Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 Revit files and where they are

THIS LINK will bring you to a post of 10 Revit files you may need to know of as well as know where they are.

Thanks Revit Clinic!!!

In case you were wondering about why I used the image at left?

Well, it's a painting I did, titled "The Mystery of..." and seeing how these Revit files may be mysterious...
You can guess the rest...

Happy Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere and Great Summer to those in the Southern...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Revit Reunion: It's not a get together!!!

Hit the images for more...
So I was checking the map of locations (image above) that shows where people are hitting the blog from and found a dot in the middle of the Indian Ocean!!!

Well, it's not the Antarctic but Really Cool anyhow!!!

At first I thought one of you was Revit-ing from a ship but I zoomed in via Geo-Traffic and found that someone (you) were on the beautiful Island of Reunion!!!

Either a great Rev-vacation or a super place to work, I bet!!!

Anyhow I simply like to share some of the locations that we find Reviteurs at and perhaps we can have a Revit Reunion on Reunion!!!

Have a great Weekend all!!! Especially All of you!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Families (and more) Polantis Has 'it'

Want some more nice MFG content in Revit, 3DMAX, OBJ and so many more formats? Go to Polantis and see what they have. You do have to sign up for a free user account to download but that's painless enough... The image above & below link to but one MFG each but there are many more...

I found the few I have tested are very acceptable RFA's and with a bit of modification the materials, etc. can be parameterized for project level manipulation... If you don't care that they may not make the piece with your materials, etc. that is... 'Depends on your needs, huh? If you simply need design objects then modify at will... If you need the actual MFG object to spec, I'd probably suggest AGAINST such modifications though...

Did I mention the files are free?
They are.

Did I mention the files look good?
They look good so far.

Not every object comes in every format, but having a lot is better than having a little... The download zip files can also include product data/cut sheets in PDF format, etc. So get to tying them into your specs now.

Hit the image below for their Catalog.

Pushing BIM Beyond (The Model as I see it)

Great article but I recommend the comments' section perhaps more.... there are some very good points to consider. Food for thought for BIMmers of all levels... (hit the image to go there)

Although even this blog cites a difference between BIM & CAD, in it's title CAD simply stands for Computer Aided Design, it's too bad that most of us in the AEC industries hear 2D CAD as drafting. (I even had to come clean on that HERE a while back) Oh well, we have bigger fish to fry...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AUGI Update

Looks like there is an update regarding AUGI reversing their debacle over the legacy postings.

Like many of us thought the data will be back... But I bet all the buzz that everyone who buzzed, buzzed was a substantial influence in their acting so quickly, as well as providing (all of the sudden) some communication as to their plans... I guess the idea of their getting spilled may have made the current BoD think more or think differently about the AUGI Membership than they previously

Click the image below for Steve Stafford's Update... Thanks Steve and all for your parts in solving this sooner, rather than (too much) later!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What does AUGI stand for?

New photo of the current Augi Board? If you haven't seen them in a while, all of the legacy postings on AUGI (no, I will NOT put a link to them) are gone.

My guess is the legacy data will be back in pretty short order... Or not...

There can be a lot of definitions of "AUGI" yet any of the ones that come to mind right now somehow have The F word in them.

What a shortsighted happenstance it was to change their website and not keep access to the years of legacy data that so many people use(d).

What AUGI did was akin to the porn industry taking internet porn away, in order to have a new porn site...without all the porn.

Yeah; that'll work.

Great job to the AUGI board of directors. Shows how ego's can destroy so quickly what so many others built over time!!!

The heart of the matter as I see it is, that if the legacy data stays gone then fuck AUGI; they would become no more than an irrelevancy from the "olden days": If the data does come back then let's all forgive, yet never forget and perhaps keep reminding them of their folly from time to time :-).

