Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Copy Monitor: Light Fixtures

Another post on the ins and outs of Copy/Monitor in Revit... this time with light fixtures.

But first, here are the categories the Copy/Monitor feature works with:

  • Levels
  • Grids
  • Columns (but not slanted columns)
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Openings
  • MEP fixtures

One of those "MEP Fixtures" is light fixtures. Let's take a look at...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Weather Station Data Missing in Revit's Project Location Dialog

Recently I wrote about a situation in which the Energy Settings dialog is missing information due to a UI setting in Revit's Options dialog, read that here: Energy Settings Properties Missing.

Today I was doing hands-on Autodesk Insight training in our Minneapolis office and ran into..

Monday, November 27, 2017

Moonlighting, Revit LT Suite and Cyber Monday

I received an email from Autodesk soliciting a Cyber Monday deal that would be great for anyone looking to do some work on the side (moonlighting) or start their own consulting service...

Revit LT Suite, which includes AutoCAD LT for $247/ 1 year or $741/ 3 years is a pretty good deal.

Here are the big differences between Revit and Revit LT...

Friday, November 24, 2017

Copy Monitor; Levels

In this previous post, Copy Monitor; Grids, I discussed the process and value of using Copy/Monitor on the structural grids. In this post we will look at a similar process for Levels.

In my opinion, structural owns the grids and architectural owns the levels -- meaning they are the party responsible for making any project-wide changes to those important aspects of the design.

In the Structural and MEP models, we can see...

Thursday, November 23, 2017


I've had the good fortune to write another blog post for Enscape, and it is now live on their website (link provided below). The post is an overview on using RPC entourage and clutter to create amazing architectural renderings that look natural and lively. This includes content we have access to in Autodesk Revit, ArchVision's subscription-based content, as well as the Enscape RPC replacement option.

At the end of this BIM Chapters post, I have a few teaser photos related to the "part 2" for the Enscape post... creating custom RPC content!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Copy Monitor; Grids

I find that even experienced Revit users are not too familiar with Revit's Copy/Monitor feature. This is a feature I recommend be used on every project in the multi-discipline firm I work for. It has some pros and cons, which I will highlight in the next few posts.

In my experience, most BIM projects have a separate structural model. Structural owns the grids. If a change needs to be made to the grids, structural should be the one, and the only one, making changes to grids.

There is often a desire to adjust the length of a grid in the architectural and MEP models - for example, adjusting the...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dell Canvas 27

I had the opportunity to play with the Dell Canvas 27... which is a nice sized touch monitor and drawing surface. This is similar to the Microsoft Surface Studio with Surface Dial.

For those looking to do some readlines in Bluebean Revu, sketch on a blank canvas, or to embellish a rendered iamge in Photoshop, the Canvas is worth a look.

This is more of an "at your desk" tool, and not necessarily something you would haul around with you, given its size. But I imagine the large drawing area is what most would like about this particular product.

As a test, I opened...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Enscape VR Example - Civil Project

In my recent NVIDIA webinar I showed a few examples of using Enscape for Virtual Reality (VR). To watch that recorded webinar, check out this previous post: Watch My NVIDIA Webinar on VR in the AEC Space.

I started running out of time and was not able to show the full length of each video. So I figured I would share them one at a time here.

This is a Civil project, which was also featured in this NVIDIA Customer Story: click here for that.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fuzor VR Example - New Elementary School

In my recent NVIDIA webinar I showed a few examples of using Fuzor for Virtual Reality (VR). To watch that recorded webinar, check out this previous post: Watch My NVIDIA Webinar on VR in the AEC Space.

I started running out of time and was not able to show the full length of each video. So I figured I would share them one at a time here.

It is interesting to note the...

AIA-MN 2017 Convention Follow Up

Ok, last post on the Minnesota AIA 2017 Convention...

My presentation on the Revit + Insight workflow for energy modeling felt like it went well and I received some positive comments afterwards! So that's good...

