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Just Returned from this year’s Central States BIM Workshop in Omaha, Nebraska

August 25, 2014

I just returned from Omaha, Nebraska where I presented 2 lectures, a lab and a panel discussion at the first of two BIM Workshops to be held this year. (The organizers told me that are planning 6 BIM Workshops to be held across the US by 2016.)

Carla Edwards, who started this workshop originally (Central States Revit Workshop – CSRW) and now works for US CAD, really outdid herself, along with the entire organizing staff! Well done and thank you all!

This year, Lynn Allen was brought in as the Emcee for the event and will be as well for the Anaheim, CA event in September. Hopefully, she will be at all of the upcoming planned events since she is just amazing to listen to! Great job Lynn! (Who ARE you?)

This year, my biggest ‘take – away’ items are as listed below (not in any particular order):

1. I finally have been shown how Dynamo and Grass Hopper (visual scripting programs) can really be useful in driving geometry in Revit. Thank you to both of the presenters for “dumbing it down” for me!

2. Formit 360 and Infraworks 360 are two of the coolest and most useful ‘early design’ tools I have seen in a long time. Both of these new programs are simply amazing tools for design, evaluation and validation as well presentation of early design concepts. Well done Scott and Autodesk. Also, thank you to Scott’s mystery co-presenter on the phone with the booming deity like voice,

I just want to add that I always enjoy the opportunity to catch up with all of the ‘usual’ presenters, including Paul Aubin, Stephen Stafford, Lynn Allen, Scott Davis, Andy Jizba and Brian Mackey (we missed you Desiree!). Great seeing you all and laughing so much while still learning! Nothing better than hanging with really smart and funny people.

See you all in Anaheim in September at the BIM Workshop – Pacific Coast!
Steven Shell

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Revit 2014 performance with VMware

July 27, 2014

I’ve been running Revit on a Mac for some time now. I run it though VMware Fusion and every once in a while things don’t go as smoothly as I would like. Revit 2013 for example had such poor performance I skipped using this release in it’s entirety.  2012 worked just fine and I was elated to find that 2014 worked just as well as 2012.  For the most part I attribute the hit in performance to the emulated video drivers that VMware provides.  Autodesk Revit does not recognize this generic driver as an acceptable video card to run Revit with the “Use Hardware Acceleration” setting.

At some point I played with tweaking the Revit.ini and possibly another file to override some of the settings.  I don’t recall exactly what it was but it made performance even better.

Now, just recently Revit 2014 issued Update Release 3 and I figured no harm could come from what will likely be the last update for 2014.  Well, I was wrong.  I installed it and started working on projects but the program took another performance hit.  Zooming, panning, selecting were all slower.  This lead me to think that my Revit.ini was reset to factory settings.

After digging around for a few minutes on the internet I ran into this post on the What Revit Wants Blog. I followed the instructions to rename the specified file and bam! the performance is now back. I can even turn on “Use Hardware Acceleration”.

I will likely try the same settings for Revit 2015 in the near future.

Your results may vary, I am currently using:
OSX 10.9.4
VMware Fusion 6.0.4
Revit 2014 UR3
Windows 7 Pro Service Pack 1

Revit 2014 hardware acceleration

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LAY-IN CEILING TRICK

June 14, 2014

So you have a 2’ x 2’ lay-in ceiling with 2’ x 4’ light fixtures and that ceiling grid line runs right through the fixture. How do you get rid of it? Now this may sound like that joke about whiteout on the computer screen but in Revit that’s doable.

So your grid lines are probably a #1 thickness so create a #2 white line and place it right over the line crossing your light fixture. You’ll never notice the white line break on your light fixture. Now let just see if it prints right.

I can’t stop white’g about Webit!

Carl

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Shared Parameter – Aligning Older and Newer Content

June 14, 2014

Ever get that stubborn shared parameter that seems to have a dual personality. This is especially true if you’ve inadvertently used a shared parameter in some families, deleted it from your shared parameter list and then started using it again. It’s also common when you get a file with a shared parameter name that is the same as one you are already using. A common occurrence with manufacturer’s content or consultants content. Consequently you will probably have to reconfigure any incoming content parameters to your shared parameters to get your schedules to read them.

