Saturday, August 19, 2017

SCRUG 8/17/2017 dRofus

The August 2017 SCRUG (South Coast Revit User Group) met at the Irvine California offices of Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.

Food was supplied by Super Mex. Cheese enchiladas and chicken enchiladas. Thank you to our sponsors... Kelar Pacific, Microdesk, & U.S. CAD.

Brok Howard of dRofus presented. He emphasized that his company was not trying to remake all the Revit Addins or tools inside Revit Architecture. Nor are they trying to have a huge feature set.  It can be used as a Revit content management solution and admittedly, it is clunky. 

dRofus leverages the existing tools in Revit to help designers focus on design. Their cloud based solution is a database that has bi-directional communication with Revit. dRofus can create and push shared parameters into Revit files. However, not all information needs to be in the model. The examples showed how an owner's requirements or an architectural program can reside outside Revit. With dRofus and Revit side by side one can have a list that depopulates as objects are placed in a Revit model. 

Many today use checklists to verify and confirm the correct number of items wind up in the Revit Model. For example: furniture, rooms, equipment, and so on. With dRofus a single click can place all the required revit families in a room for later adjustment. All the stuff lands at the room origin point, so use with caution.

One can compare square footage in dRofus and have a spreadsheet of what the owner asked for to what is actually in the model - with live updates. 

dRofus also can create an IFC file from the Revit model to allow visual navigation of the Revit Model inside a web browser. With the model objects in a list on half the web browser, one may easily click in the list to highlight in the 3D what is where and see it on the other half the web browser

Doors & Door hardware can be managed in dRofus. It can grab the relevant data from Revit and be manipulated and output to specifications or pushed back in. 

One opportunity that dRofus presents is designing the building requirements and specifications into a standard before any modeling actually takes place. In this manner is seems similar to the programming phase of a typical project. By placing the requirements into dRofus, it integrates with Revit and can facilitate increased quality and speed in design. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

USC BIM Conference 2017, "BIM 2017: what's next?"

I attended the eleventh annual BIM conference at my alma mater.
Here is what I learned:
  1. More and more firms are bringing visualization into their design work flow
    • Virtual Reality
    • Augmented Reality
    • Reality Capture is replacing site photography
    • 3d Printing
  2. Machine Learning and Internet of Things bring valuable data to the design process
  3. Grasshopper, Dynamo, Lumion are software to leverage what computers are good at to improve design outcomes
    • Do analysis to better understand the performance of design
    • Grasshopper can create visually complex designs using math and small repeated elements like bricks
    • Dynamo can gather data from the design and automate repetitive tasks
  4. The number of tech companies involved in VR and its technologies is extensive - Vive, Samsung, OculusRift, HoloLense, ...
  5. Some VR tech allows live design - move equipment in space, add objects,
  6. A virtual dissection table allows doctors to perform operations in a virtual environment using full body scans
  7. A structural engineering firm used scripting to model every structural steel connection on a large project; they used Tekla to analyze and optomize the structure to identify and eliminate steel that was redudndent; the Tekla model was used by the fabricator
I already knew, and it was reinforced:
  1. BIM helps designers make better design decisions and create better constructability
  2. Sun studies optimize overhang performance
  3. VR of virtual construction saves over building full scale mockups (Operating Rooms, Hospitality)
  4. Each stake holder has different priorities, design teams must analyze the priorities and seek to maximize the satisfaction across many dimensions of priorities
  5. 3d laser scanning is used for as-built visualization and to help design in existing structures; it reduces field time; one project is estimated to have saved ~$900,000 in change orders
If you have any questions or would like further discussion, please comment on the post.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

SCRUG 5/2017

5/25/2017 SCRUG was held at the offices of LPA. Thanks for hosting.

We had a smaller group this month ~18 people. The dinner from Super Mex was provided by our sponsors. Dessert was donuts - sorry I missed the brand. Thank you Microdesk, US CAD, & Keller Pacific.

Introductions were short with only a couple of new people. Welcome to the group. Once again, A. Jay Holland, Chair of SCRUG led the discussion and introduced Brent Ramos from Assemble.

Here is the summary of what Assemble does:

  • It makes your Revit model accessible by people without the full software.
  • They can view the model, sort the items, examine the parameters, group objects, save views, change display colors of objects, make limited changes to parameters that will be saved in Assemble, changes can be exported and pushed into Revit 
  • Versioning: Assemble assigns version numbers to each upload, can do comparisons, show and list what has changed.
  • 100% Cloud based.
Brent had a user, Connor Burke, a senior estimator/project manager from McCarthy, explain how they are using the website/software in the design/build and IDP part of their business. 
  1. McCarthy tested many software packages and web services before choosing Assemble.
  2. They add data to the model, like pricing, RFIs
  3. "If the model is built correctly, it cuts estimating time from two weeks to two days."
  4. They use it for coordination, QTO, QC, daily trending of changes to the model, 
  5. The saved views become a template for future projects. 
  6. It is a different work flow from Navisworks.
  7. Models can be assembled in Revit then exported as a single model to Assemble or Assemble can combine the exported models. McCarty prefers the first method. 
The market for Assemble is General Contractors, Building Managers, and Building Owners. For design teams it seems like another layer of work and yet it can be  a communication tool. Designers can see what the contractors see, they can use it for quality reviews and tracking of comments in an online solution. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

SCRUG 4/2017

The local Revit User Group met on a day that I could attend this month! Here is the summary...
A J Holland is the current chairman of SCRUG.
He arranges the food and the guests. Thanks Jay!

Thank you to our re-seller Sponsors: 


The dinner was street tacos. Your choice of Beef, Pork or Chicken.
Attendance was  ±50. There were about five first time attendees.

Scott Davis presented. He joined Autodesk ten years ago. First off, he described the development strategy going forward. Autodesk will roll out new features on a quarterly basis. The file format will remain the same. If I understand correctly it will be a huge improvement. Users may have different releases like, 2018, 2018.1, 2018.2, or 2018.3 and still be able to open the other 2018 releases!

The presentation consisted of showing the official Autodesk Revit 2018 new features videos. You may find them here...

Scott showed a few additional videos that are not posted on

Here is the new features list.

Autodesk has been incrementally working on the font rendering. The goal was to get fonts to have consistent heights between Autocad & Revit. Revit 2017 received many font complaints on With the 2018 release, there is only one gap - fonts in dimensions. Once they update dimensions, the font rendering will be consistent across all text entities (schedules, symbols, labels, text, dimensions).

Last but not least, Scott showed some "coming soon" features:

  1. Schedules Browser - allows filters and sorting of schedules in the Project Browser.
  2. Collaboration 4 Revit - allows linking of DWG files.
  3. Formit - quick material creation and improt to Revit.
  4. Multi Monitor Support - tabbed views, drag & drop to second monitor, better manual window arranging.

Want to influence future Revit releases? Try these websites...

FYI:There is contact information for some of the actual developers.

Revit Tip: use etransmit to upgrade a Revit file with all its links at the same time.

Chat afterwards... Now is a great time to join a firm. There are many looking for talent.

Recent Architectural Projects

  • 2013-2017 NASA Fuel Farm ~$4m
  • 2016-2017 Yuma Range Towers
  • 2015-2017 SBIAA Hangar 763 improvements ~ $3.5m
  • 2016-2017 Beale AFB Building B1210/B1214 2nd floor ~2.2m
  • 2015-2016 VBA Wilshire 2nd floor, GSA ~$4m