Tag Archive | Autodesk

Autodesk and Trimble Sign Agreement to Increase Interoperability

AEC Customers will Gain Greater Flexibility Throughout the BIM Project Lifecycle

Autodesk and Trimble have entered into an interoperability agreement aimed at saving customers time and reducing project costs typically associated with workflow inefficiency across different suppliers’ technologies. This will benefit architects, engineers and contractors, and importantly, project owners by enabling more freedom to optimise technology workflows needed to meet the complex requirements of today’s construction projects.

Autodesk and Trimble have a shared goal of meeting the evolving needs of the building and infrastructure industries. Reliable, fluent exchange of information among multiple stakeholders and platforms is essential to this end. The Trimble and Autodesk collaboration demonstrates their ongoing commitment to support open industry standards such as Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie), and can enable current and prospective Autodesk and Trimble customers working on the same projects to work together seamlessly through optimised file compatibility across applications.

Under the terms of agreement, Autodesk and Trimble will take steps to accelerate interoperability by exchanging Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and developer tools to build and market interoperable products. This allows the two companies to improve upon existing data exchanges, as well as open up new workflows between their products. Tighter product-to-product integration can enable design and construction professionals to share models, project files and other data between select Autodesk and Trimble solutions both in the office and the field, and allow for the reuse of information during design and construction throughout all phases of the project.

“The strength of a company is best measured by its willingness to do what is right for its customers and the industry at large. This interoperability agreement, like others we’ve signed, speaks to Autodesk’s commitment to openness,” said Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk. “This collaboration with Trimble speaks to our shared dedication to making the building process more efficient and productive for all involved.”

“This collaboration demonstrates our mutual commitment to provide design and construction professionals with a seamless experience from both Autodesk and Trimble design-build-operate solutions,” said Bryn Fosburgh, vice president at Trimble. “As a result all stakeholders across the construction lifecycle can optimise their workflow efficiency.”


Project Expo – Immersive Visualisation in the Cloud

Yesterday saw the release of Autodesk Stingray, an immersive real-time visualisation platform.


Autodesk have now revealed details of Project Expo – This seems like it is built on top of Stingray, to provide real time visualisation, in the cloud! Project Expo was released yesterday via the Autodesk Labs, it is a confidential beta, so although you can use it, you can’t talk about it – a bit like Fight Club!

Project Expo leverages Autodesk’s powerful new game engine, Stingray, and puts it to use for professionals in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. Our cloud service makes the conversion from BIM to real-time automatic and simple as the click of a button. If you are a Revit user, and this is something you would like to try, you can request to join the project.

We’d love to hear from Architects, who want to fit immersive visualization into their design process, to find out how we can make this technology better. We plan to keep improving it for the duration of the Technology Preview. You can reach us at labs.expo@autodesk.com or in the discussion forums available to participants on the project.

Architectural immersion is alive in the lab.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today via Autodesk Labs and try out this new technology preview before your friends and colleagues get a chance. You could also help shape the future of the products with your feedback.

Autodesk Stingray Real-Time Visualisation Engine

Building designers can use Stingray to make their BIM-informed visualizations interactive in real-time through a direct link from the engine to 3ds Max
Autodesk Stingray Real-Time Engine Takes Design Visualization to a New Level for AEC Industry

Building designers can use Stingray to make their BIM-informed visualizations interactive in real-time through a direct link from the engine to 3ds Max

Today, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Europe 2015, Autodesk announced the release of Stingray, a real-time engine that can be used to create high quality 3D games, or be applied in the AEC industry to make BIM-informed 3D visualizations in 3ds Max fully interactive in a real-time environment. It means going anywhere in the model and seeing everything as you would in the physical world. The Stingray engine is built on the powerful, data-driven architecture of the Bitsquid engine, which Autodesk acquired last summer.

The new Stingray engine has profound implications for building designers, as it creates connected workflows with Autodesk 3D animation software like 3ds Max, which already supports a BIM process. The Stingray engine features a live link ability with the latest version of 3ds Max, which makes it possible to have changes made in 3ds Max happen immediately in the Stingray engine. To understand the impact of this new capability within 3ds Max, let’s take a look at the state of a BIM workflow using Autodesk solutions before today’s announcement.

