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Attention all Plant 3D Users! This year Autodesk University has been moved to the week before Thanksgiving instead of the week after.  Mark your calendars for the November 15-17! Registration for AU opened August 17!  You will want to register early to ensure that the classes you want are not filled up.  As you register make sure you check out the class I will be teaching.   As you can see, as of today, it is down to 23 seats remaining so sign up before they are all gone! See you in Vegas!  

Autodesk has chosen not to support some of the Fabrication CID patterns in Revit, one of those patterns is 928. Watch the video to see a work around to get your converted items into Revit.

Getting a question mark on a tag placement? It could be a couple of things but this avenue will be related to nested families. First off if you are tracking nested families in a schedule make sure to mark them as shared before nesting them. Otherwise you will have a physical representation but it will be hidden otherwise from tags and data. Once in a file the host family will result in a tag. If the parameter, you are tracking in the tag does not exist you will get a question mark. To tag through the host family you just need to activate the tag and tab over the item you want to tag. sometimes as group assortments of child families into a host you will want this feature to get down to nuts and bolts. 

I couldn’t resist showing a Disco ball for this topic. But what really is a discovery? The definition itself is “the action or process of discovering”. Some synonyms are: finding, uncovering, unearthing. Locating and even realization or revelation. This is important when this all is related to, or for the purpose of a Discovery when it applies to an implementation. The implementation could be for a new software, a software upgrade, a process or standard.   Many companies have begun to or are being asked by their clients to adopt Building Information Modeling. These companies fall into one of three scenarios. The first is the firm that is just starting adopting BIM. They do not have BIM expertise in house and need a mentor and an adoption strategy. The second category of firm is one that has adopted BIM and finds that it is not reaping the benefits of BIM, is profitable operating in BIM, and may be at risk of not meeting its contract obligations. The third category of firm is one that has acquired BIM Experts and due ...

The BIMForum has released a draft of the 2016 version of the LOD Specification for public comment. The comment period will remain open until September 23, 2016 – please send comments to LOD@bimforum.org. Comments from the industry are a vital part of the process of maintaining and enhancing the usefulness of this document and are greatly appreciated. Updates to the 2016 version include these new sections:  Railroad Bridge Steel, Railroad Bridge Precast The Attribute Tables in Part II have been expanded and reformatted for clarity Omniclass and Masterformat references have been added to Part I All definitions in Part I were reviewed and edited for consistency Link to Article http://blogs.autodesk.com/bim-and-beam/2016/09/06/lod-specification-2016-version/ Download a copy of the 2016 LOD Specification Draft for Public Comment: http://bimforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/LOD-Spec-Public-Comment-Release-2016-09-02.zip

Every so often, one of our clients gets an error in their BIM 360 Field Library with one of their uploaded files. The file is either corrupted or won't upload. There could be any reason as to why this happened, but one of the more consistent issues that pops up is with "Restricted Text Characters." This blog will set the record straight for what characters should & should not be used when making BIM 360 Files.  I would also use this blog as a Rule of Thumb for any computer file, whether on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, the web / HTML, etc. Also, for sake of argument, use this blog for all devices Windows 8 / Mac OSX or greater. USE THESE: It should come as no surprise that upper-case letters, lower case letters, and numbers are OK. Other safe characters include parentheses, underscores single spaces & dashes. You can safely use any and all of these characters in BIM 360 Field and almost all operating systems & web locations. USE CAUTION: Depending on the language of your computer, special characters, characters with accent ...

In certain circumstances “out of the box” software, is not all that is needed or necessary. What may be needed is more to accomplish a task, perform some calculations, or finish the project faster. This is where developing Custom Development comes into play. The thought may immediately invoke a long process of what is needed, specifications, fees, testing, and fears of will it work or do the job it was intended to do. In my role as Senior Project Manager, we uncover these concerns and needs and marry them together in a harmonious union to accomplish the task at hand.   Below is an example of a Development Plan when we start thinking thru the process of creating an application or workflow.      

Whether modeling Culverts, Channels, Inlets or Weirs you will need at some  point to know the flow rate.  Hydraflow Express has options on the Hydrology section to help develop run off  Hydragraphs and it uses a variety of methods.  It supports the Rational method, Modified Rational method and the SCS method.  You might hear the term volume flow rate and think it sounds boring, but volume flow rate keeps you alive. I'll tell you how in a second, but first we should define volume flow rate. Let's look at these a little further,  to start off with we'll use the Rational  method and let's look at an example.  For the Area I'm going to use .4 acres, for the Runoff Coefficient I'll use .8.  For the Tc Method I'll select User, but we do have a number of other methods here as well.  For the time I'll set that to two minutes,  the Storm Distribution and Duration are the -0- options, which means I don't need  input anything here so I'll skip those,  and I'll accept the value of one, and the ...

