Friday, May 27, 2011

RTC 2011– The master or the apprentice?

rtc 2011-darth

You now only have 26 days to go; so you need to hurry if you want become the master.

Digital Workflows - Vasari to 123D




If you haven’t had a chance to download & have a play with the Beta of Autodesk 123D yet, you should! It can be downloaded from here

imageNow one of the very cool features about 123D is that it can open up various file formats including SAT, Sketchup, Step & DWG files. image

So with this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at creating a form in Vasari & export this as a SAT file, then see what happened when I brought it into 123D. I started by creating a very simple form in Vasari.


This was then exported as a SAT file directly. Application Menu > Exports> CAD Formats> SAT


Next I fired up 123D. I am still relatively new to the product, but if you know a bit of Inventor you will easily get up to speed. So in 123D I opened my exported Vasari SAT file.


This is what the imported SAT looked like.


Next I set too & started to use the fillet tool to round off the edges of the form; I have to say that this type of real time editing is very simple compared with Vasari or Revit.


You will find you can make also sorts of edits to the form using the various tools included.


For fun, I then saved the 123D file as a SAT & passed it back to Vasari.



Monday, May 23, 2011

Project Vasari 2 released


So Autodesk have released Vasari 2.0, an updated version of their Autodesk labs preview technology. I joked last year with Matt Jezyk, the Product Manager for Vasari, saying that this could easily become one of Autodesk’s most popular preview technologies! I don’t know the exact number so far, but it’s more than a few hundred. :-)

imageSo what goodies have the Vasari team served up for us with this update. The code base for Vasari 2.0 is now based on Revit 2012, meaning that Vasari 2.0 is compatible with Revit 2012. You will be able to import models from Revit 2012 & Vasari 2.0 files can be passed to Revit 2012. From this, other enhancements include:-

Import Image to 3D Views – You can now import raster images into a 3D orthographic views to use as background images or as visual aids during model creation. This is achieved by going to the Application menu, click Import > Image. Once you image is within the working canvas, you can scale the image up or down using the grips or alternatively control the size from the properties palette.


The resulting image resized with the modelling environment, although it should be noted that you will need to enable realistic view for the bitmap to appear as a full image.


Import Scaled Satellite Image into 3D View – Now you can import a scaled Google Map satellite image into a 3D view using the Import Site Image dialog. On the Analyze tab, click Project Location panel >Location. In the Location dialog, select Import Site Image. This is a really neat feature & provides you with a rapid way to kick start a sketch design with ease.


Location Control on the View Cube – The current project location is now displayed in the drawing area underneath the ViewCube. Now you can access the Location dialog by clicking Location value>Set Location.


3Dconnexion 3D Mouse – Now you can reorient and navigate a model's view using a 3Dconnexion 3D mouse. 3Dconnexion support in Revit 2012 was highlighted in one of my recent blog articles. A 3D mouse lends itself to the conceptual massing environment, where you want to be able to rapidly navigate your 3D environment.

Enhanced Visualization Capabilities – Enhancements to graphics include new Display styles for Conceptual Analysis, improved grips, improved tessellation of small objects, more flexible visual style combinations, added categories to Graphic Display Options, the ability to control edges in visual styles, and new ghost elements to facilitate the display of obstructed elements.


Formula Driven Component Types – You can now have Formula Driven Components. What this means is that you can use conditional formula parameters and apply this to a divided surface. A new parameter called “Family Type:Divide Surface” allows you to drive the display and type of a pattern or a component.


Split Face for Custom Glazing – Now you can use the conceptual design split face tool to add surface sub-regions. These sub-regions can be used for custom glazing or other conceptual constructions.

Hosted points on lines & arcs - The other minor improvement is the control of parameter values for points hosted on line or curves. Now you can still express the normalised segmented length between 0 and 1, but you also have additional parameters for segmented length, normalized segment length, chord length, angle, non-normalized curve parameter and normalized curve parameter.


Material – As with Vasari 1.1, if you have Revit 2012, AutoCAD 2012 or 3dsMax 2012 installed on your workstation or laptop you will get access to the updated materials dialogue, as Vasari will share the same pro-materials library as these products.


