Saturday, June 27, 2009

Compound Walls - How Much?

While attending a Revit user group meeting a month or two ago someone mentioned that they prefer to use generic walls to keep their model size (file size) down. It seems reasonable that a compound wall might carry a bit heavier burden on a model but how much more of a burden? The poor scientist that I am I tried the following.
I saved an "empty" template file with no walls placed which resulted in a file of 2076 kb (used Default.rte, the stock Revit template). I then created 19 walls, 4 exterior and 15 interior walls using Generic 12" and 6" respectively. When I saved this file it was 2216 kb. Then I created another but used compound walls (Exterior - Brick and CMU on Mtl. Stud and Interior 5-1/2" Partition(1 hr)) instead with a resulting file size of 2452 kb for an increase or difference of 236 kb. I used the exterior wall type because it is more than just a wall with extra layers, it has embedded sweeps and reveals which should account for some of the difference as well.

A small number of walls. I thought I'd use more this time. I created another pile of walls for a total of 152. This is the result.

The generic walls file came in at 3184 kb and the compound version came in at 4092 for a difference of 908 kb. Here's a spreadsheet breakdown for you "column and row" types.

It seems to me that this means that modelling walls in bulk results in less cost (in kilobytes) per wall. The more walls the more economical their impact is. Not that more walls doesn't mean more...just not a literal 1:1 file size relationship. It also means that compound walls do have a "heavier" impact on the project file size too.

Since I increased the number of walls by eight (8) times I was curious to see if the kilobyte increase was literally eight (8) times as well. The How Close? column in the spreadsheet shows that the generic walls were nearly so but the compound walls were a bit more economical when the quantity increased, just a little over five (5) times as many kilobytes.

To make it more interesting we could edit the profile of walls, attach walls to roofs, embed curtain walls, disallow joins, add views to sheets using different Detail Level settings, place various hosted elements on/in walls, use the Opening Tools, compare curved versus straight impact...and on and on.

Do I have a point? Well...file size isn't really the only measure of a project's performance nor is it even really reliable to use to predict project performance. I've seen rather large projects that perform quite well apart from waiting for it to open initially. Conversely I've seen "small" projects that perform poorly. My interpretation of my results is that I shouldn't really need to worry about using generic walls only, at least not using just file size as a measure. Much more likely that how the walls interact with other elements in the project will affect performance more than just file size.

New Build - Not Available Just Yet

Last evening I read on Twitter two separate "tweets" about an hour apart and a bit later on a blog post that the update for Revit 2010 is now available. Great to see one is coming and the list of issues/items addressed shared too. Unfortunately it isn't actually available yet though, not for another week or so according to my sources. I'll post the information on the update once it is released.

In the meantime if you want to read the list of issues addressed you can read it HERE.

Hang in there...just a bit longer. Maybe it'll get posted sooner because of the early release of information?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

iPhone App - Revit Keys

My son found this one tonight and rushed downstairs to let me know about it. From the Apple apps site:

REVITkeys is a list of 260 keyboard combinations for AutoDesk Revit Architecture 2010. Arranged in 14 categories for easy access this tool makes it easy to find the keyboard combination you are looking for or learn new ones. Utilizing REVITkeys for Revit Architecture will speed up your work and help you learn new skills.

Categories include: Project, Model Family Editor, Profile Family Editor, Truss Family Editor, Rebar Family Editor, Mass Family Editor, Conceptual Mass Editor, Detail Family Editor, Contextual Tab, Snap Overrides, View Control Bar, Context Menu, Navigation Bar, and Alternates with Closer Keys

It isn't free, nearly so...just 0.99 cents until it gets wildly popular. I didn't try it out myself yet because my phone is still downloading the latest update.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AUGI | AEC EDGE is out!

As I mentioned in an earlier post the new magazine was nearly complete. When I wrote the earlier post my editing work was finished and just waiting on the publishing side of things to get wrapped up.

I just received the announcement from AUGI that other members should be receiving over the next couple days as the email "bot" does its work.
If you'd like to cut the wait short you can DOWNLOAD it now.

Thanks to each of the twenty contributing Authors and to Extension Media for helping make this a reality!! I hope that you enjoy it!

Monday, June 08, 2009

RDB Link - Update Posted at Autodesk Labs

Scott Shepard posted notice about a new version of this lab project. He wrote:

This new version corrects a problem where an ODBC database would not update after 1 export/import cycle. Thanks for sending this problem report in. This is exactly why we make these technology previews available on Labs.

