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


From time to time, you will come across a pipe route that just stumps you.  This one came up today with a user and this was the solution to the route.  If you know a better way, please comment and let us know and make us all better pipe designers The scenario was two vertical pipes coming off of a tank.  One pipe would turn right at a higher elevation than the second pipe.  The second pipe would turn at 45 degrees and tee into the bottom of the first pipe's horizontal run. Hopefully you can visualize the route from the images above.  Here are the steps using some constructions lines, the TRIM command and LINE-TO-PIPE. 1.  Erase the horizontal pipe on the higher elevation run. 2.  Draw 2 construction lines:  1 replacing the horizontal pipe you just erased and 1 at 45 degrees horizontal off of the elbow.  Make sure the line crosses over the 1st construction line in the plan view. 3.  Once drawn, you will want to TRIM the 2nd line using the TRIM command.  However, this is not a standard ...

iLogic (not available in Inventor LT) iLogic Input Field Enhancement The iLogic input field in the InputListBox dialog box now automatically resizes to fit the width of the longest input string. Edit Rule Dialog Box Enhancements Use the new option, Save, to save your work as needed during an editing session without running the rule. The OK button is replaced by Save & Run: This option saves and runs the new or updated rule and closes the dialog box if successfully run. This option is disabled if the form is suppressed. Drawings Reorder Attached Balloons with the New Sort Balloons Context Menu Option (not available in Inventor LT) You can now reorder attached balloons by their value. First, attach balloons using the Attach Balloon From List context menu option. Then, after closing the Attach Balloon dialog box, right-click on the balloon stack and select Sort Balloons. Values are automatically reordered. Numeric attached balloons are reordered from smallest to largest. Alpha attached balloons are reordered from ...

Revit has some great tools to help us view a model from many different positions. We can have plans, ceiling plans, elevations, sections, 3d views or 3d sections. This enables us to view what we want when we want to see it. I get lots of questions concerning the View Range in the View Properties. The View Range will allow you to change your Cut Plane and set your upper and lower limits. This is very helpful, but you need to understand one key rule: Revit will not actually show an item unless the view is cutting through that item. A floor plan is typically a plan that is looking down and is cut by default 4'-6" above the level line. This means that a light fixture that is 8'-0" above the level line is not being cut by the cut line, which means that the light fixture will not be seen in the floor plan. One of the most common questions I get is "how do I get Revit to show the something on the ceiling on a floor plan?" Here ...

    Autodesk University will be here before you know it.  This year AU has been moved to the week before Thanksgiving instead of the week after.  Mark your calendars for the November 15-17! Registration for AU opens this Wednesday (8/17)!  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 classes I will be teaching.   See you in Vegas!

"Well, how did I get here?" One of my favorite verses from an iconic Talking Heads tune. And one that applies to real life more often than I'd like sometimes. When Autodesk released Revit 2013 they added a new "feature" that took a lot of users by surprise. By simply double-clicking on an instance of a component family, like a door, window, furniture component, etc., you would be placed in the Family Editor in that component family's source file, ready to edit. I'm not sure how this "feature" found it's way into the software, or who the person was that thought it was a good idea (I think they might need a little Revit training), but the user community by and large was up in arms over it. I mean... really... select an instance of a component family and take a gander at the ribbon - what do you see? What is so hard about simply clicking "Edit Family"? On the other hand, many new users have "double-click-itis" - and when that happens on an instance of a component family, they ...

General Improvements to Measure Command Precision Visual enhancement: A check mark  now displays next to the default Measure Distance, Angle, Loop, and AreaPrecision value when you access the list for the first time in a file. Previously the check mark only displayed after you made a selection.  Inventor 2017: The checked  measure precision value now persists across sessions in all files. Select a different measure precision value to change the default measure precision value. Previously when you changed the Precision value in existing files, the change was not maintained after saving, closing, and reopening the file.    Important: When you create a new template file in any new version of Inventor (for example Inventor 2017 R2, R3, 2018, and onward) the default measure precision value must be set in both Document Settings Units tab Modeling Dimension Display fields and in the Measure Precision value dialog box.    Enhancements to Projects dialog box (not available in Inventor LT) Access to the Configure Library dialog box has been simplified from two clicks to one click. The drop-down button with only one entry has been ...