If you are presenting a project to an owner based overseas or the project itself is located overseas.  You will want to change the units your model is created in.   Below are the steps to change from imperial to metric units in Destini Profiler:  1st: Select the file tab   2nd: Select Preferences    3rd: Select Metric as Default Project Units      Now, when you begin your next project in Destini Profiler you will be using metric units. 

When you begin to use Destini Estimator you will want the program to: open an estimate sorted the way you are used to seeing it, with your standard fees applied, and the correct color displaying when you are comparing estimates.  All of this can be easily achieved by using the preferences window.  Below are the steps to make these changes. Step 1: Click on the preferences gear.   Step 2: Update your automatic save interval.  This is the number of commands to execute in order to trigger an automatic backup.   Step 3: Create your default fees   Step 4: Adjust the colors for high and low variance.  I prefer to have all positive changes in red and negative changes in green.  This way, when I see green I know that money is being saved and when I see red I know that additional funds are being spent.   Step 5:  Select the default estimate filter.    Step 6:  Choose if you want line items with zero quantity to be hidden by default in assemblies. 

Here is a Collection of Revit Formulas for Parametric Family Creation Addition( + ) X + Y Subtraction( - ) X - Y Multiplication( * ) X * Y Division( / ) X / Y Exponentiation( ^ ) X ^ Y Logarithm( log() ) Log(x) Square root ( sqrt() ) sqrt(x) Sine( sin() ) sin(x) Cosine( cos() ) cos(x) Tangent( tan() ) tan(x) Arcsine( asin() ) asin(x) Arccosine( acos() ) acos(x) Arctangent( atan() ) atan(x) 10 raised to an x power( exp() ) exp(x) Absolute Value( abs() ) abs(x) Pi( pi()) Pi()   Function syntax Description Examples ...

The AEC Industry is changing rapidly. Future Buildings will be assembled rather built. This Technology is important to find parts and assemblies within your BIM models.  Design Graph is a new way to explore your 3D data. Autodesk technology uses Shape-based Machine Learning to actually recognize and understand parts, assemblies and entire designs. The Design Graph learns to identify the relationships between all parts within and across all of your designs, irrespective of whether cross-references exist. It learns to interpret your designs in terms of those parts and it provides you a way to navigate your data using: simple text search, learned categories of parts, shape similarity, usage patterns and even smart filters for part numbers, materials and other properties.     Check it out at Autodesk Design Graph https://dg.autodesk.com/#/discover/ Try search for “wall”“basic”“rectangular”“mullion”“base”etc. All 3D models in your A360 Drive account are now available in the Design Graph. 

In 2016 Autodesk release updates to Parameters in Revit. I created this video with basic examples of how you can use these types of parameters to your advantage. Use these basic examples and discuss and plan other usages to compliment your current in-house workflows. Keep in mind that over constraining a model can be detrimental or have a negative effect on your projects. Coordinate with everyone on the team or on the project how these work and when you should apply them to your projects. Parameters 2.0 - (part 2) Reporting parameters are values driven by dimensions or geometric conditions. Global parameters are specific to a single project file but are not assigned to categories like a project parameter.   

Open Civil 3D - From  Analyze Tab, select the Design Panel Pulldown........   In Hydraflow Express the first task we'll take a look at is working with Culverts  and this is an easy-to-use yet sophisticated Culvert Modeler.     It also assumes that you have a good understanding of fundamental hydraulic  principles and the variety of flow conditions for Culverts.  Let's work through an example. Starting with data to input..... Now here we have the Input column and this  is where we'll input all of our values; and we can see if I pick the different  fields, at the bottom of the dialog box you get a description of the values that  Hydraflow is looking for you to enter. So I'll start at the top and for the  Invert Elevation I'll start by entering 100.  For the Length I'll enter 30, for the Slope .5 (for half a percent slope),  then you'll notice that the Upstream Invert  Elevation is automatically calculated for you.  I'll move on and enter the Rise and I'll start with 18 inches, and this is for an  18 inch diameter pipe. ...

