Live from Autodesk World Press Day 2008, San Francisco

Day one brought announcements about new capabilities in Autodesk's 2009 releases. But all that later.

CEO Carl Bass spoke on trends on CAD. An interesting example, he says, is the bar for engineering and design has been raised by the gorgeous graphics of entertainment industries. Another trend has an increasingly global market ruthlessly commodizing just about everything. And speaking of the global economy, says Bass, about 40 trillion dollars will be spent in global infrastructure in the next few years. China alone is going to build 50 new airports in the next ten years.

How are projects of the scope as the recent replacement and rebuilding of the Bay Bridge managed?

The world's largest self-supporting suspension bridge, the Bay Bridge was kept open while this happened. Drive-through animations were created to show motorists detours. On Labor day 2007, the bridge was closed for three days to replace a huge section. Infrommercial on TV showed animations to motorists. A lot of free press was had because simulations were so compelling. Bay area freeways during that time were almost empty, proving that good communication can affect motorist behavior

Bridge simulations created about 10 years ago created a digital model of the bridge in 3D Studion Max to generate rendered images. The 3D model provides a repository of information.The software incorporates time into the 3D model to communicate complex construction techniques as defined by multiple project schedules. Three major contractors were building in a constricted space and 3D and 4D models let team members work out complex design issues.

More to come...

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