Monday, May 21, 2018

Roast by KieranTimberlake

With the impending commercial release, I would like to offer a review of KieranTimberlake's (KT) product called ROAST. LHB had the opportunity to beta test this new cloud-based Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) delivery tool.

In the big-picture, one creates a survey by selected from canned questions, feeds in...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Going to BILT-NA 2018? Check out Nauman Mysorewala's Session

If you are going to BILT-NA 2018 in St. Louis this year, be sure to check out Nauman Mysorewala's Session... he has some crazy skills when it comes to dealing with problematic Revit files, seriously.

BILT-NA schedule: click here.

Check out this previous post about Nauman: Working With Revit's Journal File.

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter


A quick post to let everyone now about this updated article over at the Enscape website on lighting and exposure.

Link to post:

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter

Thursday, May 17, 2018

2015 Enscape Model Review with Phil Read on YouTube

Wow, 2.5 years ago already, Phil Read and I sat down and talked Enscape. This YouTube video was created back in 2015 and nearly 8k views. Enscape has come a long way since then, but as you can see in the video, it was still amazing back then as well.

Just for fun, here is a...

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Infraworks to Revit add-in

Autodesk has a new add-in listed in the Autodesk Desktop App called Infraworks to Revit. Don't get too excited just yet, unless you design bridges/tunnels in Revit. I am sure this functionality will expand in the future, but right now this add-in just supports bridges and tunnels.

If you are not familiar with Infraworks, in a super simplistic sense, it is to Civil 3D what FormIt is to Revit. In reality, Infraworks is much more sophisticated and I have heard that Autodesk is putting more resources into developing this preliminary design tool, than Civil 3D itself (but I have no way of knowing this for sure). The Infraworks screenshot below shows an area created automatically just by selecting a region; with grade, aerial iamge, existing roads and bridges, and even 3D building where public GIS data is available. New surfaces, roads and bridges can easily be added. Then, the surfaces, roads, bridges can be pushed into Civil 3D for further refinement and documentation. Some Civil 3D elements can also be imported into Infraworks.

Using Revit for detailed design of bridges and tunnels in InfraWorks; this Revit add-in allows you...

Monday, May 14, 2018

Simply Complex Podcast; We Talk BILT Asia and Midwest U

I had the privilege of being on the Simply Complex Podcast again with  Marcello Sgambelluri and Carl Stroms to recap recently attended conferences.

Along with a few random topics, here are the conferences we talked about:

Friday, May 11, 2018

SKM Power*Tools Add-in for Revit!

Breaking News! SKM Power*Tools now has an add-in for Revit. We have been waiting for this for several years now... I look forward to testing this with the CTC Express Tools add-in; Electrical Productivity Pack (EPP) for Autodesk Revit.

Click here for more information: Be sure to watch the 7 minute video in this link.

Here is the add-in shown in Revit.

This dialog, within Revit, shows...

Recap - Lightfair International 2018 in Chicago

Today I would like to share a quick recap I wrote, along with several photos, of Lightfair International 2018 in Chicago this week.

The Venue

The conference was held at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. A perfect location for over...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Revit's Initial Intensity Settings for Lighting Fixtures

I am super excited to be speaking at Lightfair tomorrow in Chicago, on Revit Families Done Right. I will be presenting with Matt Kincaid, lighting expert and software developer at Lighting Analysts, Inc., makers of ElumTools add-in for Revit and AGI32.

As mentioned yesterday, here is some helpful information about Revit's Initial Intensity settings for Lighting Fixture families. Enjoy!

Based on Revit's Initial Intensity dialog shown above...

Monday, May 7, 2018

Lightrfair International 2018 is this week in Chicago!

This week I will be presenting at Lightfiar International 2018 in Chicago. The World's Largest Annual Lighting Conference, which had 27k attendees last year.
Here is are the details about my session:May 9, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM: “Revit Families Done Right” seminar with Matt Kincaid and Dan Stine. Register on
Co-speaker, Matt Kincaid is a lighting expert and software developer at Lighting Analysts, Inc (LAI). They make AGI32, ElumTools, Licaso and Photometric Toolbox. We have presented together at BILT-NA 2017 in Toronto, Canada. We also did a webinar together.

