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Monday, January 31, 2011

Revit MEP: Tip When Creating Revit MEP Content

Here's a post from RevitMEP.blogspot.com from 2007 , but it's something that needs to be looked at today in light of many more engineers and contractors using Revit MEP. Apparently, there's a big issue with face based versus wall based families when Revit files are linked together and consultants don't have floors, walls or ceilings in their models. What's worse, Revit 2011 products deal with this differently.

I'm sure I've posted about this somewhere berfore but we're doing Revit family creation for a major manufacturer right now, and this issue came up with one of their customers using Revit MEP. I wanted to bring it to your attention if you're new to Revit so you avoid any pitfalls in content creation.

If anyone out there reading this has more to add to this, please add comments or feel free to send me a guest post.

Source: http://revitmep.blogspot.com/2007/08/tip-when-creating-revit-mep-content.html

There are various family's that come out of the box with Revit MEP, and they work well when placed directly in an architectural model. But most consultants will link an architectural project into their MEP project, and element hosted families don't insert well into linked files.

For example, you cannot place a ceiling-hosted family on a linked ceiling or a wall-hosted family in a wall. The ceiling or wall needs to actually exist in the "host" model for you to be able to host a Light Fixture on it. This is how element hosting works in Revit.

The solution here is to use a Face-hosted Light Fixture family. Revit can detect the face of a ceiling through a link and therefore the Lighting Fixture can be hosted on that face.

Second, element-hosted families will be deleted if the linked element host is deleted. This is not true for Face-Hosted families. Face-Hosted families will be unhosted if their host face is deleted. which makes them sit in 3D space where they were originally. You can then re-host them to another face if you'd like.

So if you are creating your own MEP families, use a Face-hosted template so that your content can be placed in a linked file.

Following are the basic kinds of family templates:

  • Wall-based
  • Ceiling-based
  • Floor-based
  • Roof-based
  • Standalone
  • Line-based
  • Face-based
Wall-based, ceiling-based, floor-based, and roof-based templates are known as host-based templates. A host-based family can only be placed in a project if an element of its host type is present.

The wall-based template is for components inserted into walls. Wall components can include openings, such that when you place the component on a wall, it also cuts an opening in the wall. Some examples of wall-based components include doors, windows, and lighting fixtures. Each template includes a wall; the wall is necessary for showing how the component fits in a wall.

The ceiling-based template is for components inserted into ceilings. Ceiling components can include openings, so that when you place the component on a ceiling, it also cuts an opening in the ceiling. Examples of ceiling-based families include sprinklers and recessed lighting fixtures.

The floor-based template is for components inserted into floors. Floor components can include openings, so that when you place the component on a floor, it also cuts an opening in the floor. An example of a floor-based family is a heating register.

The roof-based template is for components inserted into roofs. Roof components can include openings, so that when you place the component on a roof, it also cuts an opening in the roof. Examples of roof-based families include soffits and fans.

The standalone template is for components that are not host-dependent. A standalone component can appear anywhere in a model and can be dimensioned to other standalone or host-based components. Examples of standalone families include columns, furniture, and appliances.

The line-based template is for creating detail and model families that use 2-pick placement similar to structural beams. For information about detail families with 2-pick placement.

The face-based template is for creating work plane-based families that can modify their hosts. Families created from the template can make complex cuts in hosts. Instances of these families can be placed on any surface, regardless of its orientation.

Original: Revit MEP: Tip When Creating Revit MEP Content


#Sustainable Design and Green Building from 1939

There's nothing like having a 3 year old in the house. Why is it that if we did the same over and over again in our adult life, we'd be tagged with obsessive compulsive disorder, but it's perfectly fine for a 2 or 3 year old to watch the same movie over and over and over and over again without any medical diagnosis other than the parents going nuts.

Well, JR loves the Wizard of Oz. There was something interesting that I saw in the movie and I don't remember if it was during the 20th or 200th viewing of the movie. I'm sure you've seen the movie yourself, but did you ever pay attention to the scene with the witch on top of the roof?

Guess what? It's a green roof. Yup, just like the ones you're starting to design right now. How did they know back then to be so sustainable? On another note, it looks like the tin man was made from recycled materials and the scarecrow was made with all organic fiber which was also a great insulator.

Last, but not least, where did Dorothy go? To the Emerald City of course. Did you notice it's green. Green...emerald. Oh my gosh, an entire green city back in 1939.

As we try to incorporate green design and sustainability into our modern day lives, take a moment to think about this classic movie and ponder the amount of green designed into it.



