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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lead The Way Virtual Event | Autodesk – AutoCAD 2013 release date 3/27/12

March 23th? That's the day Autodesk lifts the information embargo on the 2013 products. You'll find out all about the Revit and Navisworks 2013 features as well. About the only thing I miss about being an Autodesk reseller is that I was able to post so much information for you on the embargo release day. 

I actually think the embargo date last year was March 23rd and the 27th should be the release date of AutoCAD if I'm a lucky guesser. Revit products should be available for download on April 14th, almost like every other year. Will there be any astounding must have features like sloped walls, better stairs and railings, real time rendering, curtain wall improvements or just plain faster modeling?  I can only speculate because I'm not a beta tester under NDA, so I'll just have to wait for David Light's exhaustive reviewbjustblikebthe rest of you. 

If any beta testers want to anonymously send me the PDF of new features, I'd be happy to share them with world because I don't have to follow the rules anymore. In the meantime, it's time to go and download Windows 8 which Autodesk won't officially support for months. 

Join us for this free Autodesk Virtual Event on March 29, 2012. See how the latest Autodesk software can help you lead the way in bringing your ideas to life and transforming your business.

Take the lead in working smarter and faster with the latest versions of Autodesk® software. No matter what you design, there's a software solution built to work the way you do, with customized features for building, infrastructure, product, plant, and factory design.
And now you can hear about the latest releases straight from Autodesk executives—including Lynn Allen, Technical Evangelist—and learn more about the latest Autodesk software, Autodesk suites, and more!
Register Now
Design and shape the world around you with the powerful, flexible features found in AutoCAD®software, one of the world's leading 2D and 3D design applications. Create stunning designs in 3D, help speed documentation, and share ideas smoothly. Connect with the cloud to collaborate on designs and download apps. It's time to take design further. It's time for AutoCAD software. Find out which AutoCAD or AutoCAD® Design Suite product is right for you and see how it can help you turn your innovative ideas into better designs.
Register Now
Don't miss your opportunity to discover how the latest Autodesk solutions can help you improve the way you work today while preparing your business for a leaner, faster, smarter tomorrow.


days left.
Register Now!

Thanks to our Strategic Hardware Partners

Autodesk at TED: Social Space and Fight Club: IDEAS Cage Matches

in honor of TED, I think we should rename Autodesk University.  After all, Universities are for the elitist snobs and we're just regular people busting our butts day and night to earn a living and keep the doors open. So, AU should be about us. It will focus on Design, Engineering, Building And Technology better known as DEBT. 

With the rebranding, the only way to get into DEBT is to use Autodesk products.  There will be different class levels. The longer you've been using them and greater number of Autodesk products you use, the deeper into DEBT you can get. Just imagine all you'll learn once you've gotten into DEBT. The longer you're in DEBT, the more you can thank Autodesk for their sponsorship and being the main reason your in DEBT in the first place. Without 30 years of Autodesk products, there would be no DEBT. 

You can look forward to seeing all of your friends and peers in DEBT. While you're at the event, be sure to go to the All Unable to Generate Income (AUGI) events as well. 

I'm looking forward to getting as many Autodesk products and subscription this year and look forward to seeing all of you do the same and being in DEBT and personally thanking all of the Autodesk people who made it all possible. 

It will be a nonprofit event. Aren't most architecture firms nonprofit anyway?  DEBT will always strive to be a nonprofit organization. We will be looking for other partners like Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nvidia and many other technology companies to support you in DEBT and all of your endeavors. 

For mor information about how to get into DEBT, go to Autodesk.com or contact your local unauthorized Autodesk reseller.
- - - -
BIM -It is Alive in the Lab

It's Wednesday, so today's TED schedule includes:


As I mentioned for the past two days, TED is a nonprofit that started out centered on Technology, Entertainment, and Design but whose charter has since expanded to cover most aspects of the human condition. The TED conference is being held in Long Beach, California this week. As a Design software company with Technology that serves many industries (including the Entertainment industry), Autodesk is actually one of TED's largest partners.

