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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Microsoft Windows Vista Support FAQ - The Revit Clinic

People are still using AutoCAD release 14, no one wants to upgrade their computers and Autodesk drops Vista support but maintains support of XP. I'm glad I moved to a Mac. We had such issues today with DotNet SP 3.5 service pack that was needed for our billing software. Problem ended up being lack of support for Internet Explorer 9. 

There's just no winning. Either your software is too old or too new. Windows just has too many choices of hardware and software and it has created a multi billion dollar industry for IT tech support. Get a Mac and do everything on the cloud or an iPad and you can focus on your work and not waiting 5 minutes for your 80s BIOS driven PC to boot up. 

Bye bye Vista. Hellos Windows 8 lack of support for Autodesk products. 

Microsoft Windows Vista Support FAQ

This is a very quick post for today.  Are you using Windows Vista and Autodesk software?  Please take a few minutes and check out our Micosoft Windows Vista Support FAQ.  It has important information regarding Autodesk products and Windows Vista.  

Even if your not a user of Windows Vista, I'd still recommend you should give it a read.    


BIM & BEAM: Autodesk ForceEffect Version 2.0 Now Available!

I showed this to my BIM team and they thought it was great. I wonder where Autodesk is going with all of these iPad apps. Be sure to give this app to your kids. We don't have enough future engineers in the pipeline. 

Autodesk ForceEffect Version 2.0 Now Available!

Autodesk ForceEffect is a free app available for Apple iPad and iPhone from the iTunes App Store that allows engineers including structural engineers to model and simulate concepts.Real time solving capabilities provide immediate feedback on the performance of a design, enabling you to bring engineering to the point of the problem.The version 2.0 brings a set of great functionalities. One of them is ability to add a load evenly distributed along an existing element at any angle. Thanks to this you will better simulate conditions like snow on rooftops or wind loads.

Find out more on ForceEffect http://itunes.apple.com/



Revit Services & Support - You want to update a revision/issue title block label globally in multiple sheet views

You want to update a revision/issue title block label globally in multiple sheet views


You want to update a revision/issue title block label globally in multiple sheet views without the need to edit every single individual sheet view.


The following steps explain how to add a label to a titleblock, which can be updated globally in multiple sheet views.

Create a shared parameter in titleblock

  1. Navigate to and double click on the Sheet View in the Project Browser.
  2. Select the titleblock in the Sheet View and click on Edit Family from the Modify tab of the Ribbon.

  3. Select Shared Parameters from the Manage tab of the ribbon.

  4. In the Edit Shared Parameters Dialog select the "Create" button to create a shared parameter file called "Issue". Under the Groups click on the New button to create a new group called "Issue" and under Parameters click on the New button to create a new parameter called "Issue" with Discipline set to "Common" and Type of Parameter set to "Text" and select OK to apply Parameter Properties and then OK to apply and close Edit Shared Parameters Dialog.

Add label into titleblock

  1. In the opened titleblock family select the Label from the Text Panel of the Home tab of the ribbon.

  2. Click to place the label in the titleblock and then select the Add parameter button.

  3. Click on Select button under the Parameter Type of the Parameter Properties Dialog.Select Parameter called Issue from the Shared Parameters Dialog and click OK to apply and OK again to exit the Parameter Properties Dialog.

  4. Scroll down and select Issue in the Category Parameters area of the Edit label dialog and click on Add parameter(s) to label button and select OK to apply and close. Issue label is added to titleblock.

Load title block and add parameter into project

  1. Click on Load into Project on the ribbon.

  2. Select Project Parameters from the Manage tab of the Ribbon.

  3. Click on the Add Button of the Project Parameter Dialog.

  4. Under Parameter Type area of Parameter Properties check the Shared paramaeter. Next under Categories area scroll down and tick Project Information. Click on the Select button.

  5. Select Issue from the Parameter Group Area of the Shared Parameters Dialog and then select OK to apply. Click OK in the Parameter Properties Dialog to apply and exit.

  6. Click on OK in the Project Parameters Dialog to apply and exit.
  7. Select Project information from the Manage tab of the ribbon.