Upcoming Expiration Dates for #Autodesk Labs Technology Previews

There's only one thing I love more than technology and that's even more and newer technology.  I don't know if you all appreciate this, and I certainly know that the 2D year olds with their Y2D issues will never touch this stuff or even look at it ( over their 56k modems).  

If you're wondering where your subscription dollars go every year, about $500 million of it goes towards developing new software and updating existing products.  I don't know any other design authoring company that invests that much money continually into their products. Sometimes I wonder why features of Revit make their way into other unnamed products which just confuses the 2D year olds into thinking they can't benefit from BIM tools, but eventually Autodesk will figure out that it's you passionate Revit fanatics that will sustain the development of the great products below.

In the meantime, make sure you research the products below as they will be a part of your life in the near future.

Source: It is Alive in the Lab
about an hour ago by Scott Sheppard
Milk1 Some technology previews are like milk cartons. They have expiration dates on them. Here is a list of active Autodesk Labs technology previews and their associated expiration dates. The list is sorted by expiration date - so act fast if you want to provide feedback on these technology previews before they retire or graduate.
When a technology preview expires, the technology preview no longer operates. A preview has a time bomb in it that makes it stop working on a particular date. We do this so there is a sense of urgency to try a technology preview and get back to us. Our customers are busy people, and without this, they would just say "I'll get to that later."
When a technology preview expires, any data that has been created by it continues to be valid. It's just that the data cannot be edited using the technology preview since the preview does not run anymore. Certainly new data can't be created either.
This approach allows us to get early feedback on the general idea, user interface, performance characteristics, and general correctness of the results.
shape Shape Extraction for AutoCAD 2011 was:
soon to be:
Krypton Project Krypton Technology Preview for Inventor 2011 / 2010 Pro/E 5.0, and SolidWorks 2010 03-21-2011
scandium32 Scandium Technology Preview for Moldflow Insight 2011) 03-30-2011
perfmon Performance Monitor for AutoCAD 2011-based applications 05-01-2011
Civil3D Bridge Modeler for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 05-01-2011
Vasari Project Vasari conceptual modeling with cloud-based analysis 05-15-2011
Layout32 Factory Layout Optimization for AutoCAD 2011, AutoCAD Architecture 2011, AutoCAD Mechanical 2011 05-31-2011
Fusion Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 06-01-2011
subassembly Subassembly Composer Technology Preview for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 06-15-2011
solar Point Cloud Tool for 3ds Max 2011 / 2010 and 3ds Max Design 2011 / 2010 06-20-2011
bimft32 BIM Family Toolkit for Inventor 2011 08-01-2011
pse Photo Scene Editor for Project Photofly 08-01-2011
Galileo32 Project Galileo city modeling 08-15-2011
Mesh Mesh Enabler for Inventor 2011 01-31-2012
cc CommunityCommands for AutoCAD 2011 / 2010 9 months
after installation
We do this because we have a sense of urgency. A development team is focused on a technology preview for a project interval. While they are, they want the feedback and the ability to make a decision so they can continue development of the technology or quickly move on to something else. We appreciate it when we debut technology previews, people try them right away, and provide us with an up or down vote. Your experience shapes the future of our technology indeed.
Sniffing the cartons to see what can still be tasted is alive in the lab.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Using a Label for a Formula Result in a Revit Tag - The #Revit Clinic @revitclinic

Let's take a Revit project where you have a casework family loaded.  As an example, you want a casework tag to take the Width and Depth parameters, add them together, and display the result as part of a tag label.

I have included one approach below.  Please keep in mind this is for component or in-place component families:

1.  First edit the family, and add a new shared parameter.  This shared parameter will be used to add 2 existing parameter values in the family.

2.  For this example, we will simply add the existing Width and Depth parameter values.  In the Family Types dialog > Parameters > Add > Shared Parameter > Select, and either choose an existing shared parameter or create a new one.  Add the shared parameter to the family.

3.  Once loaded into the family, enter the desired formula under the Formulacolumn.  Ensure the results appear as expected.  Save the family, and load into the project.

4.  Next, create or edit your specific tag.  In this example, I created a new Family > Annotations > Generic Tag > and changed the Family Category to Casework Tags.

5.  Add a label, or edit an existing label.  Click Add Parameter > Select > and choose the Shared Parameter you created earlier and entered the formula for.  Load the tag into the project.

6.  In the project, tag your family with the new tag, and the label should represent the result of the family shared parameter.

Full Size Video


Friday, January 28, 2011

Autodesk Releases Carbon Impact of Autodesk University 2010

Now if they could only reduce the amount of RFIs generated from the CAD process.