I am not one of those people who react negatively to changes in interface with software upgrades. Usually they're there's a good reason for them, and usually they lead to a better user experience once you make the adjustment. Usually. Not always. The double-click a family to edit it thing still bugs the heck out of me... why? Never mind. that's not the subject of this post - I already addressed that in this post from August 15. No, this time I'm complaining about the color of selected objects in Revit. It's blue. That's just wrong. Even though my favorite color is blue, selected objects should not be blue - they used to be red, several releases ago. I have no idea why someone decided to make them blue.  What's the big deal? Two things: The color of pre-selected objects is  also blue - the exact same shade of blue as selected objects. This can sometimes confuse people, especially new users, as to what is selected and what is about to be selected. For Revit MEP users in ...

  Before adding AutoCAD files to Autodesk Vault, you might want to change a setting.  One of the default settings for creating visualization files in Vault is to NOT include Model Space views.  This setting can help keep the amount of visualization files generated down to a minimum, and is especially nice if you rely solely on your Layouts for previewing documents.  However, if you need to be able to see the Model Space content as well, then you will want to change the setting.  Let's take a look at how to change it.  Before we begin changing the setting, let's take a look at the Preview tab of a file and take notice there is not a Model Space Preview (there are only 2 Previews, and they are layouts). To change the setting, first, go to Tools, then Administration, then Vault Settings In the Vault Settings dialog, select the Visualization tab, then the Options... button in the Publish Options section. In the Publish Options dialog box, from the drop-down list, ...

So what better way to start my first blog post than with the classic “Hello Word”.  Well not really the normal Hello World as the one on the Walkthrough: Hello World  but a little more exciting one that introduces some cool challenges like the one in the picture below.  In today’s post I’m going to cover two very important and useful codes. The  1st one is how to get the XYZ insertion point of a Revit family instance , and the 2nd one is how to place a family instance in a specific XYZ coordinate. For my set up I’m going to be using the Revit macro manager  (Sharp Develop Software) for beginners. Here is an easy tutorial to get you started with Revit macros . To get the XYZ insertion point of a Revit family instance we will need to  be able to select a family instance first. Using the following code example will allow you not only to select a single family instance, but multiple family instances  along with  pre-selected objects in to a list. Now we need to create a list that will store our XYZ coordinates. Next add the actual code ...

In part 1 we discussed the connector. Now in part 2 we will show how to make flex combined with the fittings you want and how to see it in material counts. The method we will use will combine a system family with our component families to later use in models or embed into a template file.  In house this method is used all the time. Let’s begin inside a Revit project.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   Insert the families for the flex, sealtite or MC that we made in the previous blog tutorial.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>     Select the connector type you want use and the size you want. We are going to tie specifics to the system family to mate up with the fittings. Place an instance in a plan view. It should be something like this.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> Next under Flex Pipes create a new “Type”. Since we are doing Sealtite in part 2 our types look like so.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> We are making a 1” whip so we will size the types to meet the standards of Trade sizes.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> For good measure I added insulation to this as well to get it up to the actual ...

If you have multiple Revit versions installed in your computer you may already have run into this issue before. When you double click the .rvt file and it doesn’t open in the Revit version that you want because there is no default, or the installation got corrupted and now it doesn’t open at all. (This also happen when you uninstalled a later version of Revit). You might think the obvious solution is to go to the control panel, and then set default programs, or choose default apps in windows 10. If you do that you will soon found out that it doesn’t work, then you go to repair Revit and after waiting hours you find out that it doesn’t work either… Frustrating right? Then you go online to search for a solution and if you are lucky enough you will find this 2015 Autodesk article on the AKN. The solution involves manually modifying a windows registry (kinda risky).  Modify the registry value directly (Administrative rights require): 1.     Open the system registry (Windows Start menu > Run > Regedit). 2.     Locate the ...

How did our predictions seven years ago for Building Information Modeling fair? Let’s take a look back seven years to 2009, when the concept BIM had become common parlance in the AEC community, and see if and where we’ve fallen short of, met, or exceeded expectations for our beloved BIM. How you define the acronym BIM depends on when the one claims BIM came into being. According to WikipediA, BIM was first used in papers in the mid-1980s, and the term 'Building Information Model' first appeared in a 1992 paper by G.A. van Nederveen and F. P. Tolman.[7] However, the terms 'Building Information Model' and 'Building Information Modeling' (including the acronym "BIM") did not become popularly used until some 10 years later. In 2002, Autodesk released a white paper entitled "Building Information Modeling,"[8] and other software vendors also started to assert their involvement in the field.[9] [1] For the purposes of this essay, I will pick it up in June 2007 which is when I started working at Autodesk as an MEP Technical Specialist. In 2007, BIM was the buzzword at ...

