Archive for the ‘BIM Secondary Apps’ Category


Product Review – Bluebeam “3D PDF Converter” for Revit

February 8, 2014

I recently completed a review of the Bluebeam application for creating 3D-PDF’s and the results were favorable.

You can access the full review here:—revit-3d-bluebeam.html

Bluebeam me up Scotty!


3DA Systems – 3D PDF Converter Product review.

January 25, 2014

Just posted a review of this product at Arch-Intel you might want to check out.

The 3D PDF Converter for Revit works as an add-0n and has great potential.

On a simple, new project the program would probably work fine but I hit the performance wall in a number of areas that proved to be shortcomings of the application.

If you group elements in your model, use phases (existing / new) or want to have nested families processed in your 3D PDF then you’ll need to wait for the upgrade.

Expanded review and comparison image in the review link.

Not so 3PDF’d


Revit Hatch Patterns – Hatch 22

October 4, 2013

Below is a nice hatch creation tool for Revit

Download the 3 files and place in your C:/ProgramData/Autodesk/Revit/Addins folder and it’ll show up in your Addins ribbon.
Follow the instructions below and its pretty self explanatory.

Thanks Tim Kauffman for this tip.



SARUG July 2013 Meeting Summary

July 20, 2013

Much thanks to Andrew Abernathy for giving his third and final presentation to the group.  It engaged the group to a point, with spirited discussion, that made it difficult to complete his presentation.  Well done.  Andrew, I’ll see what I can do about recording & posting the presentations while you are on your 3 year project(s) in China. Congrats again on landing that big fish. Here’s something I learned on my trip to Shanghai (a must see) in 2007

Also thanks to Steve and Jake for their reports on the events at RTC.  They sang high praises for VEO, an application brought to our attention by Jake in March of 2012 and posted to the SARUG blog at:

Steve also posted an update to the SARUG blog regarding the RTC event.

btw, thanks for the cookies.

Two products coming from Autodesk that are well suited for construction & project administration, operate in the cloud, and are relatively easy to use by the professional as well as the client are ‘Glue’, an Autodesk acquisition from Horizontal Systems in 2011 and ‘Field’.  Both of these apps are part of the Autodesk BIM 360 cloud based services.


I’ve wanted this one for years.  It makes punchlists a breeze.

Although Field only works on the Ipad, Autodesk is hearing a growing request for porting this app to an Android based platform that can leverage other Microsoft products in the field.  What’s nice about using the Pad approach is that it leverages the voice to text conversion capabilities to rapidly take field notes.

Glue and Field are purchased via a: per person / per project / per month fee basis.  This ‘as needed’ leasing model is a nice change to the traditional annual purchase agreements from Autodesk and packages the costs into a fee structure that can be built into the professional services agreement should a client be interested in interfacing with the project in this manner.

Also thanks to all that attended the meeting.


Revit Keynoting Alternative

May 7, 2012

Received this from Dave Davies in South Wales, Australia.

It allows users to create bespoke codes and descriptions, which are then automatically created as Revit detailed  component “dots” which are then used to annotate Revit details.

He’s offering a 30 day no obligation free trial of the software to raise awareness.  It’s available to purchase as an annual license.  Looks interesting.  The website ( ) as of this post had no information on cost. 

This clip moves fast and has no voice over, only music, which I found distracting and had to turn off to get a handle on what he was trying to show.

This methodology breaks the bond between the BIM object and the keynote assignment and utilizes a graphical dot as the keynote tag and description holder.  This could lead to incorrectly tagging objects since you are no longer relying on object embedded data.  It does however free you from the current limitations of keynoting, a technique many of us avoid due to those limitations.




SARUG Software Alert – VEO

March 9, 2012

Getting closer to a Comprehensive Solution for Builders and Owners see the VEO Trailer.

Thanks to Jake for the lead on this application



RPC Content (People, Vehicles & Plants) – Trouble Shooting

December 10, 2011

Archvision ( provides a variety of content for populating your renderings with people, vehicles and plants. A typical installation on a single machine usually doesn’t present a problem but if you are working in a large office with your Revit files on a main server you are going to have to address some pathing issues.

The problem arises when you are working on a project and you load the RPC content from the server. Archvision uses a series of files to direct Revit on how to render the content placed within the Revit project. These files are (or should be) located within a folder called “ArchVision Content Manager” under the local path of C:Program Files/ArchVision folder. These commands direct the Content Manager to look for the RPC image files at the following local path:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Materials2011\assetlibrary_base.fbm\RPCs

So if your image files are stored on the server and the Content Manager is looking on the local machine for the image files, which are not there, the RPC’s will not render. The big clue that there is a disconnect is your RPC’s will look like cubes rather than the wire mesh of vehicles or paper cutout profiles of people or plants.

The cube below is a Mini-Cooper (or should I say a Mini-Cuber) before the image file path is re-established.