After putting in a bunch of time preparing, it is rewarding to get positive feedback. Here is a nice comment I received by an attendee via email:
"Thanks for the informative session at the AIA convention, particularly the clear distinctions between Sefaira and Insight and how easy is it to do early modeling in Insight."
Before speaking, I was introduced by Rick Carter FAIA, LEED Fellow, who is LHB's Integrative Design Team Leader. He also framed my presentation with a brief (like, the 2 minute version) history on LHB's research and sustainable design efforts.

The convention itself is in a beautiful setting in downtown Minneapolis. Here is a view from the second level of the registration area in the Minneapolis Convention Center.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Today - Dynamic Energy Optimization @ MN AIA Convention

Today, Thursday November 15, 2017,  I will be speaking at the Minnesota AIA Convention in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

My presentation is titled "Dynamic Energy Optimization with Revit and Insight 360".

If you happen to read this blog, please make a point of saying hi. I would love to meet you!

I previously wrote this post about the presentation...
AIA Minnesota Convention 2017; Dynamic Energy Optimization with Revit and Insight 360

Some appealing sessions during my time slot, I hope I have a good turn out! Here is an excerpt from the convention schedule... all the recent grads are going to be tempted to learn more about what they have to do to pass the Architect Registration Exam (ARE).

As an educator, I teach graduate students at NDSU, I am looking forward to the Architectural Education session right after mine. Minnesota now has two options for accredited architectural education; University of Minnesota and Dunwoody - both are over 100-year-old institutions (one Public, the other Private, respectively). One of the presenters for this session, John Dwyer, AIA, founding program manger of Architecture at Dunwoody, was one of my co-presenters last year at this same conference--we presented on virtual reality in architecture (John was presenting work from his firm D/O).

FYI: Dunwoody is in candidacy for NAAB accreditation with it's first group of students graduating in the Spring of next year (2018). This is a 5-year bachelor degree program, and accreditation is required by most States to sit for the ARE (a little more detail for my international readers).

Of course my presentation will include how Insight can report directly to AIA 2030 DDxReview: Insight for 2030 DDx Reporting.

Here is the course description for my session, from the program...

Thanks to SDC Publications, I have four copies of my Autodesk Revit 2018 Architectural Command Reference book to give away during the session!

Hope to see you there (if you are going:))!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

3D PDF Tips for Revit Users

Exactly 4 years ago, to the day, I wrote a blog post for Tetra4D on their 3D PDF Plug-In for Revit. I believe this plug-in now belongs to SimLab. The post is still applicable today... not much has changed with 3D PDFs. The functionality in Adobe Arobat and Bluebeam Revu are also similar when it comes to 3D PDFs.

The nice thing about this plug-in is that Revit's appearance assets are applied to the 3D PDF... of course that makes the file bigger. I am asked to create 3D PDFs occasionally, and this...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

BILT-EUR 2017 Top Ten Speakers

This morning the BILT-EUR 2017 Top Ten list was published... and I am happy to report I made this list.

So, first off, a big thank you to those who attended my presentation (pictured below) - I am honored.

BTW, I found out about the top ten raking in a...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Revit Floor Finish Workflow - Thin Floors

Type Selector showing several floor finish elements
A level’s primary floor does not have a good way to host multiple floor finishes—and when the floor is coming from a linked structural model it is not possible at all. One solution is to use a thin floor element sitting on top of the main/structural floor.

This post follows up on a previous post, where using the technique discussed in this post incorrectly can cause issues. Read about that here: How Did the Interior Designer make MEP Spaces Disappear?

The concept is pretty simple, but here are a few things...

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I wrote another post this past week for the Enscape blog.

The post is about best practices for setting up your Autodesk Revit project to create an efficient and accurate real-time visualization experience with Enscape.

Speaking of Enscape...

Friday, November 10, 2017

How Did the Interior Designer make MEP Spaces Disappear?

I have seen a number of reasons MEP Spaces disappear or not possible to place to being with. I will share one a dealt with recently. And to be fair, for this example, anyone working in the architectural model could cause this problem for the MEP team, not just the interior designers:) I do cover the thing that causes the problem in my interior design book, but when done as instructed this problem can be avoided.

