AEC Tech News (#245)

4 Mar, 2009

BIM, With a Side of 2D

Revit and AutoCAD can work together to support today’s architectural workflows. Here’s how.

By Rick Rundell

For more than a quarter of a century, AutoCAD software has been one of the favorite CAD packages of designers around the world. Given its popularity, most building teams using building information modeling (BIM) are also using AutoCAD in some fashion. This month’s “1-2-3 Revit” examines various ways that AutoCAD is being used on BIM projects.

About AutoCAD
AutoCAD was introduced by Autodesk in 1982. Unlike most other CAD packages at the time, AutoCAD was PC-based -- therefore much more affordable and easier to use than its rivals. As a result, it gained widespread popularity for documentation, drafting, and also for design work.

AutoCAD software lets users document and communicate ideas clearly and efficiently. And it lets users customize and configure the software to meet their specific needs, or users can select from thousands of third-party add-ons and applications.

The software program -- currently in its 23rd release -- is one of the most commonly used applications within the building industry, translating into an abundance of both AutoCAD-trained designers and AutoCAD-based designs. The native file format of AutoCAD (DWG) has become a popular means of sharing CAD data and there are said to be at least two billion drawings that exist in DWG format. With numbers like that, it’s not a surprise that even the most sophisticated BIM teams also use AutoCAD -- especially during the documentation process. Read more »

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Richard L. Rundell, AIA, is the director of product marketing for Autodesk Building Solutions.


Cadalyst Labs Special Report: 3D Printing

By Kenneth Wong and Nancy Spurling Johnson

Once reserved for the creation of mockups, 3D printing has evolved into an alternative manufacturing discipline for producing parts with complex geometry in smaller volumes. At the same time, a number of technology suppliers are introducing smaller, more affordable desktop models, teasing engineers with the promise of personal prototyping machines. To help you find the right 3D printing technology and service for your business, we speak to the industry leaders, take an account of the latest models entering the market, and outline the pros and cons of certain materials and methods involved. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

2009 FME International User Conference
June 11-12, 2009
Whistler, BC, Canada
This annual event offers an opportunity to build your spatial ETL expertise and learn how to solve complex spatial data challenges. Gain new insights from keynote James Fee, plus attend informative workshops, breakout sessions and more.  Read more »

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


What’s New at

Circles and Lines Tutorial: Capture the Perfect Selection Set in AutoCAD

In her latest installment, Lynn Allen explains how to use QSelect to quickly gather and count your objects of choice.

Hot Tip Harry: Live on the Web
Hot Tip Harry’s latest AutoCAD customization tips are now posted online at Cadalyst’s CAD Tips site. Harry’s posting tips all the time now, and you can find the latest ones by checking the Recently Posted list, along with the latest tips from Tips & Tools Weekly. You can also find out about the latest tips from Harry himself (aka Cadalyst's Bill Kramer) by hanging out on Harry’s Tip Jar Discussion Forum. Look for the posts labeled "Hot Tips!" for regular updates. Among Harry's latest additions are the following Top Tip winners: Grab-Bar Detailer by Jay Thomas and Dynamic Grid Drawing by Ron Perez. Congratulations to both! Brand new, Cadalyst and Hot Tip Harry also introduce his new Programming Concepts Discussion Forum. Keep tabs and chime in to exchange AutoCAD programming expertise and advice.

Cadalyst January/February Content Now Live Online
A fresh batch of Cadalyst Labs reviews, CAD Central news, Cadalyst exclusive columns, and much more -- all from the latest edition of Cadalyst magazine -- is ready to view on

Whitepapers Outline Benefits of Handheld 3D Scanners
Two new whitepapers by Z Corporation explain how new, handheld 3D scanners bypass the expense, bulkiness, and inconvenience of traditional equipment. Read these and other whitepapers on the Cadalyst Whitepaper Library.