Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Web Service Offers Unprecedented Content Exchange

If you haven’t heard already there’s a new place to get all the content you ever need for your day to day design needs. It’s called Autodesk Seek. Autodesk Seek is a web service that allows designer’s, architects, engineers and even students to search and find manufacturer’s specific design content as well as generic building drawings, blocks and even specifications.

This is kind of like other content repositories in that you can find various items like drawings, blocks, etc. but there are some key differences. First off, the data is coming from all the Autodesk products you’re used to but it’s also coming directly from the manufacturers! That’s right, Autodesk is in the process of uploading all the content from their software’s content libraries. Another key difference is that the files are in virtually any format used in the Architectural & Engineering community. This means you could find DWG files, DGN files, PDFS and even Microsoft Word documents. Finally the most amazing difference is this; it’s hosted by Autodesk. When’s the last time you ever heard about Autodesk offering DGN files for download? I dare say never!

Use of the files provided on Autodesk Seek does require that you accept the Terms of Use the first time you download a file. When you go to download the file you are offered a plethora of formats. You can I-Drop directly to your application or you can download the files for future use. The thing I love the most about this site is that you don’t have to offer up your e-mail address just to use a file. This looks to be a content site that will be used extensively by the A&E community. I know if something like this were available when I was working for A&E firms I’d have been all over this site.

So I know what you’re thinking, “what is this going to cost me?” That’s the best part, it’s totally free! You may also be wondering what applications I can use this site with? Autodesk Seek can be used with virtually any application that works with the files such as Revit, AutoCAD, 3DS Max Design and yes even Microstation.

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