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...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Enscape Version 2.2 Released

Last week Enscape released version 2.2 to the world. It has some great new features, many of which I will be writing about in the near future - so stay tuned for that. In the mean time, head over to the Enscape blog to see what's new.

Enscape blog post: Enscape Version 2.2 Released

You just have to love how many new updates a highly motivated software company like Enscape can push out in such a short amount of time. Great job to the Enscape team!

Sneak peak iamge... below is an image for an Enscape blog post I wrote, which includes the new animation path functionality in Enscape. The new feature is very easy to use and produces amazing results.

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter

Saturday, March 17, 2018

BIM Chapters is One Year Old!

BIM Chapters is one year old (tomorrow)!

Thanks to everyone who follows this blog. I appreciate all the feedback, Twitter/LinkedIn "likes" and new connections I have made since starting this endeavor.

My first post was titled "Materials in Linked Revit Models" and has had over 800 views (see image below). Overall, the blog has had nearly 100,000 views, with two posts each having over 4,000 views. I am not sure how this compares to other Revit/BIM-focused blogs, but I am very happy with those numbers! In addition to sharing what I know, I have learned a lot as well.

And, thanks again to my 16 year old son for creating the BIM Chapters mascot!

Here's to another year ahead! Thank you.

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter
LinkedIn profile:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Revit Forums - Past and Present

Revit-focused support forums are an amazing tool we can all use to ask questions and search for answers. From "the original" Zoog Design Newsgroup to the contemporary BIM Forum, there is some rich history here.

These are the forums I typically use today:

Additionally, if you sign up for the Autodesk Revit beta program, you also get access to a cool...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Getting Started with BIM 360 Team and Collaboration for Revit

If your project team would like to work together, in a single cloud-based location, then you need BIM 360 Team and Collaboration for Revit (C4R). This is the only reliable Cloud-based way to work between different firms, and while you are away from the office. Drop Box, Google Drive and even Windows Remote Desktop should not be used to access workshared Revit models. Doing so will result in model corruption and slow access to those in the office. Using a VDI solution works (we use one), but that is a different topic with other limitations/challenges which I will not get into today.

BIM 360 Team and C4R is an additional service from Autodesk. It is not cheap, but opens a lot of doors. I know at least one firm, BKV Group, with over 100 Revit users who do ALL of their projects in C4R; one of their BIM Managers (Mike Matheny) and I used to work together. This allows any staff member to work from home if they have a sick kid, or from a coffee shop if they just want to get out of the office for a while. Plus, this also allows all projects to work with any structural and/or MEP consultants via the Cloud with live linked models. Internally at the multi-discipline firm I work at, we have been using live linked Revit models every day, on every project, since Revit Structure and Revit MEP first came out.

Here are the basic steps to get started...

Initial Setup Done by Each Person

  • FYI: An 'Administrator' of this Autodesk service within your firm needs to invite you and give you access to C4R.

Log into Team 360 and make sure you can see your Hub & Projects, as shown in the image below. Save this page as a Favorites in your web browser.

Then, install the Desktop Connector for BIM 360 (everyone needs to do this). This will give you the ability to easily share other files, like Excel and PDFs.

Select the correct version of...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Oculus Down

Not a lot of light coming through the oculus yesterday! The company, Oculus - who is owned by Facebook, somehow forgot to update a security certificate which rendered all of the Rift headsets around the world inoperable. We have nine of them...

With nothing else to do, gamers , and some professionals I am sure, spent the day posting on the Oculus forum; 1.9k posts in roughly 24 hours!

An Oculus official had posted a couple updates during the day... as seen in this next image:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Revit Model Maintenance Best Practices

Once a project is in CDs, or when it starts getting to be about 200MB, you should start doing weekly maintenance on each Revit model for that project (curious is others have a different opinion on the when and how big). I recommend these steps be followed while no one else is in the  project (use Worksharing monitor to confirm). Below are the steps to perform weekly maintenance on your Revit model:

Audit the Central File Weekly

In the Revit’s Open dialog, select the Central file, check Audit and un-check Create local

Compact Central

Use the Sync w/ Central dialog to...

Monday, March 5, 2018

BILT-Europe 2018 Sessions Accepted; Ljubjana, Slovenia Here We Come!

I am happy to report that I was selected to speak again at the European BILT conference this year in Ljubjana, Slovenia. The plan is to bring my family as well... continuing the tradition of conference + vacation-crazy-busy-fun! For more on the family fun part,  you can read a post I wrote for the RTC blog back in 2014: RTC Family Vacation – An Attendee’s Letter.

Sessions selected:
  • Dynamic Energy Optimization with Autodesk Revit and Insight
  • Revit MEP Remodels and Alternates; Hands On
  • A Multi-Disciplinary Design Firm’s Journey to Embrace Early Stage Energy 
Session on reserve:
  • Practical Applications of VR/AR in Architecture
Here is a photo of my lab session from last year in Denmark...

And if that is not exciting enough, Carl Storms has now officially been selected to speak at all...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bio Update for 2018

I recently updated my biography for the next round of book updates, as well as for LinkedIn and work. Some who read this blog may be interested in this information, but I also thought it would be a good way to capture this info over time; via blog posts.

It should be pointed out that the bio will appear over the next year in mass produced printed format (i.e. a book), so a couple of the conferences I have "spoken" at have not actually happened yet:)

Here is the updated text...

Friday, March 2, 2018


My latest blog post is now live over on the Enscape website. This is a unique post with very few images, but I think it will help spark ideas within the AEC industry on how to maximize the use of Enscape to win commissions, impress clients, improve design and get the most value out of a tool.

The post has some great quotes from customers who share their impressions and success with Enscape within their firm at various stages of a project's life.


I also hope this post will help enlighten architecture students on the typically prescribed design process. If you are an instructor or professor, consider having your students read this post and write a short response for class credit. I know I will, next semester when my class starts up again at NDSU.

Thanks for reading...

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Managing Content with Revit's Preview Visibility Feature

Back in the day, just a few versions of Revit ago, it was tricky to manage element visibility within the Family Editor environment.

For example, the screen shot of the title block below shows the address for each of our offices all piled up on each other. Dealing with this in older versions of Revit, I would select one (not really knowing which one was going to get selected) and move it a specific distance to the right (e.g. 6"). I would do this until the one I needed was selected, or the last one.

Now, we have an amazing, yet somewhat hard-to-find-on-your-own new feature called Preview Visibility. I do not see it used or mentioned very often. And, just the other day someone was telling me how they just told a super experienced Revit use about this, who had no idea!

The Preview Visibility feature is controlled by an icon on the View Control Bar in the...