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


A question came up recently about how to remove the surface pattern from a slab when viewing it from a plan view.First off, find out what the material is on the slab that is being displayed. Select the slab, go to "Edit Type" in the Properties. Under Structure row, pick the Edit button. Find the top material. Lets say concrete for our example. Pick on it and select the "..." button. This will open up the Materials. The selected material should be pre-highlighted. Select it and go to the Surface Pattern area on the right. Change the material to "none". Select OK three times and you will be back to your view, which is now updated to not show the surface material.Note: This will remove the surface pattern for all of the slabs with that same material. There are some other options to duplicate the slab type and material, if you want slab "A" to show surface material, and slab "B" not to show the surface material.Editor's Note: You can also select and right click on the slab and ...

Move forward with no worries, DOT......The 12d Data Extension for Civil 3D 2012 enables data from 12d® Model™ software by 12d Solutions Pty Ltd to be imported and used within AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 software.The extension provides support for 12d Model ASCII files from all knownversions of 12d Model software up to and including Version 9.0.Supported 12d Model data types include:Alignments andprofiles Super strings Drainage strings TIN’s Text strings

Project folders in 3ds Max Design are a great helpful tool! By setting the project folder, this allows 3ds Max to search, or look, in the folder of that project directory. This works well for when other people are working on a project with you, or if you have to come back to a project after a few weeks. Setting the project to be active then re-paths the search folders in 3ds Max to look for presets, scenes, import/export and other project specific folders.Found under the Application big "M", and then Manage, setting the folder is easy, either to an existing folder, or creating a new one.

My favorite feature of 2012 Navisworks Manage is the Appearance Profiler. It can be used in conjunction with Search Sets to color-code your coordination models. The nice thing is that the settings can be saved out and recalled as needed in the Navisworks NWF file which makes updates to the model much easier. Pre-planning, particularly in file naming conventions, will make this feature update even with the introduction of updated models from the CAD programs. In the figure below, I built search sets based on the file names. Then I assigned those search sets to colors and level of transparency. My architectural model is green and transparent, with electrical in red, ductwork in blue and steel in yellow. Last step, SAVE the profiles listed in the Appearance Profiler to a DAT file that can be imported to any NWF when needed.

Playing in the Dirt.........The Volumes Dashboard Extension for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 software provides a streamlined interface for design and construction professionals to calculate, report and visualize surface volumes within AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 software.Refining earthworks through iterative design is a common operation that isperformed throughout the design and construction process on infrastructureprojects. This extension can streamline and help optimize the current processin AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012; it will also provide an easy to follow workflow forcommon tasks, helping new Civil 3D users become productive, more quickly.

Hereare a couple of quick tips from a recent 3ds Max Design classthat I was teaching...3d model rotate - hold down the Ctrl key and mouse wheel to spin the model.Cloning - Move tool, hold down Shift. This will duplicate the object, but giving you the option of Copy, Instance or Reference. Instance vs. Reference... Instance you can change any of the object copied and it updates all of them. Reference, you need to change the original, to update the others.Save Copy - This saves your scene and adds a number sequence to the end of the file name.

Door schedules in Revit are great. However, if you include room numbers with your doors, you should know about a bug. Door schedules can include data from a "To Room: Number" parameter and "From Room:Number" parameter. The image below shows a simple floor plan with 5 room objects and 4 doors. Looking at a floor plan view, all the doors swing From Corridor Room Number 100 and swing into their own unique room. However, you will notice on the door schedule that Door Number 4 has the associated room parameters reversed. Why? Doors numbered 1 through 3 were placed in the model using the door command. Door swings were flipped using either the space bar or by the using the flip arrows. Door number 4 was placed using the Mirror command. Apparently, not only did Revit mirror the door, it also reversed the From Room and To Room parameters.To correct the room parameter information, users can open the door schedule view and update the room parameters by simply selecting the correct room value for the drop down list. I ...

Need a stand-in for your objects? This can help save time for rendering and when working in a scene file. What is it? mentalray Proxies in 3ds Max. They are a placeholders that are only loaded into memory and are processed per bucket during rendering. Files that used to lock up or freeze should now render quickly!Go to the Create Panel , select "mental ray" in the Primitives drop down. Pick the "mr Proxy" button and place a box in the scene. Go to "Modify" panel and pick the "none" button to select the source object in the scene. Then pick the "Write Object to File..." button to save the data of the object for rendering time. At this point everything is in place. Now you can copy, clone, or array the Proxy in your scene. You will see several boxes, but when you render they will all be nice rendered copies of the source object.

Many argue that BIM requires all work be done in a BIM authoring tool, like Revit. BIM does not exclude the incorporation of legacy data that exists world wide. In fact, for BIM to evolve the AEC industry it has to accomodate decades of hand drawn and CAD produced documentation. Does this information have the ability to contain and share the same volume of information and capability that a Revit model does? Absolutely not, however, legacy data provides valuable historical and as-built records that are useful for informing the design team while they create and/or re-create all or part of a project in Revit. I suggest that there is far more renovation, remodel and addition work and less new construction. There is far more built environment than under construction. BIM is well positioned for new design, construction and operations where as much of interior design works in previously occupied space. Most of that space was not designed using BIM in its modern context. It only makes sense that to use Revit for commerical interior design, a designer must consider ...

