Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 2019 Posts

As the year comes to a close I thought I would write a short post on the top five posts of 2019 and mention a few of my favorites...

Before the top 5, here are a few of my personal favorites:

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, December 27, 2019

Trimble XR10 with Microsoft HoloLens 2 Unboxing Video

I just received the Trimble XR10 with Microsoft HoloLens 2 in the mail today and created my first-ever unboxing video. While I have yet to power it up and test it out, the device looks very durable and aesthetically pleasing (sorry, I'm an architect so I had to mention aesthetics:)).

Disclaimer: None needed as this device was not free or discounted in any way!

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Sustainable Design Starts with You!

Most people I talk to within the architectural profession say their firm does not do enough, if any, energy modeling. Surprisingly, less than half of the firms who have committed to the AIA's 2030 Commitment have not reported their portfolios (2019 Report, pg. 26). Additionally, the AIA 2030 By the Numbers Report says...
"In 2018, on average, modeled projects have an approximately 25% higher pEUI reduction than non modeled projects. Yet, the percentage of projects being modeled has not significantly changed since 2017, hovering around 50% for both the number of projects and the percentage of total GSF. This represents a significant missed opportunity." (2019 Report, pg. 28)
My impression is, in addition to the pressures of project deadlines, people just don't know where to start. The barrier to entry can appear especially limiting to those without any formal training around sustainable design, environmental science or energy modeling in particular.
Regardless of the preconceived obstacles,
sustainable design begins with you!
Thus, today's motivational post will highlight several resources and ideas you can use to develop your professional skills, raise the bar at your firm, and make the world a better place:)

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, December 20, 2019

BIM Training Material I have Created

Given the various locations my training materials can be found, I thought it would be helpful to consolidate the options into a single post. These are great options for personal development or for assigning to new or emerging staff.

ArchSmarter courses:
These courses are composed of several short videos, within an LMS that tracks your progress.

ElumTools courses:
Learn how to do lighting analysis within Revit using ElumTools (by the makers of AGI32).

These books are used by professionals and within the education market all over North America.

Enscape blog posts:

Since 2016 I have written over 30 blog posts for Ensacpe, on their website. One of my favorite images, from the post on glazing, is shown below (click to enlarge)...

Thanks for your support!

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Check out my video-based  courses on ArchSmarter.

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Selfies from Autodesk University 2019

Having a blog, I am in the habit of constantly taking pictures and selfies. At Autodesk Universit, I took a lot of both. So, for my AU 2019 Recap post I decided to divide and conquer... using just the photos in that post and saving the selfies for this post:)

Sorry to those I talked to and did not think to take one, or did not have time...

All selfies below are generally in chronological order...

Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost... from Autodesk Expert Elite lunch.

Keep reading to see more...

Monday, December 16, 2019

Chrome Opens to Blank Pages

I recently has an issue with the Google Chrome browser not opening properly on my PC. Chrome would open, but the screen just contained the message "Can't open this page". That was true for any link or tab. I did some looking online and found some lengthy posts with MANY things to try if Chrome was not working. None of them worked.

Today's post covers the solution found to make this work.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, December 13, 2019

How to Create Flexible Conduits in Revit

Today we have a guest post from Fabio Sato, someone I finally met in-person at Autodesk University 2019 last month, but had chatted with in the Revit beta forums for a few years now.

His specialty is electrical, so I asked if he was interested in contributing a post to the BIM Chapters blog and he responded positively with this... enjoy!

Fabio Sato 
Electrical engineer, graduated in Brazil, working at Filippon Engenharia as BIM manager since 2013 and as independent BIM consultant since 2017. 

For more information check https://www.linkedin.com/in/fabio-itiro-sato-14564016/

How to Create Flexible Conduits in Revit

Different from ducts and pipes, there is no flex conduits in Revit. As anything in life, there are positive and negative aspects because of it.

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wireless HTC Vive Cosmos - A Win for AEC

The world of VR continues to evolve, which includes higher quality graphics, more portability and wireless freedome... as I generally predicted earlier this year in my Enscape blog post Technology Trends That Will Shape The AEC Industry in 2019.

In today's post I will share a few details about the new HTC Vive Cosmos and some highlights from the Wireless Adapter setup. The high-quality graphics, wireless freedom and inside-out tracking make it a great option for real-time rendered VR experiences in AEC.

Keep reading to learn more...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Reflection on Autodesk University Las Vegas 2019

I hadn't been to Autodesk University in a number of years. But this year I doubled down and went to two; London (June) and Las Vegas (November). Both where really great conferences, where I met lots of people, went to some great sessions and even got a selfie with Autodesk's CEO, Andrew Anagnost. In Vegas, I also presented twice.