Like most conferences, Lightfair has a nice app for your mobile device. I took two screen shots below of LAI's exhibitor information and for our session on Wednesday.

If you will be there, be sure to visit the great folks from Lighting Analysts at booth #4019 in the exhibit hall. For more information, click here.

Finally, here is a small snip-it from our presentation. Check back tomorrow for some...

Friday, May 4, 2018

LHB Projects That Made a Splash (screen)

Back in the Revit 2010 and 2011 days (years, 2009 and 2010), Autodesk solicited customers for project images to use as a slideshow while the software installs. I was able to get four LHB projects in the mix. Today, I thought I would share these images.

With rare exception, LHB (a 250 person multi-discipline firm) has been doing ALL building projects, with rare exception, completely in Revit for about 10 years now; this includes Architectural, Interiors, MEP and Structural. Even the external Food Service and Parking Ramp consultants we work with use Revit.


Here are screenshots taken during the installation process (click to enlarge). Sorry for the poor quality, as I was only able to find a hard copy, which I scanned.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Golden Nugget - The New German-based Sample Project by Autodesk

With the release of Revit 2019, Autodesk has unleashed a lot of new content and two related sample projects for the German market. I will share more about the content, which is meant to conform with available products and standards in, and around, Germany from what I understand.

One file is the architectural model, and the other is MEP. They are both linked into each other.

My explorations for this post are all within the architectural model, but this includes the MEP elements via the link. Here are a few images from within Revit...

In this post I want to share several quick Enscape images from that project; a retrospective in pictures. In a future post I will talk about the content.

Overall, it is a nice project which will start showing up everywhere as...

Monday, April 30, 2018

Warning - Face Based Content Moves Vertically in Revit

Anyone who develops MEP models in Revit knows that only face-based content works due to the limitations of working within the context of linked architectural and structural models. However, I find a lot of people do not know about a subtle issue that causes things like receptacles to move vertically at some point during the project.

Read on to learn more...

Saturday, April 28, 2018


My latest Enscape blog post is now live. It covers the steps required to create a complex camera path within Escape, when creating a video. It is also worth noting that Enscape supports Autodesk Revit 2019. In fact, this entire article was written using that new version of Revit.

One really nice thing about  developing a camera path in Enscape is it works the same in Revit, SketchUp and Rhino. The image below shows a...

Friday, April 27, 2018

To BIM 360 Design or Not!

Today we have a guest post from my good friend Mike Matheny, BIM manager at BKV Group, on the recent changes related to collaborating in the cloud using Autodesk Revit 2019 (and 2018.3). Mike used to work with me here are LHB several years ago. As you will see from his first paragraph, they are definitely front-runners in the emerging workflow. Anyone currently using C4R will definitely benefit from this big knowledge-share as they prepare to upgrade to the latest version of Revit.

TO BIM 360 Design or Not!
BKV is a multi-discipline firm who has been utilizing...

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Tally - Life Cycle Assessment - By KieranTimberlake

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is am important component of a holistic sustainable design approach to designing a building. In this post I will share a Revit add-in we use to comply with State requirements here in Minnesota. The product is Tally by the architecture firm KieranTimberlake - a full-service architecture, planning and research firm based in Philadelphia, PA,

"The first LCA app that lets you calculate the environmental impacts of your building material selections directly in an Autodesk® Revit® model."


How it Works:

Project Set up:
First, we have to set up the project. This can be based on a full building assessment or...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Generative Design Presentation by Anthony Hauck

LHB had the privilege of getting a firm-wide introduction to Generative Design by Anthony Hauck, of Black Arts Consulting (formal with Autodesk). I highly recommend you engage Anthony's services in this regard. Very informative and inspirational.

