The best multi device file and folder sharing and online storage

Share files from a desktop to another one or a cell phone. Even better than dropbox.
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No Spam intended, but I am not gonna lie., if you sign up for SugarSync, I will get extra storage for my account. So despite there is a slight interest from my site on this post, it is also like all others my way of sharing something I think it will help you. If you ar cool with this keep reading.

I have used Dropbox for a long while to be able to share files on diferent devices and have them always accessible. Recently, I discovered an alternative that actually works better for me for a couple reasons I will explain. This alternative is SugarSync.

Why SugarSync? Well, first of all it gives you 5Gb of free storage from the beginning on their free plan (compared to the 2Gb of dropbox). But more relevant to my decision is that you can share any folder in your computer in SugarSync without the need to work inside the SugarSync folder. In Dropbox, you need to drop files to the dropbox folder making it sometimes not useful if you have a very well organized system of folders to organize your files.

Why is Dropbox more popular than SugarSync? I have no clue. So if you are interested in trying it, go to this link. For me it is the best option I know so far for this sort of file sharing.

Do you know of any better service? Please share!

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Revit Interference Check

Check for interfering / clashing elements in your model directly in Revit.
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Revit has a functionality to check for elements that are interfering with each other. This might be used to check interferences when collaborating between consultants (Architect, MEP Engineer, Structural Engineer, etc) or simply to check that the model you build has no interferences that could cause unwanted results. The functionality, of course is called "interference check".

To run it, simply go to the Collaborate Tab --> Coordination Panel --> Interference Check --> Run Interference Check.

You should be now at the interference check interface, where you can select the elements you want to use to check interferences. Select a type or types of elements on the left and another type or types on the right and click OK.

If there are interferences (i.e. those elements collide with each other) you will get a report listing those interferences like the one I am showing below.

Having this report, you can either select an object and click on Show to see the object, or you can also export the report to have a reference list of potential things to be solved / modified in the model. An exported report (HTML) looks like this.

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How to recover a MS Word File when everything else fails using Google Desktop

Use Google Desktop to recover the contents of a lost or damaged word file.
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I was today working on a report in word for several hours and at the time I was done and wnated to close the file and save it, Word Crashed. I don't know how, I had not done a manual save for a very long time. Second on my list of evening crisis was the fact that for some reason when i reopened MS Word, it didn't prompt to to the File recovery wizards. I got crazy scared. 3 hours of work lost? There must be a way I can find some of my info in some part of my computer.

All the advice about finding and recovering the Autosave files that is out there on the web didn't do any good to me. I did find what was supposed to be my Autosave recovery file with the extension .asd (see the image above). Unfortunately, this file was corrupted and could not be opened neither recover using the Open and Repair option in Word. What else could I do?

Well, luckily I always install Google Desktop on the computers I use. I do not find it very useful as a search tool but it is very useful to quickly access programs. I did go to GDesktop and search for my file name.

Miracle! Found 3 instances of it (I had tried to copy the file to different locations without success recovering it). One of this instances of my file, was good, and somehow, Google Desktop had stored it in its cache with several versions for me to choose.

Accessing the file itself was no good because it brought me to the unsaved version, but accessing the Cache of the latest version of the file allowed me to at least copy and paste the text (not the formatting) of the file into a new word document. Just had to do some minor tweaks to the formatting and had my 3 hours of work back with me in 10 minutes...

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AutoCAD: Customize the Display Order of Ribbon Tabs

It is possible (and quite simple) to customize the order in which AutoCAD Ribbon Tabs appear.
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On the last post I showed you how to modify the position of ribbon tabs in Revit. Well it is actually possible to do the same in AutoCAD (and I guess in all Autodesk programs with a ribbon) and quite simple.

Simply press control and click and drag the name of the tab you want to move. That simple!

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Revit: Customize the Display Order of Ribbon Tabs

It is possible (and quite simple) to customize the order in which Revit Ribbon Tabs appear.
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I always wondered why the hell the Modify tab on the ribbon is at the far right. Always thought it would be better to have it right near the "home" Tab. Well it is actually possible and quite simple.

Simply press control and click and drag on the name of the tab you want to move. That simple!

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Common Building Information Model Files from the BuildingSmart Alliance

Download the sample Common Building Information Model Files that the Building Smart Alliance has published.
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Las week, and directly through this blog's twitter account, I posted about the news of the publication of Common Building Information Model Files by the BuildingSmart Alliance. I jsut realised there is no link on the news excerpt to the page where you can download those files, so I decided to write a short post about it.

