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Sunday, November 29, 2009

A few words about Autodesk University, Revit3D.com and Twitter #AU2009

I'm off to bed for an early wakeup call to head to Las Vegas for Autodesk University 2009.  My first event is the annual Blogger's Social where me and all of the other Revit and BIM bloggers will have a little party.  It's tomorrow night at 6:30pm. 

I'll try to blog over the next few days, but I'm sure I be a bit whelmed with AU so it may be a little difficult.  I'll also be spending as much time as possible finalizing my AU class. 

Lastly, if anyone reading this is attending AU, feel free to contact me if you'd like to meet or have a chat.  It's my one year anniversary with Twitter, which I started for AU last year.  Maybe I'll tweet more than blog this week.  You can follow me at www.revit3d.com/twitter.

Wish me luck, especially for the chance to shave the word Revit into Shaan Hurley's hair.

Autodesk University 2009 #AU2009 - I'm on my way

Well it's time for me to start packing  I've been pretty quiet about it lately but I get to teach a class at Autodesk University.  Luckily I'm not nervous at all since it's a topic I've been working on daily for over the past year.  I do expect to leave people with more questions than answers as it's quite the minefield at the moment because so many people are so new at all of this.

I recommend everyone read the McGraw Hill Reports on BIM if you haven't already as it's some great marketing and learning material  www.BIMComplete.com.

I still have some AU Premiere passes to give away. If anyone wants one, email me anytime before Tuesday morning. 

I'm still hoping we get more donations for shaving an AutoCAD evangelist's head.
Visit http://www.info-komen.org/goto/revit3d to make a donation

Follow Shaan on his Twitter page. Click this link to make it fast and easy.

So, here's my class for Thursday at 10am.  I never imagined how elaborate the topic would be.  I'm looking forward to teaching a class, but I still don't know what I was thinking when I submitted proposals. 

I'm sure I'll be following up the presentation with plenty of blog posts for those of you who are interested. 

I'll give you a quick tip.  If you're using Revit and don't have a lot of work right, call up 5 contractors and see if you can work with them on converting CAD to BIM for their construction projects.  It's out of the box thinking for expanding your services and pipeline.

BIM Bids Only! How to Get Your Subcontractors to Bid an Autodesk® Revit® Project

  • Class ID: CR308-1
  • Primary Track: Construction and Real Estate
  • Class Audience: General contractors, owners, developers, and subcontractors

Class Description

A bidding process is part of the subcontractor's business. They can build in the cost for software and training needed, but will only do so if it is required to get the job. In this class, we will discuss the ways to support the contractors who need to have the subs participate in the BIM project from beginning to end. Learn how to modify your bid and subcontractor agreements to integrate your subcontractors and suppliers into your BIM world.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Process or Technology – What’s the Right Focus?

A great post from a new BIM blog by Gene V. Roe, Ph.D., P.E., PLS
3d4aec -Sustainable Innovation for the Built Environment

 Source: http://vector1media.com/3d4aec/featured/process-or-technology-whats-the-right-focus/

  1. Should the focus be on technology or process?
  2. I think process as technology can come and go.
  3. The challenge is to integrate 3D technologies into the AEC process continuum such that we become more productive and our projects more energy efficient.
In an earlier blog I came up with the following list of important 3D technology buckets:
  1. Laser scanning
  2. Modeling
  3. BIM
  4. 3D/4D/5D
  5. Virtual Construction
  6. Machine Control
  7. Virtualization (for Operations and Maintenance)
I commented that I thought these would be important drivers of change in the next decade.
What I am struggling with is how to organize the effort of reporting on this change, and how to make this blog a catalyst for faster and more beneficial change. Should the focus be on technology or on the process/workflow? I think I am leaning toward focusing on the process.
Technology is constantly changing. I just had a 1 hour presentation on something called FLASH LIDAR. Instead of scanning point by point, with FLASH you flood the field of view with thousands of points in a tenth of a second. The result, in real time is a 3D image of the scene. No scanning, no post processing, you have a real time 3D image, just like you would from a 2D still camera. It is mind boggling.
So instead of starting with technology, I propose to organize my thinking around:
  1. Planning
  2. Survey
  3. Modeling
  4. Design
  5. Simulation
  6. Visualization
  7. Construction
  8. Operations and Maintenance
I actually think of these as a continuum, with the cycle repeating itself once the facility requires an update. These are the time tested phases of a project that are not going to change with the next hot technology. The challenge is to integrate and leverage 3D technologies into these process workflows such that we increase productivity, while building projects that are more energy efficient and user friendly.
It’s a worthy goal.

Original:  http://vector1media.com/3d4aec/featured/process-or-technology-whats-the-right-focus/

Friday, November 27, 2009

REVIT Rocks !: CADclip - REVIT Parametric Massing Study

Another amazing Revit tutorial from Daryl Gregoire. This is one of the best parts of Revit. Talk about 'design intent'! This is your digital pencil and paper. The birth of the building. Daryl shows you how to take advantage of this great feature. For those of you using sketchup, Revit does it better. For those of you who like sketchup, you can import the sketchup file into Revit and continue working on it for massing and then into SD/DD/CD.

Thanks Daryl and keep cranking out these great videos.

Source: http://revitrocks.blogspot.com/2009/11/cadclip-revit-parametric-massing-study.html
Friday, November 27, 2009

I am VERY EXCITED about REVIT 2010 Massing and particularly the fact that you can create parametric Loadable Masses.
This effectively allows you to create a parametric prototype of a building, load it into a project, copy it around and manipulate each instance of the mass. Then for each instance of the building Mass you can generate and schedule floors, walls, curtain systems, roofs, floor areas, volumes, surface areas and much more.
It's all demonstarted in the CADclip below !

Posted by Daryl Gregoire at 1:09 PM

REVIT Rocks !: CADclip - REVIT Parametric Massing Study


Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Little Help on Thanksgiving...Revit help of course

Repost: http://revitoped.blogspot.com/2009/11/little-help-on-thanksgiving.html

I received a message at AUGI last night from a member trying to find the help documentation for 2010 (in .chm format). I thought I'd post a more general response here too.

When you install Revit the Help documentation is supposed to be installed in this location:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program
C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program (32 bit Revit on 64 bit OS, prior to 2010 version)

I don't think they've posted either of these RAC files at the Revit sites at Autodesk.

Other Help Files (PDF) at Autodesk

Revit Architecture 2010 (English version is a 32 mb pdf)
Revit Structure 2010 (English version is a 28 mb pdf)
Revit MEP 2010 (English version is a 32 mb pdf)

Online Revit Architecture 2010 Help Doc
Online Revit Structure 2010 Help Doc
Online Revit MEP 2010 Help Doc

Where is my Command - Revit Architecture 2010

I hope this holiday finds you with much to be thankful for! If this holiday isn't 'yours'...there are always good reasons to be thankful, may you have plenty of them! I can think of one starting with R... *-)

Source: A Little Help on Thanksgiving:


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

IES Tops Independent “Architect Friendly” Energy Modelling Software Survey [BIM] [LEED]

November 24, 2009

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), a provider of integrated performance analysis software for sustainable building design, is delighted to announce it was ranked as the most “architect friendly” building performance simulation software in a recent academic study. The survey, lists the IES as top out of the ten different simulation tools evaluated; which included Ecotect, Design Builder, Green Building Studio, EnergyPlus and DOE-2. The IES VE was ranked first by 85% of respondents.

