Tuesday 28 May 2013

PDF to AutoCAD Conversion

I don't often talk about AutoCAD... mostly due to the fact that I'm a Revit/BIM geek...
But we still use AutoCAD and AutoCAD has it's place in the BIM process.... 
Deep down I still love AutoCAD!

We typically share CAD files with consultants in a PDF format, or will receive PDF's of the original design when working on a renovation etc.
 When we receive PDF's of a building we'll be working on we typically have to trace or underlay the PDF... until now...

I found a tool that can convert PDF to DWG and DXF 

Convert PDF to AutoCAD:
High quality conversions with lines, arcs, scale presets and texts preserved.
Files of up to 40MB can be uploaded and converted quickly.
It's safe too, apparently any uploaded data, including emails, is deleted in accordance with their privacy policy...

And it's free!

check it out.


Sunday 26 May 2013

US Memorial Day

This Monday is Memorial Day in the USA.

For those of us who do not live in the United States this holiday can act as a reminder to be grateful for what we have and who we are.

It can also be a reminder for us all, to do what we can every day to make this world a better place for our children.


Thursday 23 May 2013

How to Create a Back Reference View Title

If you want a view title that back references to the origin location of the detail call out.

For example:
A callout of a floor plan view located on sheet A2.0 
The Callout view is located on Sheet A2.5 (Below)

On Sheet A2.5 the detail “back references” to the origin of the call out. (Below)

To change your View Title to a view title that will back reference follow these steps:
  •  Select the view title of your view.
  • Under Edit Type select Title Block Back Reference
To create the View Title that will back reference all you have to do is copy your original View Title family and change the sheet number label to Referencing Sheet from Sheet Number


Wednesday 22 May 2013

Starting Views

A Starting View is where you can specify what Revit view opens by default when you open (and close) a project. 

"When a model is workshared and synchronized with the central model, the specified starting view is applied to all local models. This view is opened when the central or any local model is opened, and when any team member uses the Open dialog to detach from the central or create a local model." 

You can specify the view you want to use by going to the Manage Tab and the Manage Project panel.

A drop down list is available where you can select which view you want to specify, the default setting is "Last Viewed".

You can use your Starting View to your advantage.

What I have done is set the Starting View as a project Welcome/Message board.
This achieves a couple things, the Message Board view is a Legend view so it loads very quickly when opening the project.

There is contact information the Revit user can fill in with the tech's from the other consultants. I have information on how we have the project browser set up as well as examples of the line types loaded and a area where team members can place messages and communicate with other team members or place reminders.


Monday 20 May 2013

The ROI of Revit

ROI of Revit (Return on Investment)

People like to move forward in life and that includes moving forward in their work environment. Some people are not comfortable learning new software and new processes but once we explained that this is part of the company’s direction and part of the company philosophy and that we gave them “Permission” to learn the new software we have positive adoption.

In the economic environment we had a couple years ago not moving towards full adoption of BIM would be a detriment to any company’s future. 

Moving to a BIM environment It has not been without its challenges. Early projects completed in Revit were challenging both in the sense of educating the staff on how to use Revit as well as working with our consultants and encouraging them to use BIM on our projects.

Early on I have found that after allowing for the typical learning curve that projects completed in Revit were not completed faster, in fact in some cases it took longer that it typically would if completed in AutoCAD. What was found was that projects were “over-modeled” and people were spending too much time detailing the model. It took some time educating people on “Value Modeling”, which is where we model only to the level of detail required by the project. 

After we addressed the “Over-modeling” issue, (which we continually monitor) we found that there still was no discernible time saving benefits, using Revit. In fact we found that the traditional time allocated for each design stage of a project changed dramatically. Early design took longer and working drawings were quicker.

What we have found is that by using Revit we now can provide a better product. Our drawings are more concise, the people involved in the project understand the project better which leads to a better design. Less time is now spent on “Drafting” a project and more time is spent on coordination of drawing elements and spending more time on building a better building.

The “return on investment” goals now include the ability to be innovative in our design process and ultimately innovative in our designs.

We now have the ability to run energy analysis using cloud based software. The Majority of our Revit users are now very comfortable in the software and are very proficient in modeling which reduces a projects man hours. We now require less people on a project which translates into less traditional staff fluctuations enabling us to retain and develop our employees.

In my opinion it is not so much a case of numbers on a graph stating the financial ROI, it’s more a case of using the right tools enabling us to achieve our company goals and enable us to truly embrace our company’s philosophy of innovative design.


Friday 17 May 2013

BIM and Healthcare

Here is a great article on BIM and Healthcare from Health Care Design Magazine
Worth reading...

"Start with design
To capture the most value from the BIM process, designers should initiate collaboration with the project team early on, including facility managers, users, contractors, consultants, engineers, and suppliers. Investigating possible downstream value—and defining together how the model will be used in the design, fabrication, construction, and facility maintenance processes—maximizes value for both the project and the design/construction team."

Were doing a lot of health care projects lately so it's good to see the Health Care industry is realizing the benefits of BIM, especially when the collaboration is so critical due to all the systems in the building...

Check it out..


