Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tip - List of All Levels via Grid Generator Extension

This tip is courtesy of Daniel Stine, author of several Revit books (listed in previous post). If you are familiar with the Grid Generator extension for Revit you might have already seen this? If not...have a look!

This extension provides a nice summary of all the levels in your project AND their elevations. Also nice is that you don't really have to do anything, just launch the Grid Generator tool and then make sure the Levels option is selected.

It isn't always easy to see them all when some have been hidden or their extents are affecting what you see in sections and elevations. Thanks Daniel!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


AUGI | AEC EDGE and AUGIWorld merged and David Harrington has taken the reigns as Editor-in-Chief to get things organized in the new monthly format.

AUGI is interested in hearing from you if you want to write for the eZine. David has organized a team of Content Managers to solicit authors/articles and then manage their submission to the eZine publishing team. If you'd like to write please contact the manager for the product you are focused on.

This is the list of the content managers as it stands now:

Notice there are a couple products still looking for a Content Manager, that could be YOU!

If you didn't read it in the earlier issue of AUGIWorld, I stepped away from the Editor-in-Chief role so I could focus on other things. I was getting stretched too thin and the merging of the eZines gave me the opportunity to "retire" that I really needed. I really appreciate David's willingness to step in so I could do it.

Dept. of Subtle - Illegal Characters

I'm not referring to characters in a play, novel or movie but the characters we use in filenames. Revit will complain if you attempt to use them to name a view, sort of.

If you create a drafting view and use something like "1/2:12" it won't complain. Try to rename it and you'll be in trouble with Revit. An odd quirky item to be sure.

In general you don't want (I think you don't) to use these characters for view names because they get used to export to dwg/ifc/pdf etc. These characters will create errors when Revit tries to create the file using them. Don't use them in your title block drawing titles either for the same reason. I decided to post this after reading a post at RevitForum asking if anyone else had noticed the subtle name>rename peculiarity. such complaint when you do the same thing with Legend Views, hmmm.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Autodesk University 2011 - Call for Proposals is Open

Dept. of Echo - Autodesk University - stole their post entirely...

The 19th annual Autodesk University is coming up at the end of November, and if you’d like to teach a course, now is the time to submit your ideas. The high-quality classes and large number of knowledgeable instructors at AU are some of the best to be found anywhere—and this is your opportunity to distinguish yourself and share your expertise as an industry leader with like-minded professionals.

Submit Your Proposal Now

Proposal Deadline: May 6, 2011
For AU 2011, we are looking for proposals that address:
  • Design leadership and advanced technology trends
  • Workflow and process across multidiscipline project teams
  • Techniques and processes that help BIM and CAD Managers improve efficiency
  • Practical application of products for beginning and intermediate users
  • Advanced product features
  • New capabilities and features in the latest Autodesk products and design suites
To learn more about what we want and to get information on speaker benefits and deadlines, please visit the Call for Proposals website (

To see some of the classes and content offered at Autodesk University last year, visit the Autodesk University website. You'll find class handouts, datasets, and presentations, including screencasts of about 2000 sessions presented at recent AUs.
And don't forget—the deadline for proposals is May 6, 2011.

The Autodesk University Team

Revit Structure User Group Meeting - April 6th at LPA

Avan Amalsad with Microdesk is keen to get the word out to every Revit Structure user as well as anyone interested in learning about the new features in Revit Structure 2012.

Date: April 6th, 2011 (Wednesday)
Time: 6:30 PM
Where: LPA - 5161 California Avenue, Suite 100 - Irvine, CA 92617

She writes:
I am honored that Autodesk Revit Structure Product Manager Wai Chu, and Autodesk Revit Platform Product Manager Richard Taylor will be doing a live webcast presentation for Revit 2012 Structure and Platform features. I will do some additional demonstrations using Revit Structure after the webcast. Don't miss this one-of-a-kind meeting.

If you haven't been getting invitations from Avan, EMAIL HER to let her know you want to come. RSVP is important so they get the right amount of food and beverage ordered!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Scale an Image

Responding to a post at RevitForum I created this brief video that shows how I used the Scale tool to change the size of a image file in Revit. The image in the video is based on a sketch that Cyril Verley used in his Revit training curriculum books for several years. I believe it is based on a Richard Meier building.