Live Event Attendance in U.S. Grows 11 Percent; Per Attendee Footprint Shrinks by 4 Percent; 92 Percent of Las Vegas Event Waste Diverted from Landfill

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK), a world leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, chose its inaugural Sustainability Summit to announce the greenhouse gas (GHG) and other environmental impacts of Autodesk University (AU) 2010. The results revealed that in-person attendance at the company's main annual user conference in Las Vegas grew 16 percent, even as the per-attendee carbon footprint was reduced by 4 percent over 2009 due to increased online participation.

"Each year, Autodesk hosts several conferences attended by thousands from across the globe. While these events are important for our business, they can have a profound impact on the environment, mainly in the form of greenhouse gas emissions from travel, energy, and lodging, as well as materials use and waste"

"Each year, Autodesk hosts several conferences attended by thousands from across the globe. While these events are important for our business, they can have a profound impact on the environment, mainly in the form of greenhouse gas emissions from travel, energy, and lodging, as well as materials use and waste," said Lynelle Cameron, director of sustainability at Autodesk. "In fiscal year 2010, our largest events contributed 14 percent of the total Autodesk carbon footprint, but we're working to continue lowering that number and reducing the overall environmental impact of our events. One of our key strategies to that end is driving more online attendance through events like AU Virtual."

Increased Eco-Responsibility at AU2010

In 2010, AU brought together a record 30,000 attendees for live conferences in Las Vegas, Tokyo, and Beijing, and online through AU Virtual. Online participants in the event increased 18 percent over 2009, while physical attendees at the main event in Las Vegas increased 11 percent. Even with these attendee increases, however, the analysis conducted by the company shows the benefits of impressive efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the event:

  • Reduction in materials use remains high: Beginning with AU2009, Autodesk reduced the amount of water bottles at the event, saving 3.3 tons of plastic from landfill. In addition, the company moved from printed show guides to a mobile device-based application for attendees, while eliminating handouts for AU classes, reducing paper use enough to save 314 trees.
  • Solid waste diversion keeps materials from landfill: For AU2010, more than 92 percent of all solid waste generated by the event was diverted from landfill, with food scraps going to a local pig farm and all recyclable materials being processed in Las Vegas.
  • Attendee travel continues to be largest impact: As ever with such large events, travel of attendees and employees to and from the event—Scope Three emissions—was the primary contributor to carbon impacts. These emission numbers remained flat per physical attendee, however, even as event participation grew, due in large part to an increase in online attendees.
  • Greening event is important to attendees: In a post-event survey of AU2010 attendees, more than 61 percent of respondents said it was important to them that Autodesk considers sustainability in its operation of the event.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries – including the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects – use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.

Autodesk and AutoCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2011 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy BIM day to you #BIM #Revit

I swear I had nothing to do with what you're about to see below.  Today is my birthday and my staff surprised me with a very special birthday cake.  I never imagined in my life that a photograph of my license plate would ever make it onto a birthday cake.  The only thing better than BIM is Birthday BIM technology. 

Even the candles were special.  'BIM Party'! How crazy is that.  You'd think I was nuts about BIM.  Well, I can tell you that BIM consumes my life.  From my first email of the morning to the last blog post of the night and every conversation with clients, prospects, vendors and others in the industry, sometimes I think I have the best job in the world.  I get to play with technology all day long and consult with people on how to get BIM to increase their bottom line.

For me, my birthday may happen once a year, but every day is BIM day.  For those of you playing along at home, tomorrow is my son JR's birthday.  It's been 3 years that he's been a part of my life and a part of my blog.  He is my birthday present every year and it's nice to know that several thousand BIM lovers can share my special day with me and see just how absurd it is to have had someone go to the extreme of a Revit 3D license plate birthday cake.  

I'm taking the day off tomorrow to spend with my son and give him a very special day of his own.  Sometimes you just have stop and smell the Revits. 


Drummer for Iggy Pop

This has nothing to do with BIM.  The main reason I saw interest in it was that until recently, Iggy Pop lived on the block next to ours.  Walking one morning with my wife, we accidentally timed our walking past his house with him out on the lawn picking up his newspaper in his bathrobe.  

As for other timing, how do you get hit by a car in the middle of the dessert?  Was he so engrossed in eating a piece of pie that he didn't see the car coming?  Excuse me. I've just been informed that he was in the desert, not eating dessert.  Still, it's not like he was walking on the highway?  Well, maybe he was eating dessert in the desert or perhaps eating a sandwich (insert bad joke groan here).  

Ever see those stories about someone getting hit by a train?  My wife always asks how that's possible.  There's only one thing to do when walking near train tracks.  Yup, look out for trains. It's not like you can't see or hear them?   How hard is it to avoid getting hit by a train?

