AEC Tech News #164

5 Apr, 2006 By: Michael Dakan

Untitled Document

Hello, Google! (So Long, SketchUp?)

'Business as usual' seems unlikely following acquisition; plus, some reminiscing about early Autodesk

On March 14, one of the most surprising -- even shocking -- recent developments in the CAD world was the purchase of @Last Software and its nice, little 3D surface-modeler program, SketchUp, by Internet search-engine giant Google. The surprise wasn’t that Sketchup had been sold. In fact, that’s a perfectly logical outcome for a small company with a product that generated as much interest as SketchUp did in some markets. In architectural design circles, SketchUp is considered not just an intuitive modeler that is pretty easy to use, but also fun, especially when compared with the behemoths that most other CAD programs have become.

But Google? Not a CAD giant such as Autodesk or Bentley Systems? A CAD modeler is seemingly such a departure from the Google family of Internet search tools and services that generate huge revenue. Google has been expanding its reach and variety of Internet services provided -- but still, a CAD program? It doesn’t seem to make much sense in the Google world.

Congratulations are definitely in order, though, for cofounder Brad Schell and the rest of the @Last Software team. It’s nice to see the small, good guys win big in the software development world once in a while. Among the @Last Software people, who work in the laid-back, collegial atmosphere of Boulder, Colorado, the Google purchase is absolutely the biggest event ever, and a dream come true for any startup company. Read more>>

AEC from the Ground: Digital Options for Structural Analysis

By H. Edward Goldberg, AIA

Where CAD and BIM (building information modeling) software are productivity tools for the architect and designer, structural software is the productivity tool for the engineer. When these software types can work together, a project team's productivity can improve dramatically. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

GSA Schedules: How to Close Business and Stay Out of Trouble

April 10, 2006, 12 p.m. ET
Presented by, Webcast ($350 per connection) is for small to medium-sized businesses that are ready to fill out the GSA schedule solicitation and those that have received a recent GSA schedule award.

April 25, 2006
Baltimore, Maryland
Avatech Solutions and AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) will host this training event.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

what's new at

Have you seen Cadalyst's new Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter? Previously known as Newsline, Tips & Tools Weekly offers a fresh take on design and content, including expanded software tips as well as new productivity and training resources; deals and freebies; opportunities; a calendar of industry events; and a round-up of the past week's new CAD products. Subscribe today!

Cadalyst Daily Update: For all the latest news and new products, subscribe to Cadalyst Daily e-newsletter. Plus, every issue includes a feature you won’t find anywhere else -- hardware and CAD software reviews, success stories, AutoCAD tips and much more! Here’s a sample of what you missed in the past week:  

New for Surveying and Construction: Cadalyst’s sister publication, GPS World, just launched Survey & Construction, a free e-mail newsletter offering timely analysis on the use of global positioning technologies in the survey and construction industries. Click here to subscribe.