  8. Enter a value of "A" to the Text Parameter called Issue in the Instance Properties dialog and select OK to apply.

    The label called Issue will display "A" as shown below and update globally in the title block contained within the multiple sheet views.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Autodesk - Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Vista Compatibility - Microsoft Windows Vista Support FAQ

Another trap to make you spend money. It's all part of the CADspiracy theory where Autodesk is secretly partnering with Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia and others to force you to use crappy old computers, software and operating systems.  How dare they make you use faster and better technologies. Don't they know you can get away with outdated everything and why should you stop using AutoCAD 14?

I just hope they don't stop supporting Snow Leopard anytime soon. 

Microsoft Windows Vista Support FAQ

Beginning January 1, 2012, Autodesk will have formally ceased support of the Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System for all new (and upgraded versions) of its products and services released in 2012.

Currently shipping versions and previous versions of our software (delivered prior to January 1, 2012) will continue to be supported on this operating system.

Why is Autodesk ending support for Windows Vista in 2012?

Microsoft ended sales support for Vista in 2011, and will end mainstream support in 2012. Our research and customer engagement on this topic has shown that an overwhelming majority of our installed base has already moved off of this operating system. Customers looking to upgrade their hardware and operating system have indicated Microsoft Vista is not a viable option given the availability of Windows 7.

Where can I find information on Microsoft's planned support for its Operating Systems?

You can find information on Microsoft's Windows lifecycle (both sales and support) here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Why are you ending support for Windows Vista when XP, an older operating system, is still supported?

Through Autodesk's research and customer engagement, there is still a large population of customers utilizing this Operating System in their work environments. We will work with our customers in the coming 12-24 months to understand their transition plans and make a support decision about Windows XP when it is appropriate to do so.

If I upgrade my Windows Vista computer to Windows 7, will my existing 2012 licensed products still work?

If you are intending to upgrade your Operating System, it is recommended that you reinstall your Autodesk products once that upgrade is complete. Your existing product license is still a valid, but the product will need a new authorization code to work with the new operating system once installed.

If I choose to buy a new computer with Windows 7, can I reinstall my 2012 products on the new computer or will I have to buy new licenses?

Yes, you can continue to use your current Autodesk products with this new operating system. Once installed, you will have to obtain a new authorization code.

How do I migrate my older licensed Autodesk products to a Windows 7 computer? I lost the install discs and serial numbers a while ago.

Please contact the reseller or company where you originally purchased the Autodesk software for a copy of the product and your original serial number. If you are on Autodesk Subscription you can just go to the Subscription website and access the previous three versions of the product.

When will Autodesk support Windows 8?

Depending on Microsoft's own release schedule for this new operating system, Autodesk will test its product line with Windows 8 and release a support statement when it is appropriate to do so.

Will the Autodesk software/application I recently purchased (i.e. 2012 version) work on Windows Vista even though Autodesk is ceasing support for this Operating System?

Yes, the current Autodesk product line (version 2012) will continue to be supported on Microsoft Vista. Support will cease for new versions of Autodesk products released beginning January 1, 2012.

How does this 'ending support' affect me and the products that I currently own (version 2012 and earlier)? I am still on Windows Vista and do not have the ability to migrate to other Windows OS.

Autodesk will continue to support you and your existing, purchased products on Windows Vista in alignment with our current product support policies.

What do I do if I run into issues with Autodesk products on Windows Vista? Who do I contact for support?

You can continue to utilize your existing Autodesk support channels for Windows Vista issues for Autodesk products/versions which have shipped prior to January 1, 2012. For new versions of Autodesk software shipping after this date, please refer to the Autodesk Discussion Forums for peer-to-peer support if you decide to install these Autodesk products on the Windows Vista operating system.

I'm running Microsoft Vista with my Autodesk Products – can I still purchase apps and plug-in's from Autodesk Exchange beyond January 1, 2012?

If you are installing apps from Autodesk Exchange, please check with the supplier/developer of the app for system and product requirements pertaining to Microsoft Vista support for your particular Autodesk product(s).


