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Monday, July 30, 2012

Autodesk Showcase Viewer - Installation Fail

Have you tried Autodesk Showcase?  If you haven't, you should.  You can send a Revit camera shot right to Showcase and have instant photorealistic rendering, as well as quickly change material colors.  It seems much better than waiting to render inside of Revit and 3ds Max is way too complicated to use if you're a novice.


Anyway, there's a free Showcase viewer.

Autodesk Showcase Viewer


You can have others view the model or scene.  Since this is something you can have your clients work with, you'd want the process to be easy for them.  

Here's what I went through.
Download the 91 MB file.
Usually with Autodesk software, it extract the files to a folder in c:\Autodesk and then runs through the installation process.  So, while I'm waiting for the program to launch, nothing happens.

Apparently, instead of the normal process, it extracted the files to a folder in Downloads.
If you go into that folder, there are a number of subfolders and no exe files in the root directory.
I went back to the Autodesk download page to figure that out and had to register again to get to the download page to see the instructions.

It says at the bottom of the page that you have to go into the Bin folder and navigate to the Showcase.exe file.  Really Autodesk?  There are 596 files in that directory.
Wouldn't it have been better and easier to put the exe file in the main directory so one doesn't have to search for an exe file in a directory filled with program files?

After making a shortcut to the program file on my desktop, I decided it was time to launch.  That's when I got my first error, msvcp100.dll is missing.  So I go searching through my computer and find 10 copies of it floating around.  No mention of where it needs to go in order to work, which happens to be c:\windows\sytem32.  I try to launch Showcase Viewer again and nothing, same error.  You have to reboot your computer first.  

After that's done, I try again, only this time, I get the mfc100u.dll is missing and the program cannot launch.  Once again, search, copy, paste and reboot.

I'm hoping I'm almost there after the reboot, double click and.....yeah, the splash screen pops up.  
Nothing happened after that, so it still doesn't work.

I think the Showcase Viewer is only intended for IT specialists and not a regular user.  
Why doesn't the install program put a shortcut to the program on the Desktop at least, check for any missing dlls and put a ReadMe or installation instructions in the extracted folder.  

Basically, this ended up being a complete waste of an hour.  If anyone's boss tried the above, they'd have started cursing about 60 seconds into the process.  

I may try this on another computer and see if I get better results, but I doubt it.  

For the rest of you, here are the troubleshooting tips from the download page.   

Preparing scenes for use in Autodesk Showcase Viewer

In a licensed version of Autodesk Showcase, scenes must be saved using File > Save Scene and Textures as… to create a files compatible with the standalone viewer. (Standard Showcase scenes may open in Autodesk Showcase Viewer, but materials, textures and environments will not appear.)

Running Autodesk Showcase Viewer

  1. Download and run the self-extracting archive and specify the destination folder on your computer.
  2. In the destination folder find Showcase.exe in the bin folder and double-click the icon to launch Showcase Viewer.
  3. Optional: Create a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on Showcase.exe, dragging to the desktop and choosing “Create shortcut here” from the Windows menu.

Troubleshooting

If you experience problems starting the Autodesk Showcase Viewer: 
Check that you have the following software installed. (This can be confirmed in Windows Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. Most Windows systems will already have this software installed.)




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Saturday, July 28, 2012

The BIM DDDDeliverable

There's a very animated discussion currently going on at our company about BIM and what it takes to create and delivery 100% construction documents.


It's all about the deliverable.   What are you required to deliver? What do you want to deliver? What can you afford to deliver?  What is your staff capable of delivering?  

So, look at it like this.  Are you DDelivering, DDDelivering, DDDDelivering, DDDDDelivering or DDDDDDelivering?

For years I heard the "we only work in 2D, we don't do 3D".  Now the argument is becoming, "what do you mean you don't do 4D or 5D"?  

At the end of the day, the middle of the day and the beginning of the day, you're supposed to give the owner 100% construction documents.  When did that stop and so many clashes, errors and omissions start? Was it the 70s, 80s, 90s or centuries ago?  

In any other industry, automotive, manufacturing or even restaurants, you expect to get what you paid for.  Oh waiter, you forgot my onion rings....and don't you get mad when they forget something you paid for.  Yet, heaven forbid you have to take the time to coordinate your MEP drawings to your architectural layers.

2D will be the DDeath of many firms.  Those of us doing 3D, 4D, 5D and whatever 6D and 7D are, the more Ds we do, the more DDDollars we get.  It's our new standard of care vs your standard of I don't care.

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• Are you getting your CM-BIM credential? Click here for classes and information
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Project QuickShare graduates from Autodesk Labs

Two thoughts
1.  This looks promising and anything to share data aster is fantastic 
2.  Die PDF!

Source/Link: 
BIM -It is Alive in the Lab

I_see_360

The technology preview of Project QuickShare put the power in your hands to quickly share design files from anywhere at any time. Participants could explore DWF files in real-time using a highly interactive online viewer. Project QuickShare used the power of the Autodesk cloud and modern browsers to deliver a high quality and intuitive viewing experience.

This technology preview has come to an end. Thanks to the dedicated faithful who took this technology for a spin and provided feedback. Admittedly the full feature set of Autodesk 360 provides a wider array of capabilities.