Speaking of oncoming trains, how about all of the architects and engineers who are in a dark tunnel and either completely missed the BIM train or are going to get run over by it.  Well, it's more work for the rest of us.  Remember kids, if you're using Revit, don't ever try to convince others to use Revit.  The fewer people using it and flourishing with it means more work for you and higher fees.  Let the 2D year olds think they don't need it.

PS. I didn't plan on tying BIM into this one.  It kind of just happened on its own.     

NE MiamiHerald.com: Obituaries

(AP) -- Drummer Alex Kirst, a member of The Nymphs glam rock band who became a member of Iggy Pop's band, was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash in the California desert. He was 47.


Unemployment Rate To Remain Above 9 Percent Through 2011

Reason number one for CAD operators to learn Revit...

"The recovery in employment has been slowed not only by the moderate growth in output in the past year and a half but also by structural changes in the labor market, such as a mismatch between

 the requirements of available jobs and the skills of job seekers, 

that have hindered the reemployment of workers who have lost their job," CBO's report says.


BIMStorm - Chicago today!!!

BIMSTORMLOGO_sm.gif CHI.jpg SignMeUp.jpg

BIMstorm™ Chicago - Jan. 27, 2011

LIVE in Chicago + On a Webinar Open to All

Grant Park in Chicago will be the "landing" area for new projects during the presentation

I think there will be some controversy on the site selection....

  • When: Thursday, January 27th at 5:30 PM
  • Location: Virtually Online, or at HOK, 60 East Van Buren Street, 14th Floor | Chicago, IL 60605 USA

  • Kimon Onuma will be presenting:
  • Getting Real with BIM, GIS and Facility Management
  • The Huge Opportunity for 21st Century Architects, Engineers, Contractors & Owners

  • BuildingSMART alliance Interest Group Chicago is hosting a presentation by Kimon Onuma, FAIA that will be both in-person and on the web Thursday, January 27 at 5:30 pm Central.

  • Local attendees need to arrive at HOK offices at Wabash and Van Buren by 5:30 pm Central to pass through security and receive special workshop instructions for creating live Building Information Models on the web with mobile devices and Excel.

  • Web attendees can sign in early and also receive the model making instructions.

  • Onuma's presentation will start at 5:45 pm and is titled Getting Real with BIM, GIS and Facility Management. In a 45 minute presentation, he will demonstrate the advanced, but accessible, processes being used by the GSA, Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Defense, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, California Community College system and private companies.

  • Automatic creation of BIM from Excel and transfer of information between BIM and GIS to increase productivity and profitability from initial planning through facility management will be demonstrated. See more presentation details below.

  • The session will end with 45 minutes of web interaction and special guests to demonstrate processes described in the presentation.

How you can participate in this BIMStorm

If you would just like to watch the presentation please sign up below. If you want to interact with the participants there are many easy ways to get started. Level 1 is the easiest.

Getting Real with BIM, GIS and Facility Management: The Huge Opportunity for 21st Century Architects, Engineers, Contractors & Owners

Cloud computing through the internet with interconnected applications allow all levels of users to collaborate with open standards based information in unprecedented ways. Real time interaction on the Internet is possible today through BIMStorms. Sustainability goals of the 2030 challenge + Executive Order 13514 can be addressed with Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the cloud. Kimon Onuma, a leader in the BIM world and creator of BIMStorms, will demonstrate how you can maximize the value of the "I" of BIM.

With everything connected -- the world connected to the city, the city to the site, the site to the building and the building to the contents of the building -- the complexity creates immense challenges. Facility management throughout the entire life-cycle from early planning to sustainment is critical to support high performance buildings. Informed design decisions with access to real-time performance and energy data become clear with connected facility information at local and regional levels. Owners using these processes for design and integrated project delivery are recognizing the benefits of low carbon collaboration that leverages knowledge and expertise with unified models. The session is geared for all levels of owners, operators, architects and planners, and illustrates how to make facility information more connected and relevant today.

  • BIM
  • GIS
  • BIM and Facility Management
  • BIMStorms
  • BIM and Cloud Computing
  • BIM and Building Automation Systems
  • Keeping Complex Data Simple for Everyone to Participate
  • Open Standards

Join us by Webinar or Live In Chicago

  • Participants will also receive instructions on how to create BIMs for Chicago live during the presentation from iPhones, iPads, Androids and PCs.
  • Reserve your Webinar seat now
  • Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011
  • Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM CST



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Autodesk 2008 Products Retirement - March 15th, 2011

Well, it's that time of year.  I'm sure all of my Revit readers are on subscription and have nothing to worry about.  

