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News from your Leading Autodesk Systems Integrator


Autodesk Fabrication CADmep has a very good tool build in for checking our models for things like duplicate items, connector mismatches, size mismatches, open ends and collisions.  Check out this video on service validation to learn more.  Download:  Service Validation Palette

Autodesk A360 Collaboration for Revit was released in January of 2015, and since then has seen a steadily increasing rate of adoption among users who need to host a Revit Central File in the cloud in order to collaborate with other firms and organizations, or even to collaborate within the same firm between geographically disperse offices. As would be expected, as the adoption rate increases, we have also seen an increase in support cases related to A360 - mostly involving the initial setup and confusion as to the relationship between A360 Collaboration for Revit and A360 Team.  We have recently completed a white paper to explain how these two services work together, how to set them up and the basics of working in A360 Collaboration for Revit. Download your copy here!

Autodesk Stingray is a relatively new addition to the Autodesk visualization toolset. Essentially it is a game engine, and what makes it especially compelling for building visualization is that it includes a plugin for 3ds Max that allows for a direct link between your 3ds Max scene and a Stingray environment, providing an entirely new and more interactive way to view and experience your design. For more information on the Revit-3dsMax-Stingray workflow there are a series of videos on YouTube - a very short overview is provided here. Recently I decided it was time for me to start becoming familiar with Stingray, so I installed it and started working through a few tutorials. I realized very quickly that the raw tutorials that come with Stingray were not geared for building visualization using Revit and 3ds Max, so I started looking around for more. I found some very good ones on... you guessed it... YouTube again, but right away I noticed something missing. The videos all referenced a "Stingray" pull down menu in 3ds Max - a menu that I did't ...

Recently, I had a customer contact our support team in regards to a behavior after installing release 2017. He was having issues with his mouse lagging while panning and zooming and using Inventor generally.  He had been using 2016 without any issues. A quick search yielded a result on the Autodesk Inventor Troubleshooting site. I figured I would write about this, since it has the potential to be a common problem for users who also have Vault installed. In short, the fix (until Autodesk is able to produce a patch) is to disable the My Home tab in inventor. From the Tools tab, select Application Options.   In the General tab, the My Home option has been moved to the bottom right of the dialog.  Un-check the box as displayed below.  Click OK to dismiss the dialog box. The My Home tab is the cause, as it periodically checks the vault server to ensure that the vault status for each thumbnail preview is correct.  According to the article, this is the designed behavior but it is supposed to take place on ...

For some time now I've noticed a disturbing message that appears any time I turn on the Sun Path in a 3D view in Revit. It references a mysterious 3rd Party Updater for the "Sun and Shadow Settings Updater" and indicates that it had to be cancelled. You have two options when this appears - cancel showing the Sun Path (not an option) or disable the Updater.  I've always just clicked "Disable Updater", but I've also wondered if I was causing some sort of problem down the road, even though it appeared as though nothing was wrong afterwards. Good news - this morning I was getting caught up on some forum posts and came across this thread, in which several users are complaining about the same message. Turns out, it's benign. It's apparently caused by the Dynamo add-in. You can just disable the updater with no ill effects. It's easy to confirm for yourself - Launch Revit and turn on the Sun Path. If you get the error message, shut Revit down, then launch again. Before turning on the Sun Path, ...

According to Warwick Ashford, Security Editor for ComputerWeekly.com, Ransomware makes up a quarter of UK cyber attacks. Just what is Ransomware?   It is malware used for the purpose of data kidnapping that the attacker encrypts and then holds hostage, demanding payment for the encryption key, often in the form of bitcoins. In short, your data is the hostage and you are forced to make the decision as to whether or not it’s worth the cost to retrieve it. Sounds like something out of a movie right? Well, it’s real and it is quickly becoming one of the biggest cyber crimes to date.   Fortunately, there are those who are fighting back, for example, TeslaDecoder takes advantage of a weakness in the encryption implementation of TeslaCrypt and creates a workaround that allows its victims to decode their files appended with different extensions. It is user-friendly and free to download.   For computers themselves, the first line of defense is to be careful not to open email messages or download attachments from strangers. Most instances of crypto-malware can be traced to spammed inboxes. Such ...

