I am happy to announce our newest technology preview available via the Autodesk Labs site - Project Storm.
Project Storm for Autodesk Revit Structure is a technology preview that provides cloud-based structural analysis to structural engineers as a part of the BIM process. Project Storm enables structural engineers and designers to:
- Perform static analysis from the cloud so as not to disrupt their workflow or hinder performance.
- Simultaneously perform static analysis for various buildings models or parts of a project.
- Calculate different variants of the same model for example using differing materials, at the same time.
Structural engineers and designers must perform calculations as a necessary part of the design process for any building structures project. Project Storm makes structural analysis more accessible allowing analysis to be performed from anywhere at any time by accessing computers in the cloud. Being able to perform analysis during the design process helps to streamline the structural engineers workflow.
Senior Product Manager, Pawel Piechnik, shared a typical workflow with me.
- The structural engineer or designer:
- Designs the structural model with sections, materials, loads, and boundary conditions based on the intent established by the architectural model.
- Prepares an analytical model based on the physical model of the building structure.
- Conducts a series of necessary analyses on the model.
- Once analysis results are obtained, the structural engineer or designer may consult with the architect and necessary design iterations are made to the building.
- The architect will iterate the architectural model based on design and analytical information from the structural engineer or designer.
- Once the design changes are made, the structural engineer or designer will then analyze the updated physical model.
Pawel went on to elaborate a hypothetical use case with Project Storm for Autodesk Revit Structure. A structural engineer's or designer's workflow could be optimized with Project Storm for Autodesk Revit Structure by enhancing collaboration with the architect and performing analysis early on in the design process:
A structural engineer by the name of Eric is working on a new commercial office buildings project. He works with Sandra, an architect in the same company. Eric uses Autodesk Revit Structure for the project while Sandra uses Autodesk Revit Architecture.
The top story of the building features steel construction with a cantilevered roof. The length of the cantilever is quite long, and Sandra has some doubts about whether or not it would be possible to construct. She asks Eric for information to help determine if design intent should be changed.
Using Revit Structure, Eric designs the structural model of the building. With Revit Structure an analytical model is automatically created helping to ensure accuracy. He adds some typical loads and supports to the model. Eric then runs a static analysis of the structure of the building using Project Storm. When the analysis is complete, Eric receives a notification.
With Project Storm, Eric visualizes the results of the static analysis from within Revit Structure and discusses with Sandra the steel construction at the top story and roof level.
Diagrams of internal forces help Eric to explain the different requirements related to bracing the steel.
After viewing the results within Revit Structure, Eric and Sandra agree on a solution which satisfies both of them.
After a week, Sandra introduces an additional change to the building. The height of the top story has to be increased by almost a meter. Sandra is not sure if this change will require significant changes to the current bracing system.
Eric happens to be away from the office on this day, without access to the office network, but does have access to the internet. He asks Sandra to submit the Revit Structure model with the changes reflected to Project Storm.
Eric initiates analysis for the model that Sandra submitted via the internet. Eric can also view current status of the calculation run, and can be notified when the calculations are completed. He can also view the analysis results and prepare different types of reports.
Via Project Storm, adequate information is provided to Eric to help him understand whether or not the bracing will be adequate to support the changes that Sandra wants to make even when working virtually.
With Project Storm for Autodesk Revit Structure, the workflow can be improved by allowing design decisions to be made earlier in the process. With Revit Structure for BIM, an analytical model can be automatically created based on design intent saving time and ensuring greater accuracy. Performing cloud based analysis from within Revit Structure helps to streamline the design process and provide analytical results early and often to inform intent.
So please give Project Storm a try and let us know what you think at [email protected] or the Revit Structure discussion forum. We are particularly interested in the usability of conducting static analysis right from within Revit Structure and the ability to continue working with Revit Structure on your desktop while that analysis happens in the cloud.
Powerful collaboration leveraging the cloud is alive in the lab.