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.”
Navisworks with Revit
I found this video a few weeks ago which showed one of the new features in the 2013 release of Autodesk Navisworks. This Autodesk Navisworks Learning video shows you how you can work with Revit models in Navisworks. You’ll learn how to open Revit files in Navisworks, see how the Revit properties are imported with the model, and learn how to improve your workflows with the switchback functionality. This is one of the features in the 2013 which further aids the collaboration process between parties using different software packages.
I will now post a few tutorial videos which highlight some of the key features of the software to those who do not use Navisworks. Clash detection is one of the key aspects of Navisworks that has seperated it from other packages in the past. This Autodesk Navisworks Learning video shows you how to navigate and understand Clash Detective. Clash Detective enables you to identify clashes between objects in your model, so that you can resolve problems at the design stage. Clash detection has been used on many large BIM projects, significant savings made through spotting and solving clashes before they are built.
Another excellent feature of Navisworks is the TimeLiner. TimeLiner allows you to attach an external schedule to your project, and then link them to model items giving accurates schedules and time lines. This Autodesk Navisworks Learning video shows you around TimeLiner. TimeLiner enables you to connect a Navisworks model to an external project schedule, then attach scheduled tasks to model items and create a simulation to virtually construct your project. This tool, once set up will allow you to see a 3D virtual construction of your building as it would be built on site.
This Autodesk Navisworks Learning video shows you how to inspect selected items. You can inspect a selection from the Selection Tree or Scene View. Alternatively, choose a Selection Set or a Search Set. You can then zoom the selection to display it within the model, or modify it by deselecting objects and adding property definitions.
More information about Autodesk Navisworks can be found here.
Visit the Autodesk YouTube channel for more videos.
Industry Foundation Classes
So, I’m sure most of us know by now what IFC are, if not, this post may be for you! I just wanted to make a small post to anyone who was still in the dark. IFC or Industry Foundation Classes are a data modeling standard which are complete and fully stable, open and international standards for exchanging BIM data. buildingSMART developed the idea and the certification process.
In basic terms, this means that IFC can be used to exchange and share BIM data between applications developed by different software vendors without the software having to support numerous native formats. As an example, your .IFC model which you created in Revit, can be opened and edited in ArchiCAD by your Architect and the same applies for your structural engineer using Tekla. This interoperability further promotes and makes the process of collaboration easier between different parties on a building project.
“We say that our organisation – buildingSMART – is ‘the home of open BIM’. Every implementation of an IFC exchange should follow what is known as an ‘exchange requirement’. This requirement specifies the information that needs to be present in an exchange or sharing of data at a certain stage in a project. It is important to be specific about the information needed. The exchange requirement prevents woolliness and uncertainty.
How can designers and other software users be sure that the software in use is compliant with the open IFC standard and truly interoperable? At buildingSMART we run a certification scheme that tests software products to check that they meet the IFC standard and clarifies the scope of their interoperability. The scheme was revamped in 2010 to make it more stringent and indicates precisely what parts of the product work interoperably.”
This IFC certification 2.0 process – more information about this can be found here.
Importance to user, supported software and other specific enquiries can be found here.
There are also case studies which have been released by buildingSMART using their technology. These can be found here.
As I have posted about on a previous blog, The NBS are creating a ‘national BIM library’. This is a library which can be used by everyone in the construction industry, with pre-made families and objects. All of these objects will be available in the IFC format. The NBS plan to have their library as “the primary source of standard and proprietary BIM objects.” With the upcoming release of the library at Ecobuild this month, I can imagine the use of IFC files and ceritifcation process becoming a standard practice in all AEC firms.
Please visit the buildingSMART website here for more information about Industry Foundation Classes