The presentation was web-based for two of our offices; Duluth and Minneapolis as shown in...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Enscape Supports Revit 2019 Advanced Materials

This is a quick post to mention that in less than two weeks after the release of Autodesk Revit 2019, and Enscape now supports the new physically-based advanced materials. This support just became a reality in the recent stable building via

This first image is rendered directly in Revit. Super simple, but the walls, floor and ceiling are all defined by the new Revit shaders. Notice the reflection of just the metal grid in the ceiling.

Here is what that same scene looks like in Enscape, generated in a...

Revit Basics: Controlling Element Visibility

You can use these steps to hide a specific sub-set of elements in Revit. In most cases it would be ideal to create a custom Shared Parameter, but that gets a little more complicated.

In this example, I add a keyword to the Comments instance parameter.

Next, I create a Filter that looks for...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Revit 2019 - Uncropped Perspective and New Navigation Options

As I mentioned in my AECbytes, What's New in Revit 2019 article, Revit 2019 now supports uncropped perspectives. In this post I will get into a little more detail on how you can navigate within an uncropped perspective.

I was talking with my friend Pieter Schiettecatte, from A+I, on the phone yesterday and he gave me more insight on how the new navigation features work. Thanks!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lighting in Revit 2019 + Lightfair 2018!

Next month I have the privilege of speaking at Lightfair International 2018 in Chicago. #LFI2018
Lightfair is "The world's largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference."
More on my specific session in a later post!

Speaking of lighting, Revit 2019 just came out and includes an enhancement related to lighting. Specifically, they corrected the Coefficient of Utilization Calculation for Absolute Photometry.

At a high level, it does seem that they have fixed the major problems with absolute photometry. But there are still some significant items to be aware of. Read on to learn more...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2019 Workflow Tip: Saved Section Boxes via Scope Boxes

Revit 2019 now allows us to assign a Scope Box to 3D views. If you assign a Scope Box to plans to make them all match between sheets, you could also apply it to a 3D.

Another idea would be to also create special Scope Boxes as a sort of saved Section Box. When a Section Box is turned off in a view, Revit does not remember the previous extents when it is turned back on.

In the next four images (click to enlarge), I apply a different Scope Box to the same working/default view. Notice, I also added a common prefix to the Scope Box name to group them together and help others know what they are for.


Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) - VR/AR Presentation

I had the opportunity to present to the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) - Twin Cities chapter - at a meeting hosted by LHB this week. We had a great turn out and many thoughtful questions! What is SMPS exactly?

From their website: 
"The Twin Cities Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS-TC) has a mission to be the premier provider of marketing and business development resources to the architecture, engineering, construction (A/E/C) industry by promoting the profession of marketing through education, networking and career development."
I love LHB's willingness to share knowledge on occasion. I think it pushes us to do even more work and research to stay current and relevant, in a practical and meaningful way, for our clients.

In the presentation we talked about ways in which we use VR/AR tech in the context of...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MnOPS 2018 Pipeline Safety Educational Conference

As a multi-disciplinary firm, LHB does work in Public Utilities, Industrial, Pipeline and Land Survey. An important event we usually attend each year is the Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MnOPS) 2018 Pipeline Safety Educational Conference.

MnOPS inspects natural gas, propane and hazardous liquid pipelines, and investigates leaks and accidents. The conference educates operators on a number of issues including best-practices, regulations, and new technologies.

In addition to having a booth in the Exhibit Hall this year, we also presented a "New Technologies" session on our application of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in this space. We have used this technology with our clients and at public meetings to help with key stakeholder design comprehension and buy in.

Here is a picture of our booth (which was not completely set up yet).

As part of describing our design services, we offered two real-world AR project examples using...

Friday, April 13, 2018

Revit 2019 Icon Replacement by Brian Payne

The Revit 2019 desktop icon did not change again this year. That means 2017 - 2019 is the same icon. Brian Payne to the rescue... he created a custom icon and shared it on Twitter.

Google Drive link for new icon:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Arrived In The Mail Today: Residential Design Using Revit 2019

Fresh on the heels of the official release of Autodesk Revit 2019, this arrived in the mail today!

My Residential Design Using Autodesk Revit 2019 textbook... complete with a new Enscape rendering on the cover.

The wooden bird was purchased in Denmark while at BILT-EUR... ArchitectMade by Kristian Vedel.

