- Beyond CAD creator Sam Lytle is a licensed professional engineer with more than 10 years experience in 3D visualization
- Sam worked for the Nevada Department of Transportation and Kimley-Horn from 2010-2014
- Sam started Civil FX in 2014 to provide 3D visualization for transportation and other civil engineering projects
- Sam and the Civil FX team including PM Wayne Sullivan revolutionized interactive 3D visualization in Nevada and throughout the United States
- In 2020, Sam was approached by Parametrix and sold Civil FX to them in August 2020
- Civil FX continues to provide 3D visualization as a division of Parametrix and is also the preferred modeling partner of Beyond CAD
- Frustrated trying to use architectural engines for civil visualization like Lumion and Twinmotion, Sam started developing a stand-alone 3D visualization engine specifically for civil projects (then called Vision)
- Sam hired a team of developers and continued development after the sale of Civil FX, now under the name of Beyond CAD
- The Beyond CAD team continued development through 2021 integrating all that Sam had learned at Civil FX and through the industry
- Beyond CAD V1.0 launched in early access in September 2021
- Beyond Typicals reached beta testing phase in late 2021
- Beyond CAD V1.2 and Beyond Typicals were launched publicly February 1, 2022
- Beyondware replaced Beyond CAD as the software publishing name. Beyond CAD remains the name of our flagship 3D visualization software.
In 2010, I started with the Nevada Department of Transportation as a rotating engineer after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in civil engineering. It wasn’t long before I realized that I had spent years studying to become an engineer, only to discover that engineering and computer aided design (CAD) did not excite me and was not what I was hoping for. In 2011, I discovered a love for 3D visualization and, with it, a potential opportunity to hopefully get out of design, stay in the industry, and not throw away years of preparation to be a civil engineer.
An opportunity to move beyond CAD.
After receiving my professional engineering license in 2014, I left the design and consulting world to start Civil FX, a 3D visualization studio built to serve clients and their design communication needs. After helping to pioneer interactive visualization for major transportation projects, the Civil FX team grew and was able to serve dozens of clients throughout Nevada and the United States. And while Civil FX allowed me to move beyond CAD in my personal career, we also helped clients move their designs beyond CAD and into realistic 3D environments.
In 2019, I realized that not only did the world need a better 3D visualization tool for civil engineering, but we had been slowly building the core functionality over dozens of client projects. I hired more software programmers and started investing heavily in this new tool, Beyond CAD, that would allow more engineers to visualize their civil projects.
In 2019, we received a Megagrant from Epic to build a virtual reality simulator we aptly called SADD, the Simulator for Active Distracted Driving. This allowed us to work towards a higher cause of increasing awareness in teens of the dangers of distracted driving, while also allowing our software development team to gain vital experience in Unreal Engine, the platform that would be used for Beyond CAD. In the summer of 2020 we learned that we received another Megagrant, this time for Beyond CAD itself.
Later in the summer of 2020, the Civil FX brand and visualization services team was acquired by Parametrix, an engineering, planning and environmental sciences firm. I retained the rights to Beyond CAD and kept the development team and started Beyond CAD LLC as a software publishing company to continue building this software as well as my journey moving beyond CAD in my professional career. This acquisition not only helped in the funding of Beyond CAD, but it also allowed a close relationship with a forward-thinking and important company in Parametrix as well as a continuing relationship in the visualization services team formerly known as Civil FX to use and test Beyond CAD.
As Beyond Typicals was released, and it became clear this would be a multi-product software publisher, Beyondware replaced Beyond CAD as the publishing name in May 2022. Beyond CAD remains the name of our flagship product, and Beyond CAD LLC remains our legal structure.
The Beyondware team is small but growing and incredibly capable, consisting of software engineers and artists. None of this would be possible without the amazing work of Erin, John, Ben, Adam and others!
It is my hope Beyondware will create the tools that will bring easier visualization to more projects and more engineers, and that our team will continue to innovate in software in civil engineering for many years to come.
What ever happened to Beyond CAD Vision?
Early users and supporters of what we are doing here will remember that the pre-launch title of this software was Beyond CAD Vision. This name is actually a derivative of ‘Civil FX Vision’ which was the original development name used until Civil FX was sold to Parametrix in 2020. At that point, I retained the rights to the software (then Vision) and started a new company called Beyond CAD. The result was that Civil FX Vision became Beyond CAD Vision and continued under this name during the remainder of pre-launch development.
Around the time of the early access launch it became clear that many were finding the ‘first name, last name’ situation of Beyond CAD Vision to be confusing- is it Beyond CAD or is it Vision? After countless explanations that ‘Beyond CAD’ was the publisher and ‘Vision’ was the product it became apparent that Vision was kind of redundant and ultimately unnecessary. As it was still early in the journey of this software changes were made to remove the Vision name and logo from the product, website and anywhere else it may appear.
Beyond CAD is not just a wonderful name for a company (Beyond CAD LLC) but this product as well. After all, are we not enabling our users to take their projects beyond CAD?
Development names are common in software and hardware creation (think Infrastructure Modeler becoming InfraWorks, 3D Studio becoming 3ds Max and Natal becoming Kinect) and we have now joined the club.