The video describes:
  • Select the image
  • Click the Scale tool (I keep calling it Resize, the old name)
  • Click the Origin (or first "known" point)
  • Click the Second Point (second "known" point)
  • Provide the correct dimension for between the known points.
  • Et Voila!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Revit User Group - Shout Out

I attended three Revit user group meetings this week, BUGIE (aka RUGIE), LARUG and SCRUG. Each was well attended in light of the new release information and Scott Davis, Autodesk Technical Specialist, doing the presentation. Each evening went longer than usual but Scott could run longer than usual talking about one feature! What can he do? He's passionate! So thanks to Scott for bring the "What's new in 2012" information to a local projection screen!

James Vandezande, part of the author team who brought you Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011, and 2012 next as well as another book called Revit Essentials, visited both BUGIE and LARUG too. Check the books out at the Wiley site for more details and the author team blog ARCH + TECH. Have a look at the pictures see if you can find "Waldo"??

Here's a shot of the group at BUGIE (BIM User Group Inland Empire)
Thanks to host office: HMC Architects

Here's a shot at LARUG (Los Angeles Revit User Group)
Thanks to host office: Lee, Burkhart, Liu, Inc.

Here's a shot at SCRUG (South Coast Revit User Group)
Thanks to host office: LPA, Inc.

Last item is a quick "Thank You" to 3D Connexion, AEC Factory and Microdesk for donating a cool navigation device to one lucky winner at each group.

At RUGIE Scott had one with him that 3D Connexion had authorized him to give away. In LA Roger with AEC Factory offered one for the give away. At SCRUG Roger with AEC Factory and Andrew with Microdesk both offered one each to give away. The winners at each group are about to create some serious "glorious gadget" envy at their workplace, as soon as they can get their hands on Revit 2012 that is!

Each user group would not have beverages and food if it were not for the ongoing support of Autodesk, USCAD, Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, and AEC Factory. So thanks to each of them for their continued support!!

Thanks again to the vendors and thanks to all who attended!!

InterSpec - e-SPECS 6.0 and Revit Keynotes

Conversation last night reminded me of the news release that I intended to mention here but never did. Do you wrestle with Revit's keynoting features? If so you might consider having a closer look at e-SPECS new Keynote features in the 6.0 release they announced this past January.

e-SPECS v6.0 includes new Keynoting Management at the master and project levels with intelligent assignment of coordinated keynotes to Revit families and materials directly through the e-SPECS Revit Plug-In Console.

From their Revit page...
-SPECS for Revit generates project specific keynotes coordinated with your specifications to ensure accuracy in detailing. Rather than have your detailers select from hundreds to thousands of master keynotes, e-SPECS generates the list of only those used in your BIM project. In addition, e-SPECS for Revit generates automatic Outline Reports and a specification Table of Contents. These facilitate a design process ensuring the highest quality product is produced without the error prone and mundane manual efforts previously required without e-SPECS.

You can WATCH a ONLINE Demo if interested.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

API Throw Down - Rod Howarth

Luke who blogs via What Revit Wants put out a challenge for the API and those who speak "it" to provide a tool to inform him about productivity in Revit.

Such as:
  • Ensure I (Luke) am using keyboard shortcuts where possible
  • Avoid triggering commands unnecessarily, and thus having to abort them and retry
Rod Howarth decided to take him up on the challenge and wrote a post on his own blog that anybody who reads this blog is likely to be interested in seeing too.

Rod writes (partial snippet):
The result is a utility that I’ve developed that will take a look through your journal files and identify your most commonly used menu items, along with your most commonly used keyboard shortcuts. The idea is that you can run this utility and assess what commands you should add a keyboard shortcut to, in order to make your Revit usage more efficient.

Check it out!

To get the tool and run it on your own computer, download it from HERE. He writes: "Let me know how it goes for you!".

Also, if you are interested in the source code, it’s available on GitHub. If you don’t have Git (you should check it out!) you can download the source code as a Zip.

