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Showing posts from June, 2011

Sculptris : a free 3D sculpting software

Scultpris is a free, cross-platform (Win+OSX) 3D modeling and texturing software, from Pixologic, famous for their ZBrush sculpturing top software. It allows you to work with e.g. Wacom tablets and can handle both 3D meshes and the texturing, although you can combine this with Photoshop and other 3D software. After some minutes dabbling with a small Wacom tablet Info on  (current version is Alpha 6, indicating it is not fully finished) Real example from Sculptris website (artist: Barry Croucher) While the ZBrush software is seen as the logical "next" step, when you outgrow Sculptris, it is already quite complete: dynamic tesselation (refinement of the mesh when sculpting) to support details in the regions which require it, without having to overwhelm the rest of the model with more smooth, flat surfaces. painterly-like interface , dark color scheme, icons, lots of rounded edges. If you use this only occasionally, this might be

New release of Tekla BIMsight

I was informed by people from Tekla (they did a Webinar preview on 16th of June) that the new version of Tekla   BIMsight 1.2 will be released on June 21st. Here is a sneak peek. More info on  soon. BIMsight is a standalone and free application (windows-only) to load, compare and view BIM models. It is  focused on IFC documents, but can load DWG and DGN (from AutoCAD-compatible and MicroStation compatible) applications as well. The highlights of the original release still stand (I discussed it earlier in this blog :  Tekla Bimsight ), but the new version adds some nice features: red lining in 3D  = making annotations to the model, to give feedback to the model owner; re-locating the model, which I read as being able to position different models (from different files/programs) to be properly aligned; improved management , through grouping and linking (multi-files?) So far, my biggest gripe is that it is Windows-only, but I intend to use it fo

Project Photofly 2.0 available from Autodesk

A free application to turn images into 3D models. The new release of Project Photofly, from Autodesk, is now available in the "labs" and expires at the end of 2011. It is currently free and runs on all recent Windows PC's (Core2Duo recommended, XP or 7 in both 32- and 64-bit). Beware that to use it, the software uploads pictures to an Autodesk server for processing, so if that does not suit you, then do not use it. Funny: the software is available only in English, but the End User License Agreement (EULA) is made in 15 different languages.

Announce: Virtual Design World Cup

Check out This is a sponsored competition for students to combining BIM and Virtual Reality models. The participants can win large prices, but they have to use the software proposed by the organization (being Allplan and UC-win/Road). Welcome! This student competition utilizes Building Information Models (BIM) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology to aid in the design of an innovative pedestrian bridge. Participate for your chance to win the  $12,000 Grand Prize! Two pieces of software will be used and are provided to contestants for free (for the duration of the competition): BIM software  Allplan  by Nemetschek and VR software  UC-win/Road  by Forum8. The request is not so simple: The concept for this competition is based on the design of Shibuya bridge – a new way of imagining Tokyo’s most famous intersection. The criteria includes architectural design and visualization of a pedestrian bridge/deck in, around, or above the context of this lan

Comments on the Breakfast 2011

Yesterday, I was at the BIMserver Breakfast , in Amsterdam (which is not too far from Leuven by train). At this event, people could download, install and run the Open Source BIM server, to collaboratively host building projects using IFC files. The BIM Server software The free, java-based server is easy to install, as it is completely self-contained (even includes a small http-server) and cross-platform. As admin, you can set up some project and define users. BIM Server (left) and Web administration interface (right) Currently, this is mostly a specialized, domain-specific, content-management system: Projects  contain name, description, sub-projects and geo-location; IFC files can be uploaded and downloaded; people can make revisions (new versions); sub-projects define user roles, e.g. architect, structural engineer, MEP; there is a modelbrowser , which shows the IFC model structure and can be used to make queries (request for particular objects to inspect); RSS feed

Karamba : I'm slowly getting started

In my recent quest to discover possible tools for design analysis, I already noticed Karamba , which is a free (for now?) Grasshopper-plugin for integrated structural calculation. It means you can define a structural system, with beams and loads and with control over connectivity, support conditions (degrees of freedom of nodes) and analyze it directly within Grasshopper. Real-time if possible. Nice. So I launched Parallels Desktop and stepped through the manual (which is well-written!) and tried to create a basic learning example. Don't shoot me if there are glaring mistakes in this, as I have to re-learn some of the things that have been kept under a rock for the last 10 years (Finite Element Analysis, Building Mechanics). The following screenshot displays a small example with three nodes, two beams and a single force . The nice thing is that, once this is setup, you can interactively play with it, e.g. move nodes, adjust the force, with the simulation running alongside.