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Graebert Annual Event—Berlin Dresses Up for Big ARES Trinity News

Graebert continues to drive innovation into the (.dwg) CAD file format—exciting this year’s attendees with uniquely positioned options for integrations into the AEC BIM market along with strong advances in its cloud technologies with ARES Kudo.

[for Spanish-language version]

EVERY YEAR, AT THIS TIME, GRAEBERT ANNOUNCES its news through the Annual Meeting that this year bears the number 2019. Although the fundamental piece of this presentation has been the novelties that the 2020 version of ARES Commander, ARES Touch, and ARES Kudo holds for us, and other tools such as ARES Render, ARES Maps, and directly associated companies such as CorelCAD (from Corel Inc.) and Draftsight (from Dassault Systeme).

Market Direction Points Favorably to ARES Kudo

I must admit that, although I already knew many of the novelties that would be shown in Berlin, they have far exceeded the expectations created.

Undoubtedly, my favorite novelty is ARES Kudo, since each new version includes new features that make it stronger and stronger, and is ahead of an inevitable future, such as the use of design programs that work directly in the cloud, without installation.

Graebert’s ARES Kudo technology is powered by AWS in the cloud and this year there were again significant news with respect to powerful CAD in the cloud. (image: Graebert / Architosh. All rights reserved.)

ARES Kudo is part of ARES Trinity (ARES Commander, ARES Touch, and ARES Kudo) but the fact that it is a CAD in the cloud, and that only a browser is needed to run it, without installing anything, puts it ahead of its time in terms of where CAD will be in the near future. According to a slide at the event, IDC research data says 72 percent of IT managers would give preference to a SaaS solution (of which Kudo is).

It was Cédric Desbordes (of Graebert) who commented on the growth of SaaS and said that (according to statistical forecasts) in 2032 online solutions will dominate the market. The trend is clear and the software of the immediate future functions by being executed directly in the cloud. ARES Kudo, along with Onshape is part of that future that is already present.

Advances in ARES Technologies

ARES Touch

ARES Touch also offers innovations, with support for markups synced with ARES Commander and ARES Kudo. The new “View Only” mode for ARES Touch will be released shortly but was discussed for the need for users to view very heavy files.

Markups now operate separately and are not embedded into the actual files but rather are linked to them via cloud technologies. The main drawing remains “untouched” and the user can turn them on or off easily much like a discussion thread. This helps extend collaboration to users that should have no business being able to modify the drawing for a variety of reasons but do have a reason to collaborate and add input.

ARES Touch is part of the “Trinity” of solutions (Commander + Touch + Kudo) and the price is 250 euros per year. However, ARES Touch as a standalone app is $9.00 USD per month from the app stores at Apple or Google.

One of Japan’s largest AEC giants is fully deployed with ARES Touch in the field, having moved away from paper plans and PDF documents. (image: Graebert / All rights reserved.)

Regarding ARES Touch Graebert presented the user case of the TAISEI Company of Japan, founded in 1873. Until recently, TAISEI brought “drawings” to the workplace either in paper or PDF format. Today, thanks to ARES Touch, they manage everything with the Graebert app, knowing that they always access the latest version of the project. The success and embrace of TAISEI with Graebert’s ARES Touch is a big win for the German CAD company. The Japanese AEC giant employs over 8,400 people. ARES Touch is thus meeting the requirements of an enterprise-class deployed application and with great success.

ARES Commander

We could also see step-by-step how to create Smart Blocks with ARES Commander, called CustomBlocks. CustomBlocks have nothing to envy to the dynamic AutoCAD blocks. In fact, a novelty that was overlooked, and no less important, ARES Commander offers the possibility of converting a dynamic block into a CustomBlock with a specific command. Although it is true that AutoCAD dynamic blocks work perfectly in ARES solutions, another thing is that if we need to edit its “intelligence” in ARES then we have to convert it into CustomBlocks so that it doesn’t lose its “smart” ability. In fact, Graebert commented outside the presentation that they plan to develop the growth of CustomBlocks with very advanced solutions against their more direct competitors in this regard. In other words, CustomBlocks are aimed to exceed AutoCAD DynamicBlocks in the near future as part of their road map.

Wilfried Graebert, CEO of the company speaking to the attendees of the Annual Meeting in Berlin last late fall.

