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


The New Features in FormIt v16.0 FormIt v16.0 offers many great new features related to the following categories: Materials Performance Group workflows Modeling Import DWG Revit interop Plugins Check it out here https://formit.autodesk.com/page/release-notes#release-notes-windows Also refer to the FormIt videos on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdZJr6Bo4pwBu3lQqcxlDsw/videos

Autodesk recently introduced some new functionality to Manage Revit Models in the Cloud, including BIM 360 Team 'Compare Versions'. These new workflows apply to Collaboration for Revit (C4R) as well as BIM 360 Team.  Check it out here: http://help.autodesk.com/view/RVT/2017/ENU/?guid=GUID-AE6DBCDF-3DB1-41CB-9DC5-B0C336E6C851

Error installing Revit 2018 - A newer version of Dynamo Add-in for Revit or Dynamo Core is already installed   For those who have installed 2017 software latest updates, especially Dynamo Revit or Dynamo Studio, you may encounter the error listed above when trying to install Revit 2018. The solution is to keep clicking OK until it is done installing. Do not interrupt. It will eventually open up. After launching Revit 2018, check to see if you have the latest version of Dynamo Revit and Dynamo Studio.    

Use a connected BIM workflow to take designs from concept through construction documentation with integrated performance analysis and visualization features with the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection of building design software.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akhsU51oPdA   Learn more at: http://www.autodesk.com/collections/architecture-engineering-construction/building-design

To apply a special characters or symbols into your text notes,  first access your Windows Accessories Tools/Apps by searching your Windows accessories for the Character Map tool. Once you open the tool, you can select the font style you use and search for the character needed. You can then click the Select button and Copy to copy the symbol to your clipboard. Back in Revit, you can use your Windows accelerator keys to paste the symbols. Use the key combination (ctrl+v = paste) (ctrl+c = copy). Take a look at this quick video of the basic concepts to utilize this tip. Windows Shortcut keys link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12445/windows-keyboard-shortcuts  

In Revit 2017.1 and later versions, Autodesk introduced "Code checking for Steel Connections," according to AISC standards.  Note: Unless the Steel Connections add-in is installed, only a symbolic generic connection is available. Connection elements are not pre-loaded in templates. Detailed information about connections can include the following: Connection type Detailed geometry Analytical forces and data Materials Fabricator identification    Steel beams, columns, braces and concrete isolated foundations, beams, columns, slabs and walls are valid input elements for structural connections. The connection types that allow one concrete input element are the base plate connections: Base plate, Corner base plate, Base plate cut and Tube base plate. The concrete elements are not mandatory for the connection to work and can only be secondary input elements. The concrete class of the element is automatically used inside the Code Checking engine for verification.   The Structural Connection has the standard Revit object parameters but you can add any type of parameters and use them to save information about ...

What's New in Revit 2017.1 & 2017.2?
Autodesk® released Revit® 2017.1 and 2017.2 to improve the overall performance of Revit. You may have noticed some of the updates, but other useful enhancements may not be quite as obvious. That’s why we’re offering an informative webinar on Tuesday, April 4 from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm EDT to highlight these updates and help you make the most of your experience. During the webinar, Senior Application Specialist Matt Dillon will show you the significant Revit updates related to the AEC industry. With more than 30 years of industry experience, Matt has extensive experience using Revit and understands your primary needs and frustrations. Many of the recent enhancements are security improvements and bug fixes, which provide enhanced performance and stability for you and your team. Additionally, your team will be able to collaborate more easily with the upgraded cloud project workflow upgrade. The Revit 2017.2 updates build on the 2017.1 version to further improve project performance. A majority of the updates were requested by Revit users, so if you notice something that could help you become more efficient, send your feedback ...