// Learn more about Autodesk 360

Graduation is alive in the lab.

Sent with Reeder


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Three Retirements from Autodesk Labs today - It is Alive in the Lab



Fotolia_16998956_XS

It's practically a retirement party around here.

Some technology previews are retiring from Autodesk Labs today. Though these technology previews will continue to run for a few more days for existing users, I have removed the Autodesk Labs pages today because we will be moving the Autodesk Labs site to a new platform next week, and I want to freeze the site.

The technology previews that are retiring today include:

  • Project Factory.Modz() for Inventor (expires July 31)
  • Point Cloud Feature Recognition for Revit (expires August 1)
  • Project Silverstar for AutoCAD (expires August 1)

Thanks to everyone who participated in these technology previews. I have documented these for posterity on the graduates page. With your help, the Labs process is win-win. You get to help shape the future of our technologies so the end result meets your needs, and we avoid spending time and effort on technologies that are not critical to your business needs. In the future, the Reality Capture team may conduct another point-cloud-related technology preview based on the technology Autodesk acquired when we acquired Alice Labs. The Project Silverstar team may also conduct additional technology previews.

Cooperation is alive in the lab.


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Introducing the Design Feed – AutoCAD WS 1.5 Available Now | Autodesk | AutoCAD WS – Blog

Source/Link: 


The first thing you need to know is that the latest update for AutoCAD WS is available now.

You can download version 1.5 of the AutoCAD WS Mobile App now on the App Store or from Google Play. The web version of the app will be automatically updated the next time you log in with your browser atwww.autocadws.com.

The second thing you should know is that this is no ordinary update. We have taken the best things about the social web and infused them into the design process.  We recognized the need to provide tools that help you collaborate with your team on your own time in an intuitive and streamlined way.

With this new release we have added the Design Feed to both the mobile and the web app. The Design Feed is a major leap forward for AutoCAD WS giving users an in-drawing, interactive feed that enables context-specific posts and responses to turn your drawing into a living document.

Design Feed

Using the Design Feed you can attach a post to a specific point or area in your drawing to draw attention to a feature of your design and encourage discussion.

Your can target specific colleagues or friends with a post by tagging their email address. The people you tag will receive an automated email letting them know that the drawing has been shared with them and that a post has been created that requires their attention.

Add Photo

The latest release of AutoCAD WS allows users to add photos to their drawings. You can attach an image to your posts to provide clarity or to brainstorm ideas. You can place a photo anywhere in your drawing and move and resize it just like any other object.

You can also add an image to a post in the Design Feed to further illustrate your point and drive the discussion forwards.

For more information about the new Design Feed, watch our video below:


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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Revit - Computing Per Phase Demand Loads

Source/Link: 
BIM Inside the System

An update in Revit 2013 Update Release 1 makes this functionality possible... before attempting to replicate this on your own, please download and install the update.

For Revit MEP 2013, you can download here.

For Revit 2013 (part of the Design Suite), you can download here.

Near the end of this post, I suggested that it would be possible to compute the per-phase demand load by computing the ratio of Total Estimated Demand Current / Total Connected Current, then multiplying by each phase's current.  Lets take a look at the built-in parameters and how they are used to compute the Connected Current in two different ways, then how to find the demand ratio for each method, and then finally, how to apply that ratio to the per-phase currents.

 Per Phase Loads

(click image to enlarge)

In the attached image, if you based your panel sizing only on the Total Est Demand, you may resolve that a 200A panel and feeder is sufficient.  However, by seeing the load per phase, you may determine that the rating may need to be at least 230A.  Of course, balancing your panel will have an effect on ther per-phase loads. 

Dot-1Panel Totals

Total Connected

This is a built-in parameter.

This is the total sum of all connected loads (VA)

 

Total Estimated Demand

This is a built-in parameter.

This is the sum of all loads after demand factors have been applied (VA)

 

Total Connected Current

This is a built-in parameter.

In the case of a 3-phase panel, this is computed as:

Total Connected / (Line-to-Line Voltage * sqrt(3))

 

Average 3-ph Connected Current

This is a Calculated Value in the schedule.

(Current Phase A + Current Phase B + Current Phase C) / 3

 

Total Estimated Demand Current

This is a built-in parameter.

In the case of a 3-phase panel, this is computed internally as:

Total Estimated Demand / (Line-to-Line Voltage * sqrt(3))

 

Dot-2Demand Ratios

Demand To Total Ratio

This is a Calculated Value in the schedule.

Total Estimated Demand Current / Total Connected Current

 

Demand To Average Ratio

This is a Calculated Value in the schedule.

((Current Phase A + Current Phase B + Current Phase C) / 3) / Total Connected Current

 

Dot-3Per Phase Demand Loads

These are computed for each phase, replacing X with A, B, and C.

Demand phase load based on Demand To Total Ratio

These are Calculated Values in the schedule.

Current Phase X * (Total Estimated Demand Current / Total Connected Current)

 

Demand phase load based on Demand To Average Ratio

These are Calculated Values in the schedule.