On Monday I covered the Master Classes. Yesterday I covered the exhibits in the Autodesk Social Space. Today I'll talk about Fight Club: IDEAS Cage Matches. I am reminded of Monty Python's "I'd like to have an argument..." skit. From its name, I am certainly reminded of the movie Fight Club. Think of a cage match as a civilized combination of the two. The nickname for the matches is Grey Matter Smackdown. These are patterned after the sessions we conducted at Autodesk University (AU):

The TED Fight Club: IDEAS Cage Match is a fun, dynamic, colorful event in which pairs of debaters ("fighters"), several current and past TED speakers, argue for opposite sides of a single question. They do this in a mock boxing ring - with over the top smoke effects, lighting, and campy commentary. Though the form of the event is total pop culture, the content is substantial, thoughtful, and leaves the audience entertained, engaged, and most importantly, thinking.

Our aim is to create an event that reflects the spirit of TED - lively, thought-provoking and unexpected. Typically the TED conference format consists of tightly scripted presentations with no questions. Whereas TED promotes "Ideas worth sharing," the Cage Match is about "Discussions worth having."


e-SPECS March Webinars - New Office Master Updater + e-SPECS for Navisworks Preview

e-SPECS Webinar Schedule

March 2012

 The e-SPECS webinar schedule for March has been posted and registration is now open.  These 30-60 minute sessions provide a great overview of the various e-SPECS applications including:


** e-SPECS for Revit - Automated and Coordinated specifications with Autodesk Revit PLUS a preview of e-SPECS for Navisworks.

** e-SPECS Designer- Integrating and Managing Office Master language PLUS the newOffice Master Updater:

  • Integrated into e-SPECS Designer providing complete Master development, maintenance and Tagging/Mapping automation
  • Integrated into Microsoft Word making creating and maintaining master language very easy for Word Users
  • Compare Office Masters to newly released base masters such as MasterSpec, Canadian Master Specifications and National Master Specifications
  • Compare current release to the previous release of base masters with option to insert changes in to office master as needed, making on-going office master maintenance more efficient
  • Automatic updates to the e-SPECS Office Master Updater application through Microsoft's ClickOnce installation technology


  Register and View the Complete Schedule of Webinars Here



Additional information on them e-SPECS Solutions can be found at http://www.e-SPECS.com


Monday, February 27, 2012

Video Available: Autodesk Showcases Sustainable Design at Second Annual Sustainability Summit

Video Available: Autodesk Showcases Sustainable Design at Second Annual Sustainability Summit

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--()--Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) President and CEO Carl Bass joined Fortune Magazine Sr. Writer and Editor Marc Gunther to discuss sustainable design at the company's recent Sustainability Summit in San Francisco. Also presenting were a panel of customers discussing their use of Autodesk software to design greener buildings, better manufacturing processes, water turbines and an eco-refrigerator. Lynelle Cameron, the company's director of sustainability, opened the event with details about the company's recent green datacenter project, a new version of Autodesk Green Building Studio, and other news.

Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE19734877B570BB2

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 16 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.

© 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50182134&lang=en


Precisional Mediocrity #BIM

I was making breakfast this morning, debating between making hard boiled or scrambled eggs.  I figured it would be faster to make scrambled eggs, although that wasn't my first choice.  As I was cracking the eggs, I thought I'd try something different.  Instead of taking an egg and cracking it on the edge of a glass, I took a fork and stabbed the egg.  The egg was slowly coming out of the shell and into the glass.  

But, this method avoided any shell bits from getting into the eggs.  It would be much faster to crack the egg on the glass, split it in two and go on to the next egg.  I started to wonder if there are any jobs at a large food processing facility where all a person does is crack eggs open.  I wondered how much training they would need for that task, the mental requirements, how many eggs per hour they'd be required to crack and hypothesizing that they'd make a low wage and be required to work quickly, that there would be a lot of bits of eggshell that made their way into your food.

Somehow the term precisional mediocrity popped into my head.  Cracking eggs requires precision.  But, with time constraints, deadlines, poor training and high output requirements, how the eggs are cracked affects the final product.  I don't know how Cadbury Eggs made it's way into my thoughts, but of course, that leads just to the word CAD.  

About two years ago, a woman was in my office wanting to buy a copy of AutoCAD LT.  Of course, I had to steer the conversation to Revit and during our conversation, I asked her what she loved so much about AutoCAD.  Her answer was that it was "Technical Precise".  I always remember that because I take the initials TP (Toilet Paper)  to remember her exact words.  I asked her if AutoCAD was so technically precise, why were there so many errors, omissions and conflicts on construction documents.  

