News
07.30.2012
Great Access
Gehry Technologies' new GTeam gives interactive file access multiple levels.
Courtesy Gehry Technologies

On July 17, Gehry Technologies released GTeam, their new web-based project management platform. GTeam is not a new variant of Digital Project, their signature 3-D authoring application, but rather a set of tools to manage files, providing web-based access to 3-D models and their datasets and an auditable history of every step in the process of designing, engineering, constructing, and operating buildings. GTeam is a stand-alone platform, which means it can be useful to firms that don’t use Digital Project, especially in situations involving multiple authoring environments.

When it comes to file sharing in GTeam, imagine DropBox souped up with the security and navigation you have wished for. That means role-based access, synchronization, and an auditable history of design versions along with comments and markup. There are also thumbnail images of picture and 3-D files, so you can find your way around in those very large file menus that can accumulate in a complex project.

Its 3-D model navigator is also impressive: with any web browser on any device, an authorized viewer can fly around the whole model, select subsystems or sections, and extract specific information about which it is possible to approve, bid, or make comments. The GTeam back-end will accept files authored in anything from Digital Project, Revit, ArchiCAD, Rhino, and Sketchup, along with standard formats like IGES, STEP, and IFC. Not only will it display the models together in the browser, GTeam can also export back to those formats and to OBJ, Collada, or STL for CNC fabrication or presentation models, renderings, and animation.

The tracker component looks and works a little bit like Facebook on performance enhancers. You can browse forward and back through past versions of particular files, see the changes posted by particular team members, file types, and so on.

Gehry Technologies has gone to a great deal of trouble to make the tools simple to use for nontechnical team members, but also wildly versatile and powerful. GTeam is cloud based, so there are no in-house software skills or hardware to maintain. Licensing is by subscription. Pricing won’t be official for a while yet, but a pre-release will be available for free from now until October at gteam.com.

Friendly advice: think through the potential value of key GTeam features to your current workflow as a thought experiment before downloading the trial. You might get hooked.

Carl Skelton