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Industry Spotlights
2009 Collaboration & Interoperability Spotlight

Collaboration and interoperability is a huge challenge for AEC users. For collaboration, getting the owner of the projects, the architects, the contractors, the structural engineers, the civil engineers, the MEP engineers, and other members of the project to work better together and more efficiently will always be an element of the design and build process that has room for improvement. With practices like building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD), there has been head way in getting project teams to collaborate better.

With interoperability, so long as CAD software continues to evolve, so will the challenge of collaboration and interoperability. While the challenge is constantly evolving because the software is also changing, the interoperability agreement made in 2008 between Bentley and Autodesk is a display of the major players in the AEC industry indicating that they want to play an active part in the solution to making systems interoperable.

Because of these challenges for the AEC industry, it is easy to see why the topic of collaboration and interoperability is so important, and is the reason why ConnectPress chose to compile this month’s Industry Spotlight on collaboration and interoperability. Although they are seemingly unsolvable challenges, there have been advances in both collaboration and interoperability, which are showcased in the following articles. In addition, we've included a Vendors Directory featuring a list of software providers.

Communication is Key: A Look at Collaboration and Interoperability by ConnectPress Editor Lauren Browne
Collaboration and interoperability continue to be a challenge in the AEC industry, but there are continuous improvements.

Advances in Collaboration Software by Claudia Stahley, ConnectPress Editor
Collaboration and interoperability tools are gaining in strength and usefullness, check out what we have learned.

Bentley Launches ProjectWise Dynamic Plot by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
ProjectWise Dynamic Plot V8i allows users to create a dynamic relationship between paper and plotted points ensuring the paper and digital models are constantly in sync.

Anark Tightens Link to CAD Products in New Release by Kathleen Maher, Jon Peddie Research
Anark Core 2.2 now supports DWG, offering better interoperability in AEC applications and can be distributed in a compact, secure package.

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2009 Collaboration & Interoperability Guide

Workstations, Large-Format Printers and Scanners & More

Hardware is one of few universal challenges for all CAD users. After all without the necessary equipment the CAD software itself is next to useless.

Today's users now have a large selection of hardware tools available to help them get the most from their CAD experience.

These tools include powerful workstations to process intensely sophisticated 3D designs and computationally powerful analysis projects, server networks to back up and store data, and high-end monitors capable of displaying high-levels of detail.

This spring saw the new launch of many hardware advances and products, including Intel's Xeon Processor 5500 series, HP's Z Workstation Series, Lenovo's ThinkStation S20 and D20, plus new graphics cards like AMD's ATI FirePro V7750 and NVIDIA's new Quadro Professional line.

For these reasons ConnectPress has chosen to give the hardware industry some well-deserved attention. The special edition will focus on the latest developments in workstations, large-format printers and scanners, and other products that can improve the day-to-day experience of CAD design.

We'd like to give a special thanks to Intel for sponsoring this year's Hardware Industry Spotlight. Please see the article titled "Intel Corp. – A Leader in Making Green a Priority" to learn about Intel's green initiatives and also see their listing in the Hardware Vendors Directory accompanying this Industry Spotlight.


Intel Corp. – A Leader in Making Green a Priority by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
Intel displays through its products and leadership that being green is integral in their company.

High End Graphics Are Not Optional in Some Professions by Jon Peddie and Kathleen Maher, Jon Peddie Research
The Jon Peddie Research Group reports on the computer graphics market for the first quarter this year and provides a forecast of what's ahead for the industry.

A New Era of Hardware by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
An interview with Cyon Research President Brad Holtz and Jon Peddie Research Senior Analyst Alex Herrera on how the hardware industry is holding up in spite of the economic global crisis.

New Hardware Products Pack Power by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
A rundown of some of the latest workstations, servers, graphics cards and more.

Get Your Ideas to Designs Faster with Lenovo's ThinkStation S20 and D20 Workstations by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
A closer look at Lenovo's latest workstations for mechanical computer aided-design (MCAD) and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals.