Friday, January 27, 2012

Using Annotation from Linked Views & Troubleshooting Missing Annotation - Revit Clinic

BIM -The Revit Clinic

By default you can utilize annotation, such as dimensions \ room tags \ text \ etc, from a linked model view in the host model view.  Under Visibility \ Graphic Overrides > Revit Links, you can set the link to By Linked View or Custom:


When you select a linked view that contains annotation, it should display in the host model:


However if you find the annotation missing from the linked view, there are a few common items to confirm which I have organized below:

1.  Is the Linked View Parallel to the Host View?

One of the most common causes of this behavior.  Say you have a section view in the host model, which cuts through the linked model.  In the host section view, you set the link to use a view containing annotation.  However the host section view is not parallel to the linked section view:



2.  Linked Model Rotated?

Similar to #1, is the linked model slightly skewed in the host model?  For example if the host and link should both be horizontal, zoom in to confirm they are parallel.  If this were the case the annotation would not display:


3.  Visibility \ Graphic Overrides Set Visible?

If set to By Linked View or Custom, the linked model geometry will not be using the host visibility settings by default.  In this case it is important to open Visibility / Graphic Overrides, and confirm the specific annotation categories are visible:


4.  Element in Link Hidden in Host?

This one is easy to overlook; let's take the following example:

-You tab-select annotation in a linked model [from the host model view]
-Right-click > Hide in View > Category
-This hides the specific annotation category from the link
-You later check the V/G > Revit Links > Display Settings and confirm the category is visible but does not appear in the model

When you hide categories in this manner Revit creates custom display settings for the link instance.

You can confirm this under Visibility / Graphic Overrides  > Revit Links > Display Settings.  When you tab-select and hide a category in the link, the link name should be expanded to show that link instance and it should read Custom:


Let me know if you can add any additional examples!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two New Free Addins available for Project Vasari

BIM -It is Alive in the Lab


On the heels of the update of the Parametric Sliders add-in for Project Vasari, the team has provided two additional add-ins:

Automatically Update Export for Solar Radiation

This WIP adds a check box to the Ecotect Solar Radiation tool to allow automatic update of an exported .csv file when analysis results are updated.

// Download

// Wiki help

Dynamo for Vasari

Build parametric functionality on top of Vasari with a graphical user interface. Autodesk has extended the open source effort of Ian Keough by adding some additional nodes and packaging it in an installer for Vasari to make it easier to get up and running. The download also includes some sample workflows.

// Download

// Wiki help

This brings the total number of add-ins to 4. Please try these out and provide your feedback to labs.vasari@autodesk.com or the discussion forum. For more information on Project Vasari, please see the Autodesk Labs site:

// Project Vasari on Autodesk Labs

Addition is alive in the lab.


SAuBIM - Code Calculations for Revit - On Sale!

Hey Jeff, the Revit users at my company use your product.  Why isn't everybody else?

BIM -The Revit Kid!
In honor of the semester starting again SAuBIM is on sale for 30% off starting today and ending in one month...

Posted by: Jeffrey A. Pinheiro, LEED AP at The Revit Kid.com!


Autodesk - Construction - Consigli: Framingham State University Dorm - Revit Success Story

Any AutoCAD success stories out there?  Anyone have an extra 100 red markup pens?

"The BIM process contributed immense value. We completed the project on schedule and half a percent under budget. BIM helped make that possible by preventing delays and costly issues."
—Howard Hobbs, Project Manager, Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

Project Summary
Framingham State University (Framingham) offers undergraduate and graduate programs on a traditional New England campus just 20 miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Well regarded for its academic programs, the university is a popular choice for students seeking a quality public education. To accommodate increasing enrollment, Framingham decided to build North Hall, a new 125,000-square-foot, 410-bed residence hall. The university had 3key construction goals: open on time, stay on budget, and minimize disruption to campus activities during construction.

Framingham turned to Consigli Construction Co., Inc. (Consigli) to deliver the project using a "construction manager at risk" mode of project delivery. The firm relied on Autodesk Building Information Modeling (BIM)solutions, including Autodesk® Revit® Architecture and Autodesk® Navisworks® Manage software, to help them meet the university's objectives. Consigli also used solutions from Vela Systems to take the advantages of BIM into the field. "BIM allows us to plan everything using intelligent models," says Howard Hobbs, a project manager with Consigli. "I cannot praise the benefits of working from models enough. BIM allowed us to anticipate, plan, and coordinate every aspect of the project in advance."