With the Hilti Button for Firestop, AEC professionals can populate Building information Models with appropriate firestop components easier than ever, through automated clash detection and product selection. The Hilti Button for Firestop is an add-in for several Autodesk applications such as Revit, AutoCAD MEP, Fabrication CADmep and Navisworks Manage. Hilti Button for Firestop automates the entire firestop BIM process by identifying and qualifying penetrations, as well as recommending UL-listed firestop systems, saving you time and giving you the documentation required by fire-safety building officials. Select this link to watch on YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs0zb_RjB4ylftmv_TAD-Lg

Here is a quick tip on how to share your calendar availability through outlook. This is great when you are trying to show someone outside your organization when you would have availability to meet. I rarely see this being utilized by teams but find it to be tremendously helpful and provides efficient and clear communication.  To insert a calendar snapshot in Outlook you simply:  Click on the insert tab.  Click Choose Calendar Select your date range you want to share Select the level of detail you want to share  Click "Show time within my working hours only" Finally Click "OK" A summary of your calendar will be inserted into the body of your email showing all free and busy times for the date range selected. This is the results of what will be posted in the body of your email.  Hopefully this tip will save you a little time. 

“Use the Force, Luke” The following is a few tips and tricks I introduce to AutoCAD users during training sessions.  There is mistaken belief out there that if you use AutoCAD then you know how to use AutoCAD.  Sounds like an obvious sequitur but often users of AutoCAD are too busy working to actually learn how to use AutoCAD effectively. The best place to start is with the Graphical User Interface or GUI pronounce ‘gooey’.  Sometimes just exploring the GUI you will discover commands and features that you didn’t know AutoCAD even had.  So, let’s setup and streamline the AutoCAD GUI for productivity. Where to begin?  For most, the biggest change to the GUI was the introduction of the Ribbon back in AutoCAD 2009.  Immediately, users cried, “Give us back the Classic”.  My response, “Get over it, the Ribbon is here to stay.”  Launch your AutoCAD and follow along. Review the image below and note that I am using AutoCAD 2017 and I have the Workspace: Drafting and Annotation active.  Since we aren’t actually going to be drawing, I have the drawing area ...

Civil 3D 2017 Service Pack 1 has been released.  The service pack includes a number of fixes for issues that were discovered by the Autodesk internal testing team and by customers using the Customer Error Reporting Utility.   For all the items fixed with this release read this:  Civil 3D Service Pack 1 Readme File Currently, you can only download Civil 3D 2017 Service Pack 1 from within the Autodesk Desktop App.  

Please join me at Autodesk University 2016, November 15-17. Class ID: LD LD21702 Class title: Green Stormwater Infrastructure - Living on Rooftops Class Type: Instructional Demo   Class ID: TR21683 Class Title: InfraWorks 360 Traffic Simulation - The Civil War At Intersections Class type:  Instructional Demo   Class ID: TR21668-L Class Title InfraWorks 360 - Bringing Your Road and Bridge Project To life Class Type: Hands-on Lab

This post is part 2 on my 2-part series on Installing, enabling, and configuring Vault Project Sync.  In part 1, I outlined how to install and enable Project Sync inside of Vault Professional.  In this post, I will be detailing how to configure Project Sync to work with Autodesk Buzzsaw.  (I mentioned Vault Administrator permissions are needed during Step 2 - Enable Project Sync, in the part 1 post, but I need to emphasize that all the steps outlined in both blog posts need to be performed by a Vault Administrator). In order for Project Sync to communicate with your Buzzsaw site, there are two elements that need to be configured.  As outlined in part 1, free access to Buzzsaw is one of the benefits to purchasing Vault Professional on maintenance, so the first step is to create a Buzzsaw site for your organization.  The steps below outline the process to verifying your access, creating your site, and user credentials. First, log in to your Autodesk Account, and click on the Management link at the top of ...

