Sefaira Announces Real-Time Daylight Visualisation Tool for AutoDesk Revit

Daylight Visualisation alongside . Image Courtesy of Sefaira

Sefaira, one of the leading software designers for high-performance building design, have recently announced a new real-time daylight analysis and visualisation tool which runs within Autodesk Revit, one of the most commonly used Building Information Modelling (BIM) enabled (Windows native) design packages. Sefaira for Revit allows for early stage analysis, leading to “more informed design decisions based on multiple daylighting metrics.”

Top 10 Technical Apps for Architects

Arrette Scale: perspective. Image Courtesy of Arrette Scale

Building upon our Top 10 Apps for Architects, this collection brings together some of the best quality and most valued technical apps for designing, sketching, calculating and collaborating. Although the majority of those featured here are designed solely for the iOS platform, every time we collate lists such as these it’s clear that more and more high quality apps for the Android and Windows platforms are being developed. From condensed versions of large scale software packages that architects and designers use every day, to blank canvases to scratch ideas down onto, you might just find an app that could improve the way you work.

What Autodesk’s Acquisition of “The Living” Means for Architecture

The Living’s “Hy-Fi” installation at MoMA PS1. Image © Kris Graves

giant Autodesk has acquired forward-thinking design studio The Living, headed by David Benjamin. The Living will become the latest addition to Autodesk’s research network, in a move which Benjamin says “will enable The Living to do more of what we are already doing and super-charge it.”

Among the practices which Autodesk could have bought, The Living may at first glance seem like a counter-intuitive choice; the practice most recently made news with the opening of their ‘Hy-fi’ installation at MoMA PS1 last Friday. Why would a company that produces software be interested in the work of a studio that grows bricks out of mushrooms? Isn’t that all a bit too… biological? Not exactly. Read on after the break to find out what Autodesk has up its sleeve.

VIDEO: 3D Printing San Francisco’s Future Skyline

The skyline of San Francisco is in the process of significant transformation. Projects such as OMA‘s 550-foot residential tower, as well as developments in the pipeline from Foster + Partners and Studio Gang, are sure to change the city dramatically – thankfully, the 3D printed model in this video is there to show exactly how. The 6×6 foot model shows 115 blocks of downtown San Francisco as it will appear in 2017, and was created by visualization company Steelblue and Autodesk. Claimed to be the largest 3D printed model of a city in the world, it can show much more than just how San Francisco’s downtown will look: overlaid projections can show the status of each building, projected traffic patterns and more. Furthermore, each block is individually replaceable to keep the model up to date. Watch the video, and find out more about the model through this article from SFGate.

Autodesk Launches Foundation Aimed to Solve “Epic Design Challenges”

Butaro Doctors’ Housing / MASS Design Group. Image © Iwan Baan

Autodesk has launched the Autodesk Foundation, an organization which will “invest in and support the most impactful nonprofit organizations using the power of design to help solve epic challenges.” In an effort to aid those tackling global issues such as “climate change, access to water, and healthcare,” the foundation will provide select design-oriented grantees with , training and financial support.

MASS Design Group Joins African Education Initiative

Butaro Hospital. Image © Iwan Baan

Together with the (AWF), MASS Design Group is helping to build 15 conservation primary schools over the next 10 years in African landscapes, home to some of world’s most important wildlife populations, including elephants, rhinos, great apes, and lions. They will design non-traditional educational campuses for primary school children that offer lessons and other services extending beyond the classroom walls.

Ask Arup: What Are the Best Ways to Use 3ds Max in Visualizations?

Courtesy of Arup Connect

This article originally appeared on Arup Connect as “Ask Arup: Visualization Edition.”

For our latest round of ArchDaily reader Biserat Yesflgn requested tips for visualization software 3ds Max (formerly known as 3D Studio Max). We spoke to New York-based Arup visualization specialist Anthony Cortez to find out how he uses the program, what skills prospective visualization artists need, and how the field is evolving.

4 Tips for a Lean, Mean CAD Team

Courtesy of Gili Merin

This article, by Shaun Bryant, CAD consultant, comes to us via our friends at Line//Shape//Space.

In my previous article, I mentioned that I had been a CAD manager in a past life and that there were many hats I used to wear. One of these hats was training manager for the CAD department. I was the guy who liaised with HR, organizing and budgeting for the training my CAD employees needed. The big question was, what sort of CAD training did they need? Did I send both permanent and agency (freelance) CAD employees to take the courses, or did I let the agency folks fend for themselves? No matter what, they are your CAD team and everyone should get the same training, but the agency guys should be careful of their tax position when accepting training from a client under contract. All of this has to be taken into account when you have a finite training budget to spend.

But training on CAD is imperative. Your CAD employees need to be the best on the they use and not develop bad habits. They need the core training, plus the experience, plus supplemental training on new versions as they are released. (Each year in the case of Autodesk, right?)

Get the 4 Tips to Getting the Best CAD Team you can, after the break…

Mac OSX Mountain Lion and Software Compatibility for Architects

Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

has released the latest version of their operating system: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Over 200 new features have been integrated into Lion with the intent to streamline your work and life. Some of the highlighted features include the built in iCloud that keeps all your content updated and in-sync with your Apple products, a unified notification center to help you stay updated on everything, and ready-to-go dictation that makes typing optional.

Although this all sounds great, what about we architects use on a daily basis?

A word of advice before you upgrade:

AutoCAD and New Macbook Pro’s Retina Display

Apple's latest Macbook Pro boasts an incredibly high resolution Retina Display

“If I were a drafter, I’d drop everything and buy it.”

