Autodesk is bringing modern 3-D modeling to the design of mainstream process plants with the introduction of its new Plant 3D 2010 software, used for modeling piping and infrastructure. The software, built on the familiar AutoCAD platform, is aimed at small teams facing tight time and budget constraints in their efforts to retrofit existing plant facilities, spearhead plant expansions or conduct on-going maintenance.
Compared to the majority of existing plant design tools in this category, which are expensive and highly complex, AutoCAD Plant 3D leverages the familiarity of AutoCAD and the popularity of the .dwg file format to help teams more easily share design information and meet their goals in an timely fashion, according to Robert Shear, Autodesk’s senior industry manager for process and power. “With AutoCAD Plant 3D, you can design the plant so you can see clashes and conflicts digitally before they become steel or concrete,” Shear explains.
To accompany the release, Autodesk also launched AutoCAD Exchange, a new community for plant designers and engineers. The site encourages visitors to network, enhance professional skills, engage in discussions and interact with experts, sharing tips and experiences on global plant design efforts.
A recent example of a major CAE revamp is MSC Apex, released last month by MSC Software Corp. In a discussion with Design News, MSC executives noted that its next-generation platform is designed to substantially reduce CAE modeling and process time, “in some cases from weeks down to hours.”
The Thames Deckway would run for eight miles close to the river’s edge, rising and falling slightly with the tidal cycle. It will generate its own energy from a series of devices that will line the pathway and use a combination of sources to make the path self-sustaining.
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