Friday, September 25, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I gathered the following information to help convince my boss to get the upgrade to Revit or start a subscription.

System requirements:
Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 64-bit:Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise
Microsoft Windows 8 / 8.1 64-bit: Windows 8 / 8.1, Pro or Enterprise
CPU Multi-Core Intel Xeon, I-series processor or AMD equivalent with SSE2 technology. Memory 8 GB RAM
Display 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+), true color
Graphics card DirectX® 11 capable graphics card with Shader Model 3 as recommended by Autodesk.Disk Space 5 GB free disk space
Media Download or installation from DVD or USB
Pointing Device Mouse or compliant device
Browser Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 (or later)
Connectivity Internet connection for license registration and prerequisite component download

Our projects are getting larger and more complex, the performance of Revit is improving with each new release. “The Revit Jedi”
Sketchy lines - yep, create sketchy alteration to views
Family parameter order adjustments - reorder/control parameter positionSchedules/material takeoffs - Access to Additional parameters and Grand Total customization
Revision improvements - Delete Revisions and more sketching options
View references - Reassign view reference to different view
Anti-aliasing improvements (related to Sketchy Lines)Images in schedules - Instance and Type Image parameters can be used in schedules
Building element analysis - Improved surface analysis and calculations (Subscription Only)Tag improvements - Leader behavior mimics text leaders
Ray trace usability improvements - faster, better quality and smoother
Views on sheets - Double click to Deactivate View (compliments 2014's Activate View)
Keynoting settings - Keynote settings access easier, more obvious
Trim - Use selection box to trim extend multiple elements

Conceptual design environment:Non-rectangular crop regions and callouts
Schedules format improvements
File export improvements
Stair creation improvements

Double-click to Edit Family
View & view templates improvements
General usability improvemeents
File export improvements, text & transparency
You can now tab to the dimension & hit the delete key & the dimension is removed from the string.
Diameter dimension tool
Surface Transparency slider
Stair creation improvements

Why do subscription?
Latest product enhancements (daily add-ons)
Autodesk 360 cloud services for rendering, optimization, and analysis
Previous Version Rights (three years worth), Home Use Rights
25 GB of Autodesk 360 cloud storage per named user
Basic Technical Support
Collaborate with project stakeholders securely in the cloud

Use building design suite software month to month? ~$340/month/seat
Autodesk only – no resellers (works out to $4080/year/seat), only current version offered.

I have three quotes:
  • Microdesk $5,327 + $1,000/year
  • Keller Pacific $4,295 + $1,025/year
  • US CAD $4,560 + $995/year
Each quote expires in September 2014. Starting in February 2015, Autodesk will no longer allow discounted, “upgrade” pricing. All upgrades will be new purchases to the tune of $8,000.
Every reseller also offers quarterly pricing and financing of licenses

Friday, July 17, 2015

SCRUG 7-16-15

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my schedule opened up and I was able to attend this months South Coast Revit User Group meeting. There were two topics:

  1. Schedules
  2. Content Management (Libraries)
A special thanks to Carla Edwards for presenting.

One of the nice thing about attending SCRUG is you get a look at how others are using the features of Revit. Since I have an older version installed at both work and home, it gives me a chance to see the future. Autodesk added some features to schedules over the years. There are many features built into every software and Revit is no exception. The difficulty with any software company is finding a way for users to discover new functionality. SCRUG is one way for users to find the new or old features. 

Carla covered some schedule basics, however, though basic, these features are very powerful.

group parameters vs ungrouped - nice for appearance 

Combining key schedules with schedules allows one to push content from a key schedule to another schedule. For example you have a set pallet of finishes based on the room function. Categories like office, breakroom, hall, storage and so on. You may only have 3-4 pallets, but dozens of rooms. To manually add the individual finishes to each line in the schedule could easily add hours of time. Using a key schedule you could pick your pallets and then select them from a drop down in the room finish schedule. One example was shown by adding code occupancy calculations to a room schedule. The number of persons can be calculated from the area by applying the occupant load factor.

"Insert from file" when you load a schedule, it will bring in the associated key schedules automatically!

Schedules can be used to manage objects in the project - everything in the project. Sheets, views, levels, or anything. Since you may have schedules that will not appear in the printed set you can have multiple schedules for sorting or finding items. One anecdote was that a wall type was created and used that was not part of the company standard - and with a schedule it was easily found, located, and corrected. 

View template may be created and applied to schedules - you can easily get all the schedules in a project to use the same font, and lines. One best practice is to name your schedule fonts with the name "schedule" in it.

Content Management
Why should we manage content? For company consistency, which translates to quality and it saves time. 
Manage your parameters - using the same parameter across families and projects means less duplicated work, and more profitability.
Document the shared parameters! - write down what was created, why it was created, what it does and where it goes.
Have an office standard template for projects and for families.
When you want to "hard code" parameters into a template - start with a .rft, convert to a .rfa then convert to a .rft. Done. 
Idea for families - use an embedded mass family for clearances - use the same object subcategory across all families so you can globally turn them all on or off in views. 
Many manufactures provide BIM content. Colby Windows, Kawneer to name a few. Beware the content! Much of it is not created with the design professional in mind. Always test it in a sample project. The last thing you want is for a piece of content to break your project. 
FYI - Autodesk Seek has added a badging/rating system for content. 

Best practices for creating content:
  • Use reference lines and reference planes. Choose carefully which references are strong, weak or not a reference. The implications affect where you can align or dimension and how easy it is to pick and click.
  • Materials - use parameters in families and manage the materials in the project
  • Test content in test projects
Organizing your content:
  • Name/sort by CSI number - makes for easier keynoting and spec coordination
  • Sort directories: 00-startup files, 01-support files, 02-model content, 03-annotate content, ...
    • startup - templates
    • support - share parameter files
    • model - 3d families
    • annotate - 2d families
  • Keep track of what you decided and why
  • Make compromises, don't change how you operate so often that you can't get/keep everyone on board
Several vendors offer content search, creation, duplication and organizing solutions, Robocopy, Autodesk Vault, Dropbox, Peersync, DFS Replicate, Buzzsaw, ...

Recent Architectural Projects

  • 2013-14 Facilities Support Center LEED submittals, NASA AFRC
  • 2013-14 Maguire Aviation Hanger, Van Nuys, BASCON
  • 2013-14 Fullerton Municipal Airport Terminal Remodel, City of Fullerton
  • 2014 DEA Fire Alarm, GSA Los Angeles
  • 2013-14 Fuel Farm, NASA DAOF