Over the past five years I have focused almost exclusively on software solutions and workflows that facilitate prefabrication and modular prefabrication. Recently I came across the Tucson Airport Control Tower project that Corbins Electric in Phoenix worked on, in which they worked through some challenging logistical problems using eVolve – their own home grown solution for prefabricating electrical containment and providing just in time delivery, all using Revit. Without getting into the challenges they faced on the project here in this post (I can cover that later in another post with Aaron Thompson – the DO at Corbins), the project reminded me of the reasons prefabrication is preferred, and not just the basic values that come from prefabrication that we often take for granted, but in the case of the Tucson control tower, it made me realize some secondary, indirect values I’d not considered before. The basic ROIs we’re all familiar with include: 1)      working in an environmentally controlled environment means no sweating in the heat, freezing in the cold, or paying master tradesmen to shovel snow (see World ...

Driving in 3 Easy steps....... Step 1 - Choose your vehicle Click AutoDrive Arc and the vehicle libraries are automatically opened. Choose your vehicle from one of the vehicle libraries In addition to worldwide design vehicles, you’ll find “European Vehicles”, “North American Vehicles” and “Specialist Vehicles”;  Click Proceed.   Step 2 - Position your vehicle You will be asked whether you want to set the current vehicle as your default vehicle for all future paths. Select either Yes or No. The Drawing Settings window will appear; here you can change your path settings and units to match the drawing. If these are ok, click Yes to continue. Position the front of the vehicle where you want it and left click to accept, then you can set the orientation of the vehicle to point in the direction that you need. The Position Vehicle Window will appear with more options if needed, simply click Proceed to start driving.   Step 3 - Drive your vehicle As you move the mouse around, the vehicle path is calculated based upon the vehicles dimensions and geometry. If a maneuver can’t be performed, AVT wont let you complete that ...

The above image is an example of a common problem for Inventor users.  Though pictured is related to the Inventor Task Scheduler, it could be the same problem for the Project Editor, Inventor View, and other specific apps in the Autodesk / Inventor group.  It isn’t confined to a particular version nor to a specific operating system. It will most typically show up following the installation of Inventor service packs, updates, and hotfixes.  But it has also occurred following Windows Updates and even installation/updates to seemingly unrelated products (screen casting programs for example).  It can also happen if you bounce between two versions of Inventor, for example going from Inventor 2017 to Inventor 2016. The fixes could be one, two or all of the following.  I have ordered the fixes in the order that have offered the most success.  Please note, the following list may well require Admin privileges. 1.       Re-register: a.       Right-click the Windows Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin).  Don’t you just love DOS! b.      Type in (include quotes): cd “C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2017\bin” <Enter> c.       Open the Windows Task Manager, go to ...

From a Database Administrator standpoint it is a common occurrence that when logging into the program to receive the error below... Then begins the pain staking process of clicking through a bunch of folders to delete the .lok file. If this were a rare occurrence this may not be that big a deal, but as an Admin we tend to push CAD to the limits until it crashes leaving us with a locked database.  Make the process of deleting the .lok easy and pain free! Copy the below code into Notepad, change the path to locate your specific database location, save onto your desktop and change the extension to .cmd. Then the next time this happens, leave the error open in CAD, double click the .cmd file, then hit Retry. Problem Solved!! set olddir=%CD% rem cd /c "C:\Autodesk Fabrication\Working Database\DATABASE\Users\" del "C:\Autodesk Fabrication\Working Database\DATABASE\Users\*1.LOK" rem cd /c "%oddir%" rem pause  

ISSUE: Revit 2016 and Revit 2017 has issues trying to plot PDF sheets from project.  Plot Dialogue box freezes up during plotting When trying to plot PDF's, you go to Plot and nothing happens SOLUTION: Delete a windows service pack/update called "kb3177725", then restart your computer. When using Windows 7 plot PDF to your Desktop. Then move the PDF file as needed.  If your using Windows 10, please look to see if you have a Windows update called "windows 10 anniversary". Delete it. That update from Windows is causing all sorts of issues with Revit. After you restart you PC, install a PDF writer called "CutePDF". You'll have to google it, read the licence agreement, and if your ok with the agreement click to download and install. You'll be prompted to install another package from CUTE PDF hit OK, this is the 2nd half of the PDF writer package. ...

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