The Stingray engine allows designers, owners and stakeholders to access and visualize a building model in real-time to fully understand the scale, feel and experience of the building before construction starts.

Building designers using Autodesk Revit software have had the ability to easily import models into 3ds Max to create stunning, photo-real images and animations to communicate design intent. It’s a workflow that’s been widely accepted in the AEC industry and plays an integral part in the design process. Now, with the Stingray engine, Revit models can be brought into 3ds Max to be made visually stunning and then imported to the Stingray engine to be made fully interactive, allowing users to explore “what if” design changes in a compelling visual environment not unlike a first person walk-about in a physical building. The real advantage of this is that it allows designers, owners and stakeholders to access and visualize a building model in real-time to fully understand the scale, feel and experience of the building before construction starts.

The Stingray engine features a live link ability with the latest version of 3ds Max, which makes it possible to have changes made in 3ds Max happen immediately in the Stingray engine

As a powerful real-time rendering engine, Stingray will help power Autodesk’s vision for connected visualization within a BIM process. The abilities that Stingray offers are the first step towards a connected future where software like Revit, 3ds Max and 3D environments like the Stingray engine, work seamlessly together to allow users to truly understand a design. By allowing real-time control, design changes and challenges may be quickly communicated in a compelling, visual way.

“We are opening a new door in the way buildings will be designed now and in the future that allows a live, interactive connection to designs,” said Amar Hanspal, Senior Vice President, Autodesk. “Imagine being able to meet your stakeholders for a tour of your building design model in a virtual space while collaborating to inform the design process. We are excited about this technology as it will help enable better decisions to be made prior to construction, where it gets really expensive to make changes.”

More Information, Pricing and Availability
For more about the Stingray engine and how it is fueling a new design process for AEC professionals, visit http://autodesklivedesign.com. Be sure to also check out this video and podcast with Angi Izzi, Senior Strategy Manager for Architecture, Autodesk and Rick Davis, Design Visualization Industry Manager, Autodesk.

Stingray is expected to be available as a desktop subscription download starting August 19. For more about Stingray, including availability and subscription pricing information, visit http://www.autodesk.com/stingray.


Naviswork Switchback with Revit

Trying to find those saved viewpoints from Navisworks in your Revit model?

Navisworks switchback is an excellent and very simple tool to use, to find referring views from Navisworks in your Revit project.

When making issue reports / clash views it is sometimes difficult to find the same referring view in your Revit project – Navisworks Switchback makes this seamless. Below is a short video showing how it works.

If you are using someone elses model you may find that you may need an additional step of locating the Revit model as the original file is being referenced from the authors server – Simply browse for your local version of the Revit model.

Autodesk – Security and the Cloud

Like it or not, as a technology professional, the cloud WILL become part of our every day work in the near future – if it’s not already! Many applications which you currently use may already use cloud technology without you even realising it. Security issues are of course a big concern when moving forward with tecnolgoy and into new ways of working. There are many questions that need to be answered in order to make the cloud user feel like their sensitive data is secure.

Autodesk 360 is a completely cloud based service – offering many tools for use in the AEC industry. The huge advantage of the cloud is the speed and efficiency. Instead of using your own PC for intensive tasks such as rendering and interactive energy analysis, you are able to utilise the massive power of the Autodesk cloud servers and computers. This will not only be a faster process, but also leave the computer your working on free for use on other activities.

Autodesk have released a document which was discussed on the ‘Introduction to Autodesk BIM 360 webinar’ earlier today, which was recorded and will be released publicly, next week (week 5). In this document ‘Autodesk 360: Work Wherever You Are – Safely’, it discusses the security technologies that are employed on the Autodesk cloud servers as well as suggesting that the cloud is a SAFER way to transfer and share files than the traditional methods we are used to:

uploaded imageThere‟s trust in being close. Many people associate their local workstation‟s or PC‟s content as safer than their files on the Internet. This isn‟t always the case. Often computers are susceptible to security risk because their files aren‟t fully protected against unauthorized access and intrusion. Furthermore, as files are transferred across the networks, they can become compromised if not done so in a secure manner. With Autodesk 360


  • The platform is built on a reliable, protected technology infrastructure specifically built just for cloud computing. 
  • You control who has access to your data, when you share it, and who you share it with.
  • You can access it from anywhere through an Internet connection after providing your login ID and password securely.
  • The services are designed to protect data and authentication in transit.