Reduce time spent on sheetfiles by using templates and visibility states.

After installing Revit 2017 I noticed every time I opened a template or out of the box family it had to upgrade from 2016. I found some help online that pointed out a good solution to be able to control Revit content. If you accidentally saved over your OOTB families or have missing families. You can uninstall and repair the content. I went as far and removing the Metric database to speed things up. 

How do you archive, share, backup, copy, models at your office?  If you did not say "eTransmit" then you definitely need to install, and run tests in your environment. Your BIM coordinator and consultants will love you for it. Most of our consultants issues are surrounded by model updates. Some do not detach from central or copy/monitor levels and grids. issues can occur during the upgrading process. Some models with massive amounts of links and custom families have been known to crash. These can cause quite a mess, and corrupt a model to the point of having to restore a usable backup. Did you even backup?  Here is a solution to review and implement. eTransmits can do the following in your workflow and assist with your extended team. (consultants) Copy and detach a Revit model and associated files to a single folder for internet transmission. This removes the typical error messages when you copy central files using the operating system. Locate dependent files automatically and include them in the transmittal folder, helping to reduce the possibility of error. All ...

One of the biggest perks about my job is the BIM & Beer event that we host every month. We go from city to city and spread the good word about Construction Technology, and share a beer or two among friends, colleagues & customers who attend the event. If you've never been, and want to go, or we're coming to your area & you want to know what it's all about, look no further...here is your one stop shop for what to expect at BIM & Beer. What is BIM & Beer? BIM & Beer is a celebration of Technology.  Every month, we hold an event in an American or Canadian city and introduce ourselves to the Construction & Design Community. We show off the expertise of our partners and give people a good idea of what is new and what is out there in the Construction Technology industry. Oh, and there's free food. And free beer (sorry, I buried the lead there). What to expect at BIM & Beer? We like to keep it casual at these events so you're not going to see ...

This video will demonstrate how to apply Custom Data and Takeoff Information directly to each individual piece if it differs from a standard:

Searching for a better way to collaborate between architects and master planners? Look no further. Join us for this complimentary webinar and learn how to bring together intuitive 3D sketching, interoperable model sharing while navigating/evaluating to make informed decisions in a 3D urban context. By using FormIt 360 Pro, Revit and InfraWorks 360 into one workflow you will be able to:    Empower architects to design, collaborate and revise early design concepts.  Import data-rich concepts.  Streamline maters planning Design Options with powerful proposals, rule-based tool-sets and analysis capabilities to help uncover potential project impacts.  Round-trip models back into the BIM authoring tools, for detailed architectural and site design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOK31GTpDyg  

   When you  import an image to trace your building it works well.  However, when you add slabs to the building and then try to use the floor plan to create rooms on the first floor you will not be able to see the image.  Instead you will see a purple highlight of the slab like the image below:     To fix this problem take the following steps: 1) Click on the align to face button and click on any vertical surface of the building     2) Go to the all systems tab and select the image     3) Now select any point, as it will serve as a reference point to move upward from.  After you have selected a reference point move your mouse up vertically and enter “1”.  This will move the image up 1 foot allowing it to be seen in the interior view.  For this example the image was moved up to the second floor of the building which is a distance of 21 feet.   4) Now when you return to the interior system you will be able to see your floor plan. ...