Your company just upgraded their server and needs to move the Autodesk License Manger and the license file to it.  It’s a simple process. . . Your old license file will be useless on the new server.  This is because the older license file is “married” to the Mac address and ID of the old server. So you’ll need to obtain a new license file for your new server.  To do so, Autodesk put together this real simple step by step process on how to request a license file: Requesting a New Network License File.  You'll just need the server Mac address and ID and the serial numbers of the software you’ll be activating.   You’ll need to install the Autodesk License Manger (LM Tools) on the new server and configure it to read the new license file.   You could install the license manger from your install media or you can download it from here: Autodesk Network License Manager for Windows.    ...

We're beginning to receive quite a bit of calls and e-mails from users who are receiving pop-ups similar to this: This is because the Autodesk Application Manager is being replaced with the Autodesk desktop app.  The application manager was installed when you installed your Autodesk software and can be used to automatically check for updates for your installed Autodesk software.  If you've been using it then you will need to update to the desktop app if you still would like to receive updates.  If you've not been using it then you can simply ignore the update and, I assume, it will no longer receive update notifications from Autodesk.   The desktop app will do all that the application manager did along with some really useful new features such as: Watch videos catered to specific software (AutoCAD, Revit, Civil 3D, etc.) Read articles trending about specific software Access alternative methods of finding help and resources To learn more about the Autodesk desktop app read this:  About Autodesk desktop app

I had a client recently ask me how to get his browser node to show up as the default file name. You too, may be wondering how to do this.  To begin, let's define what we're talking about. The browser node name (located at the top of the browser window) is by default, named the same as the the file when it is saved.       To change it back to the original filename, simply click slowly twice on the node and it will activate the node in the type over mode. Simply backspace and hit the Enter key. This will delete the current name and then replace it with Filename. If that doesn't work, you may have to press the Spacebar and then Enter. In an assembly file, you may have the individual parts and subassemblies renamed.  There is a Productivity tool which will help users rename all of the nodes at once. Here's how: On the Assemble tab of the Ribbon > Productivity panel, select the drop-down arrow and select Rename Browser Nodes. In the Rename Browser Nodes dialog box, select from the ...

I had a user the other day contact me because they upgraded to Civil 3D 2017.  They have a client who uses Vanilla AutoCAD 2015.  They also have several other clients who have not yet made the move to 2017.  He was having all sorts of issues with proxy objects appearing in his AutoCAD drawings.  It appears that the process has changed slightly.  In the past, we would just use the export tool from the application menu or the output tab (both are the same - EXPORTC3DDRAWING) and be able to open the exported AutoCAD file in Vanilla AutoCAD file and go forth from there able to work with the lines, arcs, circles, etc.   Here's what you need to do to get the Civil 3D 2017 drawing into AutoCAD format.  It's a two step process. . . First, let's get the file from Civil 3D 2017 to Civil 3D 2016 (or earlier version): In Civil 3D 2017, make note of the coordinate system of the drawing and then export the file to AutoCAD ...

The Current Workflow: When I first started doing BIM Coordination 4 years ago, the typical workflow went like this: The subcontractors created a 3D model using design or fabrication software The subcontractors uploaded their model to an FTP site at a designated time The BIM coordinator downloaded the design / fab models & created a federated Navisworks model The BIM coordinator ran clash tests using Navisworks & generated clash reports The Coordination Team met & discussed the Clashes The process repeats. The Problem: When I ran coordination meetings, this process was pretty successful, but it was slower than it should be. For the most part, coordination moved along, but there were often times where clashes would go untouched for weeks at a time - multiple weeks. The most common answer I recieved about why the clashes weren't promptly fixed, "I didn't know what the <other coordination team member> was going to do with this clash. I was waiting on him." ...

So where do you go to find your software, serial numbers, and product keys? The answer is simple . . . in your Autodesk Account. If you are the contract manager or software coordinator for you company you will find it all there. Once you are in your Autodesk Account, you can easily find your serial number for you respective software by clicking on the software chevron and exposing the numbers:     For more information on this Autodesk had created a technical document titled Finding Your Serial Number and Product Key in your Autodesk Account. Now that you know where to find your serial numbers and product keys, where is your software? Remember, since Autodesk provides all their software via download methods you are no longer going to be receiving the install media in the mail because the requests for media are no longer free. There are three methods to download your software and they can all be read about in depth in Autodesk’s Download Methods for Autodesk Account document. The three methods are ...

