AEC Tech News (#297)

16 Jun, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff

Revit Technology Conference Crosses the Pacific

The "by users, for users" event arrives in North America — and brings some Australian traditions along with it.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

After seven years in the Australasia region, the Revit Technology Conference (RTC) has expanded to the United States. The inaugural North American event will be held June 23–25 in Orange County, California; online registration is available until June 20. Chris Needham, partnerships manager for the RTC Committee, told Cadalyst about the evolution of the event.

Cadalyst: Tell us about the background of the Revit Technology Conference — how and why did it get started? How has it developed over the years?

Needham: Its origins were in the Sydney Revit User Group, founded and chaired at the time by Wesley Benn. The first event had only 89 people, a single stream of classes, and 6 speakers, and was held as a weekend getaway for Revit "enthusiasts." Since then, it's grown every year, been held in a different city each year, and has become the premier opportunity for AECO/FM industry participants in the region to discuss, learn, and share about best-of-breed technology, processes, and workflows. It seems to have hit a nerve as BIM (building information management) takes a stronger hold on the industry, as this year we had 450 people attend the Australasian event.

It's run by a group of dedicated volunteers, all of whom are active industry participants respected in their own areas of expertise. As a result, although the conference is centered on a particular product — Autodesk Revit — it remains independent of the developer and therefore a source of unvarnished teaching, networking, and advice on the best integration of new technologies into the AEC industry. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Nancy Spurling Johnson is Cadalyst's editor in chief.

Paul Aubin


Circles and Lines: A Perfect View

After years of requests, AutoCAD users' wishes come true with the Transparency property for objects and layers.

By Lynn Allen

One of the biggest crowd-pleasers that was introduced in AutoCAD 2011 (and remains available in AutoCAD 2012) is transparency. Perhaps that's because it has been on the top of many a wish list for numerous years. The biggest request was for transparent hatches (because solid fills mask all the objects underneath them), but AutoCAD 2011 took it one step further. Transparency is now an actual object property that can be applied to objects and layers.

Here's a perfect example of where transparency could really help. The rooms are color-coded with solid fills, but no one can see the furniture or the doors that lie beneath them.

Solid fills cover valuable information in this drawing.
Solid fills cover valuable information in this drawing.

Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lynn Allen, Autodesk Technical Evangelist, has written Cadalyst's Circles and Lines column since 1993.

Bentley Unveils AECOsim Family of Information Modeling Software

Interdisciplinary applications aim to improve building design, analysis and simulation, and LEED compliance management.

By Cadalyst Staff

Bentley Systems, which provides software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, recently introduced its new AECOsim family of information modeling applications. The premise of AECOsim is that integrated projects benefit from interdisciplinary integration and that rigor in analysis and simulation, as opposed to merely notional analysis, need not be sacrificed in an information modeling workflow based on full information reuse.

Bentley's AECOsim family provides interdisciplinary building design, analysis, and simulation software focused on helping architectural, engineering, and construction professionals deliver intelligent buildings. According to Bentley, AECOsim enables best practices in integrated building systems design and performance simulation, and results in simulations that properly represent design intention and accurately predict the performance of the delivered building.

With AECOsim, architects and engineers can author and use information models to:

  • predictively design and interactively optimize the performance of building systems, while benefiting from integrated workflows among multiple disciplines
  • produce building and project documentation for use throughout the project lifecycle of design, construction, and operations.

The applications also extend the capabilities of commonly available design tools from Bentley, Autodesk (including AutoCAD and Revit), Graphisoft Archicad, and others through their support of open standards. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis Course
June 22–23, 2011
9 a.m.–5 p.m. CT
This course is presented online by Engineered Efficiency (EE) and includes live lectures, demonstration, hands-on exercises, and downloadable courseware. Read more »

Real-time 3D Collaboration with CadFaster|Collaborate
June 22, 2011
11 a.m. PT
In this webinar, Tuomas Holma will demonstrate how CadFaster|Collaborate works, both on a desktop and on an iPad, and how it is used as a plug-in for CAD programs such as Autodesk Revit, SolidWorks, and Bentley MicroStation. Read more »

August 7–11, 2011
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
SIGGRAPH 2011, the 38th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, will feature technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web. 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-Related Hashtags for Twitter: Here's the List!
Help Cadalyst build a central resource of Twitter hashtags for the CAD community. Read more »

From the Trenches: Rules of File Referencing
These rules will help you keep multi-person CAD and BIM projects in order on a file server. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Manage Large Assemblies Using Substitute Levels of Detail
Live large by cutting unmanageable assemblies down to size in Autodesk Inventor. Read more »

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial: Navigate Folder Paths Efficiently
These tricks will help you move through directory structures quickly. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition