Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Big Bad BIM migrates…

Well Bimmers, I’m sure most of you thought the lack of posts recently was Big Bad’s usual silence after a flurry of activity.  But no, there was an actual reason this time.  A reason that I hope will give me lots to write about.

The Big Bad BIM has migrated SOUTH.

the drive south

Leaving behind Wisconsin’s snow for the warm sunshine of the great Southwest.

I have accepted a position as BIM Manager with Devenney Group in Phoenix, AZ.

I probably won’t be very active for the next couple of weeks, given the lost feeling one experiences in a new office (and the even more lost feeling I get when I think about moving all my worldly possessions, my loving wife and two little girls 1600 mi across the country.) But when I get my head back above water, I’m sure there will be plenty to share.

Let’s see what kind of BIM grows in the south. Big, Bad, or otherwise. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vela Field BIM-Interactive BETA

From Vela Systems:
We're happy to announce that Vela Field BIM-Interactive Beta, is now available in the iTunes app store for public beta release! 

The beta release includes a number of great capabilities that will let you work with models on the iPad including:
  • Navigating the model on your iPad using simple gestures like pinch-to-zoom
  • Using viewpoints to jump to specific saved model locations
  • Linking equipment in the Vela database to the model and updating information about it
  • and more...
 Follow the link to learn more- http://www.velasystems.com/field-bim-interactive-signup/

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Navisworks 2012 DWF bug: The Real Fix

I reported on and crafted a workaround for an issue I was experinceing when updating DWF files used to create a Federated Model in Navisworks 2012.  You can find that post here.

The other day I learned... ahem.... uh... apparently, installing Servicepack 1 for 2012 Navisworks Manage... uhmmm. fixes this issue.

Who knew?

John Hall
BIM Integration Specialist with HASKELL Design Build.
He Knew.

Is Drawing Dead? A First person report

Matthew Shaw at Architects Paper provides his view of the YSOA symposium as an attendee.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


If you've ever struggled to understand the Revit Coordinate System you should head over to What Revit Wants.

Luke found a 36 min video that explains the whole concept in depth.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

BIM on a City wide scale

The Realtime Cities Initiative by Arch Virtual presents Virtual Dubuque.
From their site:
“We’re harnessing the same technology used to make the latest iPad apps and XBox 360 games, but we’re not making a game, we’re building dynamic and ever-changing models of cities that are designed to serve as true community resources that can be easily accessed directly from a website,” said Jon Brouchoud, Founder of Virtual Cities.”

Virtual Dubuque from Jon Brouchoud on Vimeo.

Arch Virtual- creating REALLY BIG Bad BIM

Monday, February 6, 2012

BIMwash. You heard it here first.


Well, pretty darn close to first.  Now I hear it a lot.  Mostly I wanted to bump this post to the present, since I feel like it’s even more relevant now than back in March of ‘09
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad BIM?: BIMwash, the new snake oil? 3/10/09
Don’t try to BIMwash it. The Big Bad will still show through.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Is Drawing Dead?

This is the question that the Yale School of Architecture (YSOA) will attempt to answer in their Symposia Spring 2012.

Frankly, I’m not sure what to think of this. Is drawing dead? Really?  Of course not, drawing is a fundamental method of Human communication.  There are tons of manuscripts that talk about the psychology of drawing. There is a direct connection between the inception of an idea and the strokes on paper, and back again.  They build on each other.


No, drawing is NOT dead. It’s not even sick. But what is dying (and I’ll be glad to lend a hand in the dispatch) is the idea that we can continue to deliver projects with the focus, the centerpiece, the contractually defined SINGLE POINT OF TRUTH on that project be a DRAWING!!! 

What has me so hot? Read on. From  YSOA’s Symposia website:
“Drawing, and consequently, the entire architectural profession is withering while architects surrender creative agency to digital processes.”
It saddens me that any Architect would consider surrendering creative agency to ANY process. Who’s fault would that be? Who do we blame when an entire profession “withers” due to their surrender of creativity? By definition, surrender can only blamed on one party.

Another gem:
“Designers are demoted to information managers, and the seductive verisimilitude of digital rendering supplants critical reflection.”
Demoted? Seriously? Who could be more important on a project than those that control and are responsible for the flow of information? Maybe this is what is wrong with the profession?

The word Architect comes to us from the Ancient Greek architekton most often translated as “Master Builder.”  I won’t argue with this translation, but archi means First. Principal. Earliest. The foundation. I like this definition better. First Builder. Principal Builder. In that case (as with Master Builder) who else should be the INFORMATION MANAGER on a  BUILDING project?