The study sampled the US architect community that had a prior interest in green building and energy performance; it surveyed architects, designers, LEED APs, architecture educators and students regarding their views on the 10 major tools in-use within the USA market. Probing the participant’s perception of the most important criteria relating to usability and benefits, it compared a variety of different elements, such as:

  • provision of quick energy analysis to support decision making
  • graphical and 3D representation of results and input
  • flexibility of use and navigation
  • friendliness of interface
  • creation of comparative reports for multiple design alternatives
  • quality control of simulation input
  • allowance of assumptions and default values to facilitate data entry
  • provision of code and rating compliance guidelines
  • inclusion of data libraries related to weather, building components, systems etc.
  • analysis of weather characteristics
  • suggestion of suitable climate design strategies
  • interoperability with building modelling programs
  • accuracy and ability to simulate complex cases

The study “Architect Friendly”: A comparison of ten different building performance simulations tools by Shady Attia et al was presented at the International Building Simulation Conference earlier this year (July 2009) www.ibpsa.org/proceedings/BS2009/BS09_0204_211.pdf.

According to the paper: “The strength of IES VE lays in its user friendly graphical user interface and its template driven approach. The tool offers default values and templates that facilitate quick entry and supports a progression in thermal performance analysis from getting quick answers in early design to detailed analysis in later design phases.”

Dr Don McLean, Founder and Managing Director of IES commented: “significantly, the survey was undertaken between December 2008 and January 2009, before the launch of Version 6 of our software, which we believe significantly enhances the ‘architect friendliness’ of our software. The paper also concluded that a design tool for an architect should educate as well as inform; this analysis to understanding concept is also at the core of all our current development.”

“IES is trying to tackle the big problems in sustainable building design, not just develop software,” commented Kevin Settlemyre, President of IES in N. America. “In order to achieve the levels of energy and CO2 reduction we’re aiming for as an industry, the building design process must become more analysis based and performance driven.”

About IES

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) is an innovative company at the forefront of the use and development of powerful software simulation tools which help architects, engineers, facilities managers, and all those involved in the development and management of buildings design and maintain truly sustainable properties. IES was established in June 1994 and is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, with offices in Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Boston and San Francisco, USA and Melbourne, Australia. IES Consulting is the specialist international environmental performance consultancy division of IES, its expert team of consultants include some of the most experienced LEED, BREEAM, Green Star Accredited Professionals and Accredited Energy Assessors, in the UK. IES’ services and products aid significantly in the provision of healthier and more energy efficient built environments. For additional information, please visit www.iesve.com.

Source: Boston City and Press
IES Tops Independent “Architect Friendly” Energy Modelling Software Survey


ProFORMA: Probabilistic Feature-based On-line Rapid Model Acquisition

I have no idea where this is going to take 3D modeling and BIM, but I'm sure this sort of technology is going to really be key to our future. [Insert something sarcastic here about 2D and CAD]. Amazing stuff....

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEOmzjImsVc


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blog comment response to The Principal use of Revit - Are you happy with your technology?

I got a blog comment today. If you receive my blog via subscription, you wouldn't ever see the comments, so once in a while, a comment deserves to have it's own post as it kind of got me thinking about a lot of things as you'll see below.

Greg Bates, November 24, 2009 9:53 AM
The issue that your friend's father put forth really hits home - "people forget what you do, people forget what you say, but they never forget how you make them feel" So beyond telling them about the benefits of the software, how do we get these guys to FEEL good about the products we sell? Greg Bates Alignex Inc (Upper Midwest Autodesk VAR) PS You've got great content, keep it up!
Greg brings up a very interesting point. How does your software make you feel? Do the programs you use make you happy? Thanksgiving is on Thursday, so are we thankful for technology?

How do you feel about the following?
Your phone, Computer,Operating System, DVR, GPS, Design software, Accounting software, Web browser, Backup software, email program, PDA and bluetooth earpiece?

Are you happy with AutoCAD?  Really?  Are you a Revit user?  How has your life changed since you've learned Revit?  Is the quality of your life better with BIM?  Less paperwork, fewer fights, less coordination, fewer late nights and working weekends?

On my drive home tonight, my dad called me to help him install AVG Antivirus.  This is my third attempt. Apparently, emailing him the download link didn't work, and he keeps getting the software expiration notice.  Knowing that the free version of their software is buried online (how dare they make you pay for software), I told him to go to Google and type in "CNET AVG Free".  He did get to the correct link on the first try, but as you see below in the photo, complete FAIL on actually getting him to download the correct software.  I've put a red X around our first 3 attempts.  Doing tech support over the phone after a long day of prepping for your AU presentation is no fun.  It was only after I got home and tried to see the page he was on did I realize how impossible it is for anyone to find the correct link.

Am I thankful for technology? You betcha!  I love gadgets, software, computers and everything digital.  I love the BIM database and love where the AEC industry is headed.  On the minus side in my life, I've almost fully trashed my Palm Pre with patches and the newest one that throttles the processor has completely killed my bluetooth headset sound.  At least the phone works great with my new Verizon MIFI unit.  There's nothing like having a car router to make the commute more of a challenge. (No officer, I have no idea how fast I was driving, I was in the middle of sending a tweet.)  Then there I was working on my AU presentation today using Mind Map software and making notes with my Adapx digital pen.  It's almost time for my 22 month old to steal my iTouch and watch cookie monster and the C is for Cookie video.  If you've never seen it, it's mesmerizing and you'll want to sing it all day long.  As you're singing along, try B is for BIM

Video Link

The fact that I could google C is for Cookie lyrics and find it instantly is even scarier.  Of course you'll want to see the Wikipedia entry on the song from 1972. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_Is_For_Cookie

Now what starts with the letter "C"?
"Cookie" starts with "C"!
Let's think of other things that starts with "C"!
Uh. . .Uh. . . Who cares about da other things?!


"C" is for Cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
Oh! cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"!

Hey, You know what? A round cookie with one bite out of it looks like a "C"
A round donut with one bite out of it also looks like a "C" but it is not as good as a cookie
Oh, and the moon sometimes looks like a "C" but you can't eat that
Cookie Cookie Cookie Starts with "C"
Cookie Cookie Cookie Starts with "C"

So, let's open Microsoft Word and do a quick search and replace for the letter C and the word Cookie.
I like this version so much better.

Now what starts with the letter “B”?
"BIM" starts with “B”!
Let's think of other things that starts with “B”!
Uh. . .Uh. . . Who cares about da other things?!


“B” is for BIM that's good enough for me,
“B” is for BIM that's good enough for me,
“B” is for BIM that's good enough for me,
Oh! BIM, BIM, BIM starts with “B”!