I mentioned this in an earlier post.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Stump the Chump 2005 - Answers

Okay here's a revised image:

Who's who? (left to right and their current affliation)

David Conant - Autodesk & Revit Technology Corporation
Jim Balding - Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (really early adopter)
Matt Jezyk - Autodesk & Revit Technology Corporation
Scott Davis - Autodesk (WLC Architects back then and very early adopter)
Me - Yours Truly - Mr. OpEd aka "Revit guy"
James Vandezande - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Scott Brown - Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (very early adopter)
Chris Zoog - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Zoogdesign!! and very early adopter)
Phil Read - HNTB (formerly with Autodesk and Revit Technology)

If anything this photo proves you can have fun and Revit as long as someone brings the beer? Scott Brown is the designated Revit driver, he's drinking water. Me...I look like I've slipped into the photo unnoticed and going to get caught any second.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Off Topic - New Kind of Insulation

I see other people's misspelling, not my own. Examples just pop off a page at me, a gift, a curse. This one happened today.

Insultation vs Insulation

I found out that Insultation is a real thing!

"Monty Python" has a new line of batt insulation called "Insultation". You install it in your walls and when you walk by it casts aspersions your way.

Okay you caught me, I'm lying but it tickled my funny bone, for a moment and now the moment is gone. As you were...

Gotham - Not the hometown of Batman

ABL (Acuity Brands Lighting) just announced they've made their Gotham line available in Revit form. It has been over year now since CDV Systems sent me to visit them to talk about making Revit content and its great to see them persevering and expanding the products they are making available! Keep it up!!

Stump the Chump @ AU 2005

Okay, here is a little quiz! Can you name anyone in the photo? How many? All of them makes you a serious Revit trivia guru...or you attended the Revit Mixer at Autodesk University 2005, or...well you get the idea!

Names and relationship to Revit posted tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Error Reports

Experiencing crashes? Are you sending in reports? You know, the dialog asking you to tell Autodesk what you were doing when the crash occurred?

You aren't? Why? Aren't you interested in getting the problem fixed?

I moved my current session of RAC2010 to my second monitor tonight while testing my video card driver changes and "poof" Revit vanished after first telling me that an unrecoverable error occurred. When the error reporting dialog appeared moments later...did I send it in? Darn tootin!!

Check out the information that it sends for you when you do. You could submit a support request by logging into subscription entering a bunch of information and then wait for a response which will inevitably ask for more information followed by a request for a journal file etc. could just click "Send Report"...seems easier?

In this instance I was working with a file that upgraded to 2010 but I did not save yet. When I moved Revit to the larger monitor and maximized Revit it crashed. Tried again and same thing...third time I saved it first and no crash. Seems to be sensitive to the file not having been saved. Finally I've got the promised better view performance with DirectX and Anti-Aliasing enabled!! This setting seems to be the key so far...hope it proves to be stable, more testing tomorrow etc.

Revit Technology Conference 2009 - Melbourne

RTC also stands for Revit Technology Corporation - coincidence? Hmmm...

I mentioned the 2009 conference earlier this year in THIS POST.I was fortunate enough to attend this conference back in 2006. I still wear my RTC hat all the time!
It is only a short couple of weeks away now. Three years later and I get to attend again finally!! Like last time I am presenting a couple of sessions and I've managed to crack out of my "family editor" mould somehow. I get to talk about something other than Revit families, exciting...for me anyway! Besides I wouldn't want to have to compete with the people presenting family sessions this year anyway, stiff competition!!

The first session, on Friday, is about the new features in Revit Structure 2010. This will be fun because by then I hope to be nearly done doing the technical editing for the 2010 refresh of the Mastering Revit Structure book by Wiley/Sybex and authors Tom Weir, Jamie Richardson & David Harrington. But I digress...

The second session, on Saturday, is "Managing Large Projects" where I hope to "steal" as much information from the attendees as I can...oops I meant share my knowledge with the attendees.

Then I get to team up with my friend and patron saint Wesley Benn to do a free-for-all Revit Tips-n-Tricks session. Here's a small photo that surfaced on the current RTC 2009 site of Wesley and me, thanks for the VB!

To be unlike any other software conference you might attend I've heard we will be giving away livestock for the top five tips or tricks. Maybe I better run that idea past Wesley first?

I look forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones in Melbourne at RTC 2009!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Clicks and Clacks

No, Not the Tappet Brothers

Last month I maligned the new interface with an example of how we are less efficient with the new UI. You may be familiar with the experience that "bad news runs on the cover page and the retraction runs on page six"??

I claimed that the only way you can access the Export Layer manager dialog was through a convoluted series of steps involving starting the export process. I was wrong..."shock, horror"!! I'm still doing chores around the house to make up for it!!

In my haste to make a point I missed a very subtle "arrow"!! If I had been more observant and patient I'd have seen this:

And a little more patience and this displays:

So this correction gets a "front page" or at least its own new post! Sorry folks!!