Monday, March 30, 2020

Staff Training During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Last week I had the opportunity to deliver staff training, here at LHB, during the COVID-19 pandemic with everyone working from home. Turns out, having a captive audience is highly conducive to favorable attendance! Thus, this is the topic of today's post.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, March 27, 2020

Past Projects - US Forest Service Kawishiwi Ranger Station

Today I want to shift gears and share a non-COVID-19 #WorkFromHome type post...

When I started working at LHB in 2004 I worked in the Government Studio for two years. I had already written my first Revit textbook (copyright 2003 on Revit 5.0) but LHB did not have Revit installed on any computers just yet. About a year in, I worked with my predecessor, the firm's CAD Administrator, to make the LHB titleblock that the housing group would use on their first Revit projects.

One of the first projects I worked on at LHB, therefore, was done in AutoCAD. I have plenty of experience in AutoCAD, including this book I still update every year: Residential Design Using AutoCAD 2021. LHB still uses AutoCAD (Civil 3D mainly) on all of its horizontal projects; civil, survey, bridge, etc.

The project I want to share today is the Kawishiwi Ranger Station located in Ely, Minnesota for the US Forest Service. The design included retail and office space as well as Apparatus bays for forest fire fighting equipment.


  • 2009 US Forest Service Eastern Region Honor Awards – Walk the Talk for Sustainability
  • LEED Silver Certified

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

ArchSmarter - Free Dynamo Workshop Today

A quick post to share a free Dynamo webinar my friend Michael Kilkelly is doing today!

Update: here is a link to the recording: click here

Here are the details...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

AKN Article: Get Started with Desktop Connector for BIM 360

Autodesk Desktop Connector is required when using Revit and BIM 360 Design to host projects in the cloud... in today's post I will share some information I have found recently.
Note that the #WorkFromHome COVID-19 free extended trial for BIM 360 Design does not apply to AutoCAD Civil 3D use at this time, only Revit. I have had a lot of problems getting Civil 3D, Desktop Connector, and/or BIM 360 Design working. Not sure if it is something with our network, or what... anyone out there actually using Civil 3D and BIM 360 Design on multi-user projects?

Check out this FAQ on the extended free trial for BIM 360 Design. Only one person needs to sign up and they can invite others (unlimited users and projects).

keep reading to learn more...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Introduction to Setting up Revit Projects in Autodesk BIM 360 Design - YouTube Video

Hoping to help those new to Autodesk's BIM 360 Design and needing to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I created an 18 minute step-by-step video and shared it on YouTube.

Please share this post to help get the word out and reduce the time it takes firms who have not used BIM 360 Design to get up to speed.

keep reading to learn more...

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Top 5 Steps to Securely Work from Home by SANS

My friend Ben Bernard, cyber security expert and computer services specialist in NDSU's architecture program, shared this great link with 5 tips to work securely from home by SANS.

These are great tips for students and processionals (pdf): Top 5 Steps to Securely Work from Home

Who is SANS?
The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification for government and commercial-institution professionals worldwide. Please visit for more information.

Be sure to check out this info as well: SANS Security Awareness Work-from-Home Deployment Kit.

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, March 20, 2020

Autodesk BIM 360 Design Set Up Tips & Tricks

In light of Autodesk's announcement yesterday to make BIM 360 Design free through May to help AEC firms through the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to gather up my posts on this topic to help others get up to speed.

At LHB, we made the move to BIM 360 Design, for all Revit projects, about a year ago. This includes Architecture, Interior Design, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and some Landscape Architecture. The posts below are all things I wish I knew from day one!

I also included a guest post from my friend Mike Matheny, at BKV Group, who has been doing BIM 360 Design longer and with twice as many staff! Here is his personal cellphone number in case you have any questions 651-430-XXXX - just kidding, Mike! (but I have it;))

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Autodesk to Offer BIM 360 Design Free Until May 31, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the entire world, Autodesk offers some relief for challenges facing many AEC firms. They are offering free use of BIM 360 Design, for commercial use, until May 31, 2020!

Using BIM 360 Design allows staff to work from a company laptop (named user license, checked out network license) or a home computer (named user license or home use license) and work directly against the BIM 360 Design project in the cloud and not have to connect to an office server at all!
We use CTC Software's Hive to host all out content in the cloud as well. Avail and Unfi may also support cloud-host content.
Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Free eBook access during campus closures via RedShelf - My books included!

My publisher, SDC Publications, along with many others have partnered with RedShelf  to make eBooks available for free during the current COVID-19 pandemic. My books are included.

Keep reading to learn more...

Monday, March 16, 2020

Remote Working with Autodesk Products - License check out, Home Use Option, and Free Revit Viewer

If you find yourself needing to work remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should be aware of the following tips related to Autodesk products...