I ran into a nasty issue with a customer the other day while helping them get set up on BIM 360 Team and A360 Collaboration for Revit. Once I had them set up, they began initiating collaboration on several Revit projects. Initially all seemed to go well, until they started opening up the recently uploaded files. In every single file, once they opened it in Revit 2017 (as well as Revit 2017.2), the first thing they clicked on in the file (whether an element, a view,  or a ribbon) resulted in a irrecoverable error and Revit would crash.  Google is your friend. I quickly found a thread on the Autodesk Revit Forum where it was explained that this has been recently identified as a problem for some people, but not all. In fact, this was the first time I had seen it. Autodesk does not have a fix for it yet, however, there is a temporary workaround until they do - it involves disabling Communicator.  If you are experiencing frequent irrecoverable errors when working on A360 Collaboration for Revit files, follow these ...

John Sayre, Technical Marketing Manager for Autodesk, and Eric Chappell, Civil Community Evangelist for Autodesk, put together this great video that explains the way to use the Autodesk Shared Reference Point productivity pack tool to seamlessly share a file between Civil 3D, Revit, Navisworks, and Infraworks so that the content of the files locates itself on the site correctly.  I highly recommend watching this video:

Hi, Welcome to today's tips and tricks. This example was generated from a customer request on wanting to know how to adjust the arc length on revision clouds in Revit. Please click on the link below to watch a short how to video. http://autode.sk/2nvJBaO Enjoy, Rick

Top Challenges on Moving from AutoCAD® to Revit®
There’s plenty of skepticism that comes with the idea of moving from AutoCAD® to Revit®. Sure, maybe you are doing just fine with AutoCAD. Or maybe you simply don’t have the time. Skepticism aside, you know you’ve considered it. You may not want to admit it, but deep down you know you need to make the move sooner than later. On the flipside, maybe you recently made the move to Revit and feel like you’re in over your head.    No matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, we understand, and we are hosting the perfect webinar for you on Tuesday, March 21 at 12:30 PM EST. Join us to learn about the top challenges on moving from AutoCAD to Revit so that your transition can be as smooth as possible. We’ll uncover the main areas of struggle that we’ve seen and offer tips to help you determine the best way to handle the transition with your team.   We’ll also share reasons why you should go ahead and move from AutoCAD to Revit. You’ll learn how Revit can transform your team’s ...

Revit 2017 Combine Parameters in Schedules  You can combine parameters of the type(s) that display in that part of a schedule.  The values for the combined parameters will display in the same cell separated by a slash or other separator.  Note: Because combined parameters are not assigned to a category, they cannot be reused.  If you want to move the calculated value to a different cell, you must re-enter it.  1. Click Manage tabSettings PanelPanel Schedule Templates  Edit a Template.  2. In the Edit a Template dialog, select a template type and click Open.  3. Select a cell and click  Combine Parameters.  4. You add and remove parameters by moving them between the panes:      •Highlight a parameter in the Panel schedule parameters pane and click  Add Parameter to move it into the Combined parameter pane.       •Highlight a parameter in the Combined parameters pane and click  Remove Parameter to move it into the Panel schedule parameters pane.  5.Optionally, you can add a prefix, suffix, or sample value to the parameter.  The sample value is displayed in the Preview so that you can edit as needed before closing ...

Simplify the conversion for inline Revit equipment to Fabrication content by utilizing the Fabrication Design Line Node concept and applying it to Families in Revit.

PRESS RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT - ORIGINALLY RELEASED 2/17/2017 Applied Software Expands its Solutions Portfolio with Xinaps   Xinaps streamlines process of complying with local building regulations directly within Autodesk Revit      ATLANTA – February 16, 2017 – Applied Software®, a leading systems integrator in the AEC, construction and manufacturing industries, announced today its partnership with Xinaps, developer of a suite of plug-ins that ensures data quality validation and compliance with local building regulations within Autodesk Revit®. The partnership further expands Applied’s already comprehensive portfolio of Autodesk solutions.   Using Xinaps to validate as they work, design professionals can minimize errors, mitigate risks and improve collaboration between project members. In addition to streamlining the process of complying with local building regulations, Xinaps also provides analysis and 3D visualizations that help designers understand the impact of their work and make better-informed decisions.   “Xinaps fits well within our expansive portfolio of Autodesk products, enabling us to better support any and all of our clients’ workflow needs,” said Richard Burroughs, president of Applied Software. “We’re excited to offer Xinaps to a wider audience through our sales coverage, training and support.”   “We’re pleased to collaborate ...