So said Rob Maguire, the product manager for Autodesk’s AutoCAD, describing the new 3D-rendering drafting applications that will run on Apple’s latest MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook’s distinguishing feature is its souped-up Retina display  - which boasts 4 times as many pixels as its predecessor, 75% less reflection, and 29% higher contrast.

The implications for architects will be practically life-changing. But there is a catch…

Get the scoop on the new App for Macbook, after the break.

Autodesk Project Vasari 2.1

YouTube Preview Image

Autodesk recently released their Project Vasari 2.1, an easy-to-use, expressive design tool for creating building concepts. Vasari goes further, with integrated analysis for energy and carbon, providing design insight where the most important design decisions are made. And, when it’s time to move the design to production, simply bring your Project Vasari design data into the Autodesk platform for BIM, ensuring clear execution of design intent.

Project Vasari is focused on conceptual building design using both geometric and parametric modeling. It supports performance-based design via integrated energy modeling and analysis features. This new preview is now available as a free download and trial on Autodesk Labs. More videos and information on the software after the break.

Autodesk announces AutoCAD 2012 for Mac

Today Autodesk announced AutoCAD 2012 for Mac OSX, offering native support for OSX Lion, and AutoCAD WS for Mac (the cloud/mobile solution for CAD drawings).

Autodesk also announced LT 2012 for Mac, available for immediate download at the App Store (US$899.99).

The new portfolio of AutoCAD products for Mac expands options for millions of users of the popular design, documentation and collaboration software. AutoCAD 2012 for Mac was built specifically for OS X Lion and helps users create stunning designs on their platform of choice. AutoCAD LT for Mac enables users to document designs, optimize workflow and collaborate with colleagues and clients. AutoCAD WS for Mac enables users to view and collaborate on DWG files through the Mac interface. In addition, AutoCAD WS users can plot DWG files to PDF or DWF formats and sync with their cloud-based AutoCAD WS account, making files accessible from their AutoCAD WS mobile app. AutoCAD LT 2012 for Mac and AutoCAD WS for Mac are available exclusively in the Mac App Store.

More images after the break:

Autodesk and USGBC Announce Multifamily Midrise Design Competition

Photo Courtesy: First Community Housing

Autodesk, Inc., a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced at the AIA 2011 National Convention in New Orleans that it has partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council () to sponsor the organization’s Multifamily Midrise Design Competition. The contest is geared to provide design professionals and students with a unique opportunity to present their solutions to sustainable, multifamily midrise design.

Design professionals and students are invited to submit their ideas for a new four-to-six-story residential mixed-use building/complex, in combination with a gut-rehab renovation and recommissioning of an adjacent existing building. Specifically, competition entrants will be tasked with delivering ideas for reenergizing the 1300 block of Oretha C. Haley Boulevard between Thalia and Erato streets in New Orleans via design and adaptive reuse architecture, with consideration given to the former elementary school that still stands on the grounds.

For more information, please go to the competition’s official website.

Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac video tutorials

As we told you earlier, Autodesk for Mac is now shipping and you can download a free trial.

After the break you will find more videos to get started on this new version. Happy drafting!

Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac now available

A few months ago we told you that Autodesk for would be available on October. We just found out that it started shipping today, and you can also download a full 30-day trial. Students can also download a free version.

Anyone already using it? Share your thoughts on the comments section!

AutoCAD WS: AutoCAD’s mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

YouTube Preview Image

As we told you a few weeks ago, Autodesk has launched an based mobile app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. AutoCAD WS will be available soon for free, and you will be able to view, edit, and share DWG files on your mobile devices. More about it after the break.

Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac OSX in October, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch versions announced

AutoCAD for Mac

It all began last year when Autodesk sent a survey to its customers asking how they imagined AutoCAD for Mac OSX. Then, back in May, we saw an early preview of the software running on Mac. This was a leaked version, and Autodesk didn’t say anything (we asked!) about it.

But today, Autodesk issued a press release confirming it: Autodesk AutoCAD for Mac OSX will be available to the public in October, at a MSRP of $3,995 (same as the PC version – Autodesk Education Community version available for free).

The announcement also included a free mobile version of AutoCAD for mobile devices, specifically for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

And this announcements clarifies some things. Back in May we sat down with Phil Bernstein, VP of Industry Relations & Strategy at Autodesk, and talked about AEC software, social networks and the cloud.

Phil said something very interesting in regards to integration of Autodesk software: “3 screens: computer, cloud and mobile”. More than new, standalone versions for mobile devices, Autodesk is pushing forward the integration of workflow and collaboration across their software (not only Autocad), a move in which the cloud will play a key role. A hint of this was seen earlier in Autodesk Butterfly (part of Project Bluestreak), a developed by Autodesk Labs.

This move will sure change a lot of things. Collaboration, SaaS (Software as a Service), and eventually lower costs, among others.

You can pre-order a AutoCAD for Mac starting tomorrow.

Revit for Mac? Let the rumors begin.

Autodesk Autocad for Mac (Sledgehammer Beta 1) on video

A few days ago we showed you a series of screenshoots of the first Autodesk Autocad for Mac Beta (codename Sledgehammer), a preview of the UI improvements that we are going to see for this platform.

This video by ItaliaMac shows more details about the User Interface and mouse (touchpad) gestures.

Many of our readers are very excited about this new version, and we hope it sees the light before the fall semester.