NVIDIA and AMD Release New Professional Graphics Cards to Accompany Intel's Nehalem-EP Release for Workstations by Alex Herrera, Jon Peddie Senior Analyst
Alex Herrera discusses the characteristics of NVIDIA's and AMD's new graphics cards.

The Latest in Large Format Scanners by Claudia Stahley, ConnectPress Editor
See what large format scanner might best fit your business in this overview of some of the most popular scanners for CAD professionals.

Large Format Printing Industry Beholds Digitalization, Decentralization & Sustainability by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
Find out why it might be time to invest in a large format printer and learn about the many options for mechanical computer aided-design (MCAD) and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals from vendors such as Océ, HP, Canon and more.

HP Releases Updated Version of the Designjet 500 by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
In December 2008 HP announced the release of the updated version: the Designjet 510, now with more features, the 510 has kept its affordable price points while giving customers more bang for their buck.

Vendors Directory by ConnectPress
Find out more about each of the hardware vendors and analysts by checking out each of their websites listed in this directory.

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2009 Hardware Guide

Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing
2008 Rapid Prototyping Roundup

In this Special Report ConnectPress brings Community Members groundbreaking coverage on key players and issues in the rapid prototyping industry–including rapid prototyping's latest trends and its outlook.

In the 2008 ConnectPress Rapid Prototyping Special Report we present a plethora of feature stories and case studies relating to the challenges and capabilities of the various technologies.

This extensive report would not have been possible without all the contributors that shared their expertise with ConnectPress and the financial support of this year's 2008 ConnectPress Rapid Prototyping Roundup sponsors: American Precision Prototyping, Dimension 3D Printing, 3D Systems, Wohlers Associates and 3D Prototype Design.

ConnectPress presents our exclusive 2008 Rapid Prototyping Vendor's Directory and this outstanding selection of articles:

Wohlers Talk: Design and Manufacturing in the Future By Terry Wohlers, Wohlers Associates - Terry Wohlers shares some statistics from Wohlers Report 2007, an industry study focusing on the advances in additive fabrication technology.

Industries Benefiting from Additive Fabrication Technology By Terry Wohlers - Terry Wohlers discusses how advances in additive fabrication will lead to a new wave of unimaginable design.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enhances Architectural Learning and Research Using a Z Corp. 3D Printer By Z Corporation - learn how the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture utilized Z Corporation's 3D printer to produce architectural models. Lawrence Sass, assistant professor in MIT's Department of Architecture fulfilled his research project in the late 1990's by completing a replication of famous architect Andrea Palladio's Italian Villas by constructing accurate scaled models. The case study also looks at how Sass encouraged MIT to use the Z Corporation printer to teach students how to use rapid prototyping techniques in a class called Advanced Course in Digital Fabrication.

Differences in Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing By Rita Stange, ConnectPress Staff Writer - Learn about the differences between rapid prototyping and 3D printing in this interview with Dimension 3D Printing Vice President Jon Cobb where he discusses the two methods and also touches on the process of fused deposition modeling, trends in the industry and Dimension 3D Printings offerings. Plus, find out what Cobb thinks are five key factors that will fuel the market going forward.

Quickparts Talks SLA and Future of Rapid Prototyping By Rita Stange, ConnectPress Staff Writer - ConnectPress got with Quickparts for the inside scoop on rapid prototyping and the ins and outs of stereolithography (SLA). Get a crash course on Quickparts' services and more in this insightful interview with Quickparts' Vice President of Sales Patrick Hunter.

American Precision Prototyping By John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer – Jason Dickman, co-founder of American Precision Prototyping, explains the differences between stereolithography and selective laser sintering.

Proto Labs By John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer – A profile of Proto Labs who rapidly creates useable parts from 3D geometry.

Faster Prototypes, Faster Sheet Metal By John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer – An interview with Jay Jacobs, Rapid Sheet Metal president, who create prototypes in two weeks or less.