Several times this has happened to me, where Navisworks will get stuck in "selection mode" which prevents me from selecting any of the viewing functions from the Navigation bar. I recently was teaching a class, where several folks in the class had the same problem. I have tried several actions to clear the problem and have found the most reliable: right-click in the background and select SCENE. Seems to clear the problem everytime.

One of the biggest changes in Revit MEP 2012 is the addition of Duct and Pipe System Families.  Although it appears to be a small change, it actually creates a major improvement in how projects can be set up.  Prior to 2012, MEP Engineers relied heavily on View Filters to control the graphics of different duct and pipe systems.  For example, a View Filter would be created to distinguish the difference between Domestic Cold Water pipes and Domestic Hot Water pipes.  Ducts and pipes were simply ducts and pipes, and not part of a system until they were connected to a connector.  The connector contained all the information about the system. In Revit MEP 2012, we have the ability to create duct and pipe systems before modeling and connecting to connectors with the addition of System Families.  The new System Families can now be configured prior to the project start to indicate graphical differences in the systems.  In addition to presetting up the System Families, as ducts and pipes are being modeled, the System is specified in the Properties ...

I have had several clients mention that they could not find the command buttons for the functions: Parallel Pipe and Parallel Conduit. The easiest way I have found to get the buttons back is to learn the keyboard shortcuts for each command, where upon, once used the buttons themselves seem to magically reappear in the ribbon. The keyboard shortcuts are PE for Parallel Pipe and PO for Parallel Conduit.

Often times, as the “least technical” (or at least “industry identified”) member of the Applied team, I’m intrigued by fairly off beat aspects of the BIM/Technology conversation….Last Sunday afternoon I was listening to “Living on Earth.” This week’s show featured a segment called “The Hermit Crab Housing Crisis.” Seriously. But stick with me here. The interesting thing was as a response to a shortage of natural-material housing (i.e., shells) for hermit crabs, aficionados are turning to more high tech solutions. In this case the CEO of a 3D-printer manufacturer began exploring using his firm’s printers to create housing for crabs! I encourage you to give the show a listen—Click here to read a transcript of “The Hermit Crab Housing Crisis” and links to other links to sites fascinating uses for 3D printers. Take a minute to consider that amazing ways that familiar technologies can be turned on its head to provide an answer to a perplexing problem.

Did you know there is a nice way to read your license file?Autodesk License Parser - shows your license file in an easy to read report. This report will contain the full name of the licensed product, the serial number along with the number of seats. It will also show you the date the serial number was issued.

I loved drafting as a kid. Give me my T-square, triangle, and french curve. Drawing a perspective view was SO COOL!I learned AutoCAD in 1987 and it was AutoCAD v2.6; what a cool program! I then used AutoCAD R9 when I graduated; loved it! Kept moving forward with AutoCAD R14; did everything I needed it to do. I customized AutoCAD like crazy. Why because I could and my users loved it. In 2000 I saw a program called Revit. It did 3D and was cool. Tried it on a project and it just didn't work for us. Revit could never replace my AutoCAD and the way I customized it for my users. I refused to consider Revit because AutoCAD did EVERYTHING I needed it to do. Then came AutoCAD Architectural Desktop and then AutoCAD Architecture; cumbersome but wow it had some nice features; I still don't need Revit, I now had ACA. Then I was forced to use Revit. Really? Are you kidding? AutoCAD does EVERYTHING I need it to do! So I went to Revit Architecture training.Revit Training ...

I was previously asked how to create a wall that not only changed materials but also changed thicknesses. As with most things in Revit, there are multiple ways to do this.  You could create a compound wall type that had multiple material types, but that would be restrictive in that it would be continuous through out the entire length of the wall.  You could create a Stacked Wall, but again, you would only see the material and thickness change at the point where it was assigned in the properties of the Stacked Wall.  You could simply use the Paint tool to change the material, but this would not change the thickness and would not show on sections correctly.  My solution is to draw a wall within a wall and use the Cut tool to cut one out of the other.  This allows the user to create any type of wall desired at any thickness and place it in any location in as many places as they need.  To accomplish this, you draw the main wall first. Then in plan view, ...

Welcome to everyone!This is the first, in what we hope to be many, interesting posts on our new blog.  We here at Applied Software come across lots of tips and tricks, new applications, anecdotes that need to be told, partner news and a host of other cool things that we need to be able to share with everyone.  Along with those topics, we feel that you, our clients, friends, partners, and soon-to-be clients, would benefit from getting to know us and each other a bit better. Everybody here, both on our technical and sales teams, will be contributing to this blog by writing articles or supplying videos.  Our hope is reach a larger community, open everyone up to sharing and connecting with us and our partners, and add value to conversations that you may (or may not) already be having.So, starting this November, be sure to check back as our blog grows and shoot us some suggestions on topics that interest you, or let us know how we're doing.Regards,The Applied Software Blog TeamPS.Also in the works are some new ...