Today's post will reflect on AU Las Vegas 2019, click here for a recap on AU London 2019.

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

A well kept Revit secret: the CTRL key

Today's post comes compliments of industry expert Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York City.

Did you know that the CTRL key has special powers when using modify tools like moving, copying, rotating, mirroring, aligning, join...?

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, November 29, 2019

New ArchSmarter Enscape Course + Black Friday Sale = Awesome Fun

Have you been wanting to learn Enscape but don't know where to begin? Or, have staff asking for related learning resources?

Well, I have a great option for you! Today's post covers a new ArchSmarter course I created to help learn and maximize the potential of Enscape; the real-time rendering software for Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owners.


  • Videos: 26
  • Time:    3 hours
  • Cost:     $99/person (save 30% per sale mentioned below)

ArchSmarter Black Friday Sale:

  • Save 30% now through Monday
  • At checkout, enter the code THANKS
  • See Michael's email below for more details and additional offerings

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

AIA Minnesota Convention 2019 Recap

The annual Minnesota Conference on Architecture, hosted by the Minnesota chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is now behind us. I was honored to present for a fourth year in a row on efforts I am engaged in here at LHB. Today I will share a recap of that event. Perhaps this post will entice you to attend this prestigious event in the Mid-West next year!
"Minnesota AIA is one of my favorites - more like a national conference than a state conference" Randy Deutsch AIA, LEED AP - Architect, Author, Educator, Speaker

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, November 25, 2019

Revit 2020.2 Update Released - What's New?

While over 12k Autodesk customers where arriving at Autodesk University last week -- in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA -- the Revit 2020.2 update was released. This is another solid list of mid-major-release updates, which spoon feeds new features, along with bug fixes, to subscription customers.

This post will highlight these new features...

Keep reading to learn more...

Saturday, November 23, 2019

New Posts Coming Soon, Stay Tuned!

It has been super busy with conferences the past two weeks.

Please watch next week for reflections on the Minnesota AIA Convention and Autodesk University. I will also provide a brief overview of the new features in Revit 2020.2 which was recently released!

Until then, check out who I had lunch with as an Autodesk Expert Elite... Autodesk's CEO Andrew Anagnost.

More on all this next week!

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Check out my video-based  courses on ArchSmarter.

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Friday, November 15, 2019

My Sessions at Autodesk University Next Week in Las Vegas

I will be participating in two talks next week, while attending Autodesk's flagship conference, Autodesk University in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This post will provide the details, including one short talk that will be live streamed to the world for free! I will also be giving away a few books:)

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

New Enscape Release Today Supports NVIDIA RTX

A quick note to point out the new Enscape build published today now officially supports NVIDIA's RTX technology!

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, November 11, 2019

BIM 360 Design - Specify Worksets in Revit 2020

A quick Revit 2020 tip... since the BIM 360 icon appears to be removed from the Open dialog in Revit 2020, you should know about this tip when needing to Specify worksets during model open...

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

ArchSmarter Webinar - Revit Rendering Makeover by Michael Kilkelly

In this week's Thursday Top 5 email, Michael Kilkelly from ArchSmarter announces a free webinar he is doing next week. Don't get the weekly email? Sign up here: https://archsmarter.com/join/

Here are the details...
I'm hosting a makeover show next week! No, I haven't become a beauty blogger. Instead, we'll be looking at ways you can makeover your Revit renderings. From view selection to lighting to texture images, there's a lot you can do to drastically improve the quality of your renderings. In the workshop, I'll share five ways you can add a little pop and a lot more sizzle to your Revit renderings. The workshop takes place next Thursday, November 14th at 2 pm EST. 
Click here to register for the free workshop.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Minnesota Conference on Architecture - Next Week!

Next week is the annual Minnesota Conference on Architecture hosted by the Minnesota American  Institute of Architects. I am participating in two presentations, and I would like to share the session details with you in today's post...

Keep reading to learn  more...

Monday, November 4, 2019

Scheduling Revit Content with Images; Type versus Instance

Revit's built-in image parameters allow an image to appear in schedules, once placed on sheets. However, the type parameter, called Type Image, works in an unusual manor...

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, November 1, 2019

Autodesk Account Username for Revit and BIM 360

I recently learned that the username associated with a new Autodesk account does not/cannot match your email address anymore. I found this out when a new user was asking why her Revit username was rather critic, e.g. FirstName.LastName8CMG4.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, October 31, 2019

BIM 360 Design now supports AutoCAD Civil 3D

Some exciting new from Autodesk this week... BIM 360 Design now supports AutoCAD Civil 3D!