Go here for more info:

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What's New in Revit 2019? See My AECbytes Article

Revit 2019 is officially here. To get a detailed rundown on the new features and enhancements, be sure to check out my annual "What's New" article over at AECbytes. Watch this blog for more in-depth posts over the next few weeks as well.

Here is a quick peak at the new advanced materials. Check out the acoustic ceiling til..

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Revit 2018.3 Just Released

Revit 2018.3 just dropped on the Autodesk Desktop App. This includes several bug fixes and a few product improvements.

I just installed the update and will test for a few days before telling everyone else to update here at LHB.

Lots of "improved stability" fixes, which is always good.

A Few fixes listed:
  • Fixed an issue in which exporting sheets with section views to DWG could result in blocks being incorrectly positioned in the DWG file.
    • I have seen this before; for examples, light fixtures shifting out of the ceiling grid. The fix has also been to export the problem view directly, rather than from the sheet view.
  • Improved stability when placing or modifying a room in a model that contains invalid phase information.
  • Improved stability when upgrading Revit 2017 or earlier projects that contain multistory stairs.
  • Fixed an issue where Revit could run of out windows resources when working with multiple projects.

Be sure to read the...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Book Update - Residential Design Using AutoCAD 2019

My AutoCAD book has been updated for the new 2019 version which was just released by Autodesk. This book first came out in 2004, and has been updated every year since - that's 15 years!

Many architecture and engineering firms still use AutoCAD; some exclusively and others in conjunction with Revit. With this in mind, most schools offer an AutoCAD class in addition to Revit.

This tutorial-style book walks the reader through the commands and workflows required to...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Autodesk Industry Collection Concurrent Usage Policy Limitation Removed

The new Autodesk collections had a strange limitation that only allowed two products in a collection to be used at a single time by the SAME user on the SAME computer. Thus, I could not have AutoCAD, Revit and Navisworks open at the same time on my computer and still be in compliance. It sounds like this was technically possible, but in violation of the contract - but I am not sure.

Another thing that was changed is license borrowing for products within collections. In conflict with he previous "you can only use two at a time" limitation, you currently need to borrow two licenses to use two products (within collections) away from the office. This has been changed, but requires a new 2019 network license be downloaded. Seeing as not all 2019 products have been released yet, we will have to wait for this change to be implemented.

These are both good changes, thanks Autodesk.

The only other issue I wish would change is that when a person with a "Suites" license (i.e. on maintenance) opens Revit or Civil 3D, they will first pull a Collections license if one is available. Thus, tying up certain products like Navisworks, Infraworks, Robot, Vehicle Tracking, etc. There are ways of limiting who can access network license but that is also a big hassle.

Related links:

Limitation removed (forum post): this link will not work again until Monday April 9th

License borrowing (AKN):

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter

Friday, April 6, 2018

Redshift Article on Energy-Analysis Tools

Quick post today pointing you to a Redshift article I was interviewed for along with Justin Dowhower, AIA, LEED AP, WELL AP from Corgan.

Check it out here:
4 Ways Energy-Analysis Tools Work for Architecture Firms—and the Planet

I will be presenting on this subject in two sessions at BILT-EUR 2018 later this year in...

Thursday, April 5, 2018


My latest Enscape blog post is live... and it covers the various export options supported by Enscape. From Google Cardboard to standalone EXEs to still images and more, they have you covered.

This post also touches on the new video path feature, and it is pretty cool! The image below , from the post, shows a winding animation path through the project.

Monday, April 2, 2018

First Look - Trimble Hard Hat for Microsoft HoloLens

We were lucky to get early access to the official Trimble Hard Hat for Microsoft HoloLens. They arrived today, so I will offer my first impressions in this post.

But first, why would anyone need a hard hat for the HoloLens? If you want to even step foot on a construction site today you must have proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); hard hat, safety glasses, reflective vest, etc. At LHB we have a profession Safety Coordinator to ensure we stay in compliance in general and on the various government and industrial projects we work on. Thus, if we want to start exploring uses for Augmented Reality on job sites, a hard hat that accommodates the HoloLens is a must.