In Steve Staffords fantastic blog & post HERE you can read his eluding to what happened and what may happen to all that gold. You can read some insights and more. I find that the best can be found in the "comments" section where Phil Read adds his own, with a bit more moderate, usercentric points and less politically correct apolo-gism... he also cites a petition to sign to spill the board and force new elections, so Get your vote on here.

We all may have thoughts on this, and perspective surely colors these thoughts but if you were to ask the person who used the AUGI legacy data as a resource, I am pretty sure they'd say that it
shows a tremendous lack of imagination and as to the loss that AUGI may cause themselves; they'll deserve it.

Hey, I am not even sending my dues in this month... Oh wait, it's free... Hmmm... I think I have viewpoints on both sides of this!!!

Who cares what they do with that old stuff; most, if not all, should be on our blogs by now anyway, right? Let's decentralize our wealth of knowledge and really use the clouds and let AUGI go the way of the Dodo. Single point of access? That is the Ipad anyhow... I don't care where the data "lives".

Back to it...Toward the end of the Revit OpEd comments SS & PR have a tete a tete of sorts and I read their comments as commendable and polite contrariness; coming from two people trying to change each others' minds and while that is natural and human and all; I do not think they ever will succeed... nor should they!

We love them just the way they are, no matter their view or stakes in this...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

AU 2010 Results Now & Later

Well, I am still shooting for 10 status but am glad to be a 9 :-) Great session and a great AU!!!

Thanks to all who came by and participated with us; The session went well it seems and outside of having no "Easy Button" for the guys with the 3,000 & 16,000+ sheet projects (there is just no easy within difficult projects, I do though suggest a team of BIM managers on these types of projects)... the ideas shared will surely be a help.

Everyone seemed to get something beneficial, so I am pleased with the results. I am also glad for everyone's input; that is what really makes these great; thanks!!! Coordinating is not just a visual audit of what's there, it's also planning for what wants/needs to be included, as well as planning what NOT to include in a BIM model (I say "BIM model" since a BIM is much more than simply a 3D model). Cartoon sheets, coordination views, settings captures & documentation and more were discussed and there was a lot of the obligatory business connections made.

As to those couple of people who thought that it was too little information and wanted a handout, etc. I must admit that I thought that such an un-conference, discussion based session made it impracticable to attempt a meaningful handout since most of the items discussed were going to be audience based. If this was a class I'd agree with that fully but these are advertised as discussion based...

That said I will make sure to have something of worth to hand out in the future, so everyone's concerns or expectations may be met (read as 'probably not in any case since we can't make everyone happy'); and honestly we all want our expectations to be satisfied, right? Even if it's not "from" a 10.

Bo, Thanks for the beauty for me to reference!!! You truly are 10... HEY WAIT!!! Is that what Bo Derek looks like now, or is that really Axl Rose???

Ahh that's better...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vasari is now live on The Labs!!! (for Revit Designers & Wannabe's Alike)

Full Revit it's not but that's the whole point!!!

Designers who haven't yet gotten on the BIM train can get a start with Vasari and get to a place where SketchUp is no longer used (or used as much), since as a BIM tool SKP is; well... a tool.

Download Project Vasari for yourself from the photo at left!!!
If you'd like a technology review look at D Light's blog posting Here.

If you'd like to see a teaser go to this post from a few days ago (well a few days ago from the time of this post)!!!

Need some Video Tutorials (in addition to the ones in the tech preview? Click Me!!!

Enjoy, now get to Designing!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AIA NTAP Nationwide BIM

The AIA NTAP is having a New Technologies|Alliances|Practices conference November 12th 2010; Interactively in 10 US Cities simultaneously; so download the Hybrid Schedule Here or register at the AIA Site Here by clicking the image; hope to see you there!!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What If Indeed!!! Project Vasari and Revit Conceptualizations+

In the following video teaser ADSK asks us a few retorical questions and I will open with a rhetorical answer: Hell Yeah!!! We'd use it and push it to the limits (and can hardly wait)!!! Thanks for the heads-up @davidfano

Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee!!! I do appreciate The Labs

Thursday, November 04, 2010

1st Pricing™ Window & Door Toolkit for Revit®

If you are interested in finding out more on how or if you can track projected pricing of real world components, beyond estimates, then click the image (left).

