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TOPIC: 3d design

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AutoCAD vs. AutoCAD Architecture | Know the Difference

In a previous post, we talked about the differences between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Depending on your needs, you may require more features within AutoCAD (ACAD) specific to architecture, design & documentation. AutoCAD Architecture (ACA), which is one of the vertical products available with AutoCAD Including Specialized Toolsets, has all of the same functionality as AutoCAD, plus the addition of tools designed for Architects to enhance the workflow of construction documentation. Since all AutoCAD functionality is available within AutoCAD Architecture, you get more in almost every way*.

*AutoCAD is available for MAC, whereas AutoCAD Architecture and all other products in the Specialized Toolset only have compatibility with Windows.

2D Drawing vs. 3D Modeling vs. BIM

AutoCAD is used to convey design intent, by utilizing Lines, Arcs, and Circles, to illustrate the design.  In AutoCAD Architecture, lines, arcs, and circles are complemented by intelligent walls, doors, and windows, known as AEC Objects. These intelligent objects give the designer the ability to manipulate building elements at a higher level, far beyond what Dynamic Blocks have traditionally offered.

NOTE: AEC Objects are not backwards compatible, and just because you can save back an AutoCAD DWG file from 2018 format to 2013 format, you cannot save back AutoCAD Architecture components.

These AEC Objects have hints of Building Information Modeling (BIM) which has become the standard for larger government and institutional projects. Autodesk Revit is a BIM authoring software that uses a standardized hierarchy of objects (Category, Family, Type, Instance) allowing the designer to build a 3D model at a higher level. Some may consider a project created in AutoCAD Architecture to be BIM, but this requires strict drafting and CAD Management standards to ensure. Even if it is not BIM, there are productivity studies indicating that AutoCAD Architecture can save up to 60% of the time vs. regular AutoCAD, which is a significant value proposition. Take a look at the potential time savings for all AutoCAD verticals, including 85% productivity gain with AutoCAD MEP, and 95% gain with AutoCAD Electrical!

Higher-Level Design

It can be a difficult task for drafters to ensure that a change to an element in plan view (like a door or a window), is updated across all relevant sections and elevations. In AutoCAD Architecture, elements such as walls, doors, and windows mimic real-world behavior and construction. So, you can insert doors or windows into your wall, and when you change the location or Style of object, you may update this same object in other drawings where it is shown. You can also modify all objects of that Style, meaning if you insert a certain style of window 50 times into several different walls, but want to update the style, you can modify it once and it updates every object; a huge time-saver!

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Modeling Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge in Autodesk Infraworks 360 – Part 2


In my previous blog
, we saw how we could use Project Boulder for Infraworks 360 to simulate a storm surge similar to the one experienced during Hurricane Sandy and observe its effects on Lower Manhattan. What if we now wanted to start conceptualizing ideas for designing a system to protect the areas most affected by the storm surge? How would we approach that design process and how could we communicate it effectively?

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Modeling Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge using Autodesk Infraworks 360 – Part 1

For those of you who love experimenting with technology, Project Boulder for InfraWorks 360 is available on Autodesk Labs, giving you the ability to create two-dimensional (2D) flood simulations alongside your immersive Infraworks 360 models. The video posted by Autodesk demonstrating the preview is definitely informative, but the dataset isn’t useful for seeing how this technology preview could be used in an urban environment. Being a New Yorker, I knew exactly the data set I wanted to use, but to test out the software I needed to come up with a scenario that could not only show Project Boulder in action but also tie-in the simulation with something quantifiable. After mulling it over, I came up with the overzealous idea of modelling Hurricane Sandy! (more…)

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