For those of you who don't understand the system, there's really no way around making the investment in your core software with Autodesk.  The pay once every 3 year approach is no longer a viable business practice.

So, with that, please be advised that March 15th is the date of the retirement of Autodesk 2008 products.  Effective March 16th, Autodesk 2008 products will be upgradeable via the Legacy program.  Essentially, it's a 30% discount off the retail price of the product you want.  You're actually purchasing a new license of software, so you can still keep and use your 2008 or earlier (back to release 14) license.  Legacy upgrades do require a subscription purchase.  If all else fails, you can hope for an Autodesk promotion someday that will maybe give you an extra 5 or 10% discount, but you never know when that will happen.

Looking at AutoCAD as an example over a 5 year period.
Subscription for 5 years @ $450/year totals $2250.
If you didn't pay that and wanted to upgrade 2007 or earlier right now, it's $3995 -30% plus $450 for subscription totalling $3247.  Wow, you really showed Autodesk. Not paying subscription all those years costs you an extra $1,000. 

If you had AutoCAD 2008, 2009 or 2010, and don't want to be on subscription, you can upgrade for retail - 50%.  That's $3995 -50% + subscription totalling $2447.50.  Subscription for those three years would have been $1350.  Again, you're paying over an extra $1,000.

On a side note on subscription in case you haven't renewed it.  You have 364 days from the date of your expired subscription to do a late renewal.  It's an extra $100 (so Revit Architecture Suite would be $825) but at day 365, it would be that 50% off retail of $2995 + $725 totaling $3720.  You'd have to to not pay subscription for over 5 years to break even.  Revit just isn't the sort of product to upgrade every 5 years.  

Lastly, if you consider that you work 2080 hours per year and divide that into $725/year for subscription, it's 35 cents an hour.  Certainly, you get some value out of Revit vs CAD that's worth 35 cents. 

I was talking to a client today who has 8 seats of software and said they had no money to pay for subscription.  I told them about the 364 days timeline and suggested that they try to do a late renewal of one seat a month.  It may cost them a few extra dollars, but at least it would save them from the pain of paying a lot more money later.  

I like to do the right thing for my clients.  Logically, I would make more money from the clients who aren't on subscription and have to pay a lot of money later to upgrade or pay for Legacy pricing, but chances are with that attitude, they wouldn't stay in business and that doesn't help me or them.  

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Without A Net: In The Box: OOPS #BIM fail

Oh, this is going to be fun. So, there are several thousand commands and icons for AutoCAD. One of them is so easy to make fun of.

I wish I could hear the comments of the first users of AutoCAD. What did they say about the complexity, limitations and all of the other issues with the first million users. This is almost too easy. There's a command call OOPS? I wonder if this command is available for Revit users. Oops, I never should have done 2D CAD. Oops, I should have started using Revit sooner. Opps., my reseller was right and Revit is so much better to design with. Oops, I should have made my engineers switch to Revit. Oops, I should have paid for Revit training. Oops, where am I going to get Revit designers to replace all of these CAD operators. Oops, I shouldn't have kept dropping my fees and I have no idea how to charge more for BIM. Oops, I should have started reading Gregory's blog 3 years ago. Oops, I should have taken the LEED AP exam and now don't have time to learn how to be sustainable. Oops, I shouldn't have worn that dorky tie to work today. Oops, I should have taken time to count and schedule all of the doors in my CAD drawing. Oops, 1.4 + 1.4 doors shouldn't be rounded up to 3. Oops, I made too many oops comments.

There you have it. My commentary on OOPS. Is there a polyline OOPS command? Just imagine typing POOPS in your AutoCAD command line. This whole obsession
with drafting buildings with a command line is just so absurd.

Why wouldn't you want to automate the design process? Why would you want to manually draft every single line on a screen to draw a set of documents for a building.

Why would you want to do your job in such an antiquated way? Why would you not want to invest in new technologies that make the construction process better.

OOPS. It's too late to UNDO all of your past mistakes. Where's the FORWARD command?

