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    Design & Building Download Center

    Free architectural software and product-related downloads, courtesy of these ArchitectureWeek sponsors...

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    3D Modeling with bonzai3d

    Bonzai3d from AutoDesSys is a new 3D modeler that offers a quick and easy yet geometrically robust approach. Designed for delivering conceptual designs and sketching ideas, bonzai3d creates models that are CAD-accurate and can be used further down the production pipeline for construction drawings, renderings, animation, fabrication, rapid prototyping with 3D printing, and other applications. The software offers a smart interface; easy sculpting with real-time booleans; classic modeling tools with real-time dynamic editing; deformation for any solid or surface; NURBS curves and surfaces; specialty tools for roofs, terrain, stairs, and sections; a content library; a match-view tool; advanced real-time rendering; and more than 20 import-export formats. Download a 30-day full-featured trial version.

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    Shaderlight Rendering Plug-in for 3ds Max

    ArtVPS announces Shaderlight 0.1, a physically based ray-trace rendering plug-in for 3ds Max that permits 3D artists and visualization specialists to change key image attributes at any stage without having to restart the render. Shaderlight allows users to see progressive refinements of a scene when objects or camera angles are altered, and lets them make interactive changes to materials, environments, lights, and textures on full-quality 3D images. A new approach to global illumination also enables light, color, and intensity to be updated without re-rendering. Available now as a free download.

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    3D Software for Interior Design

    Chief Architect, Inc. has released new 3D design software specifically for interior design professionals. The new interiors product is based on the full-featured version of Chief Architect X2. Features include cabinet catalogs with manufacturer and generic cabinets for creating kitchens and baths; 2D and 3D automated building and design tools; access to thousands of name-brand and generic design objects; automated materials lists and schedules for pricing and cost estimating; 3D rendering for photorealistic and artistic views, including raytracing, watercolor, and line drawings; and construction drawing creation per NKBA standards. Download a trial version.

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    File Transfer and Management for AEC Firms

    FileGenius® is a web-based, secure file transfer and management solution designed for professional use. It allows AEC firms to distribute and share important drawings, images, and other large files, significantly reducing reprographic costs and overnight deliveries. The application allows unlimited users and workspaces, so firms can create any number of specific project spaces, private client areas, and plan set repositories. Easy-to-use file and folder interface with web-based access, total site setup and management, and free, unlimited tech support. Allows employee and client access without training or assistance from IT. A free, 14-day trial is available, or try the demo here:

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    North American Hardwood Flooring in Sustainable Design

    The Hardwood Council is offering a series of white papers for architects, designers, and builders, with practical information on using American hardwoods in sustainable design and building. A recent life-cycle analysis by the Consortium of Research on Renewable Industrial Materials (CORRIM) found solid North American hardwood flooring to be an environmentally responsible flooring material compared to four popular alternatives (vinyl composition tile, linoleum, nylon carpet tile, and wool carpet tile). In these free white papers, read about sustainable design using solid hardwood flooring.

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    Online CAD File Sharing

    AfterCAD Online is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that allows non-CAD professionals to view, mark up, manage, and publish CAD files onto the web without special software or training. Large and complex CAD files can be securely shared for viewing and annotation with existing and prospective clients. Centralized file management with online data access eliminates the need for similar software or CAD expertise on the client side. A rich text annotation editor enables use of images, hyperlinks, and contact information. Files stay current and accessible to the entire team. Clients are able work with files shared by a participating member free of charge. Three standard packages. Sign up for a free trial.

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    Computer Design of Beams, Joists, and Rafters

    ConstructionCalc™ offers a free white paper on how to design simply supported wood beams, joists, and rafters with ConstructionCalc's Wood Beam Calculator program. Concepts presented will be applicable to other similar brands of software. The short course covers: determining loads, including uniform, partial, point and wedge loads; span and tributary width; deflection criteria and impact on design; self-weight issues; lateral bracing for bending members; interpretation of output information; and evaluating the most efficient solution. A PC and Microsoft® Excel 2003 or later are required to run ConstructionCalc software. Download the free white paper, "Computer Design of Beams, Joists, and Rafters," here.

