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Friday, July 19, 2013

Revit 2014 Update Release 1 Now Available For Download - Crash Reductions or Enhancements?

I am curious how fixing bugs is referred to as "Enhancements".  It's like saying you gained 50 pounds to make you more well rounded.  I guess it's safe to now install and use the 2014 products.  Every year Autodesk goes through this process. Release buggy software to the masses.  Wait for them to find all of the problems and then spend 3 months fixing those problems.  Is anyone actually installing and using an Autodesk product for production work on the initial April release?  Plus, if you look at yesterday's post, expect two more updates over the next year.  How do they find time to create new features when so much time is needed to fix existing version software.  I guess the only answer is to invest more resources in programming and debugging instead of making the AEC world the guinea pigs of problematic software.  

Enjoy your day of lost productivity as you download and install these lovely patches, I mean 'Enhancements'.  

en·hance  (n-hns)

tr.v. en·hanceden·hanc·ingen·hanc·es
1. To make greater, as in value, beauty, or effectiveness; augment.
2. To provide with improved, advanced, or sophisticated features: computer software enhanced with cutting-edge functionalities.

The download links are available on the relevant Data & Downloads > Updates section for each product or suite.
Direct links:

Autodesk® Revit® Platform 2014 Enhancements

Update Enhancement List

Improvements made in Update 1 build (20130709_2115):

Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2014 Enhancements

Improves stability when using Trim/Extend tools with curtain walls.
Improves stability when selecting Top Rail Type from with Project Browser.
Improves stability when inserting Stairs.
Improves stability when using the Split Element tool on walls.

Autodes Revit® Structure 2014 Enhancements

Improves elevation assigned to beams when the elevation of a related beam system is adjusted.
Improves graphics display of braces in course view when the justification parameter of the brace is adjusted.
Improves graphics display of braces in course view when using a rotated crop region.
Enables beams to be stretched using the Align tool.
Improves stability when upgrading previous version structural projects.

Autodes Revit® MEP 2014 Enhancements

Restores Revit MEP 2013 circuiting behavior when connecting panels together.
Enables “Pick New Work Plane” ribbon tool for electrical equipment.
Improves performance when selecting a piping system which contains a large number of elements.
Improves stability when copying air terminals connected to duct segments.
Improves stability when sizing Duct or Pipe systems.
Improves stability when changing the type of Cable Tray or Conduit.
Improves stability when editing type parameters from within the System Browser.

Autodesk® Revit® Platform 2014 Enhancements

Allows Stairs, Railings and Wall Sweeps to be individual entities when exporting to FBX format.
Improves data integrity of projects which contain RPC elements when exporting to FBX format.
Improves categorization of parts when exported to FBX format.
Improves performance when utilizing Render in Cloud functionality.
Improves appearance of material textures when Rendering in Cloud.
Improves graphics integrity of linked models when Rendering in Cloud.
Allows Point Clouds to be visible when unchecking Show Imported Categories in this View
display option.
Autodesk® Revit® 2014 Update Enhancement List

Maintains display order of filled regions which overlap solid hatches in projects that are upgraded to the Revit 2014 format.
Corrects visual fidelity of objects in printed output which show as Thin Lines in drawing canvas.
Improves consistency of displaying revisions within schedules.
Improves data consistency of keynote legend when un-checking Filter by Sheet.
Allows schedule footer text to follow column alignment.
Improves stability when pasting elements between two Generic Model adaptive families.
Improves stability when exporting project to Navisworks 2014.
Improves stability during the loading of a family when utilizing either Delete Element” or DeletType option.
Improves stability when placing details.
Improves stability when a crop region is moved while the disjoin option is enabled.
Improves data integrity during Save As”.
Improves stability when creating form elements.
Improves stability when exiting Revit.
Improves stability when printing Elevation and Detail views.
Improves stability while editing groups.
Improves stability when adjusting the elevation value of Levels.
Improves stability when navigating in a project which contains linked point clouds.
Improves stability when using the type selector within the properties palette.
Improves stability when editing the layout of a schedule.
Improves stability when adding a schedule to a sheet which has an active view.
Improves stability when upgrading previous release projects.
Improves stability when place a view on sheet.


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

I found a huge bug in Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate 2013

Well, actually something that just bugs me...look at this huge list of service packs and updates. Autodesk, thanks for creating the world's most inefficient and time wasting process of having to manually download and install each of these update one by one. Oh sure, you'll tell us to use the communications center to do it, but it sure would be nice to have a way for an IT person to be notified if they don't actually open and use 13 or more products every day.

You might as well mail these updates out on 5 1/4 floppy discs, or better yet, Zip disks!!!!
Every other software program I use has a pop up when there's an update available. News flash(pun intended), stop being sloppy and come up with a better system. The list below is ridiculous and I won't even mention how sad it is that your software is so buggy to begin with that you need that many updates for each standalone product.

If you sell a suite, make an update that fixes the suite with one click, not hundreds.


Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate 2013

* Revit 2013 Update Release 3<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21891257&linkID=16831210>
* AutoCAD MEP 2013 Service Pack 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21875146&linkID=16831210>
* AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20556359&linkID=16831210>
* AutoCAD Architecture 2013 Service Pack 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21875109&linkID=16831210>
* AutoCAD 2013 Service Pack 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21764214&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Inventor 2013 Service Pack 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21702054&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Infraworks 2013 R2
Hotfix 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20979998&linkID=16831210>
* Navisworks 2013 SP2 Clash Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20626807&linkID=16831210>
* Hotfix - Autodesk Revit 2013 - Stability, Productivity and Server<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21147820&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Showcase 2013 SP4<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=21024044&linkID=16831210>
* Revit 2013 Update Release 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20679039&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk ® Navisworks ® 2013 Service Pack 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20458011&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013 Product Update 6<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20652876&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk MASSPROP Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20864100&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2013 SP2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20103459&linkID=16831210>
* AEC Elevation Label Hotfix for Service Pack 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20659680&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk 3Dconnexion Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20605633&linkID=16831210>
* AutoCAD 2013 Service Pack 1.1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20327837&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Inventor 2013 Service Pack 1.1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20442029&linkID=16831210>
* Hotfix for AutoCAD Architecture 2013 - Roombook Localization<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20484412&linkID=16831210>
* Hotfix - Persistent Autodesk Sync error in the system tray<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19683742&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Sync 2013 Service Pack 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20541251&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Showcase 2013 SP3<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20462063&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013 Product Update 5<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20397040&linkID=16831210>
* 3ds Max Design 2013 Product Update 4<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20176796&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013 Product Update 3<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20014190&linkID=16831210>
* 2013: Autodesk Point Cloud Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20400391&linkID=16831210>
* Revit 2013 Update Release 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20121968&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013 Product Update 2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19667509&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk ® Navisworks ® 2013 Service Pack 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19840757&linkID=16831210>
* Hotfix - Granite Import is unable filter construction data with DirectConnect 2013<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19115738&linkID=16831210>
* AEC Section Display and Tag Scale Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19732905&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Showcase 2013 SP2<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19668223&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk® NavisWorks® 2013 Language Pack Hot Fix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19551323&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk Showcase 2013 SP1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19387644&linkID=16831210>
* AEC Autodesk 360 Ribbon Item Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19367361&linkID=16831210>
* AEC Section Display Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19248702&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2013 Product Update 1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19101133&linkID=16831210>
* AutoCAD Architecture 2013 & AutoCAD MEP 2013 Content Browser Migration Hotfix<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=18997867&linkID=16831210>
* Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2013 SP1<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=19042412&linkID=16831210>

Back to top<http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/index?siteID=123112&id=2334435&linkID=16831210#adsk91-maincontent>

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Specifications? LOD BIM? They're all faking it!

I'm a bit puzzled about the art of architecture.  We have this whole thing about BIM, the modeling, clash detection, coordination and LOD/Level of Detail/Level of Development.

What I'm confused about is the thousands of pages of specifications attached to every project.  It's just about impossible to meander through a spec book and make sure that everyone sees all of the information and acts on it accordingly.  

I think every architecture firm who says they do BIM should be required to use e-Specs and at a minimum, link all of their specs to all of the objects in their models and have that data useable in Navisworks for the contractors.  Otherwise, they're being hypocritical about their standard of care on their projects.  Don't talk about all of the modeling, LOD 400 and how their are no clashes on your models.

Why?  Because of two words in your specifications.  They are  "or equal".  After all, the word "specifications" comes from the word "specific"  Specific means "free from ambiguity" and "accurate".  So, when you specify something, using an out of date spec from a manufacturer who no longer makes that product, and then list 12 pages of specific information, materials, installation, application and everything else under the sun about that item, and then put the words "or equal", you've just made something specific into something ambiguous and created conflicts and clashes between the owner, contractor, subcontractors, architects and engineers.  

I don't know anymore which is more important, the Building, the Information or the Modeling, but all of your specs should be linked into your model and extra parameters added to all of your families showing that information.  Of course, some fields will be left blank until the job gets built, but then, isn't that the whole point of COBie?  

Do you give the owner the spec book as a turnover document and do they upload that into their CMMS system?  Unless you fix this archaic system of paper that's not a part of the model, you're full of BS, BIM shift (Shifting more work onto others).

Definition of SPECIFIC

a : constituting or falling into a specifiable category
b : sharing or being those properties of something that allow it to be referred to a particular category
a : restricted to a particular individual, situation, relation, or effect <a disease specific to horses>
b : exerting a distinctive influence (as on a body part or a disease) <specific antibodies>
: free from ambiguity : accurate <a specific statement of faith>
: of, relating to, or constituting a species and especially a biological species
a : being any of various arbitrary physical constants and especially one relating a quantitative attribute to unit mass, volume, or area
b : imposed at a fixed rate per unit (as of weight or count)<specific import duties> — compare ad valorem


: the act or process of specifying
a : a detailed precise presentation of something or of a plan or proposal for something —usually used in plural
b : a statement of legal particulars (as of charges or of contract terms); also : a single item of such statement
c : a written description of an invention for which a patent is sought

First Known Use of SPECIFICATION



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Friday, July 12, 2013

Personal BIM Job Update and Progress Report

I've been trying to sit down and write this post for the last 8 weeks and I finally have a minute to give you an update.  I needed a job a little closer to home so I decided to go back to work for a company I worked at in 1990 and 1995.  

