CAD Tech News (#25)

3 Sep, 2015 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ Reality Capture Technologies Give a Closer Look at a High-Flying Architectural Wonder

Laser scanners and point cloud–processing software help the United States Air Force Academy to better understand its Cadet Chapel and make a plan for its rehabilitation.

By Angus W. Stocking

Designed by Walter Netsch of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, and completed in 1962, the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel is one of the most daring and strikingly beautiful buildings ever commissioned by a branch of the United States military. The soaring, 17-spired structure overcame initial controversy related to its design and tubular steel construction to become an undisputed modernist masterpiece, as well as a revered spiritual sanctuary.

United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel

But, like some other innovative architectural masterpieces — Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater house comes to mind — the Cadet Chapel was plagued from the beginning by performance issues. Due to budget limitations, the predominantly glass and steel building relied on caulking rather than custom flashing for waterproofing, a decision that has been problematic for more than 50 years: Despite an annual investment approaching $400,000 in caulking, and 14 major repair efforts since 1996, the structure has always leaked. The water infiltration has damaged interior plaster and furnishings, and chemical deicing — which became necessary when a hydronic system embedded in the concrete failed decades ago — has caused concrete deterioration.

And it's not a comfortable or energy-efficient building; acres of single-pane glass enclosing a tall, narrow interior create heating and cooling challenges that overwhelm the Chapel's 50-year-old HVAC systems. In recent decades, serious safety concerns have also emerged; water infiltration now threatens the electrical system with shorts, and ceiling panels have been known to fall, threatening occupants below.

As a consequence, the Academy is preparing to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for rehabilitation work, and is bracing for the possibility of proposals in the $80 million range. "We heard that and said, 'What if we could help you get some real data and refine that figure, before you get started?' and of course they agreed," says Autodesk's Pete Kelsey. In his role as a strategic projects executive, Kelsey identifies opportunities where Autodesk can partner with its customers on their projects, to the benefit of both parties.

Evaluating the Cadet Chapel was one such opportunity, allowing Autodesk to engage in client outreach while exploring the capabilities of technologies such as its ReCap reality capture and 3D scanning software in a real-world setting. For the Air Force Academy, it was a chance to enlist advanced solutions and expertise in the search for better solutions to a very expensive, ongoing problem. Read more »

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Angus W. Stocking is a licensed land surveyor and full-time writer specializing in coverage of the infrastructure industries.

▶ HP Confirms Support for CAD Printing with New Wide-Format Models

In an age of cloud-connected devices and high-end CAD analysis, will we keep plotting to large-format paper? HP thinks so — and its new PageWide XL 5000 and XL 8000 printers are the proof.

By Robert Green

Last month, Oriol Gasch, the director of Hewlett-Packard's Americas Large-Format Printing division, lead an assemblage of reporters through product briefings and tours at the company's Customer Experience facility in Alpharetta, Georgia. HP held the meeting to introduce the PageWide XL 5000 and 8000 high-volume color plotters in a hands-on environment, and to share HP's strategies for high-volume printing for large engineering and reprographic firms.

"There are very few times in your career when you see a true revolution in technology, and now is one of those times," commented Gasch as he began his presentation on the PageWide XL 8000.

The key components and technologies that Gasch touched on included:

  • Support for color and monochrome printing. Both full-color and monochrome print support are included at full 1,200-dpi resolution, making the XL 8000 both a workhorse CAD plotter and a large-format color device to print posters, renderings, and other marketing support materials.
  • High speed. The XL 8000 delivers as many as 30 D-size plots per minute in both monochrome and color modes.
  • Stable images. Pigment-based inks (as opposed to dye-based inkjet inks) create a durable image that won't smudge.
  • Integrated Adobe support for PDF. True native PDF file handling is supported, eliminating the need to embed fonts or special characters into PDF files during CAD plotting operations.
  • Device consolidation. If companies can print their own color renderings and marketing materials on the same device as their CAD plotting, they won't need multiple plotters — which saves room and power, and reduces consumable and support contract costs.
  • Simple design. By using multiple modular print heads, a 1-meter (40" wide) paper path is created where the print heads are stationary, with a moving sensor/cleaning head (as explained in the figure below). During printing, the only thing moving is the paper.

Read more »

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Cadalyst Contributing Editor Robert Green performs CAD programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada.


IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Create Cross-Referenced Hyperlinks in AutoCAD Electrical
Learn how to create PDF files with cross-referenced hyperlinks. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Autodesk Software Calculator
Use this sample worksheet to analyze software purchase decisions. Read more »

Autodesk Software Goes Subscription-Only in 2016
With major licensing policy changes on the way, it's essential to make a plan for how you'll purchase seats of AutoCAD and other software titles. Read more »

Super Speedy (and Top Secret) In-Place Attribute Editing
Double-click on a block with attributes, and you can easily edit many aspects of your attributes. But what if you just want to edit the attribute values — and you want to do it in place right on the screen (not in a dialog box)? Watch the video »

Sketch Circles and Arcs in SolidWorks 2015
Learn about two types of circles and three types of arcs you can draw with SolidWorks sketch tools. Watch the video »

Place a Door Using Revit Architecture 2016
Add double exterior doors and more to your drawings. Watch the video »


e-SPECS for Revit Live Webinar
September 9, 2015
2 p.m. ET
This InterSpec webinar discusses the company's e-SPECS for Revit for automated and coordinated specifications with Autodesk Revit. Read more »

Creating Surfaces in Evolve
September 9, 2015
10 a.m. ET
This 20-minute tip from solidThinking will introduce the process of creating surfaces in Evolve industrial design software. Read more »

Taking the Test Backwards.... and more Tips & Tricks for Acing the
September 10, 2015
10 a.m. PT
This SolidProfessor webinar offers tips on the Certified SolidWorks Professional exam from Mike Puckett, senior manager of the World Wide Certification Program at SolidWorks. Read more »

3D Printshow California
September 11–12, 2015
Pasadena, California
This event focuses on the 3D printing /additive manufacturing industry, featuring industrial AM machines, desktop 3D printers, and everything in between. Read more »

Essentials for Excellence in Electronics and Semiconductor Design
September 15, 2015
11 a.m. ET
This Siemens PLM webinar will discuss the company's NX applications for development processes from concept design and styling, detailed design, simulation, drafting and documentation, and CAM. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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