ExtrudeHone Creates Metal Tools with MIT's 3DP Technology By MIT - Metal parts for injection molding tooling inserts and for direct use have been built using MIT's patented 3DP process and placed into use. ExtrudeHone Corporation has licensed the 3DP technology for the fabrication of metal parts and tools. Read how this company's parts have been created in an increasingly diverse range of materials including stainless steel, tungsten and tungsten carbide. Printed parts are sintered for strength, then infiltrated with low melting point alloys to produce fully dense parts. The 3DP process is easily adaptable to a variety of materials systems, allowing the production of metallic/ceramic parts with novel compositions.

What is 3D Printing and How Can it Help Me? By Kirsten Fox, ConnectPress Senior Editor - This feature offers an industry outlook for rapid prototyping and 3D printing. Learn about the technology, techniques and trends. Many manufacturers and designers are bringing 3D printing in-house. The benefits of 3D printers for reducing design and turn-around time and improving product quality are high, allowing developers to validate design early. Also, it provides manufacturers with the flexibility for managing and prioritizing their own model production queues. In-house printing does have its drawbacks, leading many to outsource a lot of projects that demand precise results. Read why this exploding and dynamic field provides fast, relatively inexpensive prototypes.

Cut from a Different Mold By Kirsten Fox, ConnectPress Senior Editor - Here's a look at what rapid prototyping industry players are doing. Technology academic leader MIT's 3DP department develops 3D printing for the rapid and flexible production of prototype parts, end-use parts, and tools directly from a CAD model. Their cutting edge technology creates parts of any geometry, and out of any material, including ceramics, metals, polymers and composites. Furthermore, it can exercise local control over the material composition, microstructure, and surface texture. 3DP commercial licensees include ExtrudeHone, Soligen, TDK Corporation and Z Corporation.

Soligen uses MIT-based DSPC (Direct Shell Production Casting) to produce the actual ceramic molds for metal castings directly from 3-D CAD designs. No tooling or patterns are required. DSPC is a patternless casting process developed at Soligen, Inc., which licenses MIT's 3DP technology for use in metal casting. DSPC machines produce the actual ceramic molds for metal casting.

This article also discusses how DSM Somos has been rapid prototyping materials since the late 1980's. Learn about Somos' first commercial stereolithography resin in 1992 to today's introduction of DMX-SL 100.

Custom Sports Car Benefits from FDM By Materialise - Yoshiyuki Hayashi, a Japanese car collector, commissioned the design of a one-off sports car to Zagato's company, who turned to Materialise to assist in the building of the headlights. Read how Materialise used Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) for headlight design. FDM was chosen for the durability of the material used, the stability of the mechanical properties over time and the quality of the part.

ConnectPress would like to thank this year's sponsors for their sponsorship of the 2008 ConnectPress Rapid Prototyping Roundup:

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2008 Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing Guide

Energy Analysis
2008 Energy Analysis Roundup

The newly formed ConnectPress Infrastructure team presents a Special Report on Energy Analysis, featuring a collection of articles, case studies and an accompanying Vendor's Directory, which lists specialized analysis tools for testing energy efficiency.

Engineers, designers and architects alike have many options when it comes to conducting energy consumption tests. Most commonly, designers create the model first and then analyze. However, a growing trend stemming from the green phenomena takes into consideration energy consumption before the design phase begins, therefore shaping the process.

Companies like Autodesk and Bentley Systems are also increasing their portfolios by acquiring energy analysis software firms in an attempt to help architecture engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals meet sustainability goals.

ConnectPress has brought together a selection of articles on recycling energy, eliminating carbon from buildings, solar energy power system usage and other processes for analyzing energy measurements, plus specific examples of successful LEED-certified projects - and much more.

Improving Building Performance with Bentley Solutions by Rita Stange, ConnectPress Senior Editor - Learn about the options Bentley offers for energy analysis testing, popular analysis methods used these days and Bentley's recent acquisition of Hevacomp, which includes energy analysis software.

Chartwell School Goes Platinum by Rita Stange - Find out how the commitment to build the best learning environment led the Chartwell School to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Rethinking Buildings by Staci Matlock, ConnectPress Staff Writer - Energy efficient buildings are more critical in addressing climate change than fuel-efficient cars, says Santa Fe architect Edward Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030. Learn about the no carbon initiative proposed by Mazria in this feature.

