How CAD has Transformed the Engineering Design Process

Interesting Engineering | April 03, 2020

Engineers require a number of tools in the modern era to be effective during the design process. From Computer-aided design tools to 3D printers to virtual reality, technology today is only furthering just what engineering can do. Let's take a look back at some history of the engineering design process as well as look at some of the tools that allow modern engineers to effectively do their job. To many engineers out there of the younger persuasion, drawing out plans by hand may seem like a myth, but in days not too long past, teams of workers would spend weeks drawing out plans for a simple part.Examining the history of engineering drafting and design equivocally means looking at the history of man, the history of building things. Drafting and design have been around since the dawn of time. The earliest recorded history of engineering drafting was in 2000 B.C., of which we have a fossilized aerial view plan of a Babylonian castle.

Spotlight

When you work day-in and day-out with components—like gears, bearings or electric motors, for example—it’s easy to forget that those components are always part of a much bigger system. The best gears can fail if the system around them fails. Likewise for bearings, motors, couplings and so on. To make matters more complicated, today’s components are surrounded by, driven by and controlled by electronics. Sensors give feedback to controls, and components have torespond.


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CONSTRUCTION

MAPEI Innovation Meets 3D Technology to Build Homes

MAPEI | May 05, 2022

MAPEI Corporation, a leading manufacturer of construction materials for the building industry, and Black Buffalo 3D Corporation, a leading provider of large-scale 3D construction printers, have announced a strategic, research, development, and manufacturing partnership for the 3D construction-printing industry. The first collaboration from this partnership, Planitop 3D, is designed to work with Black Buffalo 3D’s NEXCON printers to provide enhanced performance at a fraction of the cost of existing building materials. Held to the strictest quality standards, each layer of Planitop 3D is designed to quickly set up and support every layer that is printed above it saving time, reducing materials and increasing jobsite efficiency. The official launch of Planitop 3D occurred at the site of a housing project in Virginia, in which 3D contracting group Alquist 3D will use NEXCON printers and the innovative new mortar to 3D-print 200 new homes. Alquist 3D is an innovative builder that is committed to helping rural communities through the use of leading-edge technologies. “MAPEI has always been known for innovation and for helping communities around the nation, These 3D-printed homes and other structures printed with Planitop 3D and Black Buffalo 3D’s NEXCON printers represent technology at its most compassionate and at its highest level of innovation.” Luigi Di Geso, MAPEI Corporation’s President and CEO Michael Woods, COO/CEO of Big Sun Holdings, Black Buffalo 3D’s parent corporation, remarked, “The Black Buffalo 3D team recognized the need for standardization in materials to drive the next phase of growth in the 3D construction industry. MAPEI was able to enhance the formula that our team developed and take it to the next level, outclassing every product on the market – at a cost that makes 3D-printing homes, buildings and infrastructure feasible on nearly every level.” Planitop 3D is now available across North America through MAPEI. The cement-based construction ink/mortar has been developed through years of research, testing and evaluation by independent and in-house material scientists at MAPEI, Black Buffalo 3D and various third-party labs, including Intertek, which is based in York, PA. Kevin Smith, MAPEI Corporation’s National Sales Director – Concrete Restoration Systems, stated, “We were very confident that we could partner with Black Buffalo and their full range of 3D printers to provide an exceptional solution, as this technology is well within our wheelhouse. Black Buffalo 3D met with our R&D team and we quickly developed the correct solution for this project – it’s called Planitop 3D.” Planitop 3D is currently in the verification process for meeting the ICC-ES AC509 standard for 3D-printed walls. Black Buffalo 3D is the first company in the world to submit material for proving its ability to meet this globally recognized criteria. Milestones that have already been achieved include several 13-hour+ printing sessions on NEXCON printers by the Black Buffalo 3D team in Elizabeth, NJ, and a multitude of successful tests for strength, usability, resilience and longevity. The verification process follows the stringent testing requirements of the ICC-ES AC509 guideline for 3D-printed walls. More than 50 countries recognize this guideline for 3D-printed walls. The official results and reporting are expected to be released in the near future. About MAPEI Founded in 1937 in Milan, MAPEI is now one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chemical products for the building industry and has contributed to the construction of some of the most important architectural and infrastructural works worldwide. With 91 subsidiaries operating in 57 countries and 84 manufacturing plants in 35 different nations, the Group employs about 11,000 staff worldwide. The foundations for the success of the company are specialization, internationalization, research & development, and sustainability. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach (Florida), MAPEI in North America consists of the subsidiaries MAPEI Corporation (for the USA), MAPEI Inc. (for Canada) and MAPEI Caribe (for Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands), whose 18 facilities collectively have a workforce of more than 1,600 employees. MAPEI facilities have been certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality standards. An environmentally conscious manufacturer that reinvests 5% of its revenue into R&D, MAPEI offers training for architects, contractors, installers and distributors through the MAPEI Technical Institute. About Black Buffalo 3D Corporation Black Buffalo 3D Corporation is the NY-based U.S. affiliate of HN Inc. co. Ltd. formerly Hyundai BS&C Co. Ltd. and subsidiary of Big Sun Holdings Group, Inc. Black Buffalo 3D is poised to revolutionize construction and become the leading global provider of smart 3D construction printers (3DCP), proprietary construction “ink” (Planitop 3D) and 3D-print construction consulting services. Print smart and sustainable infrastructure on demand with Black Buffalo 3D NEXCON printers available now. Stay tuned for updates on our clients’ projects and the development of groundbreaking 3D construction-ink materials.