INTRODUCING AUTODESK® INDUSTRY COLLECTIONS   Designed to continuously evolve to provide access to new applications and cloud services to meet your changing business needs with improved workflows, Autodesk® Industry Collections provide you with more value, more flexibility, and greater simplicity. ARCHITECTURE, ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION COLLECTION One essential BIM package for building, civil infrastructure, and construction  More info here Collection Includes: Revit AutoCAD AutoCAD Civil 3D Other Software Included Navisworks Manage AutoCAD Architecture AutoCAD Electrical AutoCAD Map 3D AutoCAD MEP AutoCAD P&ID AutoCAD Plant 3D AutoCAD Raster Design AutoCAD Utility Design Vehicle Tracking 3ds Max Cloud Services Included: Rendering in A360 AutoCAD 360 Pro FormIt 360 Pro InfraWorks 360 Insight 360 ReCap 360 Pro Structural Analysis for Revit Storage (25GB) PRODUCT DESIGN COLLECTION One essential package of design and engineering tools for product and factory design More info here Collection includes: Inventor Professional AutoCAD Navisworks Manage Vault Basic AutoCAD Electrical AutoCAD Mechanical AutoCAD Architecture Factory Design Utilities 3ds Max Cloud Services Included: Rendering in A360 AutoCAD 360 Pro Fusion 360 ReCap 360 Pro Storage (25GB) CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF FAQ'S    

Watch this video to learn how to download, export and convert Revit Families to ITM files. This process can be done in Fabrication ESTmep or CADmep. *Recommended for items such as equipment. Common items such as fittings, valves and pipe, should use the MAKEPAT command when creating items. 

 Tired of having to recreate an estimate when you want to update your conceptual estimate with new information?  Using the Destini Suite from Beck Technology you will be able to easily transition your conceptual estimate from Destini Profiler to Destini Estimator where you can update it with quantities from 2D drawings or 3D models.  To transfer the estimate follow the steps below. 1) Save your Profiler model   2) Click on the File Tab   3) Hover over the export button   4) A drop down will appear select Profiler Estimate   5) Save your estimate and give it the appropriate name   6) Open Destini Estimator and Select the estimate       7) Now your conceptual estimate is ready to be updated  

Please join me at Autodesk University 2016, November 15-17, and the MEP and Structural Fabricators Forum (MSF), November 14, in Las Vegas:   Class ID: MEP22032 Class Title: How to Implement Fabrication ESTmep-Best Practices Class Type: Instructional demo   Class ID: FAB22942-L Class Title: Hands-on-Lab: Introduction to ESTmep. Class Type: Hands-on lab   Class ID: MSF22037-L Class Title: Hands-on-Lab: Introduction to ESTmep Class Type: Hands-on lab

There have been reports of Autodesk apps that are using the plug-in auto loader mechanism breaking after the install of AutoCAD 2017 Service Pack 1.  I know we've had at least one individual internally to our company have this issue, and it's been happening more and more.   The problem appears to only happen in vanilla AutoCAD and not in verticals like AutoCAD Architecture.  A workaround is to remove the SeriesMax entry from the PackageContents.xml. For example: xmlSeriesMax="R21.0". Or to change it to xmlSeriesMax="R21.1". You can read more about it on the JTB World Blog here:  AutoCAD 2017 Service Pack 1 and a word of warning   JTB World also released an Autodesk hotfix that addresses this issue which, at the time of this publication, was not yet made public:  AutoCAD 2017 App Autoloader Hotfix

QR Codes were first created to help in the manufacturing process. In 1994 Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, created a Lean Manufacturing Process which is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. So by Definition QR Codes (Quick Response Code) are LEAN and quite versatile, they are able to store many different types of data like Contact information, URLs, Email Address, Geo Locations or just plain text. Using them for retrieving the information is quite easy and inexpensive too.  In the recent years more and more construction companies are utilizing that technology by embedding the QR Codes into blueprints or printing them into labels. This expands the amount of information available for the field beyond the constrains of a printed piece of paper. For this blog post we are going to utilize the power of a cloud for the QR Code generation  and System.Net to retrieve that generated image from the cloud. In this example we are going to generate a QR code image with an embedded link that points to the material specs website page using the URL link that is located ...