By Stephen Lester for Autodesk University

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Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) has progressed rapidly over the last decade, with both increased industry demand and the improvement of relevant software packages and plug-ins driving its progression.

Highly inefficient workflows and longer production hours have given way to more refined models and improved integration between disciplines across the AEC industry. It has become a far more cohesive process enabling efficient and rapid design changes along with the use of more data rich models.

VDC has also experienced growth and advancement through the adoption of gaming engines, providing the ability to immerse oneself into an interactive environment, interrogating embedded BIM data and ‘rehearsing’ construction sequencing whilst viewing from any angle. …


By Andreas Luka for Autodesk University

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This article shows you how to create an associative parametric model to introduce fundamental concepts that underpin computational design while exploring visual programming in Dynamo software. We will enhance with parameters retrieved from AutoCAD software and Civil 3D objects. We will show how to organize and export a point cloud representing the landform and link it into Civil 3D. Then we will integrate this landform as a triangulated irregular network (TIN) model into the model of the existing environment and perform several analyses, including grading, storm water, and cut/fill balance. Based on this analysis, we will optimize the parametric model. As the model is dynamically linked, we can check the improvement immediately in Civil 3D and iterate the process conveniently. …


By Ricardo Marmolejo for Autodesk University

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Creating organic realistic families in Revit can be quite a challenging task since Revit families’ modeling options are limited to basically five tools: extrusions, revolves, blends, sweeps, and swept blends. Creatively using these five tools will certainly help you to model most types of objects, but when it comes to soft goods (pillows, cushions, curtains, clothing, bedding, etc.) these five tools can be quite limited, not only because of the shapes you can create with them, but also because of the way Revit maps the textures on to them. …


By Beate Freyer for Autodesk University

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A lot of medium-sized companies either do not or only occasionally use virtual commissioning in engineering, the reason being that it is difficult to quantify the real benefits of these technologies. On closer inspection, however, it quickly becomes apparent that immense savings are possible in all areas — sometimes several million euros per year.

Virtual commissioning can hold a lot of potential. Problems and possible improvements can be identified early in the development process and can thus often be avoided altogether. Expensive repairs of the actual machine and subsequent customer complaints are therefore reduced to a minimum, saving both time and money. …


By Paras Taneja for Autodesk University

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Building Information Modeling (BIM) gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. However, payments are a challenge and there is a lot of paperwork involved. BIM software should not be limited to generating 3D models and could serve to compile all project information and documentation, such as change orders, invoices, and payment records.

Blockchain can address issues surrounding secure access to the model and allow for a reliable audit of who made changes, when they were made, and what those changes were. Contractual processes that typically require human intervention and oversight can be partially or fully automated with smart contracts, originating from blockchain technology. In this article, I explore technological advancements that are disrupting the AEC industry and share my takeaways about the convergence of blockchain and the industry so far. …


By Guilherme Borges de Lima for Autodesk University

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There is no doubt about the importance of the period of operation of an infrastructure asset, such as a bridge or dam, in view of its life cycle. However, despite such relevance, there is an absence of tools and workflows that allow us to safely and dynamically manage the mass of information that is generated during the operation of such assets.

In this article, we will present the possibilities of using Autodesk Forge to support engineering teams, so that they are subsidized with information for decision making in a fast, safe, and transparent way. Examples of IoT usage will be presented, integrating real-time data from sensors installed in the asset and integrated into the model. In addition, the importance of including information from the design and construction phases with the operation phase will be justified. …


By Ferny Celina for Autodesk University

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This article shows the flexibility and consistency of energy analysis performed with BIM-based simulations such as Revit, Insight, and Green Building Studio. These tools were used to study the energy performance and thermal comfort of an existing building to reduce the dependence on the mechanical system of the building through retrofitting strategies. The BIM tools helped the designers to experiment with all possible design alternatives before the execution for the final design solution, which saves money and time while simultaneously contributing to more energy-efficient building design.

Performing Energy Analysis

Rapid urbanization has resulted in exploitation of the available energy resources. Greenhouse emissions due to the maximum usage of the mechanical system for active cooling of the building has created greater impact on our fragile ecosystem. This was an eye-opening situation for people all around the world, thus promoting energy-efficient solutions for the buildings. Envelope systems pose a great scope to reduce the energy consumption and consequently improve building efficiency. It is not yet known in what way building envelope design measures are to be selected and the performance in hot and humid climates. …


By Steve Cox for Autodesk University

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Using generative design (GD), we are able to engage in design exploration to assist us in seeking out new ways to solve engineering and product design problems. It provides us with the opportunity of exploring what lies beyond the boundaries of traditional designing, especially where light weight, high stiffness, and minimal material usage are important. Exploration and discovery in design can be helpful as we look to address the environmental pressures we are facing in the area of design and manufacturing.

However, many people still see generative design as a tool for creating designs that can only be produced using additive manufacturing. Find out how that’s not the case, and how the tools that support other methods of manufacturing can be used in interesting ways. …


By Michael Freiert for Autodesk University

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In a well-set-up workflow, it gets harder to find incremental improvements we can use to shave seconds off each task. What if we could shave seconds off many tasks with one tool? Computer gamers and mechanical-keyboard enthusiasts have a few tools that the CAD community has not yet widely embraced. Gaming peripherals are designed to send multiple keystrokes or commands to a computer in one key press.

This article will look at how input devices such as game pads, gaming mice, and customized keyboards can improve a design professional’s workflow. We will look at several types of individually customizable input tools, and discuss how we can implement tools that were not designed for a corporate environment in that environment. We will examine where these tools have shortcomings, and how to dial in their utility versus the potential for them to be a distraction. …


By Kean Walmsley for Autodesk University

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Autodesk’s new office in Toronto is the first large-scale example of a generatively designed office space. Photograph by Ben Rahn/A-Frame Inc.

Project Discover was the original project that launched Autodesk’s work around generative design for AEC, leading to the creation of Project Refinery, an optimization engine for Dynamo. It involved the generative design of Autodesk’s new office in the MaRS district of Toronto, a showcase for using generative design for architectural layout. While this project pre-dated the latest Autodesk tools in this space, Autodesk Research embarked on Project Rediscover to go back and retrofit the original approach to work with Dynamo and Refinery. …

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