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 an 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...