Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shading Elevations in Revit

Miles Walker from HOK posted this tip for fading out elevations
While this does work I believe I have a much better solution.
I originally posted it on AUGI and you can download the family here
What I did was create a mass family that has a transparent material with different levels of shading, so if you have a building with multiple steps you can make your elevations easy to understand.
Simply place the family between the elevation and the building, make sure mass is turned on in your elevation and turned off in your floor plans. You will need to use the linework tool to turn the edges of the family to invisible lines, hover on one of the edges and hit tab to select all the edges at once. The only caveat is you have to use Raster instead of Vector when printing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Revit Grids in NavisWorks

I've been struggling to find my bearings in NavisWorks because the grids from Revit are not 3d so they do not come into NW. I've come up with a pretty good solution in the meantime.
I created a 2-Pick family in Revit that I creatively called 'Grid.rfa'


The grid bubbles and the grid line are extrusions 1/4" high, I tried using Model Lines but they are just too hard to select in NW. The grid name/number are tied to a 'Grid' parameter.

I created an empty project that I linked the structural model into and proceeded to Copy/Monitor the grids into the project. From here I can use the pick option for creating the 2-pick family grids with 'Lock' checked.


Then all you have to do is set the 'Grid' parameter in the newly created grid.


Now what happens if the grid changes? That never happens so we don't have to worry about it....oops had a moment of insanity.

Since we copy/monitored the grids we can simply do a coordination review (look in help if you don't know what this is) the grids will automatically be updated and since we used the lock option to place the new 2pick grids they will move right along with the monitored grids. The only coordination you have to do is check the grid names and make sure there are no new grids, coordination review will not currently tell you if new grids have been added.

Now here's the cool part, when you select the grid in NavisWorks you can look at the properties and you instantly know what grid you're looking at. No need to track down the grid bubble.


I also found it useful to group the grids in Revit and then copy the group to each floor, that way it's always easy to find the grid in NW.

I anyone would like my Grid family just leave a comment or shoot me an email and I'll be happy to send it to you.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Autodesk's Negative Effect on NavisWorks

Although Autodesk pledged to not change NavisWorks the effect of Autodesk is hurting the program unfortunately. It's not Autodesk that is doing the damage though, at least not directly.

This was posted on the NavisWorks site today


It's unfortunate that the 'other' vendors are taking away support for native file format, this coincides with a previous post regarding file exporters,  If more vendors pull native support because they would be supporting Autodesk then we have to have the originating program to export from to get quality models. Again this forces us into the position of requiring subcontractors to purchase NavisWorks. A free exporter would alleviate a lot of my concerns.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

NavisWorks Class and Lab added to AU schedule

2 Classes were added for NavisWorks now!

The first is Thursday at 10:00 called 'The Essential Guide to NavisWorks'

- Combine and manage project and session data using the NWF file format.
- Override speeds and use shortcut keys to increase effectiveness of 3D model navigation.
- Work with viewpoints and identify override techniques to aid communication of design intent.
- Quickly produce animations using viewpoints as key frames.
- Create intelligent groups of objects for repeated use on multiple projects, using the Find Items tool.
- Create punch/snag lists using the Redline Tags tool.
- Produce external renderings quickly and easily using a few essential Presenter tips.

Thursday at 1:00, called 'A Walk-through NavisWorks' is a Lab

- Combine 3D CAD files from various disciplines in order to create a single model environment. - Manoeuvre around a 3D model using the essential navigation modes. - Interrogate property information and utilize this to create intelligent, dynamic groups. - Use viewpoints to communicate your design intent. - Apply materials, lighting and backgrounds to create a near-real rendering with Presenter plug-in. - Check a model for interferences between disciplines using the Clash Detective

From the AU Blog

Friday, August 17, 2007

Autodesk University 2007 Schedule

We will be sending 15 people to AU this year! There will be a wide variety of users, from Architecture, Structure, MEP, Management and Visualization.

I take back my comments I posted on Steve's blog about there not being enough advanced Revit classes at AU. I've come to the realization that I've pretty much reached the end of Revit technically. I now need to focus my skills on management and further implementation into the rest of the company.

I'm pretty happy with my schedule, a nice variety of advanced Revit classes, BIM and business/management.


