Autodesk Launches Foundation Aimed to Solve “Epic Design Challenges”

Butaro Doctors’ Housing / . 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 software, 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 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 software is imperative. Your CAD employees need to be the best on the software 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 , 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

OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

Apple 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- 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 AutoCAD App for Macbook, after the break.

Autodesk Project Vasari 2.1

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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 Revit 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 Mac OSX Lion, and AutoCAD WS for Mac (the cloud/mobile solution for 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 AutoCAD for Mac 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

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As we told you a few weeks ago, Autodesk has launched an iOS 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 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.

Autodesk Autocad for Mac, Sledgehammer Beta 1

Almost a year ago we told you of a survey Autodesk was conducting regarding the UI and printing capabilities of with Mac users, the first confirmation of Autodesk finally working on a version for this platform.

Federico Viticci from Macstories posted several screen shoots of Sledgehammer, the first Beta of Autocad for Mac OSX, running on a 64-bit machine. The UI presents several changes from what we were used to on the Windows version, and I´m happy to see mouse gestures (supported by Macbook’s touchpad and the Magic Mouse).

Not much details out there, but we do have a meeting with an Autodesk rep in the following weeks, when we will try to get you more details.

In the meanwhile, take a look at the following screen shoots and tell us what you think: Is Autodesk going in a good direction with this new version (more than an adaptation) of Autocad for Mac? Does the UI seem usable for you? What would you add?

Autodesk Butterfly: Online CAD collaboration

With BIM, project collaboration was possible. But online collaboration over CAD drawings hasn’t been easy yet, with some applications that work very slow or in a limited way.

But a new project coming out of Autodesk Labs promises to make online CAD collaboration feasible: Autodesk Butterfly.

As you can see on the above video, sharing works on a very simple way over email allowing people to work on a drawing at the same time. I gave Autodesk Butterfly a try at their technology preview website (no need to sign-in, just hit Try Now) and the flash interface loaded fast. It is very intuitive to use if you have used , and the version control system allows you to go back to previous states of the drawing.

An iPhone version would be great, as it would allow you to do on-site review and annotations. Anyway, the preview looks very strong, and maybe we will have a full version of this tool available soon.

Autodesk Launches Online Game on Green Building

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Did you know the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is buildings? In fact, 38 percent of all carbon emissions in America come from powering our buildings, and according to McKinsey & Company, energy efficiency measures alone can tackle about half the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 60 to 90 percent by the year 2050.

But, what can be done to spread the word? How can engineers, architects, landlords, and the like –as well as the general public –be encouraged to address building performance? Autodesk, the California-based software design firm recently launched an online game, called RETROFITS , to help educate everyone–from industry professionals to teachers, parents and students –about green building issues.

Designed as half quiz show and half fast finger action, REFTROFITS builds awareness about the benefits of green building renovation as players compete for a place on the high points leader board. You can play it right here.

Seen at triplepundit.

Autodesk Assistance Program

1251390805-autodeskAlthough it seems that the economy has left behind it’s worst days, the fact is we are still going through an economic crisis. Many architecture offices and companies have had to let good people go. If you were one of them, you might be wondering how to advance your career in this challenging global job market.

In order to get ahead in the workplace, you need to invest in yourself by increasing your knowledge and expanding your skills. And the good news is that Autodesk can help you get back in the .

With the Autodesk Assistance Program you can take action today to gain a competitive advantage in your field. The program offers free license, free online training, reduced-cost classroom training and certification. You can go to Autodesk official website to learn all the details.