Vasari WikiHelp – WikiHelp provides access to the full Autodesk-provided Help content, and lets you rate, comment on, and contribute content (articles, images, videos) to share with your peers

Friday, May 20, 2011

design-cubed blogspot



I thought I’d share this blog with you, from Stephen Blowers of Design Cubed here in the UK. I have known Stephen for a number of years, he is an architect, is as passionate about technology as me, is a Revit User, is a member of the London Revit User Group, is a 3dsMax User & has recently started his own design firm called Design-Cubed.

His recent article about using the Ipad & Adobe CS5.5 is very interesting. Yesterday, Stephen showed me how he had taken a series of images from Revit & used these to create an interactive architectural presentation for use on the Ipad. Trust me I got “very” excited, really cool stuff. So be sure to check his blog….

Friday, May 13, 2011

Revit 2012 – Workplane Viewer

The Workplane first appeared in the Revit 2011, but was restricted to the conceptual massing environment only. Fortunately, for UI consistency & to help improve your workflow, Autodesk have made the Workplane Viewer available in the normal Revit modelling environment as well as the family editor. The Workplane Viewer is a temporary view which opens as a separate floating window to allow you to edit selected elements.The viewer displays elements from the selected Workplane making the editing of items easier, rather than having to fight your way through the project browser to find the appropriate view. It should be noted that the Workplane viewer is totally separate to the project browser.

To enable the Workplane Viewer, go to the home tab & find the Workplane tools, then locate the Viewer icon.


Clicking the Viewer icon will open up the Workplane floating window. This can be resized & repositioned as required.


When the Workplane viewer is opened, it will display the active Workplane. You will noticed you have a “view cube” icon in the top right corner. By clicking on this you can orient to different views of the active Workplane without disrupting the view you are working on in the active Revit window.


If you change to a different view in the main Revit canvas, say from a plan to an elevation, the Workplane Viewer does not automatically follow & update its view so they correspond.


However, if you choose to edit a wall profile in an elevation view, as soon as you select the wall, the Workplane Viewer will indeed follow & the Viewer will update to display the active or selected plane.


Choosing to edit the wall profile will obviously enable the sketch mode. The nice thing here is that you can also edit the sketch in the Workplane Viewer.


A point to watch; if you decide to edit a wall profile; before editing the wall, it will display as a element which can be selected in the Workplane Viewer.

imageRefer to the image below, see how the item can be selected…..imageNow, if you decide to edit the wall profile, you will notice once you have edited the wall you can no longer select from the Workplane Viewer as its greyed out. I am not sure if this is “as design”, but its one to watch out for.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Revit 2012 – missing content

As highlighted by Kathryn Langan over at Revit Clinic, if you are missing your metric templates after installing UK Metric Content, you need to add the missing files by downloading US Metric Content. Do this by going to  Windows Control Panel > Programs & Features > Revit 2012 >  choose Add or Remove Features…..


Then choose “US Metric” or whatever other content you would like installed.


Monday, May 09, 2011

RTC 2011 USA

rtc 2011

OK, time is moving along….you now only have 44 days until the inaugural North American Revit Technology Conference. The conference is being held at the Hyatt Huntington Beach, Orange County, California from the 23rd to the 25th June 2011. Key note speakers include Autodesk CEO Carl Bass as well as Paul Doherty Senior VP for Screampoint with sponsorship from AEC Systems, Prop Repro Graphics, The Ant Group as well as Newforma.

So I am hearing you say “A Revit Conference, by the sea, in the sun! This must be a jolly?” I think not, if the USA event is anything like the Australian event, which is now in its seventh year, this looks set to be a serious education conference…...  

  • Learn from some of the world's top instructors and industry experts.
  • Share ideas and insights with an international community of your peers.
  • Explore the latest trends and technologies
  • Cultivate important business and professional contacts that can benefit your company and your career.
  • Come to learn from the experts and leave with a wealth of knowledge, practical methods, and new ideas.
  • See how Revit and related applications drive ESD analysis and simulation.
  • Unlock the potential of BIM to streamline the building procurement and construction process.
  • CPD formal and informal points

So who should attend? If you are involved with Revit & BIM, seriously, this looks set to be an essential conference for you to attend.  All your normal Revit stars will be performing including Paul Aubin, Jim Balding, Dave Conant, Kelly Cone,Jason Grant, Eddy Krygiel,Robert Manna, Lee Miller to name but a few. Also, much of the content will focus on the Revit 2012 release, which is a real bonus if you are about to move over to the RAC 2012 platform.


