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AEC Mechanical BIM Design Hardware Collaboration

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Viewpoint team released in UK

Viewpoint has announced the availability of Viewpoint Team in the UK


Global design and BIM software solutions provider Vectorworks, Inc. invites professionals, educators and students in the entertainment industry to attend the fourth annual Vectorworks Design Summit

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SitePlanner Contractor Management System GDPR Compliant Features Ensure Clients Remain Compliant

New web-based system – SitePlanner – has undergone significant development to provide its clients with the tools to ensure they remain compliant with recent Data Protection regulations (GDPR)

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Case Studies

Multiplex appeal

IFS Applications has transformed Multiplex's international operations into a true Global business, integrating its management solutions within a consistent and coherent whole

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Robots close the gap

Andrew Watts, CEO Newtecnic, discusses the construction industry's move towards robotics and mass-customisation, with robots closing the gap between designing and making

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Graphisoft is setting up a student design competition for a project with a difference - a scheme to break the logjam of elderly people in expensive care homes, developed by our own David Chadwick

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Software Review

Not just a façade

Graphisoft's newly released ARCHICAD 22 focuses on Façade Design as its lead feature

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Reinforcements have arrived

SCIA Engineer 18 introduces Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete in its latest release, providing increased strength with thinner slabs

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It is particularly fascinating equating the use of robot technology to manufacture building components on, or near, site, as outlined by Andrew Watts of Newtecnic with a couple of articles doing the rounds of Microsoft news about NASA’s ‘3D Printed Habitat Challenge’ to design buildings to be used on Mars from local materials, employing, I would presume, the highly trained astronauts as ‘local skilled craftspeople’. Newtecnic’s Construction Labs are doing, in practice, exactly what is being hypothesized as an essential part of Space exploration and colonization of the Red Planet – or the Moon, for that matter.

It’s not just construction, either, as projects in Saudi Arabia are being designed to facilitate maintenance by robots, the unique designs of some of the projects proving unsuitable for crane access after completion. One of Newtecnics main projects, King Abdullah Financial District Metro hub in Riyadh has been specifically engineered for future robotic access over its expected 60 year life span, using the digital 3D twin model of the building and GPS to plot maintenance locations and routes on the building. Robots can do the heavy lifting, whilst Lidar and camera equipped drones can be used for inspection and cleaning.

This reminds me of a demonstration I attended some years ago, courtesy of SolidWorks, where a company from one of the Gulf States presented a very lifelike ‘robotic servant’ – a country that, like the rest of the region, employs vast numbers of people from the Far East – and, in particular, The Phillipines, - as domestic servants and ‘cheap’ labour.

David Chadwick

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