Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dept. of Echo - Revit INI File

Jeremy Tammik posted some important information for those who deploy Revit and deal with external applications and commands. Much of the focus is on those who write the software but if you end up installing and coordinating the applications you'll benefit from reading through the info.

Jeremy starts with:

Developers have always had a lot of complaints about the Revit.ini add-in registration facility. It was hard to access and modify the file in the Revit installation directory and the same file is shared by all users. Revit 2011 offers a completely new and vastly improved add-in registration facility using add-in manifest files. The new mechanism supports a number of new options and there is no reason to continue using the obsolete Revit.ini mechanism. {emphasis is mine}

Short story, the Revit.ini file isn't likely to survive another release, at least not as far as external applications are concerned. Read ON!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dept. of Echo - Compiled Revit 2011 SDK

If the Revit API scares or intimidates you then Guy's post tonight might help take the edge off.

For anyone who reads this and has very little, if any, software or programming background:
  • SDK stands for "software developer's kit"
  • API stands for "application programming interface"
  • "compiled" means the code is organized into a format that the computer can run and let a regular person like me use.

The examples that come with Revit are not compiled for the most part, tech speak for can't run them in Revit yet. Here's the first paragraph in his post:

I’ve had some requests for compiled assemblies of the Autodesk Revit 2011 API SDK samples. They’re useful for those of you who don’t have Visual Studio installed or don’t know how to compile them. Or if you’re wondering what’s supplied in the SDK and just what’s possible with the API. This isn’t as user friendly as it could be due to the number of commands, but here’s a download of all SDK samples . The SDK is an impressive resource now.

You can read his post and download the examples. Follow his instructions to get them up and running and check them out. They might even help get you interested in dabbling a bit with the API, though it isn't really a dabbler's environment, more a intense dabbler?

Thanks Guy!!

CodeBook V9

I'm a bit behind mentioning CodeBook. This product has been around for many years but it has recently been updated to work with the last couple releases of Revit. The current release (version 9) now supports the Revit 2010 64bit. From the CodeBook site:

The conceptual model of CodeBook and its methodology were developed by an Architect who has had many years' experience designing hospitals and is fully conversant with the documentation requirements and the design processes involved. Its functionality therefore closely reflects the needs of the design team and will enhance work methods and quality control.

Some Highlights:
  • Provides tools for creating and editing a brief / programme using a library of room types and equipment and Excel imports
  • Uploads brief and room data to BIM and CAD models
  • Produces Room data sheets and many other reports
  • Produces room layouts and automatically produces room elevations
  • Automatically checks CAD drawings of room layouts against the room data sheets and identifies differences
  • Tracks reasons for changes in the room data sheets (i.e. client changes to the original brief)
  • Is able to produce a list and graphical location of equipment requiring a particular service (i.e. compressed air, oxygen)
Support for 2011 is pending. You can visit a couple sites for more information about it, CDV Systems, Inc. (USA), Code Book International (world-wide).

Monday, April 26, 2010

No Not Detail Lines

Here's a recent situation for a Revit MEP firm. They download the architect's model. They import the model. They need to coordinate their design with a good number of lab cabinets and equipment. When they open the views to see the labs they don't see any equipment. Curious, they open the pdf's they were sent. Casework and equipment galore. Now they open the file that they downloaded and take a closer look. Sure enough, there are cabinets and equipment. Closer look still...oh, no! They aren't families, they are detail lines, drawn in the view. Some are groups, some aren't.

Now we know why they don't show up in the RME model after linking the architectural model in. Detail lines are view specific so they won't show up unless they override the view to show the same view the detail lines are in within the architectural model. Doing so unfortunately introduces other annotation they don't want to see. Nuts and double nuts!

Moral of the story, if using detail lines seems like the expedient thing to do, just ask yourself, "Who does this affect downstream?". Sometimes you just need to say no. If you can draw it once in plan in the project with detail lines you can expend just about the same effort to make simple plan only families and be nicer to those you hope to collaborate with.

I saw this bumper sticker on a Facebook site called PA of the Day.

They post a picture of various Public Address (PA) systems/equipment each day. It's a site that appeals to a certain group of people. A twist on a familiar drinking and driving bumper sticker and for the purpose of this tale, "Friends don't let friends use detail lines instead of families!".