Got Plugin? Although their site only notes a download for Revit 2010, in most of the documentation, if you click the image (left) you will be brought to a page to download their plugin for EITHER 2010 or 2011 (at the time of this posting).

As they say in an old press release: "...With the click of a button, the 1st Pricing technology accesses an internet portal and pulls comparison pricing of multiple brands to fill out a detailed bill of materials with all related content on demand...." There is a new press release for 2011 Right Here!!!

Did I mention these are free???!!! Well, they are so don't be upset if: "...Today, the Company is focused on building materials for residential construction but plans to add commercial building products. In the near future, 1st Pricing expects to provide pricing on virtually every building product used in residential construction while bridging the gap for subcontractors by including labor quotes...."

Something is better than nothing perhaps...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feeding To Revit? RSS Feeds for Fingertip Information

At a recent (last night if you are reading this on the day of the posting) LARUG Meeting Cody Nowak presented a little tutorial on how to hook up Revit with your favorite RSS feeds. I trust you will use this for purely business purposes ;-)

If you'd like to keep in touch with said LARUG just check out and friend us up or follow us using these Twitter and Facebook pages and don't forget the LinkedIn page... Friends Rule!!! Communication Rules too...

BTW: If you can't download the PDF from Scribd use This Link.

C Nowak's Revit RSS How To

Download at will...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are Revit Elevation Views Leaving You Flat? Another How-To-Solve-It with Filters

I want something like this:

HTF can we easily get Elevations (Sections, etc.???) to have distinctions in their graphic representations as they fall further into the distance from our picture plane? You know, get items to appear as if they are fading away or appearing lighter, the greater the distance away they are... without using cruel workarounds like the less than optimal ‘Linework’ tool (read ‘Linework tool’ as the “waste(r) of time and I will probably be forced to rework these over and over as the project progresses” tool) or the shunned Drafting Lines themselves (Please say you don’t use lines). SO how do we??? Hmmmm…

OK, you are about to get the answer to those questions and get one main Best Practice and another one or two solutions that are a less recommended due to their major documentation limitations. Therefore soon you’ll be able to say goodbye to the “flat, dead, fugly, OOTB elevation problem”. YAAY!!!

Although I have heard a lot of comments and complaints through the years about how dead, flat & frankly fugly looking Elevations and Sections can look in Revit, I think it reflects more on us, rather than solely on Revit (but both have been at fault, if you ask me).

I do not want something like this:
Oh, the reason I say it’s an ‘us’ thing is that there are solutions… If you haven’t found solutions or heard of any (yet) let this be a new beginning; but if you do know of some and one has been to use filters and you have not shared it with the Revit community at-large then I say shame on you!!! Where’s the love??? If you have shared it I could not find it on the weboblogotwitosphere so perhaps marketing needs work?

That diatribe now over, we can continue :) It’s time to buck up partner, there is a really powerful cure (Hint: #2 is the cure I am speaking about).

The two methods we will discuss herein include:
1) The Old School Glass Obstructer Method (See Image 1 below)
Not as recommended as the next method is for a CD set elevations, but useful for presentations and ancillary 3D views/3D elevations, etc.

And finally that Best Practice:
2) The Filter Method (See Image 2 below)
Yes. There it is finally, your recommended Best Practice!!!

(Image 1)
The "Glass Obstructer” Method: Not bad, but perhaps not best either

(Image 2)
Filter Method: Best practice (at time of this post at least. :))

These two workflows (if you so choose to use) can also be visually pleasing when used in consort with one another… even though the glass-obstructers need a bit of management via Worksets; just test the output before committing to print the whole set or committing to pronouncing the Glass Method to be your firm’s best practice!!! Look out for the Annotation limitations listed further on, in the step-by-steps for creating The Old School Glass Obstructer Method also; that’s a huge problem with this possible solution.

