Sunday, December 30, 2012

Daylight Visualiser

At the moment I am contemplating putting a small extension on the back of my house. As you can imagine I modelled this in Revit, it would have been wrong to develop it in anything less. :-) But whilst I was looking for a Velux Revit window family I came across this….

BTW the families on the Velux website are very poor; instead go to the BIMstore you will find some very good Velux families which actually work rather than a dodgy DWG import. Why do manufacturers still continue to do that?

Anyway, to better understand lighting I tried the Velux Daylight Visualiser. Daylight Visualiser works for Mac & PC. I created a separate export 3d view in Revit, limited just the geometry I needed & exported as a DWG 2007.

imageI was then able to import this into Daylight Visualiser, setup the location, apply some simple materials, setup the time of day & render away. It works well, its reasonable quick & quality is good. So after a few hours of rendering I managed to knock a animated lighting analysis which was good enough to understand the lighting impact on the extension.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays…..


Another year is almost over! I’d like to wish all those that follow my blog Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays & a Happy New Year to you all! I look forward to sharing my ideas, thoughts, concepts, tricks & tips in 2013. :-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

What happened to Project & Shared

Paul Woddy & I picked up this when we were at AU2012, whilst helping out in a labs class, it seemed to elude us & maybe a few others as well. It relates to the naming protocol of Elevation Base parameter in Revit 2013. As far as we could both remember, up until Revit 2013 your  Elevation Base constraint parameter was either Project or Shared. The image below is from Revit 2012.


The Revit 2012 help describes Elevation Base as follows.

If the elevation base value is set to Project, the elevation reported on a level is with respect to the project origin. If the base value is set to Shared, then the elevation reported is with respect to the shared origin. To change the shared origin, you can relocate the project.

Now lets see what appeared in Revit 2013! For some reason the Elevation Base Point parameter names have changed. I can see why this has happened, maybe for consistency with the away you approach shared coordinates & levels, Neither  the less naming is confusing! Why point? When architects talk about a height, typically we talk about a level, not necessarily a point.


The Revit 2013 helps describes Elevation Base as follows:-

If the elevation base value is set to Project Base Point, the elevation reported on a level is with respect to the project origin.

If the base value is set to Survey Point, then the elevation reported is with respect to the fixed survey point.

At the end of the day, its not a big deal, but these minor changes need to be watched for.

Friday, December 07, 2012



So today CASE Inc in collaboration with SOM launched AEC-APPs. Think of it as a social community driven site for the AEC industry to share technology tools & solutions. Its free to sign up, upload your favourite apps, rate them, rate others, discover what others are using. A one stop shop for the AEC professional looking to expand there BIM capabilities through the use of new technology.

AU2012 video + sound

AU2012 is over for another year, the key take homes included formit, BIM360, Fusion360, Cloud, BIM, more BIM & more Cloud. So rather than boring you with stuff you can find else where, find below a nice video of the trek from the room I was sharing with Don Rudder at Luxor to the Mandalay Bay AU2012 catering facilities! :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Can’t schedule wall constraint - part 2

Following on from last weeks post about not being able to schedule the wall constraint, I noted it can be done via the API; it can also be done via an odbc export or even in tool such as Ideate BIMLink. Now, I am no API guru, so I had call on my good friend & fellow CASE Inc colleague, Don Rudder to help me out. Fortunately, I come up the problems & shoot them over to him, for him to weave his magic! So this is a sneak peak at a tool which will be released, hopefully, in December as part of CASE-apps. The tool in essence allows you to get access to any parameter from any category & pass it to a target parameter.Steps are:-

  • Select a category
  • All parameters can be used as the source for data
  • Only Non Read-Only Text parameters can serve as the target (where the data from the source will be sent)
  • Select a data format option (human readable would be 2’-6” as opposed to 30.0)
  • Click OK


When the tool is run, if it encounters an group, it will throw up the following warning message as it tries to ungroup the elements on the fly & write the data. If you have lot of groups, this could take some time to go through clicking the “ok” button, however it will be quicker than manually inputting the data.


A resulting dialog shows a count of errors will then be displayed.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Differences between editing - LT v Full Revit

Discovered this today whilst working with Revit LT. If you model a floor, roof, wall or slab in Revit LT, once the component is modelled, if you just double click the element you automatically go into edit sketch mode; which is different compared with full Revit where you required to select the edit boundary button.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can’t schedule wall level constraint

One really annoying thing you can’t do in Revit is the ability to schedule a wall & know its wall constraint. What is more frustrating is that the wall constraint is exposed in the API, so tools like Ideate BIM link will allow you to pick up the constrain & schedule this.


Manually, you can get around this by assigning a family parameter within the fields section of a wall schedule. Give it a name, something like “level location”. You will need to manually enter text by switching to a each plan view & select all instances of the wall type, or using the filter function to select all the walls across each view. It should not be too time consuming, but could be problematic with groups, but it does require you to follow the process carefully.


However,  with my good friend & colleague Don is cooking something up which should make this whole process a lot easier. When its ready we will let you know.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Revit 2013 update Release 2

Today Autodesk have released  Revit 2013 service pack 2. You can download the Revit Architecture version from here….

If you have one box, then download this version (ie. the one for the Design & Create suites )

Be sure to read the list of enhancements & fixes…..

beta openNURBS plugin for Vasari 2013!

My colleague & all round smart guy Nathan Miller has been at it again, this time he has produced a beta openNURBS plugin for Vasari 2013! Want to know how to get hold of it & have a play? Well you need to install the latest version of the CASE Add-in manager which can be download from here 

If you run up the latest version of the add-in you will find Import openNURBS for Vasari 2013 listed. Make sure you don’t have Revit or Vasari running when you download & install the plugin, that’s very important.