[Added March 30, 2011] Jose Guia offers up his own version of a response to the challenge HERE. Luke writes that it is a bit more advanced than Rod's.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dept. of Spell Chuk - King and Kong

Years ago I was reading a specification for theater rigging equipment. The text describing the necessary chain was written as "proof coil chairs" instead of "proof coil chain".

Another project referred to the Porte Cochere (roof and structure that covers an entrance and driveway in front of a building) as "potty coacher".

Today, reading a BIM modeling guideline, the following line grabbed my "funny bone", regarding modelling primary studs, "All King and Kong studs will be modeled".

Better get busy modelling those Kong Studs!

Methinks "King and Corner studs" is the more likely combo?

Autodesk Graphics Hardware Site

The Revit Clinic shared a link to Without a Net which has a post about a new site dedicated to help customers find graphics card/driver information.

I tried it and guess what... "no information found". Oh well...that's the story of my graphics card life! ;) Revit also tells me my current driver is "too new", so that's good right? It's either "too old" or "too new". Is there a "just right" message??

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

KarelCAD Revit Release Comparison via PDF

The gang at KarelCAD have shared some pdf documents that provide an overview of what features set each release apart, for Revit 2010, 2011 & 2012.

Autodesk Building Design Sweet

This image is part of what appears on the Autodesk web page for this new product bundling configuration

A lot to digest so you'll need to contact your reseller to see how the pricing and crossgrade options will play out for your firm.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Release Slides - RAC - RST - RME

These are just the appetizer slides for the hour long blogger demo of the new features. They appeared briefly and each presenter chose to work directly in Revit instead of flipping slides. As you can imagine, one hour could not have possibly covered every item in great detail.

They only had time to discuss these items in more detail:

RAC 2012
  • Parts/Assemblies and dividing elements (construction features)
  • Visualization
  • Point Clouds
RST 2012
  • Analytical Model and Tools
  • Concrete 3D Reinforcement
RME 2012
  • System Browser Enhancements
  • Duct/Pipe Systems
  • Placeholder Ducts/Pipes
These are the slides that list the big items for each release.

RAC 2012

RST 2012

RME 2012

Each version shares platform improvements naturally so there is overlap. Also mentioned in the webcast was substantial improvements to the API which opens the door to further improvements to existing and as yet to be created 3rd party applications. There are also numerous candidates for my Dept. of Subtle posts to deal with later.

Dept. of Echo - Revit 2012 via David Light

David stays up all night working on his "What's New" posts so I don't have to! ;)

Wander over to his blog for a very nice recap of what is going to be "in-the-box" in the next release! Nice job David!

Oh, there is more but these are the biggies...

Revit 2012 - Wish Granted - 3D Connexion

Revit 2012 products will support 3D Connexion devices!! My recent post and my earlier wish come true!

Autodesk 2012 Product Suites

Per the ongoing web preview:

The new Autodesk Building Design Suite is available in three editions:

Standard, Premium and Ultimate

Standard (includes)
  • AutoCAD 2012
  • AutoCAD Architecture 2012
  • AutoCAD MEP 2012
  • AutoCAD Structural Detailing 2012
  • Autodesk Showcase 2012
  • Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2012
Premium (adds to Standard)
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012
  • Autodesk Revit MEP 2012
  • Autodesk Revit Structure 2012
  • Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2012
Ultimate (adds to Premium and Standard)
  • Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2012
  • Autodesk Quantity Takeoff 2012
  • Autodesk Inventor 2012

Now I'm curious about delivery...will packages still be separate installations? Still hoping for single installation for a Revit "Sweet" Suite or Complete!

It IS still possible to buy individual versions without the "Suite" options.

RTC USA 2011 Registration is Open

Subject line says it all! You can Register for the event now!

Registering now qualifies for Earlybird pricing (until April 8, 2011)

Visit the Revit Technology Conference site (US Event)
Register to Attend (USA)

RTC is the midyear "fix" for Revit "addicts" between Autodesk University.

It runs just a couple months after Autodesk's new releases appear so you can look forward to seeing all that is new in Revit and related software.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Glorious Gadget - A Better "Mouse...trap"?

Have a look at what a "mouse" might be for you in the near future? Check out the Celluon evoMouse.

