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


Click on the link below to view our Fabrication Advance Videos. We will be posting new videos over time, so please come back to see what's New.  Advance Fabrication Videos

eVolve’s 3D Move tool One of the best tools for Revit you aren’t using   The 3D move tool takes a family selection and places it to another point. This works much like a snapping tool and gets you right where you want to be. In this example I will take a strut and place 2 families at the very top of the strut using this tool. The strut is at a different elevation than the other 2 families. In a 3D vie lets snap these two items in place. Run the 3D move by selecting it or using the shortcut. Select a point on the wire-way. Next select a location on the strut. The wire-way will now snap to that location. It will snap just like the picture below placing it on the top of the strut. Now we will do the same for the conduit and place it on the top of the strut. Begin by start by selecting 3D Move, and then the base of the conduit.  Be sure to be aligned with the outside edge and the red centerline.    Then select the face of ...

This video will display the new Group by Option within Fabrication 2017, allowing you arrange the items within a job based off of certain criteria. Check it out and leave me your feedback!

Learn about new features and enhancements in the Revit 2017.1 Update. Attention: These features are available only to students and Autodesk subscribers for Revit 2017 software releases. FOR MEP ENIGEERING: Revit 2017.1 Updates Space naming: Formerly an add-in, the Space Naming tool is now incorporated into the software. Use this tool to rename spaces in the MEP model using space names from a linked architectural model. 

The other day I was working with a client and they had a dynamic block that needed to have a stretch action in which, when the grip was stretched in one direction, the opposite side of the block would stretch in the opposite direction equally.  I showed them this method, and, since there was very little spoken about this on the web, I decided to make this short video.  I hope you find it helpful.  

When you toggle on ortho mode using the F8 key you notice that AutoCAD either freezes or takes long to respond. But if you use the icon in the task bar to toggle on the option it responds immediately.   We have found this to be an issue with AutoCAD products on a Windows 10 operating system.  It seems to be the Windows 10 Anniversary update is cause of this issue.  To resolve, simply adjust your TEMPOVERRIDES system variable to 0.  But be aware that by adjusting this value you will be disabling the option of using your SHIFT key to temporarily enter into ortho mode should you not have ortho mode toggled on.   This is a Microsoft issue and it should be noted that this is only a "band-aid" until another Microsoft update resolves this issue.    

The little icon that probably does not get used very often is actually a very nice tool for automatically cutting back members to include a gap if required.  See the image below of the structural members.  They were placed on a grid on center, which will require some clean up.  The grid has been turned off for clarity.     We need to trim the members back and to do this quickly, we will use this tool as seen in the next image. So as the instructions indicate, this tool will cut multiple members back to the edge of a member that is placed on endpoints of the adjacent members.  After selecting the command, it will prompt you to enter in a "gap", which can be just zero or can be a gap that you specify.  This will leave a gap between the end of the member and the face of the cutting member. Select the members you wish to cut back.  In the example below, I just used a crossing window to select them all at once.   After selecting the members you need to ...

One of the cooler things about my job is the optimism that's associated with it. People come to us with problems everyday, and we solve them. Sometimes we solve a complex workflow problem. Other times, we help teach a client how to better use software. We might even help Autodesk fix a bug in their software. My favorite thing that we do is create something completely new to solve a problem. That's what we did when we created 360Sync with Windows. The Problem People kept coming to us, saying that they really hated updating the BIM 360 Field Library, especially when they had already updated their server, "why can't the Field Library just Sync with our server?" That's why we created 360Sync - to solve this very problem. I've said on just about every blog that I've done that the Construction World is filled with redundancy & double (sometimes even triple or quadruple) data entry, and it is one of the biggest sources of frustrations in the industry. We are aiming to eliminate as much of this as ...

Autodesk recently released an update that has some really exciting features, however, the update is strictly for subscription-only users.  Well, this means that I cannot even provide you a link (because one does not exist) to this update.  So how do you get it?  You can only find it in the Autodesk Desktop App.  It is titled, "AutoCAD 2017.1 English Update 64-bit."   Some of the new features that I find most exciting are. . . You can now import a PDF file that contains SHX geometry.  Several popular SHX fonts are supported.  The performance and reliability of 3DORBIT are improved for rendered visual styles, especially for models with a large number of small blocks containing edges and facets. To see a full list of what has been updated you can read the ReadMe file here:  Autodesk AutoCAD 2017.1 and AutoCAD LT 2017.1 Update Readme

Learn how to place Level/Size Tags on Connector 1 or Connector 2 using Fabrication CADmep.

