color printers, scanners, and copiers — but you'd be wrong. That's because the move to 3D, and particularly BIM (building information modeling), brings about more digital data transfer and fewer paper hand-offs than do 2D design and construction. Factor in the reality that the move to 3D and BIM is not happening overnight, and a developer of color printing technology has a real challenge on its hands.

This is precisely where Océ found itself. Purchased this year by Canon and operating as an independent company, Océ was on solid ground but wondering where to find the opportunity amidst these market realities. So the company set about to develop a new business strategy. Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is Cadalyst's editor in chief.

First Look Review: ATI FirePro V5800

Mid-range graphics card is economical, energy-efficient, and an excellent choice for AutoCAD users.

By Ron LaFon

AMD recently added several new products to its ATI FirePro series of professional graphics cards, among them the high-end V8800, the entry-level V3800, and the mid-range V5800. Cadalyst Labs opted to test the ATI FirePro V5800 to gauge the performance of this middle-ground option. Those wanting more performance and memory could opt for the V8800, and those desiring a more economical card could go with the V3800. Since AMD's initial announcements, the company also introduced the ATI FirePro V7800 and V4800.

Features and Specifications

The ATI FirePro V5800 features 1 GB of ultra-high-speed GDDR5 memory and a native 30-bit display pipeline in the graphics-processing unit (GPU) to ensure accurate color reproduction and high visual quality in a single-slot graphics card. These characteristics make the V5800 well suited for CAD and digital-content creation (DCC) users who work with medium-to-large models.

The V5800 is based on a new-generation GPU that features ultra-parallel processing architecture to help maximize throughput by directing horsepower wherever needed. This intelligent management enables real-time rendering of complex models and scenes and increasingly greater frame rates for animation. The V5800 has 800 stream processors, one 128-bit memory interface, and a 64.0 GB/second bandwidth. Read more »

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Ron LaFon is a principal at 3Bear Productions in Atlanta and a contributing editor for Cadalyst.

Archicad Insights Tutorial:
Use DWG Format Details in ArchiCAD

Incorporate your existing CAD detail library into your workflow.

By Jeff Olken

When I'm helping my clients implement BIM (building information modeling), they often voice fears concerning their existing CAD detail library. "We have hundreds of common details that we use in project after project, and hundreds more that can quickly be edited to suit the needs of a new project. Will we need to start over?"

Fortunately, incorporating your existing CAD detail library into your ArchiCAD workflow only requires knowing a few simple steps. Additionally, you can apply these techniques to CAD-format details supplied by manufacturers for use in your projects.

In this article, we will look at ArchiCAD's Detail tool, coupled with the DWG import capability. ArchiCAD can incorporate a DWG via several methods: First, a DWG can be merged, and all entities become native ArchiCAD elements. Second, we can xref DWGs into our ArchiCAD model, maintaining the same xref structure and methodologies originally used in AutoCAD. A third method allows us to place a DWG as an ArchiCAD "drawing." Read more »

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Jeff Olken focuses on the implementation of building information technologies.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Webinar: ArchiCAD 14 — Open Design Collaboration
July 22–September 14, 2010
Various times
This webinar from Graphisoft will explore how ArchiCAD 14 turns IFC technology into full-fledged workflow solutions enabling collaboration with engineers. Read more »

The Best of V-Ray
July 28, 2010
Los Angeles, California
The Chaos Group, in partnership with CGschool, will present a live V-Ray training workshop at SIGGRAPH 2010. Read more »

FIATECH Members Meeting
October 4–6, 2010
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Using the Roadmap as a guide and focusing on each of the nine element areas in the lifecycle of a capital project, the meeting will showcase FIATECH's work and deliverables done to date in each of those areas. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


CAD Manager's Toolbox: Tips from CAD Managers Unite!
Members of the new Facebook group have some advice for their fellow CAD managers. Read more »

Cloud-Based CAD, Part 1
What is cloud computing, and does it make sense for CAD users? What are the risks and benefits, as compared with installing software on desktop machines or serving it through local area networks? Read more »

Event Report: Siemens PLM Connection 2010
Product lifecycle management — with a high-definition twist — takes center stage at user event in Dallas. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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