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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


A recurring issue that comes across my inbox is how to properly clean a AutoCAD file for use within Revit. Too many times users just insert an AutoCAD file "as is" and weighs a Revit model down or even worse causes corruption. This quick tip will show you the steps needed to properly clean an AutoCAD file. This process will remove most corruption issues that might occur with a AutoCAD file. This process is Crucial when bringing in files from consultants and you want to make sure your AutoCAD file that your bringing in is Clean and as lightweight as possible. Please click on link below to view this screencast. How to properly clean an AutoCAD file for use in Revit. Enjoy, Rick Kremer Senior Technical Consultant Applied Software

Before coming to Applied Software, I worked for Walsh Construction, and I was tasked with implementing BIM 360 Field midway through our project. I was working on BIM Coordination & QAQC at the time, so I was pretty happy to get away from our old QAQC workflow which consisted of the following:  Printing out an 11x17 floor plan or floor plans of what I planned to walk Printing out our excel sheet that kept track of all of our Discrepancies (it reached 300 at its apex) and sorting it by location & subcontractor manually Bringing my phone or iPad out to the field to document & take pictures After the walk, come back in & make my chicken scratches on my 11x17 presentable, attach the photos & send it to all parties Fight with the subcontractors about scope of work and location of the discrepancy I hated this workflow. Every week I had to rewalk the issues. Every week I had to take new pictures ...

For Immediate Release ATLANTA – July 08, 2016 – Applied Software®, a leading systems integrator in the AEC, construction and manufacturing industries, is excited to announce the promotion of William Spier to Director of Fabrication. With 22 years in the industry, William brings a wealth of knowledge in design to fabrication solutions and prefab workflows, across numerous disciplines including plumbing design, power and lighting, HVAC, architectural and energy design and CFD.   William started as a designer with a consulting engineering firm where he project managed plumbing design on Nordstrom store projects. William has worked in several AEC industries, including O&M design work with Merck, Inc., a major pharmaceutical account for Johnson Controls, Inc., as well as managed the piping virtual design coordination team for Midwest Mechanical Contractors. In the last eight years prior to joining Applied Software, William served as an MEP and Design to Fabrication Subject Matter Expert for Autodesk.   “I am thrilled to lead the fabrication team at Applied Software,” said William Spier. “This is an industry experienced team of highly innovative, motivated and forward thinking individuals, who ...

For Immediate Release: ATLANTA – July 08, 2016 – Applied Software®, a leading systems integrator in the AEC, construction and manufacturing industries, announced the retirement of Doug Wietbrock, director of fabrication at Applied Software. With over 30 years as an industry pioneer in the design automation industry and Autodesk channel, Doug’s innovation and guiding influence will be missed.   “This comes with mixed emotions. It has been an honor to grow and develop my own company and then within Applied Software,” said Doug Wietbrock. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family while having the opportunity to pursue some bucket list goals.”   Doug is a licensed architect who founded Enceptia, an Autodesk reseller, in 1987, which merged with Applied Software in 2015. Also, Doug was an integral co-author in developing the fabrication courseware used by Autodesk: Fabrication CADmep Fundamentals, Fabrication ESTmep Fundamentals, Fabrication CAMduct Fundamentals, and Fabrication Advanced Topics.   “I am grateful for Doug’s tireless leadership, vision and friendship,” said Richard Burroughs, president of Applied Software. “Although we are losing his skills, we are gratified that we are able ...

In this link I will demonstrate  step by step on how to create a custom Frit pattern in Revit.  In this screencast I will go through ALL the steps to create your custom transparent Frit patterns for your curtain walls.   https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/08ac3938-ef37-40ea-b98d-166fbec688c0   Enjoy, Rick

Autodesk Point Layout (APL) is a great program. I am confident when I say there is not a better point program on the market. However, it does do some funny things if you don’t have the correct settings. When I add an APL point to a Revit column family, it creates a ½” gap (Image #1) between the column and the footing. Follow the steps below to easily prevent this from happening (Image #2). 1.Edit the Revit column family 2.Insert the APL point on element face (face at bottom of column) and not on the Workplane 3.Select the Reference Plane (not the Lower Ref. Level) and set the “Is Reference” property to Bottom 4.Load into Project

BIMConnect™ - a new add-in for Revit developed by Applied Software that allows users to export data from Revit into Excel and Import data from Excel into Revit.  Top Features 1.Export Revit data to Excel 2.Import Excel data to Revit 3.Creating Unplaced Rooms/Spaces 4.Adding Custom Parameters 5.Manage View Independent Data (such as materials) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C15OETeQfwg