(Image 3)
Hybrid Filter-3D Elevation/Glass Obstructer Method –Again, great if you don’t want to annotate the views!!! (Why? See Image 4)

(Image 4)
Text is the only Annotation available in flat oriented 3D views :-(

If you employ The Old School Glass Obstructer Method (step-by-step below) and think that you want to annotate the 3D “Elevation” views you have a harsh reality coming… You can only use Text. Period.

No Dimensions, no Tags, no Keynotes, no etc…

Why? Because Dimensions, Spot Elevations & Spot Coordinates are only available in 3D views set to a non-flat direction, such as isometric, that’s why. If we look at this logically the flat 3D views only appear flat, thus these tools would probably hit unknown parts of the project, not what we want.

The Old School Glass Obstructer Method Step-by-Step:
1) Create 1” thick walls with a new material that I like to call Glass Obstructer; In the examples herein the material is setup thus (See Image 5)

(Image 5)
Glass Obstructer Material Settings

2) Place these walls where they need to be (obviously)
a. Ensure that these obstructers are substantially wider & taller that the rest of the project (See Image 6)
(Image 6)
Glass Obstructers in Place (Yeah I know!!! Weird, huh?)

b. Place the obstructers in their own Workset (WS) that is created Off by Default (See Image 7)

(Image 7)
Glass Obstructers Workset settings

3) Create a set of 3D Views; one for each desired “Elevation” (similar to Image 3 above)
a. Set these 3D Elevation Views to be aligned with a corresponding, real Elevation View or use the view-cube and set to flat orientations.
b. Turn on the WS in all appropriate 3D “Elevation’” views to get that faded look.
4) – Shadows anyone???

Now That The Not-So-Recommended Way Has Been Explained Let’s Get To The Real Good Stuff!!!

The Filter Method: A (sort of) Step-by-Step:
1) Create a filter planning matrix (See Image 8)
a. This is a Word document, where filters will be planned, so they are made efficiently, predictably and clean Excel works well too.
(Image 8)
Filter Planning Matrix

2) Create Elevations (of course)
3) View Ribbon > Graphics Panel > Filters Tool (See Image 9)
(Image 9) The Filter Tool
4) Create Filters (See Image 10)
(Image 10) Filter creation

a. Use the info from your Filter Planning Matrix
BTW: This matrix can be scaled to be useful for any filter plus variants can be used to plan & manage every possible setting in Revit; especially useful since one should NEVER save their old template files into a newer version…Unless you want to lose functionality!!! Really!!!
b. Assign the filters to the appropriate objects; in this case I used only Walls
c. Setup the filter rules

OK get ready: In this scenario I am using an ADSK OOTB template so I simply used the Instance Parameter “Comment” for the assignment portion of this solution… On a real project I suggest that you setup custom/instance/Project Parameters corresponding to each elevation view, for the Objects to be overridden (walls in this case): perhaps they look similar to Image 11 & 12's List of Potential Instance Parameters for Walls to be overridden using the Filter Method:
  1. Elevation Override East
  2. Elevation Override North
  3. Elevation Override South
  4. Elevation Override West

(Image 11)
Parameter Setup Example

(Image 12)
Wall Properties/Parameter value Example

With these setups assign each wall’s instance parameters with the number that corresponds to the (to be) overridden line weight setting (1 for 1, etc.)

Are you with me so far? It is simpler than it appears after a while… Plus very powerful and should open your imagination up to use filters rather than the horrendous Override in View!!!

