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


Autodesk just recently released an Android version of BIM360 Docs to the Google Play store. This is a first product on the BIM360 Platform to release an Android version. I know many contractors have been asking and hinting at this for years and it looks like they will finally be receiving android support just in time for Christmas.  We hope that this is a continued trend among all of the BIM360 products as it will often eliminate hardware as a reason to refuse adoption. Support of more platforms opens up more possibilities for collaboration on the site.  Read more here. 

I'm excited to announce 360 Sync for Glue - Applied Software's new app that seamlessly syncs your desktop or server (or Dropbox, Box, Egnyte, etc. cloud service) with BIM 360 Glue. We've had this planned for a while & finally got the time to build it. What does 360 Sync with Glue do & why did we create it? Quite simply, 360 Sync automates the upload process from your computer to BIM 360. We created it specifically with the non-Autodesk user in mind: the Tekla / Bentley / Cadworx / QuickPen / Rhino users who use Glue, and don't already have a Glue button built in to their software. We wanted to eliminate the process of manually uploading your model to Glue - it's essentially double-entry & is a waste of time. You're already saving it to your computer or server, so why not have it upload to Glue as well? How does it work? First, you upload your model manually for the first time to BIM 360 Glue. Next, you open up 360 Sync & create a new configuration. You select the model on ...

I met with a client who had a need to make his quick profiles a permanent part of this drawing. This is a quick way to accomplish this. And yes, I know we could have simply drawn an alignment and made a profile as well.

So with the latest Star Wars movie coming out soon I was inspired to toy with the idea of modeling a full scale Revit family of the AT AT. Originally it was shown in the Empire Strikes Back. This was one of my all time favorites. While taking this project on I see that there are some valid challenges in creating some of the geometry. So if you ever want to improve your skills on creating families this is a fun way to not only make something cool but to improve your skills. I under- laid flat 2d images and scaled them up for reference. the rest is purely improvising. I enclosed some preliminary images. Check back later and I will post my progress pics. Remember have fun. Enjoy!.

Appearance assets are the component of a Revit material that tells it what it looks like when it's rendered. However what many users don't realize is that the appearance asset is actually not a part of the material itself, it's being reference by the material, and multiple materials can reference the same appearance asset. Where the trouble occurs is when a user modifies a material, editing the asset that it is referencing, only to find out they just inadvertently edited a bunch of other materials as well, because they were using the same reference.  This is easy to avoid if you know what to look for. This usually happens because someone selected a material in the current project's material library and duplicated it to create a new material. While editing the duplicate they went to the "Appearance" tab and made changes to the appearance settings (they didn't assign a new appearance asset, but modified the one that was already there - color, reflectivity, transparency, anything at all about the asset). To see how to avoid this issue, take a look at ...

Last week the Civil Immersion blog site released a video that explains how to extract a point list that notates a point with station and offset in respect to an alignment in your drawing.  I highly recommend watching this video, especially if you're a surveyor.   While watching the video it triggered in my memory the very first blog I ever posted back in 2010 for a site that no longer exists.  In my post I go in the opposite direction of the video.  I import points that have stations and offsets and create a point label style that expresses the values.   Here's the original post. . . A few weeks ago one of our clients called me up with an uncommon question. He had an Excel file (CSV format) that had point numbers, northings, eastings, elevations, offsets, and station numbers as follows: (I’ve replaced the column headings with the correct title to make the file format clearer.) His desire was to import these points into Civil 3D with a label style that would only express point numbers, elevations, offsets, and station numbers as ...

In this Tips and Tricks session we will look at how to export a Revit Door schedule into Excel. This is a very simple and straight forward process and gives non-Revit users the ability to look at or possibly use downstream data from Revit.  Please click on link below to watch a short Screencast video on how this is done.   https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/getting-started/caas/screencast/Main/Details/74aa8c20-6cb3-4188-a01a-9ad3c334dc55.html Enjoy, Rick    

There's a lot more to the Revit Material Browser/Editor than a lot of people realize. This video will walk you through its interface, and also the process for creating new custom materials and storing them in a custom material library for use in other projects. See the video here.

NOTE:  This cannot be done directly in Civil 3D because Civil 3D overwrites the command sequence and therefore the output is incorrect.    Therefore you must begin this process in Map 3D and then complete it in Civil 3D. First let’s discuss the setup needed in Excel.  Setup the columns in your Excel file so that each column represents the needs of your transparent command, quadrant, appropriate ENTER placeholders, bearings, and distances.  Similar to this: Notice that in order to add the single apostrophe in the transparent command cell you must enter two apostrophes in the Excel formula line: Now select the cells and copy them to your clipboard: Now, launch Map 3D and turn off object snaps, object snap tracking, and dynamic input.  I found these had to be disable for this to work correctly.    Start the line command and pick start point. Click your cursor in the commandline, right-click and paste. Here is the image of the linework from the above spreadsheet beginning at 0,0 and continuing from there: Save the file and, if you need to convert it to a parcel or label it, ...