Consigli uses Autodesk BIM solutions to deliver a new residence hall on time and under budget

The Challenge
As construction manager at risk, Consigli committed to complete the project within budget and on schedule. The firm needed to proactively track how the design impacted the budget, and help the design team make materials choices that would not add excess cost or introduce constructability concerns. Given that Framingham had based some admissions decisions on the assumption the new hall would open on time, the schedule was even more important to the overall success of the project than budget.

"The stakes were high on this project," says Hobbs. "With enrollment booming, the clock was ticking to have the 410 beds in the new building available for the fall 2011 semester. The project required extensive coordination of the MEP and structural systems. We saw the BIM process helping us to advance the project on schedule while preventing the kinds of issues that can slow work in the field."

The North Hall is conveniently located near existing facilities on Framingham's campus. While its location will be an asset over the life of the building, the site presented construction challenges. Consigli had to make sure the building process would not inconvenience students, faculty, or nearby residents.

Maura Sullivan, virtual construction specialist for Consigli, explains: "Logistically, the project presented a number of space challenges of concern to students, the university, and the community. We believed that BIM could help us to solve the space challenge, and communicate our plans using 3D flyovers and walk-throughs."

The Solution
Consigli joined the project in the late stages of the design process. The team began by analyzing building models developed in  Revit Architecture software by the project architects, Pfeufer/Richardson Architects P.C. By analyzing the models, Consigli was able to quickly understand materials and construction techniques required to realize the design. It looked for opportunities to reduce costs and streamline the construction process without significant alterations to the design.

Originally conceived as a conventional block and plank structure, Consigli saw an opportunity to reduce costs by modifying the design slightly. "We recognized that a steel frame with pre-cast planks would give both cost and constructability benefits," says Hobbs. "BIM makes it easier to view and compare differences in structural systems. The material takeoff tool helps us to track how different options can impact cost estimates."

"Ultimately, the designers and the owners make design decisions," adds Sullivan. "As a construction firm, we use models to drive conversations around choices that could enhance the project. Revit Architecture models make it easier for designers and owners to visualize how our insights could make their project more efficient."

Consigli uses Autodesk BIM solutions to deliver a new residence hall on time and under budget

Everything in Its Place
Consigli did more than model North Hall. The firm created a model of the whole building site in Revit Architecture, including everything from material storage areas to scaffolding and pathways. By sharing the model with the reviewers from the university and people living in a residential area near the site, Consigli was better able to reassure all concerned that the construction process would not be unduly burdensome.

"People could more easily see they could have safe passage around the construction site for the duration of the project," says Hobbs. "No one wants a big construction site near their home, but neighbors could visualize in 3D the ways we were working to accommodate their concerns. University officials had a better understanding of where we were putting everything, right down to the dumpsters."

The site model proved useful for Consigli too. Loading the model into Navisworks Manage software allowed the firm to sequence the construction process. They synchronized the construction sequencing in Navisworks with the construction schedule the firm maintained in Primavera® software. The result: a 4D schedule that linked activities to the project model. In sequencing the main phases of the construction process, the team better understood when materials needed to arrive. They also were able to evaluate options for leave-outs in the façade.

"The façade is conventional brick masonry backed by dense glass sheeting wall," says Sullivan. "With leave-outs, you construct most of the façade while leaving areas open to allow a crane to deliver materials to floors under construction. Construction activities and weather both have an impact on how large leave-outs should be and when they need to be closed. Navisworks helped us plan for more efficient leave-outs and link them to the construction schedule."

Minimizing Interferences
To help coordinate the project, Consigli again turned to Navisworks Manage software. The firm required its subcontractors to use model-based processes to manage their construction tasks. This allowed the firm to use BIM to help coordinate construction and address interferences before construction began.

North Hall's design helped make the clash detection process more efficient because most floors shared similar layouts and building systems requirements.

