Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SCRUG 11/20/14

The maturity of SCRUG has become a recurring topic at recent meetings. The South Coast Revit User Group was founded and had its first meeting in December 2000. At that time the meetings were held quarterly and nearly every presentation was given by one guy, Jim Balding. Autodesk was the sole sponsor, thank you Chuck Healy. SCRUG was the second Revit User Group formed and it has lasted. The one group that was formed earlier has since disbanded.The meeting this month was a sort of celebration of usergroups and what this particular group has become.

Autodesk demonstrated the Point Layout system using a Total Station, Prism and Ipad. The main benefit being that one can now create points in the Revit software or in the field. One can use the real world to create layout points. Revit now has the ability to embed layout points inside families. One may authorize users to create or control points. Thus a group could divide the work and record site conditions or create a layout for walls, or grids. The information could be combined with project Glue

Part of the meeting included extolling the benefits of user groups and user conferences. 

Nicholas Kramer presented Tips and Tricks and Jokes from the Revit Technology Conference North America. The RTC events are like trying to present four years of user group meetings over three days. Some highlights included SCAN to BIM tip to keep your section box small to increase performance, adding required clearances in families to a sub category (and standardizing on the naming of the subcategory company wide, i.e. "clearance", "Clearance" and "CLEARANCE" are all considered different in the software), shared coordinates, combining model with drafting patterns, using components with tags to do detailing vs lines and notes, organizing your groups with prefixes, locking the profiles in your mass families, using sub parameters for formulas (like a mini spreadsheet), an override summary for Revit object visibility, adding notes to your Revit Template to help users remember how to use what, linking parameters to host families and too many other tips to mention.

Carla Edwards presented the benefits of the BIM Workshops. Some of the tips from their events include: Steve Stafford's library analogy, definitions of survey point vs project base point, supernudge (hold down shift while nudging), reference planes have a direction, and using Bluebeam to compare documents (PDF the old and the new and Bluebeam highlights the differences). 

Vendors presented their wares. Notably there were two "collaborate in the cloud" companies. They offered great solutions for those working live across multiple offices. 

Knowledge Trax presented their system for evaluating the Revit knowledge of users. They have pre assessment testing, recommendations of training to fill knowledge gaps, and post training assessment. It looks very effective. Nick brought up that it is very good at flagging people that do not follow written directions. Purchasers of their services can use pre-baked questions and training or create their own. It is much more cost effective and consistent than having someone in house create an evaluation/assessment/training system.

Also of note, Solibri  played a short video and shared their marketing strategy. Solibri software is a model review software. There are two steps, decide what rules to use and check the model against those rules. The software uses embedded information the model to conduct the review. One example is a door and its required clearance based on accessible requirements in the International Building Code.  However, one can write one's own rules. Does the client want rooms named "office" to have specific dimensions? Solibri can check the model and report violations. Solibri is marketing this functionality toward jurisdictions that need to check plans. Building departments worldwide could accelerate plan checks. The review the violations part of the software is well developed. One can make a series of "slides" into an HTML document with live links to views of the model. The views of the model are automatically marked with visual references to the clearance available and the required clearance. Powerful.

Perkowitz+Ruth Architects provided four laptops with Revit 1.0 installed for a design challenge. Revit 1.0 was FAST on those laptops. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention DOOR PRIZES. Thousands of dollars changed hands (when you count the drinks, gift cards, electronics and software). Thanks to Newport Rib Company, US CAD, Kelar Pacific, Microdesk and the other vendors. 

While I did not stay past 9pm, the portion of the meeting I attended was intense fast paced and amazing. I plan to stay a member of this group and attend future meetings. 
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