The problem is that Revit assigns the parameter a unique GUID (Global Unique ID?). So your schedule column is looking to match the GUID assignment it has with the various families you are bringing in, not the parameter name.

I believe the default shared parameter file is located at:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2014\IFC Shared Parameters.txt

You can read this txt file by just double clicking on it and MS-Notepad should open it. You’ll notice the second line “# Do not edit manually” Good advice if you don’t know what you’re doing. For some of us this is like throwing down the gauntlet of a challenge. A challenge I was willing to take and was successful enough to write this post about.

I had a lot of complex content I didn’t want to reconstruct just for a single parameter so I wanted the version of the parameter that was in my shared parameter file to align with my older content’s GUID of the same parameter. The following procedure assumes you haven’t created a lot of content with the parameter that is currently in your shared parameter file. If you have then you will have to go back and delete this parameter and add the new version to that content.

> So let’s start with the schedule and use the GUID it is looking for as the baseline value we want.

> Now we need to find a family that has the parameter that is working in this specific parameter column of your schedule. That will assure us that the family has the corresponding GUID that the schedule is looking for.

> Once you find one, open the family and export the shared parameter to your share parameter file. Place it in the ‘Exported Parameters’ folder. If you need help on exporting a file try this, http://revitoped.blogspot.com/2012/01/export-shared-parameter.html

> Now open the .txt file for the Exported Parameters folder and scroll down till you find the parameter name you just exported. To the left will be the good GUID you want.

> Now open the .txt file where you were originally pulling the shared parameter of the same name. Scroll down till you find the parameter and you should see that the GUID is different.

> Select copy the GUID from your shared parameter folder for this parameter and paste it into a Word document just in case you need to back out of this procedure. This way you can return the .txt file to its original value if necessary.

> Select copy the GUID from the ‘Exported Parameters’ folder and overwrite the GUID in the shared parameter folder. Save the .txt file.

This shared parameter will now be aligned to content the schedule could not read and you can use the new version of this shared parameter in your new content by deleting the parameter and adding the new version of the shared parameter.

In this image you can see the ‘Exported Parameters’ file has the older GUID for the ‘A’ parameter and the ‘Equipment Properties’ and another family which I exported its parameter of the same name to ‘General’ are using the newer version of the GUID for ‘A’. I over wrote the ‘Equipment Properties’ GUID with the ‘Exported Parameters’ GUID to align my content and schedule.

GUID's

I typically keep my shared parameters in a folder with my Revit library content so if you are doing the same then the path I gave you earlier in this post will not be applicable. Just go to that location you are currently using for your shared parameters instead.

Hope this helps.
Carl

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SARUG – June 2014 Meeting

June 8, 2014

It’s interesting how small group meetings become more interactive, less formal and much more relaxed. In fact I’m looking for a bar with a good internet connection just in case our group returns to it’s founder size of three people, who by the way were at this meeting.  The nice thing about the SARUG blog, SARUG linkedin and Google Hangout is that you really don’t have to be there to still get a flavor of the meeting.

So Steven had just returned from the RTC in Australia and he gave us an overview which we were able to record via Google hangout below.

OTHER TOPICS INCUDED:

Google Revit ?????

According to Globes, Google describes the invention as a cloud-based collaboration platform with “planning applications to help architects and engineers in the design process, especially for skyscrapers and large buildings. The platform includes planning tools for architects and engineers to run advance analytics and simulation tools.”

  • Genie has been released and well-received by architects and industry professionals; it is now being developed not under Google X, but under a spinoff company called Flux
  • Google X team estimated that Genie has the potential of generating $120 billion a year for Google.
  • Target Release date early 2015

Could this be a competitor to Revit?  Keep your eyes open. Our inside sources indicate that some visionary staff on the Autodesk Revit development team have left Autodesk and are rumored to be involved with this effort.  Hmmm don’t you love rumors?  They really spice up the intrigue of such an offering. I guess we really won’t know until this application hits the streets.  My guess is that it will be like an over hyped movie trailer and most of us seasoned Revit users will just yawn and sigh as we realize it falls dreadfully short of our visions of where the technology should be going.