Hey, You know what? A round BIM with one bite out of it looks like a “B”
A round donut with one bite out of it also looks like a “B” but it is not as good as a BIM
Oh, and the moon sometimes looks like a “B” but you can't eat that
BIM BIM BIM Starts with “B”
BIM BIM BIM Starts with “B”

Can you do any of these things with any 27 year old technology?  Of course not.  Embrace technology.  Give thanks for Autodesk, Revit, BIM, IPD and LEED.  Take a moment and look at all of the technology in our lives.  It's here to stay.  I've got to go now, the batter in my laptop is about to die. 

Equipment Elevations (Pipe Dream) - Revit MEP

Steve, keep them coming....great stuff.  As I get more involved in BIM for contractors, these posts really help them.  After all, "Design Intent" takes on a whole new meaning when working on a BIM Building.

Repost: http://revitoped.blogspot.com/2009/11/equipment-elevations.html

Revit MEP focus again - Trying to determine what the correct elevation for equipment can be awkward when each connector is at different elevations. Sometimes a VAV, (variable air volume) or AHU, (air handling unit)or RTU (roof top unit) has connectors at really convenient (meaning really inconvenient) elevations that don't seem to relate well (or at all) to the nice clean elevations, like 9'-0' or 10'-6', that you've chosen for your duct or pipe runs.

By the way, I added the words for the acronyms for my mother. I know my typical readers know what they mean but she reads this blog too sometimes and its bad enough that most everything is gibberish anyway but I have to use acronyms too?!?

What I do is sketch a short piece of duct/pipe from a connector on the equipment so that I can cheat and use the offset parameter of the duct/pipe to raise the equipment to the correct elevation that I need (Video?).

Source: Equipment Elevations

Autodesk - Sustainable Design Webcast Series: Renovating for an Energy Efficient Future 12/8/09

Date & Time: Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. PST

Keynote Speaker: John Boehms

To register for this webcast, simply fill out the form below.


Economic and social conditions are putting increased pressure on building owners to make new construction, and possibly more importantly, renovation & retrofit projects, more energy efficient, cost effective, and sustainable. This in turn impacts all downstream project stakeholders, including the architects, engineers and construction professionals involved in the design/build workflow.

This session focuses on Building Information Modeling (BIM) for renovation and building performance, and how BIM solutions can help with the creation and analysis of energy models that in turn determine the best designs for sustainability and efficiency – from all stakeholder perspectives.

  • You’ll learn how existing building conditions are collected and consolidated from various sources to prepare for energy analysis and optimal building performance.
  • We’ll show you how real world data can be integrated into a BIM model for an accurate look at the current state of a building’s energy performance.
  • Finally, once an energy model is built to capture existing building conditions, you’ll learn how to analyze the model with various scenarios to reduce energy costs and consumption.

Applying energy efficient design principles and BIM technology to renovation projects not only minimizes energy and resource consumption, but maximizes the future potential of the building.

Date and Time: 2009-Dec-08
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Pacific Standard Time
Deadline: 2009-Dec-07
Location: Online
Hosted By: Autodesk, Inc.
* indicates a required field

Source and registration link:
Autodesk - Sustainable Design Webcast Series: Renovating for an Energy Efficient Future


IES Unique Virtual Environment Energy Modeling Software offers an Easy to Use Interface: buildaroo.com

IES makes my favorite BIM software. It's amazing what they can do with a Revit model for sustainability calculations. Here's a little more information. Let me know if you'd ever like a demo or pricing.  This is truly inspiring software for anyone looking to get into green building design and analysis.  It is even geared towards architects early on in the process and it's not just for your engineers.  In fact, this software can save you a lot in consulting fees by allowing you to do your own building performance analysis.  Even if you don't know what you're doing or aren't an engineer, you can learn to generate calculations earlier on in the process.  This is important stuff so you really need to take a look and investigate.  There's an 8 minute video below so please take the time and familiarize yourself with this.  I promise it'll be a worthwhile investment.

From: http://buildaroo.com/news/article/ies-unique-virtual-environment-energy-modeling-software-offers-an-easy-to-use-interface/
20 November 2009

IES Virtual Environment (VE) software package allows users to quantify what they need to do to a building to make it sustainable. And the IES VE package allows users to do this in an easy to use interface. At this year’s Greenbuild conference, Don from IES walks us through the four different levels of this software with on-screen demonstration. Watch the video above to see this software in action.
VE-Pro – The core of the Virtual Environment Software. A variety of different interconnected modules are available so users can build the suite which meets their needs. Capabilities across energy/carbon, light/daylighting, solar, UK compliance, value/cost, CFD, egress and mechanical categories are covered. A central integrated data model allows analysis results and model data to be easily shared amongst applications for productivity gains, and to further inform and refine simulations. It contains information on geometry, materials, occupancy, climate and equipment.
Interconnectivity with BIM/CAD programs ensures 2D/3D models can be easily imported, using gbXML/DXF capabilities, plug-ins to Revit and SketchUp, or our tight connectivity with ArchiCAD.
VE-Ware – Completely free whole-building annual energy and carbon usage tool. Accessed by the IES plug-ins to Google SketchUp (also free) or Autodesk Revit.
VE-Toolkits – The IES VE-Toolkits are ideal for very early stage indicative feedback, when time is short and answers need to be rapid. A variety of VE-Toolkits offer different capabilities – automatically running the chosen analysis and generating interactive visual and rich-text reports within minutes, and all at the press of just a few buttons. Technical selections are also made straightforward with pre-populated choices.
VE-Gaia - VE-Gaia’s complete workflow environment is driven by “step-by-step” smart navigation that opens wide the power of IES analysis. A series of Navigators guide users through a range of tasks; from advanced modelling, to energy/carbon analysis, to LEED credit interrogation. Weaving a clear route through the analysis process, from modelling to reportage, users can easily undertake complex advanced simulations. Designers can track progress, control quality, iterate workflows, trigger simulations, filter results and produce automated visual and rich-text reports.

Video Link here
IES Unique Virtual Environment Energy Modeling Software offers an Easy to Use Interface: buildaroo.com


The Principal use of Revit

While I was doing my e-SPECS demo last week, there were a few principals in the room who had never seen Revit, except for in a power point presentation.

It was a very friendly audience and while I was having fun doing the presentation, I was showing them something in Revit when I blurted out  "It's so easy, even a principal can use it."

Everybody laughed at that comment, but it does bring up a much more serious topic.

Principals!  There's a digital disconnect with older principals.  Since AutoCAD is so hard to learn, use and overcome, many principals never got close to it.  As they watch their staff zip away at the commands and line drawing, it seemed overwhelming to them. 

Another issue which I learned from a dear friend's father who's in his sixties once said to me, "Gregory, when people like myself sit in front of the computer, we fell stupid.  I think I'm very smart, yet when i sit down and look at the screen and keyboard, I have no idea what to do, so I choose not to go near a computer." 

Take a very smart, seasoned professional, sit him down in front of a new computer, technology or device and watch them slink away dejected they've been bested by another digital devil that their grandchildren can use. 

