Cannistraro Blog

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May | 9 | 2017

3 Things We Learned from Autodesk's Media Summit

Last week, while the rest of the world was basking in the lightsaber glow of “Star Wars Day,” we were fortunate enough to participate in the 2017 Autodesk® Media Summit, taking place in various locations around Boston’s Seaport.  Autodesk®, a key technology partner and developer of BIM tools such as Autodesk® Revit, Autodesk® Fabrication CADmep and Autodesk® Navisworks, pulled together a series of presentations, tours and experiences that demonstrated the cutting edge tools being used to help drive 21st century buildings in Boston, one of the busiest construction markets in the country.

And while you practically need Jedi training to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape, there were a few things that really stood out.

1. The robots are coming.

While we may not need to worry about droid armies from “Attack of the Clones,” the advancements being made in robotics will undoubtedly have a major impact on the construction industry.  The dust hasn’t settled yet, however tales of bricklaying robots and mechanical arms for core drilling could draw attention for the significant safety implications that they may carry. 


2. Industrialized construction is the present and the future.

At Cannistraro, our fabrication processes have been inching closer and closer to manufacturing for years.  Our team began using 3D modeling software in the early 2000s as a means to attract a younger workforce, then saw opportunities for improved efficiency by expanding the use of BIM for large scale, off-site prefabrication.  Today, BIM adoption is much more widespread than it was ten years ago, and teams are refining their processes to get better, faster and more efficient. 

For us, we’re prefabricating as much as 85-90% of our piping and duct systems and looking for new ways to modularize.  Components like modular bathroom pods, preassembled modules of mechanical and electrical services and hospital headwall units are just a few of the ways we’re contributing to the bigger picture concept known in our industry as “industrialized construction.”  As the industry embraces this concept and modularization becomes more mainstream, workflows will continue to evolve to accommodate new needs; perhaps things like big data, connectivity and automation.

Cannistraro Hololens
3. Interest in making things is universal.
Each of us is encouraged to start building and creating at a young age.  Whether it’s through Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys or Play-Doh, children use tools as means of tapping into their creativity, expressing themselves and learning how to solve problems.  After experiencing some of the latest technology being used to model, assemble and build buildings, it was striking to see the reactions of those interacting with the varied tools in the room.  

Regardless of age, ethnicity, background or job function, participants were eager to jump right in to learn more about how new tools are changing the way things are made, and were curious about how others are adapting to these changes.  In recent years, Maker Spaces (like the one run by Autodesk® at its Boston Headquarters) have popped up in many communities in order to harness this inherent curiosity.  Watching people immerse themselves in the Hololens experience to visualize the

Autodesk Media Day-3.jpglayout of Cannistraro’s new modular manufacturing facility, and understand the impact of a 3DRTM drone that can scan and deliver data, it became clear that Princess Leia was wrong in her hologram transmission.  Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t her only hope; there were plenty of technology rebels waiting in the wings to make something new that might just save the day in some way, shape or form. 



Take a Closer Look at the Prefabrication Process



John Cannistraro and some of Cannistraro's BIM & Fabrication leaders participate in Autodesk's deep dive into modularization & industrialized construction.

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