Friday, March 23, 2007

The Data Manager

With the implementation of Revit we, like many offices, have had to assign people to develop Revit standards and content that is specific to our office. Some people refer to these individuals as Data Managers or Data Leaders.

In an Architectural Record article "Getting on Board with Building Information Modeling" Larry Flynn describes a Data Manager as someone "responsible for coordinating the various computer files and models that are integrated into a BIM."

HOK's CAD Standards describe a Data Leader as someone "responsible for the execution of the CAD strategy including, the use of BIM, the folder structure and file-naming strategy, use of templates, and documenting specific project procedures..." AND "... audits the drawings to ensure conformance with the standards and a logical organization of the CAD work."

In our office Data Managers are starting to inspect models for proper construction. And not just our models but also the drawings we are getting from consultants. They are virtually becoming in-house building inspectors or should I say... They are becoming in-house Virtual Building Inspectors.

To quote Daphne, one of our Project Managers, "Revit is becoming quite the little tattle-tail."

Revit API Development

Matt Mason of Avatech Solutions has been actively posting new developments in the next Revit API release.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Evolution News

Take a look around and you'll find that Revit model data is being exported to other applications for many uses. And with the continued development of the Revit API more bi-directional interaction between Revit and other applications is becoming possible. Here is a short list of uses for which Revit model data is being exported. You'll find links to a few of the applications on my blog but there are getting to be too many options to keep up with.

Architectural Programming
Project Management
Construction Management
Consultant Coordination
Clash Detection
Enviromental Simulations
Performance Analysis
Cost Estimating and Material Takeoffs
Rendering, Animation, and other Presentation
Facilities Management and Building Lifecycle
Energy Analyisis and Green Building Design
Code Analysis
Specification Writing
Rapid Model Prototyping
CNC Fabrication

In short, architects are learning to Design, Illustrate, Manage, Analyze, Report, Simulate, Fabricate, Communicate, Estimate, and Educate smarter with Building Information Modeling.

The next things we might see:
ADA and Ergonomical Design Analysis
Security Analysis
Feng Shui Analysis

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Open, Sesame

When you place an existing door or window in an existing wall and then demo the door or window in the new construction phase Revit automatically places an infill wall to replace the door or window. You can then change this infill wall type to any wall type you like, but without a workaround you really can't get rid of the infill wall. We frequently run into situations where we want to demo a door but leave the opening intact. I have seen this discussed at length on AUGI and there are many workarounds but I think the workaround I found today (One Thousand and One Nights later) is an easier option.

Revit has had a Filter function since release 9. By adding a Comment to any instances of infilling walls and filtering out the visibility of the walls based on the Comment added you can hide infilling walls from any of your views.
  • Place an existing wall and door in any existing plan view.
  • Demo your door in the new construction phase.
  • Select the infill wall and add a value to the Comments instance parameter under element properties.
  • Go to the Filters tab in the Visibility/Graphic Overides of your new construction view.
  • Define a new filter for Walls and select Filter by: Comments... equals. Type in the value you used in the Comments field earlier.
  • Insert your new Filter into this view's Visibility/Graphics and turn off its visibility. Do the same for all views where you would like to hide infill walls.
  • Unjoin the geometry of the infill wall and its host wall if you can't see where they meet in 3D or elevation views.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Filtering View Specific Content

Do you want to know if Text Backgrounds used in a view are opaque or transparent?
Are you trying to find hidden filled regions in a view?
Are you having trouble distinguishing detail lines from model lines in a view?

Well, the easiest way to separate view specific content from model content in a view is to place a temporary filled region with a Solid Fill Pattern that covers the entire view (choose a neutral color). Then just select the filled region and Send To Back. All view specific content will pop out and all model content will be hidden behind your Filled Region.

However, if you want to know where the Linework Tool was used you'll have to resort to selecting the Linework Tool... By Category... and floating your mouse over the model to "scan" for where it may have been used. Lines will highlight when you roll your mouse over them if the Linework Tool was infact used.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

SpecifiCAD beta for Revit 9.1 released

CADalytic Media has released a beta version of SpecifiCAD. Utilizing the Revit API SpecifiCAD will add the URL and DESCRIPTION of any product on the McGraw Hill Construction Sweets Network website to the Identity Data of any family you choose. This data can then be exported to 3rd party Spec Writing Software.
  • Download SpecifiCAD
  • Install SpecifiCAD for Revit 9.1
  • Open a new project in Revit 9.1
  • Goto Tools... External Tools... SpecifiCAD
  • Place a component in any view.
  • Highlight the component and click on the Specify button in your SpecifiCAD dialog box
  • If SpecifiCAD is not finding what you want you can do custom searches
  • When you find what you want highlight the component again and click on the LINK button below the product you want.