Autodesk’s biggest rival in BIM (Building Information Modeling) software for architects is launching a global digital event next month, from 8-9 July 2020. While the Hungarian software maker and pioneer in 3D CAD and BIM technology for the AEC industry isn’t revealing much more than what one can see on its event website, one can frame possibilities by looking at what the company said a year ago. More importantly, this event marks the first complete year under the new CEO leadership of Huw Roberts, formerly its head of Graphisoft North America, and before that, a longtime executive at Bentley Systems.
With a new CEO and with a new direction, you often encounter a slightly different public-facing message—a branding update, new messaging, and a new strategy. All those things seem on the table of possibilities. But specifically what may be happening with the company’s technologies for architects?
We might want to think about what was said last year.
At last year’s event in Las Vegas, Huw Roberts stated that he liked the term “digital twin” because, as he said, “it has a lot more information than a BIM model because it describes how you got there, about the voids, clearances.” Twelve months ago, GRAPHISOFT was talking about its vision of “parameter-level” controlled access to BIM data, which was rich with potential.
To demonstrate this future potential, the company explained that the need to exchange complete BIM models in many cases was overkill. For example, if a structural engineer was working with an architect who decides to lengthen a roof’s cantilever, updating and sending over a classic BIM model exchange isn’t what is critical, the structural engineer first needs to evaluate the change in her language—an analytical stick model. What if the architect could send over the update directly to the analytical model?
That was the question posed, and it was a vision about “integrative working” and data interoperability that is more efficient than a BIM model exchange for subsequent coordination.
APIs and Integration
A year ago, the company was demonstrating the beginnings of this kind of data exchange and integrative working. Both deeper C++ API technology and perhaps more importantly, JSON and Python APIs were all technologies moving forward.
The RISA folks were at last year’s conference in Vegas. This time Graphisoft is asking architects to “bring their engineer” to the Building Together global digital event. They specifically want to show how architects and engineers are learning how to work together with the new technologies they have in store for the industry. That will no doubt involve BIMcloud, the industry’s most innovative cloud technology for AEC professionals working together on a BIM model, but also a host of new exciting technologies that ARCHICAD fans will be clamoring to see.
What could these new technologies be?
In looking at the various images on the Building Together event website there are some key clues. The first key image clearly reveals that the event will feature the architects who have designed what will be, or is, the second tallest skyscraper in the world. To be honest, I don’t recognize this building—the tip of which we see in the image. (see above). If you recognize it, leave a comment below.
So much about this event is about architects and engineers working together. Will folks see the fruits of “integrative working” through the use of new APIs? My guess is yes, but I could be wrong. Chances are we will see an array of engineer’s software tools—many involved in the world’s second-tallest building—all talking to ARCHICAD in new ways based on API integrations.
Another image with cake suggests that working together in these new ways will be so fast folks will have time for cake! If only cake was served at architecture firms more often… I get the point, though.
Another intriguing clue is the view of the iPad on a desk with an infinite loop of figure eight. The theme of that one is “presenting and sharing projects” and I would imagine we will see GRAPHISOFT’s award-winning BIMx. But what will be on it? Since this is an event for engineers as well as architects, might we see the Hungarian software maker open up BIMx—which has a patent-protected technology—so we can view engineering BIM model data?
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
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