FYI these Common Building Information Model Files are intended to help users benchmark the performance of building information modeling software and applications in a common environment, the Washington, D.C.-based National Institute of Building Sciences' buildingSMART alliance has released a reference set of BIM open standards.

These files are available in a set of different formats including:
  • COBie: Construction Operations Building Information Exchange Format ( .xml extenison)
  • IFC: Industry Foundation Classes ( .ifc extension)
  • IFC Analyzer ( MS Excel File .xlsx extension)
  • 3D PDF ( .pdf extension)
  • RVT: Revit File ( .rvt Extension)
According the the Original Source: "People downloading these models may copy, distribute, display, and use these models and make derivative works based on these models if they provide proper citation of the source of these models through proper academic citation whenever these models are presented. Any future examples or extensions to the models subsequently published on this website may also be used according to the terms above. There is no cost or use restriction on these models in any for-profit or not-for-profit."

Thus, I am posting links directly here for your convenience. There are three base models:

Model 1. The Duplex Apartment Model (release 2.0)
The duplex apartment model was originally created by a student who developed this building as part of a design competition. This model was first used at the Dec 2009 COBie Challenge event. The model provided here is the second version of this model completed by designers at Kristine Fallon and Associates.
Model 2. Office Building Model
The two story office building model was developed based on the published sample floor plans for a specific type of mid-size office building built in the United States.
Model 3. Clinic Building Model
The Clinic Model was developed based on an actual federal medical and dental clinic building at a location in the South-West United States. The model also comes with a set of redacted design drawings. A full set of operations and maintenance manuals are also available but have not yet been redacted, so cannot yet, be posted to this public repository.
You can find more information about these files at the original page of the BuildingSmart Alliance here.

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AutoCAD Architecture: Getting back the full right click context menu

Sometimes the right click menu with all the nice options of AutoCAD Architecture doesn't show. Get it back!
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For some reason (unknown to me till the date) the right click menu with all the nice options that AutoCAD Architecture [ACA]has doesn't show in full when I start the program. Instead I sometimes get this simplified version of the menu.

This context menu is quite useless, since some of the most uselful tools are not there (like the AEC Modify Tools, Select Similar, Open Xref, etc).

To get the full menu if you are having this problem, simply run one of the AEC specific commands like AECPOLYGON. This will load all the AEC tools and your right click menu will be back to "normal" with all its features like in the image below.

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Revit: Walkthrough Examples

A video with some sample walkthroughs done in Revit.
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This is a short promotional video we created to share with clients and partners some of the projects we've been working on in 2011. All are projects were BIM had a role, either as an experimentation exercise or truly as the tool to check for design inconsistencies or even later on as the basis of a quantity take-off and estimation.

I've been managing and modeling all these models, so well, a little self promotion isn't bad once in a while right? In a later post I will explain briefly how to create a walkthrough in Revit and a few tricks that might help on creating a video like the one below. Turn down the speakers bit, I think we got a bit too excited with the Music ;-P. Enjoy!

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BIM and Facility Management

Very interesting article on BIM and FM at AECBytes
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Was reading this great article about BIM and Facility Managment at AECBytes and found it very interesting. I never worked in anything related to Facility Management but to me it seems one of the fields in the entire Building Life-cycle that can benefit the most from good BIM implementation.

As a side line I used some of the info there to add some more tools to the BIM list of software and providers.


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Excel: Grouping Rows or Columns

When Excel Spreadsheets become big you might want to have your cells grouped so you can easily show and hide some of them as you please.
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We use excel sheets for wide variety of uses. When theses spreadsheets become complicated and big or even huge, having ways to show or hide parts of the sheet is critical to be able to work with them without spending half of your time scrolling up and down (or even worse, left and right). On way to do that is to group cells together. And it is very simple to do.

A common layout on spreadsheets is to have a header that precedes some items and even some sub-items. Something like you see on the picture above these lines. If want to be able to hide the items and only see headers and totals, we must do the following.
  1. Select the cells you want to group (be able to hide)
  2. Go to Data -> Group and select either Rows or Columns and click OK.
The result will be somthing like this, where Minus signs appear to the right to show you that you can hide some cells.

Then if you click on those minus signs, you can get something like this.

