Friday, 23 January 2015

Does this mean we will start hearing about Revit 2016?

Check out @jasonboehning's Tweet: https://twitter.com/jasonboehning/status/558481424500551680

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Just a quick tip. All of us who deal with quantification in Revit must know that Revit is looking at slabs'/floors' perimeter in two ways, the external perimeter and the total perimeter including the perimeters of cut outs. See the illustrations below and compare the properties:



Sunday, 13 July 2014

Dynamo: possibilities for construction modeling

Recently one of my connections from Case suggested to get my head around Dynamo. I gotta tell you - IT IS AN UNPACKED POWER FOR BIM. And when I say BIM I don't mean conceptual models for architects controlled and manipulated using Dynamo. I agree that initially it was intended to control stuff in Conceptual massing environment, however lot of people found better use of the possibilities that it gives to automate some tasks and do batch executions of tedious tasks in Revit.
Honestly, before coming across Dynamo I was constantly thinking that Autodesk should do something to enable something like that for advanced users and those who usually expect more. Those who are specialists in their field don't necessarily need to be advanced programmers to program and execute custom tasks for PUT SOME LOGIC INTO THE MODELS. Specifically, construction models.

The only BIG THING expected when that happens is REVIT's own PERFORMANCE BOOST. I think people in "the factory" need to forget about anything else for a moment and concentrate on tweaking the engine of Revit into something that can handle large projects relatively easy. Especially, when we have somehow, already accepted the fact  that we have no version downgrade on our files. I think there is no problem from that end. IMHO, in the 21st century with this expensive machines that we buy to utilize BIM we need to be in a position where we do not click and wait for REGENERATING. I know that one might say split your model into smaller pieces but why? Why should one pay so much for the software and the hardware and other resources to implement BIM and suddenly when the project is larger than say 50000 meter square you get dozens of performance issues and REGENERATING hours.  
 
Give it a decent air intake to breathe with new performance :)

Autodesk, please, if you hear me spend few millions of dollars and change the programming engine of Revit - but retain the logic - so that it can PERFORM faster and not REGENERATE 50% of the time!!! And maybe if you do that - from that point onwards we will also be able to save backwards (in the future). 


Now, back to Dynamo. Can you imagine how powerful it can be for a dynamic construction company to set up Dynamo definitions to let's say control the phases of the elements based on their location and zones. Or, even better, let's say read and MS Excel spreadsheet exported from Primavera P6 and write the activity codes to the respective elements, again based on their location and other constraints. Just think of the possibilities. And you do not necessarily need to have or be a programmer. You can pay someone to put together a definition for you and then you can re-use it on all your projects.
I haven't yet had time to explore the latest release of dynamo and new additions to it however I strongly believe that it is going to improve over and over and become the power supply of BIM on a Revit platform.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Revit 2015 is here!!! Most Remarkable Features that I grasped!

Congratulations to the Revit population of the world. Revit 2015 is here. And here are some very important new features that have been in the wishlists of many dedicated users: 
Let's have a quick glance at few of my favorites before we get a hands-on preview and trial: 

Collaboration

  • IFC Linking

    Link an IFC file to the current project. One of the most anticipated features in collaboration for this year.

Design

  • Trim/Extend Multiple Elements

    Trim / Extend can be used on multiple elements using box selection.
  • Family Parameter Order Adjustment

    Maintain parameter order as you specify. This is a crucial new feature for content developers to organize their parameters in a more structured manner.
  • Reinforcement for parts

    Add reinforcement to concrete parts. This sounds thrilling, however needs to be tested. If it is what contruction people expects then it will rock the construction modelling into the next level by making previously introduced Parts feature complete and more useful.
  • Presentation for Rebar Sets

    Different reinforcement presentation for a rebar set in each view.
  • Structural Section Properties

    Section shape provides additional structural parameters to the element.
  • Calculation methods for pressure drop

    Calculate duct and pipe pressure drop using either Haaland or Colebrook equations.
  • Tooltips for Family Parameters

    Customize Revit MEP tooltips and communicate parameters and their use. Again an amazing feature for content developers to have tool-tips in crowded parameters for a single family to help end-users orient better.
  • Accuracy of "as-built" Model Definition

    Create as-built models to drive fabrication. It sounds delicious however we still need to get our hands-on to see what Autodesk means exactly.
  • Assembly Code Settings

    UniformatClassifications.txt location can be modified and reloaded.
  • Pinned elements enhancements

    Delete pinned elements only when you specify. Avoid accidentally deleting pinned elements.

