This is one of those Revit add-ins that is close to home for me, so it is with great pleaser that I share with you the announcement of Project Storm which brings finite element analysis to the cloud. It works with Revit Structure 2012 and is released on Autodesk Labs. This project started with a very simple question – “What if we could do finite element analysis in the cloud?” A small team was asked to take on the challenge and see what they could come up with. Well they were able to show that it can be done and there are many advantages to it:
- Multiple analysis in parallel means an engineer can run a multitude of permutations of the design and compare them without having to wait for each analysis to complete before starting the new one.
- Off-Line Processing lets users work on their computers as the analysis is performed – creating documentation, continuing to enrich the BIM model and exploring analysis results.
- Universal access lets engineers access the results from anywhere.
- Results available in Revit means one can view the results overlaid on top of the Revit Structure model
All of these things put together enables the engineer to quickly ask and get answers to their “what if” questions. Questions that are much less costly to answer early on in the project.
Below is an example of 4 analyses run in parallel where the only thing that was changed was the column size. Then the results were displayed side by side in Revit using the Analysis Visualization capabilities to see the impact of the column change on the member moments.
To be sure there is still a lot of cool things left to do and the team has more tricks up their sleeves but we wanted to share what we have so far and get our user’s feedback on the main concept of Structural Analysis as a Service as well as the user experience and workflows.
Please use the labs tools to report your comments and thoughts.