Over the last few years, Autodesk has been steadily expanding its range of industry focused ‘design suites’. Our current Suites range includes titles such as:
- Product Design Suite,
- Factory Design Suite,
- Plant Design Suite, and
- Building Design Suite.
However, our existing suites all cover relatively large scale (or macro) design challenges. The growing maturity and scope of our Autodesk 360 services combined with very significant architectural modernization of our desktop products, such as the Big Split in AutoCAD, the core changes required in Inventor to create Inventor OEM, and the rationalization of the Revit API have created a framework that allows us to create much more focused Suites to address ‘midi’ and ‘micro’ design challenges. These ‘microSuites’ will be sold exclusively through the Autodesk Exchange Apps store at a subscription price of $50/month or less (depending on the scope of the Suite). Some microSuites will also include low-cost in-product purchases to enabled enhanced features and functionality – similar to the $4.99/month Pro upgrade in our Autodesk 360 Mobile app.
Autodesk today announced the first product in the microSuite range - Autodesk Toilet Design Suite.
Priced at $19.99/month, Autodesk Toilet Design Suite (or TDS for short) brings together the design, analysis and simulation functions you need to develop a full Restroom Information Model (RIM) for any building regardless of size - from a single unit to a stadium. TDS features include:
Cubicle layout optimization
Cubicle size requirements are the first step in your planning process. Requirements vary significantly between facilities, and sub-optimal cubicle geometry can significantly slow down throughput and leave your customers frustrated. An airport cubicle requires easy entry and exit with a suitcase; a retail mall cubicle requires off-floor storage space for shopping bags; a factory cubicle needs no more space than is required to unfold a newspaper. The cubicle layout optimization module is built as a lightweight AutoCAD OEM application.
Customer throughput analysis
Using algorithms documented in the groundbreaking research by Thomas Crapper, TDS will model customer throughput in your restroom space. For multi-restroom establishments, this module also includes a restroom spacing optimization option. Simple parametric design allows you to optimize for the numbers of cubicles (taking into account cubicle layout optimization – see above), urinals (where applicable), washbasins, and towel dispensers/hand-dryers) - and the relative paths between these. The calculation is tailored to account for the percentage of customers expected to wash their hands in your geographic location.
Empirical modeling demonstrates that the Crapper technique can increase customer throughput by up to 50%.
Restroom Maintenance Scheduling
The Restroom Maintenance Scheduling module takes the results of your Customer Thoughput Analysis and generates an optimized maintenance and cleaning schedule for each restroom in your facility – allowing you to implement state-of-the-art ‘just in time’ cleaning and toilet paper replacement strategies. Optionally, this can also interface with data from physical sensors installed at your facility to tailor your schedule based on actual usage data for your site.
TDS Premium includes two fluid dynamic packages: water in/waste out (WIWO 360); and odor isolation (OI 360) – both based on customized SIM 360 algorithms:
WIWO 360 calculates optimal pipe bore for water input (to reduce inter-flush downtime) and for waste removal (to minimize blockages). Input parameters include ambient water pressure, expected throughput (calculated from the Customer Throughput Analysis package), and a user-definable ‘fudge factor’ to account for the proximity of food supply (for example, if the restroom location is close to a food court or vendor).
OI 360 simulates airflow throughout the restroom area, allowing you to plan for optimal placement of baffles and extractor fans to minimize inter-cubicle odor leakage and maximize soiled air extraction.
There are many places your customers will welcome background noise – your restroom isn’t one of them. Even worse, experimental research by Armitage Shanks et al. (1976) demonstrated that inter-cubicle noise propagation levels as low as 30 dB can increase average stall occupancy time by up to 17%. And, although not experimentally verified, this phenomenon is believed to have worsened with the modern trend to increasing use of cellphones in restrooms. This can significantly impact queue time, especially during busy periods when occupancy (and hence noise levels) are high. The Acoustic Analysis package (another SIM 360 derivative) will highlight noise ‘blackspots’ and recommend acoustic isolation materials and pan placement.
The final component of TDS is an iOS or Android app (separately available for a one-off price of $9.99 from the Apple and Google Play stores respectively). Based on visualization technology taken from BIM 360 Glue, the mobile app will allow you to visualize onsite any of the designs and data created by the above TDS modules. Using motion sensors and positional awareness (GPS or indoor beacons), the mobile app offers point and play walkthrough visualization. Variable timesteps allow you to visualize changing data in realtime, at an accelerated rate of up to one day per minute, in slow-motion, or freeze-frame.
TDS will be available FOR FREE in the Autodesk Exchange Apps store today only, reverting to the standard $19.99/month from tomorrow, so hurry and buy your subscription now.
TDS is the only first of many Autodesk microSuites. Additional microSuites planned for release in the coming year include:
- Kitchen Design Suite – For single kitchens to large scale catering facilities.
- Retail Design Suite – For retail establishments of any size from the corner store to megamart.
- Plant Design Suite II – For gardens ranging in size from a small backyard to a botanical park.
- Bedroom Design Suite (Education only) – Primarily aimed at teenagers and college students.
- Bachelor Pad Suite – Free medallion and bottle of aftershave with every Subscription order.