All-in-One AEC package
first of all - a massive thank you to the community for the enormous work, that has been done towards pushing FLOSS in the AEC industry. You are a huge inspiration!
I have been following the forums for a while now, but since this is the first time I am posting here, I might as well introduce myself. The name is Mariusz, civil engineer/landscape architect by training. Have been working for one of the bigger engineering companies for 10+ years now (approx. 15000 employees internationally, same office as @duncan btw.). I specialize in terrain modelling, water sensitive urban design, bioengineering and BIM for landscape. On top of that, I'm passionate about generative design and am currently writing a PhD on AI applications in landscape architecture. Work with Civil 3D, Revit, Rhino, 3ds Max, Blender, Arc GIS on a daily basis and 2 years ago started developing plugins for Rhino of intermediate complexity.
I've started preliminary talks with our management about their potential involvement in funding osarch's efforts to develop open-source software for the AEC industry. The grand idea would be to convince the biggest players in the field to become patrons of a foundation similar to how Blender is supported by AWS, NVIDIA and the likes. The vision - to have an OS All-in-One package for the entire industry.
And that's precisely what I wanted to ask your opinion on. What do you think of a unified software package, which would cover the entire AEC design process similarly to how Fusion360 addresses product design workflows?
- Sketching for ideation,
- GIS for context,
- Civil/Landscaping tools for site design,
- Sculpting/Solid/Polymodelling for initial massing,
- Dedicated tools for Architecture, Structure, MEP, Façades etc. modelling,
- Dedicated simulation tools for each of these categories (i.e. stormwater flow for terrain modelling, solar energy gains for façades, loads distribution for structure etc.),
- 2D documentation and paper space layouting,
- BIM authoring,
- Cost estimates & scheduling,
- Construction sequencing and 4D visualizations (time being the fourth dimension),
- Facility management,
- EDIT: Project management tools (thanks @denissoto),
- EDIT: Rendering, virtual reality, presentations (thanks @JQL)
- others which I forgot/am not aware of the need for...
Users could start at any design stage and use any subset of the above modules for their specific task. These would be grouped in dedicated workspaces similarly to how today we can switch between grease pencil and sculpting tools in Blender or modelling and FME simulation tools in Fusion360.
This certainly wouldn't be the easiest thing to achieve, but would it be feasible at all, given - say - $5 million a year and 5 years of development? Would it be something that you as architects/engineers/urban planners would be interested in using at all?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!