I have not tried this yet, but am excited as all our building projects are in BIM 360 Design and half of our firm (of 250 people) use Civil 3D. This should also be great for staff who need to work from home or remotely as VPN, RPD and other methods tend to be laggy... stay tuned for more on how it works once I get a chance to kick the tires.

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Lighting Design and Real-Time Rendering at the University of Minnesota - Fall 2019

Yesterday, on another beautiful fall day in St. Paul, Minnesota, I once again had the good fortune to present to Professor Abimbola O. Asojo's interior design students at the University of Minnesota. I covered lighting analysis using the Autodesk Revit add-in ElumTools by Lighting Analysts, Inc. I also spent some time on Enscape as well!

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Accessible Revit Videos

Today I wanted to share a little information about the videos that come with my Revit textbooks.

First of all, most of my Revit books come with videos... quite a few, actually (see the lists below). They can be downloaded, from the SDC Publications portal, by the student using their unique access code found on the inside-front cover of the book.

Second, they are all available in an accessible format for those with hearing impairments, which is a requirement of many educational institutions.

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, October 28, 2019

The ACAN Symposium 2019 in Nigeria

Later this week I will be giving a presentation, remotely, at The ACAN Symposium, on Future Trends in the AEC Industry, in Nigeria.

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Reflecting on BILT Europe 2019 in Scotland

I recently returned from the BILT Europe 2019 conference in Edinburgh Scotland.

In today's post I will reflect on the event, sharing several photographs. Overall, the entire trip was amazing... from a great conference, an evening event where my kids got to sword fight each other at a historic estate, to a family excursion into the Scottish Highlands.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Case of Many Missing Elements in a Linked Revit Model

A quick share at the week's end...

One way in which elements might not be showing up from a linked model is via workset control. In the Manage Links dialog, entire worksets may be turned off. This applies to the entire host model.

Keep reading for a little more...

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Going Offline - Heading to BILT Europe Today

I am heading off to Scotland today. I will be presenting on lighting analysis and helping out at the Enscape booth at the BILT Europe 2019 conference..

Here is a post about the session I will be doing: BILT Europe 2019 - Professional Lighting Analysis for Architects

And, just for fun, here are some images I posted on Twitter recently... having some fun with Enscape. The mud and puddles are made with a single texture applied to a flat surface. The rhino is the handy work of Marcello Sgambelluri who created this animal in Revit.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Case for Comfort - A POE Whitepaper on ROAST

ROAST is a web-based Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) tool developed by the research and architecture firm KieranTimberlake. In today's post I want to share a whitepaper they developed which makes the case for surveying building occupants to better understand their overall comfort. This information can then be used to make adjustments which will improve comfort and thus promote better health and productivity.
Disclaimer: None needed... I was not asked nor paid to promote this product.

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

NVIDIA Driver Download Options Explained

When downloading the latest NVIDIA graphics driver you are prompted to select a Download Type. I reached out to my friends at NVIDIA to learn more about what the two options really mean... today's post helps to answer this question.

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, September 30, 2019

AIA MN 2019 Convention - Design Technology Panel

In about seven weeks I will be participating in two sessions at the Minnesota Conference on Architecture - A'19 MN hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Today I want to share some details on one of them... which is a panel discussion around new tech in AEC.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, September 27, 2019

Autodesk Webcast Recording: Revit 2020.1 Webinar: Revit Systems Analysis for MEP

If you have anything to do with Revit and mechanical design you will want to check out this recorded webinar by Autodesk's Senior Product Line Manager, MEP & Building Performance Analysis, Ian Molloy.

Revit 2020.1 Webinar: Revit Systems Analysis for MEP

keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Virtual Reality at Vision Northland Groundbreaking

Yesterday I had the opportunity to deliver virtual reality at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital project LHB is involved in with lead design firm EwingCole. The $800 million dollar project is for Essentia Health, called Vision Northland, and replaces the hospital where I was born!

Read on to learn more...

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Price Reduction - Revit MEP Remodels and Alternates - ArchSmarter Course for $99

I am happy to announce the ArchSmater Course titled Revit MEP Remodels and Alternates is now only $99.

This easy to follow multi-media set will quickly help any MEP designer, engineer or contractor understand the ins-and-outs of important concepts such as phasing and design options, which are often required on sustainable, remodel, addition and bid option projects.
"This course was developed by an accomplished author who has presented on this topic all over the world and co-developed the popular Revit MEP Productivity Pack (MEPPP) managed by CTC Software."
This post will provide a few highlights, but be sure to head over to the ArchSmarter site for the full rundown and to access a free sample video segment.

