Sunday, August 19, 2012

BIM Wash

I was talking about BIM wash to my colleagues few weeks ago and yesterday I found a good definition in The Hitch Hikers Guide to BIM by Alan James Wooldridge :

"The term BIMwash is derived from Whitewash, “a cheap white paint or coating of chalked lime used to quickly give a uniform clean appearance to a wide variety of surfaces”. 
Metaphorically, to whitewash means to “gloss over or cover up vices, crimes or scandals or to exonerate by means of […] biased presentation of data” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2003).
In essence, BIMwash is the attempt to hide imperfections (BIM Incompetency), while at the same time, promoting an inaccurate view of one’s BIM capability or credentials."

You can also read this post talking about BIMwash : 

Also, a related topic :

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Revit software language problem with nested parameters

I was reading few months ago a post from Mr. Steve Stafford and I decided to post a bug related to Revit nested families. Here is the post followed by the issue :

" It's a fairly common situation - you create a nested family (child) and load it into a host (parent) but the parameters in the child don't seem to respond to the parents. If you've got kids that's not so shocking? Children not listening to parents?

You've got to "connect the dots" to get it to work. It might seem a bit obtuse but you have to "do the work over" in the host family to be able to flex or fill out a parameter in the nested "child" family. The image below shows a nested Type Parameter getting connected to the host's version.

It isn't necessary to name the parameters exactly the same but it might help keep things straight."

Read the complete post here.

So has I was saying, I recently had a headatche trying to fix a familly that was using a nested family. Unable to find out what was happening with the family I decided to try it on an other computer then mine. This usually happens when you are running out of ideas and you give a try to weird ideas ;-) ... but amazingly it have worked fine. So let me explain what was going on. As usual I develop families on my computer on Revit in English. Some of the built-in parameters, such as the length parameter in the beam family template, are translated automatically between different Revit software languages. For example, Lenght becomes Longueur when using a French version of the software. Usually when you use only these parameters in formulas this is not an issue but if you use more then one level of families (nested families) Revit doesn't translate theses built-in parameters in the nested family formula at the lower level. Ex.:

Revit EN 
Host family (level 1) :
CalcLenght = Length*2

Nested family (level 2) :
Calc Lenght = Length*2

Revit FR

Host family (level 1) :
CalcLenght = Longueur*2

Nested family (level 2) :
Calc Lenght = Length*2

Now if you associate parameters between the host  the nested family you can get unexpected behavior depending on what Revit language is installed on the current computer. The formulas in the nested family will also becomes static (the last value calculated inside the family will be used).

So next time you develop content for your international offices, using different Revit languages, keep that in mind !

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Revit point cloud works

I recently worked on my first point cloud project. This was a industrial project modelled to help plan a reorganization of a part of a building. The technology is not as easy to use as it seems to be.

Here are some things you will have to keep in mind if you attempt to model a building steel structure from a point cloud :

  1. First select the scanner to be used : there is many types of scanners. Some of them scan in color (it take pictures while scanning and project the images on the points to color them) and older ones can only scan in black. Color may be helpfull to help you understand wich kind of object is reprensented by the 3D points.
  2. Sometimes the cloud is not enought dense and compact to understand the geometry. Unlike architectural modelling, building structure need much more accuracy to be able to determine wich steel section is to be modelled. This have been said, to get all the information required to match you "place holder" column to the real one you need all the dimensions (D, B, T) of the column to match it with the corresponding shape in the handbook. I suggest you scan more "stations" to get 3D points from more view angles. Remember that : what you see is what you get !
  3. Usually deflection (Yielding zone) of beams & columns and the utlimate physical limit (Plastic Zone) are 2 phenomena very difficult to observe on existing buildings. However this is something you can see by measuring the point cloud or simply by looking at it when the deformation is very high, wich I hope you will not see on your project. Make sure you define the LOD (Level Of Detail) required for the purpose of the current project. If you model is intended to be used for reinforcing the building structure you may want to see wich column is still at it maximum capacity or if this columns is to be replaced due to distortion. If you only need to get clearance from the model, you may not need this LOD so modeling it straight as it was shown on conceptual stage of the project should be enought. 

Luckett & Farley structural engineers used 3D laser scan to construct a Building Information Model (BIM) for a project. A series of scans in and around a chamber structure helped generate millions and millions of data points. The collective of points created a Point Cloud file, which Revit 2013 recognized and could be sliced, diced, and manipulated to see what was happening in the chamber.

Read more here!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why Trimble have bought SketchUp ?

Now everyone knows that Sketch up is now part of Trimble BIM plan. I have to admit that I have no idea what is the purpose of sketchup in a BIM process outside of the preliminary schematic design stage. This morning I have received my first newsletter from them but it's still very fuzzy :

"Depending on your level of SketchUp obsessiveness, you may or may not have heard about our recent Trimblification. Around the beginning of June, SketchUp officially left Google to become a part of Trimble. All you really need to know is that this is unequivocally a good thing for everybody. SketchUp's future is brighter than it's ever been, amazing new things are on the way, and the team (almost all of which accompanied the product to Trimble) is doing great. Best of all, we're focused in a way we haven't been in years: on our users, on new features, and on helping SketchUp to become everything you -- and we-- have always wanted it to be.

Now back to business as usual...

A couple of months ago, we quietly launched what is perhaps the most important addition to the SketchUp universe since version 8: The all-new SketchUp Showcase is a whizbang online home for SketchUp projects of every stripe. It's a two-billion watt spotlight that we custom-built for showing off our users' work, and folks who've seen it say it's beautiful. I hope you'll agree."

Friday, August 3, 2012


For the ones who don't know VEO it is developing a ground breaking collaborative cloud solution for the design, construction, and operation of buildings and other structures. Some of their products (VEO™ Lux - Navigate and Visualize, VEO™ Logic - Coordination and Validation, VEO™ Time - Scheduling and Sequencing, VEO™ Track - Asset tracking, VEO™ Archive - Model-linked document library, VEO™ Pulse - Real-time sensor data) are very impressive. Have a look at their promotional video below :

Revit coordinates

Back from a 2 weeks vacation here is my first post of August :

Excitech have created a free Revit plug-in that let you find & schedule x, y, z coordinates of elements in the project !

This allows users to more rapidly produce schedules of, for example, piling and services; as well as to publish coordinates for complex geometry across 3D space.

The coordinates are added to the objects element properties which will allow schedules to be generated and tags to be placed.

The application has been designed to publish X,Y and Z coordinates to selected object categories and store these within the objects instance properties.