BE Together 2012 Wrap Up

Last weeks BE Together conference was a great event.  With the release of MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 3) and the soon to be released Civil applications for SS3 we knew this year was going to be good.

Ron Brys and myself (Bob Mecham) were there in attendance.  We decided to split up and take different tracks at the conference.  Ron took the Civil track focusing on InRoads and I took the MicroStation track focusing on whats new in SS3 and Visualization.

To view pictures from the conference visit our page on Facebook.

Keynotes Watch Video

I might be the only one in the room that is really looking forward to the Keynotes but it is true.  The Keynotes are a great way to find out what Bentley Systems has been up to with product development, acquisitions and growth. It is also the best way to find out the direction and future of the software and company.

This year’s keynotes focused on BIM but using the M for Mobility.  After having a couple years off Keith Bentley was back this year with his Technical Keynote which was the best of all the keynotes.  Keith is working on the development of Bentley Systems Mobile Apps.  Having the ability to take your designs with you in a managed environment that there is no loss of data or duplication.

The other highlight of the keynote for us is the announcement of OpenRoads Bentley’s new Civil product which combines the best of all three existing Civil products GEOPAK, InRoads, and MX Roads.  The way Bentley Systems is developing OpenRoads is remarkable technology that I believe everyone will want to use as soon as it is released.

Here are some of the news releases from the Keynotes:

Bentley and Trelligence Announce Integration of AECOsim Building Designer and Affinity

Bentley Introduces Shared ‘OpenRoads’ Information Modeling Functionality in InRoads, GEOPAK, and MXROAD V8i (SELECTseries 3)

Bentley Acquires InspectTech, Leading Provider of Software-as-a-Service for Bridge Safety

MicroStation Updates

MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 3) has a number of new productivity enhancements for end users.  The best news for the end user of MicroStation is that the interface did not change.  The toolbars, tasks, and menus still look and act the same.

During every session and hands-on workshop the Project Explorer dialog was featured.  By default the Project Explorer dialog is opened as a tabbed dialog under the Task menu.  The Project Explorer dialog is becoming an integrated part of the workflow for working with design files and other files.  I would highly recommend looking into what Project Explorer and link-sets can do for you.

My MicroStation tip queue is full again so stay tuned as I write about all the new functionality in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 3) in our upcoming newsletters.

InRoads Updates

Where to start?

The first update of note is the continued convergence of InRoads, GEOPAK and MXRoads. With the SELECTseries 3 release they are a combined product called OpenRoads. While your interaction with the SS3 product and functionality is very different, it looks very exciting. The knowledge you have invested in traditional workflows is not lost but how you will apply them is changing. The trend is towards dialog-less interaction with your data and the retention of design information in the CAD file. Gone are the days of big dialogs and having external .alg, .ird, and .dtm files. In fact DTMs are now stored in the dgn file as a new MicroStation terrain element. Fear not however, your template (.itl) files are still applicable.

We don’t have space to detail it all out here but some major points are:

  •  Corridor and Site modeling – There is a major shift in how modeling is approached. Corridor and site modeling have traditionally been considered as somewhat independent functions, now it’s simply integrated modeling. Think templates for roadways and sites such as intersections, parking lots, sedimentation basins, ditches, etc.
  • Civil Cells – You can develop geometry/design criteria and information that can be applied to subsequent locations or designs. A visual is really necessary to understand this but I’ll do my best to explain it here. Think about building an intersection with MicroStation commands such as intersect, trim, copy parallel, fillet, etc. with MicroStation retaining offset, slope, radii input and all other commands used to create the graphical representation. Add to this pavement structure, sloping, ditching and everything else a designer would specify to build-out the model. Now store this as a civil cell and be able to apply it to another location with no more than two intersecting lines (say mainline/sideroad) then let OpenRoads build a 3D model from the civil cell. Furthermore, you can edit any offsets, radii, etc. used to build the civil cell and have the model reform on-the-fly based on edits made in a heads-up mode.
  • Subsurface Utility Design & Analysis (SUDA) –  This is the integration of Bentley’s gravity flow products from InRoads, GEOPAK, MXRoads, Haestad, WaterCAD and others allows for dynamic modeling provided right in the dgn file. Looks really interesting.

The Beta is scheduled to be released soon with the initial release targeted for July-August

Live Zone

The Live Zone was an interactive place for attendees to visit with vendors and Bentley staff.  Here are some vendors I checked out in the Live Zone.

Zebra Imaging – ZScape™ Holographic Prints shows 3D data beyond typical computerized renderings.

CadFaster – Enables multiuser design review workflows on laptops and iPads.

SITEOPS® –  is site-optimization software for land development that provides the capabilities to conduct rapid site evaluations and ascertain ‘what-if’ scenarios.

WorldViz LLC– provides high quality, low-cost immersive 3D products to researchers, educators, designers, manufacturers, and other professionals, integrating all common VR products on the market and delivering complete turnkey solutions


People also read: Highlights from the 2013 Bentley LEARNing Conference

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Bob Mecham

Bob is a partner at EnvisionCAD and is an industry expert in the implementation, configuration, instruction, development, and customization of both MicroStation and InRoads.

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