Software developer Autodesk has sweetened the deal for subscribers to its Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Collection. Today the global company, headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., announced the addition of six programs to the collection at no added cost for subscribers. These tools, which support project visualization, analysis, and fabrication, are Revit Live, Dynamo Studio, Robot Structural Analysis Professional, Structural Bridge Design, Advance Steel, and Fabrication CADmep.
Of these titles, the two most relevant to architecture are Revit Live and Dynamo Studio. Revit Live (see previous ARCHITECT coverage here) turns BIM models generated in Revit into 3D visualizations that allow users to view and navigate projects from first-person and aerial perspectives. The visualizations can then be transformed into virtual reality environments. Dynamo Studio offers a programming environment and an extension of Revit that lets architects create, analyze, and automate aspects of design through algorithms, code, and visual programming logic, in a manner similar to that of Grasshopper for Rhino.
Subscribers to the AEC Collection, which itself launched in August 2016, have had access to a bevy Autodesk's design tools, including AutoCAD, Revit, and 3ds Max, at the cost of $2,960 per year per user (at the time of publication). Purchased à la carte, an individual Revit license would set a user back $2,000 per year, and an AutoCAD license $1,102.50. Autodesk ended the ability for users to purchase new perpetual licenses for most of its products on Aug. 1, 2016.
In Autodesk’s In the Fold blog post announcing the collection expansion, Autodesk senior director Vikram Dutt expresses hope that by making the new titles accessible at no price increase, customers won’t be deterred by the expense of experimenting with the latest software. Autodesk’s customers, Dutt writes, have said “loud and clear that visualization, analysis, and fabrication capabilities have moved from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ to implement the BIM workflows you need to stay competitive.”