AEC Tech News (#303)

4 Aug, 2011 By: Cadalyst Staff

First Look Review: Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2012

Bundle of joy? If you use more than one design solution, this new package could help integrate your workflow and save money.

By Patrick Davis

Among the big news for the Autodesk 2012 product lines announced this spring is the bundling of individual applications into suites designed to provide users with a more integrated workflow, as well as better value. The Autodesk Building Design Suites are comprehensive architecture and building engineering design solutions that provide a prepackaged selection of tools for the design professional and are offered in three versions: Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. For this First Look, I focused on Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2012.


Autodesk Building Design Suites ship on a single flash drive, which may indicate that Autodesk is phasing out CDs and DVDs. Suites are also available for download from the company's subscription site. The installation process, whether on the desktop or network, initiates with a single click and functions similarly to single-product installations.

Suites are available by desktop or network license. For stand-alone subscriptions, the applications within each suite can only be installed on a single computer; you cannot split applications across multiple workstations. For network licenses, customers can install varied sets of the applications on different machines.

Just the Basics

All Autodesk Building Design Suites contain the same core group of applications, including AutoCAD 2012, the AutoCAD-based vertical applications (AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, and AutoCAD MEP), Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Showcase Designer, and Autodesk Design Review. Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Patrick Davis is a virtual design and construction manager for Atkins North America.

Paul Aubin


First Look Review: NEC MultiSync EA232WMi Monitor

LED-backlit 23" display delivers high quality at a great price.

By Ron LaFon

NEC MultiSync EA232WMi Monitor

NEC MultiSync monitors have a history of innovation that continues with the new MultiSync EA232WMi 23" display, which is based on an IPS panel, known for having greater viewing angles and better color reproduction than a TN panel. The LED-backlit panel makes for a bright and crisp display. It's somewhat surprising to find this technology in a monitor with the relatively low retail price of $299.

Without the stand, the monitor measures 21.7" x 13" x 2.8" and weighs 10.8 lb. With the stand, it measures 21.7" x 14.9" x 8.7" and weighs 16.3 lb.

Sporting a 23" panel that has a dot pitch of 0.265 mm, a brightness of 270 cd/m2, a 1,000:1 contrast range (25,000:1 dynamic), and a viewable angle of 178 degrees both horizontally and vertically, the MultiSync EA232WMi offers a 24-bit color display at screen resolutions as high as 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz. Display panel response time, a moderate 14 ms, is adequate for most applications but is on the slow side for film editing or complex model rotation. Read more »

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Ron LaFon, a contributing editor for Cadalyst, wrote software and hardware reviews for the publication for more than 17 years.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


BIM Spectrum
August 17, 2011
11 a.m.–5 p.m. ET
Rand Worldwide's IMAGINiT Technologies division will host a free virtual event that will explore how building information modeling (BIM) models are used by those who are involved in creating and managing buildings. Read more »

IMAGINiT Technologies' Singapore BIM Seminars
August 19–24, 2011
Ken Yost, an IMAGINiT Technologies expert based in the United States, will be sharing his insights on building information modeling (BIM) at two complimentary seminars. Yost will demonstrate how Autodesk products combined with a strategic implementation can enable BIM adoption throughout an entire organization. Read more »

AVEVA World Summit
October 25–27, 2011
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The AVEVA World Summit Americas program provides an opportunity for delegates from different engineering industries and disciplines to tap into the collective knowledge of management, technology professionals, and global leaders from the plant and marine industries. This Summit agenda offers sessions including technology developments from AVEVA senior management, project case studies from delegates, and business trends from industry specialists. 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


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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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