Spending the first half of the year soliciting feedback from our customers and speaking to construction project managers across the country at various conferences, I've come to the conclusion that BIM is positioned to make big strides through the end of the year and well into 2016. Construction companies that survived the recent economic downturn got lean and efficient through BIM. Now, they're looking at how BIM can save money across the board and also allow them to be more competitive. BIM certainly wasn't as important eight years ago. It was construed to be more of a 3D innovation than anything else. But in today's society of Big Data, BIM has advanced to the forefront of construction build-outs. Why? The "I" in BIM is the big deal now. From designers to owners, a heightened understanding of and appreciation for the value of data has emerged. And, that data - in terms of how it's updated, accessed and integrated within the BIM platform - is finally starting to be used by all the constituents involved with a construction project to address the ...

Of course, there are several exciting features released with this version of AutoCAD, and you can read about all of them in Autodesk’s AutoCAD 2017 Preview Guide. I will focus on the one’s that I believe are the most exciting and most relevant to you. • A simplified license manager. Have you ever installed AutoCAD as a standalone software or a trial and then needed to convert it to network software? Well, if you have then you already know that, historically, you had to uninstall the software and reinstall it as the type of software you need. It has always been a real pain. Now you simply install the software and when you launch it you are prompted for the type: If you find you need to change the type of software from network to standalone, or vice versa, you use the Infocenter > Manage Licenses option to do so: • Several dialog boxes have been enhanced to allow the user to stretch them to better view the information within that box. These dialog boxes include: Select File ...

As I talk to more and more clients and we begin the discussion of LIDAR data and how to use it in Civil 3D it is evident that some folks have missed the message on how to import LIDAR point cloud data into Civil 3D. This has been possible in Civil 3D for sometime now but it has been either underused or ignored altogether. Here’s the process. . . In a new drawing, in the Settings tab, right click on the drawing name, and select Edit Drawing Settings:   In the Units and Zones tab set the coordinate system of the drawing:     In the Prospector tab, right click on point clouds, and select Create Point Cloud:   Give your point cloud a name and assign it a style.  I like the LIDAR Point Classification style because if the LIDAR data is collected properly you will see a color assigned to the points based on their code:   Select your format (in this case LAS).  Hit the plus symbol to import the LAS file then use the ellipse button to ...

Applied Software®, a leading systems integrator to the AEC, construction and manufacturing industries, is now the exclusive supplier of RADAR Construction Management Software in North America. RADAR is a cloud-based construction management application that provides intuitive and collaborative management tools for specialty trade contractors. Since it is cloud-based, it can be used to manage multiple projects simultaneously from any location where Internet access is available. "RADAR software fits extremely well within our Applied Software product portfolio for the building trades," said Richard Burroughs, president of Applied Software. "As the exclusive supplier of these products in North America, and in conjunction with our partner network, we'll be providing nationwide sales coverage, training and support for RADAR products moving forward." "Our goal at RADAR is to provide common sense, easy to use tools to specialty trade contractors to help them manage projects throughout the entire project life cycle," said Natalie Abshier, president and CEO of RADAR. "Applied Software will introduce RADAR to the building trades industry across North America, and we look forward to working with them to provide collaborative tools to ...

We all know that if you type in U and hit ENTER you’ll undo the last command. And if you continue this process you’ll eventually undo back to the beginning of the session of your drawing. The UNDO command provides you a lot of useful tools. Just read the commandline:    · Auto: Groups the commands in a macro, such as a menu macro, into a single action, making them reversible by a single U command. UNDO Auto is not available if the Control option has turned off or limited the UNDO feature. · Control: Limits or turns off UNDO. Note: The Auto, Begin, and Mark options are not available when None or One is in effect. If you attempt to use UNDO while it is turned off, you are prompted to re-enter a Control option. All: Turns on the full UNDO command. None: Turns off the U and UNDO commands and discards any UNDO command information saved earlier in the editing session. One: Limits UNDO ...

Autodesk created the much anticipated River and Flood Analysis tool a few years ago, but it was only available to anyone who had a subscription for the Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate. Recently, that has changed. According to the Autodesk website, in their features section for Civil 3D, this tool is now available to any Civil 3D 2016, Infrastructure Design Suite Premium 2016, or Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate 2016 user on desktop or maintenance subscription:   So if you are on 2016 and on subscription and you want this tool all you need to do is follow these steps to download it: Login to your Autodesk Account site: Navigate to the “management” section in the site and click on “Product Enhancements”: You might have to search for it (I used CTRL+F to search for the word “river” to get me there), but you should see in your list the link ...

I hope by now that you’ve made the transition to annotative text. I simply love annotative text. Where was it years ago? Well it’s here now and it’s here to stay.As great as it is, I have had some users who have asked how to get rid of the irritating “ghost” image that appear when the text is selected.Here is the text in its normal state:  And here is the text when it’s selected for editing: Not to fear, there’s a system variable here! Yes, there is a system variable that controls whether or not you receive these ghost images. Just type in SELECTIONANNODISPLAY and change the value from “1″ to “0″ and you will no longer these ghosts of annotations present. 