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Speak IFC

No I don't and nobody else does either. With my Revit focus, there are no applications that have IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) as their native tongue, sole language. I also can't help but think of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series of sci-fi novels too.

For me trying to use IFC is like this scenario:

A room full of students in a Spanish class, none of whom speak Spanish but hope to learn. We study hard for a few weeks and then try to have a conversation. Lot's of talking, not much understanding and certainly not very effective. Even after more study we find that the Spanish we are speaking has changed because there is a new version. Now we need to study and review that version...repeat...

IFC as neutral format to help us share digital building information is a noble idea, just not sure it, or all the companies that have to conform to it, will ever live up to it.

[Edit/amended May 21, 2010] Guy wrote a post on his blog regarding this subject.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dept. of Reviteristics - Component or Loadable

For many years now Revit families have been called Components. The 2010 and 2011 release help documentation calls them Loadable families. I don't remember if 2009 started calling them this or not.

The ribbon offers us the Component tool however.

I see how loadable is more descriptive of how we get them into a project. I find it interesting that we have to think of them as components when we want to place them but as loadable when we need to design them and add them to a project. I suppose it isn't that hard to blur the distinction.

Language is fun!

Dept. of Reviteristics - Openings are Doors

No they are not, at least not the stock openings. Wall openings are parked in the folder for Doors but they are really Generic Models (using the stock content).

They put them in separate categories because many firms don't include openings in door schedules. Then they confuse matters by dropping them in the Door folder. There is no Generic Model folder in the stock Content, there probably ought to be.

Unfortunately this leads to a bit of confusion with new users as they load a door but find that they are not listed among the doors. So they try loading them again (they ought to be in your template already by the way but they aren't in the stock templates). Still no door/opening family. I'm not certain how they get past this but I'm guessing that they ask someone, visit a forum or just start poking at the listed categories in the Project Browser. They may just start trying different tools, like Component instead of Doors which, surprise, offers them the opening families.

I wrote that I believe that there ought to be a better process to place components back in March 2007. That was when we had a Design Bar instead of the ribbon and we still don't have a more refined way to do it. I don't know that my old suggestion makes as much sense in the context of a ribbon. I just know that scrolling through long lists of families either in the Type Selector or the Project Browser seems a bit crude when the components are all categorized nicely already. Does it really make sense to have trees and shrubs in the same list with casework? I suppose it does if you are using plant families as part of the interior design? Revit MEP has a bit nicer work flow for each discipline and the electrical devices process is nicer still.

That's why I think this Opening is a Door, but isn't, is a Reviteristic

Monday, April 19, 2010

Revit - Belated Happy Birthday

April 5, 2010 quietly passed by this month and I believe that only Jim Balding publicly wished Revit Happy Birthday (via Twitter). Yes, that day marks the day that Revit 1.0 was released into the wild, just a little over ten years ago now. The Wayback Machine has an archive of the Revit home page but a few images don't load so I grabbed a snippet of this one instead (which unfortunately references Revit 4.0).

Here's a screen capture of the founders Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungreis.

Courtesy of Jim Balding's copy of Revit 1.0 are the next two images. My copy is in a box somewhere in the basement of our house in NY. First up is the About dialog.

Second is the User Interface with the "Easter Egg" that used the wall tool to sketch "Revit" and display a text element with the names of the developers working on Revit at the time.

Happy 10th Birthday to Revit! Many thanks to all the people that have contributed to it over the years. Especially to those who continue to persevere on its behalf! And certainly to Autodesk for keeping the dream alive and expanding on it since 2002.

Little Details Count

A recent addition to the growing resources for Revit content, Little Details Count is brought to you by Michael Anonuevo. From the website:


LITTLE DETAILS COUNT is your new Autodesk® Revit® Architecture family resource on the internet. This site was established to provide high quality and affordable Revit families to BIM professionals and 3D modelers. Our store addresses the need for families, components and models created in native Revit geometry.
Edit the geometry and parameters of these Revit components to suit your needs. Add flare and realism to your 3d scenes and walkthroughs. Save time and make stunning presentations with our products. Enjoy our first release!