If your company uses a multi-user network license system, you will need to know how to check out a license if taking a company laptop with you.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, March 13, 2020

Teaching Remotely - Architecture and Interior Design - Sharing My Experience

More and more schools are temporarily turning to remote teaching in the midst of the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Several university in my region (upper Midwest, USA) have already made the switch, or are planning to do so. My son's high school will be spending today talking about eLarning.

I wanted to take a moment and share my experience remote teaching for graduate architecture students at NDSU in today's post.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Enscape Blog Post - COVID-19: Working From Home

I had the opportunity to provide some input on the latest Enscape blog post related to working from home for AEC professionals. Be sure to check out the detailed checklist within that post. Feel free to share your related tips in the comments below.

To read to post, click here.

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, March 11, 2020

BIM Thoughts Podcast and Winter Biking

I had the opportunity to be a guest on the podcast BIM Thoughts again. This new episode is now live.

In this podcast we talk about the fun we are having at LHB using things like VR, AR, Enscape, Fuzor, Yulio, Trimble XR10 with Microsoft HoloLens 2 and more! My winter commuting in Northern Minnesota was also a topic of discussion:)

Keep reading to learn more...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Comparing Analysis Tools - Lighting Calcs

I recently started taking some time to better understand the Rhino ecosystem, particularly around analysis. Today's post shows my results from testing three ways to develop daylighting calculations for illuminance at a single point in time.

The tools used are:
  • Rhino + Diva
  • Revit + ElumTool
  • Revit + Autodesk Lighting

My example is based on the Diva tutorials found here. I downloaded the free sample Rhino model and then recreated the same model in Revit.

The assumption, for this study, is that each tool will achieve the same results if everything is setup correctly... and that turned out to be mostly true!
BTW, my friends at the University of Minnesota did a similar study about a year ago in preparation for their new lighting design minor; read about that here: Lighting Design at the University of Minnesota.

Keep reading to learn more...

Friday, March 6, 2020

Remote Assistance and Update Tracking

Back in 2011, at the first-ever Revit Technology Conference (RTC) North America in California (now called BILT, DBEI, and Digital Build Week,) I presented two sessions; one on Design Technology support in a larger firm, and the other on revisions in Revit. In today's post I want to share few tips from that presentation that are still relevant today.

Keep reading to learn more...

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Advancing Computational Building Design 2020

Today's post shares some information about a conference chock-full of top caliber speakers in our industry; Advancing Computational Building Design 2020.

I had the chance to talk to two friends who presented at this conference last year, Carl Storms and Michael Kilkelly, who both said it was informative and thought provoking. It sounds like a smaller, more intimate, conference where one can learn about practical applications of computational design and get the opportunity to have meaningful, in-depth, conversations with attendees and speakers.

Computational design is something we should all be keeping on our radar, even if not currently using it, given its trajectory we are seeing in architecture... and other fields.

Keep reading to learn more...

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

NVIDIA GTC 2020 Changed to Online Event Due to Coronavirus Situation

Breaking news from NVIDIA this week... they are converting their flagship GPU technology conference in Silicon Valley to an online event this year due to the corona virus situation. All attendees will receive a full refund and, now, anyone can register for free and watch online.

On a similar note, BILT-ASIA 2020 in Singapore was postponed; click here for more info.

Here is what their website says (read more here)...

Keep reading to learn more...

Duplicating a Material and its assets

It is important to know how to properly duplicate a Material in your Revit model, so you do not unintentionally affect another Material. Today's post highlights how to do this and promotes a Revit Idea I created to better deal with challenge in Autodesk Revit (please vote!).

If you Duplicate a Material in your model, the Appearance Asset will be associated to the new Material AND the Material you copied it from! For example, in the image below, we will right-click on Carpet (1) and duplicate it. Before we duplicate it, notice the Appearance Asset named “RED” is not shared.

Keep reading to lean more...

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Promoting Architecture to High School Students

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to local high school students about a career in Architecture along with my LHB colleague Caralyn Kieper and Aaron Kelly. We were at Duluth East High School.

The photo below is of Caralyn and Aaron getting the discussion started... of course, a strategic photo to make sure you cannot see the students faces:) The class was a STEM class on Architecture and Engineering. I saw several screens with Autodesk Revit open and there were SkillsUSA and Solidworks posters on the walls.

Several good questions about types of projects we work on and technology... surprisingly, none on how much money we make.

A handful of the students indicated they were interested in architecture. We encouraged them to reach out individually and set up an appointment to job shadow... which is a pretty cool and formal process (meaning they get to spend a few hours in the office and met with various people in various roles).

Extra fun stuff!

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.