Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dept. of Workarounds - Revit MEP for Interiors?

I got an email from a past student this morning asking if there was some way to get the Copy/Monitor feature to work for Rooms. As an interiors firm they do most of their work in a separate model and this is a bit inconvenient when it comes to creating equipment schedules and report the location (room) information. Once upon a time Revit MEP had a Copy/Monitor that included Rooms. They replaced that with Spaces and HVAC Zones. These spaces are aware of rooms in a linked project.

See where I'm headed?? I can't copy/monitor rooms but Revit MEP can keep spaces in sync with rooms...soooo...uncomfortable workaround ahead:

What if "your" firm uses Revit MEP instead? You'd be able to link the architecture model in, places spaces where their rooms are.
 Once you've got Spaces where their Rooms are you can use the Space Naming Utility to keep the names and numbers in sync.

This tool is available from Autodesk Subscription though I can't imagine why it isn't just part of the software yet.

Equipment schedules can report Space Name and Number instead of Room Name and Number - though we'd keep them in sync and nobody but "us" would be the wiser?

What's the penalty to do the work in Revit MEP? No site or structural tools and a different interface layout than a user with RAC experience is used to. The lack of beams or columns might be a bummer, maybe not? It does beg the question, "Why isn't there a better way for firms to collaborate between their respective firms?" Well, not yet anyway. The "Xmas" wish list is a lot bigger than "Santa" has time and "elves" to prepare and deliver each year.

I created a short video to describe what I'm suggesting might suffice...mileage may vary...or you can listen and watch here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dept. of Subtle - Omni Class Parameters Missing

Looking at the parameters of various families you might notice that some seem to be missing their Omni Class parameters. Taking a closer look you should note that these are probably system families like walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, structure foundation slabs etc. The text from the Revit help documentation:


OmniClass is a new classification system for the construction industry. The Autodesk Seek website uses codes from OmniClass Table 23 to filter and identify shared content. A code consists of an OmniClass number and title.

If an OmniClass code is not already assigned to a family, you are prompted to assign one during the sharing process. However, you can continue to share with Autodesk Seek without defining one. All Revit families have parameters for assigning an OmniClass code, except for the System and Annotation families. [emphasis added]

You can access the OmniClass Number and OmniClass Title parameters in the Family Category and Parameters dialog under Family Parameters. See Family Category and Parameters.


The description on the home page of OmniClass is:


The OmniClass Construction Classification System (known as OmniClass™ or OCCS) is a classification system for the construction industry. OmniClass is useful for many applications, from organizing library materials, product literature, and project information, to providing a classification structure for electronic databases. It incorporates other extant systems currently in use as the basis of many of its Tables – MasterFormat™ for work results, UniFormat for elements, and EPIC (Electronic Product Information Cooperation) for structuring products.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Revit Technology Conference 2010 - RTC 2010 Sydney

Planning for RTC 2010 Sydney is in full swing and goes live in just a couple short months now. I was fortunate to be able to attend last year and get to go this year too!! Yay me! (I watch Disney Channel with my daughter so I'm hip to all the cool phrases!) The conference will be at the:

Novotel Manly Pacific Hotel
Sydney, Australia
Thursday – Saturday, 20 – 22 May 2010

I must admit that I wasn't going to attend until Wesley showed me the special microphones they were going to provide me with for my sessions. I had to make sure no other speaker would get to use them before I'd agree. What kind of "prima don" would I be if I didn't have unreasonable demands? This is a picture of the microphones that I get to use, I think they are befitting of my style and go with my earrings nicely!

Truth be told I found the picture on the Facebook page for PA of the Day. A page dedicated to sharing pictures of Public Address (PA) systems. The sort of stuff a roadie (ex-roadie in my case) enjoys. The more arcane the better! Naturally I had to join immediately. The caption attributes them to Mariah Carey.

Back to the conference! The schedule and roster of speakers has been posted. If you have the opportunity to attend or send someone from your office instead please plan to do so, won't regret it! See you there!!

P.S. If you are really paying attention did you notice the RTC USA link? Hmmm...what could we be planning there?? Stay tuned!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off Topic - Contrast and Boredom

I write this as an escape from the pain of reviewing a document for references to figures...figure 1 to image 1 - check...next figure 2 to image 2...check - "help me" I know I have to finish this...deep breath...

I've been growing less and less fond of the blog format here and recently Blogger starting offering some more template features. I experimented a bit with Revit Inside and Revit Jobs tonight. I went with a stark contrast of a change for Revit Inside and a slightly evolutionary change with Revit Jobs. I'm curious if any of my readers care for one or the other or if they even care.

I like the real contrast between the text and the background of Revit Inside. Usually I find a black background to hard to read text on. This template's choices are surprisingly legible, to me that is.