Rather than tackling clashes for the whole building at once, the firm coordinated two floors at a time. After aggregating floor models provided by the subcontractors within Navisworks Manage, Consigli ran clash detection tools within the software. The team identified about 100 interferences on the first 2 floors. Working collaboratively with the subcontractors, the architect, and the project engineers, they addressed each clash and applied the corrections to other floors, when applicable.

"Identifying the interferences for the first 2 floors made it easier to address similar issues on other floors," says Sullivan. "When we coordinated the other floors, we only identified about two clashes per floor. The process went very quickly. During construction, the effort paid off. Only one notable clash surfaced in the field, and it was easily fixed."

Consigli's manager for MEP services, Ed Dubois, notes that Navisworks has had an enormous effect on the way the firm coordinates projects, especially with regards to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP). He says, "Using 3D models has made coordination simpler. Showing subcontractors where they may need to relocate systems is easier in 3D, compared to the traditional 2D process. Everyone sees issues—and how they can be corrected—more clearly."

Into the Field
The advantages of BIM did not stop at the door of the North Hall project office. Using solutions from Vela Systems, Consigli took BIM into the field. Vela Systems allowed Consigli to review project progress during construction on Apple® iPad® mobile digital devices. Consigli's project management team and the architects walked the project site and generated punch lists of outstanding items. Reviewing a Navisworks model on the same iPads helped the team pinpoint the location of each punch list item precisely.

"The old way of doing punch lists was very inefficient," says Andy Deschenes, BIM manager for Consigli. "You carried around a roll of drawings, marked it up, and then entered everything into a spreadsheet. Even using a laptop was a pain. Navisworks and Vela Systems completely transform the process. It's much faster and clearer. You can even take pictures of punch list items and link them to the task in Vela Systems."

Consigli uses Autodesk BIM solutions to deliver a new residence hall on time and under budget

Expanding BIM in the Field
While Consigli only used Vela Systems for punch lists on the Framingham project, the firm has since expanded its use of BIM in the field on more recent projects. Now, Consigli synchronizes Vela Systems with the Navisworks model on users' iPads. For punch lists, they simply drop a virtual pushpin on the exact location of the item in the model and document what needs to be done. Beyond punch lists, Navisworks and Vela Systems are enhancing the commissioning process for equipment within buildings. Vela Systems walks users through each step of that process. When the item is commissioned, Consigli links all the information about the equipment, such as maintenance schedules, manuals, and warranties, to its location within Navisworks.

"Commissioning used to mean turning on the equipment and handing over box after box of manuals to the owner," says Deschenes. "The process is much more effective with Vela Systems and Navisworks. There's less risk of missing an important step. At handover, the owner can get a model with all the associated equipment information. Linking equipment information to the model makes maintenance over the entire lifecycle of the building easier."

Deschenes explains how Vela Systems and Navisworks continue to deliver value over the life of a building: "For instance, say there's an issue with a leak. A maintenance person can click on the location of the leak in the model and see that the problem is likely to be a nearby valve. They can click on the exact value specifications and arrive to the location with all the parts needed to repair or replace the valve."

Winning the Next Project
BIM has not only made it easier for Consigli to execute projects—it also helps the firm win work. When Consigli meets with potential clients, it showcases its BIM capabilities using model-based proposals. The firm takes prospects on a virtual tour of how its team uses 3D to help review, coordinate, schedule, and hand over projects.

"Increasingly, clients expect contractors to use 3D tools," says Hobbs. "Our presentations show that our culture is infused with BIM. Before they ever sign a contract, clients see we're thinking about more than how we can build a project. We're envisioning how we're going to finish the building they want. There's no question that BIM opens doors and helps win work."

Consigli uses Autodesk BIM solutions to deliver a new residence hall on time and under budget

The Result
Consigli completed the North Hall project and handed over the building to the university well before the opening of the 2011 fall semester. Today, students are enjoying their new residence hall at Framingham. "The North Hall project was a success in every respect," says Hobbs. "It's a great addition to the heart of the campus. The BIM process contributed immense value. We completed the project on schedule and half a percent under budget. BIM helped make that possible by preventing delays and costly issues."

Additional Information
Learn more about

Download the Story

Consigli Customer Story (pdf - 2463Kb)


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