To be able to have the + / - signs on the upper part you have to go to the Layout settings and uncheck "summary rows below detail" (see images below)

Hope this helps!

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Excel: Creating a Drop Down List with Values on a Different Sheet

Simple step by step guide on how to set up a drop down list in excel
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In many situations we might want to have a cell in Microsoft Excel where only certain values from a list are allowed. The best way to do this is to create a drop down list with the closeable values. To do that, follow these simple steps.
  1. On a separate sheet (you can do it on the same one as well) create the list of values you want to appear in the drop down list. Put one in each cell.
  2. Drag select all those cells and enter a Name on the Name box (upper right near the formula bar). For this example we could use Listofvalues01 for example. use no spaces.
  3. Then select the cell (or multiple cells) where you want that drop down list to appear.
  4. With the cell or cell selected, go to the "Data" tab on the ribbon, and select Data validation -> Data Validation
  5. Go to the settings tab
  6. On "Allow" select "Lists" and check "ignore blank" and "in-cell drop down".
  7. On "Source" type =Listofvalues01 or whatever name you gave to the list of values on step 2.
  8. Click OK and go to the cell. An arrow should appear next to it and if you click on it you will see the list of closeable values
See the image below for a graphical explanation of this process.

Alternatively you could have the values on the same sheet where the drop down list appears. If you do so, you can avoid step 2, and on Step 7 instead of entering =Listofvalues01 you could simply select the cells where the list of values is (on the same sheet).

In Excel 2010, you can use this alternative method even on values being on a different sheet, but be aware that the drop down list will not work if the file is opened by a 2007 or previous version of Excel, so this option is not recommended. Either use the Namerange option (the one described in the 8 steps), or have the values in the same spreadsheet.

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Revit: Transfer Materials, Families, Symbols from one Project to Another

Revit allows to transfer information from one project to another. No need to copy and paste.
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If you need to use certain information from a project in another (family types, annotation symbols, building types, materials...) you can do so by simply going to the Manage Tab of the Ribbon, and then choosing the "Transfer Project Standards" button (see below).

Once you've clicked this you will get the menu where you can choose which element do you really want to import and from which project (in case you have ore than one project open). you need to have both projects open, the one you want import from and the one you want to import to. The operation must be done being on a view of the project you want to import to.

It is no doubt a much better way than copying and pasting elements. Ideally, you want to have a very thorough template so you don't need to do this, but sometimes, to create this template (at least your first Revit template) you might want to use this process to import families, and other standards to it from projects you worked on to later polish them in the template file.

Hope this helps

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Master Thesis Update: Temporary Unavailable Online

I am temporarily removing the posts from my Master Thesis on the blog, let me explain you why very briefly
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I had been publishing for the past month or so a series of post with the contents of my master thesis. Although I submitted my MT las January, I didn't start publishing it until this last September because I was awaiting the possibility of turning it into a scientific article.

The moment I thought that possibility had passed I decided to share it here. Recently I received a notification from my MT tutor that we will actually proceed on the attempt of creating two scientific articles from it. Since the contents of the article will be very very similar to those of the master thesis, I have decided to temporarily remove the contents from here in case having them here might decrease the chances of the article being accepted.

It is a bit against my preferred way of doing things that I do so. I believe sharing information is the best way that we have to improve, but as you will hopefully understand getting my first scientific paper published is right now very relevant for me professionally. I will in any case republish all those articles (if there is no copyright issues) once and if the article gets published (or rejected). Take it just as a delay in my sharing of the master thesis with all of you.

Of course if anyone needs some information about the topic of BIM as a PM tool, please do contact me and I will be happy to assist you.

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Case Study: The use of Revit MEP by JG ingenieros

JG Ingenieros will explain its experience with the implementation and use of Revit MEP on an online webinar organised by A3D consulting.
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JG Engineers is one of the leading engineering companies in the Spanish market and has a strong international presence. In recent months, JG has been implementing Revit MEP.

On Friday October 7, 2011, A3D Consulting has invited them to explain their experiences with this software. An online webinar very interesting for all those interested in Revit, BIM in general and Revit MEP and how and what is being done in Spain on these subjects.

To access the webinar you need to register through A3D Consulting. (The webinar will be held in Spanish).

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Back with new content!

CAD Addict is back with plenty of posts ready to roll
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I've been off for some weeks during August plus the rest of the month was so nice here in Barcelona weather wise that I had really no time to lock myself and try to write something. In the following weeks, I have decided to start posting my Master Thesis bit by bit.