I also like the contrast and clean order to Revit Jobs. Can you sense my indecision here? It is the only reason I didn't just do one or the other tonight. When I'm waffling...I tend to keep waffling for a bit longer.

Any opinions??

Autodesk Blogger Day - Revit 2011

Wow I've got so much to write about! I'm sorry I should have written I COULD have had so much to write about. This morning has been a comedy of errors. First I realized that I deleted my invitation last night when my email provider decided to dump 80 messages on me again along with some I haven't seen. I inadvertently deleted several I shouldn't have and then immediately emptied the the "trash"...gone, poof...see ya...

Today is my daughter's birthday and I took some snacks to school and had some fun. All the while thinking that I had several hours until the meeting took place. I could just send an email and get it all sorted out, no problem. Except when I finally got back to my computer to deal with it I realized that the meeting just ended!! Eastern Standard time is a "bugger" when you live on the "left" coast!!

Suffice it to say I missed the event again. Last year I was working with a client and this year I set aside the date for my daughter's birthday (and sneaking in a Revit Blogger Day). Sigh... I did attend the South Coast Revit User Group meeting last night and got to see Scott Davis present information for all three versions so I can still write something, just not about the blogger day event. A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) reduces me to Sergeant Shultz unfortunately.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Revit MEP 2011

Revit Clinic revealed some new features for Revit MEP 2011. For those of you expressing dismay at no cable tray or conduit features, dismay no more! Also, sssh... "oval duct"!

I'm wondering how long before there is a wishlist item for "flex conduit" (aka Romex?)...?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Revit 2011 - Let the Noise Begin

Since Revit 2011 is nearly upon us I thought I'd echo a post by Guy Robinson at Bolt Out of The Red blog. He wrote this one back in May of 2009 after the scrappy heated stuff was developing with the new Ribbon interface. I found it very insightful and thought provoking. He wasn't claiming to have an inside track on reality or the truth but he has been a programmer using the Revit API for about as long as anyone outside of Autodesk has been. I tend to agree with his post title as I think this year will be a pivotal one for the three kids as they turn eleven, six and five.

Greg Arkin at Revit 3D has begun posting information about the new release. I believe the standard Autodesk embargo (for Sales/Marketing) about discussing the new products ended at Midnight (EST). He started posting minutes afterward. As my title says, let the noise begin as everyone else starts adding to the available information pile on the "internets". It's a win for the users who are eager to find out what they can about the next release.

[Added: 03/25/2010] David Light made a really nice summary of just some of the new features this morning too.

Revit 2011 - Sneak Peak

On Thursday, March 25, 2010 (tomorrow) Autodesk is broadcasting a public webinar to give everyone a quick look at what's new in their software portfolio. Shaan Hurley posted about it on his Between the Lines blog. I read about it there but also saw Robin's post about Shaan's post...echo echo echo. If you are a Twitter user then you may have seen the Autodesk tweet? The presentation is going to cover more than just Revit products, yeah I know there are more products than Revit...I was shocked too! Check it out!?!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dept. of Subtle - Active Workset is Off

If you have turned off the Active Workset you may have noticed a couple subtle items are missing. First text won't show you leaders as you pick points to create them until you finish the text. Second is the Rotate tool's Origin of Rotation icon, it doesn't show up either. Turn back on the Active Workset and they start feeling better.

If you can't see your sketch lines while creating a sketch based element like a floor, ceiling or roof for example, you just need to check the Visibility/Graphics settings for Lines. When this category has been turned off you lose all the elements that use these various line styles.

I've recorded a short video to explain this stuff visually. You can listen and watch here now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

AUGI | AEC EDGE Winter 2010 Issue is out!

It is posted! You can check it out here!

Authors this issue are:

Paul Aubin, Robert Bell, Chris Fugitt, Bruce Gow, Jason Grant, Mike Hardy Brown, David Harrington, Will Harris, David Kataoka, Robert Manna, Philip (Chico) Membreno, John Morgan, Damon Ranieri, Elizabeth Shulok, Steve Stafford (me), and alphabetically last, but not least, Margaret Wiggins.

Hope you enjoy it!

Off Topic - Revit Founder Donates Sculpture - 2007

Stumbled across this while searching for something related to the history of Revit. This from a Technion press release dated June 24, 2007

"Sculpture “Books and The Written Word” Dedicated at Technion
The 4-ton sculpture by Boris Zaborov was donated by the entrepreneur Leonid Raiz"

A giant sculpture, weighing 4 tons, which depicts a book out of which emerge letters in various languages, was dedicated at the Technion last week, in the presence of the donor, Leonid Raiz, his wife Alexandra, the sculptor Boris Zaborov, architects Shaul Kenner and Michael Seltzer, and the heads of the Technion.

