Friday, June 29, 2018

Images in Schedules

This is an update to my post - Managing Revisions in Revit Schedules. I asked Ben Sherman, a college intern working with me, to take some time and try to create a better quality image and then make several for the various numbers. This post will highlight his success...
BTW, Ben is a architecture student who attends Minnesota's newest architecture school, Dunwoody. The school has been around for about one hundred years, but just this year graduated their first 5-year professional bachelor's degree students. This simple task was a break from recreating our entire material library, which uses the new Revit 2019 advanced materials:)
The trick was to create a larger image, still only 45 kb, which at first looked like this in the schedule (when placed on a sheet)...

When the schedule is selected, in the sheet view, you can use the Resize tool on the...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Enscape 2.3 Released

Enscape just release version 2.3 this week with a ton of cool new features!

Here are a few of the new features and enhancements:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Revit 2019 Advanced Materials work in 2017 and 2018

A quick post to point out that the new Advanced Materials which ship with Revit 2019 work in Revit 2017 and 2018. I believe they basically worked since the Autodesk Raytrace rendering engine replaced the NVIDIA Mental Ray engine... we just had no way to "flip the switch" to get this new shader to activate (that I know of).

As you can see in the image above and below, the advanced materials...

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

BILT EUR 2018 Speaker Spotlight and Lab Assistants

I had the privilege of being interviewed for the 'Speaker Spotlight' series on the RTC Events blog by BILT-Eur committee member Rui Gavina.

Here is a link to the post:

As the post introduction mentions, I will only be attending the European BILT conference this year... this will be the first North American conference I will have missed for RTC/BILT.

BILT Europe 2018 Sessions:

I have my sessions plugged into Outlook, and in the correct time zone, so I do not miss a beat

Monday, June 25, 2018

Managing Revisions in Revit Schedules

There is really no good way to deal with revisions in Revit schedules given the provided tools. In fact, the entire revision system is rather flawed as nothing in the revision system is associated with any specific elements in the Revit model... we add revision clouds to general areas just like some of us used to do in AutoCAD and on hand drawings. Not very BIM-like:)

So, with this in mind, I have an idea to share that is not perfect but may help eliminate a problem in schedules. The problem is that revision clouds must be added to sheets when dealing with schedules. It is not possible to add a revision cloud in a schedule view. On a related note, I recommend revision clouds be added to the view, not the sheet in all other cases.

Now, because the revision cloud really has nothing to do with the schedule, if  the schedule grows or shrinks the result is the revision clouds are pointing at the wrong row as shown in the next two images; the first image is referencing a change to door 116 (or is it, even this can be a bit confusing trying to identify a single row with the revision cloud tool) and the second image shows what the same sheet/schedule looks like after someone added several doors to the model; the cloud is now 'pointing' at the wrong row.

Original schedule with revision could added

Friday, June 22, 2018

Material Schedules and Custom Material Properties in Revit

Revit's materials can be used to track finishes in a more formal way, such that they are used in the bidding documents. There are many challenges related to utilizing this workflow, but this post will focus on the mechanics of creating materials with all the information an architect or interior designer might want to tabulate.

The first thing to do is create any custom parameters. The trick here is that you are creating a parameter associated with materials, not a "material parameter" as shown in the image below.

If you create a material with Type of Material set to Material you can only select material names from a list. If you create a Text parameter associated with the material category, then you can type whatever you want in that text-based parameter. TIP: Add a tooltip to your custom parameters to help other designers in the office.

Accessing the custom material parameters is not very intuitive, but this does not really matter as...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Quick Look at Revit 2019 Advanced Materials

Revit 2019 supports new PBR shaders, refereed to as Advanced Materials. There are a few dozen created as "formal materials" in the provided materials library, which means there is identity data, graphics data (i.e. shaded color and fill patterns) and an appearance asset. The latter being the main ingredient for a material to be considered "advanced". For fun, the image below contains all of them. There are several other material assets created as well, but not shown in this post.

In this post I highlight a few of these new materials, mainly using Enscape.