Any new technology brought into a firm can have the same negativity attached to it.  AutoCAD and 2D are so difficult that Revit, BIM and 3D must be impossible to learn or use.

I dare anybody to go to www.revit3d.com/start if you've never used Revit.  There you'll find instructions and the getting started guide to build your first project in about 4 hours.  There's a long weekend ahead, so what do you have to lose. 

If you're a principal, do it on principle.  So many principals have lost control of their staff.  They're dependant on the drafters, must do what they're told is the right or best way to do things, and are held hostage by technology and the decisions, opinions or demands of others. A little research on the internet or my completely unbiased blog would do a lot to shed some light on the reality of BIM. 

A continuing theme in my conversations of late are fear.  Fear of looking stupid, fear of learning new technology, fear of failure, fear of the learning curve, fear of 3D, fear of getting stuck, fear of looking bad in front of one's boss or superior and fear of change.  Meanwhile, this is all while using an iPhone, Blackberry, XM Radio, digital camera, DirecTV, GPS or email.  It's funny how the one technology that can actually make a firm more money via productivity is the one that it shunned. I'm still trying to uncover the root of the problem, but I think I'm getting closer to an answer.


The Revit Kid.com!: Tutorial - Revit Curtain Panel Material Takeoff

Looks like Jeff came across a cool video. Hopefully this one will help the contractors count and measure a little less.

Source: http://therevitkid.blogspot.com/2009/11/tutorial-revit-curtain-panel-material.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheRevitKid+%28The+Revit+Kid.com%21%29

A very nice video over on YouTube... I actually received a few question about this so I hope it helps. I think her voice is a lot nicer to listen to than min ;).

The Revit Kid.com!: Tutorial - Revit Curtain Panel Material Takeoff


Ostendo now selling CRVD display directly; multiple CRVD display rig blows minds on video -- Engadget

We first saw Ostendo's crazy CRVD monitor at CES 2008 with Alienware branding, and then again at Macworld 2009 with an NEC label, but it looks like those were just flirtations: the monster 2880 x 900 quad-DLP display has been quietly on sale directly from the mothership since late August. Ostendo tell us most of the units sold have been for defense simulation and training, but there are apparently some gamers out there hardcore enough to stomach the $6,499 price tag -- including the crown prince of Dubai, who's purchased "multiple units." We're also told that multi-monitor CRVD applications are forthcoming, which sounds insane -- and is even wilder on video. Check it after the break.

Ostendo now selling CRVD display directly; multiple CRVD display rig blows minds on video -- Engadget


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Revit Tips and Tricks: 3d Cropped Sections

I have to say, my favorite feature of Revit is the 3D sections. Nothing puts 2D sections more to shame than the actual cut through of a building where you can see how it really goes together.

One of the biggest potential problems with this is that you really need to know how buildings go together. As BIM takes over the AEC industry, the need to move away from CAD operators becomes very apparent in the picture below. I think I understand why so many drafters are against Revit. Principals are against it too since they'd need to spend more on higher salaried "model" employees. Of course they'd need fewer people since Revit is more productive, but that conversation doesn't always go so well.

As my friend Larry said recently "BIM is no substitute for experience." So, there you have it. Experience, knowledge and construction know how. The future of your industry depends on it and this one little feature of Revit really cuts through the BS of 2D line drafting. A picture is worth a thousand words and a model is worth a million words.

Repost: http://overrevit.blogspot.com/2009/11/3d-cropped-sections.html
Here is an interesting 3d section done in Revit. 3d sections are a great way to look at a specific point in your model, without having to hide lots of elements. But how was it done?

This is very easy to do. First, create a section and drag the crop lines to encompass where you want to be looking. Give that section a name so that it is easy to find in the list.

Then, under "3D Views" duplicate the {3D} view with detailing, and give it a name. Click in the 3d window, then goto the "View" pulldown. Select "Orient - to other view". You will get a popup of all of the views in the model. Select the section you created earlier.

That's it. You can select the section cut, and drag the arrows to move the cut lines.

Source: Revit Tips and Tricks: 3d Cropped Sections


Inspiration in the face of disaster - Build2Sustain- Must Read!

Well, I didn't think I'd ever find someone with as much passion as me, but James Bedell of Build2Sustain has a very important message that I thought I'd share with you.

Repost: http://www.build2sustain.com/blog/2009/11/22/inspiration-in-the-face-of-disaster.html

When times are good, it’s easy to get wrapped up in maximizing shareholder profit and taking foolish risks for short term gain. This kind of thinking, led to a variety of economic disasters, none of which need rehashing. By now we all know about the housing bubble, if not NPR's This American Life and Planet Money special The Giant Pool of Money, can definitely crystallize it for you.

But the next wave of real estate woe is upon us and it's something we here at Build2Sustain are acutely aware of-commercial real estate is on its way to a crash just as thunderous as the sub-prime crisis. From newgeography:

Lurking around the corner, literally unnoticed by the average American worried about keeping his home, is a similar crisis in commercial real estate. For over a year commercial property values have been plummeting and have not begun to recover. A drive through both major cities and suburbia tells the story. Vacant stores, empty shopping malls, cancelled mixed use developments and eerily empty car lots presage bad things to come. (From my personal blog, vacant store fronts in my neighborhood of Astoria, Queens)

The news is bad...

The FDIC has closed over 100 banks and one good estimate is that they will close around 10% of US banks, 500 to 1,000, before the crisis runs its course. The losses will dwarf the $394 billion of the RTC and may surpass a trillion dollars.

The picture painted for commercial real estate is bleak with banks in such trouble they are unable to continue liquidity in the commercial market....Robert J. Cristiano of newgeography predicts the following....

Like the suddenly quiet auto malls with the empty Pontiac, Saturn and Chrysler dealerships, lesser properties will lose their anchor grocery stores, Targets, and big box users. With the anchors gone, and traffic with it, the mom and pop small businesses cannot survive. There is no future for the marginal Class C shopping center. Tenants will flee to better locations and more affordable lease rates. Class A offices will survive. Well located and attractive Class B properties may muddle through at reduced revenues – if they can survive the refinancing maze. But, the poorly located Class C office will remain a “see-through” for years to come. Old, tired, and mostly vacant Class C office buildings line the crumbling freeways of Detroit, Cleveland, Youngstown, and countless smaller rust belt cities where excess capacity has eliminated the need for new development.

In the face of this crisis an incredible opportunity exists. We can lament the future of the strip mall, or we can endeavor to make it better. What we now know is the status quo simply won’t do. I can no longer put junk real estate on the market. The market has spoken and we have too much real estate on the market. We don’t need more we need better.

For Build2Sustain “better” mean more sustainable, healthier built environments for all businesses not just those in the Fortune 500.

But “better” has to mean more than that. “Better” has to mean a better future.

“Better” means giving American business the competitive advantage of energy efficiency. It means capitalism rising to meet the challenge of a new era, one where simple consumption can no longer be an end unto itself.