Have you ever wished you had a quick way to show someone who has no access to special software, what you're up to in a CAD drawing, a Revit project file, an Inventor assembly, Civil 3D file, Fusion, Vault, and so on? It could be any need - from an executive who'd like to see how you're progressing, to maybe just your grandma who you want to impress with your latest prowess. But the problem is there's no easy way to do that without them having to install additional software to view it. Well, ever since Autodesk came up with the DWF file format way back in 1995, it was slowly improved upon and got a major boost in 2007 where it became synthesized with Microsoft's Internet Explorer to work natively with that interface. The history of DWF is quite an interesting read in and of itself for us geeks. But with that one little advancement, it made it possible for users of any Autodesk software (software that can export a DWF a.k.a. Drawing Web Format file), to send ...

How to Mix System family conduit with eVolve<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   We get asked the question sometimes. “Can I mix the two together”.  While I don’t suggest it, it can be done. There are a few things to consider. Have a good knowledgebase on Schedules and parameters. With this information you can bring together most items in with eVolve content and have it look good in a schedule. Let’s take a look at three runs in a project. One of the system type, one of eVolve content and one with a mixed bag.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> Below we have sheet and some variations of scheduling for the out of the box system conduit. <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   Take notice of the 4 types of Schedules that Conduit run schedule has the most to offer, Length, Type, and a Diameter. The problem lies in that you have to make the conduit schedules exclusive from the rest of your fittings and whatever else you want to buy.  In Conduit Fittings you can count the elbows but no real data. So you will wind up make a bunch of different schedules and crossing your fingers ...

Create Family clearances that will can be controlled in Navis and Revit<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> In some projects you are asked to show clearances for equipment. So you may think fine I will draw a box to represent the clearance and it will grow with the component etc. Before doing so think about a few things. Do you need to be able to segregate or turn off this Clearance in Navis Works or produce Views that can control it in Revit. Here are some options for you.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> First Create a Sub category in the Family level that you will use throughout the project as the Norm or create this name at the company level so that in any project this is a recognizable name. If you have variables of this name, it will be case sensitive and you will gain additional instances in the Project.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> Now create the standard definitions of line type and color to signify your clearances. You can also define a custom material at this level. The Next step is to draw the shape for clearances. Assign the constraints to the shape ...

My Top 3 Rules in Revit #1 – ALWAYS start with the proper template. (Systems-default = MEP and Architectural = ARCH) #2 – Everything lives on a LEVEL (3D = x,y,(Z) or Offset, Height, Elevation) #3 – Pay close attention to the Ribbon for options, selection, modification, and input (LxWxDxH)  

Join me at AU—Autodesk University! It’s a great opportunity to learn about the future of making things and connect with the best in the business As an AU attendee, I’ll be able to: Explore new tools and technologies, plus get insider tips and tricks Network with peers, partners, expert speakers, and Autodesk product teams Learn new skills I can share with my colleagues Take free Autodesk Certification exams (over 1,500 attendees took exams at AU last year) I will be speaking in the following sessions MSF21307 - Creating Great Fabrication Services MSF22010 - The Ins and Outs of Fabrication Ancillaries Get all the details at the AU Las Vegas website. Watch AU 2015 Las Vegas in 90 seconds! for a taste of the creativity and inspiration that is AU. See you there!