Dept. of Echo - Your Office Template

Warning! Before I echo what you should read you need to:
  • Wait till tonight/tomorrow night
  • Grab a beer (or preferred beverage)
  • Chips (or preferred snack)
  • Close your office door
  • Turn on a little reading music
  • Turn off the phone/Facebook/Twitter etc.
  • Tell the neighbors you are out
  • Tell your wife/spouse/kids that you are not to be disturbed
Then wander over to Aaron Maller's blog Malleristic Revitation. He's never been accused of being brief or a "man-of-few-words" so no worries, it isn't going to happen this time either. He's taken the time to write out his perspective on Creating a Revit Template, based on his experience doing it at four firms (I think that's the count now). He's got an opinion and he's not afraid to use it, and offer it free of charge!

I've got one thing to add to his post, "ditto"! Now get ready!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Aaah, Glorious Gadgets!

At RTC last year we had a session called Glorious Gadgets. If you watch the video I posted last week there is a shot with a guy wearing some probes on his head. That was one such gadget (Emotiv) used to control Navisworks and walking through a building with our thoughts. We are planning to have the session again at both events RTCAUS and RTCUSA.

I just received a "glorious gadget" yesterday, a Space Explorer from 3D Connexion.

One of the benefits of blogging that I never really imagined back in 2004 when I wrote my first post is that a company would send me something and ask me to play with it! Naturally they are hoping for some good thoughts, a post or two and feedback. The proverbial "win/win", they get something, I get something and the people who read the blog get to read about it and see if they feel motivated enough to get a glorious gadget for themselves.

I'm just "wishing upon a star" that I have a meaningful way to use it soon!!!

Which reminds me, I have another GG lurking just out of site in the image above that I'm well overdue writing about. Truth is that my daughter has more or less taken it away from me, she LOVES it! More on that soon!

Your Project Team Should Use the Same Build!

A post at AUGI prompted me to reply and I decide to make it a post here too after discovering I haven't written about this here yet.

The essence of the question is, "Does it matter if we are using different builds in our firm?"

Short answer is...

A project team should be using the same build to work on shared project files. For example, an architecture team working on a "shell" project file and "interior/core/circulation" model (2 models) should all be using the same build. Anyone who is going to contribute to the project should be using the same build as the rest of the team.

Stretching the short answer...

Technically, you could have different builds deployed but avoid letting it happen within the same team. If a new person gets added to the team...pause and think about the build.

Personally I think it would be nice if the software would mention that situation when a file is opened. In an earlier post here on my blog I mentioned that David Baldacchino and David Kingham have written such a feature into their AutoHotKey Local File scripts. They've also shared their work here in another thread at AUGI (DK's Script & DB's Script).

Think of it this way, they don't issue new builds because they feel like it or just because a couple months went by and they are restless. They issue them because they've fixed stuff, stuff that has been aggravating users enough to report them and press for fixes. They also fix stuff that they couldn't deal with prior to other releases or builds getting issued.

When I use an old build while the rest of the team is using the new build my version can introduce a problem that the newer build fixes. When I get out of the project the rest of the team interacting with the project "fixes" what my build "broke". When I come back in and start using my build I can reintroduce the problem, starting the cycle over again. Much like passing a cold around the office "forever".

At its most harmless...nothing happens and we never notice. At its worst we have local/central file corruption and problems. How severe depends on how big the fixes are in the newer build.

I should also add that Revit doesn't have any problem opening files that use different builds as long as they are the same version, such as RAC 2011. The file format changes with a new "version". Builds are incremental changes to the code within a version.

How do you know what build you are using? Click the smallish arrow next the HELP button, then click About. Revit displays the build number in the upper right corner of the screen that appears.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hint hint

Next week if you live near one of these Southern California user groups you should plan to attend.

BIM User Group Inland Empire (BUGIE) Tuesday (March 22)
  Hosted at HMC Architects
  3546 Concours Street, Ontario, CA 91764

Los Angeles Revit User Group (LARUG) Wednesday (March 23)
  Hosted this month by Lee, Burkhart, Liu, Inc.
  13335 Maxella Avenue, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

South Coast Revit User Group (SCRUG) Thursday (March 24)
  Hosted at LPA, Inc.
  5161 California Avenue Ste 100, Irvine, CA

I'm just sayin' (well actually I'm not, am I?)