5) Open one of your elevation views
a. Type VV (Visibility Graphics… Yeah VG works too but I don’t like moving my finger that half inch :))
b. Select into the Filters Tab and Add all of the necessary filters (See Image 13) –That’s right: neither shift, nor Ctrl work here; to select these all just click them individually… *#@! Software Developers can’t seem to make their dialogues work consistently yet… Yikes!!!
(Image 13)
Adding the filters to a view’s Visibility Graphics

c. Next, while still in the elevation’s Visibility Graphics Chose the corresponding override Weight for each filter (Projection Lines definitely, Cut Lines ??? Hmmm is that where we’d mess with our sections??? You bet!!!). (See Image 14)
(Image 14)
Choosing the overrides per filter

d. Click OK and you’re almost there…

I have to take a pause here and admire the strength of filters. Don’t worry, we’re almost Finished!!! (Let's take a look at the (now filter-overridden) View again)
AHHHHH... That’s a whole lot better!!!

Finally: Oh wow, there's more? Well, yes... we want to push these filters/overrides more methodically than by manually repeating the V/G, filter addition & overriding, don’t we? YES; you had better have said yes!!!

6) Go over to the Project Browser
a. Right-Click the view you just overrode the line weights for
b. Select “Create View Template From View”
c. Name the View Template with a useful name (follow conventions)
d. Un-check all check boxes except “V/G Overrides Filters” (See Image 16)
(Image 16)
Sweet 16: View Template

7) Apply this View Template to all necessary elevations and if you have set all the walls with the appropriate integer value for those parameters you created you will have similar results as these!!!

Good luck and let us know what great uses you use filters for that may be out of the ordinary.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The New (New) Revit Graphics Card List is Here!!!

Without further ado: Get the current (as of the date of this post) Revit Approved Graphics Card list Here when choosing a new workstation (and I don't mean a small business or home rated computer!!!)... remember if you get anything that's not on the list or that's not followed by a green Check/+
then you're on your own.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Do you play BIM? Will You be in Vegas this December?

Nice hair... too bad I cut it...

Let's see how many people we can jam into this session at the upcoming 2010 Autodesk University (AU)

Coordinating Hot Revit® Models: How to Become a "10"

This 1-Hour session is for all
All Levels of Revit User and attendee participation mandatory (ok, highly recommended)!!! Yes, this means those who show up will add to the discussion... Are you ready???

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stop Double-Clicking Files to Open Them!!!

Got that? Stop Double-Clicking BIM or CADD Files to Open Them!!!

Unless of course you like to create files that are increasingly corrupt and ultimately don't work.

First let me put this in a bit of perspective: I don't mean little bitty files or the likes of MS Word files, etc. I am strictly speaking to Revit & other ADSK files (such as AutoCAD and all the variants therein) probably the other software vendor files too but they'd have to address that.

I was speaking to an ADSK developer about the fact that I'd heard it is not a good practice to open files by double-clicking them and they agreed and gave me some now long forgotten, technical and valid reasons.

I was working (for 6 years) next to a MACperson and since he was so used to double-clicking files to open them he naturally double-clicked away; even though we were in a Windows environment AND even though we had implemented a best-practice of 'never double-clicking files to open them'... you know how it is: best practices are only as good as the people employing them (or not
employing them)... I guess he initially didn't believe in the import or validity of the suggested practice.

Well as time went by I realized that this person was generating a lot more corrupt (Architectural Desktop) files than anyone else... Hmmm was the info that ADSK developer told me correct? Yes, obviously!!!

I also tested with network sniffers and wait til I tell you about the poor packets of lost information...

Long story short; once the double-clicking was stopped so did nearly all of the corruptions...hey; it was still CADD based so don't expect perfection... Think of it this way: the files we are using in the BIM realm are quite large and the applications we use are also large and complex with so many calculations happening it's hard to imagine; but back to the point: if the app isn't fully opened the file will still be trying to force itself into the app but can't complete the process ...

