AEC Tech News (#219)

6 Feb, 2008 By: Scott MacKenzie

Getting It All Together in 3D p>

Through the use of third-party software, architects and engineers share and view their work in a 3D model.

By Scott MacKenzie

Heather Livingston photo

As you know, the AEC industry is going crazy for 3D. There are many labels for it: building information modeling (BIM), virtual building design (VBD), and 3D CAD. There is a solution out there for everyone, and because of that everyone is going to use it differently.

So what happens when you are using BIM Brand A, and your consultant is using CAD Brand B? For one thing, you will have to live with files that have been translated from a brand of software you do not have.

What happens if you want to see both brands in 3D in the same file? Well, you turn to a 3D design review program like NavisWorks' JetStream or Ecotect to bring it all together.
I have never used Ecotect, but I am a JetStream user, and let me tell you: it is fantastic. I have been doing 3D CAD and BIM for a while now, and I still get a kick out of navigating through a JetStream model and seeing everything in 3D.

I have worked on many projects with architects, engineers, and planners. One firm does its architecture designs with ArchiCAD, and its engineering is done with Autodesk's Building Systems (now known as AutoCAD MEP).

Currently there is no prudent way to view the engineers' 3D work in ArchiCAD. They needed a way to see everyone's work in 3D, but also navigate and slice up the model in many different ways. So they chose JetStream for their 3D coordination. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cadalyst contributing editor Scott MacKenzie has 18 years' experience drawing in and managing CAD projects for engineering and architectural firms in the Atlanta area. He can be reached at

Bringing Literacy into Broad Daylight

By Kenneth Wong

When the Springfield Literacy Center in Pennsylvania is finished, the rowdy kindergarteners galloping in and out of the classrooms probably won't pay too much attention to the size of the windows or the volume of glazing on them. So long as the rooms remain well-lit throughout the day and the temperature within doesn't get unbearable during summer, they'll be satisfied.

But years later, should any of these youngsters take up architecture in college or university, they might have a greater appreciation for the thoughtfulness of the architects who designed their school environment. Burt Hill, Inc., the architecture firm responsible for the building, had to do quite a bit of number crunching to come up with the right configuration of windows, glazing, and light shelves to ensure the budding scholars' indoor comfort.

The sophisticated solar-thermal calculations and energy use predictions were made possible by two technologies: Autodesk Revit, a building information modeling (BIM) platform, and Integrated Environmental Solutions - Virtual Environment (IES-VE), a building performance modeling package. Read more»      

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

AutoCAD Civil 3D Test Drive
February 14, 2008
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
This test drive, presented by Synergis, will show how to intelligently link design and production drafting and provide ways to streamline office processes, increase project capacity, and improve customer service. Read more

AutoCAD Architecture Test Drive
March 18, 2008
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Synergis will present this test drive to show how creating and sharing accurate drafting and construction documents is made more efficient with the system's familiar environment, flexible implementation options, and easy-to-use architectural drawing and design tools. Read more

Revit Architecture Test Drive
March 18, 2008
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Attend this Synergis event and see how easy it is to create naturally, design freely, and deliver efficiently with Revit software for building information modeling (BIM). Read more

2008 International CAD Conference and Exhibition
June 23-27, 2008
Orlando, Florida
CAD '08 is aimed at CAD researchers, educators, developers, vendors, and the business community dealing with CAD technology and its financial issues. The conference includes tutorial presentations, parallel paper sessions, product demonstrations, and several forms of exhibits. Read more

Autodesk University
December 2-5, 2008
Las Vegas, Nevada
This 16th annual event offers a way for attendees to sharpen their skills, renew business contacts, and make new friends with like-minded professionals from around the world. Read more

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on