As a generation we are born into the crucible of a trying era and shall be branded by it’s fires, not since the Great Depression has an American generation entered into a more difficult economic climate. In short, we are paying down the debts of a century, not just in our literal debts, but the debt we owe the planet for our rapid consumption and the debt we owe each other for not anticipating the needs of our children. We are bearing that load-and we need all hands on deck.

For all the gloom there is good news. We are ready.

We are the best-equipped generation in the history of mankind to deal with these systemic issues. We can, we must, and we will solve the crises that face us. Build2Sustain is going to do its part, by renovating commercial real estate to make for a more sustainable planet, and a more competitive business market. Not only are we going to do that for our clients, we are going to show the rest of the industry how to do it to maximize ROI and develop the business case for a green revolution. We believe it’s time to unite the global warming skeptics and the green hawks around what they share in common, not divide them for what they don’t. This country has big problems to solve and we need serious people to solve them. We had an election all about change, and the “change” candidate won. Now is not the time to sit on our hands and hope that things get better because of the new face in the White House. Now is the time to MAKE things better, for us and for our kids. We can do this. The question is how will YOU get involved.

There are those who believe such thinking is naïve. That there good intentions and good business don’t mix, that our values must be sacrificed to the gods of business. Well that wasn’t true for the founders of Johnson and Johnson who mounted their credo to every one of their buildings (spoiler: their credo isn't about maximizing profits)

It wasn’t true to Henry Ford who valued his workers so he fought to double their normal wages of the day for comparable labor, because he had a vision of affordable mobility for all Americans. What the cynics forget is that the strongest businesses of the 20th century were born during the great depression. They rose in the face of a populace that needed them to succeed, a nation that needed to be thrust full speed into the next great era in history. We stand at a similar starting line and this is a marathon, a marathon to be run at a sprinter’s pace.

America is still the greatest engine for innovation and creation the world has ever known, and within us lies a tradition of overcoming adversity with the power of hard work and dedication. Make no mistake America will overcome this time of trouble, but such a victory isn’t to be won easily. It is to be fought for in the battlefields of our labs, our boardrooms, our offices, our classrooms, our blogs, and our facebook statuses. The tools at our disposal are invaluable, it’s time to use them. When looking for the words to sum up where I’m coming from, I looked at quotes from the past, from past leaders, artists, or thinkers. But in the end I think the words of Gary Vaynerchuk say it best.

Now it's no excuses. Put down the Nintendo Wii paddle, stop watching 'Lost,' it's time to build a brand.

Souce: Inspiration in the face of disaster:


Autodesk Tech Tip: FLEXnet Licensing Side-by-Side Hotfix

Published date: 2009-Nov-20
ID: DL14003392

Applies to Every Product, Including the Following:
AutoCAD® 2010
AutoCAD® Architecture 2010
AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010
Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis 2010
Autodesk® Navisworks® Manage 2010
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010
Autodesk® Revit® MEP-B 2010
Autodesk® Revit® MEP 2010
Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2010
Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2010

Flexnet_Licensing_hotfix.htm (htm - 8Kb)
LIC1252067_x64.exe (exe - 1835Kb)
LIC1252067_x86.exe (exe - 1235Kb)

This hotfix repairs a problem that occurs during the side-by-side installation of two different licensing products. During the installation of stand-alone licensing products with previously installed network licensing products, the following error occurs indicating that the installation failed:

Installation Instructions:

NOTE: Before installing this hotfix, verify that network licensed products are installed on your machine. Also, you must have administrative privileges on your Microsoft Windows operating system to complete the installation process.

  1. On the computer where the affected product is installed, close all software applications and log on as the Administrator.
  2. Download and install the hotfix:

  3. A message indicates when the hotfix is successfully installed.

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - FLEXnet Licensing Side-by-Side Hotfix


Friday, November 20, 2009

Technology FAIL and a Revit Sale

Going on concurrently at our home is the following:
Our 22 month old is fully mobile and loves playing outside in the garden.
We don't have a fence on the side of our house to keep JR from running out into the street.
Our neighbor bought the foreclosed house next door and has been spending a year trying to fix it up to sell it.
Our ficus trees had a whitefly infestation that causes all of the leaves to drop.
There are some ugly power lines connecting to our house.

We've decided to split the cost of the fence with our neighbor.  They've removed the ficus trees and we now have a lovely view of the side of their house.  Then I hear someone shout outside "FPL meter check." I think what an archaic method of collecting data.  There are 130 million homes in our country. Every house, every month has a guy who checks the meter, writes down the information, hands it to a data entry person and voila, we get our bill.

Let's do the math. 
130,000,000.00      Number of homes in US
5.00                          Cost/house for collection, data entry and mailing
650,000,000.00      Subtotal
12                             Months/year
7,800,000,000.00   Cost/year

Is that possible? Almost 8 billion dollars/year to read meters?  Smart meters that automatically transmit that data back to the electric company would surely pay for themselves very quickly, don't you think?  Let's not even think about adding all of the electric meters for businesses in our country.

The cost of labor to do things manually costs us billions of dollars a year.  If you can see how the cost of $5/home can add up, let's imagine what the energy savings would be of doing green building retrofits on those homes.  The numbers are astounding.  Using the numbers above, imagine if we just saved $5/month on our electric bills. What if we cut our electric bills in half?  

Back to my fence story: At 11:00 AM, the fence installers show up.  I asked to see the survey because the line of trees and pavers isn't a straight line. Apparently, our stone pavers on the side of our house are two feet onto our neighbors property.  Of course the surveyor had used AutoCAD instead of Civil 3D and a GPS device, but that's another story and blog (www.civilwized.com - my other blog that needs serious work).  They've pulled a string, dug the holes, mixed the concrete by hand and are now almost ready to install the fence.

The contractor for the house next door shows up and we're talking about the house, fence, survey line and I ask him about his architects, clashes, estimating, mistakes and the general pain he goes through on residential renovations and new construction.  Of course I mention Revit, what it does and how it would help him.  I asked how much he pays for getting the drawings done by the architects he uses and it's around $2500/job.  We factor in the amount of time it takes him to do estimating, clash detection and deal with discrepancies, errors, etc and how he could learn to use Revit in a week or two to do most of what he's paying for now.  I added the part about sun/shade studies and renderings too.  He loved that.

I told him what Revit would cost him and asked him if he thought that was expensive.  He said no, if it does what I said it does, he'd buy it today.  He was complaining that as he goes through sheet by sheet, the plans didn't match the elevations and every job had issues. This is the inherent difference between architects and contractors.  Contractors see BIM has a huge way to build more efficiently, save money and be more profitable.

Above is a picture of the side of my house, now devoid of white fly infested ficus trees.  You can see the lovely neighbors house and the door with no stairs below it.  Also, feel free to enjoy the view of the lovely overhead powerlines that will be somewhere in Key West after the next hurricane because FPL doesn't believe in burying the powerlines in a hurricane zone.