Documentation

  • Enhanced Hidden lines

    Use ambient shadows and hidden lines to show things that are in front of and behind each other.
  • Revision improvements

    Delete revisions clouds and sketch your own revision cloud shapes.
  • Tag improvements

    Move tags and support consistency in your project.
  • Enhanced Schedules/material takeoffs

    Schedule Enhancements with Parameters, Filter & Grand Totals. Sounds great but needs to be explored.
  • Images in Schedules

    Create schedules with images to show graphical information for elements. I would ideally expect an ability to reference project views (elevations/sections/3D) or more specifically legend views to be inserted in their corresponding row in schedules. However, even this is a great new feature.
  • Keynoting Settings

    Keynoting revision dialog has a single path.
  • View References

    Change the referenced view after a view reference has been created.
  • Duplicate Views

    Changes to Duplicate View Naming Defaults. A very nice time-saver with just a small code tweak.

Visualization

  • Sketchy Lines








    Sketchy Lines that allows users to achieve a hand drawn, informal sketch look. I really was expecting to see this feature in Revit when it first appeared in 3ds MAX.

 
Visit Autodesk website for more details: 
http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-revit-family/features/software-for-bim/new/gallery-view

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Revit 2015 wishlist of features

I know it is too early to know what's happening in the factory but I dare to be bit visionary and dream out loud.

My wishlist for the upcoming release of Revit (2015 or whatever serial name it will get). I know it is rather a dream-list however, I want to publish what I expect to see and I think most of the long-term Revit users would agree:

# 1. Performance Optimization (mainly in case of large projects)

# 2. Very important: ability to assign world coordinates or X Y Z coordinates to almost all categories as parameters that can be modified to relocate an object from one position to another as well as being able to see/modify those coordinates in the element schedules.  Excitech has got an add-in that accomplishes this in a limited way - it would be nice to see it as a developed feature in Revit.

# 3. MEP pipes should be able to measure INVERT LEVELS from the invert levels not from the center lines necessarily, and Spot Elevation tool should be respectively tuned to measure the inner bottom of MEP pipes as invert levels. Accordingly one should be able to schedule these invert levels in pipe schedules.

# 4. Scope boxes should get two major improvements: Firstly they should virtually slice the model in terms of material and schedule quantities. To enable kind of a 5D-ready model. This virtual scope slicing should be intelligent enough to automatically recognize the sequence of Location Breakdowns and include or exclude elements like foundations and columns or precast elements into the previous or the next phase/scope if it falls in the intersection of two different scopes.
Scope boxes could be much useful than they are currently. First of all I think they should be sketch based just like the recent update to crop regions. We should be able to sketch a non-rectangular scope boxes. Mo rover, Scope Boxes should be applicable in 3D Views and Schedules. In other words behave somewhat like Phases. Be accessible in VG settings in linked files.

# 5. Parametric Dashboard which will let us select which fields we would like to see in the Project/Model dashboard. Something like a Titleblock but with Labels that can allow to choose fields to be reported such as:
  •  File/Name
  • Sheet List
  • List of the Linked Revit Models
  • List of the Linked CAD Files
  • List of the Worksets and Owners of those worksets with the last modified or saved dates from respective users.
  • etc. 
# 6. an option to convert topographical surfaces to floors with layers. to model an apron of an airport for instance.

# 7. In the Structural module we would like to have a tool or option to define one of the layers of floors/foundations as a Blinding Layer with offsets instead of sketching it or adding it using slab edges. Most of the time we have blinding layers that flow from one slab to another with slopes and slanted concrete fills.

# 8. In the Conceptual Mass Environment -  I would like to b able to create a sweep with a profile that has got more than one closed loop. In the adaptive points -  I would like to get a more stable control which will prevent my sweeps from slightly rotating especially when I elevate the point when insterted into a project.

# 9. Ability to sort, re-order and group parameters in the family editor and see it in the element properties.

# 10. Ability to use values of Type parameters in the formulas of Instance Parameters.

# 11. Ability to attach top/bottom of walls and columns to the topo-surfaces Ability to host floors on topo-surfaces (Floor Control Points automatically adopt to topo levels and you still can control the offset).

# 12. Ability to have a Sweep template or a new type of Sweep Form with variable levels for each end.

This list can grow substantially so I believe people can add their wishes in the comments.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

3D-4D-5D Revit Workflow (STAGE 1) - How to Manage your Phases (LBS)

Hi there, I have been keeping silence for quite some time now. I just don't like talking about what already has been discussed somewhere else. However, I prefer sharing practical solutions for the BIM challenges/possibilities that we hear in theory on our daily BIM meetings. In these series of posts I will explain in detail and step by step how to set up & manage a BIM workflow where you will have your 3D Model/Workshop Drawings linked to your 4D Sequencing & 5D Cost/Quantities.



One of these type of issues is the ideal workflow from 3D BIM and workshop drawings to 4D (time & project planning) and as well 5D (model takeoff & cost planning).