For more information, read the full .pdf document on the Autodesk website HERE or by clicking the image above.

All Autodesk University classes now available online

Just a quick post on a Saturday morning to notify any of my readers who have not already heard; The rest of the AU classes which had not been available up to now can now be veiwed online on the Autodesk University website. 

I’ve been looking forward to seeing a lot of these classes ever since I heard so many good things, about so many different classes from AU 2012. This is a chance for all of us who weren’t able to attend AU this year to catch up on the latest news and tips from Autodesk users and experts from around the world. Below is a video from one of the classes I have been most looking forward to see, winning the award for the best rated class of AU 2012:

Marcello Sgambelluri – Advanced Autodesk® Revit® Modeling Techniques Using Complex Geometry: Walls, Floors, Roofs, and Beams


There are hundreds of classes worth checking out. So make sure you don’t miss the chance to get up to date with the latest and most advanced user information available for Autodesk products. A bit like Christmas come early (or late!) for those seeking quality information. A #ukbimcrew AU2012 Class List has been created – Add your classes and give them a rating for others to figure out what classes contain the gold.

Shared parameters in Revit

Here are a series of useful videos uploaded recently on the Autodesk Building Solutions YouTube channel. This series covers the basics of shared parameters in Revit, an important library of definitions used when working on Revit projects. It is a good idea to have a shared parameter file set up in your office or home if you are working on multiple projects with the same standards. 

“A Shared Parameter is like a definition and the Shared Parameter file is like a dictionary.”  – Steve Stafford

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 1 

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 2

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 3

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 4

For more information on shared parameters, view the Revit Wiki Help page here:

Autodesk Wiki Help – Shared Parameters 

Autodesk FormIt challenge – designbymany

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Autodesk FormIt by now – The new tablet based geometry creation application for designers. FormIt is the first 3D modeling tablet app aimed primarily at the AEC industry. if you haven’t already seen FormIt in action you should check out the video below, but in short: It’s a cut down version of Vasari with simple geometry tools (extrusions/voids) which are fully controllable via a touchscreen with your fingertips! 

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Well, designbymany have issued a challenge under the title ‘FormIt University’. The competition is open to anyone (providing you own an iPad and a copy of the FormIt app). The brief is to design a school campus in Mumbai which will be assessed by a panel of familiar faced judges! There are no design limitations aside from a few requirements with rooms and meter squared usage. As far as the aesthetics of the campus goes, you are advised to create a unique building which will stand out as a land mark in the area. Exact coordinates are given in order to virtually locate your model accurately.

The winner of the competition will be presented with a full 1-year license of Revit Architecture 2013! An excellent prize, no matter who you are! As it stands, there are only 8 people participating in the challenge, leaving a chance for you to submit your design and stand a good chance of winning. If you have an iPad, download format and get modeling! The submission deadline is January 14th 2013 so I’m frantically trying to get my hands on an iPad before then :)

The video above is an interview from Autodesk University with Tom Vollaro, one of the developers of the app and a judge on the designbymany challenge (You may recognise him if you’ve been watching the Vasari talks). Tom has also been working on the development of Vasari, so the similarities between these applications is to be expected. You can also see a number of designs made with FormIt on YouTube, as well as some excellent tips on Dave Lights Everything Revit blog which is linked on the side of this page. 


  • Post submission in .AXM file format (required)
  • Post images (required)
  • Post concept diagrams (optional)


  • Rebecca De Cicco – KSS
  • Aaron Maller – Beck
  • Tom Vollaro – Autodesk
  • DesignbyMany Users – Community voting will be taken into account for the final winner


  • All designs must be submitted by Monday, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 11:59 PM (GMT -4)
  • Community voting will end on Monday, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 11:59 (GMT -4)

See the full brief, view participants, judges and enter for yourself on the designbymany site here.

