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Hello, everyone. Time for our weekly roundup of articles at the intersection of building information modeling (BIM); artificial intelligence (AI); and the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space. Here goes:

It's official: BIM is on the rise. Construction Dive reports that a new survey conducted by the Construction Intelligence Center (CIC) reveals that the global adoption of BIM is indeed on an upward trend. Thanks in part to government mandates in the UK and Russia's aspirations toward being an international BIM authority, the survey bolsters a recent Research and Markets report claiming the BIM market will hit $11.7 billion by 2022. The report stated that, "Although respondents identified ease of planning and increased ability to price out, schedule and design a project to be advantages of BIM, the survey determined that the major drivers of BIM adoption are cost savings and efficiency." Savings that will not just benefit the design and construction teams, but the end client as well. 

BIM will soon take over entire cities. (Source: Construction Dive)

Imagine the increase in cost savings and efficiency if building components could be designed in artificial reality (AR) with finished designs sent directly to a 3D printer.3DPrint.com reports on a new app from Febtop Tech that does just that. FEBCAD AR allows the user to draw 3D shapes in front of a screen, such as a smartphone or tablet, while the app transforms the "drawings" into 3D renderings. From there, the drawing can be exported to an STL file or sent directly to one of the company's 3D printers. Tom Yang, Febtop CEO, noticed a disconnect between design and printing in 3D: "When we observe new users, with no previous 3D printing experience working with our 3D printers, we often see them struggle as they try to learn a 3D modeling software or a CAD program... We quickly realized that we had to find a way to make that process more natural and inviting for new designers." While the current iteration of the software only allows for creating the most basic shapes, the company plans to offer it as open source. With the current influx of AR technology, it's a platform that is sure to prove useful in building design. 

Currently only able to produce simple shapes, Febtop plans to make its software open source. (Source: 3DPrint)

As we become smarter about building buildings, it stands to reason that our buildings should become smarter as well. IBM Watson and The ISS Group are collaborating to do just that. ISS used its Copenhagen headquarters as the proverbial guinea pig, and outfitted it with sensors that connect to both Watson and TRIRIGA facilities management software. The sensors can detect the number of people in the building, which rooms are in use at any given moment, and even how many people the chef should expect at mealtime. Beyond its real-time usefulness, the report also points out, "Although the technology is currently being used to monitor human movement in buildings, it could easily be adapted to help facilities managers with 4D (scheduling), 5D (finances) and 6D (facilities management) building information modeling as well – especially when retrofitting existing buildings." If the ISS beta test proves a success, full-scale BIM adoption may be closer than we think.

Facilities management is the all-encompassing name of the game. (Source:Engineering.com)

Of course, artificial intelligence cannot be left on the bench as we pursue smarter design and building. While many still fear the robots "taking over," Pete Baxter of Autodeskassures us the future of robotics is one of collaboration, not domination. He reports in Manufacturing Global that the combination of humans, robots, and innovative technologies (like generative design) will allow for manufacturing and design capabilities we have yet to even imagine: "Robots are very much our tool and an extension of our own mind and creativity. By working together, machines with greater strength and precision and humans with unique sensory awareness, the possibilities will be endless." He also warns that reluctance to embrace new technologies could leave the fearful behind the curve.


Sometimes a robot extends a helping hand, and you just have to grab it. (Source: Manufacturing Global)

Speaking of fearful, remember those Harry Potter staircases that would move of their own accord? Imagine if entire cities did the same! This video by AUJIK gives new meaning to the idea of a "living city..." Have a great week!

Future city skylines might induce some vertigo. (Source: Sploid)


Tags: BIM Architecture and Planning 3d Printing

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