Source: http://withoutanet.typepad.com/without_a_net/2011/01/in-the-box-oops.html

Today's featured command is OOPS and was recommended by Without a Net readers, Richard Woollacott and Todd Rogers.
The OOPS command has been around for a very long time but I couldn't nail down exactly how long so I asked dave espinosa-aguilar if he knew. He dug through his old AutoCAD manuals and found a reference to it in his 1.4 (AutoCAD-86) manual so it's a least been around that long and probably longer:
autocad-86 manual page.jpg
In the same way that LAYERP is a like a targeted undo for recent changes to layer settings, OOPS is an undo for the last set of objects you erased. Whereas UNDO undoes operations you've performed (in reverse sequence), with OOPS you can erase something, do several other operations and then issue the OOPS command, and the erased objects will be restored without affecting the other stuff you did in between.
OOPS is a good for when you realize, several commands later, that you actually shouldn't have erased that set of objects a few commands ago. That's the beauty of OOPS: you can have 200 commands between now and the time you last erased something and OOPS will bring it back. Before there was an option to retain objects when creating a block, OOPS was ideal for getting your objects back after they were turned into a block.
There are a couple things to know about OOPS:
  • OOPS is only good for one resurrection at a time. Unlike UNDO, there is no stack for OOPS; once you restore the last set of erased objects the OOPS command will have no affect until after something else has been erased.
  • You can't use OOPS to restore an object whose layer has since been purged.
  • It is somewhat common that using the UNDO command can affect OOPS; not too surprising considering what those commands do. Your mileage may vary.
I know that OOPS is old hat for many of you but I expect there are new AutoCAD users for whom OOPS is brand new and shiny.
Thanks to Richard and Todd for the suggestion and dave e-a for the historical research.

Original Link: Without A Net: In The Box: OOPS


Revit Quiz: Why does my Door Family with 2 Nested Doors appear as 3 in my Door Schedule? - The #Revit Clinic @revitclinic

Did I ever tell you the first thing I ever saw in Revit that made me fall in love with it was the automatic door schedule. As a contractor, who's done his share of counting and measuring, I mean estimating, I've never seen a door schedule that matches the number of doors on a project. How do most architectural firms solve that problem? Easy, they stop including door schedules.

Let's put it this way. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance. I stopped paying the bills. Why is it so difficult to put an accurate door schedule with non BIM software. I can imagine that pocket doors, which don't have the 90 degree and arc may not make it onto the schedule, but other than those, there's really not an excuse for not properly documenting the CDs.

Anyway, enough of my thinking that Revit is adoorable. I think I've used up my window of opportunity .

So, here's another great type from the Clinic. Enjoy and put on some music by The Doors.

Source: http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/01/revit-quiz-why-does-my-door-family-with-2-nested-doors-appear-as-3-doors-in-my-schedule.html

Starting a new series today, with some quick one question Revit quizzes. If you have any feedback please do not hesitate to leave some comments below…

The scenario is as follows:


You have a custom door family, containing 2 nested shared door families. You use the host family to lay out the nested families. When you schedule the doors, you notice each instance of the custom family is being counted as 3 doors versus the expected 2. Why is this?

Click here for the answer

Check below for 2 approaches

1. You can set the host door family to another family category, such as Generic Model. This is how similar families, such as cased openings function. In that case, only the 2 nested door families would schedule. For a good recent post on this check out Dept. of Reviteristics - An Opening isn't a Door on Revit OpEd.

2. Create and add a shared parameter in the door families; it could be a Yes/No Parameter called "Schedule". Then in the host family, un-check "Schedule".

Lastly, filter your door schedule to exclude any matches. Simple video example, with no sound, here.

Link back: Revit Quiz: Why does my Door Family with 2 Nested Doors appear as 3 in my Door Schedule? - The Revit Clinic


Monday, January 24, 2011

CTC Releases #Revit Family Tools as a Free Download

If you're interested in purchasing them, please drop me a note for pricing.  www.revit3d.com/g


Minneapolis, MN – January 18, 2011  – CTC Inc., the leading provider of Revit add on solutions, today announced the release of the Revit Family Tools program as a free download.

CTC helps AEC companies increase productivity by leveraging building information modeling data with the Revit Express Tools suite of Revit add ons. As an Autodesk Gold Partner and member of the Autodesk Developer Network, CTC is releasing the new Revit Family Tools program as an addition to the Revit Express Tools suite of solutions to benefit Revit users in every discipline. The free Revit Family Tools program can be downloaded from www.RevitExpressTools.com  

Developed for use with Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, and Revit MEP, the Revit Family Tools assist many aspects of Revit file management including the ability to compare and merge shared parameters, efficiently delete backup files, tools for type catalogs, and a family file version detector. More detailed information on these features can be viewed at www.RevitExpressTools.com  

“The Revit Express Tools have been very well received throughout the Revit user community, and we wanted to thank people by offering a new program free of charge,” said Saeid Berenjian, Product Director for Revit Express Tools. “The Revit Family Tools program simplifies Revit file management in a variety of ways, making the Revit file management process more efficient and enjoyable.”