Why am I doing that? Well, I am starting my PhD during this semester, and I want to revisit what I wrote almost a year ago. Plus since my PhD will deal in a way or another with the implications of BIM to improve the Spainsih construction industry, I thought any feedback from you on what I wrote would be of great help. To start, you can revisit the summary page of my MT here, and the list of references I used (with links to the articles) here.

To not bore all of those not so interested in the MT or in theretical BIM I will also be posting regularly the sort of posts that have made CAD Addict a place of reference for around 30000 visitors from 162 countries each month. So thanks for reading and please do leave feedback!

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5 Mobile Apps for Architects

Android Mobile Apps for Architects.
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Just came across this post from ColorCoat about 15 Mobile Apps for Architects. Since it only links to the Iphone apps, I searched for the Android Equivalent for those like me who haven't fallen for an Iphone yet. I actually ended up searching for apps I found to be more relevant to Architects, and came up with 5.

Sketchbook Mobile (0,69€) and Sketchbook Mobile Express (Free)
Remember the my last Christmas post? It was done with this app. See the video for the features.

Google Earth for Android (Free)
Explore the world from the palm of your hand with Google Earth.
Use Google Earth to fly around the planet with the swipe of a finger. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search by voice for cities, places, and businesses. Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more.

Architecture (1,38€)
Architechure! displays a slideshow of the most stunning, unique, and refined architectural works from around the world. Many well known photographers worked to bring you this art. All of these beautiful images can be saved as WALLPAPER!

AutoCAD WS (Free)
Experience the freedom of taking your designs with you — wherever you go.
AutoCAD® WS is a mobile CAD application that gives you the freedom and flexibility to view, edit, and share your DWG™ files on your Android phone or tablet. AutoCAD WS mobile app offers a simplified, intuitive set of viewing, editing, and markup tools so you can work on your designs while you are on the go.

Unit Converter - ConvertPad (Free)
Powerful and fully featured Unit converter, Currency converter and Calculator.
ConvertPad is a simple but the most powerful unit converter. It's intuitive and easy to use. Features fast, real time currency and unit conversion in a clean interface.

Do you know of any other app that could be added to this list?

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Importing Google Earth Topography to AutoCAD and then to Revit

Step by step on how to turn a Google Earth terrain into Revit Topography.
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Was recently trying to import a Google Earth Terrain into a Revit Project to show an overall view of it. Since I did the research on how to do it, I will share it here.

I will basically list the 20 steps (15 for AutoCAD users) with a brief explanation if necessary, I think that's enough to follow the precess. You might not need to do some of the first steps, but the guide is intended for everyone who doesn't even know about Autodesk Labs. So here it comes:
  1. Be sure you have A compatible version of AutoCAD (2007 or newer in 32bit 2011 or 2012 in 64bit). Be sure you have A compatible version of Google Earth (5.x or 6.x) if you don't download it here
  2. Register on Autodesk Labs
  3. Sign In to your Account at Autodesk Labs
  4. Download the Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD based Products here
  5. Save to your computer.
  6. Unzip the file.
  7. Browse the PublishDWGtoGE folder that comes from the .ZIP file and find your AutoCAD version installer (first the year and then the 32 or 64 bit option)
  8. Run the installer (extension .msi)
  9. Open AutoCAD and Google Earth and check that in AutoCAD any of this commands works:IMPORTGEIMAGE, IMPORTGEMESH, GETIME, PUBLISHKML
  10. If they work, follow to step 15, if they don't do the follwoing steps
  11. Check the AutoCAD folder to see if the file named AeccDWGToGE.arx is there (it should), if it doesn't repeat the installation in case something went wrong, otherwise keep reading
  12. Run the ARX command in AutoCAD and enter L for Load when it prompts for an option in the command line bar.
  13. Browse to your AutoCAD folder and load the AeccDWGToGE.arx file
  14. Center your Google Earth view to the terrain portion you want to import
  15. Now run IMPORTGEMESH in AutoCAD (you must have Google Earth running)and the terrain will be imported to AutoCAD from Google Earth. If you are an AutoCAD user you are done, if Revit user keep reading
  16. Save the AutoCAD file (you can close Google Earth and AutoCAD after this)
  17. Open Revit
  18. Go to Insert Tab on the Ribbon and select Link CAD (or Ipmort CAD doesn't seem to matter here) and browse to find the Topography file you saved from AutoCAD.
  19. Now and finally go to Massing and Site Tab on the Ribbon and select Topo Surface
  20. Click on "Create from Import" and click on the imported topography from AutoCAD
Might seem complicated but it is actually not.

