Canadian Consulting Engineer

New tools for engineers

June 1, 2006
By Canadian Consulting Engineer



Bluebeam Software has launched the Bluebeam Conversion Server v. 2.0 that allows the automatic conversion of CAD and Windows files to large format PDF and other formats. The new “watched folder” interface monitors existing folders and subfolders in a file vault or on a network drive and automatically converts new or changed files to PDFs in scheduled intervals.

Autodesk released its AutoCAD 2007 software in March. The release is designed to allow users to work in an integrated environment for conceptual and detailed design, as well as allowing them to manage and share files in one environment. It makes it easier to explore design alternatives and then reuse the information as a basis for the documentation drawings. Autodesk also launched AutoCAD LT 2007, the 2D drafting application. The new version has dynamic block authoring and integrated layer management tools. It uses DWF for enhanced secure access to data, and continues to support native DWG formats.

Softek Services of Richmond, B.C. issued Release 7.0 of its structural design suite earlier this year. The suite includes new versions of S-Frame and S-Steel, as well as a new product, S-Concrete that applies to concrete beam, column and shear wall sections. S-Concrete is interactive and includes automated design and detailing. A visual editor allows clicking or dragging to make changes. Reports and detailed drawings generated can be exported to AutoCAD or other programs such as TEDDS. The design tool accommodates biaxial bending, biaxial shear, torsion, seismic design and complex reinforcing.

IMAGINiT Technologies of Mississauga, Ontario has released its Builder 3D as a “lightweight” building design software for the architecture/engineering/construction market. The program focuses on smaller scale construction projects. Its features include 3D modelling, photo-realistic renderings, animations, working drawing generation and bill of material estimates.

The CADWorx 2007 plant design suite from Coade allows process engineers to leverage AutoCAD 2007 features such as the Dashboard. It allows users to edit and view design information by grouping various design tools in one place.

ETABS Software for Integrated Analysis, Design and Drafting of Building Systems won the award for “Top Seismic Product of the 20th Century” in April. The award is given by the Applied Technology Council and Engineering News Record.

Tekla of Finland has introduced structural design software that supports open structural BIM (building information modelling). The Tekla Structures open BIM interfaces allow all design information to be produced and managed within a single 3D model.

Recently announced new products from Bentley Systems include the MicroStation V8 XM Edition. The graphics platform uses Microsoft DirectX technology to boost viewing navigation and graphics performance. Also new is ProjectWise V8 XM Edition. Its enhancements include the ability to manage MicroStation Workspaces and AutoCAD profiles. In March, Bentley connected MicroStation to the Google Earth service.


In April, the American Society of Civil Engineers published Engineering with the Spreadsheet: Structural Engineering Templates Using Excel. Written by Craig T. Christy, P.E., the book and CD-ROM explore how Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be used to prepare engineering calculations in concrete, wind, seismic, foundations, vortex shedding of stacks, etc.


Stratasys‘ Dimension 3D Printing group has added the 1200 Series as a large-format 3D printer. The affordable printer has a 57 per cent larger envelope.


Leica Geosystems has introduced a 3D laser scanner for topographical surveys. With a 360-degree horizontal and 270-degree vertical field of view, it can scan overhead while simultaneously using scan targets spread optimally at ground level.


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