Wednesday 15 May 2013

Revit Poem

We had our CEI Poetry Club last night with great attendance .. 
More people did turned up than this...

Thanks Darcy and Amy for organizing a great evening of drink, food Art and Poetry...

Darcy wrote a fantastic poem that he dedicated to me!
See if you can pick up on the subtle references to a well known Autodesk product...

Slab Depression
A slab of depression
Hangs over me
The missing link
I don’t feel synchronized
Stop sending requests – please
I don’t use commands
I am not the type
Close the window and exit
I will modify my settings
You never try to see things from my viewport
You save as I relinquish
Look in the mirror
We do not align

Here are some photos of last nights artwork. 

Amy played music from her iphone and after every song we switched places and medium...
It was interesting to see how each original sketch evolved with each persons input... kind of like the collaborative design process.

Maybe I should add an Art component to my BIM User Group meetings??


Tuesday 14 May 2013

Weight... for what?

I received this screen capture of an error message from one of my Power Revit Users... 
Thanks Deb!

First time I've seen this error before... we were having network issues so I suspect it was related to that.

I'm kind of thinking that when they wrote this error message (and obviously the Revit programmers have put an awful lot of thought into this message) that it was a spelling error and should really say "Wait"... or "Please wait while I try and figure out what to do next"..!

Weight.... really? 
Can you please add a little more detail...??!

Kind of reminds me of the joke where the radio operator of a sinking vessel put out the mayday call stating that they are sinking... and received a reply asking what they were thinking about?
But once again I digress.....

I did read one blog after doing a search for this error message and found this... 
" I am still trying to figure this one out, are the programmers hacking my webcam and calling me fat?  Or is my building going to somehow throw off the earths gravitational spin if the model is actually built?" http://bdmackeyconsulting.com/revit-weight-warning/

That made me laugh!!... but then again this project is a high-rise.. just in case I'll ask structural what this building weighs....

Filing this error message under "Ridiculous".


Update: Ok, so we got this message again and I couldn't remember how we got around it last time... this time we couldn't even close the file...

So we blitzed (deleted) the back up files, saved and this time the sync worked!

Monday 6 May 2013

Batch Upgrade Utility

Did you know that the "Media" you received from Autodesk that has your new software also has a "Upgrade Utility" that will allow you to batch upgrade your families.

I use this when creating my support directory for the new version of Revit, I'll copy my component libraries and run the batch upgrade tool so whenever you bring in the component it doesn't have to go through the upgrade process. 

To Use the Content Batch Upgrade Utility:

1. Copy Upgrade_RFA.txt and Upgrade_RFA.bat into the root directory of the library that you want to upgrade.

2. Run the Upgrade_RFA.bat to create the file list to upgrade, famlist_rfa.txt.

3. To launch the utility, from the library directory, drag Upgrade_RFA.txt onto the Revit icon on your desktop.

4. After upgrading, delete all backup files from the library.

Make sure all of your .rfa files are not read-only and delete all backup files from the library. 
If a particular family fails to upgrade properly, the utility will stop.
If this occurs, open famlist_rfa.txt in Microsoft Notepad, and remove all previously upgraded families and the failed family from the list. 
Save famlist_rfa.txt, and re-run the utility.

Here are a couple tips:
If your directory is broken down to categories (like mine is) do each folder one at a time, otherwise it'll dump everything into one folder.
You will then have to go through and delete all the back-up files that are automatically created, these back-up files do not have the traditional 001-002 etc numbers after them it's more like...your lotto numbers!

A friend of mine pointed out this Utility Tool too me so I thought I'd share... thanks Drew!


Update: Found this batch utility from Apps that works well also, it takes a little longer as it opens and updates the file in Revit.

Friday 3 May 2013

BIM for Construction Leaders

Hi all, a friend of mine has organised a “BIM for Construction Leaders” seminar to be held at the Sidney Pier Hotel on Vancouver Island on June 7th.

Building Information Modeling is changing the construction business.

Join Morinwood and its partners on June 7, 2013 for a free seminar is for Developers, Architects, Engineers, General Contractors and Subcontractors who want to understand the impact of this technology, and the opportunities it presents for our changing construction industry.
Guest speakers include:
  • Greg Baynton · Vancouver Island Construction Association | Construction Trends
  • Richard Brown · VIHA | The Owner’s Perspective
  • Scott Chatterton · CEI Architecture | Business Value of BIM
  • Tom Morin · Morinwood Mfg Inc | Subcontractor Experience
  • Steve Dean · Autodesk | BIM in 5 Years
Should be a great event and a fantastic networking opportunity.
You can register to attend at the link above…

See you there!


Wednesday 1 May 2013

360 Sync Error

Aghhh.... I finally got so sick of the Autodesk 360 Sync error I finally did something about it!

you can download the Hot Fix here: 

Note: This hotfix is now included in Autodesk Sync 2013 Service Pack 1. If you have downloaded and applied Autodesk Sync 2013 Service Pack 1, you do not need to install this hotfix. If you have not yet installed this hotfix, you should download and apply Autodesk Sync 2013 Service Pack 1 instead.