Innovation is usually a bumpy road

Recently we printed our first multi-material, 1/8th scale model of our high-rise urban habitat we call “Falcon Tower”. We ran into some issues with material fusion such that the structural analysis model didn’t match with the data we were getting from the printed sensors. The sensors were reporting a striated mix of concrete and steel in the core that was compromising the structure and that would not meet the safety requirements when printed at full-scale. Being such a new technology, it’s understandable that serious issues like this will arise and this is the reason that we went to the expense of printing a scale model. From the perspective of the design-technology leader, I feel the weight of this initial failure bearing down on me. Clearly though, there’s an issue with the translation and scaling of the BIM to the current build of the MMP software because the hardware checked-out fine and the model passed both an automated quality check and a visual quality check done by yours-truly. Still, there’s a lot riding on this for our company as well as a risk of great expense for our client so there can be no question as to the reliability of the delivery process. Luckily, through my participation in the Deign Technology Summit over the years, I’ve forged some great relationships with my peers, most of which are venturing down the same path with multi-material building printing, and I can reach out to them to see if they are experiencing the same issues at scale and discuss solutions that I may have overlooked. Innovation can be a double-edge sword but I believe that without great risk there is seldom great reward.

This is fiction. One day in the near future I may be having this issue and I’m certain that I’ll still be relying on the colleagues I’ve met at DTS to help solve the issues quickly. Join this community of Design Technology Leaders this summer in Toronto to talk about innovation and other topics, and take a step towards a greater future for your company through a knowledge network that’s unmatched in this industry.

Our attendance is capped at 40, so please apply early. If you’d like to attend but did not receive an invitation, please email us at: secretary@rtcevents.com and include your name, e-mail, title, company, approximate number of employees, company website and a brief response on “why you belong at DTS”. I look forward to seeing you there!

DTS Registration Opens This Week!

Ok, so a month later, this is it!  Registration for the 2017 Design Technology Summit opens this week.  For those who may have missed my last post about the upcoming event, you can check it out here.

The application to attend DTS is now part of the overall BILT NA registration process.  You can select ‘DTS Only’ or, if you will be attending multiple events, select one of the BILT NA options and you will be asked which additional events you would like to attend later in the process.

More information on the event and pricing can also be found on our webpage www.designtechnologyleaders.com.

Our attendance is capped at 40, so please apply early.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Registration Opens Soon!

Have you ever thought “I wish I had someone to talk to who understands what I’m dealing with”?  The Design Technology Summit is a great opportunity to collaborate with a room full of design technology leaders just like you… and registration is right around the corner!

We all have similar struggles, architecture and engineering alike.  It’s nice to get together with others who are experiencing those same struggles or have experienced them in the past and found a solution.  If you’re anything like me, it really helps to know you’re not alone.

If you haven’t attended DTS before, this is a great year to register.  We’ve modified the registration process and now anyone can apply to attend.  See Robert Manna’s blog post DTS New Year, New Faces, New Changes describing this and other exciting new changes.

DTS is full of high-level conversation that makes gears turn and sparks fly.  I can personally say I’ve come away from each summit with multiple ideas on how to improve our company workflows, as well as confirmation on the direction we should be headed.

If you’re a design technology leader in the Architecture and Engineering (AE) industry who has ideas to share and is looking to learn from others, then add your voice to the conversation at DTS 2017 in Toronto this summer!

Innovation + Plus One?

If we operate from the perspective that “true” innovation is something that is new “in the world” and has a significant impact, then it’s fair to say that most of us as individuals are not likely to reach what is a very high bar. That is just the realist in me talking, I’m not suggesting we should sulk away, giving up on any hope of being creative or coming up something new. Holding that goal in our eye is only likely to make us more successful rather than less (in my opinion). So, if alone we are not likely to meet that rather high bar, what are we to do (by the way, someone will, and if you don’t try, it won’t be you)? One of the first things we can do is look at organizations or people who have met that bar, and perhaps even seek their opinions and thoughts. Continue reading “Innovation + Plus One?”

Virtual Construction

It’s often tough to get the right people on the MEP project team when it comes to BIM. We’re all used to the typical Engineer, Designer, Drafter lineup but teams often neglect to consider design technology expertise.

It’s generally expected that drafters are the ones with modeling experience. They already know CAD… now teach them BIM and we’re good to go. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. It’s critical that members of the project team at all levels are well versed in BIM and have at least a minimum level of design knowledge.

Often (too often) I hear Engineers and Designers complain about not knowing what’s in the model. If a client calls with a question or concern, they open the model (or have a Drafter do it for them) and try to figure out what’s there and whether it needs to be fixed. Continue reading “Virtual Construction”