The company is called Pro Sound and Video and we're the second largest Audio, Video  systems integrator in the US.  There are 100 employees in 5 offices from Florida to California and we have jobs all over the country.

Harnessing the power of electronic technology for the purpose of creating quality audio/video experiences has always taken a specialized skill and understanding. When we founded our company in 1975, many technologies were in their infancy… some still had yet to be invented. Even in those early days, Pro Sound and Video was known for its unparalleled expertise, creative thinking, and tireless energy for getting the job done right.
That reputation stands today, with a proven track record of project excellence in coordinating entire shows of light, sound, entrances, transitions, exits, integrated control systems, broadcast, TV, and newly emerging performance technology. 
At Pro Sound, we provide customized solutions - from design and procurement, to installation and service- all tailored to meet the exact needs of our clients. Our team goes beyond the basics in each of our service categories to provide leading-edge solutions that exceed expectations and stand the test of time. When a vision becomes a reality it is not by chance, there is a successful team of people behind it. So take a look at what we do and who we are. We look forward to making your project a success story as well.
Some of the projects include, 
Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles)
Disney's Animal Kingdom (WDW, FL)
Bellagio Spa Tower (Las Vegas, NV)
Wynn Resort and Casino (Las Vegas, NV)
Le Cirque du Soleil Zummanity (Las Vegas, NV),  
Splash Mountain at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) , 
King Kong 360 at Universal Studios(Universal City, CA) 
Caesars Palace (Las Vegas)
Disney’s Dolphin Hotel & Convention Center
Miami International Airport
Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport
Orlando International Airport 
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
Splash Mountain at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) 
American Airlines Arena Miami, FL (Miami Heat)
Dodger Stadium Los Angeles, CA (LA Dodgers)
Amway Center Orlando, FL (Orlando Magic)
AT&T Center San Antonia, TX (San Antonio Spurs)

 Philips Arena Atlanta, GA (Atlanta Hawks)
American Automobile Association Headquarters
 Burger King Headquarters
Sahara Hotel Convention Center (Las Vegas)
Buzz Lightyear at Magic Kingdom (WDW, FL)

This is just a small list of some really cool projects our company works on.  There's so much technology here and really cool toys and software.  I've spent the last two months getting educated about all of the different departments and divisions and figuring out the workflow and process between everyone and where the hiccups are in the system.

One of the biggest things I've been doing is coming up with a system that information gets typed in only once.  I've discovered that from the time we estimate a project through delivery and facility management turnover, the same bits of information can be typed or written 10 times.  In order to solve this little problem of wasted productivity, I've implemented Google Docs as the easiest and cheapest solution in the world to manage our projects.  So far, I've estimated that I've saved the company about $104,000. How?  Easy.  Just to use round numbers, if you take 100 people X 2080 hours/year at $50k/salary/person and divided all that up, each minute of productivity is worth $10,416 for the whole company (40 cents/person/minute).  I figure I've saved each person 10 minutes a day and that really adds up.  It also equates to having 2 extra people in the company.  10 minutes X 100 people X 260 days is 4333 hours cumulatively.

In the process of taking estimates and making them Google Spreadsheets, I've turned our whole process into one of collaboration, coordination, communication and COBIEification. All I had to do was add some columns to the estimate and allow everyone to view and edit information about the various components of the projects.  Instead of everyone retyping information, they can do a quick filtering of what they need and add things like Purchase Order number, Sheet Number, Serial Number and Warranty Expiration Date.  I'm amazed at how simple it was to do.  Of course, I added some really fancy formulas which I invented when I spoke at the BSA COBie conference in January, but it's all from things I've picked up playing with spreadsheets over the last 31 years.

My coolest invention so far is a way to enter time sheet information via text messages that automatically populate people's time sheets with time, project numbers and descriptions.  That's what really kept me from blogging for a while.  That alone has saved everyone 10 minutes a day, but now saves our account 6 hours every time she does payroll because she can now automatically import everyone's time data into our accounting program.  I've also tied in each line item of a project into this time system so project managers can track what someone was working on and that all gets done automatically via QR codes placed on plans, documents and equipment.  Oh yeah, I even use Siri to make it even easier to dictate the messaging system.

I don't want to bore you with too much more of this, but I'm amazed at how inefficient BIM is not because of the modeling, but because of all of the other people involved in the process and how poorly people manage all of their day to day information.  I'm seeing that the 3D modeling is important for that initial design, but when it comes to construction, it's the management of the paperwork that is critical.  Just by using a few simple tools like Google Docs, Evernote, QR codes and a few other secret ingredients, I'm having the time of my life automating the flow of information in our company and I've hardly scratched the surface.

I want to tell you more, but I'm planning on selling these systems to others, very cheaply of course, because it's so easy to dump Microsoft Office and Outlook and save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted time looking for information.  In the meantime, I'll try to blog more and show you how the most important part of BIM is failing at every level outside of that initial modeling and clash detection phase.

Until next time....


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