While living in California for decades, I replaced all of the windows in two of the homes my wife and I owned. It's an expensive proposition that every homeowner wants to get right. There are a variety of window manufacturers and installers to consider so one has to choose carefully. When it comes to the windows themselves, there are choices for frame material, frame color, dual or single pane glass, glass tinting, and windowpane configuration. It can be daunting. So this Autodesk Forge story is of special interest to me.
Autodesk Forge is our set of cloud-based developer tools used by our community of customers and partners to derive more value from their design and engineering data. When you use a computer program, you do so via its User Interface (UI) by clicking on elements like menu buttons, using menu pull-downs, or entering commands. When you want to automate a task so you can get the same thing accomplished without having to use a program's UI, you have another computer program operate on your behalf using the program's Application Program Interface (API). Forge has APIs so developers can automate workflows for the benefit of stakeholders involved in workflows that include design and engineering data. The Forge team often features some of these developers on the Forge website. Their latest one is JELD-WEN.
As my introduction alluded, JELD-WEN is one of the world's leading manufacturers of windows and doors. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, JELD-WEN designs, produces, and distributes a range of interior and exterior doors, wood, vinyl and aluminum windows, and related products for use in the new construction and repair and remodeling of residential homes and non-residential buildings.
Since there are many choices to be made regarding windows, when an architect is trying to identify the perfect window option for a house he is designing, it can be frustrating when a manufacturer only offers online images (or Revit design models) of a single style. This makes it difficult for the architect to visualize and pick the right style. This is an all-too-common problem for architects because to provide images of every option, manufacturers like JELD-WEN would have to keep more than 100,000 files per major product line updated. JELD-WEN wanted to change the way it had been done previously by making all product lines — and their associated colors, styles, and material variations — available for online exploration.
Check out the customer story on the Forge website:
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., efficiency, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, return on investment). Leveraging APIs to widen available choices is definitely something for the better.
The collaboration process is alive in the lab.