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Revit Bugs: Things that Revit Stairs don't do right #01

Every day I try to use Revit for Construction I see more and more how it has been completely thought mostly for design. Is that really BIM?
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I still consider myself pretty new using Revit (less than 2 years experience and only 4 and a half projects), so when I am writing a post complaining about some of the things that do not work properly I try to check twice that they really don't work. If what I say is wrong, and you know the way to do it, please share here.

As far as I have managed to play with stairs, they are one of the family types lacking the most needed functionality. Since I am using revit for trying to get estimates, in my case the main functions that do not work properly are the following.

Area calculations for Stairs and their materials: to be able to get estimates of the costs of monolitic stairs (the most common one made of a concrete structure plus a paving materia for risers and threads) we need to be able to calculate the area of concrete that the stair has, and the area of paving materials.

Using the area of the concrete slab of the stair and landings as a unit might be a local thing, but this is how we do it here, so obtaining cubic meters of concrete slab is not what we need. I haven't found a way to obtain that, so stairs are one of the things I need to measure manually still when obtaining quatities from a Revit Model. I know I could paint the lower part of the stair with a different material, but I would rather have Revit handle Information better than that if it can. And my question at this point is Can it? If it can, please do let me know.

Second point on the list. Stairs have pavement material for threads and landings and another (or the same) material for risers. Although I can calculate riser and thread material surface by using the Width, Minimum Thread Depth and Actual Riser Height values to make some calculations, this is not good enough for landings would not be counted properly. I tried to obtain the materials from a Material Take Off Schedule, and relized Revit counts that wrong. Let me show you how wrong. Imagine a Stair that has 20 steps 0.28m deep and 1 meter wide. The easy calculations Depth x Width x Number of Threads gives us the Paving Area of the Threads. 19 x 0.28m x 1m = 5.32m2. Now lets see how Revit does calculatin this right? See the image below.

Surprise, Revit is giving me for that stair a Thread Material Area of 10.69m2, slightly more than double what it should give. What happens with Risers? The same my friend. 20 risers x 0.175 m (riser height) x 1 m (width) = 3.5 m2. As you see on the image the are that Revit counts ii twice that plus a bit more.

After playing with it a bit I realized Revit is giving the Area as the addition of the 6 faces of each thread or riser, so it is counting the area it should twice, plus adding the 4 side faces of risers and threads. Just wrong and useless.

Another thing stairs are lacking is the capacity to behave like floors (when monolitic, that is what they are). This is needed so they can enclose rooms and walls can get attached to them, right now as far as I know this can't be done, so it needs improvements.

Anyone thinks I am asking impossibles or knows of a way of doing all this that I am missing?

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#Revit Plugin to Model Elevators

Easy and free plugin to model elevators in Revit
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Elevators are one of the things that by default don't come in the Revit Libraries. No problem. The guys at DigiPara have released a free plugin called ElevatorArchitect that allows you to model them quite easily.

To see the plugin working or to download it, go to the Plugin Website.

via What Revit Wants.

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Free Online Render Farm for #Revit and #AutoCAD: Project Neon

Autodesk has a new (not sure how new) servie to render your projects online using a free render farm.
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If you have trouble rendering your Revit or AutoCAD projects because it takes too much time, you might want to try Autodesk's Project Neon. Project Neon is a Cloud Rendering service from Autodesk that allows you to render your projects using a bunch of computers placed somewhere instead of your local machine.

It works seamlessly with Revit (tested) and AutoCAD (I haven't tried with this one, but I would ask you what the hell are you doing working on 3D ACAD.. :-P). Here you can check the help info available.

I tried this from Revit and works OK, not the same quality as rendering directly in Revit, but roughly 20 times faster. Above there is an image of a project rendered using Project Neon, and then below this lines the same Project rendered with the Revit Render engine.

You can see that there are differences specially with that sort of "green fence". Reading the project neon help, I found this which I assume is the reason why the fence has no transparency.
Only image-based textures are supported at this time. Procedural textures, (Checker, Gradient, Marble, Noise, Speckle, Tiles, Waves, and Wood) are not supported.

A very interesting service specially for those with slow machines, and It's free!