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    IES Architectural Suites

    The IES Architectural Suite and Architectural Suite Plus provide integrated sustainable analysis tools for architects to use from the earliest stages of the design process through to detailed design. With training included, the packages offer a cost- and time-effective way to achieve green design goals. Multiple design iterations can be assessed rapidly, helping maximize the environmental performance of the final design. All the tools are integrated around a central 3D model that can connect directly with Google SketchUp®, Autodesk® Revit®, and via gbXML with other 3D design tools, eliminating the need to rebuild geometry. Download a free trial today...

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    Vectorworks Architect 2009 — Realize Your Most Inspired Visions

    Vectorworks Architect's approach to BIM lets you improve your design process instead of trying to replace it. With the industry's leading 3D modeling core, Vectorworks Architect 2009 enables you to draw efficiently, using the design workflow of your choice. Design the way you want. Use the best in architectural 3D to visualize your design and build your information model. Query the model for information at any time and, using the IFC standard, move your BIM models to a growing selection of validation, analysis, and construction applications. To learn more, request your free trial...

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    Standarizing Project Management

    Primavera, a project management software company, is offering a free white paper download, "Winning the Battle for Performance: Standardizing Best Practices with Technology." The paper discusses how to maintain a strong competitive position in the volatile construction market by increasing efficiency through implementing standardized business processes and operating procedures based upon organization-wide technology. The white paper is also a guide for choosing the right technology to best promote standardization within engineering and construction firms.


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    Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended

    Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended includes all the functions of Acrobat 9 Pro, plus a range of additional features for business and technical professionals. Acrobat 9 Pro Extended includes PDF Portfolio for unifying a wide range of content, Adobe Presenter for creating interactive presentations, and the new Adobe 3D Reviewer for expanded 3D capabilities. It also provides the ability to convert 2D and 3D designs to PDF, convert and share video in PDF, and create PDF maps. Download a free 30-day trial for Windows users:


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    Revit Global Light Utility for 3ds Max

    IMAGINiT Technologies, a RAND Worldwide® Company, has developed the Revit Global Light Utility for Max, a utility for Autodesk® 3ds Max®. With a single click, it turns on/ off multiple lights coming from the Autodesk Revit® and other CAD applications, as well as native 3ds Max lights. In addition to "all on/ all off," the utility allows you to separate each specific kind of light (such as daylight and photometric) or selected lights. The combination of Revit Architecture and 3ds Max Design enables designers to extend the BIM process. Revit Global Light Utility for Max is expected to be the first in a series of tools developed by the IMAGINiT design visualization team. Free download for a limited time.


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    Insulated Metal Panel Performance

    Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) typically consist of an insulated core, exterior and interior metal skins, double tongue-and-groove joinery, and concealed clips and fasteners. Installed outside the metal stud cavity, IMPs are suitable for exterior walls or roof systems, and can also be used in conjunction with other panels for multi-component solutions. They can increase the thermal efficiency of the building envelope to 95 percent. The panels incorporate a water, air, and vapor barrier in a single-unit wall assembly with R-values that range between R-14 and R-48. Available in a wide range of color and styles. Download a white paper on IMPs from the Metal Construction Association.


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    Mitigating Risk in AEC Project Execution

    Spar Point Research of Danvers, Massachusetts, surveyed leading AEC principals, counsel, and professional liability insurers on the topic of risk management in architecture, engineering, and construction projects. There was a consensus that many of the industry's current practices, despite being designed to shield firms from risk exposure, are, in fact, increasing the likelihood of project failure. The participating executives agreed that more frequent and deeper sharing of information across the entire project team can improve the team's clarity of understanding, reduce the likelihood and severity of problems, and increase control over a project's outcome. Download the white paper commissioned by Newforma, Inc., a developer of project information management software.