BIMsight now 64bit

Tekla issued a press release today to say that their model viewer application is now supporting 64bit operating systems. Here's a snippet from their site.

Latest version of Tekla BIMsight application brings along the ability to handle even bigger, combined 3D building information models much faster. Software users who have a 64-bit computer will benefit greatly from this 64-bit version.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ModelMedic from D|C|CADD

Just read about this new application this morning as well.

ModelMedic is…

Model analysis software: Quickly and easily find all loaded elements – even hidden elements – within a Revit project.
A diagnostic tool: Locate elements which may be impairing Revit’s performance and stability. Find and fix problems faster and easier. You don’t have to be a Revit Guru to spot the potential problems in your model.
A reporting program: Detailed model reports can be saved to PDF, Microsoft Excel or Word for archiving and sharing with all project participants.
Inexpensive: Pay for the tool in just one use by finding problems that could keep you from meeting a critical deadline. 5-pack Licenses and Site Licenses are available, making it
affordable to deploy ModelMedic to all Revit users in your firm.

You can download this video from their site: (or listen here)

Check it out!

Autodesk Labs Plug-in of the Month Update - RoomRenumbering

Nice bit of news in my Google Reader feed this morning! Since my previous post they've improved on the first release of the plug-in. Here's what's new from It is Alive in the Lab:
  • Added support for door renumbering
  • Added support for the form to adjust to Windows Display and DPI settings
  • Form is not topmost anymore, that is, it does not cover other applications' windows
  • Added "Zero padding" option to the assigned number, e.g. 009 instead of 9.
  • Added support for windows and spaces
  • Restructured the code (source included in the download) to make it much easier to add support for other object types
With this update, this plugin can be used to renumber or re-assign the "Number" properties of rooms or "Mark" property of doors in the order that the user selects while avoiding duplicated assignments. The command allows the user to specify the starting number with the option of the prefix and suffix added.


Probably needs a new name now?

Didn't take long, now my Hackalicious post is irrelevant!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Revit Technology Conference - USA 2011 - Speakers and Schedule

One more step toward Registration opening the conference site is now sporting updated pages for the Speakers and the conference Schedule. Check them out, registration will be opening very soon!

Want to read a PDF version of the schedule instead? Download one now!

I found it necessary to clear my cache to see the latest pages so you might need to do the same.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Revit Essentials and Revit Handbook

Revit book shelves are getting filled out these days. Time to plan for room for two more books.

Book One is Revit Essentials which will be published by Wiley/Sybex and authored by the same team that brought you the most recent Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture, Phil Read, Eddy Krygiel, James Vandezande and a number of other special contributors.

That isn't the final cover, just a placeholder until they've selected final artwork etc. For more information on this book be sure to keep an eye on the blog Arch | Tech. There is a Facebook page for Mastering but I'm not aware of one for Essentials yet.

Book Two is called The Revit Handbook.

It too is not yet ready but underway and is intended to be distributed as an eBook. Author Adam Simmons has a web site up for the book the web site Simple Design Sense has a blog page that mentions the book too. You can CLICK THIS to add your name to their mailing list to be notified when it is ready.

This is the Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 Project Work-flow
Chapter 2 Folder Structure
Chapter 3 Naming Conventions
Chapter 4 Project Settings
Chapter 5 Importing and Linking
Chapter 6 Project Organization
Chapter 7 Design Options
Chapter 8 Worksets
Chapter 9 Phasing
Chapter 10 Submissions and Milestones
Chapter 11 Families
Chapter 12 Tips & Tricks
Template Overview

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Revit Family Standards Australian-New Zealand

Attendees at the Revit Technology Conference 2008 (held in Melbourne, Australia) sparked a lively debate about content quality and standards (or the lack-there-of). Several people expressed an interest in developing a standard for their market, chief among them Michelle Van Kolck.

