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Autodesk: The Latest Architecture and News

Spacemaker Proposes AI-Powered Generative Design to Create More Sustainable Spaces and Cities

Autodesk has just acquired Spacemaker, a platform that “gives architects and developers the automation superpower to test design concepts in minutes” and explore the best urban design options. Targeting architects, urban designers, and real estate developers, the cloud-based AI-powered generative design helps professionals taking better early-stage design decisions.

Courtesy of SpacemakerCourtesy of SpacemakerCourtesy of SpacemakerCourtesy of Spacemaker+ 13

SOM Designs Stereoform Slab Pavilion for 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

Architecture practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have designed a concrete pavilion for the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Today, the practice is unveiling the work of its interdisciplinary practice with Stereoform Slab, a to-scale prototype of a future building system made using advanced robotic fabrication techniques. The project is simultaneously an activation and an exhibition that illustrates a design method that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete construction.

Courtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOMCourtesy of Dave Burk | SOM+ 8

How Modular Construction Could Offer a Lasting Solution in the Affordable Housing Crisis

This article was originally published in Autodesk's Redshift publication as "How Building Modular Homes can Help Fill the Affordable Housing Gap."

“Modular” isn’t a construction product; it’s a construction process. This is according to Tom Hardiman, executive director of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), whose members include more than 350 companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution of modular buildings, including multifamily homes.

Mind the Gap: Minimizing Data Loss Between GIS and BIM

An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.

The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework. 

How to Bring Construction into the Future

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "The 4 Forces That Will Take on Concrete and Make Construction Smart."

When it comes to building a bridge, what prevents it from having the most enduring and sustainable life span? What is its worst enemy? The answer is, simply, the bridge itself—its own weight.

Built with today’s construction processes, bridges and buildings are so overly massed with energy and material that they’re inherently unsustainable. While concrete is quite literally one of the foundations of modern construction, it’s not the best building material. It’s sensitive to pollution. It cracks, stains, and collapses in reaction to rain and carbon dioxide. It’s a dead weight: Take San Francisco’s sinking, leaning Millennium Tower as an example.

Modern, smart construction can and will do better. A convergent set of technologies will soon radically change how the construction industry builds and what it builds with.

This 3D Printer, Designed Specifically for Architects, Is Surprisingly Easy to Use

Have you ever spent hours calibrating the nozzle of a 3D printer or preparing a print-ready file – only to find that the model has failed because of a missed zero-thickness wall? With this in mind, the Platonics Arka 3D printer currently being developed in Helsinki, Finland—has one simple goal: to remove all unnecessary set-up and technical processes by means of intelligent automation and, as a result, almost entirely eliminate the wasted time that architects and designers spend calibrating printers, or working up print-ready files.

© Platonics© Platonics© Platonics© Platonics+ 9

"X-Ray Vision" Headset Allows Architects to See Under the Surface of Construction Sites

This article was originally published on Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Augmented Reality in Construction Lets You See Through Walls."

Imagine you’re part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you’re on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking construction helmet and step out of the service elevator. As you look up, there’s a drop ceiling being installed, but you want to know what’s going on behind it.

Through the visor on your helmet, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It’s like having comic book-style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site near you.

Visualizations of the Most Used AutoCAD, Revit, and 3dsMax Commands

The 'Customer Involvement Program' of Autodesk's research department has, over the years, compiled a database of over 60 million individual commands created by anonymized users. Each reveals shortcut paths and thought flows among its customer base. The team have visualized the product usage (here described as the Command Usage Arc project) by ordering known and new commands from the most-frequently-used to the least-frequently. Revealed as a sequence of infographics, the results demonstrate how people work – and how they often deviate from prescribed usage.

Autodesk's Generative Design Pavilion Plays with Properties and Fabrication Processes in Stone and Fabric

At Autodesk's 2016 conference in Las Vegas, a team from Autodesk's BUILD Space led by principal research engineer Andrew Payne collaborated with manufacturer Quarra Stone, engineers Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, and University of Michigan assistant professor Sean Ahlquist to unveil its new Generative Design Pavilion. The project is an exploration of materiality, with stalagmite stone forms that rise up from geometric floor panels to meet fabric that stretches down from a canopy above. The junction of textile and stone aims to emphasize the distinct behaviors of the two materials.