Before getting into whats cool about the advanced materials, I want to share a comparison between rendering within Revit and using Enscape.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Revit Electrical Feature - Load Sub-Classification Motor

Revit has an electrical feature that is pretty much undocumented. And I do not claim to be an expert on this topic, but wanted to share what I do know and hear how/if others use this feature. I am talking about an electrical connector's ability to have a Load Sub-Classification Motor enabled as shown in this first image.

Before talking about how this appears to work, I will mention that the biggest problem we have is...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Electrical Calculations in Revit - Why kVA Totals Can Vary from Feeder to Panel

Because my firm created the electrical portion of the MEP Productivity Pack (MEPPP,) which CTC sells to the world, we have seen a number of problems and fielded many questions from customers over the past eight years (with CTC providing the lead on all support). This has helped to expand our knowledge of Revit and improve the MEPPP product.

One question that comes up from time to time is why the kVA Totals for Panels are sometimes different than the kVA Loads on Feeders. An example of this can be seen  in the following image.

What is happening is Revit is inconsistent with how it tabulates the loads.  Both are...

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Local File - Overwrite or Timestamp?

When creating a new local file, the file is saved in the folder highlighted in the Revit’s Options dialog as shown below.

Best practice is to create a new local file each day, as I elaborate on in this post: Create a New Local File Daily. When doing so, you are prompted to...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Interior Design Preface by Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I

My new Revit book for interior design has a preface written by the talented Pieter Schiettecatte. I have gotten to know Pieter through a couple of on-going Autodesk beta focus-groups and though online forums. We both have attended Autodesk's Revit Live: Inside the Factory (formerly, Revit Gunslinger Event) in Shanghai China - but not at the same time.

Read about Pieter and then his engaging comments which constitute the introduction to my updated version of Interior Design Using Autodesk Revit 2019.

Pieter Schiettecatte is a leading expert on BIM and the Director of Design Technology at A+I, one of New York City’s leading design firms. A+I was introduced in the...

Friday, June 8, 2018

Product Review: Dell Precision 5820 Tower - Superior Performance for the AEC Market

I got my hands on a Precision 5820 Tower from Dell recently and have been running a bunch of tests - from benchmarks to trying massive models in VR. It ranked near the top for various benchmarks, including the RFO Revit Benchmark.
Disclaimer: This computer was provided by Dell for testing through their "Try and Buy" program with no strings attached. I was not obligated to write this post nor did I get paid anything:)
First things first, the computer specs:

Precision 5820 Tower
Here are the specs for the computer as tested:
  • Processor: Intel Xeon W-2125 4.0GHz, 4.5GHz Turbo, 4C, 8.25M
    Cache, HT, (120W) DDR4-2666
  • Memory: 128GB (8x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 RDIMM ECC
  • Storage: M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive
  • Graphics: NVIDIA, various units tested (see list below)

The exterior of the unit looks like the typical Precision tower. I love the built-in handles...

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Calculation Error

I was having a discussion the other day about Bentley software we use and asked why we use a particular program when we have access to as similar software within our Autodesk subscription. I was reminded that the "included" Autodesk software, Autodesk Storm and Sanitary, has calculation errors.

What Is Autodesk Storm and Sanitary Analysis?

I then remembered submitting a support ticket directly to Autodesk Support about two years ago. Unfortunately this serious design flaw has yet to be rectified and thus we are using, and paying for, competing software. I thought I would share this so anyone who uses this software would be aware of the issue if depending on it as a design tool.

Here is what I submitted in March of 2016:
"The spread calculation for Storm and Sanitary Analysis is not calculating property. As you can see from the attached SPF file, the calculation works for gutter slopes of 2%, however for slopes greater than 2% the program calculates a number under the actual value and for slopes under 2% it calculates a value over the actual value."
The two images below where submitted with the support ticket to depict how we did a manual...

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My Article About Enscape on ArchDaily

I wrote an article for Enscape that was published today at the popular architecture-focused ArchDaily website.

ArchDaily has a significant following so it is quite an honor to have an article published there. As...