In addition to this free program, other applications in the Revit Express Tools suite offer unprecedented solutions like the Revit Family Processor which can update/change materials and parameters of an entire content library in a matter of minutes, and WaterMark for Revit Families protects your Revit content from unauthorized use.

About CTC  CTC, Inc., is a leading provider of technology for building design and construction solutions. With a broad portfolio of national clients, CTC is an Autodesk Gold Partner, a Premier member of the Autodesk Content Network, an Autodesk Authorized Training Center, and a member of Autodesk Developer Network. For additional information about CTC, visit www.revit3d.com/g

About Revit Express Tools  Revit Express Tools are time saving programs that integrate with Autodesk Revit software. This powerful suite of Revit add on products were purpose built to leverage the power of building information modeling to increase user productivity. CTC is looking to expand the distribution partners of the Revit Express Tools. More information is available at http://www.cadtechnologycenter.com/ctcproducts.html  ###

Autodesk and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Revit Express Tools is a registered trademark of CAD Technology Center (CTC) in the USA.  Contact: CTC, Inc. (866) 941 1181 intadmin@cadtechnologycenter.com www.cadtechnologycenter.com

Inside the Factory: How many Revits does it take to...?

Wouldn't it be great if your software vendor actually wanted to find out what you wanted in their product? Your day has arrived. Too bad the Archicad users don't get this from Graphisoft. They're stuck complaining every day in the forums. It does make for some funny reading when you're bored.

Come on in and partake in some Autodesk hospitality and make your voices heard. Get your subscription's money's worth.

Source: http://insidethefactory.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/01/in-the-2010-subscription-advantage-release-and-later-for-all-in-2011-revit-architecture-usersreceivedaccess-to-more-of-the.html

In the 2010 subscription advantage release, and later for all in 2011, Revit Architecture users received access to more of the Revit Structure functionality that had been previously unavailable.

This involved exposing more of the structure tools and enhancing elements like slabs so the direction could be controlled via the sketch and not just the span direction annotation.

We also demoted the Architectural Column making the Structural column the default choice for the column split button. All this was in response to customer feedback.



As part of some further efforts to improve all our Revit products (including Revit MEP, and Revit Structure). We would like to understand your needs and your workflow better; and particularly your need to work on more than one Revit product for your job. Which features/functions do you would need in addition to your primary design software whichever it is?

To help us gather this information we have a survey:


It should take about 15 minutes of your time to complete and the information gathered will only be used by our product design team.

Comments on this post are also welcome . How are you using Revit in multi-discipline scenarios?

Thanks in advance for your participation.


Inside the Factory: How many Revits does it take to...?


Vasari Experiment - Shading analysis #LEED #Sustainability

Interesting post on taking advantage of free technology to help make better design decisions.
3d? Design Decisions Deliver.  Hmmm...sounds catchy.

So, "everyone" (not really sure who everyone is, but I know they're out there) "says" (at least I think so) that the Massing environment is not useful to them, because they don't do twisty curvy buildings, they only do straight boring buildings. Well, I have a little example of a "boring" little house:

Read the rest:
http://dorevit.blogspot.com/2011/01/vasari-experiment.html

When's the last time one of your parking garage designs became a front page newspaper story?

Welcome to my neighborhood. I get to drive by this concrete piece of art all of the time.  Designed by world famous  Herzog & de Meuron, this is a testament to the creativity of these artists.  

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/us/24garage.html

A Miami Beach Event Space. Parking Space, Too.

