In the government manufacturing, construction, and design world, innovation isn’t hindered by a lack of creativity or ideas. Any manufacturing or architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professional can attest that the challenge is found in executing upon those ideas, especially when this involves moving subsets of data back and forth between multiple applications and products.
According to Autodesk’s President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost, “Nobody becomes an architect, engineer, or animator to do this kind of non-creative work. Repeatedly rooting through reams of data doesn’t make the projects you work on or the work you do more meaningful.”
That’s why Autodesk is using its Forge platform to connect all the capabilities of its AEC products and placing them all in one single environment. Autodesk Forge is a platform of web service application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow professionals to integrate Autodesk Software as a Service (SaaS) products into manufacturing and AEC workflows.
During last month’s Autodesk University 2021, there was a general session on how the Forge platform is evolving to connect workflows between roles and between industries. Attendees learned how Forge is making data more accessible, extensible, and open, so government manufacturing and AEC professionals can automate tasks, unlock insights, and unleash the talent of their teams.
Here are three ways Autodesk Forge is improving manufacturing and AEC project lifecycles:
- Seamless integration and data sharing between Autodesk solutions
To give the manufacturing and AEC industries the resiliency and the agility that they need, Autodesk has invested in connecting their entire ecosystems with open and extensible data flows in the cloud. Through Autodesk Forge, multidisciplinary manufacturing and AEC professionals are able to fluidly exchange data between Autodesk products that are critical to their operations.
One example that was brought up during the session pertained to professionals who work in Autodesk Inventor and reference Autodesk Revit models for their building designs. For instance, if a user is working on a building’s metal walkway in Inventor, and the architect they’re working with moves the location of that walkway six inches to the right in Revit, they’ll see that update directly in Inventor.
But it’s only a matter of time before these seamless exchanges of data and model information are no longer limited to just Autodesk products.
- Building fluent workflows between Autodesk AND non-Autodesk solutions
When government projects enter the construction phase, managing project data becomes extremely challenging. Countless firms assemble for a project, each trying to deliver quality work on-time, and on-budget.
Disconnected processes between firms can slow down or prevent collaboration. Concerns about permissions can allow out-of-date information to linger in the field. These challenges lead to delays and rework.
But there’s a bigger problem, as well. The project data becomes fragmented and meaningful insights are lost in a series of data silos in disconnected data sets. To design, construct, and operate with more certainty, data silos down must be broken down. And that’s what Autodesk is doing with Forge.
Autodesk Forge is connecting data within and also between design, construction, operations, and manufacturing.
Through Forge, Autodesk is unlocking Revit data for use in non-Autodesk applications. Just like data flows between Revit and Inventor, soon Revit data will pass directly to Microsoft Power Automate. This will make BIM data available for a wide variety of users, giving granular visibility into projects and making it easier to supply up-to-date information to project partners without having to pass files back and forth.
If an object parameter changes in a model, a supplier won’t have to dig through a huge file to find the change. Instead, designers will be able to create an automation to instantly give their supplier the exact information they need. With Revit data unlocked, users will no longer be limited to the constraints of proprietary file formats.
- Certainty = on-time and on-budget project delivery
As illustrated by the fluid data flow between Inventor and Revit, and soon with non-Autodesk applications, Forge is enabling project teams to easily avoid waste and rework, eliminating costly surprises late in the design process, or even worse, out on the job site. All of these factors, combined, create higher project certainty.
Autodesk Forge is ensuring project certainty by connecting product workflows, which translates to certainty on cost, certainty on waste, and certainty on project delivery. Through Forge, Autodesk is now delivering high certainty on so many of the outcomes that have previously held government manufacturing and construction projects back.