History of Innovation

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2009: AutoCAD 2010 with parametrics introduced

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Innovation:  AutoCAD2010 with parametrics introduced
Location: California, USA
Year:  2009
By: AutoDesk

AutoCAD 2010 was important to Architectural Engineers because of a new feature introduced called parametric drawing. Parametric drawing allows the user to program constraints to lines. These constraints could include, but aren’t limited to:  staying the same length as another line, staying parallel or perpendicular to another line, or staying connected to a certain point on a shape. Constraints can be very useful in helping to meet the design requirements. [1]


Written by David Lukert

October 11, 2009 at 6:02 am

2007: Digital Project

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Innovation:  Digital Project (software)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year:  2007
By: Gehry Technologies

The design of the Bilbao Guggenheim museum was a collaboration between Frank Ghery (architect) and SOM(engineering), utilizing a customized version of Catia (3D aerospace software) which has eventually been packaged as Digital Project.  After the successful development of a solution to describing and designing such complex geometries, architect Frank Ghery decided to create a branch of his office called Ghery Technologies, to offer design services and sales of a software product (Digital Project) specifically for projects with complex geometries.

Digital Project is a design platform with Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application V5 capability that was developed by Gehry Technologies in 2007. It is used to design and document architectural projects with complex geometries.  Various AutoCAD and Revit editions were the most common forms of 3d modeling software used before Digital Project, but once DP was released it posed as a direct 3dCAD competitor in the architecture market. New and different components to the software included the visual interface, cost estimation tool, advanced parametric control of curved 3D objects, and, in contrast to CAD, DP provided the option of information to be sent directly to the manufacturer [1]. By avoiding loss of time in unnecessary processing and improving collaboration, DP improved the design process. Today Gehry Technologies offers three forms of DP, Designer, Viewer, and an extensions package. The Designer and Extensions package together posses the tools to create architecture designs in addition to MEP systems/routing all with a single form of software [2]. [3]  `

Web links to more info about Digital Project: 12,
Video: Frank Gehry talks about Digital Project

Written by Charys Clay

October 7, 2007 at 9:09 pm

2006: Revit MEP

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Innovation:  Revit Mechanical
Location: Cambridge, MA
Year:  2006
By: Autodesk

In 1987 AutoCAD AEC mechanical was released and acquired by Autodesk in 1990 [2]. This was one of few products with the capability of designing plumbing and HVAC in buildings. Revit was acquired by Autodesk Mechanical Division in 2002 for $133 million, and Revit MEP was released in 2006.

Today, the software is mandated by GSA and is a distinct platform in Building Solutions Division. Data from building systems can be compiled into a central file within the LAN to detect possible space interferences of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, therefore deterring expensive consequences upon construction. Revit provides engineers with a central form of communication in design, ultimately implementing easier collaboration. Designers spend more time designing and less time drafting. In addition, Autodesk Revit MEP tools help produce energy efficient building systems designs [3].

Web links: 1, 2, 3
autocad mechanical vs revit mep
Video: Getting Started with Revit MEP

2005: Release of Revit Structure

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Innovation:  Revit Structure
Location: United States
Year:  2005
By: Autodesk

Revit Structure is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software produced by Autodesk.  Shortly after the release of Revit Architecture, Revit Structure was first released in 2005.  There is much overlap in the two programs, but major differences are seen.  In Revit Structure, purely architectural elements such as color schemes, ceilings, rooms, and decal are not included.  Instead, Revit Structure favors the engineer, allowing access to rebar, trusses, loads, and the ability to run an analysis on the structure.  As in Revit Architecture, structures are built in members, not with lines.  The tools contained in each program cater to the knowledge of the intended user.  With the release of Revit Structure, structural engineers were able to work with more complicated and intricate designs since the computer was now able to analyze each member.  The engineer no longer needed to perform hand calculations, which saved a massive amount of time. [1] [2]

Written by Krista Seaman

October 4, 2005 at 8:35 pm

2004: Release of Revit Architecture

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Innovation:  Revit Architecture
Location: United States
Year:  2004
By: Autodesk

Revit Architecture is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software produced by Autodesk.  Revit was first released by Revit Technology Corporation in 2000.  At this time, its main competitors were ArchiCAD by Graphisoft and Microstation by Bentley Systems.  Revit was bought out by Autodesk in 2002.  The 2004 release was the first truly comprehensive BIM software, named Revit Building.  The name was changed to Revit Architecture after the 2006 release.  This software was the first of its kind, fully incorporating BIM into the 3D modeling program.  Rather than building with lines, Revit operates using members; for example, a door or window is all one piece, the designer simply specifies the material and dimensions.  Further, the creation of Revit Architecture allowed architects and building designers to create a task schedule directly linked to the respective parts, to easily identify collisions within the design, to link the members to specific products that will be purchased, to determine the occupancy level and ventilation loads for spaces, and overall to capture every aspect of a building in one database. [1] [2] `

Written by Krista Seaman

October 4, 2004 at 4:35 pm

1997 – Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

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Image Source: [1],[2]

Innovation: 3D Structural Modeling
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Architect: Frank Gehry
Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Year: 1997

Completed in 1997, Gehry’s design is considered one of the most iconic structures in the world.  Gehry is known for his use of complex geometry and unorthodox materials.  In order to construct the building while preserving its aesthetic integrity, Gehry worked in conjunction with structural engineers at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, who used advanced 3D structural modeling software to carry out analyses.  In the 1970’s and 80’s, SOM developed an innovative software called AES, which was a significant forerunner to Building Information Modeling (BIM).  In addition to AES, Gehry and SOM used CATIA, a software originally intended for structural analysis of aerospace and shipbuilding designs.  SOM modified CATIA so it could be used to translate Gehry’s complex curvilinear forms from design into construction.  The use of these revolutionary programs marked the beginning of integrating 3D modeling software into the design process, which allowed for extremely complicated structures such as Gehry’s Guggenheim to be constructed.

More Info: [1],[2],[3]
CATIA: [1]

Written by Charles Lander

October 9, 1997 at 4:47 pm

1986 – Kodak invents the megapixel sensor

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Innovation: Megapixel Sensor
Date: 1986
By: Kodak

There were two crucial developments leading to the invention of the megapixel sensor. First, George Smith and Willard Boyle from Bell Labs invented the charge-coupled device (CCD). This technology is the same image sensor that is used in all digital cameras. Second, Sony Corporation developed the first prototype digital camera called the Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera). The Mavica only actually took electronic still images, so it was not a true “digital camera”, but it did produce a 720,000 pixel image.

A few years later, in 1986, Kodak produced the first megapixel sensor, a fingernail sized solid state device capable of recording 1.4 million pixels. Previously, cameras captured images on film; with the advent of the megapixel sensor, users could record images without need of a physical medium like film and so accessing images became significantly easier. With the megapixel sensor, users could quickly capture an image and share it with others without wasting valuable time and money dealing with dark rooms and developing film.

references: [1], [2]

Written by Cody Lambert

October 9, 1986 at 3:51 pm