Saturday, August 19, 2017

Revit History; A Unique Creation Questioned (again)

An article was recently published by AEC Magazine rehashing the idea that Revit "is a derivative of Reflex" (quote from the embedded video in the online article). The Revit founders, Irwin Jungreiz and Leonid Raiz, have refuted this proposition over the years.

Here is a link to the article, which includes a video were Dr. Jonathan Ingram, creator or Reflex, verbalizes his opinion that Revit was based on his code; Celebrating the history of BIM. The image below is a screen capture from the video, listing nine initial points used to "prove" Revit is based on Reflex.

Screen capture (26:49) from

Friday, August 18, 2017

BILT Asia 2018; Abstract Submission Deadline Extended

Calling all speakers, and would-be-speakers! RTC Events chairman, Wesley Benn, just announced the abstract submission window has been extended for BILT-Asia 2018.

If you have never been to Singapore, you should definitely consider this conference. If you speak English and are wondering about what language the conference is in, it is all in English. Additionally, the official language in Singapore is also English. So if you only speak English, like me, you can put that question to rest.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

MEP Review of Architectural Model

You are just getting started on a project and need to familiarize yourself with the building. The architect just sent their current version of the Revit model. Consider the items in the following list to help get things off to a good start.

1. In the Options dialog, on Rendering section, set Render Appearance path to a custom “Revit Textures” folder you create on the network. Copy any texture files provided by the architect (e.g. jpg or png files). This will help with any visualization or VR you might want to do from an MEP perspective.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Simply Complex Podcast; I talk lighting with Marcello

The world of Podcasting has been steadily expanding in the AEC world. Carl Storm maintains a nice list of them on his BIMsider blog. My time to listen is when I have to drive between offices (~2.5hrs each way) once or twice a month.

I have had the privilege of being a guest on Bill Debevc's BIMThoughts podcast twice now...
Bill has a cool sticker and 3d printout of a microphone to promote is blog...

Yesterday Marcello Sgambelluri published a new episode of his Simply Complex podcast with me as guest! We mostly talk about lighting in the AEC industry... a timely discussion on the heels of a talk I gave at BILT-NA on the subject (with co-speaker Matt Kincaid from Lighting Analysts).

The Simply Complex Podcast

Marcello as has a sticker!

The image below is an excerpt from the lighting presentation handout. This will make more sense when you listen to the session with Marcello!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

gbXML Certification and Validation

Autodesk is helping to define a new, more accurate, gbXML schema to improve the way industry is documenting and sharing data; specifically: geometry descriptions, envelope descriptions, schedules and systems.
"gbXML is an industry supported schema for sharing building information between disparate building design software tools."

As a "research partner" with gbXML, Autodesk is helping define the Level 3 compliance requirements and compliance tests.

This standard and validation process...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Reflecting on BILT-NA 2017 in Toronto Canada

The BILT-NA 2017 conference in Toronto, Canada is now behind us. In this post I will share some highlights using the wonderful professional photographs provided to attendees by BILT and captured by SKYART MEDIA. If you have never been to an RTC/BILT conference, I highly recommend you get it on your radar for next year. Or even better, sign up for BILT-EUR 2017 in Aarhus, Denmark later this year (Oct. 5-6, 2017) like me!

The setting for the conference was spectacular; Toronto, at the Westin Harbour Castle, nestled along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. You have to love the ocean-like presence of the massive freshwater lakes the make up the Great Lakes... btw, I live on the even larger Lake Superior. The location was reminiscent of the previous 2013 Canadian conference in Vancouver; at a Westin, on a shoreline with a vibrant lakewalk.

I hope everyone who went had a change to...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Autodesk A360 Desktop Being Discontinued

Autodesk A360 Desktop is akin to the Dropbox desktop app which keeps files sync'ed between one or more computers and the Cloud. If you have it installed you will eventually see an impending expiration warning when you start your computer.

The reason given...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Existing Phase Tag Options in Revit

Many firms prefer to graphically distinguish the tags for existing and new elements. Using an MEP example, consider the following options.
FYI: An application for all Revit users is the relationship between Halftone/Underlay and Printing color (Black Lines, Grayscale & Color). Learn how to print something grayscale even when "black lines" is selected for printing.

