Tuesday 26 March 2013

Revit 2014 Release

Autodesk has released it's 2014 product line.... and it's suite based, no surprise there.
So far all I can see is the AutoCAD 2014 download so we'll have to wait and see when the suite will be released.

As usual David Light's blog Revit has posted a detailed list of what's new in Revit 2014.
you can also click on this like to check out what's new from the Autodesk web site Autodesk Revit - Software for BIM

I watched the official launch this morning and here is a brief summary of the presentation and whats the latest on the Building Design Suite Premium.

Autodesk has re-branded and now have a new "look" which is based upon Origami which the Japanese art of folding paper and is now a traditional art form being used in a modern form.... someone at Autodesk has been doing some deep thinking! 

Here is their new Logo:

Note the folding paper look.... you'll see this continue throughout the rest of their new logos such as the new Revit logo.

The big push is to use the Suite products in combination with Autodesk Cloud, Autodesk has spent a lot of resources building and improving their Cloud capabilities and you can go to the Autodesk 360 web site to see what tools they have available. You can now buy more cloud capacity.
Autodesk 360 is free!  Which they are pushing along with the Suite products. Which really makes sense, you get so much more value for your $$ being a Subscription member....

Suite ownership is leading to more people using multiple products... leading to a much higher satisfaction rate amongst Autodesk customers. 

Here is a summary list of some of the new features in Revit 2014 (in case you didnt want to read the 20 pages of Davids detailed summary but still worth reading)

  • Displaced Views: This tool will allow you to tear apart your model as an exploded view. It's View specific so it doesn't affect your general model.
  • Dockable Windows Framework & Enhancement: Not what I hoped here... you still cant separate model views onto separate screens, but you can now combine the Project Browser and the Properties palette into one palette with tabs to select for Properties or the P Browser.
  • Materials UI: Ya hoo, they have changed the 2013 Materials UI and it's now much easier to navigate and understand... :-)
  • Non Rectangular Crop regions: About Bl%%^y time! Not every project is a box! Works on any crop region including plans, elevations, sections and yes!! Details and Section callouts!
  • Room Calculation Point: This reminds me of AutoCAD Architecture where you can drag a point that is linked to an object and move it to another space and it'll recognize what space or room the point is in. 
  • Schedules: What else can they do with Schedules?? Well they added more categories so you can now schedule Architectural Columns, detail items, generic models, grids levels, pads, roof soffit, and more structural elements... You can also schedule phases and there are now more formatting options, very much similar to Excel.
  • Selection: There are now four selection options, way too complicated to summaries so go read Davids Blog.... Lets just say you can pick stuff... differently....
  • Split Elevations: Yeah! Now we can split elevations just like we can split sections. 
  • Temporary View Templates: Allows you to create a view template that can be assigned temporary to your view, you can access this in the view control bar making it easier to access and apply.
  • View Navigation: Autodesk are continuously working on improving Revit's performance and this release is no exception. Graphic performance is now improved by automatically turning off graphic intensive effects during navigation.
  • Object display order: You can now pick multiple objects and control the display order.
  • Stair and Railing: After last years big change I dont expect much change here, maybe just tweaking the tools a little bit. A precast stair can now be joined to a floor slab, and there are a couple other annotation changes. Temporary dimension are now available in component based stairs. 
  • Double Click: WTF were they thinking... how many times have you inadvertently double clicked on a family.. it opens up... you close it and get back to what you were doing....WE can now EDIT the double click option (like shut it off!).
  • Point Cloud: I've played with Point Cloud data using a Faro Scanner and it's software. Now you can bring in a colour point clouds (it's actually based upon digital photos and assigned to the cloud points). works great when working with existing site conditions... very cool stuff.
Check out Davids blog for more detail.

My only concern is with more "Options" in Revit the more complicated the program is... When Revit first came out you couldn't even move the palettes and have Revit remember where you put them, it would default back to the original settings every time you opened up the program... 

The more complexity and options you put into a program the more likely it'll break. 
Remember when AutoCad was simple... then after years of adding this feature and that option, it's like starting up a Jumbo Jet every time you want to run down to the corner store for milk. 

That's my rant... otherwise, all is good.


Update: Check out some of my upcoming Blogs where I'll go over the list in more specific detail.

Friday 22 March 2013

Revit 2014

Revit 2014 and the Portfolio of Design Tools

UPDATE:Check out my latest blog where I review  Revit 2014

Autodesk are presenting a special webcast on March 26th announcing the 2014  portfolio of their tools for Design. This means they'll be announcing the new release of Revit 2014 and I think there are some changes in how Autodesk will be delivering their products in the future including new releases...... we'll have to wait and see.

So.. book the date. I have.
March 26th 8am pacific time 11am Eastern time.
Autodesk Webcast

At Autodesk University last year (2012) there was a presentation on the role of design tools in creating a better world. Check out this YouTube link 
Design visionaries Peter Diamandis, Cameron Sinclair, Mickey McManus, Brian David Johnson, and Stanford student Jason Chua give their thoughts on the role of design tools.



