AEC Tech News: Focus on Productivity (#6)

24 May, 2006

Earthbound Architectural Illustrations

Google Earth helps firm win A/E design business

Greg Hamilton, a 3D illustrator at the A/E (architectural/engineering) design firm Durrant, remembered the day he discovered Earth -- Google Earth, the search engine giant’s free terrain-exploration program.

Fascinated, he entered the coordinates for Durrant’s Minneapolis office. Almost immediately, the recognizable pentagonal rooftop of his office appeared in the program’s display window. He tried to identify his car and his colleagues in the parking lot and on nearby streets. Afterward, without ever leaving their chairs, he and Tim Heitman, Durrant’s graphics design manager, went on several domestic and overseas tours, dropping into the campuses of their old high schools and shuttling between Asia and Europe.

It didn’t take long for them to realize that what they were looking at could be incorporated into their design work.

Reshaping Downtown
At the time, Durrant was competing against several other design firms for the business of a potential client who was planning a mixed-use building in downtown Minneapolis, with retail storefronts on the ground floor and residential and business units on others. As Hamilton recalled, someone proposed putting their model into Google Earth so the client could see how the complex would look sitting next to adjacent buildings. Read more>>

Cadalyst Labs Review: View Masters -- New 2D/3D Viewers for CAD Drawings

by Ron LaFon

Whether you need to find a particular design in a set of files or mark up and communicate data with your design team, a drawing viewer of some sort is essential. In the viewer market, no one-size-fits-all application exists. A small, AutoCAD-only design firm has different requirements than a large design house that might use SolidWorks, Inventor and CATIA in addition to AutoCAD. Your needs might extend to showing models to clients, in which case you may need more-sophisticated viewing options than suffice for in-house use.

When deciding which viewer is appropriate for your needs, the first question is whether the viewer supports the file types you use most commonly. Do you work in just 2D, or is some of your work 3D? What do you need to do with the drawing files? Is a simple viewer enough, or do you need to control layers, view attributes or view cross sections? Do you require markup and redlining tools? Are you working alone or do you need an enterprise-wide viewer? Does the viewer enable easy navigation within both files and directory structure? What is the cost of the application compared with the feature set? Lots of questions, but fortunately there are many capable applications from which to choose.
Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

AutoCAD Tips and Tricks
June 1, 2006
Tampa, Florida
Avatech Solutions invites design professionals to a free event presented by Lynn Allen, Cadalyst columnist and Autodesk worldwide technical evangelist. Read more

A/E Project Management Fundamentals Virtual Seminar
June 12, 14, 26 and 28, 2006
This four-part virtual seminar (2 p.m. ET) by ZweigWhite is designed to cover everything a new A/E project manager needs to know. Read more

AUGI CAD Camp -- Hawaii
June 29, 2006
Honolulu, Hawaii
Spec Systems hosts this AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) learning and networking event. Choose from 15 intense Autodesk product classes designed to provide productivity techniques you can apply immediately. Read more

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

what's new at

Cadalyst's New Job Search Now Live! Our new search tool offers a state-by-state list of CAD-related job openings, or you can customize a search to find your own list of U.S. job openings based on the keywords and locations you specify. Use the Job Search button on Cadalyst's Management, Manufacturing, AEC or GIS Web site or click here for a direct link. 

AEC From the Ground Up (Column) – State of the AEC Industry 2006: No matter how you define BIM, it’s changing the AEC industry.

Spatial Technologies (Column) - Integrating CAD and GIS Using Topobase: Autodesk’s Topobase lets users manage and modify CAD and GIS data in the same system.

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