Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AutoCAD Apple

Autodesk announced today the soon to be release of AutoCAD for Apple, iphone and other Apple "i" products. This is pretty cool, and its about time.
What was also annoucned was the AutoCAD WS. This is a web-based version of AutoCAD where several users can access the smae drawing and edit in it. No software to install. Very cool!

Yahoo has a good article about it. Read more about it: http://news.yahoo.com/s/macworld/20100831/tc_macworld/autodesklaunchesautocadformacios

Monday, August 30, 2010

In the Clouds

There has been a lot of discussion on website, blogs, email, tweeting, etc. on "Cloud computing". So what is "cloud". Basicially it is web-based vitual server space and applications. Instead of building on-site server rooms, servers, and the high costs related to that, its all gone virtual. In a simple form its like Web-mail, Flickr and Google Docs. These are all a software service, on the web. Autodesk is working on something similar for the cloud, which is project Butterfly. Online drawing without the need to buy/install an application. Multiple users drawing in the same drawing at the same time.
Microsoft has more information on cloud computing: http://www.microsoft.com/cloud/

Friday, August 27, 2010

Revit Content

Most new Revit users usually start asking the question soon after they have a few hours under their belt "Where can I find Content and Families for Revit, especially if I dont know how to make them?" Well There are a couple of resources. One resource is Autodesk Seek, which I highlighted in a previous blog. The second resource would be RevitCity. website: http://www.revitcity.com This is a user added site and all the content is free. But user beware... that doesnt always mean you will get a properly functioning Component. But in most cases, I have been very succssful with the content I have downloaded from this site. The signup is free. There is a search section to find what you are looking for and then download. This site also has a forum, job postings, and a gallery of images from users. Check it out and see what kind of useful content you can download. Oh, and if its not on the site, users can upload their Revit families and share with the world. Happy Revit searching!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seek and you will find

Autodesk's Seek Site is a great resource for finding not only Revit families and components, but also other files formats.

I have been putting together some families to post to the Seek site for Autodesk. I've been impressed on how stringent their policy is for how the family is built, the parameters within the family and overall consistancy of what is available for users to download for free. Its a great resource for finding most everything you need to pull into your project. And if its not there, you can suggest to a manufacturer to have it built. The best thing is to just go search around for a little while and see for yourself whats out there. Here is the link, enjoy! http://seek.autodesk.com/

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Revit Central file size

With Worksharing in Revit, the Central file, over time can become large. Larger than just adding information to you model. The question is how do we reduce the size of the Central file so it is manageable and does not slow down our work. Here is what you can do..

Open the Central file with the “detach from Central” box checked and then save as a new Central file with a different file name, or to a different location on their server. What this does is it rewrites the database associated with the file and can dramatically reduce the file size. Also you can select the Audit checkbox to cleanup the file as well. See images on the right for reference.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Revit Workset version differences

There is a difference in how this works from 2010 and 2011.

In 2010 when the Workset is first made there is a check box to make that Workset “Visible by default in all views”. If this box was not checked when the Workset was made then that Workset will not be visible by default in any new views made in the project, and you will have to change this visbility setting in the VV of each view. To fix this you will have to make a new Workset, check the “Visible by default in all views” box, and then move everything in the model from one Workset to this new Workset. See top image on the side.

This issue was addressed in 2011. If you look at the Worksets dialogue in 2011 there is an additional column for “Visible in all views”. Worksets with this box checked will be viewable in new views (such as sections). See bottom image on the side.

Thanks to my fellow Technical peeps for this info. on Worksets.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Revit Structure

Spent the day in a client meeting as the Revit Structure software consultant, reviewing how they put together the project. The premise was a complex set of existing building and a Revit Arch. file from the architect. The Revit Structure file was setup with some project parameters to filter by building name, ie: Bldg-A, B, C, D. From there Design Options were setup to show certain areas to have new framing for specific building. Then filters were setup to display items on and off. Phases were established for Existing, Demo and New. This was very complext for basicially being their first Revit project. Hats off to the BIM Manager... you know who you are!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Autodeks License Transfer Utility

Using the License Transfer Utility

Start All Programs Autodesk AutoCAD MEP 2011 (your product) License Transfer Utility

Sign in to Subscription Center
Your product information will be listed. You can then Export the license.
You can now import the license to the destination computer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Revit Structure - Trusses

Im working on my class on Revit Structure - Trusses for Autodesk University (AU) today. I am excited to have been put in contact with the Autodesk developer of the Truss portion within Revit Structure. This gives me some great insight on some of the inter working of the Truss routine and its functionality. Looking forward to AU and teaching a great class!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Autodesk Certifications

Completed more testing for Autodesk Certifications. Revit Architecture and 3ds Max. These exams test your knowledge and skill level within the application. Glad to get that finished.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3d Printing

3d Priting also known as Digital prototyping has been around for some time on the manufacturing side of the business. But for architecture, people have been making cardboard and balsa wood models for years. But now with technology catching ans costs coming down, to do true digital prototyping is a cost and time effective option. One of the companies offering this technology is Z-Corp. They are a cost effective solution to have your 3d models printed or purchase the equipment to make the models yourself.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Revit - Wall Panels

Working on some Wall panels in Revit for a client. Basically they are pre-cast tilt-up wall panels. The concept it to draw a wall in Revit like you normally would, and then have it break the wall at preset distances to create the separate segments. From there, we take the wall panel and detail it for Shop Drawings. This is a different approach to wall for Revit, but should prove to be interesting. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Holigraphic buildings?

