Page T1 . 09 August 2000       
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
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    TOOLS THIS WEEK

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    SCALE MODELS FROM THIN AIR

    Some day in the next millennium, architects may be able to put design information into a machine that will automatically construct a complete building. Hints of this distant future are visible in the experiments of Japanese construction companies, in which robots assemble building components in the field. Already the idea is being implemented, albeit at a much smaller scale, with a new family of technologies called rapid prototyping. This enables designers to build physical models directly and automatically from 3D computer models.

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    CAD FOR AEC PRINCIPALS

    Does computer-aided design provide significant business benefits to architecture, engineering, and construction companies? In many cases, the heads of these firms are skeptical, according to new studies. Is this a matter of perception, or are the software technologies really failing to measure up to vendors' claims for efficiency?

    At the recent Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES 2000), technology experts Kristine Fallon, FAIA, and Kenneth Stowe, P.E., offered their opinions on the problems and the solutions.

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    VIRTUAL CRANBROOK UNITES TRADITION AND TECHNOLOGY

    In the 1920s and 30s, the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen committed both his talent and his spirit to the Cranbrook Academy of Art . This pioneer of the Arts and Crafts movement served as campus architect and president of the art school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His goal was to create an environment for master artisans and students to live and work together.

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    Autodesk moves design drawings to mobile computing devices. OnSite View software brings review, mark up, and measuring capabilities to handheld devices.

    Framework Technologies tackles schedule communication problem. The latest release of ActiveProject integrates Microsoft Project schedules and Visio diagrams.

    Buildersplanet.com opens new Web services for builders and suppliers. Applications include links to wireless communications and on-line bidding.

    Cad Easy Corporation announces EasySite Version 2.0. The 3D site modeler and visualizer works within AutoCAD applications.

     

     
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