8:00 AM-9:30 AM
General Session - Designing the Future

10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Effective Collaboration with the Autodesk® Revit® Platform

1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Autodesk's Revit® SDK Sample Smörgåsbord

3:30 PM-5:00 PM
The Fusion of Technology Innovations


8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Building the Future - AEC Industry Presentation

10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Expanding BIM with the Autodesk's Revit® API

1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Methodology for Implementing BIM: Educational Processes vs. Professional Practices

3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Technology Underpinnings of Integrated Practice in Building Design and Construction

5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Effective Techniques for Large Projects in Revit® Architecture


8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Running Revit® Architecture in Virtual Machines

10:30 AM-12:00 PM
The Essential Guide to NavisWorks

1:00 PM-2:30 PM
A Walk-through NavisWorks

3:00 PM-4:30 PM
From Concept to Construction: Real-World Construction Management Techniques and Best Practices with Revit® Architecture

5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Advanced Massing Studies in Revit® Architecture


8:00 AM-9:30 AM
The Successful Implementation of Building Information Modeling in a Construction Project for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Sharing 3D Geometry Among AutoCAD® MEP, Revit® Architecture, and Revit® Structure

Monday, August 13, 2007

Learning how to write again....

I've caught on to the phenomenon of "Getting things done" or "GTD". I've ordered a Moleskine so I can effectively jot down my thoughts when a computer is not available.

I've run into a problem though. This wonderful digital age has made me forget how to write. I'm not even going to post an example, let's just say it's awful.

I saw RobiNZ's post this morning about this very subject. Great, I'm not the only one. My question is how do we get help?? I think going back to elementary is probably not an option (a freaky looking long hair in an elementary school might raise some eyebrows)

A quick google search brings up a million results, I'm looking for some real advice for a dummy that doesn't even know how to write anymore :(

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Collision Detection in NavisWorks

Here's a few images of some collisions I found on a small project we're working on.
It was extremely easy to convert and import the files into NavisWorks, took about 10 minutes and this was my first go at it!
This was simply checking Mechanical against Structural, the collision detection runs so fast it's ridiculous. In Revit this would have taken an hour.
Next step is to learn TimeLiner

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Should Autodesk make a free file exporter for NavisWorks files?

I've been using NavisWorks for a couple weeks now and it is the greatest program I have found since I came across Revit. I will post some examples a little later...

The biggest problem I see with it is that the exporter is not free, with subscription costs it is over $1400 just to be able to export to NavisWorks! This is because you have to purchase Roamer to use the exporters.

Granted most of the time NavisWorks will import the native file format without having the original program installed. On the other hand there is a rather large list of file formats that cannot be imported, it has to be exported from the original program.

So what are we to do? Require the subcontractors purchase NavisWorks....that will go over well (note the sarcasm) Do we buy it for them? Or maybe it's just a matter of having them export to dxf, dwg, dwf or ifc first.

If they have to export to a different format first there will most likely be data loss, even in the NavisWorks help file it states you will get the best quality and limit the amount of data loss if you export from the original program with Publisher.


Edit: After talking with NavisWorks they have no plans of making the exporter free, although if enough users request it they may consider it. Their suggestion for now is to export to dxf, ifc, etc. then you can bring it in natively, but they did confirm there is possibility of data loss. Tags: , ,

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Autodesk acquires NavisWorks

Apparently Autodesk realized that their idea of one integrated Revit model was not going to work in reality. They were trying to push this idea of linking all the Revit models together, which seems like a great idea until you realize in a real world size project that Revit struggles enough with one discipline, the computers are just not up for the task yet.

Now Autodesk can scrap that idea and push everyone to get NavisWorks (I'm sure the Archicad users are cringing at this acquisition)

BTW this is my first post using Windows Live Writer, so far I really like it, very simple and intuitive. Tags: , , ,


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Speaking of IFC's

Revit Architecture Achieves Full IFC 2x3 Certification

While I have my reservations about using IFC's this seems to be a step in the right direction towards interoperability.

While Archicad has been the leader with IFC's for a long time it looks like Autodesk is finally taking this seriously.

I hope IFC does become the standard but I think it's still a few years out before we really get there.

After the BIM Conference....

Back from not-so-sunny Anaheim, the conference had it's good and bad points. There was a bit too much focus on interoperability, IFC's, Lifecycle, etc. The IAI had a bit too much involvement. Don't get me wrong they have a great vision of how a BIM is going to work in the future and the lifecycle of the building is really where the value is going to lie in the future.

For now though the real money is in 4D/5D for us and this was barely touched on.