Once install, do a quick machine reboot, then fire up Vasari. You will find a new tab called Case Design Inc, where you will be able to locate the Import OpenNURBS beta plugin.


Next start a new mass family. Then select the Import openNURBS tool, the following dialogue box will appear which will provide various options as well as the ability to load in a Rhino file.


I left everything default. Nathan kindly provided me with an example Rhino file, which I imported. Once you have the file selected, just hit the Import button. It will take few minutes for the file to rebuild, but it does depend on the complexity of the file you are trying to import. After a few minutes this little beauty appeared in Vasari! You can also find more details on Nathans blog. Overall this is looking very positive & will certainly start to improve the interoperability between Rhino & Vasari & Revit.


Friday, October 05, 2012

Latest DesignbyMany challenge



So do you think you are a winner? Well why not check out the latest designbymany competition. Sponsored by Autodesk, the challenge entails designing a modular bus shelter. More detail can be found here…

A pretty heavy weight judging panel as well, including Glenn Katz ,Marcello Sgambellrui & Steve Stafford. Oh yeah, you could even win a copy of Revit LT, not to be sniffed at for a few hours of design thinking. Go for it! I did a few years ago & won a printer. :-)


Monday, September 10, 2012

CASE-Inc are coming to the UK

imageToday I have the pleasure in formally announcing you that I have joined CASE Inc. as Director of Implementation.

After almost 4 inspiring years at HOK (it was actually a little longer than this, as I provided Revit training in the early days of Revit implementation at HOK) it was time to make a change. It may be the worst kept secret in the BIM community, but we needed to get all the t&c's sorted before anything could be officially announced. CASE Inc was formed 4 years ago to fill the gap between building design and technology. Based in New York City, CASE Inc provides strategic advising to building design professionals, contractors and owners seeking to supplant traditional project delivery methods through technology-driven process innovation.

My role will be to continue the impressive work already started and bring the principles that CASE Inc have established in the US to the UK. I will also focus on directing and employing BIM implementation services and supporting AEC clients globally from our London office. 

In many ways the timing is right, with the UK government requiring level 2 BIM on all publicly procured projects by 2016, the design community and owners alike need as much support as possible to help them establish these new processes and ways of working. The BIM process has a long way to go; in fact because of its tight reliance on technology it's much like a treadmill. Once on the path don't expect to see the finish line anytime soon. I have quoted to people that we are only just at the very infancy of BIM. Some go on about it being something that was started in the 70's / 80's and is nothing really new. That might be correct, as the concept of model based design has been around for many years, Rucaps Sonata is a case in point But only now has computing power, the software, the mindset set, sustainability requirements & the need to be more efficient, started to give BIM the credit it truly deserves.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Revit LT finally released


So today Autodesk finally announced the release of Revit LT. More details can be found here….

Autodesk Revit LT is built on the Revit platform for BIM and allows users to create designs efficiently with 3D, real-world building objects to produce reliable, coordinated documentation faster.  Revit-based applications help deliver better coordination and quality, and can contribute to higher profitability for architects, design professionals and the rest of the building team. Some of the benefits of Revit LT include:

  • Work more efficiently with a single, coordinated model that allows users to concurrently design and document building projects. Autodesk Revit LT automatically manages iterative changes to building models throughout the documentation process. As a result, a consistent representation of the building is maintained, helping to improve drawing coordination and reducing errors.
  • Design and visualize in 3D. Revit LT allows users to see their designs virtually, improving their understanding of the building and its spaces, and helping them communicate design ideas to clients more clearly and effectively.
  • Create photorealistic renderings in the cloud. Users who purchase Autodesk Subscription with Revit LT can render in the cloud directly from the Revit LT interface, enabling them to produce compelling, photorealistic visualizations without tying up their desktop
  • Exchange designs in the DWG or RVT file formats. Produce designs in the DWG file format, and experience fluid file exchange with project team members using other Autodesk Revit software applications.


What I think is more important, is to actually understand what you are & what you aren’t getting by purchasing the LT product. This is explained in more detail on the feature comparison page. You should review this carefully.


Certainly if you are a small firm looking into the delve into the the large pit of BIM, it certainly worth reviewing Revit LT. But you must be aware of some of the limitations of the product, particularly the lack of collaborative working functionality.That’s not to say you cannot link in Revit Structure or MEP files, as you certainly can. If you are a small firm developing Revit content or working on small projects where you don’t need to necessarily collaborate between users working on the same dataset, then Revit LT is a good start point.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Autodesk Vasari Beta 1 goes Live

Matt Jezyk Sr. Manager for AEC Conceptual Design Products, dropped me an email today with some exciting news.  Due to customer demand, the team are graduating Vasari from Autodesk Labs and are launching a Public Beta on the new site

The Project Vasari Technology Preview has been a very popular project on Autodesk Labs. With more than 60,000 downloads over the last 1 1/2 years it has made a large impact with our professional and educational AEC users and has dramatically exceeded our expectations. This project on Labs has allowed use to test out new ideas quickly and respond to user requests. 

Autodesk Vasari Beta 1 is a slimmed down version of Revit 2013 focusing on conceptual modeling and early analysis. It is meant for architectural designers and energy analysis who are not necessarily using Revit.  The new Beta 1 is file-format compatible with Revit 2013 and also contains all the features from previous versions of Project Vasari. The main new features of Beta 1 are Revit 2013 file-format compatibility, Cloud Rendering and Repeat/Divide features. A less restrictive End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) is also in place to allow firms to further test this pre-release product in their environments. Access to Autodesk 360 Energy Analysis is still available via a free Autodesk ID login. The Beta 1 release will expire on January 31st 2013.