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Thursday, June 30, 2011

AIA fee deregulation and the future of BIM

Wow, what started out as an idea in my head really gave me a lot to think about. I got a call today from the office manager of a architecture firm client of ours. About 2 years ago they needed to get 10 people trained. Of course, they didn't want to stop production and train them all in one shot which posed the problem of how many $5000 batches of custom training they could afford. Of course, one was the answer. So, I made them a deal. I told them if they gave me the $4000 up front, they could send their ten students a few at a time to our regular monthly classes at our office.

It worked out really well for us and them, but she called today and asked if they had any credit left on the group plan. They actually added more people back then and I added additional blocks of 4 people for $2500 for them. She asked if the price was still $625. I told her what the normal price was and she wasn't happy about that.

Well, that started making me think about what happened to the architectural industry where you guys never have any money to invest in technology and training. How exactly are you supposed to pay rent, payroll, computers, software, subscription and all of the other things you need and stay in business, especially with the way things are.

I remembrer someone telling me that the Department of Justice made architects stop charging set fees for work. With no set fees, competition started to make you lower your prices and it's been a downward spiral ever since. Now, with people desperate for work, it seems that some people are designing for free, not for fee.

That led me to an interesting post, http://archinect.com/forum/thread/29395/aia-fee-deregulation, about the deregulation that you may want to look at:

here's always going to be another architect who will quote the work for less ... we each have to make a better case that we're providing the value inherent in the fees that we quote ... until we do that in such a way that the client can see, and appreciate, that value, we will not enperience higher fees

-- remember this issue is with FEES not salaries... ..Architecture firms are never going to be viable entities if we are trying to undercut fees yet be 'in line' with salary increases..
Well, that makes a little sense why someone would try to drag down the price for training, but as a BIM consulting firm who specializes in the BIM workflow, it's hard to negotiate when there are so few people who can get you up to speed quickly in the CAD to BIM conversion. I feel the worst for the CAD Manager who is trying to become a BIM Manager. You have no idea what you're in for with that one.

Which brings me to two final points. One is, how the hell do you get your fees higher with BIM? If you can model a building in Revit faster than in AutoCAD, does that mean you need to lower your fee, or raise it since the quality should be higher and there would be fewer problems in getting the building built. You have a lot of issues to work out with your clients and I wish you good luck growing a spline and standing up to owners trying to negotiate your fees lower and lower. I for one, really want you to be making more money so you don't bitch about me getting my piece of it for software and BIM consulting. I want you to make lots of money so you don't complain about that.

You can buy a shirt made out of polyester, cotton or silk. They could all look the same in the window, but the look and feel and quality are all different. Of course, that silk shirt needs to be dry-cleaned and that will keep on costing you money for years, just like subscription, but damn, don't you look good in that outfit.

So, my final thought is this, in my search I came across an section on the AIA website about Antitrust Compliance Guideline. How much trust and antitrust do they contractors, owners and architects have for eachother? Is trust BIM and antitrust CAD? Just a thought as we ponder how to pay for all of the BIM architects and engineers that will be replacing CAD operators as BIM, LEED, IPD, VDC and FM all require people with lots of experience and technological prowess.
• Click here to Subscribe to the blog via daily email updates for the BIM news you don't want to miss.
• Take our Revit Architecture Essentials class live via the web for only $595 (Next class 7/11-7/13) (24 AIA CEU credits). ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BIM Disciplines

Randy, thanks for putting up with my puns last week at the Revit Technology Conference. BIM280.com has been born and will go somewhere special in the next few days.

In the meantime, there's a word I've been thinking about a lot since it's used in so many contexts.

Here's my thought. If you're not disciplined in your discipline, you're going to be disciplined.

How can one word have so many meanings? What happened to being disciplined? Is this why BIM is so important? You just can't get away with shitty drawings in a BIM world. It forces you to do the right thing and provide a level of quality that's higher, even if you don't think you are getting paid enough from the owner.

Should there be a discipline for BIM? Are BIM users more disciplined? Do they need to be disciplined less? How many disciplines are using BIM? Is it just the BIM 280?

Is there a BIM discipliner in your office? Are the BIM 280 the disciples of BIM?


• Click here to Subscribe to the blog via daily email updates for the BIM news you don't want to miss.
• Take our Revit Architecture Essentials class live via the web for only $595 (Next class 6/13-6/15) (24 AIA CEU credits). ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What Revit Wants: Revit 2012 Web Update 1 - What did it Fix?

Thanks Luke for finding this info.  Don't know why it was so obfuscated in the system.  Luke, we missed you at RTC US, but you're almost famous on our little island.