Current Phase X * (Total Estimated Demand Current / ((Current Phase A + Current Phase B + Current Phase C) / (3)))

 



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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Revit tip of the day - Uppercase Text from PDFs and Word

Today, I overheard someone ask another Reviteer about uppercase text in a Revit text box.


Apparently, he had a PDF that he needed to get into Revit.  He copied the text from the PDF to Microsoft Word, highlighted everything and in the character properties, checked the uppercase box.
Then he copied the text into Revit and it was back to sentence case.  

Since Revit doesn't grab Word's formatting codes, he was going to have to retype everything.

I asked if I could sit at his desk for a moment and came up with a 30 second solution.

1.  Turn on 'show paragraph marks' in Word in your settings. If copying form a PDF, the formatting isn't perfect and paragraph marks at the end of lines affect paragraph word wrapping.
2.  Remove paragraphs at the end of lines and replace with a space to make your paragraphs continuous.
3.  Copy the block of text.
4.  Open Excel
5.  Paste your text into cell B1
6.  Go to cell A1 and type in the formula =upper(B1)
7.  Copy that formula to the bottom of your block of text (and blank lines don't matter) in Column A only.  If you have text in cells B1 through B8, copy the formula from A1 to A2 through A6.
8.  Highlight your blocks of text in Column A and copy (Ctrl+C)
9.  Go to Revit and paste in your text.  
10. NO SHOUTING BUT HEY, THEY'RE IN ALL CAPS NOW.  HURRAY!

Of course, the fact that 4 programs are involved to just get your text is a great waste of efficiency, but at least it saves you from retyping everything.
I hope that helps.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

2013 Autodesk Network License Manager System Requirements


2013: Network License Manager System Requirements

Scenario

System requirements for the Autodesk 2013 Network License Manager for Windows, Linux and Max platforms.

Solution

Windows System Requirements

Hardware / Software

Requirement

Operating System

Windows® 7® 32-bit

Windows 7 64-bit

  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
 

Windows Vista ® 32-bit SP2 or later

Windows Vista 64-bit SP2 or later

  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Home Premium and Basic (32-bit)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
 

Windows XP 32-bit SP2 or later

Windows XP 64-bit SP2 or later

  • Windows XP Home
  • Windows XP Professional
 

Windows Server 32-bit SP1 or later

Windows Server 64-bit SP1 or later

  • Windows 2008 Server R2
  • Windows 2008 Server
  • Windows 2003 Server R2
  • Windows 2003 Server

Computer/processor

Intel® Pentium® III or higher

450 MHz (minimum)

Network interface card

Compatible with existing Ethernet network infrastructure

Note: The Network License Manager supports multiple network interface cards, but at least one must be an Ethernet card.

Communication protocol

TCP/IP

Note: The Network License Manager uses TCP packet types.

FLEXnet

11.10.0.0


Virtual Machine Support

Hardware

Virtualizer

Virtual OS

Intel PC 64

Windows 2008 or Windows 2003 R2 servers running on VMware® ESX3.5 (Update 3) or 4.0 (License Manager Only)

Vista 64-bit or 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows 7 32-bit (Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise), Windows 7 64-bit, Windows Server 64-bit or 32-bit.



Linux System Requirements

Hardware / Software

Requirement

Operating system

Linux® 64-bit or 32-bit

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux 5.0 WS (U4)

Computer/processor

Intel Pentium 3 or higher

450 MHz (minimum)

Network interface card

Compatible with existing Ethernet network infrastructure

Note: The Network License Manager supports multiple network interface cards, but at least one must be an Ethernet card.

Communication protocol

 TCP/IP

Note: The Network License Manager uses TCP packet types

 

FLEXnet

 

11.10.0.0



Mac System Requirements

Hardware / Software

Requirement

Operating system

Mac OS® X version 10.6 and higher

Computer/processor

Intel Mac

Network interface card

Compatible with existing Ethernet network infrastructure

Note: The Network License Manager supports multiple network interface cards, but at least one must be an Ethernet card.

Communication protocol

 TCP/IP

Note: The Network License Manager uses TCP packet types

FLEXnet

11.10.0.0




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Autodesk Webcast - What's New in Revit 2013 for Architects Webcast - 7/25/12

Click here to register: Autodesk - What's New in Revit 2013 for Architects Webcast


Keynote Speaker: Amy Fietkau, Architecture Technical Specialist
Date & Time: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:00a.m. - 11:00a.m PDT
Description:
As the AEC Industry continues to evolve along with Building Information Modeling, let’s take a moment to focus on one of the key components of the AEC Industry - Architecture. As BIM continues to evolve, Autodesk’s Revit solution also continues to evolve.
Amy’s presentation will include what’s new in Revit 2013 for Architects and Designers:
  • Component-Based Stairs
  • Railing Enhancements
  • Visualization Enhancements
  • Autodesk 360 Rendering
  • Suite Workflow – Revit to Showcase and 3ds Max Design
  • Autodesk Revit – discipline configuration
Date and Time:   2012-Jul-25
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Pacific Daylight Time
Deadline:   2012-Jul-24
Location:   Online
Hosted By:   Autodesk, Inc.

* indicates a required field


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