Saturday, December 30, 2017

BIM Chapters Top Posts for 2017

This is my last post in 2017... thanks so much for reading - and liking - my posts!!! I just started the blog this year and have been very encouraged by the feedback many of you have provided.

I have seen a few others due this in the past, so I thought I would close out the year listing the top ten most viewed posts.

The top three posts have over 10k views combined! I guess when Autodesk retweets your posts, you are golden:) The Hololens post...

Friday, December 29, 2017

Accurate Shadows in Plan View

While in a floor plan view, when Revit's Shadows are turned on, they are projected based on the cut plane set in View Range - as if someone took a chainsaw, or lightsaber, and cut off and removed the upper portion of the building.

There is a way to get a plan-like view with the correct looking shadows, but there are limitations.

Read on to learn more...

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Revit's To and From Room Values for Doors and Windows

When numbering doors, we often associate that number with the room number the door swings into as shown in the first image below; door 103A swings into Workroom 103.

Revit has the ability to schedule room information, in a door schedule, based on the room it swings into and out of. However, there are a few things you need to know about how this works to use it successfully - or, in a predictable way.

This post will cover the issue and offer a few tips. At the end I also mention a free tool from CTC to automatically renumber doors.

When creating a door schedule...

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Family Fun with VR

We had family over Christmas Eve and the kids "tested" the new TPCAST wireless HTC Vive setup on a few Steam games... like Shooty Fruity.

This pic is of my son playing...

And my nephew's turn:)

Fun stuff.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dealing With Off-Screen Dialog Boxes

In most Windows apps, it is possible for a dialog box to open off-screen and thus not be visible or directly accessible. This can be caused by a number of things such as changing the screen resolution, adding or removing a monitor, etc.

I dealt with an issue yesterday where someone thought their session of Revit was freezing every time they started a specific CTC Express Tools app... once they started the command, the entire Ribbon grayed out and became inactive. It appeared the only way out was to crash Revit.

Turns out the dialog was...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


I had a lot of fun writing this new blog post on custom RPC content for the Enscape blog.

Ever wanted to get custom RPC content into your renderings? Check out this...

Monday, December 18, 2017

Revit® Materials - Appearance Images

Here is an older tip I posted on LinkedIn a year and a half ago, and thought I would copy it over to my blog...

When a design team is developing a Revit model and materials are being applied, everyone needs to make sure they understand a few things about the process to ensure success! I want to share a problem that comes up occasionally and discuss the solution.

The Problem
When someone starts a rendering, either locally or in the cloud, Revit will...

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Low Voltage Distribution in Revit

A post about the opportunities and limitations for electrical connectors in low voltage devices (families) using Revit for MEP design.

Low voltage circuits connect similar electrical components to form an electrical system. Once created, you can edit circuits to add or remove components, connect a circuit to a panel, add wiring runs, and view circuit and panel properties. Wiring is not necessary, but can be used to show wiring that is exposed or concealed within walls, ceilings, and floors.

A low voltage component can be connected in a circuit if it is...

Friday, December 15, 2017

Revit Alternates; Phasing vs. Design Options

When working on a multi-disciplinary project, what is the best way to deal with bid alternates? The biggest challenge relates to MEP systems in Revit. These systems allow us to properly calculate loads, such as electrical and CFM.

In this post I do a mockup of Design Options versus Phasing… neither are perfect.

Design Options:
The first image is the base bid plan view. The East wall and two receptacles are in the ‘base bid’ deign option (which is primary). Those two receptacles are properly connected to the panel which is not in a...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Copy Monitor: Light Fixtures, Part 3

One more post on the Copy/Monitor tool in conjunction with light fixture. This one has to do with the limitation that linked families cannot cut anything in the host model

When the light fixtures are in the MEP model, and the ceiling is in the architectural model (which is how our models are always done) you end up with two graphical issues...

  1. The light fixture does not cut the ceiling, so renderings and VR are not very good looking.
  2. In the reflected ceiling plans (RCP) a 2x4 fixture in a ceiling with 2x2 acoustical ceiling tiles (ACT) will have a line run through the fixture as shown in the next image below.

