14 Aug 2018

Caduceus Forge Application Aids in Asbestos Abatement Planning and Management

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Autodesk Forge is our application program interface (API) platform and supporting materials (sample code, manuals) as well as a community of developers who uses those APIs. Although Forge is intended for our customers and 3rd party developers to be able to use our web services, we use Forge for our development of the cloud-based services that we offer. You can leverage Forge in the same ways that we do.

Forge is defined by 7 groups of APIs:

In classical mythology, Caduceus is the staff carried by Mercury as the messenger of the gods. Caduceus Systems Limited is a team of experts in Wellington, New Zealand that keeps IT systems running at peak performance and their customers' staffs happily productive. They are highly qualified and experienced operators of Autodesk systems, including AutoCAD and Revit. Drawing productivity and management procedures is one of their specialties, and their team includes very skilled facilitators and trainers. The team's expertise includes setting up and maintaining networks and internet servers, backup management, distribution networks, and remote access. In addition to being hands-on, Caduceus is particularly good at understanding how teams work together to document a building project. They are big-picture thinkers and enjoy getting the details just right, skills which have been put to good use when crafting the RevitWorks tools and content. Caduceus is also part of the Autodesk Forge developer community.

Asbestos exposure has been identified as a major health and safety issue in the workplace environment. In April 2018, a new law went into effect in New Zealand requiring owners of buildings containing asbestos to have management plans in place to identify and manage the deadly element. Management plans often require the painstaking testing of different areas, sampling and testing of different elements, removing and/or sealing the asbestos found, and documenting it all. The amount of documentation generated by this process can be overwhelming. In one substantial building refit, thousands of asbestos-related documents were generated. Management plans and associated documentation are required to be available to anyone working in or occupying a contaminated building, so that occupants are aware of the risks and can learn how to avoid contamination. Building owners previously had no easy way to provide the required access to the relevant information from all their documents in a timely manner. With more than 25 years of industry and BIM (Building Information Modeling) knowledge, Caduceus set out to help business owners create more-effective asbestos management plans using Forge technology.

Caduceus set out to deliver a simple solution to a complex health issue with a new Forge-powered BIM platform product. Since its inception, the easy-to-use platform has effectively helped customers gain exposure to BIM, improving information sharing and streamlining incident prevention planning to ultimately reduce health and safety risks and enhance the lives of building occupants.

Capitalizing on Forge APIs, Caduceus developed a hazard management tool that centralizes the storage of BIM documents in a single location and provides visibility of essential data contained in these documents via an interactive and easy-to-use interface.


  • Authentication

    Authentication for Forge is based on the industry standard OAuth, specifically OAuth2, that provides for token-based authentication and authorization. The basic flow for using OAuth is:

    1. The Caduceus app makes an HTTP call to an OAuth REST (REpresentational State Transfer) endpoint and provides its credentials.
    2. A token is returned to the Caduceus app.
    3. In making subsequent HTTP calls to various APIs on the platform, the Caduceus app includes the token in a request header.
  • Data Management API

    The Data Management API gives Caduceus a unified and consistent way to access data across BIM 360 Team, BIM 360 Docs, and its own Object Storage Service. The Object Storage Service allows the Caduceus application to download and upload raw files (such as PDF, XLS, DWG, or RVT). With Caduceus' use of the Data Management API, the cumbersome documents can be easily stored and linked to the building model in one central cloud location.

  • Model Derivative API

    The Model Derivative API lets Caduceus represent and share designs in different formats, as well as to extract valuable metadata into various object hierarchies. 60 different file input formats are supported. With this API, Caduceus can translate a design into different formats, such as STL and OBJ, but the key one is that Caduceus can have it translate designs into SVF for extracting data and for rendering files in the Viewer.

  • Viewer

    The Viewer is a WebGL-based, JavaScript library for 3D and 2D model rendering. The Viewer communicates natively with the Model Derivative API to fetch model data, complying with its authorization and security requirements. The Viewer requires a WebGL-canvas compatible browser:

    • Chrome 50+
    • Firefox 45+
    • Opera 37+
    • Safari 9+
    • Microsoft Edge 20+
    • Internet Explorer 11

    This is a hassle-free way for Caduceus to share data with stakeholders without having to deal with all of the peculiarities of these various browsers.

Customers using Caduceus' new tool can now quickly extract the relevant building information to troubleshoot asbestos in specific building areas. This allows customers to facilitate maintenance workflows, as well as create preventative plans of action, all within a much shorter time frame. As a result, the time between pinpointing issues on the 3D platform and conducting issue resolution on the corresponding physical buildings has dropped from up to an hour to a matter of minutes, all with a significantly lower rate of human error in the process.

Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). Autodesk Forge is an integral part of our automation plans.


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