So, although AutoCAD can draw a line and dimension it to  1/256 of an inch, we don't build buildings with that level of precision.  Ask any carpenter what those litte lines are on his ruler and they're either 8ths or 16ths.  Do you design your walls to be 7 14/256"?  

Precisional Mediocrity.  Creating documents that look precise but are filled with problems.  You have a certain expectation that when you go to a restaurant, you won't find bits of eggshell, paper, plastic or insect pieces (I know, gross visual, but at least I didn't say that you actually swallowed a cockroach leg.)  AutoCAD!  There, I put cockroach leg next to AutoCAD.  What kind of mental connection will forever be etched into your mind.    Pizza. Revit.  Chocolate. Revit.  Beer. Revit.  I hope that helped.  

The state or quality of being precise.  BIM.  The state or quality of designing better construction documents.  Now, go see how fast you can crack open 3 eggs without getting any shells into the glass.  Speed versus quality.  Precision versus problems.  That's cooking with BIM.


  [pri-sizh-uhn]  Show IPA
the state or quality of being precise.
accuracy; exactness: to arrive at an estimate with precision.
mechanical or scientific exactness: a lens ground with precision.
punctiliousness; strictness: precision in one's business dealings.
Mathematics the degree to which the correctness of aquantity is expressed. Compare accuracy def. 3 .  

Autodesk at TED: Social Space and Master Classes

BIM -It is Alive in the Lab

It's time for TED. For the fortunate attendees, today's TED schedule includes:


"TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading that started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. With two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize." source Yesterday through March 2, the conference is being physically held in Long Beach and simultaneously broadcasted to Palm Springs.

Autodesk has a long history with TED. Our involvement has grown each year. As a Design software company with our own Technology to serve the Entertainment industry (as well as other industries such as architecture/engineering/construction and manufacturing), TED is right up our alley. TED is an ideal organization to help drive Autodesk's vision to imagine, design, and create a better world.

So what's on deck for today includes:

  • Autodesk Social Space
    The social space includes some exhibits from our Gallery at One Market. The exhibits were chosen to reinforce and augment the TED theme of Full Spectrum by providing a physical experience of the impact of design, engineering, and visualization tools across a range of physical scales - from the exceedingly small to the vastly large. I will cover the exhibits tomorrow. For today, let's talk about the master classes.

  • Autodesk Master Class: Visualizing Business Strategy
    Master classes are normally 22 minutes long. Ours happen to be 52 minutes. They cater to small audiences of 20 to 30 people. Like tickets to a Bruce Springsteen show, ours filled up after 6 minutes. For any business, strategy is about finding something that: is unique, is valuable to customers, leverages core competencies, and is defendable against being copied by competitors. We will share our insights into strategy as they relate to the architecture/engineering/construction, manufacturing, and media/entertainment industries. Autodesk Fellow, Tom Wujec, will show that design practices can indeed be applied to business collaboration.

  • Autodesk Master Class: Rip, Mod, Fab
    The maker movement is evidence that several technologies have come together to transform the way hobbyists and professionals design and make things.


    RIP: Make accurate 3D digital models from photographs using Autodesk Labs graduate 123D Catch Beta.

    MOD: Analyze, enhance, and improve them with tablet and desktop software such as 123D Sculpt.

    FAB: Print enhanced designs into tangible 3D objects with software such a s 123D Make.

    Autodesk Senior Product Manager, Tatjana Dzambazova, will show that from the microscopic to the massive and from simple to complex, emerging technologies and techniques are transforming design in the home, studio, and office.

Design is alive at TED.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Tools for Troubleshooting Unexpected Behavior in Revit - RT @RevitClinic

BIM -The Revit Clinic

This post comes from one of our Product Support Specialists here in the US, Lance Coffey. Thanks for the tips Lance!

There are many tools in Revit for making project, view, or element level changes to your project file, and many of these tools can also be used to troubleshoot undesired or unexpected behavior in the project.

Note: When using these tools for troubleshooting purposes, it is likely that changes will be made to the project that you will not want to keep. To avoid accidentally making unwanted changes to your project file, before going through any of the steps below, make a copy of the project (and if necessary linked project files) and only work with the copied file.

