Friday 20 February 2015

More on AR and VR....

Here is an image of one of my desks of late. 

I have a few desks.... I like the stand up desk, it's where I go when I need to get away from my usual desk  (clutter) to be able to focus on something, in this case setting up the Virtual Reality software with our new Alienware laptop and OculusRift goggles.

Recently I've been playing with Augmented Reality more, especially since now there are apps for your phone and web sites that make it so much easier to push your model into AR. 

I downloaded the Augment app and set up a trial account with them. 
Works great! Very similar to when I first tried AR in 2012 (check out this blog posting

I tried it on a number of different files that I have specific for this type of application, the Revit models I have are typically stripped out of views and also interior components so it's just the shell. The tower model I tries works well when exported at STL, actually all the models work well as STL expect the materials do not show up. OBJ works good, the materials show up great however for the larger files it takes too long to load on the app on my phone.

I can see huge potential with this technology such as site planning, promotional and marketing material, visualization aid for clients, design options etc...And it's lots of fun and easy to do!

Very impressive, it's a quick way to impress people!


Monday 16 February 2015

Collaboration for Revit Explained (in Brief)

I recently attended a demo of Collaboration for Revit  (C4R) for a project were working on, it answered a lot of questions for me. 

I looked everywhere for a good explanation and couldn't find one, so here is my brief explanation of how it works.

Currently we use Revit server to facilitate internal collaboration as it’s more stable and deals with multiple working on the one project much better. However we cant use Revit Server when working with consultants or collaborating with another Architect as it doesn’t play well through firewalls etc, it’s very difficult to set up and run. C4R treats your local computer like an “accelerator” similar to how Revit Server operates. It also manages the data exchange a little differently to make it sync faster.

C4R is much simpler because it’s cloud based, it basically stores everyone’s (A,S,M,E,P) Revit model on the cloud and we each link each others models, similar to to our existing workflow but automated.

We each link in each others models from C4R, these links are live so it eliminates the need for detaching saved copies of the files and sending them to the consultants for coordination. We still manage our own worksets, views and model content, R4C just manages the model links.

There are still a few things that need to be worked out such as saving a back-up copy, currently you’d have to detach a copy to back-up. If you didn’t want to have the most current copy of the consultants model the only way to manage this would be to “not reload links”. This would be difficult to manage if you had a large team working on your project. Also C4R does not allow for non Revit links (same as Revit Server) which is one thing on my wish list!

So far to me it looks pretty good, apparently they’ve done a lot of testing and are pretty confident in it’s stability. For now it looks pretty good, I’d use it on a project as long as I had an exit strategy, I believe it’ll evolve into something much better. In conjunction with C4R you also get A360 as a project communication tool but I'm not going to get into that on this blog...

It’ll be interesting to see how it’s adopted in the design community. This is one more tool to facilitate collaboration.


Wednesday 11 February 2015

The Golden Rule of Collaboration

During any project the BIM Lead collaboration meetings are very important, it gives the technical BIM people an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues both internally and externally.

For further info on BIM Lead Meetings, check out this posting: Running a BIM Lead Meeting

Here are my Golden Rules for running a Collaboration Meeting.

Everyone is equal
Regardless of your position, everyone is a participant in the meeting and a valuable contributor to the conversation.
Values everyone time and allow them the opportunity to contribute to the meeting regardless how minor the issue may seem. these meetings are a great opportunity to address these minor issues before they develop into larger issues.

Encourage difference of opinion
Establish an environment where participants are encouraged to freely express their views and opinions in a safe atmosphere.  To find the best solution to any problem may require out of the box thinking and bringing up points that not everyone may consider.

Have an agenda.... but be flexible
Sending out a meeting agenda gives the participants time to prepare, prompt questions so people can bring answers to the meeting. People love getting solutions from meetings, not more tasks and questions than when they came.
Stick to the agenda where possible and include time for any important business that may arise. Make clear notes on decisions and points that were made, send out a draft copy for participants input. you cant be expected to remember everything and run the meeting...

Decide and move on
Make a decision and then move on to the  next agenda item. Don't let someone who disagrees with the decision dictate the rest of the meeting. If necessary ask the person to continue the discussion after the meeting.
As the facilitator you dictate the amount of time spent on each agenda topic, manage your time wisely and keep the meeting moving forward otherwise you'll lose the interest of people and people wont want to attend your meetings in the future.
Taking a short bathroom break is a good way to put a topic to bed and move on.
Get to the point; At the end of each agenda item summarise the conclusion for all and move on to the next item.

Facilitating the meeting means that you set the tone for the meeting, direct the conversation and have the ability to stimulate the discussion. Use the agenda as a road map but don't be afraid to explore the side roads as the meeting requires, you never know where they're going to lead and if they go too far into the woods bring it back on track. :-)


Monday 2 February 2015

Okanagan BIM User Group Presents!

Social Project Delivery
Caesar Ruest is the Autodesk Construction Solutions Executive based in Toronto, Canada

The ability to create, post, and access information anytime and anywhere is expected within a public environment through social media applications delivered through web. The successful adoption of social media exists due to a low cost of entry like a cell phone, ease of use, and the ability to share information. Globally, social media has been proven to create change at astonishing rates. Considering the world of capital projects, can we leverage a similar prescription with positive results? Social project delivery could be the future where project teams socialize their updated project status through a personalized web page, and share or access critical project files through the Cloud. The Cloud offers a low cost entry point for data storage and software services compared to the investment in servers and high performance workstations. The real potential of the social project environment involves the external project members who need to view and comment on the project information by using their web browsers. This session will describe the innovation within Cloud collaboration throughout the project lifecycle, and highlight upcoming advancements in Revit centralized cloud models.

Virtual Reality and its Impact on the AEC Industry
Join Shari Tambasco for a live demonstration and discussion on how Virtual Reality will impact the design Industry.

Virtual Reality has the potential to have a big impact on the architectural, engineering and construction industries, especially once we start experiencing the benefits of this burgeoning technology. VR gives us a truer perspective on our work, as we are figuratively plunked down into the middle of our creations-designs that are layered with rich information and endless variation. In the VR environment architects and designers can better visualize form and scale while exploring a building or space. Additionally, VR provides us with the opportunity to consider design options and refine areas that would have been difficult to visualize in a more conventional method.

Please save the date: February 25th from 6pm to 9pm

Okanagan College KLO Road Kelowna.