Design Revolution at Carlson

By Karen Cummings • November 1st, 2016

CAD revolutionized design when it was first developed in the late 1950s, early ’60s, but there’s a ‘game-changer’ happening right now — get ready for the new revolution in design.

If your teenager is like most others and spends hours playing with computer games, you might be able to stop worrying about his or her future. According to a 2014 article by Andrew Groen in WIRED magazine, current video games can help “prepare your child’s brain for a life of building and engineering.”

“Kids have always loved building things and solving problems, but before video games, the best tools we could offer them were Lincoln Logs and Legos,” he notes. “Today, we can give them a whole lot more.”

New gaming-based software for 3D design is here

Minecraft just reported that Minecraft may even be coming to U.S. schools, to challenge “kids to use their imagination by building futuristic virtual worlds.”

And guess where else those computer games are going? Into offices of civil engineers, changing how building and engineering is getting done now.

While CAD design is still first and foremost and most often the required format for deliverables, new software based on gaming technology is rapidly being developed. Carlson Software is doing it with its Precision 3D line. “It’s a game changer,” as AEC Magazine in December 2013 so aptly noted Autodesk felt about the new design and modeling options.

As author, Harvard professor, and expert on innovation and growth Clayton Christensen might say, “This is one market just waiting for a big bang to happen!”

CAD revolutionized design when it was first developed in the late 1950s, early ‘60s, and especially when personal computers became the norm in the 1980s. Now could be the time for a whole new revolution with future users – those who have grown up with computer games that allow both basic and advanced editing at lightning fast speeds – coming out of college with both the desire and the expectation to be able to work within the 3D environment.

Carlson Precision 3D Topo screen shot

Designing with Carlson Precision 3D Topo

And it’s not just young people who have that expectation or who see the benefits. Carlson Software’s Nathan Crews, lead developer of Precision 3D, notes, “It is true younger users see the ease of use and value of 3D design, but so do the older engineers that discover they can design and analyze much faster in 3D than the many step processes of the CAD world. So 3D design tools save lots of time and reduce the chance of errors, making it an obvious tool to improve the business bottom line.”

So if you’re looking for a better way to create preliminary designs and communicate in projects and lament that “…the 3D aspect can’t be seen until after the design has been drawn…” as noted in a Carlson Precision 3D promo. Then get ready for the revolution in design that’s equal, or even more outstanding, to what happened 40 years ago with the introduction of CAD.

If games like Minecraft and Sim City can do it, surely it won’t be long before all civil engineering software is doing the same.

About Carlson Precision 3D
Currently there are three versions of Carlson Precision 3D available with more in the works. These include:

  • P3D Topo A program for 3D editing of digital terrain models (DTMs) that provides an array of tools to locate and correct DTM errors, all in a sharp 3D interface. Surveyors, contractors and engineers alike can use the software to make sure the final DTM surface is of the highest quality. Multiple undoes and redoes allow the study of changes to make things perfect.

    Precision 3D Drill and Blast for both mining and construction use.

    Precision 3D Drill and Blast for both mining and construction use.

  • P3D Culverts An easy-to-use 3D engineering design software that analyzes storm events and allows users to create and automatically size pipes (and edit them even after they’ve been placed), dynamically visualize pond volumes, and add headwalls and properly entrench them in the ground.
  • P3D Drill and BlastProvides a faster, interactive 3D engine with enhanced textures, transparency, lighting and rotation that enables users to create blasthole patterns with many options such as square or staggered for both mine benching or construction design with realtime feedback.

All Carlson Precision 3D design products integrate easily into Carlson CAD-based products and also AutoCAD® and Microstation. Carlson P3D Drill and Blast works with Carlson Machine Control DRL for GNSS guided drilling. Contact your local Carlson sales director for more information or a free 30-day license.

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