The easy fix is to copy the desired image files from the server onto the local machine to the asset library address referenced above.

For some reason Revit Arch 2011 doesn’t immediately see these image files so you may (will) need to close and restart Revit to see the new image files. It may be that Revit populates the ArchVision image content to Revit at startup rather than going directly to the file source each time you are re-pathing the image. Whatever the reason this is the only way I’ve been able to see the new image content.

Also the RPC’s may not automatically update with the proper image files when you restart the project. So if you have to re-path the image files because they won’t render or they still look like cubes just select the failing RPC note the name of the RPC in the Properties dialog. Select ‘Edit Type’ then ‘Rendered Appearance’ button. An ArchVision dialog window should open showing you all the local image content available for your RPC’s. Select the image of the same name as your RPC to re-path. You should see the outline of the cube change to match the image when you back out of the edit dialog.

I’ve been told by ArchVision that the Content Manager can be located on the server to circumvent this issue. Just one more thing on my list of a 1000 that I need to do. Hmm this is probably 957.

Happy Rendering

4-26-2012 Updates:

Resolving Network License Issues in Revit 2012

Revit 2013 RPC Content Disappears with Realistic Mode Setting: 
I’ve had this issue with my 2008 Toshiba laptop and it appears to be a Video card compatibility problem.  If you enter the Options button under the Purple ‘R’ (upper left corner of Revit interface) and proceed to the “Graphics” area you’ll notice (if your graphics card is suspect) an “Unknown Video Card” caution.  If you uncheck the “hardware acceleration” under “graphics mode” then close and reopen your project you’ll notice that your RPC content will no longer disappear under the “realistic” view mode but at the same time it will not render.  So it appears the video card may be at odds with the realtime RPC render aspect of the “realistic” view inherent in this Revit enhancement. At least with my NVIDIA Quadro NVS 150M video card.

You can check for recommended and certified hardware compatibility at:


James Vandezande’s – Videos

October 21, 2011

James Vandezande has put together a number of Vimeo clips on Revit specifics, BIM, IPD, Collaboration and Third Party Applications you might want to wander over and view.  I’ve posted a permanent link on our blog page under the SARUG Links heading as JV’s Revit (+) Videos.

Thanks for posting those videos.  We hope to see this resource continue to grow.

Time to make some popcorn!



3D PDF’s from Revit?

September 27, 2011

One of our Project Architects waved an RFP in front of me today and asked can we do this?  He pointed to the highlighted verbage which read deliver interactive 3D PDF’s.  I said of course as I quickly did a web search to back up my hasty response.  Well the consensus out there seem to also be yes.

I’ve included some of the links I discovered for your reference.  I’ll test the freebie method tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

A special thanks goes out to Luke Johnson at “What Revit Wants” who posted the most informative links / info.


9-27-2011 Update

Thanks Kirk for the additional link, which you will find in the comment for this topic.

Here are the results of the Revit-2-Bentley-2-PDF conversion process. The following image shows the final pdf on the left and the original Open GL Revit 3D view in Revit that was screen captured.  The Bentley capture process takes about 1-2 minutes.  Aspects of color, shadows and ambient occlusion are not captured.  Only basic geometry.  Visually the results are disappointing. It’s a time consuming process to download and install the Bentley products.

Double Click Image to Enlarge

Adobe Acrobat Pro as it’s now called (not Acrobat Extended 9 or 10) may give better results but our version of Pro doesn’t have the 3d Capture attribute so I’m unable to check the quality. We did find out that the upgrade path is around $200.

Scott Davis over on the AUGI forum (via the Link Kirk provided in the comment) recommended the export to DWFx in Revit.  The resuts were much better, see below.  If you have Design Review, double clicking the resulting DWFx file you create from your 3D view will prompt Design Review to open (shown in the image to the right).  But you can force the file to open in IE by right clicking on the file and selecting “Open With” and selecting IE which is shown in the image on the left.  The familar navigation cube works in IE which is nice.

Export to DWFx has my vote right now.

I need to go and uninstall the Bentley products, maybe the Corp should do the same 😉



July 14, 2011

I’ve been playing with a small side project this year and have yet to formally introduce it until now. It’s a website I set up to offer Revit families, schedules, and methodology for boosting productivity while designing and documenting our built environment.

In striving for quality over quantity BIM Productivity has a small offering of families and schedules that provide near instant and accurate results for doing the necessary yet mundane tasks of code analysis or engineering directly within Revit.

One such family helps calculate the required plumbing fixtures per the 2006 version of the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Plumbing Code (IPC) (read a full description here).   It is super quick and easy to use for demonstration of building code compliance and studies but I don’t want you to take my word for it. I would like you to try a free sample.  The sample family will calculate required fixtures for Business, Mercantile, and Storage occupancies and may be used on your commercial projects free of charge.  If you like what you see, or need additional occupancies, or other production enhancing families please visit

– Jake