- 08:00am - 09:30am Multi-Discipline Project Coordination With Autodesk® Revit® AB204-1
- 10:00am - 11:30am Industry Keynote: Architecture, Engineering, and Construction KN208-1
- 01:00pm - 02:30pm Industry Keynote: Manufacturing KN214-1
- 03:00pm - 04:30pm Autodesk® Revit® for Conceptual Floor Plans AB218-1
Multi-Discipline Project Coordination with Revit…
It was a fairly easy start to the day with a session featuring the ins and outs of the Revit Coordinate System and project/content linking. OK, maybe not everyone’s idea of light morning kick off but Jim Stoneberger & Neal O’Neill – Avatech Solutions – covered the topic nicely. I picked up a few subtleties of the Revit 2010 base & survey points which were new to me. There was one, perhaps seemingly trivial to some, tip about how Revit treats AutoCAD links that more than justified the whole session. More on that when I have experimented with our own content!
After that began my “Industry Keynote Day”. I chose to attend a few as my work, platforms and interests span several applications and industries. The AEC keynote is perhaps closest to what I do, the applications we use, and it was first up.
Industry Keynote: Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Jay Bhatt opened with an address that, along with some holiday memories of China, set out how challenges facing the world could be opportunities to deliver change. A series of customer presentations showed the AEC applications in this light with a surprising emphasis on the “EC” portion.
Primat Engineering showed Plant 3D (first time I’d seen it) and Statoil demonstrated how Navisworks helps coordinate their installations. Parsons showed a local example, a water treatment plant in Las Vegas, which used BIM/Digital Prototyping.
Thus far the presentation had been lots of “E” and “C” but then Phil Bernstein arrived on stage to present some “A”. He joked about saving the best till last but looking back I’m not so sure. Not because of any weakness in the architectural work shown but simply because of how far Engineering and Civil visualisation has progressed.
As with the main stage preview renovation/rebuild and laser capture of as built featured. If the future of networks is the cloud it seems the future of BIM will be point clouds. Even if scans aren’t available technology like Autodesk Image Modeller allows as built modelling from images.
I wonder about the next step of getting from accurate cloud to actual BIM objects but I guess that’s keeping the boffins working. Projects shown included a facility at Stanford, Tuttle Courthouse Annex and a research project with The National Building Museum. It was scanned to a point cloud model, then converted (somehow) to an object model.
While there was a lot of cool stuff shown I thought this keynote felt a bit “flat”. Perhaps the tough AEC market (both industry and software) showed through?
Industry Keynote: Manufacturing
Although I don’t use Inventor several of our suppliers do and my Product Design background means this keynote is always of interest. Robert “Buzz” Kross, Senior VP Manufacturing Solutions, announced Inventor is Ten. That made someone who attended the NZ launch of AutoCAD Designer (which preceded Mech Desktop and Inventor) feel a rather old! He went on to introduce Inventor’s use in a couple of projects.
The first was Triple Eight Racing U.K. which reminded me of the Triple Eight Australian presentation at the NZ Autodesk Solutions Day. It showed how, like with their V8 Supercars, Triple Eight engineer their British Touring Cars in Inventor using detailed digital models.
Then came a mental “Robocoaster” from Dynamic Structures (right). It’s a roller coaster with car mounted robot arms swinging you around whilst rolling & coasting.
It was shown running in Inventor but would take more than faith in Digital Prototyping to get me on the thing. Maybe before lunch…
The X sur’Prize
I expected cool projects but wasn’t expecting a revelation. Then they invited Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman/CEO, X PRIZE Foundation, to take the stage. Yes, it was there on the AU website description but I hadn’t read that as signed up on the schedule heading alone. Like all techie geeks I was well aware of the X Prize but getting to hear Peter speak was a real privilege. He began by outlining the drivers for change and had a brilliant measure to evaluate a country’s curiosity factor.
He presented a powerful argument for incentive based development using X Prize examples. The $10 million Orbital prize spurred over a billion dollars of investment and kick started a new private space industry. Military spending $200 Million over twenty years to not develop an Autonomous Vehicle, 20 Grad Students spent $500,000 in two years and succeeded.
Current and future X prizes include lunar, automotive and genetic challenges with the aim of generating new discoveries and new industries. Check out the website for more details - http://www.xprize.org.
The real geeky cool feature of his talk was the upcoming Rocket Racing League. It will, next year, feature small piloted rocket powered aircraft racing along a virtual 3D aerial “track”. Imagine Formula 1 meets Red Bull Races with a bit of traditional air racing and video game technology thrown in to bring it to the people. In a word: Awesome!
Peter finished with a mention of Singularity University. With corporate backing from the likes of Autodesk, Google it aims to:
“Assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges.
I recommend looking at their blog (featuring some great video) to get an feel for what that actually means and the calibre of those involved.
Burning Hot Tech
Next up Amy Bunszel, Director of Mechanical Design Products, presented the upcoming “Hot Tech” segment. It was simply astounding how much she covered, and the potential revealed, in a seamless and very slick presentation.
I was using my Mindjet for iPhone to grab notes for the keynotes (great when even a Tablet PC is too much) and the easiest way to summarise it is the copy paste from the map (below). Now consider that I tapped this in, and I’m not fast on the iPhone keyboard, while watching demo after demo of all the features, applications and concepts in action. Part of that was an enormous 3D print, a full size turbo prop engine that was spinning away through the whole of AU. It was an brilliant finale for a superb keynote. The best I saw at Autodesk University and remember, I’m not even an Inventor user!
Revit® for Conceptual Floor Plans
Jim Balding and Scott Brown showed how to create information rich concept plans in Revit with content and methods aimed at “casual users”. While the results looked almost sketchy they leverage the smarts of Revit without the burden of precision. It was a refreshing look at how loose Revit can be while retaining many of the advantages of BIM. Plenty to think about after this session and lots of experimenting to see how it fits with our workflow. Thanks Gents!