On one of our recent mega-projects we needed to define proper phasing (Location Breakdown Structure) and be flexible with that in terms of changes to a certain scope or all of the scopes. That is a big challenge if you are limited to a single software environment and you need to make your data affordable to the other parties of BIM like your QS or Planning departments.

In this post I will mainly focus on 4D scheduling and management of phases during the construction using a simple workflow which is REVIT - PRIMAVERA - MS EXCEL-Ideate BIM Link - Navisworks. This more of an overview or the bigger picture however, it may be useful for some people and can serve as a basic idea to adopt to. In the next few posts I will get to the technical details and know-hows.
You will need use Revit tools like Scope Boxes, Selection Sets & Filters, as well as Schedules. You will need to do a research on VLookUp command in Excel and learn how to use it in order to automate some tasks.

The first thing you need is to communicate with the planning department of your project. If you are lucky enough to drive the process then you may achieve BIM driven programme - otherwise you will replicate the planning department's own plan and do your best to evaluate it by 4D scheduling and sequencing. If your programme is in Primavera then you'll need a CSV export of it to process in Navisworks as well as link activity ID's to Revit components. It will require you to create an advanced Excel formula to extract activity ID's from one file and to assign those to another excel sheet which represents a  dynamicl link between your programme and Revit Elements. This Excel sheet is created and maintained using Ideate BIMLink add-in for Revit which gives you advantage not only to export data from Revit but also publish data back to Revit schedules. I assume you already imagine the workflow so let's structure it in the following steps.

REVIT STEPS
1. Have a model in Revit (for each discipline/model you will need to created these steps, so if the project is reasonably large then you first need to have a project template). However, if possible, while modeling, have your team to think the way they would construct.

2. Create Scope Boxes to help you with defining your elements in different phases.

3. Create 2 new Shared Parameters and apply these parameters to all the building component categories (if you don't already have these in your template).
    a) Shared Parameter - Task_ID - should be an instance parameter and applied to each component or group of components as per the programme intent. 


   b) Shared Parameter - Zone or LBS- should be applied to an instance level of components however it is applied to define which Phase or Construction Stage do building elements belong to.



4. After successfully splitting building elements to Phases (applying appropriate Phase/Stage to the Zone/Stage Parameter values) you need to create schedule for each building element type/category and export them to Excel or Create excel sheet with a dynamic link using Ideate BIMLink add-in. 
note: Make sure you include Task_ID field in your schedules. It will be exported empty at this point but the idea is to map it with the corresponding fields of the Primavera export.


MS EXCEL STEPS
5. Open CSV export from Primavera and make sure you know the activity ID column name. Typically it says "task_code". 

6. Open Revit Schedules that you have just exported to Excel (in step 4) for each Stage and in the Task_ID column create a VLOOKUP formula to retrieve corresponding elements and map their Activity IDs to the corresponding element values for each Stage/Phase e.g. Foundation Level Columns > Phase01 or Second Floor Beams>Stage 1.

GO BACK TO REVIT (BIMLink)
7. Open Ideate BIMLink from Add-Ins tab and update the Revit Schedules to reflect changes done in Excel. If  you have carefully mapped your activity ID's with VLOOKUP in Excell then all your components in Revit schedules must automatically get task_code values assigned to their Task_ID shared parameter field. 

NAVISWORKS SEQUENCING SETUP
8. Now we need to Export our model to Navisworks and  set up some search sets that will help map these groups of elements to the gantt chart/Time Liner in Navis.
9. Append the exported NWC and take some time to create Search sets using the Element search Criteria. Name the search sets that you will need to save with corresponding Task IDs.
10. Import the CSV programme as a Data Source in Navis TimeLiner and Build Hierarchy of activities from it. Once it is in place, auto-attach (using rules) the search sets to corresponding tasks by name. 

Of course, each of these steps need an in-depth topic but this kind of an overview is not a bad start at all - we will get there in the upcoming posts.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Revit can indeed take advantage of two screens :)


Most of us strongly believe that in Revit one cannot use two screens and Revit's user interface does not support two monitors. Well theoretically this is true. However, sometimes our workload forces some creativity. I just learned today that if you have two equally sized screens then you most probably can afford to extend your Revit windows in some way to your two screens. 

The secret is - you need to Restore Down the Main Revit Application Window and after positioning it in you main screen (or whichever screen you use most of the time) click on the right edge of the window and stretch it as far as the end of your second window.


That's it! Now open as many views as you want and tile them in the extended area of both screens. Yes, you are right, just as you click maximize on main application window it will shrink all windows to one of the screens. See the video below:





So, if you want to use the advantage of two screens in Revit the answer is very simple Restore Down your Main Revit Window and Stretch it to fit your two screens - Enjoy!