Friday, November 20, 2009

Easier model text on a curved wall

Daryl posted a good tip for placing model text on a curved wall. While it is a creative solution I believe I have a better method for you all.

First off create a new family from the Generic Model – Face Based template. Put in a piece of model text, give the model text an instance parameter so you can change it in the project, you can also give parameters for material and depth. Load this into your project and place on the face of the wall (which can be done in plan, elevation or 3d)

Now in plan view array some ref planes around the center point of the wall to get your spacing between the letters correct, to align these just select and drag to align with the ref plane, you cannot use the align tool. Now if the wall ever changes the text will go along with it.




Thursday, October 22, 2009

Subscription Pack available for Navisworks

Autodesk released a plethora of updates for many products yesterday, Revit and AutoCAD had plenty of coverage in the blogosphere, so I’ll only touch on the Navisworks update.

First off we can now import and export fbx format. Importing is not such a big deal for me, but exporting is very nice to bring out to 3ds max.

Batch processing utility, I had already automated most things using autohotkey but maybe these will be a bit more reliable since it runs directly through Navisworks:
  • File list—produces a text file containing a list of the paths and file names of all design files used in an integrated model
  • File combine—enables users to automatically import a batch of files of any supported format into a single model
  • File convert—enables users to automatically convert a batch of supported files into individual Navisworks files

Last and certainly not least is the NWC export utility. This is huge. Finally we can freely distribute this exporter to the entire project team, now anyone can export to Navisworks without buying the software. Thank you, thank you, thank you Autodesk for listening to the customers.

These can be downloaded from the subscription (obviously you must be on subscription)

Friday, September 4, 2009

New BIM Blog

A former associate of mine has started up a new BIM blog called BIMbytes, Grant was one of our best Revit users and had quite a bit of exposure to real world BIM working for us. He just finished college and was focused on structural engineering, his thesis was on using BIM in a integrated educational environment and is teaching a class at AU on this subject (needs more people to sign up so it doesn’t get canceled though!)

Grant is also seeking employment as well, so if you know of anyone that needs a Revit/BIM Manager please give him a call!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Undocumented Features of Revit 2010

By now you have all seen the new features (go here if you haven't) Instead of re-hashing that I'm going to run through some of the lesser known or undocumented features.


Performance has been improved over 2009, in my testing it is the fastest version yet (seat of the pants testing), but most people are reporting it's about the same speed as 2008 was (which is good!)

You can now add the current revision to your drawing list.

In a worksetted file you can discard your changes AND relinquish at the same time, before you had to just close out, don't relinquish, re-open and then relinquish.

Instance Properties dialog is now re-sizeable.

In print setup you can now have halftone print as thin lines (there is a checkbox under options)

You're now able to create filters for sections, elevations and callouts. So for example you could turn off interior elevations by creating a new filter with the elevation category and filter by family and type of interior elevations, add the filter to your view and turn the filter off.

Keyboard shortcuts were added for the following: Gray inactive worksets, each dimensions type (aligned, linear, angular, radial, arc length) Extend is now it's own tool so you can create a shortcut for this as well. ALL of the items in the view control bar now can have shortcuts (except for the scales of course) Borrow and return license

External tools can have shortcuts too, this is what it looks like in the keyboardshortcuts file:

; Add-Ins
"NW"    ribbon:"Add_Ins-External-External Tools-Navisworks 2010"


Type Properties is NOT re-sizable

Orient to view/direction has no keyboard shortcuts anymore, you now have to right click the view cube, if you need to orient to a plane you have to right click on the steering wheel. This is a major step backwards.

Switch windows isn't easily accessible anymore, but can be added to the Quick access toolbar

Same with the worksets selector and the type selector.

My thoughts on the's great for new users and discoverability of tools, which sounds like this was the main intent from reading their blog. For advanced or even slightly experienced users this is a step backwards for productivity. If you don't use keyboard shortcuts now, you better start. This is the only way you will remain efficient in 2010. There will be a lot of disappointment around this release, when Phil Read is putting up angry blog posts you know things are bad.

With that, we will be upgrading. It is certainly not a rush though, I'm going to wait at least a month to let the users play around in it first because it is going to be a major disruption.

Overall I give this release a thumbs down. Maybe in 2011 they will address the users needs rather than corporate's...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New-ish Navisworks blog

Beyond the Paper has been around for quite some time but has been focused on DWF, now Volker will also be posting about Navisworks.

Volker has a couple of posts already...

Introducing Autodesk Navisworks Freedom 2010
Navisworks NWD or Navisworks NWF file format?

Welcome to the Navisworks world Volker!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Revit Grids in Navisworks, Part Deux

I originally posted this a year and a half ago, my how time flies
Since then I've found those grids to be fairly ineffective, it takes way too much time trying to select the grid to get into the properties.
So I created a similar family but it has a grid marker arrayed so the grid location shows up all along the grid. This has made working in Navisworks a million times easier.
Setting it up in Revit has not changed, so follow the instructions from the original post.
It can be downloaded here

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How to change the avatar in NavisWorks

This doesn't seem to be documented anywhere so here is a quick how-to.

First off open up the file you want as your avatar, it could be a dwg, skp, etc. Now publish this file to an nwd to the following folder C:\Program Files\Autodesk\NavisWorks Manage 2009\avatars\new folder name\new avatar name.nwd

Restart NavisWorks if it is open.

Open the file you want the avatar for, go to Viewpoint > Edit Current Viewpoint > Collision Detection > Setttings... > Enable Third Person, now from the Avatar drop down you can select your new avatar.

Under the viewer settings you can also change the size of the avatar by changing the height and the radius

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Black objects in NavisWorks?

Ever had objects from a dwg that come in black? No matter what you do it seems you cannot change the color.

The solution is very simple, go to the materials tab in presenter and delete the material called ByLayer, this comes across sometimes when the image file isn't present.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Too many new blogs to keep up with

I've been meaning to add these to my list of links but I may need to create a new page just for links, there are so many now!