If you need to know more, be sure to go to the RTC North America Website for more details.

RTC 2011 – technology preview

Got an email from Tim Waldock pointing me towards a preview of his presentation called "Designing in Revit Using Parametric Formulas"  which he will present at RTC Auz & RTC USA.  The example uses adaptive components and the "Reactor Pattern" principle to examine facade design. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Build it Bigger –Revit – Baku Flame Towers

imageBe sure to check this out! Build it Bigger : (discovery channel programme). Look out for Baku Flame Towers, designed by HOK London.

For the record, the original concept model was conceived in Revit Architecture 2008. The more recent interiors and shopping arcade where documented in Revit 2010 / AutoCAD 2010.image

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Off Topic – Hobbies, BMX, Revit

So this is a little off topic, but I thought it was worth sharing. So when I’m not geeking with Revit or spending time with my family I do have a hobby which harps back to my youth! I am 80’s child at heart and one of the cool things that came out of this era was BMX! So when I have time, I like getting knackered and trashed BMX bikes and refurbishing them back to their former glory. If you don’t know much about BMX, the craze started back in SoCal in the early 70’s, but really hit the big time in the 80’s. After dropping off the radar due to the mountain bike movement, its more recently hit the mainstream once again, with BMX heros like Mat Hoffman and Dave Mirra helping to drive the sport forward. BMX racing is even an Olympic sport.  One particular firm which I have a lot of respect for is S&M Bikes, American owned, American made, these bikes have collected a cult following over the years. Anyway, a few years back I bid for a S&M Dirt Bike frame on Ebay, the image is below. I knew exactly what it was when it appeared on Ebay and was determined to win this!

09-06-13_ebay dirtbike

Anyway, I did win and I didn’t pay over the odds. When the frame & forks arrived I stripped it of all it parts.All the value was in the frame and forks; hand made in the USA from 4130 cromoly tubing.DSCN3811

I then stripped it back to bare metal.


I got the frame & forks powder coated red, as near to the original RAL colour as I could. But I also wanted to recreate the decals. I managed to get the original decals off the frame ok, which I then scanned in on my Mac. After cleaning the scans up in Photoshop, I then fired up Revit! I created a new drafting view and imported the jpeg scan.


I then traced over the scan using detail lines and solid fills to end up with this exact copy of the original artwork.


I then tracked down a firm on the internet which supplied clear decal sticker paper and printed the art work using my Epson Inkjet printer.

2011-05-03 20.51.41

Then all I had to do is get the decals onto the frame!2011-05-03 20.58.38

So this is the completed bike!

2011-05-03 20.59.39

So the next time somebody tells you that you can’t do that it Revit, you tell em’ that Revit can even do artwork !!! BTW, if you have old bmx bike or frame, I am particularly interested in tracking down  Skyway TA frame & forks, Haro Master or Haro Sport from the mid 80’s, let me know.  :-)

Revit 2012 – position the type selector

One of the nice features when Autodesk switched to to the Ribbon interface with Revit 2010 was the ability to have the Type Selector positioned in the Ribbon. Whilst, I would agree it took up valuable screen real estate, it was useful to have instant access to to all the Types of a particular element, such as all Wall Types, when accessing the Modify Tool. With Revit 2011, the type selector within the Ribbon was stolen from us, as it migrated its way to the Properties Palette. Whilst this was probably a good move in the long run, what if you wanted access to choose a new Wall Type and yet you didn’t have the Properties Palette open? No Properties Palette, no Type selector!

Therefore with Revit 2012, the type selector in the ribbon is back! So how do you position the Type selector back into the Ribbon? Start by opening up the Properties Palette. (PP – keyboard shortcut)


Next right mouse click over the type selector in the Properties Palette.


A drop down menu will appear, where you can choose to either add the Type Selector to the Quick Access Tool Bar (QAT) or add to the Ribbon Modify Tab.

Choose Add to Ribbon Modify Tab.


Now when you select say the Wall tool, the various different Wall Types can be instantly accessed from the Type Selector position in the Ribbon.

Need to remove the Type Selector from the Ribbon? Just Right Mouse click on the Type Selector and choose Remove from Ribbon Modify Tab.


After writing this post on the train this morning; I noticed that Erik over at Inside the Factory also did a technical low down on the Type selector Improvements, which goes into a bit more depth.