Sunday, April 29, 2012

45 Autodesk® Revit® Tips in 45 Minutes

This material was created by Autodesk University faculty member Chad Smith, Solution Integrator, Copyright © (2011)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Accepting changes in the AEC industry

Sometimes peoples are asking me : "Why is Revit so difficult to learn ?" or "Why is BIM so hard to understand? " These are really good questions.

Like many other BIM softwares, Revit is a complex software (in terms of feature in the package) that can create drawings easily. This have been said, the real question should be : "Why are you so badly holding your old habits and blinding yourself from evolution & technology opportunities ?"

Old men answer : It was working like that 10 years ago. Why should we change a winning formula ?

My answer : The market is evolving and construction process are changing. Do you want growing opportunities and expand your buisness ? I am not saying that your actual proccess is bad, however dont't you agree that it can be improved ? Charles Darwin was saying : "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."and this is also true for the AEC industry. With BIM you can now plug any graphic or non graphic information such as time scheduling and technical data sheets in your model then share it with your project management system, estimation system or create automation opportunities. The idea is to centralize the information in a unique database to be able to create relationship between construction objects. By using the building information model in the different project lifecycle, from early design to facility management you are creating this database. Project players don't have to input the information in the same interface if you improve the interoperability between your softwares when there is no non-proprietary format available such as IFC, SDNF, CIS/2, etc. Bridging data between softare usually lead to new improved business process by eliminating redundant data input. Information can be viewable, shared, sorted, analysed or grouped to calculate almost everything you can imagine.

Don't be afraid of sharing, collaborating and exposing your ideas. Remember that if you don't pay attention to the new trends and delivery standards you're never going to survive according to the
"Theory of evolution"!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Autodesk Revit Server with Bluestreak Vs Graphisoft BIM server

Few years ago BIM collaboration across international offices were very expensive but the time has passed and now it becomes affordable for almost everyone. I am curious who has tried both Autodesk Revit Server with Bluestrak and Graphisoft BIM server ? It looks live they provide similar features & tools ...

Graphisoft BIM server


Revit Server Worksharing and 
With the Revit Activity Stream add-on app for Bluestreak, teams who work on a single Revit model can see all worksharing actions on the model to ensure smooth handoffs. When a Revit user saves to central, that action appears in the Bluestreak design stream and is shared with members of the selected Bluestreak group. With Bluestreak Desktop, these actions appear in real time. The latest Bluestreak Desktop, released in April of 2012, includes a new Worksharing tab to display the current synchronization status of shared Revit central files. The Activity tab continues to display notifications from Autodesk applications and team communications as before. And in the Activity tab, team members can post comments or questions related to the saved model, or they can request other group members to synchronize with central models when needed.

Learn more about Project Bluestreak

Features :
  • Share Revit Worksharing events with your Bluestreak Group through Bluestreak
  • Track relinquishment of Revit objects
  • See Revit Synchronize with Central comments
  • See current synchronization activity on Revit central files
  • Compatible with the Revit Server environment (in an older post I said that concerning worksharing monitoring.

What is BIM ?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Exchange Apps

After Apple's apps store, I am glad to present Autodesk's own apps market : Exchange App for Revit !

I found somme really interestng free apps. Here is my top 5

Solibri IFC Optimizer
 Solibri, Inc.
Solibri IFC Optimizer is built for optimizing ISO Standard IFC files. Optimization is lossless and the file size can be reduced by up to 90%. Optimized files are significantly faster to exchange and open. While plain compression (zip) reduces the typical file size to 15-30% of the original, the typical loading (IFC import) time does not change. With Solibri IFC Optimizer the optimized and compressed file can be only about 6% of the original file size and it opens in 17% of the original loading time. The actual ratios depend on how much redundancy the original file has.

Revit IFC Export Alternate UI 

This application provides an alternate user interface for the export of IFC files from Revit. This new user interface offers additional options not provided in the standard Revit user interface, and provides the ability to store setup configurations into the Revit model for reuse.

Revit Family Tools

The Revit Family Tools allow for easy Revit file management. This program has tools for comparing and merging shared parameters, deleting backup files, type catalog tools, and a family file version detector. Often we must edit our type catalogs, and those files must be saved using the .txt file extension for Revit to use them. However, at times we edit our type catalogs in Microsoft Excel, and later export them to .csv files. Upon completion we manually change the file extensions to .txt for use by Revit. The “Type Catalog Tools” tab automates this conversion from .csv to .txt. Creating families in Revit is typically tied into Shared Parameters. These parameters posses certain properties that must be unique between family files so the information can be entered in a similar way, and so that the families may be properly scheduled or exported to external data management solutions. If multiple shared parameter files start entering your family creation environment, it can be very difficult to manage which parameters to use, and determine which files contain which parameters. Merge Shared Parameters- Once shared parameter files have been compared, there are times when it makes sense to combine multiple files into a single file for future family creation. The “Merge Shared Params” function makes this process very easy. It can copy parameters and groups from one parameter file to the next. It assists in the detection of family versions. It is used to detect the version in which the family was last saved, and can get as detailed as the web update that was applied to the Revit application at the time of save. This is useful for determining if upgrading is needed, or perhaps if a family can be used in projects that are not on the current release of Revit prior to attempting loading.

File Upgrader  

File Upgrader will batch upgrade previous versions of Revit files to the Revit 2013 format. The tool is intended to help upgrade family contents, template files as well as project files. Every time users open a Revit file which was saved in a previous version of Revit, a standard dialog is displayed in the Revit user interface stating that the file is being upgraded. During the display of this dialog, Revit tries to upgrade the document to the current version. This slows down the process of opening a file. To save time opening older file versions during each of the subsequent attempts to open the file, users can manually open each of the Revit files and save it to the current version. This can be time consuming if there is a large set of files to upgrade across various folders and sub-folders. The File Upgrader tool saves time and manual labor by automating this process. This plug-in was first published as an ADN Plugin of the Month: The plug-in has been provided with the complete source code needed to build the application, with the intention of encouraging users of Autodesk software to use programming to tailor the products they use to their specific business needs.

Wiip MoveBackup

Revit create backup copies of the project at the same level than the project or the family file. This little utility allow you to move these files in a subdirectory named Backup.

Activating worksharing in your project template

Have you ever tried to activate the worksharing in a .rte file (Revit project template) ? If so you may have observe that the worksets tool is not available.

Here is a work around to active the worksharing in your project template :
  1. First edit the extension of your template for .rvt instead of .rte
  2. Open the .rvt file
  3. Activate the worksharing
  4. Save the file
  5. Modify the extension for .rte instead of .rvt
  6. Now you have your new project template with worksharing activated
While starting a new project, you will be asked to save back the central file because it have been moved. This is because you have modified the file extension and Revit doesn't make any difference between moving and renaming a file. 

By activating the worsharing in your templates you can set the manager as an owner of the families, project standards & views to "lock" them and avoid users to do modifications on specific settings or objects.