REVIT - Placing Model Text on a Curved Wall

Another great tip from Daryl Gregoire. It's funny to me because the other night before my e-SPECS demo, I didn't have a powerpoint slide with my info, so I was trying to quickly put model text on a wall from my Revit demonstration. I kept having issues selecting the plane to add the text and finally got it right. Adding a reference plane would have made it so much easier for me.


You cannot place model text on a curved wall but you can place model text on reference planes so the work around is to create a series or reference planes tangent to the curved wall and place one letter on each reference plane. Takes a little bit of time but it works.

In the example shown above I named each reference plane according to the appropriate letter ie: ‘M’ ‘O’ ‘D’ ‘E’ ‘L’, then 'set the current reference plane' before placing the model text letter.

You can fine tune the ‘plan’ positioning by moving or rotating the reference planes after the letters have been place. You can also nudge the letters around within the reference plane.

I changed the ‘material’ of each letter to achieve the color effect.

See images below.


Autodesk / Windows 7 Officially supported product listing

Revit still isn't on the list, but it definitely works on Windows 7. Hopefully, this list will be updated shortly (if Autodesk is listening!!!)

Published date: 2009-Nov-19
ID: TS14053691

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2010
AutoCAD® Architecture 2010
AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010
AutoCAD® Electrical 2010
AutoCAD® Inventor LT™ Suite 2010
AIP 2010 with Autodesk Inventor Tooling 2010 Add-In
AutoCAD® Inventor® Professional Suite 2010
AutoCAD® Inventor® Routed Systems Suite 2010
AutoCAD® Inventor® Simulation Suite 2010
AutoCAD® Inventor® Suite 2010
AutoCAD® Inventor® Tooling Suite 2010
AutoCAD LT® 2010
AutoCAD® Mechanical 2010
AutoCAD® MEP 2010
Autodesk® Algor® Simulation 2010
Autodesk® Productstream® Professional 2010
Autodesk® Vault 2010
Autodesk® Vault Collaboration 2010
Autodesk® Vault Manufacturing 2010
Autodesk® Vault Workgroup 2010


You want to know what Autodesk products are tested and confirmed to work correctly on Microsoft Windows 7.


The Autodesk products listed below have been tested and are confirmed as working correctly on Microsoft Windows 7. Product Support will provide its best effort to assist customers with issues with products that have not been tested.

  • AutoCAD 2010
  • AutoCAD LT 2010
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2010
  • AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010
  • Autodesk Inventor 2010
  • Autodesk Inventor LT 2010
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2010
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2010
  • AutoCAD MEP 2010
  • Autodesk Algor Simulation 2010
  • Autodesk Vault 2010 (Client Only)*
  • Autodesk Vault Workgroup 2010 (Client Only)*
  • Autodesk Vault Collaboration 2010 (Client Only)*
  • Autodesk Vault Manufacturing 2010 (Client Only)*
  • Autodesk Productstream Professional 2010 (Client Only)*

Known Limitations with Microsoft Windows 7 for AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based Products

* Note: The Autodesk Vault, Vault Workgroup, Vault Collaboration, Vault Manufacturing and Productstream Professional Server components are not tested on the Microsoft Windows 7 Platform.


The amateur scientist (that's us) and why we make bad technology choices - BIM and an actual conversation about Revit

So, I'm reading this blog post and it made me think of you. Yes, you, on the other side of the internet cable.  We're actually directly connected somehow.  I'm sitting here writing this and you're sitting there reading it.  It's pretty cool and oh, by the way, you have some food in your teeth.

Anyway, we're irrational creatures. We're shaped by our parents, our surroundings, our peers and many more variables.  You've decided to not move into BIM because of something you've seen or read or heard.  Read the post below and rethink your future technology decisions and what they're based on.  Is your software an expense or an investment?

After my CSI e-SPECS demonstration Tuesday evening, I was outside talking to the principal of an architecture firm of 26 people.  His firm had done one small tenant improvement project with Revit, but nothing else in the 3 years they had owned it. He loved what he saw and wanted me to come into his office.  They've been using another reseller so I was very skeptical of going in and wasting my time with them.

Here's our conversation

I wish Glen were here to see this.

  • Who's Glen? (thinking maybe he was another partner/decision maker/technical maverick.)

Glen is our IT guy. He's doing a Revit presentation for us tomorrow at the office and I'd love for you to attend at lunchtime.

  • I wish I could but I have SiteOps training and they're flying in for two days, but I can visit any other time.

Are you sure you can't come?

  • Yes, sorry.  Why aren't you using Revit full time.

Glen makes those decisions.

  • You mean the indecision? How long have you had Revit

3 years.

  • Why don't you tell Glen that you want to use Revit.  You've delegated all of the software and hardware decisions to him because you're not comfortable with the technology?

Yes, he's very forward thinking and has done a great job for us. Why do you look so skeptical?

  • Because Glen won't let you swithc and I thik that's bullshit.  If he was forward thinking, you'd have been using Revit for 3 years.  It's easier for you to have delgated the technology decision to him, but you had the responsibility to research his direction. 

Well, Glen wants to fully know it before he deploys it to the staff.

  • I think he's just being controlling and doesn't want to lose control and I've seen this so many times before.  He's costing you money because of lost productivity and the need for extra staff. If he hasn't switched by now, he never will.  It's too late for him.

You're right but he makes those decisions.

  • But you own the firm.  Shouldn't you be making those decisions?

Are you sure you can't come in tomorrow?  I'd like to have lunch with you and my other partner. 

  • I wish I could, but lets do it at the end of the week.

Ok, call me.

That was a real conversation.  I've had this thought that as architects and designers, you have to make a million decisions. When you're working with AutoCAD, there are even more decisions because every line you draw on the screen has to be painfully moved on every sheet if you have to make changes later in the process.  Every line, circle and arc has to be thought out and decisions today affect so many others tomorrow and on the construction site that it must be overwhelming.

Thus, the easy thing to do is put off decisions on everything else, like changing to more modern and really automated software like Revit.  It's such a shame that if you only turned that indecsion into action then you'd be so much happier with design and modeling decisions and not worrying about line drafting, layer, line color and line weight decisions.

Think about it.  Are you spending more time deciding on what to build or what line weight to make it?  That's sad.

Now, for the original blog post that led to this rant.
Repost: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/11/the-amateur-scientist-thats-us.html
Many people buy a car (probably their single biggest discretionary purchase) based on slamming a door, kicking a tire and judging the handshake of a salesperson.
We choose a surgeon based on the carpeting in his office and a politician by his hair cut.
During the first week of swine flu vaccines in New York, most parents (more than half!) chose to keep their kids out of the program.

Interviewed parents said things like, "I'm not sure it's safe," and "I wanted to see if it affected other kids..."

No mention of longitudinal studies or long-term side effects. No science at all, really, just rumors and hunches and gut instincts.

This gut-instinct approach served people well for hundreds of thousands of years, but it's pretty clear that it doesn't work in a complex world. Eating salmon at a wedding feels 'safe' because we always have, but of course any professional scientist will tell you that farmed salmon is an ecological disaster. You can't see the problem, so you ignore it.