Recycled Energy and Co-generation Could Power the Future by Staci Matlock - Find out how Thomas Casten, chairman of Recycled Energy Development (RED), has been lobbying for better energy efficiencies and decentralized power for 30 years.

Eying Solar Energy Analysis by Marilyn Pitts, ConnectPress Editor - One component of energy analysis is evaluation of potential solar energy power system usage. This feature looks at how analysis of solar energy plays a part in energy-efficient green building design.

Energy Analysis Tools Boost Efficiencies by ConnectPress Staff Writers - Energy analysis software tools consider the interaction between many factors, from lighting to weather data, in determining a building's total energy use. See what tools are available for performing these energy analysis tasks.

The Importance of Measuring Building Energy Use by Brandi McManus, energy services manager, TAC, a supplier of integrated building management systems. - According to McManus, the U.S. Green Buildings Council estimates that commercial office buildings use 20 percent more energy than necessary. In this column McManus explains how by partnering with an energy specialist, the CFO can get actionable information to help reduce operating expenses.

Flomerics Software Helps Bronswerk Develop Groundbreaking Air-Cooled Coolers and Innovative Fans with Environmental Impact by Flomerics - Bronswerk Heat Transfer used EFD.Pro, an easy-to-use general purpose engineering fluid dynamics software from Flomerics, to develop new air-cooled coolers and innovative fans. The potential energy savings worldwide of this new design can be staggering as their product can save 15 percent of the electricity it uses.

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2008 Energy Analysis Guide

Visualization Simulation Tools
The 2008 ConnectPress Visualization/Simulation Roundup features fresh new content providing insight on the critical role of visualization and simulation capabilities used in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. In addition to this special collection of articles we provide a Vendor's Directory featuring some of the hottest tools being used for rendering, animating and exploring designs. Plus, we've added a few case studies validating the benefits of visualization software and white papers describing how the tools can be used. ConnectPress would like to thank Bentley Systems for sponsoring the roundup, brought to you by ConnectPress Staff Writers.

Communication is key in visualization. It's a method of sharing and conveying the designer's ideas to all stakeholders in the project. However, visualization is more than just sharing design intent. The ability to share design data and make decisions at early stages of the project can also reduce the cost and eliminate errors and misunderstandings later on.

Simulation, on the other hand, enables designers to validate their designs and predict details on how a building, for example, will impact the environment it will be placed in and vice versa.

To get an idea of how visualization and simulation benefit the design process, we've provided a number of articles highlighting the functionality in various software products. Independent software vendors and third party providers round out the offering with their expert views on the importance of visualization/simulation tools and how these tools are being used in the industry today

ConnectPress presents:

Securing the Mindshare with MicroStation by Rita Stange - This interview focuses on the importance of visualization and simulation tools in the AEC and how MicroStation is an all-in-one package for modeling and rendering. Plus, get a sneak peek of new visualization enhancements in MicroStation Athens.

Lochner Inc. Takes Home BE Award for Visualization by Rita Stange - Find out how Lochner Inc. used MicroStation, InRoads and ProjectWise to communicate to the New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT) the design options and the impact the project would have on the surrounding areas. The plan entailed a four-lane connector between Interstate 81 and Route 11 to improve access to the Fort Drum U.S. Army Base.

Communicating Design Intent with Visualization Tools by ConnectPress Senior Editor Rita Stange - Whether you are after photo-realistic images or more traditional sketch-like images the market offers a multitude of artistic visualization products for rendering. Learn about some of the options in this feature outlining cool tools for dressing up or dressing down designs.

Landscape Generation Tools for Visualizing Communities and Building Site Planning by Rita Stange - Get an idea of how a building, park or planned site will feel by getting a sense of location with these tools.

Baptist Health Systems Expansion: Vue Case Study - provided by E-on Software - Landscape architect Mark Rich describes how he used Vue software to create realistic landscapes, alongside AutoCAD, Google Earth and LightWave to model and design a project for Dean & Dean Architects.

