Thursday 23 June 2016

Autodesk Forge Conference

I attended the Forge Conference last week to have a good look at the latest technology on offer from Autodesk.

Some interesting stuff, a collection of useful links and videos below...

In a nutshell, Forge is the name that is used for the core components that Autodesk are building their next generation cloud products on. It is a common base of components that is used by their AEC and their manufacturing products. However, the big difference is that these components are being packaged up so that other organisations can build software using these building blocks (for a pay-per-use fee).

The main man from Autodesk leading the activities was Jim Quanci who is definitely worth a follow on Twitter. Even though there were over 1,000 delegates at the conference, Jim seemed to be somehow finding the time to walk the floor and talk to every single person.

To watch the opening presentation from Amar Hanspal on the vision, please see below:

To watch the presentation from Ben Cochrane on some of the technology behind the scenes, please see below:

In terms of websites to explore to see the viewer in action - have a look at... - 3D model repository from The Netherlands... - Scaled back, clean, promo site...

The AEC case study was from Mark Stocks from JE Dunn who have developed their bespoke Sharepoint site with Autodesk Forge viewing and data management components within. This promotional video is worth a watch - the story from a napkin sketch from the architect through to the finished building is quite a nice one:

A couple of other impressive items included the Forge technology that takes in drone 2D photographs and converts these on the cloud to a 3D model of the building envelope and surrounding landscape and the virtual reality work from Kean Walmsley.

See for the latest on the Virtual Reality work from Kean.

Over and above the conference, it was fantastic to get a tour of the Autodesk offices in San Francisco and also the Pier 9 Autodesk 'factory' on the bay. Thanks to those who looked after me and made me so welcome over in the States.
Shanghai Tower model
3D printing - software and hardware at pier 9
Developers wanting to know more please check out...

Sunday 12 June 2016

The Periodic Table of BIM

One educational resource that seems to have caught the attention of the BIM community (world-wide) is the Periodic Table of BIM.
The Periodic Table of BIM
This is the work of Stefan, Richard and Robin at NBS and it's a beautifully elegant way of providing an index/table of contents into the subject matter of Building Information Modelling.

At NBS, we cover many areas of the built environment within the guidance of our specification products. For example, before specifying a lighting system an engineer may want to research the latest information on interior lighting or emergency lighting or automatic controls. Equally, an architect may want research fire, acoustic and environmental performance before specifying doors.
General guidance available within NBS Create
When providing guidance on BIM on, we wanted to have a more engaging way of leading construction professionals into this key topic than a (slightly dull) table of contents page such as:

Building Information Modelling
  1. BIM Strategy
  2. Foundations
    1. Framework
    2. Common methods
    3. Procurement route
  3. Collaboration
    1. Culture and behaviour
    2. Process etc... instead, the Periodic Table of BIM was created. An engaging way to support construction professionals through the topic of building information modelling.
The key topics around the subject of building information modelling
If you are interested - please see the dedicated area of our website:

To jump to a key topic, click the areas that interests you below...

Finally, when out and about on the road I have heard that a few people have printed the periodic table of BIM out and put it on the wall of their practice. We'd be keen to see photographs of this - if anyone wants to take part - please use the hashtag #BIMTable - I'll update this blog post if we get any pictures through ;)

- Download a PDF of this free resource - print off and stick to the wall

Friday 10 June 2016

An introduction to NBS BIM Toolkit - Video

As part of the development of our new website we wanted to produce a set of videos that introduce some of the NBS offerings in three minutes.

The first of these was the BIM Workflow video we released in March.

The second of these was the introduction to NBS Create we released in April.

A few weeks ago in May we released our third video. This one tells the story of the BIM Toolkit highlighting the key benefits of this tool to owner/operators, the design/construction team and also construction manufacturers.

Please watch it below - Some commentary to the story is also provided below the video in this blog post.

The story behind the video again is from the point of view of the current refurbishment work that is taking place on our building in Newcastle (project led by JDDK architects).

The key objectives of BIM Level-2
The standards and tools that define BIM Level 2
Helping clients define who is doing what and when to meet their information requirements
Define information requirements and responsibilities and export to help create EIRs and BEPs
A tool for project teams to collaborate online when producing information in response to the EIR/BEP
A huge library of free-to-use classifications and LOD/LOI guidance illustrations across all sectors
Quickly reference these LOD/LOI items from an online digital plan of work
Helping manufacturers on their BIM Level-2 journey and placing their products in front of the decision makers on major projects
Populate your product data sheets using templates as a 'step one' on a BIM journey 
Support in placing this well structured data into parametric 3D objects that will be used by the largest of architectural and engineering practices
Find out more on all of the technical concepts at
A big thank you once again to our video partner Soluis - top video again - big thanks in particular to Laura for her work over the last few months.

To explore and start using BIM Toolkit please visit

Please keep an eye out on this blog and for some pretty nice BIM Toolkit enhancements coming soon too! They've been pretty well received during recent customer visits - so looking forward to them going live.

To watch the video, please check it out on our website below...