Thursday, April 16, 2009

REVIT Architecture and Structure 2010 has Arrived !

REVIT Architecture and Structure 2010 are now available for download at the Autodesk subscription center.
Let the fun begin !
You may want to set aside a couple hours to download, extract and install but I have a feeling it is worth it !

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

REVIT Family Tip for Mirroring

Using the 'mirror' tool (or even copy tool) in the family editor can cause unexpected results. This can be a real boobie-trap because you may never realize that it was that original 'mirror' you did way back when that is causing the problem. As a novice you may simply give up and never figure out what is causing the problem. So here is the tip. * As a beginner using the family editor, avoid using the mirror (or copy) tool if you can or at least be aware of what it does. You are actually safer to draw all of the objects one at a time including sketch lines. Plus. . . .you need practice. Be aware that when you mirror a solid or void the 'work plane' of the original object is maintained on the new object. Better off to draw a new object. Seriously. When you mirror a solid or void that has constraints, the constraints may have to be recreated on the new object. Try not to mirror sketch lines at all. Sketch lines can be nicely tied to reference lines (even without a constraint) but a mirrored sketch line will behave differently than a newly created sketch line with regards to nearby reference planes. Draw new objects.
I am not saying you cannot accomplish what you want with the mirror (or copy) tool but I am saying that mirrored (and copied) objects do NOT behave the same as a newly created objects. Do yourself a favour and create the objects one at a time and you will find the road a little less bumpy.
When you're ready to do a little 4x4'ing then you can head for the outback but I always end up looking for that smooth road again.

REVIT Families - Bones, Brains, Balance and Body

Steve Stafford recently posted a suggested method of 'naming' the three main processes involved in creating families while in the 'family editor'. Made perfect sense. He reduced the family creating process to Bones, Muscle, and Skin. Reducing is good. I started using that terminology because it helps people get around the most important 'process' much easier and then allows valuable energy to be applied on making cool families.
Steve's original suggested process naming:
Bones = Reference Planes
Muscle = Dimensions, Labels/Parameters, Automatic Sketch Dimensions
Skin = Solids/Voids and Symbolic Linework
So now, for me it has evolved to become the 'Four B's' or simply put '4B' approach.
Here is my new (ever evolving) family creating 4B approach and it is VERY important to maintain the order in which it is laid out.
Bones = Family Template and Category, Named and Unnamed Reference Planes, Reference Lines, Reference Levels
Brains = Dimensions, Labels/Parameters (w/formulas), Automatic Sketch Dimensions, Pins, Arrays, (w/labels), Groups, Nested Families
Balance = Flex the Brains and Bones (and keep flexing)
Body = Solids/Voids, Model Lines, Symbolic Lines, Masking Regions, Annotation and Detail Components . . .
So when you want to start making familes you can use the obove approach (in that order) and it will help make life much easier. I think most people are like me and they get excited when making familes and jump ahead to the 'Body' part right away and that causes problems. RESIST !
Thank you Steve . . . . just point me in the right direction.