Michelle wrote tonight about the latest update to their progress on her blog BIM BOOM BAM. She's got some cool art on her blog banner, linked below:

Michelle and this group worked on this steadily despite having regular day jobs and lives and review their progress at the last RTC conference in Sydney. They also created a wiki site where people could review and contribute. The wiki site is now offline and they've started a new site with the title:


There is only the front page introduction and a little background for now. Michelle wrote this in her post:

Because the new ANZRS document set is at the Peer Review stage I can’t share them, just yet. We will run this set through this 6 week Peer Review process, respond to all feedback and then formally launch our proposed solution at the next Australian Revit Technology Conference this year, on 21 May 2011. I would expect that the documents will then also be available shortly thereafter to all of our industry at the following WEBSITE.

Looking forward to seeing their work in May at Jupiters Gold Coast, Australia!

There have been various attempts in the USA to do something similar. The members at AUGI have started threads, the members at RevitForum are having one now and Autodesk's Seek has the Revit Family Style Guide which is chiefly intended to help them organize content on the seek site. The collateral opportunity is to provide a consistent framework for content.

The success of these efforts remains somewhat elusive since "we" are all different people with varying agendas and needs. The effort is noble and deserves our attention, I'm sure the various groups wrestling with this conversation would welcome help!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Revit Technology Conference - Video Teaser

Jim Balding put together a video (duration 2:51) collage of pictures and a couple video clips from previous RTC events. If you want to get a sense of the event you can see a sneak preview of it before it gets posted on the conference site now.

Thanks Jim!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Revit Technology Conference - USA 2011

Just a quick note to say that Registration is getting close, just a few things to sort out.

Hoping that it will be able to go live this week.

We'd also like to acknowledge Nick Kramer with HMC Architects who stepped up to volunteer with the schedule and programming efforts. He and Jim Balding actually used Revit to organized the program and schedule. As a result of Nick's hard work and eagerness RTC has decide to welcome him onto the committee more formally. Thanks Nick!

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Revit API and 3D Views

Thought I'd mention a post from David Baldacchino on his blog "Do U Revit?". He wrote that he has often wished for a faster way to generate 3D views that are cropped down around a specific part of the project, just by selecting something in the view already, like a stair or furniture. He got busy and forgot about it but he revived it this morning. His friend at B.I.M.M. (a German Company) wrote something for him for free and said he can share it too!

I think it's cool that my friend David (originally from Malta) has a friend in Germany that will share something like this with the rest of us, globalization, global community in action!

Read all about it here and check out B.I.M.M. (you may need to be able to read German as they are working on a English version of the site).

Friday, March 04, 2011

BIM on Your Project

Got an email this afternoon that provided some insight into their cash outlay for getting software and hardware up and running. Looked something like this:

  • Revit Architecture - 6k
  • Revit Structure - 7k
  • Revit MEP - 7k
  • Navisworks Manage - 10k
  • Subscriptions - 4.8k
  • Kickaxe PC - 6k
  • Training - 5k

  • Using BIM on our Projects: "Priceless"

A little play on the MasterCard commercials. I thought the last line was funny and a nice touch!

BIM isn't "inexpensive" but then neither are coordination issues or rework. I liked a slide by one presenter at BIMForum that said, "Do Pre-work not Re-work". Good philosophy I think.

Sure, we can find coordination issues without BIM. It just takes longer, it's a bit harder and we need to rely even more heavily on experience and some intuition . Add BIM to experience and intuition and you've got a pretty powerful combination.

As Tim used to say on Tool Time, "More Power!"

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Local Files - How Often?

Various versions and years have intervened between now and when I wrote these earlier posts.
I recently responded to a query about how often local files ought to be made with this:

I think that new local files should be created each morning and used throughout the day. The next morning should repeat the process. The current solution implemented in Revit supports this thinking by allowing people to easily create a new local (by default) and append a time/date stamp to previous local files when creating a fresh one each morning. For a little history (my own perspective):

My original reasoning for new locals each day years ago was never about corruption (the query suggested that new local files were necessary due to frequent corruption) but about faster loading and not having to remember to use Reload Latest or wait for that either. Opening a central and doing Save As back then meant waiting twice for the files to open (still does now technically). Going back a little further even (for me) the practice of copying the file and pasting it instead of "open/save as" was about "faster" too.