I did come away with some new software that will help us in early design where a Revit model may not make sense because it is too complex to change quickly and easily early on.

One is DProfiler developed by the Beck Group, we will be using this in very early design to help the owner figure out if they can afford to build the project. It can export to Revit and next month it will link to Timberline so we can use our existing database for estimating.

Another is Onuma which is a very interesting product for preliminary design/programming. It is all web based which makes for very easy collaboration. It is very quick at laying out bubble diagrams, and as they're created there is 3d geometry being created too, along with all the square footage, counts, etc f or programming analysis.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The National BIM Conference, May 15-17, 2007, Anaheim, CA

I'll be attending the National BIM Conference with a few others from Neenan. Will anyone else out there be attending? Looks like it will be a great conference. Would like to meet my fellow bimmer's!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

National BIM Standard Released for Review

National BIM Standard

The National BIM Standard (NBIMS) Version 1, Part 1 Overview Principles and Methodologies is available for a two month industry review until May 21, 2007. For more details about this event please consult the press release. The NBIMS document is available for your review below. It is in two parts, the body of the document and the appendices and references. There are also several associated documents that are hyperlinked into the PDF.

This comprehensive document has been in the works for over a year and is the collaboration of over thirty subject mater experts from many areas of the capital facility industry. There are still many issues to discuss, coordinate and resolve not only throughout the United States but also with our international counterparts. It is hoped that this effort will help with that discussion and to bring to closure any areas of confusion.

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NavisWorks Contact

Does anyone out there have a good inside contact at NavisWorks? I've been trying and trying to get a working demo version to try out on our projects and I'm having absolutely no success. I initially tried to contact them directly, received no response. So I then contacted a local reseller, they sent me a demo version but when I try to activate the software it says I've already activated it. They don't know what to do so they forwarded the request to NavisWorks....guess what? No response!

Follow up to this....
The president of NavisWorks happened to see this and just called me directly and said I will have a working version in the morning. Thank you! Looking forward to working with you.

Importing ABS files into Revit

Unfortunately Revit will not import ACIS objects from ABS, you have to convert them to solids first.

In previous versions of ABS it was as simple as going to a isometric and exporting to ACAD, everything converted to ACAD faces perfectly, well now in ABS07 it's not so simple, with all the new options in display configurations you must have some things setup first.

If there is any piping in the project it will probably be displayed in 1-Line but we want 3D!

First go to a 3d view

Now go to display manager

Right click on configurations and click new

Now right click on the new configuration created and click set to current viewport

Click ok to leave the Display Manager.

Now go to style manager

Now set all the pipe size definitions so nothing is set to 1-Line

Click ok to leave the Style manager.

Now type in ConvertTo3DSolids at the command line.
Select all of the objects, select yes for erase selected objects. This will convert all of the ACIS objects into ACAD solids.

Now export to ACAD (version doesn't matter)

You will probably need to delete the 2d information the mechanical engineer has in the file or it will show in Revit.

After that import the resulting file into Revit.

The best method I have found is to create a new project and import the dwg into an in-place family. The family category needs to be set to Generic Model, if you do not set it to this the geometry will not show cut in sections.

Now just link in the rvt file to your main project, I also like to import the file to a workset that is not visible by default in all views, the ABS file really slows down revit so you only want to turn it on when you really want to see it.

What a pain! If anyone knows of an easier way please let me know. For now we will continue this so we can see the HVAC in our drawings, in the future we will probably just be using NavisWorks for collision detection.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Offline files - may lead to heartache for central files

If you don't know how offline files work take a peek here .
This is how I typically make families and templates available on laptops when users are out of the office, which works incredibly well, no need for different ini files to change paths because the paths stay the same.

Last week I made the mistake of making an entire project folder available offline for one user (this folder contained the central file) there was no problems until today when the user was not connected to the network for some odd reason, but because the central file was made available offline it looked as though he was still connected, so he kept working away until another user noticed that his changes were not coming through when he saved to central....long story short, he could not save back to the actual central file when he was reconnected to the network...which of course led to some unhappy users. There was lots of Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V'ing going on to try and sync up what he had lost...I realized later I probably could have ran the journal files to redo the work, but that only works half the time anyway...

Just be careful with offline files!

Add one more BIM/Revit Blog to your feeds

Since I officially have the title of BIM Manager now I figured I would start a blog to document my efforts and hopefully help some folks along the way. I will be sharing our ups and downs (hopefully more ups) as we implement Revit and other BIM related softwares.