We’ve been getting a few phone calls where Revit users have been receiving this error when opening a file: This issue usually occurs when upgrading models. What I have done to help resolve this error is clean up the model in the version it was created in. Remove all non-essential links and imported CAD files. Update any  linked models and especially any custom families to the newest version. If this does not work then you’ll need to submit a case directly with Autodesk to see if they can help:  directly with Autodesk to see if they can help:  Submitting &Viewing Support Requests  

Sometimes you discover something and your first reaction is a bit of embarrassment because you didn't already know it, followed by amazement that nobody else has ever mentioned it to you before, because it's potentially a REALLY big deal. In today's previously unknown-to-me potentially REALLY big deal department: Did you know that you can accidentally delete multiple family types simply by opening and saving your Revit family? It's true. Here's how it happens: 1) In a Revit project, a conscientious BIM or Model manager performs a Purge Unused, purging unused Family Types, in an effort to keep file size down. This is good practice. 2) At some point in the future, from the same project, a user selects an instance of a family on which the above-mentioned purge was done, and selects "Edit Family" from the Ribbon (or double-clicks on the family instance to go to the Family Editor - who's boneheaded idea was THAT feature, anyway?).  3) The user makes a minor change to the family, then saves the file. *Poof* - all of those family types that were purged in the project are ...

Under the category of Part Creation, a new Feature Relationship tool is available by right-clicking on the part in the Model Tree and then selecting Relationships. A bit of orientation on the model shown. Focus should be primarily on the Fillet1, Emboss1 and the Gold Revel. Also note, the Hole1 and Violet Revel for reference. Right-clicking on Fillet1 gives me the menu option to select Relationships... The Relationships Manager dialog shows that the Fillet1 has as parents (at the top of the dialog) the Trunk and the Cap.  Children are listed at the bottom of the dialog, and the two of importance for our feature highlight are Emboss1 and Gold Revel.  Notice too, that neither the Violet Revel nor the Hole1 are listed.  What we learn is that there is a parental relationship held by the Fillet1 (the actual lower edge) and the placement of the children Emboss1 and Gold Revel. The relationship, as designed, drives the placement of the Gold Revel and Emboss1.  If the Fillet1 radius changes, the two child features will reposition accordingly. In the following example, by changing ...

With the new Copy Design within Vault Pro 2017 iLogic rules are NOT COPIED by default. This can be resolved by setting up a new Action Rule. Below I have listed the steps on how to make sure your iLogic rules get copied with your parts and assemblies. Step 1: Within the Copy Design dialogue click on the Master Menu and select Action Rules.     Step 2: Within the Action Rules dialogue you will notice that we have a Default Rule Set. Select the Default Rule Set and then select Copy. You can either keep the Rule Name given or you can give the rule a more meaningful name. Click OK.     Step 3: You will now notice that within the Action Rules Dialogue we have a Copy of Default Rule Set. Select this new rule and select edit.   Step 4: Within the Define Rule Set dialogue select iLogicRuleStatus underneath Property Behavior and then click on Remove. Click OK.   Step 5:  Click Apply and OK within the Action Rules dialogue.   Step 6: Within the Copy Design Dialogue click on Selected Rule Set and choose the newly created rule. This will allow your iLogic ...

Maintaining Fabrication Toolbar Locations When Restarting

This week’s blog takes us back to AutoCAD basics. I’m prompted to write this by the fact that in the past couple of months I’ve worked with a couple of people who were completely surprised by this command while working with them. Let’s say that you’re working on a drawing and that you’ve erased an object. You’ve proceeded forward in your drawing by using other commands. At one point you realize you needed that object you erased a few commands ago. Don’t UNDO all your work until that object reappears. All you need to do is use the OOPS command. The OOPS command will restore the object(s) erased by the last ERASE command. Remember, you can only use the OOPS command to restore object erased by the last ERASE command. You cannot use the command to restore any and all objects you’ve erased through the history of the drawing, and you cannot restore any erased objects if you’ve closed your drawing and reopened it. Here’s the explanation of the command from the AutoCAD help file:

In addition to Revit family parameters, project parameters and shared parameters, Autodesk added Global Parameters as part of 2016 R2. Global Parameters are specific to a single project file, but are not assigned to categories. Global parameters can be simple values, values derived from equations, or values taken from the model using other global parameters. Use global parameters to drive and report values. A global parameter can assign the same value to multiple non-adjacent dimensions. You can also set the position of one element by the size of another element. If you missed it, join us for this special parametric design session on Global Parameters to learn more.              

Released exclusively to Subscription customers, Autodesk Revit 2016 R2 builds on the speed and project performance improvements. Revit 2016 R2 has over 25 new features, many which were requested by users. This update makes Revit faster with even better performance that translates to faster navigation, speedier work processes. If you missed this webinar, we will show you the significant updates that relate to the Architectural Industry.  