Check it out and see if there is anything that helps you keep Reviting?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dept. of Wishes - Project Browser Enhancement

A designer today made an interesting suggestion for Revit's Project Browser. What? A suggestion for Revit already? 2011 just came out! He hasn't even seen 2011 yet. He's been thinking about it for some time as their project has progressed and the number of listed views has grown significantly.

A nice example of what he suggested is the Materials dialog. At the top is a field to enter search criteria that the materials list will refer to and reduce the list according to what you type. Type get all the materials starting with W. Type "WO" and you start seeing fewer items and it becomes much easier to see "wood" materials. Type the rest and you only get materials with wood in the midst of the name.

Imagine this same concept at the top of the Project Browser? Want a floor plan? Type "Flo". Want to see second floor plans? Type "Sec". The Material Class field allows us to chose a predefined class to restrict results in the list even more. This could be used to define floor, ceiling, detail plans etc. The results would be limited to just floor plans, or elevations by choosing the View Class.

Might even do away with a general listing of views? Considering 2011 has the Properties Palette and the Project Browser stacked it could make the Browser much more practical at a smaller footprint.

Very interesting idea Seena!!

Off Topic - Retro iPhone Accessory

While using my iPhone as a phone, which I don't really do very much, I accidentally engage Mute or Speaker phone. My cheek apparently is a sufficient source of inspiration for either mode unfortunately. To counter this tendency I end up holding the phone at an angle near my ear which is actually uncomfortable after awhile. Maybe this new product is the solution?

It is available to us via Native Union, from their about page:


Product designers with a simple goal
To create simple, robust and chic products that are
functional both at home and in the office.

International business people
We travel all the time and we rely on our mobile phones.
We see ourselves as customers.

Great talkers
We believe in the art of conversation - the most powerful form of communication. We look to enhance this art


It reminds me (well the color does) of the phone my parents had and STILL have in their kitchen, a red wall mounted dial phone. I found this picture, it's practically the same phone they have, at Vince's Cavalcade of Phones, proving once again you can find just about anything on the internet!

Revit 2011 - Get Your Software There

If you are a subscription customer and have access to download software and updates from the site then you should find Revit Architecture 2011 is now available for download. Good luck though, the subscription site is down at the moment offering a nice message that it is temporarily unavailable. Something about +2gb downloads simultaneously?

Added: You may not be able to authorize the software until you get product serial number and product code in the email from Autodesk. You'll have a 30 day window to get it authorized so hopefully the licensing information will be forthcoming reasonably quickly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

iPad Update

Okay it is out and I don't have one yet. Not in a rush but still pretty sure I want one. I've seen a tweet from Phil Read that said he isn't getting much done with it because it spends more time in other people's hands checking it out than in his own. It is still tied to a source of internet access but the 3G "cell" version is looming. In light of what Phil wrote I've resisted the urge to ask someone to give up theirs to play with it and there is little hope of getting any real time with one at an Apple store.

Now YouTube videos are starting to abound. This one showed up in a link at Facebook from a friend. The sales pitch is now, "iPad - So easy your cat can use it!". Found it funny too!

RAC 2011- Cannon Design and Yazdani Studio

You'll get to see a lot of this project for the next twelve months or so when you fire up Revit.

It is the Ordos Concert Hall in Ordos, Mongolia. It was designed by the Yazdani Studio in Los Angeles. From the Cannon site:

The Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design is a laboratory for exploration and excellence in architecture. Established upon the reputation and leadership of award-winning designer Mehrdad Yazdani, the Yazdani Studio integrates the best attributes of a design studio with the resources and reach of an international practice.

I took the picture above during my visit to the Autodesk office in Waltham last week. It's a 3D print of a cut-away view of the model, if it isn't obvious enough. I couldn't create a link to the description of the project the way the Yazdani Studio has their site configured so here's a screen capture of the information.

I suppose they could take exception to using the image this way but hopefully they won't mind. If they do I'll just end up pulling it. Heres a sneak peak of the new splash screen.

