The annual release of software updates from the dominant provider of building design software in the U.S. includes integration with an acquisition that gives the suite a new dimension: steel detailing and fabrication.
Autodesk Inc. inked, in October, a deal with GRAITEC SA to acquire GRAITEC's Advance Steel and Advance Concrete software and R&D teams. The products are used in Europe primarily for automated production of fabrication documents for steel and reinforced concrete structures. GRAITEC claims the software creates numerical control code compatible with most North American fabrication machinery.
Autodesk's 2015 product suite release, announced on March 27, includes many updates to products for building design, civil engineering, oil and plant design. Separately, Autodesk announced Autodesk Advance Steel, which includes new updates to the product from the GRAITEC acquisitions, and integrates with Autodesk Revit for the first time.
"Revit itself does a great job with concrete, but steel is a place where our customers have wanted us to do more," says Amar Hanspal, senior vice president for Autodesk's AEC group. "GRAITEC is equivalent to Tekla," he claimed.
David E. Quigley, researcher of BIM technology and author of "Achieving Spatial Coordination Through BIM: A Guide for Specialty Contractors," notes that the processes of specialty contractors require highly functional and capable tools. Quigley predicts users will be cautious in exploring the information-exchange efficiencies of the Revit-Advanced Steel integration.