Courtesy of Quarra StoneCourtesy of Quarra StoneCourtesy of Quarra StoneCourtesy of Quarra Stone+ 20

The Ultimate Guide to Revit Shortcuts

This article was originally published on ArchSmarter.

For all the work you do in Revit, there’s a keyboard shortcut that can help you do it faster.

Here’s a roundup featuring some of my favorite Revit keyboard shortcuts to create and organize your model. Keep reading to learn how to create your own shortcuts.

This shortcut cheat sheet is also available in a convenient pdf form; simply sign up here to download it.

12 Top Apps for Architects on the Construction Site

We have previously published the best apps for architects, many of which try to boost creativity and productivity for project design. Now, we’ve put together a series of helpful apps for the development and management of construction projects. From digital measuring tools to instant software-generated reports of work progress, we hope this new construction technology will be most useful to you.

6 Ways BIM Can Make Your Architecture Firm More Competitive

Starting an architecture firm may sprout from one’s love for and interest in the discipline, but running a competitive business requires more than just a tendency to enjoy the work. BIM could be the edge a firm needs in order to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways a firm can make use of BIM to become more profitable on their projects and successful in winning those projects in the first place; read on to find out more about six of them.

Not Ready for BIM? Here are 5 Reasons You May Be Wrong

Committing your firm to BIM may seem daunting, especially with the time and cost investments that come with adopting new sets of software and a new workflow. There are hidden parallels however, between BIM and other processes within a firm, and therefore these changes to a new way of working may not be as demanding as they first seem. Here are five ways you may already be halfway to BIM.

LIVE Design: Step Inside Your Design

Bring Your Designs to Life

Join Motion Media and Autodesk to learn about creating stunning & immersive experiences with Live Design.

Live Design lets you create stunning interactive visualizations of your architecture or designs. The immersive experience lets designers explore their creations in the virtual world accurately. Live design is more than just viewing, it's feeling and experiencing your design.

Learn how you can use Autodesk Revit, 3ds Max & Stingray to create Live Designs that will captivate your customers and make sure your proposal is the one they remember.

How Do You Know if BIM is Worth The Investment For Your Firm?

While BIM is increasingly becoming a necessity in architecture, it is still difficult to quantify the benefits it is bringing to the industry. Currently, there is no industry-standard method for calculating BIM’s Return on Investment (ROI) and, due to the complexities of the calculation, many firms have not adopted any consistent measurement practices to determine the monetary benefit that the technology has brought to their practice. The difficulty centers upon the fact that traditional analysis of ROI is unable to represent intangible factors that are important to a construction project such as avoided costs or improved safety.

Therefore, as the leading providers of BIM technology, Autodesk was interested in researching the subject. Their study, “Achieving Strategic ROI: Measuring the Value of BIM,” reveals that the role of ROI in technology decision making is shifting in that leading firms are seeking a more nuanced view of ROI to inform their strategy of investment and innovation.

Transcending the traditional “profit versus cost” calculation, companies are looking into different dimensions of the company to develop well-informed quantifications of their ROI for BIM.

10 Steps to Simplify Your Firm's Transition to BIM

So you’re convinced that BIM will be a good addition to your firm. Unlike more conventional CAD, BIM is composed of intelligent 3D models which make critical design and construction processes such as coordination, communication, and collaboration much easier and faster. However, for these reasons BIM is also seen by many as a more complicated software with a steep learning curve, with the potential to take a large chunk out of a firm’s operating budget during the transition period. So how do you actually transition an entire firm’s process to BIM? Here are ten steps to guide you on your way.

The Top 12 Architecture Channels on Youtube

There’s so much to learn about architecture, yet so little time. The smart architect knows to have a variety of sources for their architectural knowledge, and that's why we’ve put together a shortlist of our Top 12 Architecture Channels on Youtube, and picked some of their best videos for you to see. Read more to find out the best architecture videos, from sketching and rendering tutorials to architecture documentaries.