We should see some more images of the concert hall project during the installation, looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dept. of Echo - Railings

Erik posted two items at Inside the Factory the other day that deserve repeating just on the off chance that anyone who reads this blog isn't already reading it regularly. If it isn't on your reading list it probably ought to be. The first post discusses the various pieces and parts of a railing assembly.

He'd like some insight into what we call the various parts in the image. What one person calls a bracket is another person's wall anchor bracket...and so it goes. Add in manufacturers/fabricators and pinning down a simple/single name can be a real chore!

The second post provides some high level comments/concerns/ideas that have been shared with them over the months/years. If you have some opinions about railings and what they could/should be in Revit please take some time to share them with him. You might enjoy seeing some of your wisdom take flight in a future release.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Off Topic - Pisa

My son just returned from a school trip to Italy, wish I went along! He had a great time and apparently arrived just in time to take his shift holding up the Tower in Pisa.

Welcome home Jake!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

BIM Support Survey and Blogger Profile

I posted a notice about a BIM support survey that Jason wanted to do back on February 24, 2010. He has since wrapped up the survey and written it up in a fourteen page report. He really did a nice job putting it together and it is well worth your time to download it and check it out.

Who is Jason Grant?
Jason is the BIM Specialist at Payette in Boston, MA. His experience includes over 14 years in the architecture field, 5 years of Revit use on 62 projects at Colin Smith Architecture and 2 years managing Revit implementation, training, standards, API and content development at Payette. With his Revit experience including Healthcare, Labs, Commercial, Mixed-Use and Residential, he understands the challenges that both small and large projects face while utilizing and implementing Revit. Jason is also Co-Founder and Advisor to the Boston Revit Users Group with 200+ members, Co-Founder and Co-Leader of the BLUR Group (BIM Leaders Utilizing Revit), author for AUGI | AEC EDGE and an avid blogger on BIM and Architecture.

Dept. of Subtle - 2011 Feature

One item that won't get a lot of press time:
  • Default view naming when using worksharing has changed so that each user gets their own default 3D view. The username is appended to the 3D view name.

Dept. of Subtle - Air Terminals

Revit calls the device that HVAC systems use to pass air through a ceiling or wall and connect to duct work and plenums - air terminals. They are much more commonly referred to as diffusers. Turns out that an air terminal is the sharp end of the stick in lightning protection systems. One engineer I met recently was a bit annoyed by the inappropriate use of the term.

Language is hard!!

According to Wikipedia:
Individual lightning rods are sometimes called finials, air terminals or strike termination devices.

Also according to Wikipedia:
Air terminals are the supply air outlets and return or exhaust air inlets. For supply, diffusers are most common, but grilles, and for very small HVAC systems such as in residences, registers are also used widely. Return or exhaust grilles are used primarily for appearance reasons, but some also incorporate an air filter and are known as filter returns.

So there you have it, both are correct! Rest easy knowing that if you call your diffusers air terminals or your air terminals diffusers you are good to go! Unless you do lightning protection too? Confused?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Off Topic - Hotel Rooms

I've stayed in a few over the years. Between traveling as a roadie, theater technician, convention services and now consulting I'm not sure I want to know just how many. I'm not an expert on hotel rooms or what most people expect from them but I do know what I like. I'm not after extravagance. My typical choice is Hampton Inn or Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard Inn by Marriott. They are consistent, have a meal in the morning, free internet and almost always reasonably fresh/new. Two things will ruin a hotel stay faster than anything for me, the shower and the bed. If I can't sleep or have a nice shower in the morning it's hard to get going. Why this post now?

The night before, in the Boston area (Lexington to be exact), I stayed at a hotel called Aloft by Starwood.
It's a new hotel that features interesting design elements giving it an upscale feel at a mid-range price. Overall I liked the hotel but for some reason this one poked at me repeatedly causing me to think harder about it and its design.

To start with, take the front entrance, two automatic sliders that are offset, from one another, so you have to enter at an angle. The first door slides left from the right side and the second door slides right from the left side. The openings are mirrored from each other but their overall width is aligned and the same. Cool if the angle pointed you at the front desk but it points you toward the lounge. I also would hate to be in a hurry out of the hotel in the event of a fire since I'd be inclined to run out the first slider and head straight into the fixed glass of the second, nose!
Once I got to my room the door featured a sliderless key system, just touch the key to the "fob" on the door. At least I don't have to figure out which side of the key to slide. Inside I found the room turned ninety degrees compared with most hotel rooms, the bed facing the exterior wall. The appearance was quite modern and nice. Note the window at the left side of this picture. It is frosted glass and looks into the shower stall.

