Holy crap - Autodesk is screwing with my brain BIG time now. I sat through the general session this morning at Autodesk University. It focused on where they see design technology heading and potential uses for it. One thing they showed cased was prototyping a new hybrid sports car. Everything was done completely digital - from design to engineering to production - all without the cost of building a single physical prototype. The next one showcased design firm that is designing the next telescope that is to be the world's largest at 30 meters! They are building the entire design in Autodesk Inventor which will allow them to coordinate how many materials they will need for building the project to showing the astronomers how their equipment will interface with the structure holding the mirror and lens.
However, the creme de la creme happened last. They highlighted how an Architect might utilize Autodesk applications in designing a new library for a civic center in a metropolitan setting. They started using Maya to design a funky looking sculpture which invoked a sense of fabric flowing in the breeze. They took that and other designs into Revit and built a model of the building. Then they shared the building model with the structural engineer that designed the structure of the building and analyzed the structural members of it using Robot Millennium to check for the capacity of the members being used to support based on the stresses generated. They also shared the model with the MEP consultants for them to design the support systems for the building. hey also coordinated with the Civil engineering team to see their design in the context in which it would be built. Then they proceeded to dump all this data into Navisworks to run collision detection to ensure that the Architecture, Structural and MEP data did not hit any road blocks and helped coordinate a list of everything that needed to be addressed. They also used Navisworks to help the construction team see the different phases of the project and how the building would come together.
To put the icing on the cake, they followed it with a design visualization of the building in context using a new program called Newport. This is the first I've heard of it and I will have to add that they closed the general session saying that some technology is not ready for public release - meaning Newport is either in Alpha or Beta testing right now - hmmm.... Anyways, they were able to coordinate the Revit model much better in a 3D Realistic rendering than can currently be done - and much smoother. Autodesk said they have really been stressing having all their products work seamlessly together.
For the cherry on top, they put all this data into something that looked like Google Earth and did a realtime fly by simulation from outer space down to the project site with the building and all its related data in place. They showed different pieces of the data live on the set - something which is much better demonstrated live as opposed to writing it out. I recorded the demo and will post live to youtube later tonight somehow and link to my blog. You're gonna love this!
*edit* Here is the link to the video I took and posted to you tube.