We have recently revised our A360 Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team white paper to include some late-breaking details in the set up and operation of A360 Collaboration for Revit and BIM 360 Team. You can get your updated copy here.

http://formit360.autodesk.com/page/release-notes/#release-notes-add-in v15.0: FormIt 360 for Windows Fluid camera transitions between saved Scenes Control the settings for speed, transition and pause time for camera transitions Setting to visualize the camera location and orientation of saved Scenes Swivel navigation mode to look around without Orbiting Copy and Paste In Place with Ctrl + Shift + V Cut elements to the clipboard with Ctrl + X Select All elements in the model, or in the current group, with Ctrl + A Ability to Boolean Cut and Join between different Groups Groups Tree enhancements allow renaming, categorizing, and editing of Groups for improved model management Undo Manager provides a list of actions organized per Group. This history can be archived by exporting to AXM with history button checked Numerous interaction improvements to the Rotate, Mirror, and Measure tools Holding Ctrl while rotating an object will make a 'quick copy' Numerous ...

In AutoCAD you notice that the text within menus, the ribbon, dialog boxes, and palettes is rather large and may overlap other elements within the user interface or not appear at all.   The cause of this due to the fact that the Windows operating system governs how the user interface text is displayed in AutoCAD, and a high definition or high DPI monitor can make the program interfaces appear very small on the screen.  Scaling up the text size to compensate for this can have an adverse affect on how user interface text shows in AutoCAD. Current versions of AutoCAD-based products are optimized for monitor displays with a resolution under 2000. The solution is to install update 2017.1.1 for AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017 and other AutoCAD 2017-based vertical products.  However, you cannot simply go to the Autodesk website to install this update.  The AutoCAD 2017.1.1 update can only be downloaded and installed via the Autodesk Desktop App.   To read more about this issue and resolution read this:  Odd text display within user interface elements in AutoCAD

Assemblies   Multiple Enhancements to Analyze Interference The new option in Interference Analysis dialog box, Treat subassemblies as components, lets you treat sub-assemblies as single components and ignore the interferences within the sub-assemblies. The  Interference Detected  dialog box now includes:  Information about each interference.  Interference type filtering options. Focus on the information you need to check by including only the interferences you want to see.  ​**Note: The Reference components filter only displays when the assembly includes an AnyCAD reference imported 3rd party file. Ignore and Un-ignore options. You can: Right-click an item and select to ignore the selected volume or ignore all interference volumes less than a selected value. Select or deselect the Ignored filter to show or hide the ignored interferences in the list. **Note: An ignored interference is displayed with a cross line. Right-click an ignored interference ...

Trying to use an Autodesk Cloud Service and something not working as expected? Is it you? Is it your computer? Is it.... Autodesk? Click the following link and you will know for sure if it's Autodesk Cloud service or not! It's too easy! https://health.autodesk.com/. Click the Health Subscription button in upper right corner and receive health status changes and maintenance plans to your email address! We will send you health status changes, maintenance plans to your email address  

General Measure Enhancements  Easily restart Measure by clicking in the graphics window.    A Dual Unit, Foot-Architectural, is now available for Measure Distance, Loop, and Area. **Note: Fractions smaller than 1/128 are not supported**   Additional Workflow Enhancement You can now use a crossing window to select multiple closed profiles when creating features with the Revolve, Sweep, Coil, Chamfer, and Fillet commands.   3D PDF 3D PDF export is significantly faster and now supports View representation color overrides.   Sketch Select Tangencies Now Available within Project Geometry Command The Select Tangencies behavior, previously only available in Parts and Assemblies, is now also available in the sketch environment when the Project Geometry command is active. You can now quickly create a selection set of all the faces or edges tangent to each other in the sketch Project Geometry:  With the left mouse button, double-click a face or an edge. OR Select a face or an edge, right-click, and select Select Tangencies from the context menu.   Projected Sketch References are Now Maintained When Redefining a Sketch   Previously if you redefined the plane that a part ...

Renumber your model within Revit with the first of ASTI Tools for Fabrication.  

Below are some links to download the Patterns List in .pdf format of all patterns in Fabrication 2017   Link - All Link - All by Group Link - Standard Link -  Rectangular Link -  Round Link -  Oval Link -  Pipework Link -  Electrical

Network license servers made easy or at least made easier.  As an IT professional I have installed and configured the Autodesk license manager hundreds of times.   Depending on your deployment model it’s pretty easy.   So I will not get into the actual setup.  But here is a link if you like light reading.  One piece of technology that makes running a network license server easier is virtualization.  In their simplest forms Virtual machines are just files.  You can change them.  Save them.  Then if you don’t like something go back to the previous version.  Just like in AutoCAD you can hit the Undo button.  In a virtual machine you can undo a recent change you made pretty easily if you saved you changes along the way.  Just like other computer files virtual machines are portable.      You can copy/move them to other computers to run because their windows machine names and network mac addresses do not change.  Ever run into a conflict on your only server between the license manager and another piece of software that cannot be relocated?  Spin up a ...

