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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


With the Hilti Button for Firestop, AEC professionals can populate Building information Models with appropriate firestop components easier than ever, through automated clash detection and product selection. The Hilti Button for Firestop is an add-in for several Autodesk applications such as Revit, AutoCAD MEP, Fabrication CADmep and Navisworks Manage. Hilti Button for Firestop automates the entire firestop BIM process by identifying and qualifying penetrations, as well as recommending UL-listed firestop systems, saving you time and giving you the documentation required by fire-safety building officials. Select this link to watch on YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs0zb_RjB4ylftmv_TAD-Lg

Autodesk Stingray is a relatively new addition to the Autodesk visualization toolset. Essentially it is a game engine, and what makes it especially compelling for building visualization is that it includes a plugin for 3ds Max that allows for a direct link between your 3ds Max scene and a Stingray environment, providing an entirely new and more interactive way to view and experience your design. For more information on the Revit-3dsMax-Stingray workflow there are a series of videos on YouTube - a very short overview is provided here. Recently I decided it was time for me to start becoming familiar with Stingray, so I installed it and started working through a few tutorials. I realized very quickly that the raw tutorials that come with Stingray were not geared for building visualization using Revit and 3ds Max, so I started looking around for more. I found some very good ones on... you guessed it... YouTube again, but right away I noticed something missing. The videos all referenced a "Stingray" pull down menu in 3ds Max - a menu that I did't ...

I read an article a few days ago that blew my mind. It turns out that Microsoft's "Bing" search engine has fallen to 5th place among internet search engines - which begged the question, "who's in the top 5?" Predictably, Google was first, followed by China's Baidu (volume, of course), then Yahoo, and in 4th place? Drum roll, please.....Yandex. Ponder that for a moment, as the tumbleweeds silently blow across your mind. Granted, I'd never heard of Baidu either, but the reason that Russia's Yandex search engine has surpassed Bing isn't necessarily because it's better, or because there are more Russian speaking people than English. It's quite the opposite - to the casual observer (me in this case) Yandex doesn't "pop", or provide better information than Bing. To test my theory, I did a simple search on both engines using keywords "Atlanta Braves", and Bing was far superior in content, style, and the general layout.While reading the article, I started thinking, "poor Microsoft - first the Zune, now Bing". Remember the Zune? Microsoft's answer to the iPod? By all comparisons (sales, functionality, ...