AEC Tech News #187

24 Jan, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong

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It’s All About the Connection

ConXtech uses custom-developed technology to join structural steel design and manufacturing

Simmons Moment Resisting Space Frame, invented by ConXtech’s founder Bob Simmons, uses a bolted collar system to join columns and beams to build structural steel frameworks.

In the world of structural steel, connections can make or break a project, both literally and metaphorically. Bob Simmons, a 30-year veteran of the structural concrete industry, developed an innovative system for connecting columns and beams. His patented invention, SMRSF (Simmons Moment Resisting Space Frame), uses standard HSS (hollow-structural section) columns and wide-flange beams with an interlocking connection. The custom-manufactured columns are welded with male-dovetailed inner-collar plates in the factory. The beams are robotically welded with female-dovetailed outer-collar plates on each end. At the construction site, the beams are lowered into place from above between the erected columns. The result is a stable steel structure that workers can assemble quickly. The method is the foundation of ConXtech, a design, manufacturing and construction service provider to the commercial residential housing industry.

Another connector -- a less tangible link -- ties the physical steel structure to the digital model as well as the 3D columns and beams to the manufacturing plant. It’s ConXCAD, a highly customized version of the AutoCAD-based ProSteel 3D.Read more>>

First Look Review: Autodesk 3ds Max 9

By Ron LaFon

Autodesk 3ds Max is a capable and powerful tool for 3D animation, rendering and modeling. Though targeted primarily at digital content creation for film and games, it remains popular for photorealistic rendering of architectural and product designs. An application with as much depth as 3ds Max is well beyond the scope of this review, but a few features in this new release stand out. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Cadalyst'scomplete list of upcoming industry events is always available on our Web site.

Autodesk Civil 3D Styles and Autodesk Vault Workshops
January 23, 2007 - February 8, 2007
Various locations
These seminar-style training sessions, hosted by Avatech, offer participants an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of innovations designed to improve business processes and collaboration throughout a project lifecycle. Read more

Design Master User Conference 2007
April 29, 2007 - May 1, 2007
Las Vegas, Nevada
The annual Design Master User Conference offers attendees a chance to learn new ways to use Design Master and improve productivity. Read more

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Get the Code!
's January code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Jeffery Sanders earned $100 for Nested Block Tree Display and Explode Minsert, two tremendous tips for managing blocks in AutoCAD.

Cadalyst 's January Web Exclusives Now Live Online!
The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD and other popular CAD software, CAD Cartoon, Dialog Box (letters from readers) — plus all the content from the January edition of Cadalyst magazine — are now live on