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Me, You and The Six Phases of #Revit

Very interesting post from the AUGI Blog: The six phases of Revit. Where are you now?
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Randomly bumped into this post from the AUGI Blog. As you'll see it describes six phases of how users interact with Revit.

I find myself right in Phase 4: "The family editor eats you up and spits you out". LOL, that is how I feel sometimes when creating families (specially window and door families).

Reading the post I thought I'd ask users here at what Phase are you. Just to know what audience I am targeting. So feel free to click on the answer below.

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#IPD: Integrated Project Delivery, an Introduction

I might be talking soon oftern about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) so I thought I'd attach some introductory documents in case you are interested in following up the discussion
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If you read the Summary of my Master Thesis published here a few months back, you might remember the topic of the Thesis was focused on BIM, but the fact that I ended up chosing that topic was a consequence of a thorough analysis of literature that indicated this was a relevant topic.

Part of the same literature that led me to study BIM in detail also pointed at "a need for better integration of project teams and collaboration between all parties". BIM is being regarded as one of the tools to enable this needed better integration (we could discuss here if BIM is a tool or a process, if you've been here for a while you might know that I see much more as a process than just as a tool, but we can discuss this point later on on another post).

The main improvement potential for better project outcomes though will not come just from implementing BIM, but also from implementing better collaboration among project stakeholders. There are two main lines of thought about this collaboration. One is the one followed by the Lean Construction Institute and their approach to Lean Project Delivery. The other, and the reason of this introductory post is the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) paradigm.

We are trying at work to adapt part of the IPD approach to the Spanish Market to reach better project outcomes, improve the atmosphere of collaboration and increase client's satisfaction. We are still in the beginning and have no completed project to show resuts yet, but we are doing our best to adapt this approach to the way things can be done right here.

As an Introduction to IPD for those who know nothing about it there is this document from the American Institute of Architects that I think is a very good read to start.

Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide

I'll share here whatever I can of our journey trying to create Integrated Project Teams for Projects in Spain and Catalonia. I already took part in a sort of Integrated Project Team when I worked in Germany, so hope I can bring my little bit to this challenge. Anyone else has worked under IPD agreements? Any thoughts you'd like to share?

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#Revit 2012: Using the Create Parts feature for Quantity Take-Off

I am a bit disappointed with the new Create parts feature, let me tell you why.
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I was very excited about the new Create Parts feature for Revit 2012. I thought it would simplify a lot the process of extracting quantities from a Revit model, by allowing to play with the different layers of a wall or floor (as other BIM packages like Allplan allow). yesterday I gave you the link to the video explaining the features.

My disappointment came today, when I realized that whatever you modify using the Create Parts feature, doesn't get reflected in a default Material Take Off Schedule. My first thought was the following:
"I tried it, it simply doesn't do anything. So as far as i understand it, the Create Parts feature is just a tool for representation. This to me is the wrong approach to go Autodesk. Revit (and BIM) is not just for representation, if you can't get accurate Quantity Take-Offs and thus accurate estimates from a model, what is the point of BIM?"
But then I thought, this can't be it, such a cool feature can't end on a mere representation of parts. So I dug deeper and found that you can use it for Quantity Take-Off.

The key is that you need to create a Material Take-Off specific to list the parts, and you do it like this:
  1. Click View tab > Create panel > Schedule > Schedule/Quantities. Under Category, select “Part”
  2. Then add the categories you need for your take off, like Material: Name, Material: Area, Material: Volume, etc
It works, and it is great.

I am starting to realize as I read on this post, that REVIT CAN DO EVERYTUIN. Well not yet, but it is getting there, and this post and my chain OF thoughts should serve as an example of how sometimes we blame the Software (and the SOftware designers) for our own lack of expertise with it.

There is just one little BUT I haven't been able to solve. Using Parts combined with Groups doesn't seem to work well. After I created my Bathroom (the one on the first picture) I needed to copy that group all over the buidling since it repeats many times. When I used "Create Similar", the newly create Group, has all the parts reset to default. If you copy the group directly, it does work better, but in my example, some of the parts got reset as well to default.

Need to find out about this point if it is my fault or Revit's fault. So far it seems to be Revit's fault, since I am allowed to modify parts of elements that are inside groups without entering the edit gropu mode, and those changes are not reflected to other instances of the group. A little bug, hopefully it will be solved on Revit 2013.

BTW, I found the solution again via RevitWikiHelp, awesome database of solutions.

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