The Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) consists of software developers seeking proven tools and technologies to extend Autodesk products and technologies to produce superior design, geospatial, and media & entertainment software solutions. Members customize existing Autodesk software, create plug-ins, and tightly integrate Autodesk technology into customer workflows and enterprises.
Autodesk Labs features some of the work of ADN via the Plugin of the Month program. You can download these plugins (which are ready to use as provided but also include the source code if you want to modify them):
Jim Quanci is Director of the ADN. He recently shared three success stories with us regarding ADN.
Lighting Analysts, Inc. launched the first fully-integrated Add-in lighting software for Autodesk Revit called ElumTools, in September 2011 and already has 69 companies using the software, with anywhere from 1 to 5 seats. ElumTools offers smooth workflow within Revit in calculating point-by-point illuminance (footcandles) for a typical Room or Space. The calculations can be done within seconds once lighting fixture families and materials are validated for accurate lighting calculations (a straight-forward ElumTools process). Multiple Rooms or Spaces can be computed at once and lighting results evaluated using ElumTools interactive visualization. This all adds up to a tremendous amount of time saved integrating lighting with Revit when compared to the previous and often painful exercise of exporting to another software program, then manually integrating results back into Revit.
COINS Framing compliments AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP and helps produce sophisticated timber and lightweight steel framing models. This application is used by various industries including Homebuilders for house design, optimizing timbers against stock lengths, schedules for stick-build, or manufacturing drawings and saw files for factory-based panelization; by Steel panelization sub-contractors for designing steel panels from Architectural drawings, to panelize in the factory, or ship to site as a "do-it-yourself" pack of pre-cut pieces; and by internal partitioning companies for using the results for coordination with the primary contractor and the MEP sub-contractors from within Navisworks. This application also produces fully dimensioned manufacturing drawings complete with schedules, which can then be exported to cutting saws. These drawings are also 'live' which implies that as the model is altered, the manufacturing drawing will instantly update itself.
Get The Point, LLC (GTP) provides tools that support laying out of construction sites by converting points from CAD and BIM models to the real world construction site. GTP's Total Station Solution makes it possible to locate real-world position of building components (foundations, walls, slabs, decks, etc.) using their plugins on Autodesk’s design applications including AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks and transferring the information to the robotic 'Total Station' hardware. These tools help shoot hundreds of layout points a day on the site with increased accuracy than manual point placement tools and also saves hours which are otherwise spent in annotating and dimensioning the construction drawings by the CAD department in any organization. Getting the BIM data to the field has always been challenging, time-consuming and prone to manual errors - using the tools from GTP makes BIM models constructible, increases productivity from office to construction site, reduces re-work and helps realize savings in field layout time.
So based on Jim's examples, it's great to see how ADN extends the ability of Autodesk design applications to improve design workflows. You too can be a part of that. Examples from the ADN Plugin of the Month are a great place to start.
Networking is alive in the lab.