...And if you're on a network what do you think happens to the packets of information? Well, they bounce around the network trying to find a home, but after a short time (milliseconds to
seconds usually) they turn back into free floating electrons and go back to whence they came... Space

Say bye-bye to your data!!! Now, if you continue
double-clicking then I suggest that you stop asking why the files go corrupt and start to take ownership of your actions and realize that you caused the corruptions by choice and action... This is not a judgement, just a fact... not good or bad; just so.

Remember: Ignorance of the law is no excuse either, right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The New Black? Green BIM!!!

There's enough said in the new for 2010 BIM Smart Market Report by the folks at McGraw Hill Construction, etc... So I'll keep this post on-point and only add: Get on (Green BIM...) now, if you're not already: you can no longer say we didn't tell you :-)

Click the image below for the report.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Need a Reference to Bo Derek in your Revit / BIM Process?

OK; it's that time again for the AutoGeekFest-a-thon... actually it's Autodesk University and I can hardly wait... Vegas Baby... Oh I mean a load of learning, sharing & teaching!!!

Early registration opened today (Monday September 07, 2010) and becomes open to all in the days to come. Lots of great sessions including my Unconference Session (I still like calling them UnPlugged Sessions) but I digress.

Click the image below to get to or near it...

There are a lot of new sessions at AU this year, as well as a few goodies from years past, so be sure to look through "The List"... I will be cloning myself to be in several sessions at once... really I will be coordinating with friends and colleagues to cover more than what any one of us can do individually... hope to see you there (BTW: don't look for my long hair, as in the photo; that's long gone and I am far too busy to grow it out again...perhaps :-))

Sunday, September 05, 2010

OK So Today I am Picking Flowers

The title is basically to communicate that this is just a frivolous, personal posting... devoid of meaning... so I will just add: Ahhh Old Times! ...Long gone.

Scroll down for the BIM stuff :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

BIM Around The World 1: Iceland

Yeah Iceland's hitting the blog!!! I am curious who you all are, not just in Iceland but every one, in all of the Nations, Cities and towns that regularly hit this blog...

BIM is truly world wide... I am going to highlight work from all parts of Earth and ask that anyone who wants to share some images and/or how to's with a growing BIM Universe; you know, for posts that may be helpful (and specific) to your part of our shrinking world; please get in touch!!! Just leave a comment to this post and include an email address or any way to contact you...

BIM-on Iceland and everywhere!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Keynotes: How to Use & Abuse the System: A How To for Good, Not Evil

Keynotes are a major part of Revit. For some a major part that goes unused; while others use them to many varying degrees. The following, download-able white paper will show how to use and abuse them... In a good way of course!!!

Since Tag schedules, note blocks, etc. do not give the ability to show only those items that are tagged or noted on any single sheet (yet???) ...you know, like the old things we called "sheet notes" in the traditional drafting days?; and since the Keynote Legends actually do (YES THEY DO!!!) allow us to show only those Keynotes referencing objects that are on views that are placed on any one (or more)sheet(s); they are something we can use to replicate those old Sheet Notes
...again: showing only those items called out & placed on a sheet ...YAAY!!!

CLICK HERE if you don't get the embedded white paper (below)...
Now, Enter the White Paper:
Revit Schematic Keynotes Explained (Well, Bootlegged and Used)

That all said (and yes I am adding this on 12/21/2010) To create keynote databases a bit easier and "on the fly...ier" check this cool little standalone app for just this purpose. Cheers!!!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

CMAA BIM for Construction Management Panel Discussion

If you are interested in BIM for Construction Management and are in the LA/Long Beach area this week sign up for the CMAA event by registering online at: www.cmaasc.org. If you sign up by August 6th I believe there is a discounted rate...

We have assembled a 5-star panel for this session – don’t miss out!

BIM for Construction Management

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10:30 am Seminar

The Grand Conference Center

4101 E. Willow Street

Long Beach, CA

REGISTER ON-LINE AT www.cmaasc.org

CMAA Southern California Chapter

PO Box 41202

Long Beach, CA 90853

t 562-434-8409 . f 562-296-9708