Wednesday 20 March 2013

Exit Path Line Type

Here’s an idea I had for clearly showing exit travel path. We want the path to show clearly but we don’t want to use heavy lines as it can sometimes be confusing with wall fire rating line types.
What I've done here is use a repeating detail, this way it’ll only show on the view we want (it’s not a model component), it can be any style you choose. In this case I've used a simple grey arrow, you could use a person running, or better yet a person running who is on fire…

Start by using the family template “Detail Component line based” Imperial or Metric, it’s up to you.

Sketch your desired symbol, save detail component, load into project.

 After you've loaded it into your project you now need to create a repeating detail using this “Detail Component”.

Duplicate and rename an existing repeating detail and specify the Detail, Layout, Spacing and Rotation (I seem to have to rotate mine 90* Counter clockwise!)
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Then trace or place your path using your repeating detail…

Should look something like this.
No confusion here with FRR’s….
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Or this:


Monday 18 March 2013

Project Bluestreak...Ideal for use with Revit Server

Lately we've been testing out Project Bluestreak from Autodesk Labs.

Basically Buestreak is like Instant Messenger for your project team, Bluestreak allows you to create work groups based on your your team members for each project.

Bluestreak is a Cloud based application that you can access from the web as well as your desktop.

Bluestreak has been around for ages!!! But since we've started using it in collaboration with Revit Server it's really come into it's own now. It's a lot faster communicating with team members letting them know if you need a sync or a workset. Bluestreak automatically informs you when team members have saved to the project which can be handy when to sync from central. You can connect different Revit files to different groups so that if you switch projects only those that need to see the Save to Central info get it. So your not spaming everyone.

I also found out that Bluestreak is also a Transformer who had to change his name to Silverstreak in 2003 for Trademark reasons... I wonder if it was Autodesk??


Wednesday 13 March 2013

Opening Project and Specifying Worksets

Did you know you can specify worksets when opening a project?
This is particularly handy when opening up those large projects that take a long time to create a new local…which you do every morning right!

When opening the project under the “Open” drop down selection you can select the options:

All: Opens all worksets in the central file. This will significantly reduce performance.

Editable: Opens all editable worksets. This too can significantly reduce performance.

Last Viewed: Opens worksets according to your last saved session. If you are opening the file for the first time it will open all worksets. Typically this setting is used.

Specify: Here it will open another dialog box (the Opening Worksets dialog box) where you can then specify which worksets you want to open. By default it will open the last worksets based on your last saved session.
Opening Worksets Dialog Box


Monday 11 March 2013

Callout Far Clipping

When you create a call out in section or elevation view you can independently control the “Far Clipping” of the Callout Independent from the Parent View

Callout on Section View with Wall in Background (Parent View)

In the View Properties of the callout (the Callout View) you have the option to manipulate the Callout Clipping range Independent from the Parent View (Section depth).

 This is what it looks like by default, the view Far Clipping is set to “same as parent view”. Changing the “Far Clip Offset”  wont affect your view here…

 Set the Far Clip Setting to Independent and you can then set the Far Clip Offset to a different value from the parent view.

Here I've set it to 5’-0” deep.

Now you can see the change in the Callout View….The wall in the background in now gone making the detail callout clearer and easier to annotate and read.


Wednesday 6 March 2013

BIM Manager Vs CAD Manager

I read today's Blog by David Light (Revit) which really resounded with me.

Here he speaks about the difference between BIM Manager and CAD Managers which I can fully relate too having being a CAD Manager and now a BIM Manager.

The differences are huge! As a CAD Manager you managed the day to day operation of CAD, the CAD standards, set-up, file management, deployment, etc. This was a full time job.... however I was rarely involved with managing the projects side of things.

What I have found as BIM Manager is I now have more to do with collaboration with consultants and clients rather than the set up and operation of Revit. My Revit users know what they're doing, I'm more involved with  the managing of the project rather than the management of the software.

Dont get me wrong, I still set up BIM standards, educate, and develop processes as well as evaluate BIM related software, but my role and duties are no longer confined to the operation and maintenance of the software as it once was as a CAD Manager. As a BIM Manager it's now more project related as well as managing and informing the company as a whole on BIM related issues.

The CAD Manager is Dead... Long live the BIM Manager.


Monday 4 March 2013

Inches to the forth power error message

Received another weird error message from Revit.
Not quite sure what prompted this error message....
I did some research on this message and this is basically what I found was that in some cases it is caused by insufficient disc space. 

I found some information regarding this error on Jeremy Tammik's blog "The Building Coder" where he talks about when Revit  was first developed in the US it was based upon Imperial units. When Metric and other units were introduced into Revit the basic existing database (based upon Imperial) remained.
Jeremy mentions "When Revit's API was introduced, the simplest method of introduction was to expose the database values directly. Thus feet for length, metric for everything else".

Thus I believe the reason for the verbiage of the error message. 

In my case it wasn't a large file and running a audit on the file seemed to have resolved any issues.

Just got this reply from Autodesk Technical Support...

The error is incorrect and should read "end of file".

From the description, the file on the server is not a full version of the file, but a full version does get written when you try the command again.

If you have not already, I would purge the file to reduce the file size. I would also make sure that no one else is accessing the central file when others are saving or syncing.

It was quite a quick response from Autodesk.

I'm starting to collect a variety of "Weird" Revit error messages!