Author: Michael Gustafson

Why Dynamo + React Structures?

I had the opportunity to present recently to the Tennessee Structural Engineers Association in Nashville, Tennessee. The event gathered over 100 structural engineers from the Tennessee region. The title of my BIM presentation was: BIM: Best Practices Today and Opportunities Tomorrow at the TNSEA. I co-presented with Ben Osborne with Stanley D Lindsey & Associates Inc who is based in SDL’s Atlanta office.  While creating this presentation with Ben, it really brought to my attention the importance of good model discipline when building structural analysis models and exchanging them with BIM. It reiterated to me how different modeling for structural analysis is from modeling for documentation and coordination. Physical modeling and analytical modeling are really defined at different levels of abstraction and serve different purposes. You could say analysis modeling is at Level of Development 200 and physical modeling is at Level of Development 300 (after the structural design is complete). These differences are important to consider when we build out our interoperability strategies between Revit and React Structures.

Ben addressed this topic in his presentation. He showed how Autodesk Dynamo can help structural engineers better manage the integration with structural analysis and design. For example, he showed how to exchange concrete reinforcement design information from Excel to Revit and then how to exchange model data between Revit and React Structures simultaneously.

We are excited about the new release of React Structures, being the first structural analysis solution to include an out of the box integration with Autodesk Dynamo.  Dynamo will help engineers better drive the structural analysis process and even exchange the model information with Revit in a much more customized, reliable way.

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Excitation at NCSEA

To announce the release of React Structures, Brian Frank (Autodesk Product Line Manager) and I attended the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA) in Las Vegas. There were nearly 400 structural engineers from the United States attending this event. This was our first time attending NCSEA and we found it enlightening in several ways.

NCSEA Summit 2015

For starters, we met a range of structural engineering firms: those working on a variety projects like bridges, building and industrial facilities. This was evident in the gallery where we saw projects on display for the 2015 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards.   Secondly, we met some real out-of-the-box thinkers (yes and they were engineers :) ). Brian Dekker, owner of Sound Structures and future President of NCSEA set up a “shake table” with Legos to demonstrate the concept of resonance frequencies of structures. I’ve been fascinated with “eigen values” ever since taking an Earthquake Engineering class in college. So the shake table really made the trip for me.

NCSEA Summit 2015

What we also found interesting was the number of engineers voicing a common need for structural analysis and design software that is easier to learn, more modern and that connects to BIM. Hearing this at NCSEA really helped validate the direction we are going with React Structures and so it was good to listen and hear the needs from fellow structural engineers.

For those of you participating in the React Structures technical preview, we appreciate your feedback. Your efforts will help guide our efforts. We will be off to Vegas again in December for AU 2015 and I encourage you to attend. We will have some special customer sessions about React to get more direct feedback from users. If interested in attending please shoot Brian or I an email.