Recently, we've begun to see this issue pop up more and more.  We've seen it in AutoCAD based products. While running the software you receive a dialog box titled, "Exception in mc3.dll / mc3d.dll ARX Command" and has an unhandled exception similar to, " Unhandled Exception C0000005 (Access Violation Reading 0x0000) at address F99260F4h":     When you click the "OK" button you then receive a fatal error similar to, " FATAL ERROR:  Unhandled Access Violation Reading 0x0000) Exception at F99260F4h:   The fix for this is as follow: Navigate to Help > Desktop Analytics (or type in DesktopAnalytics at the command line) Deselect the "Yes, I would like to contribute to this program" option:   Click OK. Navigate to Help > Customer Involvement Program (or type in CustomerInvolvementProgram at the command line): Select "No, I do not want to join the program at this time":   Click OK. Restart AutoCAD Another option is to. . ...

I'm proud to announce that my good friend and long time client, Andy Carter, Pricipal Civil Engineer at CivilE,  along with his team here in Austin, TX, have won the Excellence in Infrastrure Award for Small Projects. Utilizing the power Autodesk Infraworks 360, Autodesk Civil 3D, and Autodesk 3ds Max Design, CivilE provided civil engineering and site visualization services to better convey the project to the client prior to any ground breaking.  Their understanding of the BIM workflow and use of the software within the Infrastructure Design Suite was the secret weapon CivilE used to win this project from bigger engineering firms.  Take a look at this short video that better explain how they accomplished developing an 18-acre site with grade changes of more than 80 feet and more than 1,300 trees of various species. https://youtu.be/he1Mio9xQHU CivilE, a 5-person civil engineering firm, proves that Autodesk's tools can empower small firms to create compelling visualizations even under the constraints of the budget of a small project.  Take a look at this short video for the final product: https://youtu.be/YY0zNjPkUvo Congratulations to the entire team at CivilE!

You have purchased desktop subscription for your software or someone in your company has purchased desktop subscription for you.  There are three scenarios a that can take place here and you need to be aware of how to manage them. Purchaser is also the user - When you buy Desktop Subscription software for personal use, you enter your personal Autodesk Account information during purchase. You are assigned as the Contract Manager and a Named User with permissions to download, install, and activate your software. Your software is available for download from your Autodesk Account when you receive the fulfillment email message from the Autodesk Store. Purchaser is not the user - Account administrators, such as Contract Managers and Software Coordinators, may buy Desktop Subscription software intended for other users. One available software license is assigned to the purchaser automatically at checkout. If you don't intend to use the software you buy, remove yourself as a Named User for the software. You can then assign permissions to use the software to another user. Software users can ...

Construction managers commonly use BIM 360 Field to productively manage jobsites. The ability to seamlessly integrate a construction team’s daily workflow has quickly established BIM 360 Field as the industry gold standard for cloud-based, field management tools. Managing the flow of documents between Windows and BIM 360 Field, however, can be a time-consuming process. Now, with 360 Sync, document management is effortless. Applied Software developed 360 Sync to provide integration between Windows and BIM 360 Field. For example, 360 Sync allows you to house one file on your PC (with all of your construction documents) that automatically updates into BIM 360 Field. Once synced, all of your file structures will remain the same. 360 Sync is easy to use and requires only one initial set-up per project. Once the initial set-up is complete, the entire process becomes automated. When setting up projects, you can create templates for repeated use or you can create unlimited custom projects. You choose when to sync the files for each project including from which computer to which project. You can also set multiple computers to sync ...

After you have successfully installed your AutoCAD 2016 products. You launch the software for the first time and get a Migrate Custom Settings dialog asking if you would like migrate you custom settings from the previous version. In the past we recommended against this due to issues from previous versions. But I have also successfully migrated clients custom settings in the past as well. Recently, I found a post on the Autodesk website and it discussed how best to handle migration and how it was intended to be used. When and when not to migrate from one version to another. This caught my attention and if you are considering migrating this is a must read. http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/How-to-migrate-settings-in-AutoCAD.html Migrating between computers:  You cannot use this utility to migrate between computers. No files are exported or saved that you can move to another system. To migrate settings between computers, try the following methods: Migrating from old to new computers: see link Migrating settings for newer programs that cannot be used on an older computer system: see link

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