More on this subject :

http://www.writandraw.org/en/2013/10/30/on-google-aec-and-eli-attia/#respond

http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-1000886261

http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/06/flux-the-first-startup-to-spin-out-of-google-x-nabs-8m-for-its-eco-home-building-platform/

Bluebeam

I did a little dog and pony show with a Bluebeam 3d file I created and we reviewed the Revu 11 & 12 release upgrade youtube clips.

I’m continually updating the initial review I did on this product which you can view here. http://www.arch-intel.info/tech—revit-3d-bluebeam.html

Currently I’m running the Extreme V12 of this product via the Revit Addin and current shortcomings are the inability to completely resolve the section box limits resulting in some stray geometry being rendered outside of the SB-limits.  The other shortcoming is the inability to resolve phases.  I consistently get existing demolished geometry being rendered by Bluebeam.  I’ll be updating to the V13 in the near future and I’ll review the performance to determine if these issues have been resolved. Desipte these limitations this is a great product and appears to have been quickly adopted by the construction industry.  Take a look at this youtube clip on Setting up a Project (44 min)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awClK63iLQ8 but notice all the related clips on the right side bar.


Revit 2015 features

We viewed this clip on the Revit 2015 features http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWZzeKlgdq4 which is a pretty good overview.

Surface Pro II

Although not officially part of the meeting I ran the meeting technology off my new 512gb Surface Pro II tablet, successfully I might add.  It performed flawlessly running the camera, projector, speakers without a hitch while playing youtubes, and recording the Google Hangout off the onboard mic.

I also have Revit 2015 on board and it runs fine.  What’s nice about this tablet is it runs all the Microsoft productivity software (OS = Windows 8.1) and I’ve been told is better than most of the laptops currently available.  Down side is the screen size but I purchased a ‘Rocketfish’ optical to VGA adapter and hooked it up to a 23” LED monitor and I can see everything fine, considering my aging eyes.  Also figured out how to enlarge the text in Outlook to a readable size over the default (20 year old) font point.  So far I’ve been very please with its performance.

That pretty much wraps up the June meeting.  Steve and I’ve have been extremely busy this year, which has limited our ability to have these meetings more frequently. Hopefully you will find this post useful and don’t be surprised if these meetings wind up turning to a purely remote format being recorded at a Tucson bar somewhere.  (Visions of  Wayne’s World – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tTLbyPEtpU )

Enjoy
Carl

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Is this BIM? (Answer: Absolutely!)

June 3, 2014

RTC - Australasia 2014 Rocked!

RTC – Australasia 2014 Rocked!

I just returned from presenting at this year’s ‘over the top’ RTC ‘down under’. Hopefully, we will have some time at the upcoming SARUG meeting on June 5th for me to share some of this year’s highlights!

Biggest ‘take away': Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona was (and still is) one of the biggest and most impressive BIM projects in the world!

Cheers Mates!

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BIM Worshops for 2014 start this April with the Pacific Coast BIM & Revit Workshop

March 23, 2014

Principal/Architect at Steven C. Shell, Architect

  5 other Nationally Recognized speakers along with several Regional and Local speakers.

Thursday April 24th and Friday the 25th. Registration is NOW OPEN. Early Bird Registration Rate at $350 to the first 100 registrations. Regular Rate is $500 and registration ends April 17th http://www.bim-workshops.com/news/
BIM WORKSHOPS REGISTRATION NOW OPEN bim-workshops.com

Come see Lynn Allen, Autodesk superstar, along with nationally recognized BIM and Revit experts Andy Jizba, Brian Mackey, Doug Bowers, Steve Stafford, Steven Shell, Paul Aubin.    http://www.bim-workshops.com/news/

Image

http://www.bim-workshops.com/news/

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