Change Tag Text Color
If you want the tags for existing elements to be gray, changing the text color will work, but creates some challenges. The main challenge is, when printing you need to set the color option to Grayscale.  However, with this setting your colored duct and pipe will not print black. So you have to turn the system/filter colors off before printing; not really a good option.

Text color changed in tag family
Continue reading...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MEP Project Setup 02

Building on the previous post, MEP Project Setup 01, here are a few more items to consider when setting up an MEP project in Revit.

Verify Levels

  • Similar to Phases, it is best to have a level in the MEP model for each level in the architectural model.
  • Copy/Monitor and/or Monitor each Level
    • If you already have a Level in your MEP model, you just need to Monitor the architectural Level. You DO NOT want to create multiple Levels on top of each other.
    • If Arch has more Levels than your template, use Copy/Monitor to create new Levels in your model.
    • Delete any extra Levels, not needed, in your model.
Structural Grids

  • To have control over the exact placement of structural grid bubbles Copy/Monitor is used.
    • Scope Boxes can also be used; more on this in a future post.
  • Usually, the linked structural model dictates.
  • Turn off visibility of linked structural grids via View Templates.
  • If a structural grid is moved or deleted, a coordination warning is presented when the model is opened.
    • Unfortunately, Revit does not alert you if additional grids are added.

Pin Linked Models

  • Use the pin feature to prevent someone from accidentally moving or deleting a linked model.

Friday, August 4, 2017

BILT-NA 2017 Toronto Canada; Day One

The first day of BILT-NA 2017 in Toronto Canada is now behind us. For those not able to make it, or are not sure what this BIM-focused conference is all about, here are a few highlights...

Like most conferences, everyone gathers for a formal plenary introduction to the conference first thing. This was lead by the new fearless leader of the North American (NA) committee Robert Bell. Bob did a great job kicking things off.

The major sponsors were given a few minutes to get on stage and say a few words. ANTHONY HAUCK from Autodesk talked about some cool stuff his group is working on with generative design and AI. Next up ANDREW RINK from NVIDIA and SEAN YOUNG from HP announced Reinvent Life on Mars and the new HP Z VR backpack (more on this later).
Andrew Rink and Sean Young

from Revizto took the stage to highlight their product and then announce the keynote speaker DAVID RENDALL.

IAN MCGAW also spoke about his companies use of Revizto.

The registration desk was busy checking in over 500 attendees.

There are a number of larger-than-life schedules in the hallways in case you lose your program or don't have access to the conference app.

CLAY HICKLING and I had one of the first session slots on What's New in Revit 2018 (and 2018.1). I think the class went pretty well, with lots of interaction from the audience. At the end of the session I gave away 5 books.

Nice decals on the elevator doors, telling everyone how to get the conference app, on the conference floor!

The exhibit hall is spacious and packed with lots of great product and service providers.

At the HP & NVIDIA booth(s) I found TOM WHITEHEAD test driving the new HP VR backpack which is now available for purchase at about $3500US (nice!). This has two hot swappable batteries and a NVIDIA Quadro P5000 graphics card (click here is see my review of the P5000).

Of course I took it for a drive... next two images are of me:)

MARCELLO SGAMBELLURI and DON BOKMILLER presented an interesting session on using gaming engines in the MEP and structural disciplines. A fun session to be sure!

BRIAN MACKEY and MATT JEZYK (from Autodesk) did a session on using journal files to create scripts which can be used to make batch changes to content and project files. Excluding my session, because I am biased, this was the best session of the day. Brian always does great presentations.

The day wrapped up with dinner provided in the exhibit hall sponsored by Pluralsight... my family with with me in Toronto so we took off and went to dinner on our own.

In closing this post, I will say that a smaller conference like this with the number high caliber, industry influencers, makes this a great opportunity to network and take deep dives on topics that you are challenged with or just interest in.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack

Today's post is a quick plug for a new productivity by CTC Express Tools; Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack. My firm had created the Electrical Productivity Pack about five years ago. This new package is a labor-of-love between two engineering firms and CTC.

Get an in-person demo this week at CTC's booth in the exhibit hall, while attending the BILT-NA 2017 conference. Below are the highlights, and here is a downloadable brochure. In the near future, there will also be a few short videos posted.

The Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Productivity Pack is the...