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ENGINEERING TECH

AkitaBox and McKinstry Announce Partnership to Deliver Facility Condition Assessment Software Offering

McKinstry | May 20, 2022

AkitaBox and McKinstry announce their partnership on delivering facility condition assessments (FCAs). AkitaBox FCA software will give architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) firms and building owners/operators a tool for conducting data collection, reporting, and other aspects of a complete FCA. "A partnership with McKinstry, a leader in designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining high performance buildings, is exciting for AkitaBox, Their invaluable testing and feedback will help us ensure our software will truly improve every aspect of FCAs." AkitaBox co-founder Josh Lowe "We believe that we can help transform something that's been overlooked and is in desperate need of change," Lowe adds. "We look forward to moving the industry towards a better FCA, one asset at a time." The collaboration began in mid-2021, when McKinstry first learned AkitaBox was developing FCA software. At the time, the company was looking for ways to augment their existing FCA offering to boost delivery of their building consulting services. "McKinstry is partnering with AkitaBox to enhance our facility condition assessment and asset data collection, analysis, and reporting," says Casey Morris, national facility assessment leader for McKinstry. "AkitaBox brings a set of capabilities that complement our existing tools and methodologies while advancing our ability to achieve greater efficiency and improve deliverables for our clients." "This partnership will expand our capabilities in the marketplace," continues Morris. "It's going to give us an opportunity to be more competitive while still offering the actionable data and custom solutions for which McKinstry is known." AkitaBox FCA software fully digitizes a facility's floor plans and maps the location of each asset to the plan, creating a digital twin. Assessment data is collected and incorporated directly into the digital twin. This data can continue to be updated after the FCA is complete for an always current view of facility condition. About AkitaBox AkitaBox delivers an unrivaled data-driven software to assess and optimize the operation and condition of facilities, from the boiler room to the boardroom. Their cloud-based software provides real-time facilities data in a visual and easy-to-use, customizable format - helping teams simplify their operations, reduce risk, and solve even the most complex facility challenges. The AkitaBox Pulse suite of software solutions includes Facility Condition Assessment, Capital Management, Asset Management, Work Order Management, Preventive Maintenance, Occupant Experience, and Inspections. Visit www.akitabox.com. About McKinstry McKinstry is a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy, and facility services. The firm's innovative, integrated delivery methodology provides clients with a single point of accountability that drives waste and redundancy out of the design/build process. With over 2,000 professional staff and trades people throughout the United States and operations in more than 20 states, McKinstry advocates collaborative, sustainable solutions designed to ensure occupant comfort, improve systems efficiency, reduce facility operational costs, and optimize profitability "For The Life of Your Building."

