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William Spier
William Spier
William Spier's Blog

Have you ever wished you had a quick way to show someone who has no access to special software, what you're up to in a CAD drawing, a Revit project file, an Inventor assembly, Civil 3D file, Fusion, Vault, and so on? It could be any need - from an executive who'd like to see how you're progressing, to maybe just your grandma who you want to impress with your latest prowess. But the problem is there's no easy way to do that without them having to install additional software to view it. Well, ever since Autodesk came up with the DWF file format way back in 1995, it was slowly improved upon and got a major boost in 2007 where it became synthesized with Microsoft's Internet Explorer to work natively with that interface. The history of DWF is quite an interesting read in and of itself for us geeks. But with that one little advancement, it made it possible for users of any Autodesk software (software that can export a DWF a.k.a. Drawing Web Format file), to send ...

How did our predictions seven years ago for Building Information Modeling fair? Let’s take a look back seven years to 2009, when the concept BIM had become common parlance in the AEC community, and see if and where we’ve fallen short of, met, or exceeded expectations for our beloved BIM. How you define the acronym BIM depends on when the one claims BIM came into being. According to WikipediA, BIM was first used in papers in the mid-1980s, and the term 'Building Information Model' first appeared in a 1992 paper by G.A. van Nederveen and F. P. Tolman.[7] However, the terms 'Building Information Model' and 'Building Information Modeling' (including the acronym "BIM") did not become popularly used until some 10 years later. In 2002, Autodesk released a white paper entitled "Building Information Modeling,"[8] and other software vendors also started to assert their involvement in the field.[9] [1] For the purposes of this essay, I will pick it up in June 2007 which is when I started working at Autodesk as an MEP Technical Specialist. In 2007, BIM was the buzzword at ...

Over the past five years I have focused almost exclusively on software solutions and workflows that facilitate prefabrication and modular prefabrication. Recently I came across the Tucson Airport Control Tower project that Corbins Electric in Phoenix worked on, in which they worked through some challenging logistical problems using eVolve – their own home grown solution for prefabricating electrical containment and providing just in time delivery, all using Revit. Without getting into the challenges they faced on the project here in this post (I can cover that later in another post with Aaron Thompson – the DO at Corbins), the project reminded me of the reasons prefabrication is preferred, and not just the basic values that come from prefabrication that we often take for granted, but in the case of the Tucson control tower, it made me realize some secondary, indirect values I’d not considered before. The basic ROIs we’re all familiar with include: 1)      working in an environmentally controlled environment means no sweating in the heat, freezing in the cold, or paying master tradesmen to shovel snow (see World ...

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