Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

curtain snowman

I'd like to wish all the readers that read and follow my blog, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Its been a very strange year....a great release of Revit from Autodesk in the shape of Revit Architecture 2009, global economic down turn, a new era in US politics, banks collapsing, the olympics, a career change, being told I look like Nik Kershaw......the list goes on..........roll on 2009! :-)

Ideate Explorer for Revit 2009


This is one that seemed to miss my radar during AU2008! The Ideate Explorer for Revit 2009 is a utility which allows you to search, filter and tie up the inter relationships within your model.

As mentioned on the Ideate Website.....

"Ideate Explorer for Revit® 2009 from Ideate, Inc. empowers you to do just that. Explorer gives you an easy, intuitive and profound way to search, quantify and select elements in a Revit model."

More details can be found here.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Revit - Modelling balcony slab with sloped edges

Here's an interesting modelling challenge set by one of my colleagues in the London Office. She wanted to quickly produce a balcony, based on the sketch below, for a large high rise residential scheme. In reality this is reasonably straight forward modelling, but it may not seem that obvious on closer inspection, especially to those that are new to Revit.


You will see from the diagram above that the majority of the balcony is 450mm deep and is flat as indicated by the blue area. The balcony then falls away on three edges to only 150mm thick. You will also notice the balcony is not rectilinear as indicated, with three sides at different angles.There are a number of different ways to tackle this.... create a family, an in-place family? All have their merits, but at the concept stage of a project you don't always have time to produce what in essence is actually a rather complex family to create. So the easiest way to create the balcony is in four separate elements.

So start by sketching out a few reference planes to define the extent and shape of the balcony.

Next create a new floor slab type which is 450mm thick. Edit the type properties of the construction of the floor slab and set the structure "variable" radio button is ticked. This will ensure that that slab is flush on the underside after you have edited the slab.


Next model four separate slabs based on the reference plane sketches.

4 slabs

You can then slab edit the edges of the three slabs which need to slope away using the sub-element edit tools. Select one of the floor slabs you created and the sub-element edit tools will appear in the options bar.

sub edit

Next select the edit points/edges tools, then select the outer edge of the slab you want to edit and alter the elevation from 0mm to -300mm; this will drop the whole edge of the slab and it will slope as required.

edge edit

Now do this for all the other edges which need to fall away.

dropped edge 

For extra finesse, use the join geometry to clean up all the floor slabs.

result  result

One could argue that this is not a purist approach to the BIM problem because you end up with four slabs rather than one, but at that concept stage where you want to convey an idea, this approach is ideal.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

CADSmart for Revit 2009 released


Released at AU2008, CADSmart have produced a skills assessment tool for Revit 2009. As described on there website; "CADsmart Premier is our premium level software, providing a range of unrivalled tools for training needs and skills gap analysis. The sophisticated data provided by CADsmart allows firms to benchmark CAD skills across offices, disciplines and against industry standards."

The key features are as follows:-

  • Assesses core Revit skills
  • Live modelling exercises
  • Automatically marked
  • Screen recorder captures candidate answers
  • Detailed feedback and training reports
  • In-depth management reporting tools
  • Developed with input from CAD Managers of leading Architectural and Engineering firms

CADSmart is an interesting approach to testing existing as well as future staff. As the industry starts to get flooded with Revit savvy users, firms need an assessment tool to make sure that users can actually deliver on what they promise. If you want more details go to:-

Revit Factory re-launches


I bumped into Chris Senior from Revit Factory whilst I was at AU2008. He informed me that the website has been re-branded and re-launched.

Chris let me know that they are currently developing a corporate library section for Companies to host private libraries alongside the public library and this should be completed by the new year.

They have also included an RSS displayer for the site and this is allowing them to like back to over Revit web resources. If you want your site reference, drop Chris an email.

Chris also mentioned that the content section has only been live for 1 week but they are now receiving 100+ hits per day. There member sign-up rate has quadrupled in the last few weeks from an average of 10 members per week to 40. The content is very much UK focused, so for those that are struggling to find suitable UK content for Revit, check the site out.

AEC Bytes - HOK technology adoption article


It may seem like a bit of shameless promotion on my part, but this article on Technology Adoption and Implementation at HOK is well worth a read.

AU2008 is over

Well AU2008 has finally finished, although some of us are hanging around town and returning home to are various global locations tomorrow. It was certainly great to catch up with fellow Revit Users and Revit bloggers that share my passion for Revit and BIM.

It was difficult to gauge whether there where more or less attendees compared with last year? Obviously the global economy has take its toll and I was aware of a few that dropped out at the last minute.

There was plenty of new technology and software on show; I was like a kid in a candy shop! We all certainly have some exciting futures to look forward to. However I can't talk about it, as I'm under NDA and I certainly don't want to be taken out to the desert and buried up to me neck and left there for good! So we will have to wait to see what Autodesk deliver next year. :-)

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend many of the classes due to meeting commitments, however I will be downloading the class content from the AU2008 website as soon as it gets posted. Those that I spoke to seem to have mixed views on some of the classes, with some failing to meet expectations. I guess its not easy to balance the structure of a class to cater for all. Nevertheless, I think the event organisers need to look more carefully at how classes are rated in terms of content as well as meeting the expectations of the audience. One thing is for sure, the online calendar system which is used to book classes needs a serious review. Many people I spoke to where totally confused by how it was supposed to work!

For me, the highlight of the week was Design Symposium Event which was run on Monday. Hosted by Robert Aish (he of GC fame), various architectural, manufacturing and design firms presented their work. What I saw was stunning as well as inspiring.You could argue that it was a bit geeky, however it shows that with the right mathematical and programming skills and an out the box approach to solving design issues, anything is possible.