Maxwell Render Case Study: Provisum-Studio Testimonial by Maxwell Render - This case study provides insight on some of the features in Maxwell Render and its role in the Provisum-Studio project to complete visualizations and simulations of a preliminary solution for photovoltaic cells and solar panels on the roof of the Auditorium for the Vatican Conferences located at the foot of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

Become an Expert in Animating and Rendering in MicroStation by Lauren Browne - A software is only as good as the users' ability to use it. Bentley's MicroStation is no exception. Learning the complex ins-and-outs of a software is a challenge, but Bentley has several types of classes to help users learn the ropes.

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2008 Visualization Simulation Tools Guide

Certifications & Standards
2008 Green Building Standards and Certification Roundup
Compiled by ConnectPress Staff

Welcome to this Special Report on Green Building Standards and Certification brought to you by ConnectPress. In addition to nearly a dozen articles, this roundup includes a special Directory compiled by ConnectPress staff that provides a useful list of organizations in the standards and certification sector as well as vendors offering green building products or services that feature various certifications and meet numerous standards.

As the green building industry grows, so does its increasing need for its own unique certifications and standards that take into consideration specific sustainable design building requirements and materials. Certification programs such as LEED, Green Home Building Guidelines and Green Globes are one way industry professionals measure the “greenness” of a building, and this roundup features a number of articles addressing the advantages and challenges of these green building certification programs.

Further, the road to sustainable design typically involves various parties including local, state and federal entities; architects; builders; local green organizations; and other interested parties. The ways in which green buildings successfully meet certifications, standards and codes help serve as a role model for others in the industry. To that end, this special report includes articles, whitepapers and reports that look at how leaders in the industry are developing and fulfilling certification and standard requirements.

The following overviews give a snapshot of each of the articles included in this special roundup:

Surviving the Green Building Certification Maze By Staci Matlock ConnectPress Staff Writer
Navigating the intricacies of green building certification programs can be confusing. This review looks at three major certification programs—Green Home Building Guidelines, LEED and Green Globes—and evaluates their features, costs, differences and challenges.

Green Acronym Soup: Certification and Standards By Marilyn Pitts, ConnectPress Editor
LEED, Green Globes, ANSI, FSC, ASHRAE, NABCEP—these are just a few of the many green building standards and certification acronyms and “green” titles. This primer “translates” and explains over 25 of some of the more commonly found examples.

Knowing Your Stuff: Getting Certified in the Green and Solar Worlds By Rita Stange, ConnectPress
This feature looks at some of the certifications available for individuals in the green building and solar industries, including LEED-AP and PV Installer Certification.

LEED Certification - What's It All About? By Staci Matlock
There's a lot involved in obtaining LEED certification. Find out the pluses and challenges of LEED, and what changes have occurred in the process since its inception.

Top Green States Regulate LEED Standards By Staci Matlock
From federal agencies and school jurisdictions to states, counties and cities, an increasing number are instituting green building codes. This overview looks at who's joining the green building bandwagon.

Encouraging Green Incentives: AIA's Sustainability Report By Marilyn Pitts
AIA's “Local Leaders in Sustainability - Green Incentives” report provides insights into today's green building incentives, looking at the incentives being offered in a variety of municipalities nationwide. Find out what cities as diverse as Seattle, Chicago, Cincinnati, Santa Monica, Calif., and Arlington, Va., are offering to promote green building.

Greener Counties: AIA Report Highlights Sustainability Leaders By Marilyn Pitts
AIA's "Local Leaders in Sustainability: Green Counties" explores the spread of green building programs. Learn how counties have developed and adjusted their sustainable building policies.

The Economics of LEED-EB: A White Paper Looks at the Costs By Leonardo Academy
Leonardo Academy's white paper evaluates the costs of obtaining LEED-EB. Find out about low-cost and no-cost sustainability actions.

Going for Green Not LEED: Garthwaite Center for Science and Art By Staci Matlock
Garthwaite Center for Science and Art—an AIA COTE 2008 Top Ten Green Projects award winner—followed LEED guidelines, achieving enough points to be eligible for LEED Platinum certification, but did not apply. Find out what made this facility so green and why they opted not to go for LEED.