Sporadic team involvement meant inconsistent local file "sell by dates". Mine was current but "Joe’s" is three days old when he opens it because he’s been out of the office for the last two days. If he starts in that file he’s got two day's data to "Reload Latest". If he creates a new local he’s in sync within the window of other people working "today", between when they started and he arrived and started...pretty close to in sync.

File corruption that I encountered from time to time "went away" when people made new locals each day too. Happy coincidence, definitely. Necessary? I don’t know, but it worked to resolve those situations. The corruption probably had more to do with inconsistent participation and "sell by dates" out of alignment than the central/local file arrangement itself. In the end, it was easier to "eat an apple a day" (make a new local) than to wait and see if the issue would arise again.

Since the addition of the new local file option I’ve abandoned other "custom" local file techniques but I still create a new local each day, it isn’t any slower than opening an existing local file and I don’t have to remember to use Reload Latest. I am getting older and my memory isn’t what I remember it to be.

Now where did I put my cane and glasses?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Space Renumbering Tool - Hackalicious

I got a comment on my previous post about the new Plug-in posted at Autodesk Labs asking about renumbering Spaces.

Well the Room Renumbering tool does not accommodate spaces too. I decided to use this as an excuse to steal a word from Zach Kron (hackalicious) and hack away at the Room code to convert to Space Renumbering. It took me a little less than an hour and two questions to Phillip Miller at Kiwi Codes (though I did find my answers before he replied both times, quick responses though Phillip!!).

I edited every reference to room, Room, ROOM, ROOMS, rooms to space, Space, Space, Spaces, spaces etc. I also had to change every reference to room in the forms and the properties of the "project" (C# code). The builtinparameter for ROOM_NAME is also different, SPACE_ASSOC_ROOM_NAME. I created a new Add-in file and used the GUID site to create a unique GUID for the add-in.

If you are using the existing Space Renaming Tool (available from Autodesk Subscription) to match the architecture model's rooms then you shouldn't need to use this. If you aren't and just need to renumber them then have fun!

Click to Download my hacked version of the room renumbering, now the Space Renumbering Tool.

Hack at your own risk!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Room Renumbering - Autodesk Labs Plug-in of the Month

Autodesk Labs blog announced this yesterday: Room Renumbering Plug-in for Revit

This is one of those that may make you want to write, "It took ten years to get this?", or "It's about time!". Whichever emotion it evokes it is available and you don't have to learn how to write code yourself to make it. You can however use it to help you learn since the source code is made available for the each Plug-in of the Month. Here's what was written on the Labs blog:

Historically the ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) plugins of the month have been dominated by AutoCAD. This year we are keen on featuring plugins from ADN members who write them for some of our other applications like Inventor and Revit. So it should come as no surprise that this month's plugin is related to Revit.

Download RoomRenumbering for Revit 2011 via Autodesk Labs

Recall that each plugin includes the source code so prospective developers can see just how easy extending the functionality of our design applications actually is. Provding the source code also allows users to modify or extend the functionality to suit their particular needs. Each plugin includes a read me with all of the skinny related to the plugin. This month's read me mentions:

This plugin can be used to renumber or re-assign the "Number" properties of rooms in the order that the user selects while avoiding duplicated assignments. The command allows the user to specify the starting number with the option of the pre and suffix added.

This plugin has been tested with Revit Architecture 2011 and requires the .NET Framework 3.5. A pre-built version of the plugin has been provided which should work on 32- and 64-bit Windows systems. The plugin has not been tested with all Revit verticals, but should work. The source code has been provided as a Visual Studio 2008 project containing C# code (not required to run the plugin).

The Read Me also covers how to install and uninstall, how to use the plugin, known issues, and even includes a reference for further reading.

Let's make a deal. Please renumber some rooms and let us know what you think via EMAIL. In return, we'll keep the plugins coming. Thanks to Senior Developer Consultant, Adam Nagy, who developed this plugin.

I downloaded, installed and played with it for a bit. It's very simple assuming you follow the readme and get it installed correctly. Once installed you start the tool, enter a few values at the most, and click on rooms. Here's a video I posted if you'd like to see it work first?