My focus turned to the windows since I was on the ground floor. I wanted to close the shades which were operated by chains and had aluminum guide tracks at each side. It was a bit hard to reach them and unfortunately the fit and finish was pretty bad. The shades didn't stay in the track and one window's shade wouldn't completely close off the window. For exhibitionists it's no problem I suppose? I ended up climbing up on the desks to try to get them in their tracks again.

I wanted to get my phone charged up. It baffles me when I go to hotel after hotel and find they don't put a convenience outlet near the bed. Most are buried behind a bed or just far enough away that you have to put your phone across the room somewhat. In this case I was intrigued to find what was a great spot for me to plug in except it was filled up with the rooms phone charger and clock. The switches for the reading lights over the beds took up the rest of the space. I saw something underneath that kept me optimistic till I realized that it was a RJ-45 jack and empty slot for something "else". No big deal I suppose, no chance I'd use the phone so I unplugged its charger. I use my phone for my alarm clock anyway so the perfect setup for me is the iPhone ready clock/radios that some hotels are starting to use.

The new light fixtures used in hotels are terrible for a guy in his forties who needs to shave. It is as if the designers are chuckling to themselves, "yeah, let's see him try to shave in this room heh heh!" The "green" "sustainable" lamps just don't put out the color temperature I need to see with my aging eyes. The only rooms that really work for me are the ones that have the magnifying mirror with integral light. I don't need the magnification, just the concentrated light source. I muddled through it here.

The arrangement of stuff in a room is always interesting to me. When you stay in a lot of hotel rooms little stuff starts to pop out at you! The trash bin under the sink was at the end by the sink but the tissue container was at the other end. Plus the bin was right where your left toe wants to be while using the sink. The bin ought to go at the other end methinks. The placement of the refrigerator seems like an after thought, "Oh, nuts we need some place for the refrigerator, ah this'll do!"

Speaking of little stuff. I stayed at an older hotel once that had a small mound of what looked like kitty litter next to the dresser. I noticed it the second night and watched it for the rest of my stay just to see if it would get noticed by the cleaning crew. It lasted for all but the last two days of my stay (two weeks!). I also find it interesting to see when I get a bath mat or not, how many days a tissue box goes unfilled, to see how they rearrange my stuff each day in the bathroom etc. Sometimes they replace the shampoo and soap every day or every other day or not at all. It is also fun to see what cleaning stuff will get left in the room from time to time. A bottle of glass cleaner sat on my sink counter for several days one time. What an intriguing life I lead eh?

Another item, the shower. These cool shower heads that are supposed to rain on us, no thanks. Most just feel like I'm getting rained on instead of taking a shower as it is supposed to be, a nice drenching rain instead! That and reaching the shower controls, it would be nice if we could turn on the shower without getting frigid cold water on us at first.

The room included a large flat screen TV and a remote device to allow you to connect your pc or other video source into it. Shame that it doesn't include a set of cables. I don't travel with a VGA cable though I suppose others do. Not like I had any time to really use it though. If you visit the hotel site you can see some pictures of a typical room, like this one.

As a wrote earlier I liked the hotel and their staff was great. I'd stay there again but it is odd that it provoked so much thought about it and hotel rooms in general. As you were!

Autodesk AEC Tech Preview

The morning started out with a light breakfast and a little bit of socializing. We headed into the training facility adjacent to their cafeteria for a welcome message from Paul Sullivan and Jay Bhatt. They both stressed that they believe that this year's product releases represent evidence that they have been listening intently to customer and user feedback. You could tell they were very excited to share information with us. One of the slides that appeared during their welcome message was of this laser scan point cloud of the building, pretty cool.

The next session was dedicated to AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP and presented by Jim Lynch. It was at this point that my visit took a different turn. It also represents the point at which I can't be really specific about what I did either. Well I can be specific about what I did, just not what I heard or saw. Killjoy, sorry!