Friday, April 10, 2009

REVIT Architecture 2010 New Features and Images

REVIT Architecture has come a long way since I started using it in 5.0. A steady upward curve of advancement in parametric design and building information modeling. Not to mention it's so fun to use every day. Well the fun is about to kick into full stride and everyone is going to be competing for the Dubai, UAE sky line using these new concept design tools.
Below are a few snapshots of what is to be released on April 16th.
First off we have the 'Application Window' which allows us to open, save etc but it also allows us to comtrol our Recent Files history. We can 'Pin' certain files to always stay in the recent files listing and we can also sort and organize the recent files history. Thank you.
Place your favorite tools on the 'Quick Access' toolbar.
Some 'Ribbon' snapshots show below. The Ribbon has replaced the Design bar and the options bar and the pull down menu ! (the Project Browser remains the same). And unlike AutoCAD 2010 REVIT does NOT have the option to set the interface back to 'Classic'. It's the new interface I have personally been wishing for so I am excited to dig in deep and see what treasures lie ahead ! This is just the facelift REVIT needed in my opinion. As you select different tools the Ribbon reacts accordingly. If you are familiar with Office 2007 then you recognize the format and dancing to the Microsoft tune.
Now because the REVIT developers are so smart they even built in a "Where the #%@ is my command" tool. This is something we will use and appreciate in order to to bridge the gap between the old interface and the new interface. Show REVIT where the old tool was and it will show you how to find it in the new Ribbon.
REVIT also has extended help information instantly available with a delayed 'hover' over a tool.
I have no images for this new feature but you can now add 'Connectors' to Electrical, Piping and HVAC Families. This is huge news for MEP.
The conceptual tools are in center ring on this RAC release.
Make a massing family and then 'Create Shapes' and add intermitant profiles and use Xray mode to manipulate nodes and then add and refine a surface and then swap different massing types like design options. It's amazing. The Create Shape and supporting tools are only available for Massing objects.
That's it for now.
Stay tuned for lots more REVIT 2010 information and some exciting new streaming video tutorials.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

REVIT Structure 2010 New Features and Images

Well REVIT Structure and Architecture should be flying off the shelves starting April 16th.
Below are a few items of interest on the new RST 2010 software.
For integrated RST output it seems it's all about the 'Extensions'. This is not new news to existing RST users.
Extensions are only available to subscription users but I think most REVIT users are on subscription anyway.
Extension are for the most part, 3rd add-ons or APIs.
REVIT has had an Extension Manager for a while now below is what it looks like now.
Below is the 'Beam to Column connection' Extension.
It allows you to configure the geometry involved, plates, brackets, bolts, stiffeners and welds . . . . and it allows you to save it as a 'Family' for future use. This is only avalable to Beam /Column connections. No current Beam to Beam connections allowed with this tool. COOL !
There is also a much anticipated 'Bridge' extension.
This extension allows you to configure the bridge profile, deck, abutments, piers and railings.
Below we see what can be created within seconds with the Create Form, Divide Surface and Triangle Surface Pattern tools. REVIT's 'Create Form' tool in general is a completely independant and entirely new set of super-duper amazing tools. See image below. ---------------------------- Then of course there is the much talked about 'Ribbon. The Ribbon interface has arrived with REVIT and unlike in AutoCAD there is no 'Classic' display option to go back to the old interface. So get used to it ! If you are familiar with the latest MS Office interface you should recognize the format as it appears Microsoft is driving this change in design. The Ribbon is context sensative so during a command sequence it's constantly adapting and replaces the old 'Options Bar'. The Ribbon is customizable and you can also add your own hand picked commands to the 'Quick Access' bar. This handi toolbar behaves much like the Microsoft 'Quick Launch' toolbars on the task bar. Right click a tool and click 'Add to Quick Access toolbar' and the tool will be added and waiting just like on a . . . . . . . drum roll . . . . . Palette ! ---------------------------- That's all for now, stay tuned for lots more exciting videos and tutorials here at REVIT Rocks !

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

REVIT Architecture and Structure 2010 Shipping Date is April 16

I was just given the word that Autodesk will be shipping RAC and RST 2010 on April 16th.
I would expect the subscription centers will be busy with downloads as soon as it is ready !

Tapered Flat Roof or Floor with In-Place Family

This is actually a difficult exercise to explain but a great lesson to learn.
In the REVIT video Tutorial below we demonstrate how to create a flat tapeing floor (or roof) where the underside of the floor (or roof) stays horizontal.
As well, the challenge is the floor edge has an elevation at the perimeter and an elevation at the interior where there is a donut hole (rectangular).
We use an in-place family using the 'floor based' template and set the catagory to 'floors' and then use a solid extrusion and a void blend.
For the 'creme de la creme' we tie it all toether with a few grid lines for total control.
I should also point out that you could actually accomplish the same results by making the floor layer a 'variable' thickness and then use the floor / roof 'shape editing' tools to add in the low points.
(TIP: Try clicking the 'HD' button, THEN the full Screen button. . . . Youtube is still working on this feature)