ArchSmarter course link: Revit MEP Remodels and Alternates


Friday, September 20, 2019

BILT Europe 2019 - Professional Lighting Analysis for Architects

I will be presenting on professional lighting design with a focus  on a BIM-centric workflow at BILT Europe 2019 on a couple weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland!. Today's post is a sneak peak at what I will be presenting on... including some material from my 64-page handout.

keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

NDSU 2nd Yr Arch visits LHB

Last week LHB hosted 60 second-year architecture students from North Dakota State University (NDSU), again...

Today's post recaps this super fun activity!

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

One Button Shortcuts in Revit

Today's post comes compliments of my friend Pieter Schiettecatte from A+I in New York City.

Did you know you can have 'one button shortcuts' in Revit?

Normally, Revit requires two buttons for any shortcut (MV for move, CO for copy etc). However, these commands are used so often it would be faster to just have one button (M, C, ..). 

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, September 13, 2019

AUGIWorld June 2019 Issue - My Article

AUGI World magazine featured an article I wrote promoting industry standing within MEP, focused around the Revit ecosystem. This actually came out in June, and I forgot to share it here...

The article is titled Promoting Industry Standards.

Read it now: AUGIWorld June 2019 Issue

I hope you like it!

Related link:

For BIM Chapters updates, follow @DanStine_MN on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

Check out my video-based  courses on ArchSmarter.

I also write blog posts for Enscape - a new paradigm in rendering, animation and VR for AEC.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Revit Design Options and Electrical Circuiting

Revit has a feature called design options, which facilitates different designs in different phases. This is mainly meant for preliminary concept development, but can also be used to manage bid alternates through construction documents (CDs). In the image below, we used design options to manage a bid alternate for pricing on two additional lanes in a new swimming pool.

Using this feature into CDs is not without its challenges and limitations. Today's post highlights electrical circuiting in the context of design options, and then closes with a mention of a related ArchSmarter course I created as well as some 2008-vintage renderings of this pool addition!

keep reading to lean more...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Revit Room Area Basics - Part II

Following up on last week's Part I on a basic post about Revit's Room and Space area calculations, I wrote today's post...

Our main focus here will be on linked models, and how area is calculated. Specifically, we will assume this is an MEP model with Spaces placed in it. The architectural model is shown in the first image below (click to enlarge)... notice the it is set to calculate area from the face of walls.

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Helpful Posts for New Students

Now that we are past the Labor Day holiday here in the USA, most students here are back to school.

With that in mind, here are a few helpful posts to get your semester of learning Autodesk Revit off to a good start:

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

NDSU - First Week of School - Fall 2019

The first week of another school year is in the books at NDSU in Fargo, North Dakota, USA. Today's post is about that first class and a more.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, August 29, 2019

ATG Presentation on PBR Materials and Enscape

My friend, Josh Radle over at ATG, did a webinar yesterday on PBR materials in Revit... showing the results of his tips in Enscape. Today's post highlights a cool trick I learned in this demo plus a link to the recorded session ready for you to watch now!

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Revit Room Area Basics - Part I

Revit has the ability to calculate the area of a room automatically. This is super helpful, but can be limiting at times. Today's post highlights the basics of how this works.

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, August 26, 2019

My Autodesk University 2019 Session - The New Game in Town: Link an AutoCAD Civil 3D Surface in Revit Through BIM 360

This November I will be presenting at Autodesk University 2019 in Las Vegas. Today's post is about this session, my co-speaker and my "job" at the Enscape booth in the exhibit hall...

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, August 23, 2019

Off Topic: 360 Video of my Bike Ride Home from Work

A little 'Friday fun' share today...

Last Friday I strapped a GoPro Fusion 360 spherical camera to my helmet and recorded my bicycle ride home. The ride is partially along Lake Superior; which is the largest fresh water lake in the world, 10% of the earth's fresh water and the same size as Ireland. Our city, Duluth, Minnesota, USA, (the world's most in-land port) is on a hillside, so my ride home is about a 500 feet vertical climb (equal to about a 40 story building :)).

Notice the LHB logo in the image above? Click to enlarge the image...

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Revit 2020.1 Update Released - What's New?

The Revit 2020.1 Update has just been released. This post will cover the highlights...

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

BIM 360 Design - Easy Upgrade Button

BIM 360 Design has another 'value add' element over traditional Revit workflows... that being the ability to automatically upgrade a project, including all its links. This is today's topic...

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, August 19, 2019

BIM 360 Design - Revit Links are Smarter than the Average Bear

When working on Revit projects in BIM 360 Design, it turns out Revit links are pretty smart... maybe too smart in some cases:) Today's post will show a few examples of what happens when linked models are renamed or deleted in Autodesk's BIM 360 Design cloud-based collaboration environment.

Keep reading to learn more...