Among the novelties of ARES Commander 2020, we can highlight the extraction of data which has many technical applications. One of them is the possibility of creating blocks with attributes such as object name, serial number, price, color, etc. And thus extract information from the project, specifically filtering that information from the dynamic blocks, either to create a budget for office furniture, kitchen furniture, or to extract all data from existing carpentry. Although, as I said before, the number of applications that allow this function is enormous, being able to extract the data to a program like Microsoft Excel, for example.

ARES Render

ARES Render, a Graebert plugin that uses UNICORN as an engine, was also introduced. Salvo Barberá, head of Unicorn taught us how the Graebert plugin works, showing how a simple icon in ARES Commander connects the 3D model with ARES Render. The screen is intuitive, highlighting the section of materials that allows you to assign them through layers, objects, or colors. As well as the use of lights, and even sunlight. It is also very easy to control the camera and generate high resolution renders. Stressing that at all times you work with a real-time render of incredible quality, respecting the technical level of its older brother Unicorn (stand-alone).

ARES OEM and Third-Party Growth

Graebert Annual Meetings as events always include updates on the developments of their major OEM partners. Each year new partners and third-parties grow and widen the application of the technical focus of ARES technologies.

During the presentations, we have seen how you can work with point clouds from ARES Commander, thanks to a point cloud survey, where Thomas Prinzen showed us how to create point clouds easily thanks to a single button located on his scanners in a very compact way, incidentally.

The people of UNDET (Terra Modus), who make their point cloud software for leading software, including ARES Commander, also showed us how to create cut lines on a model obtained with different scanning systems (Drone, Ground Scanner, etc). In short, a cloud of points that contained topography, and after using different filters, contours are created directly from the model. Photographs that serve to create a 3D model from which to obtain plans. Something that is increasingly common in professional work, especially restoration or building studies.

Also in the presentation was Oboe Wu, on behalf of CAD giant Dassault Systemes and its DraftSight CAD solution based on ARES Commander OEM. He ran through the novelties of the 2020 version of DraftSight. He also explained to us that its 2D version has already exceeded 2 million users, and how its DraftSight CAD is integrated with Solidworks.

Graebert has embraced the BIM market not by making a frontal assault on BIM authoring leaders but by looking at downstream BIM market users and their unique needs, a strategy that ties into how they have looked at at the DWG CAD market as well.

In turn, there was also Klaus Vossen who on behalf of Corel presented the novelties of CorelCAD 2020, whose engine, like DraftSight, is also ARES Commander. In this case, he reviewed all the tools that make up the Corel universe, in addition to the specific news of his ARES-based CAD, where he also mentioned CorelCAD Mobile. CorelCAD’s unique strength is its tie-in to CorelDraw whose use in global enterprises and engineering firms uniquely position the DWG-native solution. For a deeper look refer to the special article on CorelCAD in the last Architosh INSIDER Report titled, “The Resurgence of (.dwg)—A Look at its Present and Future Technology.”

MORE: INSIDER: How CorelCAD Continues to Grow—Unique Differentiation and Global Sales Channel

Finally, BIM could not be absent in such an event like this. BIM (Building Information Modeling) is in all stages related to construction, and in this case, ARES Commander is offering a unique angle to the market in differentiation to its competitors. A new palette called BIM Navigator allows you to explore an IFC model and know all of its properties. It even allows you to extract the data from the “BIM objects.” In fact, data extraction is a function of specific downstream users of BIM, and it is those users who will shape ARES Commander’s unique angle in the BIM market. (special note: Architosh will be publishing a special feature on Graebert and BIM in the coming weeks.)

ARES OEM continues to expand and the Annual Meeting taught attendees about the increasing ways firms can adopt the technology for their won custom solutions based on the ARES engine. In 2020, and likely in 1H 2020, Graebert will have more news to share about new partners.

Graebert, with 40 years in the sector, is far more than a traditional company and is more like the city where it is based. You have to know Berlin to understand that it is a unique, diverse city, with a lot of technological potentials, with an air of constant innovation that somehow we find in the spirit of Graebert.

The universe of ARES Commander is complex and exciting—CAD that is able to update to the BIM world quickly and effectively without losing its essence. In addition, it is ahead of its competition in many areas such as its use of the cloud through its ARES Kudo version and cloud technologies.


[Editor’s note: In the original article we omitted the monthly standalone price of ARES Touch and we have reshaped the paragraphs around that Touch section in the article to be more accurate and inclusive of additional key details. 18 Jan 20]

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