In every Revit Fundamentals class I teach, I find an opportunity to preach. I preach about the importance of "clean modeling" - making sure that your model is as error and warning-free as possible. Not only for those that have to use it when you're done with it, but also for your own benefit, well-being, sanity and job security. One of the biggest topics of my sermons is the process of reviewing and resolving warnings in Revit. Unfortunately, like most sermons, this usually falls on deaf ears, and periodically I run across the result of NOT religiously reviewing and resolving warnings. Recently I had the pleasure of opening a Revit model that not only looked like ... OK... I'm not going to pull any punches ... it looked like garbage, but it was essentially unusable. Every time I selected an object to edit, I had to wait several seconds while the dreaded Windows circle of death spun incessantly. There's a common cause to this symptom, and I went with my first instinct. I used the Review Warnings tool on ...

In this two part post on using the Massing & Site tools will cover the basics of creating a toposurface from a simple Civil 3D surface drawing file. With the 3D contours at elevation the drawing file when imported into your Revit model can be converted into a toposurface. The process is simple but understanding the steps and what you are importing is the key to being successful. Best practices are absolutely essential to creating a usable surface in your BIM model.  Following these simple practices will ensure your civil files are exactly what you need and will not break your projects. The civil CAD file needs to be in the following formats to work. (DWG, DXF, DGN) The civil points file needs to be in the following formats - (NEZ - Northing, Easting, Elevation) Import the CAD file into a basic template to test its usability and review stability / file size. Remove the CAD file after converting into a toposurface.  Clean up the ...

One of my capacities (along with all of our technical specialists) here at Applied Software, is to help our clients with technical support for their Autodesk Software.  One of the most frequent issues we help to solve are installation errors.  With the myriad of OS and other software installs and configurations, coupled with the different approaches of security by IT departments and contractors, the installation support topics are widely varied, and can be very unique.  One of the more time consuming tasks is tracking down the root causes through the manual analyzing of the installation log files. In a recent case, I discovered a new tool distributed by Autodesk, which is purpose built to automatically analyze installation log files in 30 seconds or less, and provide a suggested solution.  How awesome!  This tool can be used by those of you who like to take on the challenge of solving these errors yourselves, or you may be asked to run the analysis and provide the results to one of our technical specialists.  In either case, I've provided the link below to ...

There will be times when you need to show the QTY's of multiple members of an iAssembly in your drawing Bill of Material. Here is how to do that: Create your iAssembly and your various configurations.  In this example, I have 2 configurations that need to be shown in the BOM.  As you can see below, by default it only shows the one I have placed on a drawing view. Right-click on the Parts List placed on the drawing and select "Edit Parts List" Next select the "MEMBER SELECTION" icon at the top of the dialog box and either select the members to show in the BOM or choose "YES TO ALL". Lastly, select OK and OK again.  You ...

"I'm fine with my current version of AutoCAD.  There's no need to upgrade."  "My current version of AutoCAD does everything I need." "There are no new features in the new software that I need."  We've all heard this before.  I hear it almost daily.  Why are some folks so reluctant to make that move?  There are several factors that prevent users from making the move forward to the newer version of software. .  . Comfort - Some users are just satisfied with their current version. Cost – Some users believe that the cost of implementing the new software will be grand.  Time – Others believe that they’re just too busy to make the move right now.  Don’t allow these factors to put you so far behind the curve that playing catch up is almost difficult to accomplish.  Every year there are updates to the software that are implemented because users have requested them or because technology is driving us there.  If you adopt these changes in one release at a time they’re ...

I have been seeing a plague hitting the AutoCAD world.  A plague of bad Profiles.  How in the world does a Profile go bad?  I am scratching my head on that one.  The symptoms, obviously things are not working right.  VBA routines are not loading or worse yet, they load but then don't work.  Same with the AcadDoc.LSP not loading at all.  Yes, the paths are there in the Support Search path, but they just don't load.  I can type in at the command line, (findfile "acaddoc.lsp") and it returns right where it should be.  I can load it manually, but it won't work automatically.  The out-of-box <<Unnamed Profile>> can't be used to rebuild either.  Believe me, I tried it.  Everything looks fine, but something is amiss somewhere. Easiest thing to do? The easiest fix is run Reset Settings to Default and don't save any custom settings.  Start over on those.  The Reset replaces the <<Unnamed Profile>>, which I recommend then to use Add to List... and add back in the custom folders to the newly created Profile.  Everything seems happy ...

Fresh off the press! AutoCAD 2017.1 Update. Autodesk just released an update to AutoCAD 2017 for subscription users. Check your Autodesk Desktop App to install and review the Readme for what to expect in this latest update. AutoCAD 2017.1 Readme