What Revit Wants
 To quote Kathryn Langan's comment over at the Revit Clinic:
...the Update Enhancement List PDF that is typically provided is still being reviewed. It will be posted to the download pages once it is complete.

But what do we know right now?  At least two things have been fixed: 

Mass Transparency fixed -
the Disappearing Act no longer works after Web Update 1 (which is a good thing!)

Point Cloud placement fixed -

What about you?  Have you noticed any improvements?  Feel free to comment. 

Also, can anyone explain why Update 1 does not show up on the Updates page over at Revit Support?  It only shows up under Product Download...


Revit 2012 Web Update 1 Available

BIM -The Revit Clinic

2012 Boxes 

Web Update 1 for Revit 2012 products is now available for download:

Autodesk Revit Architecture Update 1

Autodesk Revit Structure Update 1

Autodesk Revit MEP Update 1

In addition to the executable files at each page, there is a .zip file of update release content. This content is included within the .exe files, but the .zip can be used can be used individually to manually update content posted to a shared location.




Revit Services & Support - Autodesk product crashes at startup due to missing DirectX Runtime DLLs

Autodesk product crashes at startup due to missing DirectX Runtime DLLs


Your Autodesk product depends on the Microsoft DirectX Runtime. In some cases, the DirectX runtime installation fails without any warning, preventing your Autodesk product from starting when launched.

In these cases, some D3DCompiler_*.dll files may be missing from your Windows\System32 folder:


To resolve this issue, download and install the Microsoft DirectX End-User Runtime.


Welcome AU 2011 Speakers!

AA AU Speaker Forum
We are very excited about this year's conference, given the high-quality proposals you submitted. The AU Team looks forward to working with all of you. Now that you have been notified that your class proposal has been accepted, you have … Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Inside the Factory: Working at a small firm? We want your input.

Inside the Factory: Working at a small firm? We want your input.

Are you an architect or a BIM/CAD manager? Are you from a design firm with 1-20 employees? Are you mainly working on residential and/or light commercial projects? If you would answer YES to all the three questions, we would like your help!

Autodesk is currently working to better understand the needs of smaller design firms. You can help us by completing a 20 minute online exercise located here. (if you have not done this previously.) In the exercise, you will be asked to categorize a number of CAD software features based on its importance for your work. You will also be asked to identify any features that are missing from the presented list that should be made available for these projects. If you are BIM/CAD manager, please also help us to forward this to the architects you are working with.

Your input will allow us to better understand and focus product development on your needs. We greatly appreciate your time and effort!

• Click here to Subscribe to the blog via daily email updates for the BIM news you don't want to miss.

Sharing Your Photo Scenes with Just One File - It is Alive in the Lab

BIM -It is Alive in the Lab

Project Photofly user, Matthew Valentine, shared his YouTube video with us. I added it to the Project Photofly Gallery.


Matthew also shared his 3D Photo Scene with us.

Download Scene_2011_06_23_19_08_30.3dp (7.7K)

Many of you may not be aware of this, but you can share photo scenes with others by just sending your .3dp file to the other people. Project Photofly will do the rest. It's as easy as 1-2-3. Here's what I did to get everything I needed to have a complete photo scene starting with Matthew's one file.

1.1 I created a folder where I placed Matthew's 3D photo scene file. Note that this folder has no other files in it.
2.2 When I double-clicked on Mathew's .3dp file, it invoked the Photo Scene Editor. The Photo Scene Editor let me know that it could not find the source photographs used to create the scene.
 3 I clicked on Download and the Photo Scene Editor downloaded the images from the Project Photofly server.
 4 Now my folder contained the original 3D photo scene file as well as the JPEG image files. The JPEGs were the original images that had been resized to 3 megapixels.
3.5 The Photo Scene Editor did not have the mesh data yet. So I downloaded the mesh data too.
 10 I now had the 3D photo scene based on the standard resolution mesh. I could pan, zoom, or orbit to my heart's content. This is more powerful than just a video alone. If I know the size of one of the objects, I could set the scale and take measurements.
 12 The end result was that my folder had the 3D photo scene file, the photographs, and the mesh data (in a subfolder).

Sharing this way is pretty handy since the photo scene is one small file. Matthew's 3D photo scene file was less than 8K - something that can easily be attached to an email. It's a very winning idea.

Sharing is alive in the lab.




Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm a BIM Builder - A movie by JR

I just made it home from an intense and exhilarating three days at the first annual US Revit Technology Conference. Much more on that later, but for now, it's time for me to play with my son who I missed terribly.

The younger you start loving BIM, the further you can go with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNwzHX0CjBo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Revit University - Thoughts about the Paridgm Shift and the end of the line - #RTCUSA

I want to say thank you to everyone I met and spoke to Revit Technology Conference over the past two days.  It is an honor to be recognized by so many people and to finally meet readers of my blog.  With such a varied range of people I've been able to talk to, I've never been surrounded by so many brilliant, passionate and creative people in my life. 

