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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

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.    

Dodge Data & Analytics published a very interesting video on Managing Risk in the Construction Industry as it relates to Building Information Modeling.  Check it out:  

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

I've been working for Applied Software for about 2 years now. As I reflected on that milestone, I thought about all of the places I've gone, people I visited, and things I've done to help people in Construction. Things I'm most Proud of: There are a few things that I have done that have really made me proud. I'll share two of those stories: Problem 1: The first month I was on the job, I went to Orlando to visit a major theme park client. They had a big problem on their hands - they were building an insane new experience where everything in the park lit up, moved, and/or was (or at least appeared to be) floating in mid-air, and almost every piece was unique. They needed a way to track & quickly identify every piece and part in the park & confirm the exact spot where it needed to go. Our Solution With the help of their Theming Subcontractor, COST of Wisconsin, we barcoded everything in the park. We trained their factory team to track the shipment of each item and came up with ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

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 ...

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. 

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 ...

Published on Jun 30, 2016 From Apple to Mars Stefan is a Senior Executive Partner at Foster + Partners and head of Studio 4. He leads the practice’s research into sustainable design and the use of new materials and methods in construction, and established the Material Research Centre (MRC). He is also responsible for the Specialist Modelling Group (SMG), a multi-disciplinary research team who are experts in all aspects of environmental analysis, computational design, architecture for the senses, and digital fabrication.  He has worked on a number of projects that have pioneered new techniques for energy efficiency and resource management, including the Reichstag, New German Parliament in Berlin, the McLaren Technology Centre, London City Hall, the carbon-neutral settlement, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, and his team is working on lunar and Mars projects. Currently he is involved in Apple’s new Headquarters in California. Stefan has held the chair for integrated design at the University Stuttgart, Germany, for 20 years.  This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more athttp://ted.com/tedx   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbfPWalO_ss  

"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 ...

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

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 ...

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  

With the HILTIButton 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdsOGTOVjTA  

BIMConnect™ - a new add-in for Revit developed by Applied Software that allows users to export data from Revit into Excel and Import data from Excel into Revit.  Top Features 1.Export Revit data to Excel 2.Import Excel data to Revit 3.Creating Unplaced Rooms/Spaces 4.Adding Custom Parameters 5.Manage View Independent Data (such as materials) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C15OETeQfwg

In addition to Revit family parameters, project parameters and shared parameters, Autodesk added Global Parameters as part of 2016 R2. Global Parameters are specific to a single project file, but are not assigned to categories. Global parameters can be simple values, values derived from equations, or values taken from the model using other global parameters. Use global parameters to drive and report values. A global parameter can assign the same value to multiple non-adjacent dimensions. You can also set the position of one element by the size of another element. If you missed it, join us for this special parametric design session on Global Parameters to learn more.              

Released exclusively to Subscription customers, Autodesk Revit 2016 R2 builds on the speed and project performance improvements. Revit 2016 R2 has over 25 new features, many which were requested by users. This update makes Revit faster with even better performance that translates to faster navigation, speedier work processes. If you missed this webinar, we will show you the significant updates that relate to the Architectural Industry.  

In order to justify changing to a new system or way of doing things there has to be something that could be drastically improved in the current process.  That is certainly true when it comes to estimating within the construction industry.  The industry is currently using one program for 2D takeoff, a different program for 3D takeoff, and yet another program to manage the estimate.    That leads to unnecessary steps in the initial estimate, like transferring the quantities gathered from our two different takeoff programs to the program managing the estimate.  Then when updated drawings are received the user has to update their takeoff then go and find the affected line items and update them in the estimate.  If a model is involved the current 3d takeoff tools only allow us to see what has changed in terms of the model components, not how those changes have affected the current estimate.  If items have been added those quantities have to be copied over to the line items in the estimating program.   Surely there is a better way to do ...

How are you presenting your conceptual estimates to your clients?  Through Excel? MC2 reports? Timberline reports? Are you happy with the results that you are getting from you current methodology?   The way that the industry is currently presenting our cost information to our clients has room for improvement.  You take the vast amount of knowledge about the project you are proposing on and dump it into a spreadsheet.    Putting your budgets into a spreadsheet and leaving them there is doing a huge disservice to your clients.  To create the estimate you have performed takeoff, gathered historical information from similar projects, and taken into consideration current market conditions.  In addition to compiling cost data you have: created a schedule for the project, comprised a site logistic plan, evaluated the cut and fill required to level the site, and listed out available value engineering ideas in case the project is over budget.    This research and planning has made your estimate more accurate and provided additional value.  Why is this information thrown away or put it on a power point slide when it comes ...

Autodesk A360 Collaboration for Revit was released in January of 2015, and since then has seen a steadily increasing rate of adoption among users who need to host a Revit Central File in the cloud in order to collaborate with other firms and organizations, or even to collaborate within the same firm between geographically disperse offices. As would be expected, as the adoption rate increases, we have also seen an increase in support cases related to A360 - mostly involving the initial setup and confusion as to the relationship between A360 Collaboration for Revit and A360 Team.  We have recently completed a white paper to explain how these two services work together, how to set them up and the basics of working in A360 Collaboration for Revit. Download your copy here!

The Current Workflow: When I first started doing BIM Coordination 4 years ago, the typical workflow went like this: The subcontractors created a 3D model using design or fabrication software The subcontractors uploaded their model to an FTP site at a designated time The BIM coordinator downloaded the design / fab models & created a federated Navisworks model The BIM coordinator ran clash tests using Navisworks & generated clash reports The Coordination Team met & discussed the Clashes The process repeats. The Problem: When I ran coordination meetings, this process was pretty successful, but it was slower than it should be. For the most part, coordination moved along, but there were often times where clashes would go untouched for weeks at a time - multiple weeks. The most common answer I recieved about why the clashes weren't promptly fixed, "I didn't know what the <other coordination team member> was going to do with this clash. I was waiting on him." ...