In this Tips and tricks session. I had a customer call in with an issue. They were XREF'ing another file into their drawings and the "text" was not showing up at all. Even though the layer was on the text seem to disappear all together and would just show the leader line....crazy right.... Well the issue was with a Font style used in the XREF was not a Font style that the end user had. Sooooo instead of AutoCAD replacing the font with another it just DIDN't SHOW the text. The variable here in AutoCAD was the culprit. The command "Fontalt" if set to "." will turn off text that your system doesn't have the same font installed as the xref'd file. There is a setting here to select an alternate font. Makre sure to have the alternate font such as simplex listed. Below is a link to a short video on Autodesk's Screencast on how to fix this. https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/1cba04ba-b711-4e19-a100-c1404e7817b0 Best of luck out there, Rick Kremer Applied Software

  For those user’s that are currently using Vault Pro 2017/Vault Workgroup 2017 I would like to share with you an add-in that is called “Autodesk Place from Vault 2017” which is a free download from the Autodesk App Store. This app allows users to directly insert a selected file from the Vault Explorer into the current open and active Inventor document. This is a great tool for those who prefer to search and identify files directly from Vault rather than using the CAD application dialogs.        Autodesk Place from Vault 2017-Additional Info

Adding fall to a Design Line is a fairly simple task but here is a trick to make sure your Design Lines stay connected to your equipment after applying fall to it.

The Positioner in Autodesk's Fabrication CADmep is a pretty handy little tool. Check out this video and I will show you a few things that you can do with it.  

An issue that I ran across the other day using Inventor 2017 was my part file was acting like it was locked. This issue was not allowing me to edit or delete any features or sketches in my part file. In addition, only a couple of the commands in my ribbon were available and everything else was grayed out. Come to find out this has been an issue since Inventor 2015 and is currently being investigated by Autodesk for a possible cause and resolution. The good news is that there is a workaround which is shown below.     Issue: Features and Sketches unavailable   Workaround:   1.)    Close all documents.       2.)    Invoke the VBA Editor.     3.)    Within the editor under Application Project (Module1) add the following script.   Sub Test()     Dim oDoc As Document     Set oDoc = ThisApplication.ActiveDocument     oDoc.DisabledCommandTypes = 0 End Sub     4.)    Do not close the VBA Editor. Return back to the Inventor user interface and open the document that is locked. Once the document is open go back to the VBA Editor and run the script that was pasted into Module1.      After running the script the ...

I am often asked the best way to distinguish which cut files are for liner tables vs which are for plasmas. This video will display my suggested setup inside of CAMduct to handle liner files vs metal files, including spacing between parts and common line cutting.

Revit has a way of making drawing look very ridged and flat. Creating a perspective section will add depth to your sections.  A perspective section can be created by creating a 3D Camera view and then sectioning and rotating the camera view.  Placing a Camera To begin creating a perspective section, a camera will need to be placed into the model to create the initial 3D view.  The camera position and angle does not really matter when placing it because these will be changed once the view is created.  To place a 3D Camera 1. Open a floor plan view. 2. On the View tab, select the drop down arrow under the 3D View command and select Camera. 3. Pick a point on the plan view to place the camera. 4. Ensure that the general direction and the depth of the camera view is pulled through the entire model.   Modifying the 3D View Once the 3D view has been created using the Camera command, the view will need to be modified.  The view will need to be rotated, sectioned, and rotated again.  Graphics can also be changed to improve the ...

The testing of new functionality in Fusion 360 is really quite simple, and available to everyone.  So, you might be wondering how to get signed up and get your hands on this technology.  Well, it's really not complicated at all, you just need to turn on the functionality that you want to test.  If you are interested in any or all of the Preview Functionality, just follow the steps below to get access. In Fusion 360, click the drop-down box to the right of your log in, and click Preferences. In the Preferences dialog box, select Preview from the navigation pane on the left. In the Preview section, you will see available functionality.  Simply select the functionality you wish to use, and then clicking OK.   If this is the first time you have selected a functionality to preview, you will be presented with a terms and conditions dialog.  Simply click on Sign me up. Don't forget, this is your opportunity to participate in the future development of the ...

Is this a standard Revit schedule?     In recent releases of Revit, users were given the ability to include an image into schedules.  In addition to images, Revit allows for special characters to be used.  Special characters can be used as long as the character is of the same font style as the font defined in the body font style of the schedule.  One example of the use of special characters would be to create a ‘dot matrix’ type of schedule where you want to show a special character as the dot.  <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   Learn how to create this type of schedule plus many other scheduling tips in my AU sessions.   AR23697-L - Schedules Can't Do That in Revit 2017 Tuesday at 3:00 or AR20807-L - Schedules Can't Do That in Revit 2017 Thursday at 8:00 See you in Vegas!

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!