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CAD Tech News (#116)

4 Dec, 2019 By: Cadalyst Staff


Graebert Unveils CAD SaaS Road Map, New BIM Features

According to the Berlin-based CAD developer, the software-as-a-service transformation will likely take more than a decade, but the time to start investing in cloud solutions is now.

By Cadalyst Staff

Graebert, the second-largest CAD vendor by seat count, has released new tools for building information modeling (BIM) and a multiyear road map aimed at building a DWG-based CAD platform for BIM documentation.

"BIM has been around for more than 20 years but less than 20% of the users in architecture, engineering, and construction have transitioned from CAD to BIM," notes Cédric Desbordes, business development and marketing director at Graebert. "There is a strong expectation in the market around BIM because it represents a smarter way to collaborate around construction projects. But the numbers reflect a much stronger resistance than for the transition to PLM [product lifecycle management] software that we have seen for the mechanical industry."

Desbordes and other Graebert executives shared their vision at the recent Graebert Annual Meeting held in Berlin, Germany. The plan is to help their clients apply CAD in SaaS (software as a service) form, creating value from mobile, cloud, and BIM technologies. Graebert has its own line of desktop, mobile, and cloud (browser) CAD products, but the company earns most of its revenue comes by providing its technology to other software companies. Current clients include Dassault Systemès, Corel Corporation, and Esri — and now PTC, due to that firm's recent acquisition of Onshape.

Graebert pointed out that most segments of the software industry have already significantly invested in the SaaS model, yet engineering software is lagging. An IDC survey says 72% of IT managers give preference to cloud-based solutions. A report called the "Subscription Economy Index," from analyst firm Zuora, says SaaS companies have been growing three times faster in sales than the non-SaaS software companies in the S&P 500.

Production Drawings from BIM

Graebert started its analysis of the BIM market with a survey of existing users and industry experts. One key finding was that companies adopting BIM software keep "massively" producing DWG drawings to document their projects. Reasons for this were varied: Some said only drawings could provide the level of detail needed on the construction site. Others cited a reluctance to share BIM data outside the firewall. Others said BIM models are more difficult to use in assessing liability and responsibility than highly detailed 2D drawings. Read more »

Autodesk Creates Construction Cloud to Connect Scattered Teams

New solution promises to help team members collaborate effectively — whether they're in an office or the field — and to enable data to flow from design to fabrication to the job site.

By Cadalyst Staff

Autodesk unveiled its Autodesk Construction Cloud during the Connect & Construct Summit, a preconference event held at Autodesk University (AU) 2019. The new solution brings together Autodesk's Assemble, BuildingConnected, BIM 360, and PlanGrid applications. "One of the reasons I'm really excited about Autodesk Construction Cloud is the way it closes the loop between our design tools and our newest construction solutions. It really will help owners, general contractors, and subcontractors collaborate better in less time with less risk," President and CEO Andrew Anagnost said during his AU keynote.

"It isn't just about construction — it actually connects the entire project workflow," said Jim Lynch, vice-president and general manager of Autodesk Construction Solutions, during the AEC keynote session at AU. "You can start with design and modeling in AutoCAD or Revit, then collaborate with your project stakeholders across the globe throughout the preconstruction and project execution phases," he explained. "We're making teams more connected and more collaborative."

According to the company, Autodesk Construction Cloud includes more than 50 new product enhancements (a detailed list is available here), as well as deeper integrations among the products to allow data to flow across all stages of construction. Most are available now; some will be rolled out over the coming weeks. These enhancements include:

•  Expanded support within Assemble for the latest versions of Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks.
•  Subcontractors can immediately quantify 2D views in BuildingConnected BidBoard Pro.
•  Field teams can now take videos directly within the PlanGrid app and provide richer commentary from the jobsite.

Read more »

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About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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