Here is a 3D view, in Revit, showing the overlapping geometry.

Here is one possible solution...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Insight Utility Data

For Autodesk Insight, the utility data comes from the Energy Information Administration. They publish state wide averages for residential, commercial and industrial, gas and elec, month by month. Autodesk typically updates this data once a year. Of course if you have the actual rates, you can update it yourself.

To see what the automated rates are, or to change them, open your Insight project, click the...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Wireless VR for Architecture and Engineering - TPCAST for the HTC Vive - First Impressions

LHB has entered the wireless VR realm this week with the TPCAST Wireless Adaptor for Vive.

Yesterday I set up this wireless adaptor for the HTC Vive and...

Monday, December 11, 2017


I wrote a NEW post on the Enscape blog about using Revit's Design Options.

This feature can be used with Enscape – and the post discusses...

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Enscape, Phil Read, Classic Camera Moves - A Must Read

If you use Enscape, be sure to check out Phil Read's recent post on developing animations. Enscape is about so much more than static images, which can be hard to describe in writing... you have to see it. And this post has lots of videos which detailed notes that help you "see" it!

I had been thinking about writing a similar article, but Phil clearly knows a lot more about...

Friday, December 8, 2017

Two NVIDIA GP100s - Let the Testing Begin!

Something exciting arrived in the mail today... two NVIDIA GP100s!

These graphics cards boast 16GB of superfast HBM2 memory and two-way NVlink interconnect.
Related NVIDIA blog post: What is NVlink
Check out this PCWorld review:
Nvidia's monster Quadro GP100 GPU brings big Pascal, HBM2, and NVLink to workstations
Related BIM Chapter posts:
I still have some configuring to do, but the...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Revit Product Development

The Architizer recently posted an article called How Does Architects' Software Get Designed? which interviews Autodesk's Revit Product Manager Harlan Brumm.

Autodesk has been doing a good job getting to word out on what they are working on and engaging their customer base. From their Public Roadmap and Revit Ideas site to their beta site, weekly user meetings and in-person sessions like the one I mention below, at Autodesk University and even Inside the Factory (ITF). While some may not agree with what they are working on, you must admit they are being much more transparent than in the past.

I am involved in the beta project, have been to...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Copy Monitor: Light Fixtures, Part 2

The Batch Copy part of the Copy/Monitor tool came after the original six categories we could use the tool on, which are listed in the previous post on this topic;Copy Monitor: Light Fixtures . I am not sure why everything that can be Copy/Monitored could not be part of the Batch Copy functionality. I do know this newer feature was developed in conjunction with Revit MEP, and that is why we can only use it on MEP Fixtures.

As you will see in this post, based on the challenges with this feature, I would rather have this work with grids and levels which do not have phasing. Knowing about a new grid is pretty important.

Continuing the discussion on Copy/Monitor and lighting fixture, I will...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fuzor 2018 - New 3D Markup Tool

Thought I would share a short video showing the new 3D markup tool in Fuzor 2018. It reminds me of the Google Title Brush app for VR.

This tool allows the person in VR to sketch 3D lines of various colors in and around your model.

Stepping back and looking at the marked up area, simply press...

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Free Revit Viewer - It's Called Revit

When someone needs to view a native Revit file (RVT files), they can just use Autodesk Revit itself. When you install Revit is comes with a viewer option as shown in the Windows 10 Start menu below. I believe this will continue to work even after installing the trial version, and the trial period has lapsed.

This is also great for someone in the office who...

Friday, December 1, 2017

Lighting Analysis Module at NDSU

This week I not only had the opportunity to present on Autodesk Insight's energy analysis workflows in two of our offices, but I also taught a module on lighting analysis in my BIM class at NDSU.

For professional quality point-by-point illuminance calculations in Revit, I teach the same software we use at LHB - ElumTools by Lighting Analysts, Inc. (LAI). As you will see listed below, these folks make a stand-alone product called AGI32 which has been around for over 30 years and is essentially the industry standard tool for lighting design professionals.

Students get free access to the software, so all the students have the software installed on their laptops. I often remind the students to...