Friday, May 21, 2010

Another UK Revit blog appearance


Chris Senior from Revit Factory dropped me an email yesterday to say that he has started a blog called

“I’ve decided to setup this blog to discuss anything and everything Revit but primarily focussing on Revit content creation. I’ve been creating Revit families for the past 6 or 7 years and learnt a lot about what should and what shouldn’t be modelled as well as defining the appropriate level of detail. This has primarily been for Architectural firms I worked at in the past, then in more recent years for manufacturers and private companies”

As a long time user of Revit Chris has some good advice, so be sure to check his site out.

How did I miss this blog?


A slap wrist for me! With so much going on in the blogger sphere I haven’t a clue how I missed out on this blog, but be sure to check our Peter McCarthy’s blog, especially for those that say Revit can’t detail! Peter does a great job and changing that urban myth!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Adapt your points of view – Revit 2011

A few years back when I worked for a well known UK reseller, a colleague and I put together a presentation to demonstrate how Inventor and Revit could work together. Part of this presentation showed how to model in Inventor and then pass the geometry to Revit as a SAT file for use within a Revit project. Of particular interest at the time was Inventors adaptive capabilities and we used these to great affect in a structural atrium support solution.


Whilst this was a virtual design concept, the original idea came about from a real project I had been involved in 12 years earlier with Househam Henderson Architects. This was for a TV company that were refurbishing a building, turning it into their new offices and studios in central London. The building being renovated had an enclosed court yard which was opened to the elements, but the plan was to enclose this courtyard with a glazed roof to form an atrium. This would provide a cafe and a social area for staff and visiting guests. One issue was that the new glazed roof would need supporting from the atrium floor level. 


So a structural tree support system was designed to support the roof. At the time this was modelled in AutoCAD release 13, yes you did read that right, that's how old the project is! The big challenge at the time was the scheme constantly changed as the designer and the structural engineer refined the concept further. Load distribution was a nightmare! My special thanks goes out to Househam Henderson for allowing me to use the image above.

So when I saw the new adaptive component family in Revit 2011, I immediately got excited as I remembered the modelling challenges I had encountered in the past. Whilst Inventors adaptive tools resolve the problem, I wanted to do this in Revit! :-)


Understanding how the new adaptive points react and their various parameters is without doubt the key. This short video introduces you to the new adaptive family and demonstrates how to create a simple structural tree support. Hope this is useful…..

Friday, May 07, 2010

Excitech Revit Architecture User Group

I attended yesterdays Excitech Revit User Group. Good event, although it was a long day and rather jam packed. Good to see many old faces either from firms that I had presented to in the past or ex colleagues. I did a 30 min presentation on Managing Large Concept Design Projects, which I think was well received, certainly got a lot of questions after the event about what I showed.

Angus Brown from Fraser Brown Mackenna Architects did an excellent presentation on how they had created parametric content for the development of many of there student accommodation projects. I remember meeting Angus about 4 years ago, his company where early adopters of Revit. But Angus had a vision on how parametrics could help with design, especially with the type of work his business was being commissioned to do. Whilst he had many frustrations in the early days with Revit, he seems to have developed some great processes and the results are excellent.

Simon Gillis from Autodesk did a inspiring presentation on Autodesk’s approach to sustainable design. Much of this can be found on the Autodesk website. Simon also showed Digital 210 King research project……

Working with the CIMS Lab at Carleton University and Faro Technologies, we are developing a digital model of our offices in Toronto using Building Information Modeling (BIM). We hope that this model becomes a valuable resource to a community of simulation and modeling researchers.


Be sure to check out the website, as datasets, images, laser scans etc can be downloaded and reviewed.

Revit and Newforma

HOK are big users of Newforma. If you are looking for a document management system which seamlessly fits into workflow with no disruption to your existing processes  you need to checkout Newforma. People often ask me about Newforma, “Why is it so special, what does it off that other systems don’t already provide"?” To be honest I could write a book on what it provides, but one thing is for sure, it does exactly what it says on the tin. That’s its beauty.

When I worked for an Autodesk reseller I got to see many different document management systems. My general opinion was that most where geared towards a manufacturing / engineering. The AEC industry is different and whilst it may seem to make sense that some of these system could work or be adapted, their rigid nature just didn’t allow them to work very efficiently in a AEC firm. So if you either already using Newforma are interested in what it has to offer obviously checkout the Newforma website, but also read this article on AECbytes which explains how PCS Structural Solutions are using Revit Structure and Newforma together.

Wiley Publishing to provide Autodesk Official ATC training guides

I had mentioned in a previous blog article that I have been helping James, Eddie and Phil with a chapter on concept curtain walls for the forthcoming book entitled Master Revit Architecture 2011. James did say that there where things going on in the background and that the book may become official Autodesk training material! So I’m please to announce that I got an email from James Van yesterday evening which provided a link to an official press release from Wiley.

Sybex, an Imprint of Wiley Publishing, Inc. (NYSE: JWa and JWb), a global leader in the publishing of educational materials, has executed a brand licensing agreement with Autodesk, Inc. under which ten titles on leading Autodesk products will be exclusively designated as “Autodesk Official Training Guides.” Five of these titles are from Sybex’s Mastering series and have been enhanced to cover the learning objectives for Autodesk’s certification exams.

The Autodesk Official Training Guides and their availability dates are:

  • Introducing Autodesk Maya 2011 (Available)
  • Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD 2011* (May 2010)
  • AutoCAD  2011 and AutoCAD 2011: No Experience Required (June 2010)
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011: No Experience Required (July 2010)
  • Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011* (July 2010)
  • Mastering 3ds Max Design 2011* (August 2010)
  • Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011* (August 2010)
  • Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2011* (August 2010)
  • Mastering Autodesk Maya 2011 (August 2010)
  • Mastering Autodesk Revit MEP 2011 (August 2010)

For more up to date info check out The Mastering Revit Architecture Teams Facebook page and Arc Tech blog.