Whenever troubleshooting a project specific issue, you should get the following information (actually this information is good for troubleshooting most software issues):

  1. What is happening exactly, and why is it unexpected. (If you are the one running into the issue, then this should be easy to get.)
  2. Has this worked in the past?
  3. If the answer to number 2 is yes, then see if you can find what has changed between when it last worked and now (different computer, network, hardware, software, add-ins, etc).
  4. Is your product updated? Check to make sure there are no updates that you can apply.

Number one is important because if you don't have a clear idea of what you are trying to fix, then it is hard to know if (and when) you have fixed it. 

If the answer to number two is no, then you may also need to verify that the process you are going through is supposed to work.

It is a good idea to apply product updates when troubleshooting unexpected behavior (as updates often resolve such issues). In addition, if you will be working with someone else to troubleshoot the issue, it is a good idea for everyone to be using the same product version.


  1. Manage Links
  2. Transfer Project Standards
  3. View Templates
  4. Project Browser
  5. Copy and Paste

Manage Links/Linked Files:

Linked files can cause unexpected behavior in Revit, such as unexpected display of linked elements, crashing, or they could prevent a project file from opening in the first place.

If you can't open the host project file, try copying it to a location without the linked files, and verify if you can open it. If you can, then you can begin determining which linked file is preventing the project from opening (if you find that you can only have a certain number of any given linked files loaded, you may be seeing a resource related issue).

If you can open the project, but are seeing unexpected behavior, a good first step is to go into the Manage Links dialog (on the Insert Ribbon Tab), and remove all linked files from the project to see if the issue is related to one (or more) of the linked files.

Transfer Project Standards:

Sometimes, you have one project which is not working like another, and you don't know what setting in Revit is causing the different behavior. To clear the issue, you can try transferring all the project standards from the working project to the problematic one. To narrow down what setting was causing the issue (if transferring all of the project standards fixes the issue), you can transfer them in groups, or individually until you find the specific category that clears the issue, and then compare the category settings between the two projects.

View Templates:

Occasionally you may find that one view, is not behaving like other views in your project. In this situation you can create a view template from the view that is working (as you expect), and apply that template to the problematic view. If the issue is cleared, you can modify the view template to apply fewer settings and determine what specific category was different between the views.

Project Browser:

The Project Browser is the tool that allows you to access the different views in your project. It also allows you to access and manipulate Families, Groups, and Revit Links.

If you suspect a particular group is causing issues in your project, you can find the group in the Project Browser, right click on it, and click Select All Instances -> In entire Project. Once you have all the instances selected, you can ungroup them or remove them from the project.

If a particular family is not working as you expect, and you want to remove and reload the family, you can use the steps above to select all instances in the project, and then use the Type Selector to change the instances to a temporary family type (to do this you should create a new family type on a different family in the same category and then change the instances to the new family type), remove the existing family (which no longer has any instances), reload the family into the project, and then change the previous family instances back to their original family type.

If you suspect that one or more families are causing an error in your project, you can use the project browser to remove all of the families (except for a single instance of each system family type) and verify if the error is cleared. If the error is cleared, you can then narrow down what family (or families) was involved with the error.

Note: If you remove the family it will remove the family instance(s). It is possible an error could be related to a particular instance of the family, and not the family itself. This leads to the next tool:

Cut and Paste: 

If you find a particular element in the project is not behaving as expected, you can try recreating it by Cutting it to the clipboard, and then pasting it aligned to the same place.

If you are not familiar with one or more of the tools above, the following help topics have information on the basic usage of the tools:

As I mentioned at the beginning, please do not try out these steps with your original project file. Instead, start with a copy.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Box of BIM

Today I had a special BIM experience.  No, not the BIM you'd normally think about.  Having picked the most wonderful architecture firm in Florida to work for, ACAI has hired 7 people since December.  So, today I had to order two more monitors for the newest hire.  Having been tasked with buying two 28" monitors, I set out to Amazon.com to take advantage of my wife's Prime Account with 2 Day free shipping.  I was disappointed that the monitors didn't qualify so I used the power of Google to find them elsewhere.  I didn't think $96 in shipping was worthwhile so I found them over at New Egg with free 3 Day shipping.  

So, what's the point of this little blog post?  Well, it was the email I got an hour after placing the order online. It was the UPS tracking number email.  Do you ever think about FedEx and UPS tracking?  Do you consider the infrastructure that's involved in the logistics of tracking millions of packages every day?  

