Autodesk previews Architectural Desktop 2005, Building Services 2005

21 Feb, 2004

Autodesk's Architectural Desktop 2005, due out around late March/early April, focuses on details. It includes a library of detail components, and you can create additional databases (in Access MDB format) for custom components. Detail component data appears on the Extended Data tab of the Properties palette, and when you place them, the Properties palette provides options that control their display—for example, whether to show hatching or now. The detail components are AutoCAD entities, not Architectural Desktop objects, so that they can take on virtually any shape. A set of AEC Modify Tools edits detail components, hatches, linework, and Architectural Desktop Spaces, Areas, and Mass Elements.

A new Keynoting feature annotates sections, elevations, details, and Architectural Desktop objects. You control the keynotes from an Access database so they all conform to your standards (an added bonus—keynotes update when you make changes in the database). Architectural Desktop 2005 comes with a keynote database based on the Master Format. Standards for UK, DACH, and Japan will also be available. You can toggle from Key Only mode to Note mode to Key and Note mode. A new Keynote Legend tool automatically creates keynote legends.

The AutoCAD 2005 Sheet Set Manager functionality is integrated into the Drawing Management System, so you can use the Project Navigator to manage sheet sets. All of the Sheet Set Managers features are available, including the ability to set sheet views, create a sheet index, cross-link callouts, and use fields to set project attributes.

Autodesk Building Services 2005 allows direct access to engineering data for design calculations and analysis. You can automatically size ducts based on equal friction and static regain and size water and sanitary waste pipes based on fixture unit and plumbing code requirements. Wires are sized based on customizable data such as conductor sizes, material, insulation, and temperature ratings. Dynamic interference detection finds spatial interferences between objects in the same drawing or in xrefs. You can create engineering spaces and zones from 2D floor plans or design drawings. Schedules link to design data and automatically updates with any changes. You can export design data, including nongraphic data, to Microsoft Access.

The new MvPart Convert feature converts 2D blocks into parts that logically connect to Building System designs. The program helps with layout of duct, pipe, cable tray, and conduit by suggesting layout paths and inserting common fittings. A collection of 2D schematic tools facilitates creation of isometric and plan schematics. New tools create section and elevation marks that integrate with the automatic creation and annotation of section and elevation views.

Both products will also include the new functionality in AutoCAD 2005, on which they're built.