Tomorrow's Green Neighborhood: The Development of Porchscapes By Staci Matlock
Porchscapes is a planned Low Impact Development (LID) and one of the neighborhood projects the USGBC is tracking as part of a LEED for Neighborhood Development pilot program. This overview details the unique design features and the resulting challenges faced in creating this neighborhood of the future.

Turning Green: Santa Fe, NM Reenergizes Building Codes By Staci Matlock
Santa Fe, N.M., is currently working on drafting a set of building codes that will encompass some, if not all Architecture 2030 goals. Find out how the nation's oldest capital city is now working on making it one of the greenest.

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2008 Certifications & Standards Guide

Building Information Modeling
2008 Building Information Modeling Roundup
By ConnectPress

ConnectPress presents its first ever special report on building information modeling (BIM). Readers will find a selection of articles on BIM products and customer success stories. Plus, we also offer a Vendors Directory to inform readers about the products and services of key players in the market.

There has never been a greater need for architecture, engineering, construction and owner (AECO) teams to collaborate - producing quality projects that meet a building or infrastructure owner's needs efficiently, sustainably, on time and within budget.

The rising cost of materials as U.S. companies compete with growing Asian and Chinese markets for materials, coupled with the price of oil and global economy issues present unprecedented challenges to the AEC industry. Add to all that new standards for building “green” in ways that reduce energy needs, waste and impacts.

Ultimately this is where Building Information Modeling can help in a multitude of ways, by providing tools AECO teams can use to share ideas, data, costs and timelines early on in a project before changes are costly or are proposed too late.

Learn more in the articles below:

Bentley BIM Tools Go Beyond Buildings
Engineering giant CH2M Hill and partners use MicroStation to save salmon.

National Standard Key to BIM Future - The National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee works to create open standard for sharing facility life-cycle data and benefiting anyone involved with projects at various stages.

BIMStorm Planned At EcoBuild Fall in D.C.
ONUMA, Inc. uses interactive BIMStorm to teach building professionals the collaborative advantages of BIM in real time.

Growing with BIM: Burt Hill's Decade-Plus Learning Curve
Burt Hill's Director of Research Mark Dietrick talks about the international A/E firm's decade-long fine-tuning of BIM to fit the company's specific needs.

Modernizing History by Bentley Systems - Learn how Fortis, one of the five largest financial institutions in Europe, benefited by incorporating (BIM) into their master plan.

BIM Coordinates Cooperation - This case study by Bentley Systems outlines consulting engineers Korda Nemeth, BR+A, and Wulk Engineering Group's first project using BIM, with the help BIM veteran NBBJ.

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2008 Building Information Modeling Guide

Printing: Utilities, Networks, etc.
2008 Large Format Printing Roundup
By ConnectPress

In this special report, ConnectPress focuses on the large format printing market and the latest offerings for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals. Large format printers have undergone nothing short of a major evolution in the last few years. The new machines have upped the ante, offering more color choices, better energy efficiency and wider print capacity. Learn more in the features below and check out the Vendors Directory for more resources.

Large-format Printer Revolution by ConnectPress Staff Writer Staci Matlock - New inks, better efficiency, wider capacity boost offerings of large-format printers to AEC industry.

Heightened Color Choices Mark Wide Format Printer Changes by ConnectPress Staff Writer Staci Matlock - As the industry becomes increasingly integrated via shared digital data, the ability to translate digital renderings into high quality, large reproductions remains critical. Learn about the latest advances in large format printing addressing AEC professional's needs.

Greening up Printers by ConnectPress Staff Writer Staci Matlock - Modular parts, Energy Star ratings mark efforts of some large format printer company offerings.

HP Deliveries Large Format Printers for AEC Professionals by ConnectPress Editor John Myers - Here is a rundown on HP's lineup of large format printers targeted primarily for infrastructure professionals.

Océ Whitepaper: Why Green Business is Good Business submitted by Océ - Businesses everywhere are seeking out products and processes that enable them to minimize environmental impact and support a sustainable future.

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2008 Printing: Utilities, Networks, etc. Guide