CADFIDENTIAL31 Jan, 2005 By: Sara Ferris
A behind-the-scenes look at the CAD world.
ReincarnationNow that the old A/E/C SYSTEMS trade show has been entirely absorbed into Technology for Construction, a new AEC-oriented event has popped up on the calendar. Scheduled for June 20–23 in Orlando, Florida, the AEC Science and Technology conference and exhibition promises to focus on lifecycle strategies for the built environment. It's the brainchild of, among others, former A/E/C SYSTEMS co-founder George Borkovich and operations vp Richard Vendola.
Ten years and countingIt was in fact at an A/E/C SYSTEMS show that the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability) was launched 10 years ago, with the lofty goal of developing an open architecture to facilitate data exchange throughout a building's lifecycle. The IAI today estimates that 75% of the AEC CAD market supports the current 2x2 version of the IFCs (Industry Foundation Classes). The next version, 2x3, is expected to appear in May, with new support for GIS information developed in association with ESRI and the OGC (Open GIS Consortium). The goal is to facilitate regulatory checks of such things as code compliance, zoning requirements, utility connections and natural risk factors.
Have you received, or do you expect to receive, a pay raise for 2005?
Adoption rateAutodesk announced that adoption of Revit, its building information modeler, quadrupled among commercial customers in the past year. But, actual numbers were not released.
Intellectual property gets you only so farAlibre has patented its methods for 3D mechanical design over a distributed network such as the Internet. Its patent covers three components—the client user interface, application servers and database servers—that allow designers to share and edit product designs in real time over the Internet and for multiple servers to handle CAD tasks. Interestingly, Alibre has since shifted back to a more traditional application-on-a-workstation approach. Any other vendors who want to venture into Web-based CAD will need to work around Alibre's approach—or else license it.
On the other handSpeaking of patents, Intergraph continues to cash in on its Clipper patents, the last vestige of its computer workstation business. It settled with HP for a lump payment of $141 million. That brings Intergraph's tally from patent enforcements efforts to $860 million since 2002.
Intergraph spent some of its windfall on the acquisition of EYECAD 3D plant design software from Asahi Kasei Engineering of Japan. The purchase gives Intergraph a foothold in the Japanese plant design market and will accelerate the localization of its SmartPlant suite.