The bronze sculpture is 3.80 meters high, 2.60 meters long and half a meter wide. Platinum has been delicately mixed with the bronze, giving it additional color nuances. The architects created a concrete base that connects the sculpture with the ground. The base is made up of two elements – an elliptic element and one that look like a narrow, long shelf. The concrete shelf is 15 meters long. The elliptic base is 10 meters long. The shelf is solid concrete with white pigment while the ellipse has a gray pigment.

Leonid Raiz immigrated to the US from the former Soviet Union in 1980. He developed highly successful computerized software for architectural design that is now used in most architectural offices around the world. In 1997, Leonid Raiz established another company – Revit Technologies – that also develops software for architectural offices.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Autodesk BIM Deployment Plan

From the Autodesk site:


The Autodesk BIM Deployment Plan offers tools and guidance for building industry professionals interested in implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM). Tools offered in this resource provide a practical framework for AEC stakeholders, and can be used by individual organizations on specific projects. The BIM Deployment Plan includes:

* BIM support materials for owners, architects, engineers, and contractors
* Templates to streamline multi-discipline communications
* Recommendations for roles and responsibilities
* Best business process examples
* Software suggestions for an effective BIM environment


Download it now?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dept. of Echo - Tab Key

Echoing my own posts this time. Just a little reminiscing, but first a question...

Tab is?
A) A delightful diet soda
B) Your bar bill
C) Part of the delightful ribbon interface
D) Texas Association of Broadcasters
E) A key on the keyboard and tool in Revit
F) All of the above

The answer is "F", all of the above. The question now is, "Which one is more relevant to this post?" Well... "E" naturally.

I posted this as a reminder on July 10, 2008. Beware the "Disco Tabbing"!
I posted this and a video on October 22, 2009. I've embedded the video again here for some instant gratification.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Product Pitch - Mach Studio Pro by Studio GPU

Check out Mach Studio Pro!

So what is Mach Studio Pro? William mentioned it in his blog recently and Steve Bennett mentioned it in his blog in May 2009 after getting to see it and again in November 2009, so you can read their thoughts too. Here's a description from the Studio GPU site.

"Working at the Speed of Thought"
"Real-time interactive workflow and rendering has always been the holy grail of the CGI industry. But crossing this boundary has proven elusive even to those with the highest-end multi processor environments .... Until now.

Here's an image capture of one of several sample videos you can watch.

If you try out or buy the product and want to use it with a Revit model you can download the exporter which will install and provide the export functions within Revit. You can check out the download page HERE.

If you want to check out the tutorial that is available for it then you can download that HERE.

It was very impressive seeing rendering results as soon as I made any change, immediately, no waiting. Revit models do suffer a bit from performance issues similar to Autodesk's Max environment but some careful model exporting can provide a model you can set a scene for quickly and then test out everything else. When you are ready for a final it still takes a fraction of the time for the final than anything else I'm aware of.

Part of the price is the included high end ATI 8750 Video Graphics card.

I've been quietly waiting for a chance to write about this. Last fall I got a chance to see this product up close and work with them to support Revit more directly. They released the exporter for Revit really quietly, so quiet I missed it too.

Time to check them out!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Schematic Design Toilet Partitions

One approach to "fast" that I've preferred over the last few years for laying out toilet partitions is to use walls and doors. This instead of hunting down specific family assemblies. That's fine later when we pick some "real" stuff but early on I just want to sketch them. Who knows we might decide to move them elsewhere?? I've posted a video that explains what you see in this image here (or at YouTube).

Or listen and watch now, here...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dept. of Subtle - Window Tagged Twice

A client recently reported a strange tag situation. When they changed the tag value another window's tag would change too. Not strange to me, the tag is displaying the Type Mark parameter, correct? No they replied, "We don't do that, we tag each window with a unique number so our tag displays the Mark parameter."

Now I'm curious...well it was too easy. The tag was tagging the same window as the other tag. Select the tag, add a check in the Leader Option and we could see where the tag thought its window really was. Here's a video to show what I'm writing about.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Off Topic - Fun at #Laboratory

Words don't do this site justice. Greg Demchak shared a link to this tonight and I spent 30 minutes playing with the different experiments there when I was supposed to do something else. The site is called #Laboratory Andre Michelle

Warning, don't go there unless you have a few minutes to spare! This image is from the Unstable Connections experiment.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dept. of Subtle - Revit MEP - Connectors and Height

It is important to orient connectors correctly. The "height" value or "radius" value for round connectors need to be "vertical". Here's an example of wrong (straight out of the family tutorials provided with RME).

Here's an example of correct: