Four Questions with Four CAD Experts | Part One – Our Infrastructure & Cloud

DLT Solutions and [acronym] Magazine cosponsored the Public Sector CAD Awards last week. This two-part, four-question series will recap a conversation with the four judges called “Digital Design Tech, Trends, and Talking Points for 2013 – A Q&A with Public Sector Industry Pros.” Acronym Online editor Caron Beesley moderated the presentation. The judges were: Please note that the below responses are summarized, not taken word-for-word. Question One: How can visualization and collaborative design tools help rebuild and strengthen our nation’s infrastructure? Brian: Digital design tech expedites decision-making, especially in times of crisis. By visualizing complex problems such as the destruction Sandy wrecked, key decision makers have a better idea of the reconstruction needed. Visualization and collaboration help with planning and scheduling which helps manage budgetary constraints. Joe: Advances in technology allows you to not only view something, but it allows for computation analysis on those visualizations. You use the information found within Building Information Modeling (BIM) to get better buy-ins from end users. Scott: Visualization and collaboration broadens the group of people who can understand a problem. This allows decision makers to bring in more people to solve a problem. It also helps people visualize what could and will be built, explain complex problems in a way people can see them, and quickly produce many iterations of a model. Shaan: Visualization helps the management of a crisis like Sandy and Katrin. It allows people to visually see the areas affected and the conditions of key infrastructure systems. It also helps care-givers decide where to safely move people and how to get resources into areas quicker. It also helps in the rebuilding process by helping experts understand what was damaged and how we can prevent future problems such as flooding and collapsed infrastructure. Question Two: How will cloud-based digital design impact how public sector agencies approach design projects and manage workflows this year. And what new cloud initiatives are we likely to see emerge in 2013. Brian: The cloud is helping users with BIM modeling and accessibility. Now, you can not only share ideas within a team, team members can take your idea or model and manipulate it or add-on to it to make it better. The cloud also allows people to leave the office. They can go out in the field or work from home. Cloud computing is also allowing modelers to produce BIM models faster by decreasing stand-by times caused by rendering or heavy analysis. Joe: Cloud means the portability of data. Now you can run analysis in the cloud while still doing work on your device. It also allows for better access to data from anywhere and any device. It’s also allowing for heavier computing. Instead of your one computer doing all the heavy lifting, you can take the power of many servers to get things done faster including rendering. However, there is still a heavy human component that teams must not forget. Scott: Cloud is allowing for four things: data accessed anywhere, larger and more diverse teams working together from anywhere in the world, heavier computing leading to more productivity, and more collaboration at the design stage. Shaan: People need to remember that cloud isn’t just storage. It’s having multiple computers, processing information faster which drives costs down and allows projects to be completed faster. Cloud also allows for easier IT management because the management of updates and tech purchasing is on the cloud provider. From a cybersecurity stand point, the cloud is more secure than FTP sites or allowing people to bring information home on thumb drives. However, cloud users still need a large enough bandwidth to take advantage of the cloud. Tomorrow we’ll recap our experts’ answers on 3D printing in the public sector and using digital design to do more with less. To see this presentation and others given at the CAD Awards, including Lynn Allen’s 60 AutoCAD Tips in 60 Minutes, please visit the official CAD Awards homepage. Image from