Audiophiles spend thousands of dollars rewiring the electrical lines in their house with .99999% pure copper, ignoring the fact that the power from the street is in the same old cables. Adding decimal points to our irrationality doesn't change much.

The problem with being an amateur scientist is precisely the reason that marketers relish the opportunity to sell to us, the amateurs: we make stupid decisions, easily manipulated by those who might choose to do the manipulation (on their behalf or on ours).

The news here is not that people are irrational, giving too much credence to the dramatic and the local and the short-term (that's not news), but that people have added a veneer of scientific rationality to their irrational decisions. Armed with Zagats or internet data or some rumor off Snopes, we act as though now we're supremely rational choicemakers.

This is one of the problems with breast cancer screening. It appears to give information, really good information, but in practice, it doesn't. Since the information is vivid, we give it too much credence.
The challenge for people trying to market vaccines or highlight long-term side effects of various consumer choices is that it's much easier to spread a story about exploding cars or hair falling out than it is to spread a story of 'nothing bad happens' or 'no one got the swine flu and died' or 'three years from now, this section of ocean will be dead.' We prefer the vivid anecdote to the dry and statistically useful fact, which in a complex world, is to our detriment.

PS if I was marketing the swine flu vaccine, I'd name it after a kid who died last season and put her picture on the release form. Alas, teaching amateurs like us to be real scientists is going to take a while.

Posted by Seth Godin on November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kohler Ronan Chooses IES For its Flexibility and Versatility [LEED]

Another LEED firm with a happy ending because they've invested in the technology necessary to be on the cutting edge.


Comparative analysis at an early design stage provides ability to make strategic recommendations

We announced today that Kohler Ronan selected our because of its versatility and flexibility. IES allows Kohler Ronan to interact with the architect during the early project design stages providing results for “what-if” scenarios that aid in the development of the building.

Regardless of whether or not a project is pursuing LEED certification, Kohler Ronan evaluates the environmental performance and impact of each and every project from a “whole building” perspective by challenging, evaluating and collaborating with the design team on building orientation, envelope, fenestration, shading and indoor air quality. Early in the design process, system alternatives are examined and evaluated against project goals in order to maximize affordable sustainability, thanks in part to IES software.

“We chose IES over other solutions we evaluated because the proved to be the most flexible through the entire design process,” said Jay Kohler, P.E. and Partner-in-Charge of Sustainable Design for Kohler Ronan. “IES’ allows us to make changes and collaborate freely at the earliest design phases. As the project design develops, so does the model. This process allows us to confidently recommend specific strategies for implementation throughout the project.”

Currently, Kohler Ronan is utilizing IES for a new state-of-the-art performing arts center. The Kohler Ronan team is modeling the thermal behavior of the envelope under various conditions to optimize its performance. In order to predict complex air flow in and around the center, Kohler Ronan needed a CFD analysis to determine proper diffuser design and placement for the air delivery system within the main auditorium and stage. Through the graphic output, IES’ software provides easy-to-understand results, which enabled Kohler Ronan to quickly implement decisions early in the design process.

“The results our software provided for Kohler Ronan enabled them to work directly with the architects, and in certain scenarios in real-time to make the beneficial changes for the performing arts center design,” said Kevin Settlemyre, president of IES North America. “The importance of building performance analysis is becoming more and more prevalent with engineers, as they see the value of interacting with architects from the earliest stages of the process.”

About Kohler Ronan:
Kohler Ronan, LLC Consulting Engineers is a multi-disciplined firm dedicated to providing exceptional Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection engineering design services. From offices in Danbury, CT and New York, NY, Kohler Ronan collaborates with prominent architectural firms on a wide array of regional and nationally recognized project assignments. Commissions include those for world renowned Museums, Fine and Performing Arts Centers, as well as prestigious Universities, state-of-the-art Educational facilities, Luxury Residences, and Corporate & Government buildings. Kohler Ronan is proud of its extensive expertise and innovative approach in the field of Sustainable Design and is a member of the US Green Building Council. Please visit www.kohlerronan.com to learn more.

Kohler Ronan Chooses IES For its Flexibility and Versatility


Revit Workset or not?

Just found this post. I hope it helps. Looks like some growing pains in the evolution of the Revitlution.


Worksets? Why? I don't really know accept that I have recently found that they are really not necessary. In fact I have found that working with a complex system of worksets actually hinders your performance because you are constantly asking for permissions.

The first two commercial projects we did were set up with worksets for each level. One of my co-workers who as used revit for sometime, was convinced that worksets would help many people work on the same project. But it just seemed like we were always asking for permission.

The current project we are working on, a large hospital type facility, was only set up with 2 worksets. 1. shared levels and grids. 2. Workset 1. These are the defaults that revit sets up. We found that working with several people was not as cumbersome in this scenario. Since revit uses a borrowing system that is element based. whenever you select an element you are effectively borrowing it. when your done, you release it. This is automatic, and doesn't require any additional work. Unlike when you set up many worksets. Because now you have to make sure that the element you create is on the correct workset. What a pain!

After doing some homework, I came to this conclusion. In older versions of Revit they didn't have element borrowing. So if you wanted to use many people on one project you had to have a lot of worksets. Since element borrowing was introduced in Revit 8 I don't think it's really necessary.

In conclusion, when we work on a project that has all the elements on one workset it goes much smoother, and you aren't constantly asking for permission. As you may have to with many worksets.

So, if anyone knows another reason why you would want a lot of worksets, I would be curious to know why because my experiencing more than just one was much more frustrating.

Source: Workset or not?

Blog post comment addendum:
seandburke has left a new comment on your post "Workset or not?":

Without repeating myself too much... I added a comment on the original bog post. There really are good reasons to use more than one workset, just not what is discussed above.

Summary of my thoughts:

Think - visibility control, opening/unloading control, memory conservation, etc... Element borrowing, as described above is preferred.
From the origal post comments:
seandburke said...

You don't need a lot of Worksets, that is true. But only having one will lead to less flexibility ion working on the project. Most projects can successfully be organized into 8-12 worksets. These would be for functional, spatial, or systems separation, and not necessarily by tasks or assignments. A little explanation is in order.
The concept of worksets has indeed morphed, since Element borrowing is now the preferred method of worksharing. Day to day workflow should not mean that users should not borrow and entire workset, or large chunks of the building, but more in an ad-hoc way. Take as little as you need to do you work, and the chances of bumping into another user is greatly lessened. You still have to communicate, relinquish and synchronize often.
The argument for categorizing the building into worksets gives you flexibility in two ways:

1). Allowing opening just portions of the project.This can save significantly on the load, save and synchronize times. Project relationships and constraints are still maintained as changes occur, and you can open additional worksets as necessary.

2). Controlling visibility of elements, linked CAD and Revit files, especially with the option to make 'not visible by default in all views'.
I hope this makes sense. Perhaps I will make a video to illustrate these points.
November 19, 2009 8:57 PM

Thanks Sean.

