CAD Meets Internet at A/E/C Systems 2000
by B.J. Novitski
In all the excitement over the predominance of Internet technologies at this year's A/E/C Systems Show, it might have been easy to lose track of the software that architects most depend on. Computer-aided design systems remain as mission-critical as they've ever been.
Yet market leader Autodesk didn't have a booth at this show and inheritor of the Intergraph mantle Bentley Systems gave MicroStation apparent second billing behind their new initiative Viecon. Indeed, some architects left the Show grumbling that their core applications are suffering from developer neglect because of all the attention going to project extranet dot-coms.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of CAD activity at SYSTEMS 2000, with strong showings from the stalwarts of Graphisoft, DataCAD, auto-des-sys, and others. There were impressive displays by web-connected Revit and the fully web-based Bricsnet Architecturals.
AecXML Initiative Begins to Pay Off
Creeping into several of these systems is the hot new aecXML technology, which promises to greatly facilitate data sharing between CAD and other systems, on and off the Internet.
One demonstration of aecXML technology is in the new parametric building modeler, Revit, which incorporates cost estimating capabilities from R.S. Means's CostWorks.
The release of Revit due out later this summer is projected to support preliminary estimates during schematic design, well before details of construction are worked out. Revits plans to integrate the function so smoothly into the modeler that architects will finally be able to incorporate cost considerations early enough to make a difference in their schematic decision making.
The 300 South Tryon Lobby was rendered by the Atlanta, Georgia firm of Cooper Carry, Inc. using a new "particle tracing" technology from Bentley Systems.
Image: Cooper Carry
In the new parametric building modeler, Revit, any modification made to a view of the building is automatically reflected in the underlying database and, hence, in every other view.
Image: Revit Technology Corporation