Applied Software's The Pulse - July Edition
Introducing Applied Software's New Monthly E-Newsletter. Get The Pulse on the happenings at Applied!

I'm rehashing this one because a user asked me if it was possible to create a profile from a feature line.   I must give credit where credit is due. My good friend, Phillip Lynch, showed me this cool feature. Scenario: so you’ve been given a set of points in line and have been asked to generate a profile from those points only. You don’t have an existing surface, nor do you need one. All you need is the profile of just the points. Problem: you cannot create a profile without first sampling an existing ground surface. Problem solved. . . First, generate a feature line from those points. This can be done with a 3DPOLY that you connect from node to node and then converting the 3DPOLY to a feature line or by manually drawing a feature line from node to node. The node object snap must be used to absorb the point elevation: Then select the feature line to active the context sensitive ribbon. In the ribbon you’ll find the quick profile tool: In the “Create Quick Profiles” dialog box set your styles as ...

A new enhancement within Autodesk Inventor 2017 is being able to export a 3D PDF, which is another great way for collaborating with others in the day-to-day design process. Check out the video and link below to start utilizing this new feature.   Inventor 3D PDF's Video Additional Information on exporting 3D PDF's                    

If you are an Advanced Support or Enterprise Support customer you will now have the option to have Autodesk contact you directly at a time of your choosing.  Yes, you can schedule a time for them to call you back.  Just follow the steps in this link: Schedule a Call:  New Way to Access Tech Support

Have you ever had something selected in Revit and the temporary dimensions did not display?  Revit will typically always display the temporary dimensions when an item is selected inside of Revit.  The temporary dimension can be modified to move the item that is selected.  This works fairly well to quickly modify the dimensions just by clicking on what you want to move and then clicking on the dimension number to modify the value.     The default settings are to dimension to the center of the walls.  This can be changed to Face of Wall or Face of Core in the settings on the Manage tab.      You can also grab the blue grip and drag it to the desired location if it is not dimensioning to what you are wanting it to dimension to.  If you just click on the blue grip it will cycle through dimensioning to the center, face of wall, or opposite face of wall.                                       If you select on multiple items in ...

In order to justify changing to a new system or way of doing things there has to be something that could be drastically improved in the current process.  That is certainly true when it comes to estimating within the construction industry.  The industry is currently using one program for 2D takeoff, a different program for 3D takeoff, and yet another program to manage the estimate.    That leads to unnecessary steps in the initial estimate, like transferring the quantities gathered from our two different takeoff programs to the program managing the estimate.  Then when updated drawings are received the user has to update their takeoff then go and find the affected line items and update them in the estimate.  If a model is involved the current 3d takeoff tools only allow us to see what has changed in terms of the model components, not how those changes have affected the current estimate.  If items have been added those quantities have to be copied over to the line items in the estimating program.   Surely there is a better way to do ...

One of the most common questions we get from our Fabrication clients & our Construction clients is "BIM & modeling is great. But how can I take that knowledge & information and apply it to construction?" This blog will attempt to tackle that question. View the video above to see a demo of this workflow. Step 1: Model & FabricationLet's start in Fab CAD MEP. You'll want to design & model your system like usual, leveraging your materials database along the way.  Once you have modeled everything and in most cases completed coordination of a floor, segment, or building, you'll likely start creating spools and creating shop drawings for your pipe spools, duct systems, mechanical equipment (VAVs, AHUs, Pumps, etc.). So far your workflow hasn't changed at all - this is how you're already doing things most likely. Once you have setup your pipe spools, duct systems, etc., that's where our Fab2BIM360 add-in comes in. It's quick and easy to use. Just click on the button in your Add-Ins ribbon and hit "Prep for Spooling." The tool automatically ...

How are you presenting your conceptual estimates to your clients?  Through Excel? MC2 reports? Timberline reports? Are you happy with the results that you are getting from you current methodology?   The way that the industry is currently presenting our cost information to our clients has room for improvement.  You take the vast amount of knowledge about the project you are proposing on and dump it into a spreadsheet.    Putting your budgets into a spreadsheet and leaving them there is doing a huge disservice to your clients.  To create the estimate you have performed takeoff, gathered historical information from similar projects, and taken into consideration current market conditions.  In addition to compiling cost data you have: created a schedule for the project, comprised a site logistic plan, evaluated the cut and fill required to level the site, and listed out available value engineering ideas in case the project is over budget.    This research and planning has made your estimate more accurate and provided additional value.  Why is this information thrown away or put it on a power point slide when it comes ...

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