Project Falcon now available for Revit

uploaded imageYesterday saw the release of Autodesk’s Project Falcon add-in for Revit. This is a tool which has been in testing for a while as a stand-alone tool or connected to other software packages such as Inventor, via Autodesk Labs. Project Falcon is a wind tunnel / wind analysis tool which can be used to generate an accurate air flow simulation around your model / building model. Some of the tools you will see in this add-in may look familiar from the energy analysis tools inside of the now graduated Autodesk Vasari. 

“Project Falcon is a free* technology preview that simulates air flow around vehicles, buildings, outdoor equipment, consumer products, or other objects of your choosing in a virtual wind tunnel. Falcon technology is extremely geometry tolerant and easy to use, enabling you to begin seeing and understanding air flow behavior within seconds of starting the application. Results update almost in real-time in response to changes in wind-direction and speed that you specify. Visualization tools available within the Falcon family of applications include 2D and 3D flow lines, shaded result planes, vector plots, and surface pressure shading. Quantified outputs include velocity, pressure, drag force, and drag coefficient.” 

Read more on the Autodesk Labs – Project Falcon page HERE 

  • The Project Falcon standalone technology preview will operate until March 15, 2013.
  • The Project Falcon for Inventor and Project Falcon for Revit technology previews will operate until August 30, 2013.

Head over to the Autodesk Labs page now and download yourself a free copy of the Project Falcon add-in for Revit HERE (64 bit only)


Another excellent resource has been released via Autodesk Labs which is Project Grapevine, this is basically a new approach to forums and finding help to your Autodesk related problems online. It is a portal where you can ask questions, attach photos, text and even files, to help the community understand and aid you in solving your problem. Seems like a fantastic idea and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses – The more people who use it, the more effective it will be. Could this be the end of Autodesk help forums as we know them?


Vasari Beta 2 is released

Does the BIM news ever end? New software, tools, addons left right and everywhere else. Very exciting times in the BIM / AEC industries. The latest news is the release of Vasari beta 2; main updates:

  • Automatically sync files with Autodesk 360
  • Solar radiation legend improvements
  • Category filtering in dialogs

Vasari Beta 2 is out!Sync your models with Autodesk 360! autodeskvasari.com

— Autodesk Vasari (@autodeskvasari) November 28, 2012

Follow the link above for download and release information: 

Autodesk Fusion 360

Anyone who was tuned in to the ‘Keynote Address’ presentation yesterday from AU will have seen Autodesk CEO Carl Bass introducing a new product to Autodesks ever growing repertoire of design tools. Fusion 360 looks like a fantastic product, branded as ‘3D CAD in the cloud’. From what I saw of it yesterday in the small introduction, I was blown away. The modeling tools available far exceed the abilities of Revit’s native modeling tools.

There was definitely a hint of the ‘Morph tool’ by Graphisoft in there, and I am very happy to see this. When ArchiCAD 16 came out I was more than just slightly envious of this amazing free form organic modeling tool, where you have almost complete control over your design, virtually unlimited by the tools you have at your disposal.

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Aside from the modeling aspect of the tool Fusion 360 allows interoperable collaboration at the click of a button. Models can be uploaded from Revit, Rhino, ArchiCAD you name it – with synchornised results far more accurate than what we are acheiving at the moment. We have been promised a fully interoperable and extremely accurate product to product exchange. Sounds very exciting, and about time too. This promises to be the first truly open BIM platform, I truly hope that this is the case!

You can view more information about Autodesk Fusion 360 by click on THIS link or clicking on the image above. You may also wish to sign up for the newsletter on the site. There is an option to ‘Get in on the beta’ – Give it a try, you never know you may be one of the lucky few! I am very much looking forward to trying out this product and can’t wait to try and create some Revit families using the organic free form modeling tools.

Additional videos on AutodeskMFG YouTube channel, find them HERE.

Fusion 360 are also on Twitter, follow them HERE @InventorFusion

Autodesk Virtual University 2012

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To everyone who was left at home and unable to be in Las Vegas this week for Autodesk University, it’s not all bad news. Autodesk are providing a live stream from Vegas for certain presentations – View the live stream here. Carl Bass and Jeff Kowalski are kicking off in 25 minutes (16:00 GMT) with the ‘Keynote Address’ presentation.

All of the classes will also be recorded and available on demand around a week after the event is over. Many of the speakers will also be releasing handouts for the presntations, some of these are already available so go and check the AU Virtual catalogue.