My first secret session had me, Robert Manna, David Light and David Harrington mixing it up with Chauncey Wilson and Chris Yanchar. They poked our brains for information about the user experience as we know it to be. It was an interesting mix for them because each of the others work for firms while I bounce from firm to firm. It isn't an easy thing, making software easier to learn, more efficient and effective as well as incorporate new concepts and features. I had the opportunity to bring up several of the Dept. of Subtle topics I have posted about during our this discussion.

Time flies when you get into these sessions. It seemed like we only sat down and did introductions and it was time for something else. Robert and David H. went off to chase down different subjects while David L. and I stayed put for a discussion about my favorite wish list item, Stairs and Railings. Some of you have seen Erik Egbertson's post from the other day about railing components and language? If not check it out and offer some insight, it is a complicated subject and they are deep into research. Erik and Jean spent an hour with us and again none of us were eager to move on when lunch time demanded it.

After lunch as I was looking for my next session and I ran into none other than Zach Kron. It was great to meet him face to face finally. I've admired his work via his blog from the first post. I ran into Zach in this lounge.

I got to wave at Kyle Bernhardt who was deeply immersed in a phone call. I also managed to sneak over to David Conant's corner and catch up briefly, too briefly.

David Mills, my most excellent tour guide led me to an office that said it belonged to Jay Bhatt. Sure enough it really was his and David Harrington and I shared fifteen minutes in the sun. Jay stressed that cloud computing is going to be a big part of BIM going forward. If I thought an hour or so went by fast earlier, fifteen minutes was gone in a flash.

David Light and I rejoined Robert Manna in a session where we got to be "flies on a wall" during a feature scope briefing led by Greg Demchak (author of Mastering Revit Architecture 2010, among other things). It had something to do with Revit (big surprise there?) but that's as forthcoming as I can be. We got to add our two cents a few times so it was nice to be a fly that wasn't swatted!

My last session, before rushing off to the airport, was an informal conversation with Zach Kron and Scott Latch (RAC Product Manager). We discussed the new conceptual tools, the adaptive point family and some practical project examples that David and Robert had in mind.

I shared a ride to the airport with none other than Lachmi Khemlani, creator and owner of AECBytes. She's been building it for six years now and it is a well respected source of industry information. I remember clearly when she had the temerity to suggest, in a product review, that AutoCAD didn't need the command line anymore (late 90's). Sure enough with Revit we don't have one, never did and even AutoCAD can operate without one. Imagine that!

It's my opinion that, overall, the 2011 releases do address many of the concerns and needs of the Autodesk customers I meet and those that are still undecided. Revit MEP in particular has a good deal to crow about. Electrical engineers should find the new panel scheduling features far more capable and no longer a point of pain. The same is true of demand factors. While I've been bemused by the complaint about no conduit or cable trays, since we didn't really draw them extensively before Revit, it is good to see the building model getting more real object in its repertoire. On the HVAC side the addition of flat oval duct, a frustration for a fair number of HVAC designers I've met, should be welcome addition.

I'd like to thank David Mills and Jay Bhatt as well as Autodesk as a whole for inviting me to the event (and covering my travel arrangements entirely, full disclosure). They customized my visit to suit me, which ensured that I enjoyed my glimpse of the "factory" from the inside. All further evidence that they are listening and engaging their customers.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Autodesk AEC Technology Day

I received a pleasant surprise invitation to attend this event, taking place on Tuesday, April 6th at Autodesk's Trapelo Road office in Waltham. My flight left the west coast early from LAX. It was filled with greater LA college bound high school students taking a east coast tour of colleges. LAX was a bit nutty today, a lot of people and traffic. There were longs lines every which way I turned. I also happened to pass by and be passed by none other Stevie Wonder. I'm not sure if he has any opinion about Revit and I didn't get a chance to ask. Maybe next time?

I arrived in Boston a little after 4pm and caught my ride to the hotel. I ran into David Harrington in the lobby (AUGI Board member and blogger). We gathered in the lobby to wait for our ride to the office for a reception. It was a very nice surprise to see David Light join us. Ed Goldberg, Lachmi Khemlani and Martyn Day were also present. There were others that I haven't met yet so I don't dare name drop just yet.

