AEC Tech News: Focus on Productivity (#5)

26 Apr, 2006 By: Kenneth Wong

Digitizing the Paper Trail: Technology brings order, accountability to huge school system capital-improvement project

Digitizing the Paper Trail

Technology brings order, accountability to huge school system capital-improvement project

“Genius,” said Thomas Edison, “is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” In architecture, you might argue that conceptual design is the inspiration and construction management is the perspiration. Construction projects require tracking project status, managing RFQs (requests for quotes) and RFIs (requests for information), collaborating with contractors and handling all the other nitty-gritty transactions essential to realizing a design. Just naming the myriad tasks can leave you short of breath.

Schmidt Associates, a full-service facility design firm based in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, recently turned to technology to help keep the perspiration at a minimum. Schmidt faced the challenge of coordinating the work of 13 architecture and engineering firms, nine construction managers and scores of contractors and consultants involved in capital improvements for Indianapolis Public School System -- a 10-year-long project with a budget of $832 million. To digitally maintain order of all the details, the firm opted for Autodesk's on-demand platform, Constructware.Read more >>

Cadalyst Labs Review: Big Prints—Latest Tools for Wide-Format Copying and Scanning

By Ron LaFon

Sometimes I'm amazed at how many original hardcopy drawings and blueprints lurk in CAD firms. I once saw an original blueprint for the first Disney Magic Kingdom castle. This original obviously holds a lot of historical interest, but most drawings and blueprints have more tangible meaning—they represent a substantial amount of work (not to mention time and money) for the firms that generated them. Many paper drawings that remain untransferred to digital form could be considered at risk of loss. Getting paper into digital format is one part of the equation, and the ability to produce high-quality output from these originals is another. This survey focuses on a sampling of wide-format printers and scanners currently available, as well as the factors people should consider when purchasing one or the other. We did no hands-on testing this time around. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Autodesk Civil 3D 2007 Web Presentations

Various dates, April-June 2006
Webcasts (12 p.m. ET) include New Production Drafting Capabilities, Site Grading, Project and Data Management, Tips & Tricks, Corridor Modeling, Increasing Productivity and others. The presentations are recorded and available for viewing online any time.

Design-Build Strategies
Construction Management
Various dates, April-June 2006

Various locations. Open-enrollment courses are part of a series sponsored by the Center for Advanced Construction Education.

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

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Hot Tip Harry's Bigger, Better Prizes: Sponsored by Autodesk, Cadalyst’s Hot Tip Harry Challenge 2006 just got better! Send your AutoLISP and VBA routines to If your tip is published, you’ll earn an official Cadalyst t-shirt plus the chance to win a copy of AutoCAD 2007 and a trip to Autodesk University 2006 in Las Vegas! And the top tip each month wins $100 in cash. Visit Harry online for details.   

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:

Spatial Technologies Column -- Terrain Modeling in a 3D World: How to use DEMs and DTMs to represent 3D landforms and surfaces.