There were a fair amount of software companies at the AIA National Convention and Expo this year in DC. We were sad to see that some key participants in the past were not there, as well as companies we feel would do very well at the show given their presence in the architectural market.
As is typical, the big four CAD/BIM vendors all had the largest booths available in the software section of the show. These included Autodesk, Bentley, Graphisoft and Nemetschek Vectorworks. This year Autodesk’s booth was the same size as the others, where sometimes in the past it has twice as large. This may have been because many vendors said New Orleans last year was a big disappointment.
What we are going to do in this report series is run through the companies we have something to report about and post some show floor photos. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of waiting too long in the show to take photos and, as a consequence, the booths are not as busy as they were earlier in the show–a lost opportunity for us to comment visually about what many vendors were reporting was a better year than last year in New Orleans.
We’ll start with Graphisoft. The Hungarian-based BIM leader was showing its brand new ArchiCAD 16 (which Architosh has a fairly large feature in the wings on) and especially touting its new Morph modeling tool and its EcoDesigner integration. The company was also showing BIMx, its iOS based BIM viewing tool. (see news report: BIMx gets updated for iPad’s Retina Display).
Autodesk was using a booth design we’ve seen a few times with its mini classroom setup directly on the aisle. (see image). The company had a good array of presentations for busy professionals to learn mostly about Revit and BIM process technology. Autodesk had just recently announced its 2013 products suites and so the company had no real new announcements at the AIA.
We did speak directly to Angi Izzi, Senior Industry Strategy Manager for Architecture at Autodesk who told us the company was showcasing its 2013 product suite for AEC and that there had been some additions made, such as adding Inventor to the Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate edition, which retails for 11.495.USD.
When we asked about Revit for the Mac Angi Izzi did admit it is the most asked about product customers seem interested in. Furthermore, the lead Revit product manager is now a Mac guy, she said, and Autodesk–from the inside–looks like a different company now. The presence of Macs and Apple gear is everywhere now. What was clearly communicated in response to the Mac question was that the company is very much focused on mobile and the cloud and taking Revit to the cloud is a higher priority. Does this mean the CAD giant will only provide a cloud-based version of Revit for Mac users? Angi Izzi wasn’t giving anything away to us. Right now the company is very focused on mobile and cloud trends.
Angi Izzi also noted that Autodesk customers are very interested in software services delivered to them on-demand from the cloud for things they may not want to purchase software suites on because they use them infrequently. One can think of cloud-based photorealistic rendering or energy calculations and verification for example.
The Nemetschek Vectorworks folks also had a busy booth and some excellent presentations in their booth theater space, including showcasing a brand new product named SimTread. The CADFaster folks were also showing CADFaster for Vectorworks at the show in the Vectorworks booth as well. (more on that later).
We had an in-depth conversation with Tuomas Holma of CADFaster, which is based in Finland, about the company, its products and the latest addition which is the support of Vectorworks. The company’s solutions work on desktop, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and on the web.
Currently CADFaster’s desktop solution–which is the most robust solution–is for Windows only but a Mac version is also planned. Tuomas Holma however could not comment on a time-line for that release. We have much more to say about CADFaster for Vectorworks so look for another report devoted just to that soon.
Unfortunately this year, due to so many requests from companies to speak to Architosh, including the AIA’s Documents software division, we didn’t get a chance to truly visit the Bentley booth. This marks the end of our BIM group for this first report on the show floor. Look for Report 2 for more pics and info.