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    Sustaining Infrastructure White Paper from Bentley Systems

    In "Sustaining Infrastructure," Bentley Senior Vice President Buddy Cleveland explains that the world's infrastructure assets (including buildings) — and the professionals charged with designing, building, and operating them — have critical roles to play in meeting global challenges, ranging from CO2 emissions to chronic hunger, unsafe bridges, severe weather, the depletion of nonrenewable resources, and others. For Bentley, these challenges fall under the broad umbrella of sustainability. For a free copy visit:


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    Policy Assessment on High-Performance Buildings

    This policy recommendations report was prepared by the High-Performance Building Council, with the SBIC serving as its Secretariat, in response to Section 914 of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, to address defining "high-performance buildings" based on comprehensive and measurable criteria. The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) advocates formation of a building industry coalition to assess current consensus standards and rating systems. View report in PDF format:



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    Design Tools Department

    Design Tools News Headlines

    Autodesk to Convert BMW Design Data into Virtual Models — TenLinks, 2009.0723

    3D Modeling Manual for Vectorworks 2009 Now Available — ArchonCAD (blog), 2009.0723

    Autodesk Announces Software Giveaway for Cleantech Companies — VentureBeat, 2009.0722

    AutoCAD on the Mac Via Boot Camp — Between the Poles (blog), 2009.0721

    Autodesk Discontinues FMDesktop — Autodesk Press Release, 2009.0720

    Rhino 4 Sr6 Released — Rhino Press Release, 2009.0715

    NVIDIA Offers Optimized Quadro Drivers for AutoCAD 2010 — TenLinks, 2009.0715

    Bentley Releases Building Electrical Systems V8i for AutoCAD — Bentley Press Release, 2009.0715

    Siemens PLM Software Announces Femap 10.1 — Siemens Press Release, 2009.0714

    Cyberattacks Hit U.S. And South Korean Web Sites — New York Times, 2009.0709

    With the Chrome OS, Google's Software Stack Is Revealed; Shrapnel Everywhere — ZDNet, 2009.0708

    Review: The 15-In. MacBook Pro Soars to New Heights — Computer World, 2009.0707

    Relocating the Insertion Point in Revit MEP Families — AEC Bytes, 2009.0704

    Looking for Missing Items in Revit — AEC Bytes, 2009.0704

    Cortona3D Releases Viewer Version 6.0 — Cortona 3D Press Release, 2009.0625

    Free Energy Analysis with IES VE-Ware — ArchitectureWeek, 2009.0624

    When Architects Critique Video Game Levels — Kotaku, 2009.0624

    IRONCAD Japanese V11.0 Released — TenLinks, 2009.0624

    Autodesk Labs Updates Project Dragonfly — Autodesk Labs Blog, 2009.0622

    Autodesk Releases Inventor 2009 Service Pack 2 Update — Autodesk Press Release, 2009.0622

    What You See Is What You Get — Cadalyst, 2009.0618

    1st Pricing Releases BIM Pricing Plug-in for AutoCAD Architecture — 1st Pricing Press Release, 2009.0618

    Microspot Interiors Pro Adds New Wall, Vertex Editing Tools — PC World, 2009.0618

    MagiCAD 2009.5 Now Available — MagiCAD, 2009.0618

    CADSoftTools Releases ABViewer V7 — TenLinks, 2009.0618

    Autodesys Releases Bonzai3D — AutoDesSys Press Release, 2009.0617

    Siemens PLM Software Announces Availability of NX for Mac OS X — MCAD Cafe, 2009.0611

    Siemens NX for Mac OS X Available — TenLinks, 2009.0611

    Mental Images Adds PTC as the Latest OEM Partner — EarthTimes, 2009.0610

    Z Corporation Introduces Zp150 Composite Material — Z Corporation Press Release, 2009.0609

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