This post is about Box Information Management.  The fact that I can instantly know exactly where the package is coupled with the automatic emails that I got really is amazing.  If the AEC industry could find a way to track all aspects of design, fabrication and construction, then we'd really have something great.  BIM is about the collaboration, sharing of information and the ability to work in sync with others  

Whether it's a box or a building, it's all the same.  New Egg provided an easy and efficient system for me to place and track an order.  The shipping company uses a phenomenal system to make it easy for me to automatically and efficiently know where my package is.  I made it easy for my VDC Director to not have to worry about getting the monitors in time.  BIM is about the people, the process and the productivity of all of us.  BIM is about problem solving and working with people and companies that make your life easier.  Would I have paid a little more money for that peace of mind?  Of course.  Did the power of the internet help me find the best price and shipping options? Of course.  

This is the whole point of BIM.  It's not about Revit or AutoCAD.  It's about what you do with the tools you have at your disposal.  Are you more efficient? Does your work or actions make it easier for other people to do their job?  So, today, I wasn't thinking outside of the box.  I was thinking about when I'd be getting that box.  

- - - - - - - - 
Thank you for shopping at Newegg.com.

Your tracking number has been generated and your package/order will ship out today. Please note you will NOT be able to track your package until after 8:00 pm PST. Be advised that some tracking numbers may take up to 24 hours to be available for tracking.

Please see below for your order information and tracking number. 

Shipping Summary:

Sales Order Number:

Item List:
Item Number:

UPS Tracking Number:

(Shipped from Edison, NJ)
Shipping Time: 2/23/2012 1:31:04 PM 

Tracking number    1ZX799390326205257
Tracking number 1ZX799392d30326205257
Ship date
Estimated delivery
Destination , ,
Service type UPS GROUND
Weight 0.00 LBS
Status In Transit
Date/TimeActivity LocationDetails
02/23/2012 21:12:00 IN TRANSIT TO[I] HIALEAH, FL, US
02/23/2012 21:11:00 DEPARTURE SCAN[I] EDISON, NJ, US
02/23/2012 18:38:00 LOCATION SCAN[I] EDISON, NJ, US
02/23/2012 16:32:00 ORIGIN SCAN[I] EDISON, NJ, US

Revit Hotfix: Improve Stability When Working with Large Datasets (64-bit only)

BIM -The Revit Clinic

The following Hotfix has just been released for Autodesk Revit 2012 x64 products:

Hotfix – Autodesk Revit 2012 – Improves stability when working with large datasets (64-bit only)

The Hotfix is meant to address crashing issues when working with large file sets. Some common symptoms of the issue include:

  • Typically, journal files will have the following exception code near the end: ExceptionCode=0xe0434352
  • Journals will show plenty of available RAM at the time of the crash.
  • Crashes will commonly be reported when users are doing things like activating a Drafting View, clicking on the Application Menu, or drawing Detail Lines.

This Hotfix applies to 64 bit systems only, and Web Update 2 must be installed first - so verify that the build number of Revit 2012 is 20110916_2132 before you apply it.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Remote Printing from iPad and email tech tip.

Anyone out there have a Xerox WorkCenter printer? We just got a new copier today, so I did my part to harass the installation tech. I asked her if there was a way to print from my iPad to the printer.

Well, darn it, she answered in the affirmative. Xerox has an app called PrintBack. You get the iPad app and then install a system tray program on your Mac or PC. Printback sends the clipboard, photos, or most "Open In" file types.

So, from an email, hold your finger on a PDF attachment. Tap PrintBack on the list and the PDF opens in PrintBack. Then just click the print button and it sends the file to your DropBox account. Once it syncs to your computer, the computer app sends it to our Xerox Printer. It actually prints to our default printer, so maybe it will work with any printer.

You can have it send to a mail account instead of DropBox. But, since you can get a free account, that seems easier.

There's also a website called sendtodropbox.com that will let you email files to a special email address that will send to your DropBox account. Don't know if that will work here, but DropBox sucks for not giving you an email to address. Sugarsync and Box.net do, so why doesn't DropBox.

Anyway, you can print from a job site and have the document print at your office. Cool technology and efficiency. Read more...

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