Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wishing you a Merry Christmas


Once again, I would just like to wish those of you that follow my blog a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Wow, 365 days disappeared very quickly and the older you are, the quicker it goes. Its been a very odd one with some real lows as well as amazing highs. These are my top ten cool/weird things of 2010, in no particular order……

  • Presenting with James Van at AU 2010, but then forgetting how to draw a wall in front of 600 people!
  • Being part of (all be it very small) the Mastering Revit Architecture 2011 authoring team
  • Getting a message left on my cellphone from Autodesk to attend the 2011 AEC day in Waltham, MA, one day before April Fools!
  • Autodesk releasing Vasari
  • The Apple Ipad
  • Twittering
  • Angry Birds
  • My blog post for RAC 2011 making it into AEC edge mag
  • Stability in the RAC 2011 UI!!!!!
  • Forgetting how to draw a wall in front of 600 people!
  • Cloud computing

I look forward to 2011, its gonna be another interesting one……

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AU2010 – adaptive component exercise

adaptive component

















I thought I’d run through the adaptive component exercise that James Van and I planned to show at AU2010. This exercise can be completed in either Revit 2011 or Vasari. The 60 minute class really didn’t provide enough time for us to go through this particular example, which I am sure was very annoying for the audience. Lets hope that the AU organisers listen to the feedback and return the class schedules back to 90 minutes for AU2011. However, in the meantime I hope you find this useful.

Saturday, December 18, 2010



The guys over at Design Reform / Case Inc have come up with a novel new site, called Design By Many, its a community base site where you can post design challenges. The site is currently running a competition to design a parametric version of  Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House.


If you are into parametric design, make sure you throw you hat into the ring; they are offering a HP Design Jet 111 printer as a prize! This is my rather scrawny effort…:-)

render example - Rendering - 3D View 1_1

Anyway be sure to check the site out at

Monday, December 13, 2010

Revit 2011 – Room Book Extension

RoomBook Extension 2

Be sure to check out Simon Gillis post about the Revit Room book extension being made widely available from the Autodesk Subscription Center.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Project Vasari – Voids


Anybody who was fortunate enough to go to AU 2010 may have attended Phil Reads class Into the Void:Zen of Creating Complex Sculptural Forms. If you didn’t attend, be sure to check the class out as it uses some great techniques for carving and creating geometry using void geometry.


However, what Mr Read eluded to discuss was the use of voids in the massing environment within Revit 2011 or even Vasari. So this article is a continuation from my previous post where I hosted a profile on a line and created a form. In part 2, I will use the technique in the previous post; but I will also combine this with the carving void technique Phil demonstrated at Autodesk University to create the parametric form you see above. The exercise is undertaken in Vasari, but you could just as easily do this using full Revit's massing functionality. You will be glade to know that there is no music, just my dulcet tones explaining how I put this together.  I hope you find this useful.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Project Vasari – hosted nested profiles











There will be times where you want to use a profile to create a swept form; this was reasonably easy to do pre Revit 2010, but the CDE has caused some confusion. So I am going to briefly describe how to use a mass family as a profile and then load this into another mass family and then host the profile to create a swept form or a simple extrusion using the nested profile. This is the start of multi stage tutorial and although I am undertaking this in Vasari the technique works just as well in full Revit's massing environment..

In Vasari start a new project. Next set one of the vertical workplanes to be your current workplane to draw on.


Next using a model line, draw a line on that current workplane.


After drawing the model line, choose the point tool and host a point on the model line. You will notice that the line will snap to the line and once hosted, you can drag the point back and forth along the line.


Next do a crossing selection to pick up the hosted pointed. We need to change the “show reference plane” parameter settings of the point from “when selected” to “Always”


Ok, with this part completed, start a new mass.rfa and choose metric mass.rfa or imperial mass.rfa.


You will now draw a simple closed profile on reference level 1, using model lines, as indicated in the image below.


Save the family and then load this into your already open project with a line and hosted point.Having loaded the family into your project you will discover your profile will be attached to your mouse pointer. We now need to get the profile on the workplane of the hosted point.


To do this, choose set work plane and pick the workplane of the hosted point. The profile will then flip around so that it is in the same orientation as the hosted pointed.


Place the profile on the hosted points as indicated in the image below.


Once you have placed the profile, select the model line and the profile you just placed.


Then choose “create from” the Ribbon, this will sweep the profile along the path.










With this basic knowledge you can start to get clever with your nested profiles. In this example I have a combination of profiles with different sizes.


In the next part of this tutorial I will show you how to combine this technique with the use of cut and join geometry to create a complex geometric form.

Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile – Android


Are you an Android user? If so, be sure to download Autodesk SketchBook Mobile now available for Andriod as well as Iphone and Ipad. You will find the Android version on the Android market place.

Monday, December 06, 2010

AU2010 – very quick summary

So I’m back to work after a week of BIM and AU overload, still a little jet lagged, but overall just about back in the land of the living. So what was it like you may ask? Hmmmmm well there where some highlights and some lowlights. Be sure to read William over at UnderNDA’s blog article on his Top 5 lists . I’d say this was pretty much close to my view on the event.


Trends wise, everybody seemed to tweet, cloud computing has moved on to infinite computing and every other person had an ipad. On Tuesday morning, just after the keynote speak James Van and I did a class entitled Advanced Techniques for Curtain Walls and Panels. It was a 60 minute class, I have to say it was the fastest 60 minutes I have ever seen. As soon as we had started, we seem to have finished. Feedback wise, it was mixed, mostly people complained about the time,  but I have to say this is not exactly our fault. We where trying to cram in 120 minutes of material into 60 minutes. Lets hope next year Autodesk listen to the feedback and go back to the traditional 90 minute format. Still the funniest thing was reading the feedback, it was very random…..quotes like….

“Although advanced class, it was more than I expected.”

“seemed very rushed with 1 hour. The flew through all the material.”


“Presenters were badly organized.”

“It was good, but needed more content. In the time allowed, that is all that could be done.”

“Although advanced class, it was more than I expected.”

“seemed very rushed with 1 hour. The flew through all the material.”


“one of the speakers was bit hard to understand, the other was very clear. there was not enough time to cover the subject matter well so the overall experience was not as good as it could have been”


Overall we have ended up with a score of 4.388 out of 5, so I don’t think we were that bad!


The bunny in the headlights look! This was 15 minutes before our class.

On the Wednesday I helped out Zach Kronz and Robert Manna with there Au Bon Panel Baking Your Own Adaptive Components and Panels labs class. This class got over subscribed so they had to run two, one at 8am and the second at 3pm. I would say the earlier class was probably more successful, but in both cases it was great fun and felt just like my day job running around and assisting people. Feedback again was very positive 4.646% and 4.765% respectively.

On Thursday I sat in on Phil Reads Zen of Void session. Back to some old school use of void in families. As usual, the class was presented in Phil’s polished yet sharp tongued style. Good to see he hasn’t lost of any of his passion and charm for the Revit technology. All the noise was about Phil's next career steps; I am sure you will start to hear more news over at arch+tech in the not to distant future! Certainly keep your eyes pealed as Phil seemed pretty stoked about his new career direction.

Thursday evening, Jim Balding organised an old timers Revit get together, which was great. More Revit geeks around one table than you can shake a stick at! I sat next to Steve Stafford who explained the AUGI forums wows! What a nightmare that is; the story behind this mess would make an amazing novel, its that messy!


So that's it folks, AU2010 in a few simple lines. Was it a great one? maybe not, but from a social stand point it was invaluable. Next year AU2011 is back at the Venetian, I do hope that normal services will be resumed. Until then…….