Iwan Baan Photography
When Rolls-Royces aren’t in the way, the garage offers stunning views for dinners and weddings.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — For her wedding over the weekend, Nina Johnson had worked through a predictable checklist of locations in town: hotel ballrooms, restaurant halls and catering outfits.
Maggie Steber
Nina Johnson and Daniel Milewski’s wedding on Saturday night was “windy as all heck, cinematic and absolutely dramatic!” she said in an e-mail.
Michael McElroy for The New York Times
People have asked to use the parking garage for wine tastings, dinner parties and yoga classes.
Michael McElroy for The New York Times
Robert Wennett, the developer of the garage, interviewed 10 top architects around the world and settled on Herzog & de Meuron.
Ms. Johnson put an image of the parking garage on her 230 wedding invitations.
In the end, though, she opted for the most glamorous, upscale and stylish setting she could find — a parking garage.
“When we saw it, we were in total awe,” said Ms. Johnson, 26, an art gallery director. “It’s breathtaking.”
Parking garages, the grim afterthought of American design, call to mind many words. (Rats. Beer cans. Unidentifiable smells.) Breathtaking is not usually among them.
Yet here in Miami Beach, whose aesthetic is equal parts bulging biceps and fluorescent pink, bridal couples, bar mitzvah boys and charity-event hosts are flocking to what seems like the unimaginable marriage of high-end architecture and car storage: a $65 million parking garage in the center of the city.
They are clamoring to use it for wine tastings, dinner parties and even yoga classes. Or taking self-guided tours, snapping photographs and, at times, just gawking.
Created by a colorful Miami developer and a world-renowned architecture firm, it appears to be an entirely new form: a piece of carchitecture that resembles a gigantic loft apartment, with exaggerated ceiling heights, wide-open 360-degree views and no exterior walls. The structure, 1111 Lincoln Road, is so distinctive that Ms. Johnson put its image on her 230 wedding invitations.
It is, in many ways, an ode to Miami’s flashy automobile culture. Rather than seeking to hide cars, as garages have done for decades, it openly celebrates them.
While car enthusiasts rejoiced, eager to showcase their Aston Martins and Rolls-Royces, something unexpected happened. Ordinary people, many from far beyond Miami, came too — with no intention of parking there.
“I went to the top and worked my way down,” said Peter Lampen, an architect who traveled 1,200 miles from New Jersey to see the seven-story garage.
Ben Traves, a graduate student, has taken so many photographs of the building that security guards have shooed him out. “I am just really drawn to it,” he confessed the other day as he toted his camera around the structure.
The garage has an unlikely back story. Its developer, a contemporary art collector named Robert Wennett, bought the property in 2005, inheriting a drab-looking bank office and an unremarkable parking lot at the corner of two well-known boulevards, Lincoln and Alton Roads.
Quirky zoning regulations in the city, which is chronically short on parking, made it profitable to build a large garage — not everyone’s vision of a grand gateway to the retail and restaurant-filled streets that surround the site.
Mr. Wennett, who sprinkles his properties with $1 million Dan Graham sculptures and admits that he hates most of the garages he has ever parked in, aimed high, interviewing 10 top architects around the world. He settled on Herzog & de Meuron, a Swiss firm best known for transforming a power station into the Tate Modern gallery in London and designing the Olympic stadium in Beijing (known, by its appearance, as the Bird’s Nest).
Mr. Wennett told the architects that he wanted something close to the grand hall of a train station — big, airy, light-filled and head-turning. What they produced, in early 2010, was all those things: a garage with floor heights of up to 34 feet, three times the norm; a striking internal staircase, with artwork embedded in its base; precarious looking (and feeling) ledges that rely on industrial-strength cable to hold back cars and people; and a glass cube that houses a designer clothing store, perhaps the first in the middle of a parking garage.
In a final flourish, the architects created a soaring top floor that doubles as an event space, with removable parking barriers. It can be rented for about $12,000 to $15,000 a night.
“This is not a parking garage,” Mr. Wennett said. “It’s really a civic space.”
And a private home. Mr. Wennett built himself a large penthouse apartment on the roof.
A handful of well-known architects have dabbled, reluctantly, in parking — in the 1960s,Paul Rudolph, dean of architecture at Yale, designed a giant garage in downtown New Haven. But it seemed to reinforce rather than buck convention, with its dark corridors and imposing scale.
The structure in Miami Beach, by contrast, “sets a new bar for what parking garages could and should be,” said Cathy Leff, the director of the Wolfsonian museum of design here. Garages in Miami and around the country, in their attempts to blend in, she said, “become the most identifiable buildings because they are these big, hideous boxes.”
Not all the reviews are fawning. In interviews, several Miami drivers grumbled about the cost of parking in the garage — typically $4 an hour, depending on the time of day, compared with about $1 an hour in nearby municipal lots.
And a few wondered if Miami Beach, already legendary for its kitsch, should become known around the world for creating a thrilling place to park. “It says something about the aesthetic down here,” said Lisa Gottlieb, a film professor who lives in Miami Beach. “I guess this is what we bring to the table — a fancy parking garage.”
For the ultra-luxury-car set here, however, the garage has become an irresistible display case to make their consumption more conspicuous.
“I wouldn’t even think of parking anywhere else when I’m downtown,” said Douglas Sharon, a financial adviser, who steers his gray Ferrari into the garage several times a week.
Perhaps fittingly, Ms. Johnson was introduced to the building as a driver, not a bride. Parking her car there, she was taken by the views and theatrical space, which she softened for the wedding with potted trees, candles and red roses.
Even so, she acknowledged that it was somewhat tricky explaining to her guests why she decided to hold her black-tie wedding amid the concrete, and just above their own parked cars. Some family members wondered if she was kidding. One cracked a joke about the band playing from the back of a pickup truck.
“When they saw the space,” she said, “they got it.”


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