Once we arrived at the Autodesk office I was pleasantly surprised to see Robert Manna too. Greg Demchak and Erik Egbertson made a brief appearance though the plan has us spending more time together tomorrow (Hopefully something that can be written about). Anthony Hauck was present (contributed an article to the first issue of AUGI | AEC EDGE). My host David Mills was naturally there to greet us. This is a photo of the atrium looking up toward the skylight.

I was able to take part in a tour of the facility with Phil Bernstein as our guide. It provided excellent insight into their experience with Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) along with Kling Stubbins and Tocci Construction (you may have read Laura's blog posts?) After hearing the tale and seeing the work you have to wonder, "Why not? Why wouldn't everyone want to do projects this way?"

It was a nice reception and we got to examine a variety of examples of customer work as well as see some software in action. As often happens it was over too quickly and didn't get a chance to meet everyone. Looking forward to tomorrows sessions!

Floor Slabs - Deck Profile Setting

Revit Structure has had the ability to show a deck profile as part of a slab definition for quite a while. When Autodesk decided to include more structural tools in the Subscription Advantage Pack, released back in the Fall of 2009, Revit Architecture inherited this feature.

It is added as Function of a floor's layer.

You can choose from profile families that are loaded into your project.

The floor is able to include this because it is also possible to define the span direction of the metal deck. Revit Structure provided a tag to do this and it comes along now too. It is necessary to define the floor slab as "Structural" as shown in the image.

Here's what the decking looks like when the view is assigned to Detail Level: Medium or Fine. When you use Coarse you just get the simpler two line representation.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Too Old to Revit?

Excuses come in all shapes and sizes. Many are derived from our age. He can't learn Revit...he's too old. You can't teach an old dog new tricks or so it goes. Sorry folks it isn't true. I know some old dogs who are using Revit quite comfortably. I've also met some youngsters who just don't get it.

I accept that there are learning issues associated with age in some cases. It certainly can be harder for someone to get used to using a computer AND Revit when they don't have a lifetime of using the technology. Most often it just comes down to attitude. Do you want to? I bet you can do it. Don't want to? I bet you'll find a way to make that come true.

My mother went back to school a few times in her life. After each of us (four kids) were completely immersed in school all day she took a part time job and enrolled at SUNY Binghamton. She studied language among other things. Years later she went back to school to get her MSW (Master of Social Work). Someone pointed out to her that she wouldn't be finished until she was in her 50's. She just replied, "So? I'll be 50 anyway?!?" Love my Mom, not ashamed to say it. She's always learning and age just isn't a reason not to do something.

As a wise old Jedi Knight told us years ago, "Do! or Do not! There is no try!" Even Nike ads pointed us in the right direction..."Just Do IT"! What are you waiting for? Haven't got around to it yet?

My boss at U-Haul, when I was a senior in high school, fixed that problem for me. He asked me if I finished something that I hadn't even started yet, my actual words were, "I didn't get around to it yet." He disappeared and came back a few minutes later and tossed me a little cardboard disc that looked something like this.

Consider this one go!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Dept. of Deja Vu - Workset Updates

I've revisited a some of my earlier posts about worksets to clean up the language that is now used with Revit 2010 and going forward. This way when someone reads them today or in the future the language will be more consistent.

I still have some more work to do I suspect because as I dig back into them I stumble onto another reference to Save to Central etc. If you read a post that ought to be updated don't hesitate to post a comment or send me an email to let me know. It'll help me catch them up.

Updates so far are:
Workset Quick Reference to Terminology
Central File in "Four Easy Steps"
Local Files - How, How Often and Where?
Which one STC or STC? now - SWC or SWC

It's deja vu all over again!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dept. of Subtle - MEP Pipe Elevations

Here's a quick one. Ever select a pipe and find different elevation offset values at either end? Odd eh?

The culprit is different Level association at the fittings. Check the fittings at either end or along a connected run of pipe and you'll find a mismatch. Revit is just trying to keep the elevation the same even though the fitting elevation setting varies between them. Not too hard to fix but definitely going to confuse some new users. Want to see what I'm referring to? Watch the Video or the video, or listen and watch below.