First, we have an architectural model with'''

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Watch My NVIDIA Webinar on VR in the AEC Space

I am happy to report that my webinar, hosted by NVIDIA, on VR in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry went well yesterday! We had over 700 people registered and a ton of questions.

Based on one of the poll questions, over 60% of those in attendance were not using VR in their practice currently. Which was pretty cool, as I was able to share a lot of information with them.

A VR project example using Enscape and NVIDIA Quadro P6000

As I mention at the beginning of the presentation...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's Today! Free NVIDIA VR Webinar

Today I will be doing a presentation on Virtual Reality in the AEC space; a free webinar hosted by NVIDIA. I will be talking about our projects, workflow, and, of course, hardware.

Additionally, I have created a series of short videos which highlight the capabilities of a few of the VR tools we use. This includes the HTC Vive and the Oculus with Touch controllers.

Here is a short snippet from one of the videos I will be showing...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Reflecting on BILT-EUR 2017 in Aarhus Denmark

I would like to share a few thoughts and experiences on the recent BILT-EUR 2017 conference in Aarhus Denmark.

Speaking Opportunities

I have fortunate to present at various conferences all over the United States, and even the world, on architecture and building information modeling. For instance, the Minnesota AIA Convention in 2016 on practical applications of...

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dell Video: LHB visualizes architectural designs through virtual reality powered by Dell Precision

A few weeks back, I wrote about a promotional video Dell was creating, which features my firm's use of Virtual Reality using their hardware. That post highlights the process of creating the video.

You can read my previous post here: Dell Visits LHB to Make Promo VR Video.

I am excited to report that the video is now live.

Click the link below to check it out:

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Enscape Blog Post: Best Practices for Lighting and Exposure

I had the privilege of writing another post on the Enscape blog this week. The article digs into reasons why a scene is too dark and a few simple Enscape settings to greatly enhance the view.

Below, I also mention my previous post and a recent presentation at the University of Minnesota.

I want to give a quick shutout to ArchVision too, as most of the images in the post contain their RPC "office clutter" content for Autodesk Revit. When you combine  Enscape and clutter you get magic.

[in case you can't see it, this post continues below]

Friday, November 3, 2017

Revit 2017.2.3 Update; MEP Phasing Issue Fixed!

If you do electrical design in Revit 2017, you should apply this update ASAP!

This update (Revit 2017.2.3) fixes a bug that, in certain situations, while using the Wire command, could cause all the project Phases to disappear. I wrote about this previously: Project Phases Disappear in Revit 2017

The image below shows the MEP item listed in the "Issues Resolved" list. There are three other platform (meaning basic Revit) fixes as well. Click here to view this page online.

You can find the update in your Autodesk Desktop App tool now (or soon).

A previous Revit 2018 update resolved this same issue in that version.

AIA Minnesota Convention 2017; Dynamic Energy Optimization with Revit and Insight 360

I am excited to be presenting again at the Minnesota AIA Convention on Autodesk's energy modeling workflow later this month. I believe this workflow is one of the most powerful, yet most overlooked, energy optimization tool for architects. Using Revit and the cloud-based Autodesk Insight, any project team-member can play an important role in decisions at multiple stages in a project.

I gave a similar presentation last year in Phoenix Arizona, where the attendees voted the session into the 'top ten' list; RTC-NA Top Ten blog post. I have also been doing staff training on this subject in our Duluth and Minneaoplis offices recently; read most about that here: Increased Efficiency Through Training; For Staff and Buildings.

Session details:
  • AIA-MN Convention 2017
  • Event 39 (TH39) Dynamic Energy Optimization with Revit and Insight 360
  • Thursday, November 16, 2017, 08:30 am - 10:00 am
  • Minneapolis Convention Center

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Many missing elements in Revit 2017 model

I have seen this problem a few times recently; too many elements missing. I will share the most recent situation and a related Autodesk Knowledge Network (AKN) post.

A Revit 2017 architectural model started acting up. Various error messages and crashes were occurring for multiple designers. When we would try to run Audit, we would get the error "too many elements missing". Because of this error, we could not upgrade the model to 2018 either.

I started a support case with Cad Technology Center (CTC), they...