Every single session I've attended was inspiring and thought provoking.  Being around 280 of leaders of the BIM world has given me so much thought and insight into the future of the AEC industry.  For the life of me, I can't understand why only 280 people attended the conference.  On the opposite side of that coin, what an incredible and intimit gathering of artists and technologists all coexisting peacefully looking for a better way to design and build buildings.

At the end of the day, BIM has nothing to do with technology, software, workflow, process, contracts or anything thing relating to the tools of your job.

Quite simply, BIM is about people.  People who want to work together.  People who want to share thoughts, ideas, visions and all have the same goal, to change the industry for the better with a better way and the ability to agree to disagree and disagree with the status quo. 

I feel terrible for those of you who wanted to attend but don't have bosses who see the value in investing in your learning more and improving the process, and all for the sake of not being to lose you for those precious billable hours.  Shame on them for starving your creativity, desire and passion for BIM.  Shame on you who think that Autodesk University is the best venue and you couldn't attend AU and RTC because of budgets, billing or some other BS.

Will it matter next year?  Wouldn't it be great to blend RTC with AU? No more having to choose between one venue or another.  Wow, kind of like not having to choose between ADT or Revit (a la ADT being added to Revit 9.1 so you had both products in one box).  It will be quite interesting to see what happens in December at AU with all of the Buzz about RTC. There is so much to learn about Revit, BIM, VDC and IPD that we need a class every day to absorb all of the information.

I'm hoping that Revit Technology Conference will merge with BIM Forum as well and meet 3 times a year.  Can you imagine what would happen to have that kind of synergy between architects, contractors and technologists?  I'm so thrilled to be here at RTC US 1.0 and watching the future change before my eyes.  Walk towards the light of Revit with its beautiful white background.  Power to the people who are here making the decisions and changing the fate of the AEC industry forever. 

Thank you to anyone here at RTC who is reading this and who I had the chance to meet and talk to.  We are the BIM 280 USA.   People - Passion - Parametrics.  It's not about the 3D, it's all about the 3P.

It's very simple.  "Keep doing what you've always been doing, just do it in a completely different way" ~Gregory Arkin June 25, 2011


• Click here to Subscribe to the blog via daily email updates for the BIM news you don't want to miss.
• Take our Revit Architecture Essentials class live via the web for only $595 (Next class 6/13-6/15) (24 AIA CEU credits). ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Revit Architecture Services & Support - Enabling verbose logging for installation issues


Applies to all products

nabling verbose logging for installation issues

You are experiencing problems with the installation of an Autodesk product, and you want to enable verbose logging in order to troubleshoot the issue or submit the log files to the Autodesk Product Support Team.
You can configure the Microsoft Installer (MSI) to turn on verbose logging for this installation. Follow these steps:
  1. Click Start menu (Windows) > Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter regedit and click OK.
  3. In the Registry Editor, browse to the following folder: 


    Note: Windows 7 does not include this key and you will need to manually add theInstaller key to the registry. Right-click on the Windows subkey and choose New > Key and then rename New Key #1 to Installer.
  4. Right-click an empty area in the right pane. Click New > String Value.
  5. Enter Logging for the name.  
  6. Double-click Logging.
  7. Enter voicewarmup in the Value Data box and click OK.
  8. Close the Registry Editor, and run the installation again.
Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com/support.
Use the Microsoft® Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as well as the system.dat and user.dat files as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base and in the related solution, Back up system registry. Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor.
The log files created using this method are located in the %TEMP% folder and are named MSI#####.log, where ##### is a 5-digit number.
To access these log files
  1. Click Start menu (Windows) > Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter %TEMP% and click OK.
  3. Select the MSI#####.log files and archive them into a ZIP file. 
    Note: This is an important step as these log files may be very large and, therefore, need to be compressed to an appropriate size in order to attach them to a Service Request. For more information refer to the technical solution, Using log to troubleshoot installation errors.
  4. If you are an Autodesk Subscription customer, use the following link to log a Support Request in the Autodesk Subscription Center: 

    Sign in to Autodesk Subscription Center
For other installation issues, refer to the Installation Troubleshooting Guide.
After the installation has completed, you should turn off verbose logging. Follow these steps:
  1. Click Start menu (Windows) > Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter regedit.
  3. In the Registry Editor, browse to the Logging key.
  4. Delete the contents of the Value Data box, so that it is blank.
  5. Click OK and close the Registry Editor.

Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD now supports 2012 - It is Alive in the Lab


Since Autodesk Labs' inception, the Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD-based applications has been popular. Week in, week out, AutoCAD users download it.
A while back we conducted a survey where we asked you what you improvements you would like to see in this technology, and I shared the results in a blog article. Those items are indeed on our roadmap for consideration in the event we create a production version of this technology. The other day the AutoCAD team updated the technology preview to support:
  • AutoCAD 2012
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2012
  • AutoCAD Map 2012
When I say update, I mean the team updated the installer to support the new releases. The functionality is the same as it was for the 2011 applications. The extension allows you to:
  • import a Google Earth image into AutoCAD
  • publish your 3D model to Google Earth
  • drape a Google Earth image onto a 3D mesh in AutoCAD
  • attach time span information to your model
By why am I telling you this? You probably already have it - you just need the new version to accompany your 2012 upgrade. So go and get it. Apparently, it's the law.
We are thrilled that you find this technology preview useful. Please keep the feedback coming in to labs.acad.google@autodesk.com.
Keeping technology previews current is alive in the lab.

Revit 2012 Project Neon Rendering Service Error Message - RT @RevitClinic


BIM -The Revit ClinicRyan Duell
Quick scenario for anyone who receives the following error message when attempting to render online with Project Neon for Revit 2012:
A problem occurred.  The rendering service could not complete your request.  <An authentication error occurred.>
The following process should resolve this behavior:
1.  Sign out of Revit 2012.  Verify this also signs you out of Project Neon by attempting to click the Web Services > My Render Gallery option.
2.  Clear your web browser's cache \ temporary internet files.  For example, here is the process for Chrome and Internet Explorer.
3.  Sign-in to Project Neon first, by attempting to Render Online:
If prompted after, you can sign back into Revit 2012.
4.  Make sure you use the same login for both Revit 2012 and Project Neon.  By logging out, clearing the browser cache, and then logging into Project Neon first it should resolve the message.
If this does not resolve the issue please let us know!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You're invited to the Autodesk Simulation Virtual Event 6/22/11 11am EST


You're Invited to the Autodesk Simulation Virtual Summit
As you may know, Autodesk recently acquired Blue Ridge Numerics, and now CFdesign CFD software is on its way to joining the diverse Autodesk Simulation portfolio of tools.

The CFdesign team would like to extend an invitation for you to attend the Autodesk Simulation Virtual Summit coming up on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.
Join leaders from CFdesign, Autodesk and the manufacturing community to discover how the latest technologies bring robust simulation capabilities to product designers and engineers in an interactive environment.
View a complete list of sessions and speakers.

Event: Autodesk Simulation Virtual Summit
Date: Wednesday, June 22 2011
Time: Sessions begin and run from 11am ET to 6pm ET (8am PT to 3pm PT)


Latest Labs Newsletter Available Online

Source: It is Alive in the Lab by Scott Sheppard
Today I found a problem with the "opt in" processing of the Autodesk Labs site. Some of you have signed up to receive the Autdoesk Labs monthly newsletter, but are NOT yet on the list of email recipients that I send it to. For this I apologize. The latest newsletter can be found at:
Innovation Edge May 2011 edition

I have logged a defect with SolutionSet, our vendor who provides the Community Services Platform that Autodesk Labs is built upon.


Revit Extensions for Autodesk Revit 2012 - Now Available for subscription customers RT @RevitClinic #REVIT

Source: http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/06/2012-revit-extensions-.html
 by Kathryn Langan

Do you have the latest technology or should you wait one more day?

I always love finding and playing with new technology but something happened today that completely annoyed me.  Within 2 hours of buying an iPad 2, I saw this article. 

I could return the iPad 2 and wait until the iPad 3 comes out, or I could take advantage of today's technology and deal with future technology when it arrives.  In the meantime, I probably have the only 3 year old in the world who just got his own slightly used iPad when I loaded up my iPad 2 tonight.  Of course JR got mad that I wasn't giving him the new one.  I did admire him for recognizing the difference and wanting the new one. 

In architectural terms, you could keep waiting for a new version of Revit to come out before you say it's the right version for you to start using, or you could take advantage of what's in the box now. 

There will always be something new coming out and you'll always just have bought something just before the new version comes out.  I guess it's great that you have subscription to automatically give you the latest release. 

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/rss/feed/daily/southflorida
Purported details about Apple's iPad 3 are being leaked in the news media as the technology company suffers from a falling stock price and heightened competition. Shares of Apple, which has 10 South Florida retail stores, were down $5.32, or 1.6 percent in late trading on Monday, to trade at $315.94. That compares with a 52-week high of $364.90 on Feb. 16 and a low of $235.56 on Aug. 27. Commentators on CNBC on Monday were debating whether Apple's drop through its $325, 200-day moving average was...

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