Autodesk Recognizes AEC Excellence and Heeds the Call for PPE Assistance
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on May 12, 2020 |
Autodesk recognizes the people and firms behind recent projects in the AEC community.

Companies small and large throughout the world have been stepping up to heed the call for help during the coronavirus pandemic while also striving to innovate and operate as normal as possible. Autodesk is one of those businesses that is facing the current challenge head-on and ensuring that the AEC community continues to be recognized for its achievements.

Although COVID-19 has hampered gatherings for the foreseeable future, Autodesk is moving forward with its ninth Autodesk AEC Excellence Awards competition. The company just announced that it is taking submissions for 2020 entrants. The competition, cosponsored by Informed Infrastructure and Society for Marketing Professional Services, recognizes extraordinary projects of various sizes and at various stages of construction, as well as awards an Innovator of the Year. Submissions for 2020 can be made online. The deadline to submit projects is June 10.

The 2019 Building Design—Large Project (over $200 million) was awarded to ÅF Infrastructure, Sweco Architects and Skanska Sverige AB for the European Spallation Source. (Image courtesy of ESS Team HLA.)
The 2019 Building Design—Large Project (over $200 million) was awarded to ÅF Infrastructure, Sweco Architects and Skanska Sverige AB for the European Spallation Source. (Image courtesy of ESS Team HLA.)

Past winners have accomplished some substantial feats. In 2018, China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group won the medium-size project award for its airborne LiDAR mapping of a railway route to reduce the need for tunnels and bridges. In 2019, ÅF Infrastructure, Sweco Architects and Skanska Sverige AB won the large building design award for the European Spallation Source, one of the most advanced and sustainable research facilities in the world.

For the 2020 competition, additional focus is being given to innovative and creative uses of technology. That focus is especially timely considering the innovations coming from nearly all industries to assist with coronavirus efforts. Autodesk’s Technology Centers in San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, and Birmingham, UK, have stepped up to collaborate in the production of face shields and personal protective equipment (PPE) parts for health care workers.

The Boston team used an open-source design to make a face shield with a single fold. It is cut from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and includes a small headband. The team has produced nearly 5,000 face shields and has donated them to 13 medical facilities. Using the same design but with Velcro, the Birmingham team has delivered more than 1,800 face shields for the National Health Service and is continuing with production.

At the Boston Technology Center, a workshop team member uses a laser cutter to cut PET material for face shields. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)
At the Boston Technology Center, a workshop team member uses a laser cutter to cut PET material for face shields. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

3D printers in Toronto were loaned out to Advanced Perioperative Imaging Lab (APIL) for production of an open-source visor-style face shield, designed by a medical hardware maker, for Toronto General Hospital. Production has been steady at around 150 to 200 shields per day. The team in San Francisco has been hard at work printing 3D parts for face shields as part of Maker Nexus, a nonprofit makerspace community organizing PPE efforts in the area.

“We will continue to make face shields to support the need until industry supply chains tool up or we run out of material,” said Joe Aronis, a workshop manager in Boston. “At that point, we will see if there are other needs that we could support at the technology centers.”


For more insight into Autodesk’s Technology Centers, check out Video: Autodesk Opens New Technology Center and Make Anything? Autodesk’s Birmingham Tech Center Proves It.


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