Revit Tech Tip: Structural Settings dialog is not accessible after applying Revit Architecture 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack

Published date: 2009-Nov-19
ID: TS14171530

Applies to:
Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2010


In Revit Architecture 2010 after applying the Subscription Advantage Pack you notice the dialog shortcut for Structural Settings is no longer accessible.


This is a known issue currently being investigated. Check back here as additional information is made available the technical solution will be updated.

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Structural Settings dialog is not accessible after applying Revit Architecture 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack


Project Bluestreak -- a web-based collaboration environment for accelerating building information modeling


Design Collaboration for AEC Professionals
  • Coordinate, analyze, and review designs with project group members
  • Easily create and join project groups
  • Communicate with your project group members
  • Share project designs and documents
  • Quickly respond to project activities

At one time I was the Software Development Manager for Buzzsaw,so I find collaboration in the construction industry very exciting. So I am happy to report that a team in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction division has been thinking about how their customers collaborate on design problems. They have started building Project Bluestreak -- a web-based collaboration environment for accelerating building information modeling through the open exchange of design information and ideas between desktop applications, web-based services, and people. How cool is that?



The basic building blocks needed to collaborate with your team -- user profiles, self organized private groups, file sharing, activity streams, notifications and comments -- are available on Autodesk Labs now for your testing and feedback. The team has decided that the best way to build a collaboration environment is to do it collaboratively! So they are asking you to get involved:



They say there's no "I" in team, but it's also true that there's no "U" in apathy. So "you" should get involved. To get started and help build the next generation of AEC collaboration:



Navigate to the Project Bluestreak page on the Autodesk Labs site.

Click on the Try It Now image.

Click on Sign Up icon to create your account and a project group, and try it out!

Use the “Feedback” button within the application to give us your feedback and discuss the application with other members of the Bluestreak user community.

In addition, you can always send comments to labs.bluestreak@autodesk.com.

With this initial release, you can:



Create and join project groups

Communicate with your project group members

Share project designs and documents

Quickly respond to project activities

More incremental releases will come Alive in the Lab as more features are developed, and your feedback is incorporated.



Social networking in the AEC world is alive in the lab.



Starting Your Revit Model from a 2D AutoCAD Drawing | CADuzer

This is almost a year old, but I just found it stored in my Google Reader starred items. For any of you Rewbies out there (Revit Newbies...I just made that up) this is a great tutorial from Scott on bringing in your CAD drawings for use in Revit.


I received an email recently from a woman named Monica asking if I would go through the process of importing an AutoCAD DWG file into Revit and modeling from it. We very often jump to the very complicated features of software and sometimes ignore the basics, for example, how to get into the program and start working. So, I’m going to go through how to place your drawing into Revit and start working with it. One thing I’d like to suggest, however, is that you look at one of my earlier posts, Shared Coordinates in Revit (and AutoCAD), which is what I’ll be talking about first. OK, here goes:
Let’s take a look at a simple AutoCAD drawing that I want to import (fig. 1):
You can see here that we’ve just got some walls, doors and windows and they’re all on their appropriate layer. Now, let’s bring them into Revit.

  • 1. In Revit, within a new project, click File –> Import/Link – CAD Formats.
    2. When the Import/Link CAD Formats dialog box appears, after locating the drawing, at the bottom of the dialog box, check the box next to the word Link.

  • The next important option comes from the pull-down menu next to Positioning. The tells Revit how, and more importantly where, to insert the DWG. If your drawing was drawn in a random location in AutoCAD, the specific location in Revit is not important so, from the pull-down menu, you should choose Auto – Center to Center. This also assumes that there are no other drawings that you plan on importing that might rely on the positioning of the original drawing. If there are, and your drawing in AutoCAD is close to the origin (0,0), then you should choose Auto – Origin to Origin. Again, only choose this option if your drawing in AutoCAD is close to the origin. If it isn’t close to it (and Autodesk refers to anything beyond 1 mile from the origin as not close) then you should choose Manual – Center and follow the steps in the other post I referred to above, to acquire the coordinate system from the imported DWG.

  • 3. For this example, we’re going to choose Auto – Center to Center since our location is random and no other drawings will be imported which might rely on it’s position in space.

  • 4. In the middle of the bottom of the dialog box you’ll see three more options, the first of which is Colors. Some people like to choose Preserve so they can easily see that, since objects drawn in Revit are black (by default), any objects in color came from AutoCAD. Most of the time, I like to choose Black and White. Choose that.

  • 5. The Layers option allows you to choose which layers from AutoCAD you want to import. Leave this on the default option, All.

  • 6. Finally, Import Units allows you to specify the units of the drawing being imported. This is important because Revit’s architectural units are feet by default while AutoCAD’s architectural units are inches. While you can keep this option on Auto-Detect, I like to set it to inches just to be sure.

  • 7. Finally, the Place at pull-down menu lets you choose on which level you want your drawing placed. We’ll leave this on the default Level 1 as well.

  • acfig02

  • 8. Click OK to import the file.

  • 9. Next, we need to create Revit objects based on the imported CAD data. Let’s start with the walls. The exterior walls are 6″ masonry walls. On the Design Bar, click Walls and then from the Type-selector, choose Basic Wall : Generic – 6″ Masonry.

  • 10. We could certainly trace over the lines from the AutoCAD file, but there is a faster way. To the right of the Type-selector pull-down, click the Pick Lines arrow.

  • 11. Click the pull-down menu next to Height and choose Level 2.

  • 12. Next to Loc Line, click the pull-down menu and choose Finish Face: Interior. This is telling Revit that the Interior walls that you’ll create should remain fixed. In other words, the wall will grow to the exterior (which is the line from AutoCAD you’ll be selecting) if you changed it to a different thickness in the future.

  • acfig03a

  • 13. Place your mouse over one of the exterior wall lines until it highlights AND a dashed blue line appears inside your sketched walls. In many cases, if you now tapped the Tab key, Revit would try to select all connected walls allowing you to create all of the exterior walls in one shot. This feature works better when trying to select more than one connected Revit object as opposed to an imported AutoCAD line. Click the exterior line and the new Revit wall will be created.

  • 14. Repeat this process for all of the exterior walls.

  • 15. We’ll want to repeat the process again for the interior walls with the wall type Basic Wall : Interior – 4″ Partition (1-hr). Since this is not a wall type built into the standard template file, you’ll need to duplicate one of the others and modify it’s structure. Using the method described in Step 13, use the Loc Line: Finish Face Interior just as before and create the interior walls as in figure 4 below.

  • acfig04

  • 16. Finally, we need to insert the windows and doors. Since part of the doors and all of the windows are currently obscured by the newly created walls, click the Model Graphics Style button at the bottom of the Revit window and choose Wireframe.

  • 17. Place doors and the varying sizes of windows using the object snaps available in Revit.

  • 18. Once finished, if you no longer need to have the DWG as an underlay, click File –> Manager Links.

  • 19. When the dialog box appears, select the drawing file from the list, and click Remove.

  • The completed Revit model will look as it does in the image below:
    If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to comment on this post and I’ll answer as soon as possible.

    Starting Your Revit Model from a 2D AutoCAD Drawing | CADuzer


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