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CONSTRUCTION

Buildots Announces Scheduling Integrations With Planning Platforms for Advanced Progress Tracking

Buildots | April 28, 2022

Buildots, which uses AI and computer vision to modernize construction management, announced scheduling integrations that will feed data directly from construction sites to planning platforms, automating the process by which teams update and understand progress. Construction teams depend on project planning platforms like Oracle Primavera P6, Asta Powerproject and Microsoft Project, which require manual input to update progress and schedules. This means that site teams regularly and manually compile progress reports - a laborious and time-consuming process. Beyond gathering information from unaligned sources, it often requires referring back to building sites to double and triple check gathered information. Buildots provides a single source of truth for construction site activities. By collecting data with hardhat-mounted 360° cameras and processing this data with AI, its solution enables teams to keep construction on schedule and flag mistakes in real time. Buildots' new integrations create a direct sync between on-site activities and project planning platforms. This provides teams with coherent information in real time, enabling them to understand progress and better predict when projects will end. By feeding data directly to planning platforms, these integrations automate real-time progress into scheduling, enabling schedule owners to allocate more time to decision-making instead of organizing and sifting through data collected from sites. "After seeing our clients manually updating their schedules based on the data provided by our platform, we immediately saw the potential for freeing up managers' precious time on site, The highly accurate data that is now automatically fed into schedules will help planners provide better estimates and respond more quickly to developments affecting their projects." Roy Danon, co-founder and CEO of Buildots About Buildots Buildots is a Tel Aviv and London-based startup leveraging the power of AI and computer vision to modernize the construction management industry. Buildots uses hardhat-mounted cameras to capture imaging of every detail of an ongoing project during regular site walks. The data is then analyzed using AI models to transform random visual data into highly accurate, actionable insights that are correlated with the project's designs and schedule.

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CONSTRUCTION

SIS, LLC, expands its offerings to address Heavy Civil Construction with its Construct 365 suite of products built

SIS | March 29, 2022

SIS, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), & PM (Project Management) software solutions provider for project & service-driven organizations, has entered the Heavy Civil Construction Industry with their Construct 365 product suite. Construct 365 suite of products, by SIS, provide the Heavy Civil Construction industry with the technology infrastructure needed to compete in today's construction opportunities. "We are excited to bring our 25 years of experience in the Construction ERP industry into the Heavy Civil sector. Construct 365 PCM, Construct 365 PM, Construct 365 Advanced Labor, and Construct 365 Field Operations, comprise our existing Construct 365 solution that is being offered for Heavy Civil Construction." Mark Kershteyn, Partner, SIS. "It is exciting to see SIS enter the Heavy Civil Construction market! This adds a strong offering to those firms seeking to leverage Dynamics 365 technology in the Azure Cloud, and greatly enhances the capabilities of a modern ERP solution. This will allow companies to take full advantage of tools such as Microsoft Power BI for dashboards providing greater operational insight " Steve Hathaway, a Partner at Construction Software Solutions and formerly with Viewpoint Construct 365 is bringing rich functionality including: estimate import (Heavy Job and Bid to Win (B2W)), job costing, core financials, and advanced labor. Additional functionality includes Unit Based Projects, Pay Items, Equipment Management, Union and Certified Payroll, all seamlessly working within Microsoft's flagship ERP, Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain. About SIS: SIS (Strategic Industry Solutions) helps project and service focused companies manage every stage of the delivery and service life cycle. We provide complete Project Management, Project Accounting, Job Costing, Business Intelligence, and CRM Software built on Microsoft Dynamics. We help our clients manage cost and risk and deliver a unique value proposition to their customers with proven software and 25 years of Industry Experience. The SIS Construct 365 solution is built in Microsoft Dynamics 365, and is the most complete and integrated solution in the A/E/C – Professional Service marketplace today, focusing on mobility, ease of use, and integration.

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Spotlight

When you work day-in and day-out with components—like gears, bearings or electric motors, for example—it’s easy to forget that those components are always part of a much bigger system. The best gears can fail if the system around them fails. Likewise for bearings, motors, couplings and so on. To make matters more complicated, today’s components are surrounded by, driven by and controlled by electronics. Sensors give feedback to controls, and components have torespond.

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