I've talked about Holigrpahic display of buildings for a long time. Movies we watch have shown us what the future might hold. But I've been keeping my eye on a company named Zebra Imaging. They produce holigraphic images of buildings. Very impressive stuff.

Find out more about them at: http://www.zebraimaging.com/

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Compare in Navisworks

Teaching a Navisworks class today. The question came up "can you compare different Navisworks files to see what has changed". The answer is yes. First open your Navisworks file. Then Append the newer file to the project. Select both files in the Selection Tree. Thne go to Compare on the Home tab Tools Panel. A dialog will pop up for you to choose the settings. Once your happy with the settings pick OK. It will do a comparision of the projects. Once done, open Sets from the Home tab. This will display the compare clashes. At this point you can go thru and see what has changed. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Navisworks in the works

Navisworks is a powerful applicatio nto bring together several file formats to view a project in pre-constrcution virtually. It is built on a video gaming engine, which compresses large files into a real time view to explore your project. The interface has been updated to be inline with the rest of the Autodesk produts, so finding your way around should be a quick learning curve.

Here is a link to more info. on Navisworks: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=10571060&siteID=123112

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Autodesk Install Image

Spent the day at a client creating Autodesk installation images. We were able to create 7 imags of different pieces ofsoftware that will be pushed out to users. If you havent created these, they are very handy to have on your network. The basic idea is that instead of using the DVD to install your software and go thru all of the settings, you can create an install image that has all of the settings, picks and clicks you desire, along with registering the license.

A Service Pack or Web Update can also be applied to the image, saving you more time after the install.

I ran across this nice little video Autodesk put together on creating an image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXPkVV43AE4&feature=channel

Monday, August 9, 2010

Revit install needs

As programs continue to advance and become better, so does the size and resources it needs increase as well. Another point worth mentioning is "time". The time involved with installing these products. In most cases you have plenty of time to install software. With proper advacned planning, we can address that with creating and installation image. That will be a future blog entry.

Autodesk has a listing of system requirements for both 32 and 64 bit, and performance recommendations. Here is the link:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Autodesk Testing

I am spending day taking Autodesk certification exams. These exams are different than the certifications I already have from Autodesk on the product/application side, which included AutoCAD, Revit and 3ds Max. These exams are for Pre and Post Sales and Technical Support of the Autodesk software. Its more involved than one may think. There is alot to knowing the product, but this gets into understanding the industry, how to best assist a client with a particular need and matching that with a software and/or feature within the software. On the Support side, this is solving problems, getting results, finding answers, and the best way to get it all done. So after 2 days and 4 exams later, I have learned a lot, and feel better prepared. And have the certifications to prove it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

BIM - 4d and 5d

4d and 5d equals Time and money. Everyone seems to need more of both. Revit can assist with that. Here is alink to a good article I found:


BIM - The final Frontier

Meeting with clients today to discuss BIM. Specificially BIM with Revit. If we take a step backwards in time and look at how things have been drawn in the past 20 years with CAD software, there have been improvement, but overall it is still being used a an electronic pencil. Many folks could be using an Etch-a-Sketch. This is because there is no information with an etch-a sketch or electronic pencil. Its just lines, nothing else. So... lets fast forward to today. Or even a handful of years ago when Revit was brought on the stage. Revit's technology is build on a Parametric Change Engine. In laymans terms that menas a change to the model, will result in a change everywhere in the model. If an exterior door in plan is moved, it will be moved in elevation. All items are live tracked, counted and reported in schedules. Autodesk has even said "its not if people move to Revit, its more when the move to Revit. Read more about Revit on Autodesk's website: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=3781831&siteID=123112

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

3ds Max - Particle System

The majority of the type of modeling, rendering or animating I do in 3ds Max is architectural related.... buildings, foilage, entourage, that kind of stuff. The biggest movement in the animation would be doors opening or cars driving by. So when I was asked in a recent class about creating sprays, fire and smoke... I was up for the challenge! To make these effect happen was to use Particle System. These tools allow you to create the animations with the smoke, fire and other effects. The image o nthe right is showing a spray effect, which could be used for rain. There is a good definition on Particle Flow/Systems on CG Wiki. Follow the link here: http://wiki.cgsociety.org/index.php/3ds_Max/Particle_Flow

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

3d Max - Multi-Sub Object

Teaching 3ds Max class today, I revisited the Multi-Sub Object Material (MSOM). Different than a one color or image material, the multi-sub object material has several ID channels to assign colors and materials to sub levels of an object. For example, if you had a Mickey Mouse type character, you could assing a MSOM with ID's set to all the colors of the character. At a sub-object poly level, assign the ID's to the parts of the character. Once the material is applied, the ID's will dispaly the sub materials. Very effective.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Graphite Modeling Tool

Teaching a class today on 3ds Max, we got into modeling using the new Graphite Modeling Tool. This helpful Ribbon Panel has a wide variety of functions to make modeling, editing and modifying much easier. Introduced in 2010 release, this is the direction Autodesk is going with the look and layout of 3ds Max. Here is a link to Autodesk with to learn more about Graphite Modeling http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=14534869&linkID=10381717