2010 Software Releases • Autodesk • autodesk.com • The software giant has gotten a jump on things by releasing the 2010 versions of all their major A/E/C programs. Included are upgraded versions of Revit Architecture, Structure, and M/E/P; AutoCAD Civil 3D; Navisworks; Inventor; and 3ds Max Design. Revit Architecture has a new user interface, a purportedly more intuitive conceptual design workspace, and improved interoperability with the other 2010 releases—to try and better the workflow between the disciplines. BIM workflow was also improved for AutoCAD Civil 3D, which has a new function called Intersection Wizard, allowing civil engineers and planners to calculate and recalculate the structure and flow of new traffic intersections with fewer clicks than it takes to buy a pair of jeans online.
SketchUp 7.0 • Google • sketchup.google.com • The whiz kids at Google have released a major overhaul to their SketchUp software. Now, more attribute data can be tracked and stored within the models themselves. Improved collaboration and sharing tools allow more than one user to work on a model, and additional tools have been added to improve presentation quality. The new edition of the program might be familiar to some—it has been in beta since the program’s last release.
Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5 • Adobe • adobe.com • In an economic climate where racking up frequent flier miles no longer has enough value to offset the cost of a plane ticket, this program update from Adobe increases capabilities for computer-based video chats and interactive videos, for both single and multiple users. Show clients construction progress, fly engineers through a 3-D model, or take a meeting in another hemisphere, all without having to endure airplane food.
ArchiOffice Version 8.5 • OrangeLoft LLC • archioffice.com • This company of architects-turned-software developers is releasing a new version of its office- and project-management software. No longer married to the FileMaker Pro platform, the program allows employees to track their billable hours to keep within individual project budgets. Other new features include project-file indexing, billing and workforce records, and individualized employee-efficiency reports—which allows partners to keep tabs on their staff, but also means employees should confine Xeroxing their behinds to personal time.
Project Center Sixth Edition • Newforma • Newforma.com • This new version of Newforma’s project information management software facilitates integrated project delivery by allowing multistep, multiparty access to information. It has been reworked to better serve the needs of BIM and LEED projects, automating some tasks to cut down on the amount of document management that can accompany these projects. To track changes made during projects, the software allows users to view and track markups made in Adobe Acrobat, Bluebeam, and Autodesk Design Review. The program incorporates more than 60 customer suggestions, but if there is functionality that is still missing, blame the early reviewers—the software was released as a trial to nine companies to give it a test run.
HOBOware Data Logger Trial Version • Onset Computer Corp. • onsetcomp.com/products/software • A 30-day trial version of the building monitoring software is available for download at the company’s website. The program manages environmental and energy data from a building, such as electrical use and heat gain, and it charts and logs the information for future analysis. All data can be exported to Excel with one click.
BIM Review • Avatech • avatech.com • Intended for use with Autodesk’s Revit family of products, this plug-in finds inconsistencies in BIM models and provides automatic corrections, filling in the gaps left by tight deadlines, late nights, and too many cooks in the kitchen. The plug-in promises to streamline the design review process, as well as to ensure the completeness of the model. Once launched, it is almost invisible to the user, as it operates entirely within the Revit platform.
eLibrary v3.0 • MADCAD • madcad.com • Now in its third iteration, eLibrary is an online database of thousands of standards and codes that can be searched, cross-referenced, and organized based on an individual user’s needs. The database contains information from over 7,000 source books, without relying on PDFs. Also included in the new version is a collection of over 10,000 product manufacturer links. So say goodbye to too-small type, oversized volumes, and paper cuts. Subscriptions can be purchased for between $57.50 and $2,500 per year.
MEP Modeler • Graphisoft • graphisoft.com • An extension of the most recent ArchiCAD release, version 12, this program allows architects to import 3-D models of M/E/P networks like ductwork, piping, and cable trays into a BIM model. One in place, the network can be edited, and it may benefit from Graphisoft’s library of standard parametric products and components, which can be customized. Automatic correction helps to ensure contractors aren’t confronted with pipes punching through ductwork, and the same user interface as ArchiCAD makes for a smooth transition for new users.
PDF Revu v7.0 • Bluebeam Software • bluebeam.com • A professional PDF editor that competes with Adobe Acrobat, PDF Revu helps alleviate the avalanche of paper that can be generated by projects in A/E/C firms. A special CAD edition of the software creates PDFs of AutoCAD and Solidworks documents, and supplements the standard edition that manages Microsoft Office and Tablet PC documents. Given the slogan “We do PDF better,” Bluebeam seems fairly confident that they can find a solution for every firm’s needs.