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Building Solutions Blog

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BIM 360 Field and Glue Integration

You may or may not have heard or read that Autodesk has added BIM 360 Glue integration to BIM 360 Field. What that actually means is that in order to integrate a new model into BIM 360 Field, you NEED to use Glue.

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Autodesk 2015 Products are Here

Most, if not all of the Autodesk 2015 products are now shipping and are available for download, with the Suites soon to follow.

As always, we strongly recommend that you, your CAD Manager, BIM Manager, or whoever handles this sort of thing download and install the new software on a non-production machine first to explore the new features, before rolling it out to your entire office. Don’t forget to disable your anti-virus software before installing, and when you download, do not use the “Install Now” option. Use the “Download Now” (Download Manager) option ideally, or failing that, use the “Browser Download” option.

Revit MEP Electrical Device Annotations – Right Side Up


A common source of frustration for MEP users of Revit are the electrical devices, light switches, etc. with embedded labels. The following image illustrates what I’m talking about:

Four of the eight duplex outlets shown above are GFCI outlets, and while they properly label themselves as such, the lable is rotated to the same angle as the outlet itself instead of being horizontal in all cases, which is the way most people would like to see it.

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The Case of the Disappearing Section Marks


We get this call all the time. A Revit user has a view that is showing some of their section marks but not all. Revealing hidden elements reveals no hidden section marks. Other views show the same mysteriously absent section marks, and of course, the section views exist in the Project Browser.

This is because of a frequently overlooked unique property of section views. When you create a section, the scale of the view in which you create the section initially sets the default scale beyond which the section mark will be hidden. In other words, if you create a section in a plan whose scale is, say 1/2″=1′-0″ you won’t see it in any views whose scale is 1/4″=1′-0″, 1/8″=1′-0″, etc.

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To fix it, either select the section mark in a view that you can see it in, or navigate to the section view itself and in the Properties palette change the “Hide at scales courser than” value to a smaller scale. I usually go with 1″=400′ myself – I can always hide a section mark “By Element” or “By Category” if I don’t want to see them in a view.

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Orthographic Mode in Navisworks? Gone?

Recently, while digging into a really cool 3rd Party add-on for Navisworks (iConstruct – I’ll be posting more on this amazing tool later), I discovered a rather disturbing feature/limitation/defect in Navisworks. After a bit of Googling I found it mentioned in several forum threads, so this may not be news to hard-core Navisworks users, however…

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Revit 2014 Worksharing Whitepaper

It only took 3 years, but I finally got around to updating (re-writing, actually), the Worksharing Whitepaper originally posted back in 2011. Up to date for Revit 2014 to include Worksharing Display modes, disabling worksets, central file maintenance as well as setting up a workshared project and worksharing workflow. Get it here.

Revit Selection Frustration?

Have you noticed that selecting certain types of objects in Revit 2014 has changed in some subtle (and not so subtle) ways? Selecting objects like walls (in elevation or 3D), floors, links, pinned objects, etc. may seem to have become more difficult or in some cases downright impossible. Believe it or not, this is actually an improvement that was added to Revit 2014 that, if you haven’t been paying close attention, you may not have realized you have total control over.

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Tools, not Toys

There is an ever-growing presence of mobile devices in our lives today. With approximately 1 in 4 adults owning a tablet device and 1 in 2 owning a smartphone, chances are you or someone in your family has an iPad, a tablet PC, or a smart phone. These devices help keep us connected to our families, friends, and careers in constantly evolving ways. Most of us are used to getting our company email sent straight to our phone, and of course taking company calls, but that’s about where the work ends.

We go home and use our phones to check Facebook and Twitter, and we pick up our tablets to read a book or play a game (Angry Birds or Candy Crush anyone?). But why does their use have to stop there? There are lightweight, powerful devices at our disposal and we use them for miniscule tasks and entertainment.  But a few forward thinkers are starting to unleash the power of these amazing gadgets to make our work easier and more efficient.

There are a growing number of apps available for Apple and Google mobile devices that are specifically targeted at making our jobs more efficient. And it goes way beyond being able to mark up PDFs or edit a spreadsheet. There are apps available for project management and coordination, site visits and punch lists, and, of course, working with sketches and 3D models.

So imagine being in a client meeting and sketching new ideas right over the top of the existing drawings. Or think about getting real-time discussions on a project from designers and contractors. Imagine going to the job site and taking pictures and making notes with a 1 pound tablet instead of that behemoth of a drawing set.

Something to make you more productive? There’s an app for that.

Some of my favorites:

De-mystifying 3ds Max Design Rendering and Animation for Building Design

I’ve just completed a white paper on the rendering process for Revit models imported into 3ds Max Design, focusing on the lighting settings you need to create exterior and interior still images, including nighttime scenes. I’ve also included a section on best practices for rendering output for both still images and animations, including a section on how to use Video Post to combine mulitple animation sequences into one continuous longer animation complete with transitions. Get your copy here!

Revit’s View Properties Undo

I run across this a lot in tech support calls – a feature that was added to Revit 2014 that a lot of users are apparently not aware of. Temporary View Properties.

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Frequently in diagnosing or resolving issues with a project, I have the user make lots of changes to a view’s properties. And when we’re done, they’d like to get the view restored back to it’s original state. With Temporary View Properties, it’s simple. Simply select the Temprorary View Properties button in the View Control Bar at the bottom of your view window, and enable temporary view properties. You’ll get a purple border around your window to indicate that they’re enabled. When you’re done jacking around with your view, click the button again and restore your view properties. Viola – all better!

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