I can sum up my first impression in one word...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Recap of NVIDIA GTC 2018 in Silicon Valley

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the opportunity to present on VR at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Silicon Valley earlier this week. There were a number of sessions around the AEC space, but the star of the show was AI, deep learning and self-driving vehicles. Overall, it was a great conference and Autodesk was a big sponsor and offered several sessions... even my hotel key-card had the Autodesk logo on it (see inset image).

I will offer a recap of the conference here with several images, most of which are shown in chronological order. The conference went from Monday through Thursday, but I was only able to be there Monday and Tuesday. I had to get back for a presentation to several clients in Minneapolis on Thursday.

The first thing you seen when entering the convention center is this...

Friday, March 30, 2018

Ready Player One Escape Game in NVIDIA Holodeck at GTC 2018

I just got back from NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose, California where I presented on virtual reality in the AEC space. I will offer a recap in my next post, but wanted to first share a surprise VR experience I had in the exhibit hall on Tuesday.

With the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg movie Ready Player One about to be unleashed to...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


A quick post this morning from sunny San Jose California, where I am attending NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (more on that tomorrow), to let you know about my new blog post over at Enscape.

The article is titled: SKETCHUP MATERIAL EDITOR – ENHANCED MATERIALS IN SKETCHUP. This post explores the new material possibilities with Enscape's new Material Editor for SketchUp.

By the way, I spent some time talking about Enscape in my presentation at GTC yesterday, which was titled: Practical Applications of Virtual Reality in Architecture. For more on using Enscape for VR, be sure to check out a previous Enscape blog post I wrote: BEST PRACTICES – USING VIRTUAL REALITY FOR PROJECT PRESENTATIONS WITH ENSCAPE.

A couple images from the post below (click to enlarge).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Recap of Midwest University 2018

Another conference has come and gone already this year... Midwest University 2018 hosted by Cad Technology Center (CTC) - aka CTC Express Tools.

The conference had over 500 attendees and covered a wide range of topics, from Autodesk Revit to Civil 3D. This was a two day conference, but I was only able to attend  on the second day. So I missed the world's #1 AI robot Sofia unfortunately.

The location was at a brand new convention facility, Mystic Lake Convention Center,  just outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area in Minnesota. Although it made for a long day, I live close enough to have driven there and back in the same day.

Given the reasonable conference cost and relatively close proximity to the #6 ranked airport in the USA (according to this article anyway) Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport, it makes this a great option to share, learn and network on AEC design technology with a strong emphasis on Autodesk products, add-ins and more.

Below are several comments and photos, in chronological order (click to enlarge image).

Friday, March 23, 2018

LHB Hosted IEEE - VR/AR Presented

Tuesday evening, this week, I had the opportunity to present to the the "Arrowhead Section" of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). We had a great turnout, as you can see in the images below. Several students also attended, which was great.

I think everyone had a great time and was impressed with the technology. Only one person had tried the HTC Vive before, but not wirelessly. So, between the Vive and the Microsoft Hololens, everyone was able to try something new!

Nick Johnson, from LHB, is the current Chair and helped organize the event. We had a few LHB electrical staff in attendance.

The presentation started in our training center (we call it Studio 4). I was able to do a dry run of...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I had the pleasure of writing another blog post for Enscape. This week's post delves into tips and tricks related to developing materials to represent stone and masonry in Autodesk Revit. I also include a nice tip from Revit early-adopter Scott Brown on dealing with joints in a surface or extrusion. I hope you like it!

Sample image from the post below:)

Guest Lecture; NDSU Interior Design

This week I had the opportunity to guest lecture for interior design students at North Dakota State University (NDSU). The students are Juniors in a Revit class taught by Kellie Hamre, M.S., IIDA, IDEC. This is the same class I have taught myself in the past. I do, however, still teach in the architecture program at NDSU.

The students are currently working through my Interior Design using Autodesk Revit 2018 textbook.

With LHB and NDSU both having state-of-the-art video conference rooms, we are able to have...