The most basic of all visualization mediums is a simple rendering. While you can certainly generate very powerful and compelling still images in Revit with no additional software necessary, bringing your model into a more powerful rendering environment such as 3ds Max can provide you with additional capabilities to further enhance your image. 3ds Max includes a variety of rendering engines, each with it's own unique capabilities. The ART (Advanced Ray Trace) renderer is more or less the same that is found in Revit 2017, however the NVIDIA mental ray renderer brings additional capabilities that are not found in Revit 2017, or even in the mental ray renderer found in Revit 2016 and earlier releases.  The mental ray engine provides more controls for global illumination (GI), which allows you to render interior scenes that utilize exterior a high amount of exterior lighting. Both images below rely heavily, if not entirely, on external lighting for an interior scene. However these kinds of scenes can be very challenging to render without the ability to use the Global Illumination settings which are not found ...

(Part 2 ) In this part we will create the same surface from a civil 3D points file that was exported in the NEZ (Northing, Easting, Elevation) .txt format. This file will allow users to create a toposurface in Revit. The format is key as well, as is the file type you are importing. You can import this points file in either (.csv or .txt) file type formats. Keep in mind you will not see the imported points until you "Finish" the toposurface.  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 ...

In 2016 Autodesk released 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 1) Reporting parameters are values driven by dimensions or geometric conditions. (Part 2 coming soon):  Global parameters are specific to a single project file but are not assigned to categories like a project parameter. 

Hi Folks, I have been getting several calls from customers that are using Revit 2016/2017 and have a really nice high resolution screen on their PC and are experiencing issues with being able to read within their schedules. The text ends up being garbled and overlapping. The issue is the "newer" screens ( greater than (1920x1080) don't seem to work well in Revit when looking at things like schedules. In the Schedule view the text within the boxes overlaps and is unreadable. The only "fix" was to place the view on a sheet in order to clearly "read" all the text. Below is a link to an article on how to fix this. Please keep in mind, in my experience it takes a few tries on a PC to get the balance between changing the screen resolution and adjusting the size of text to be no larger than 100%. https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/revit-architecture-forum/revit-2017-text-issues-finally-solved/td-p/6562507 Good luck, Rick Kremer Applied Software

This update includes new functionality and addresses customer reported crashes and issues and contains the fixes included in Revit 2017 Service Pack 1 and 2. With this install, the following will be updated: Revit 2017, Collaboration for Revit 2017, Personal Accelerator for Collaboration and Dynamo. RVT 2017.1 Release notes Reported Issues Resolved

Below is a screencast tutorial on how to create a custom end piece for a book shelf system. This was created in response to a customer wanting to know how to create a custom piece of millwork with an inset transparent material that would attach at the end of a book case. Custom Family: Framed Panel https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/learn-explore/caas/screencast/Main/Details/c77bde11-315f-471a-ab46-35a0a18d3262.html This almost 9 minute long video ( my longest one) not only shows you how to create it, but shows how I would go about nesting it into another family. Enjoy, Rick Kremer Applied Software

On February 7 - at 12:30 PM Eastern Time, I will be conducting a 45-60 minute webinar on Cloud Rendering with Autodesk Revit. Here are some sample images from the webinar. To register (it's FREE), go here. During this free webinar, we will examine the Autodesk A360 Cloud Rendering workflow using Autodesk Revit. We will look at the basic interface and settings, then explore more advanced features, such as exposure control, panorama and stereo panorama renderings for use with virtual reality goggles, and how to share your images with others.  See you there!

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 ...

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.