As far as allowing the “verisimilitude of digital rendering” to “supplant critical reflection?”  If realism in a digital model prevents you from analyzing your design, I suggest that you have been out of touch with a life that has verisimilitude for too long as it is.

If this is the topic that vaunted Schools of Architecture are discussing at length, I fear for the whole profession. I’ve said it before (and most likely will again) If you dislike CHANGE, you’re really going to hate being IRRELEVANT!

I don't believe that ALL architects think this way. As a matter of fact I KNOW that their are firms large and small who are embracing "...the proliferation of digital tools..." that has "...radically changed" the industry.

I think that those entering the field should follow the oft given advice: Learn to Sketch. Loose, free, and quick. It’s good for your thought process. It’s good for your brain. Practice it often throughout your career and use it to quickly communicate complex thoughts.

And if you want to keep from being marginalized as a producer of pretty pictures, get back to being the Master Builder.  Master the cutting edge tools that allow you to manage the project information.

If you don’t, someone else will.

Don’t be afraid, the Big Bad Bim can smell fear.

Edit: Added commas ;)
Edit: More discussion here and here

Friday, February 3, 2012

BIM, Prefabrication and an Amazing timeline…

30 floor hotel.  360 Hours.  15 Days.  A half a month.  You’re a hotshot builder, using BIM and offsite fabrication to reduce waste, control quality, and shrink construction timelines? Well here’s the project to beat.
  • 5 times more earthquake resistant than conventional construction
  • 5 times more energy efficient
  • 20 times more pure air

Is this all on the up and up?  All the claims truthful?  Who knows, it’s YouTube.  I didn’t verify the timeline. Nor did I look into what was the scope of “Completion” in the claim of 360 hours. But I do see systems installed in the floor joist space before delivery to the site.  Even finish materials like tile and ceiling panels.
Don’t think about what might be “fudged” in the video (like the clock stopping at 360:00:00 but the skin isn’t complete.)  Be inspired.  Produce something awesome.  Let’s put solid, proven, offsite fabrication and efficient manufacturing techniques to work in the AEC industry. Let’s move out of the Dark Ages and into the Present. 
YouTube- inspiring the Big Bad BIM  to dream of Erector Set like building production, for efficiency and productivity.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Navisworks Animation Redemption

Thanks to Dwane Lindsey at MasterGraphics for leading me to the solution.

Adoption of BIM by Owners

In response to a thread on Linked In about the future (and current state) of BIM in FM:
I'm always interested when I hear someone say "They don't want..., He doesn't need... or She couldn't use..." when it comes to something that gives more that what's traditional.  I this case I am talking about using a BIM for FM.  I've heard the same argument in other conversations as well.
When we get to the heart of things, what's most often meant is "That's too expensive." or "It will bog me down, it's not fast enough."  Sometimes these opinions are not fact based, only assumptions.


But, assumptions or arguments backed up by hard fact, they express genuine concern about CHANGE. I don't think someone can truly say Owners/FM/Maintenance staff wouldn't want a data rich, 3D BIM... if it cost the same, and was easier to use than their current solution.
Unfortunately I haven't seen proof of the existence of a solution that even allows the maintenance tech to access the data in a BIM.  But when that solution becomes available it WILL be used.
There's the paradox. Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? The expression of need or the solution? This is why disruptive change is EVOLUTIONARY to start. Until the Tipping Point is reached. Then the REVOLUTION happens.  Viva la revolution!
Don’t be afraid of the Big Bad BIM-FM, join the Revolution

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Revit in the Wild

It doesn’t get much more wild than the cover of:
Plumbing Systems and Design (PSD)- The official Publication of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)
BIM comes of age?  Even the Plumbers are doin’ it.
PS&D- easing Big Bad BIM woes an issue at a time.

Free Revit (Family Editor) training

I’ve received some requests for recommendations on where to get training on making Revit Families.  How timely that Eagle Point is offering the following class (at a price everyone can handle ($0.00, duh.)
Eagle Point Software invites you to join us for a complimentary training class* on how to create "Autodesk Revit Family Creation with Simple Parameters".
Class Details:
Wednesday, 2/8/2012
11:30 am - 12:30 pm CT

Attend "Autodesk Revit Family Creation with Simple Parameters" to learn:
• How to add parameters to families.
• How to create additional family types with modified geometry.
• How to test the parameters.

Register at http://www2.eaglepoint.com/e/8352/egister-931147782/b8fyw/174138856.
*This is a live, instructor-led class delivered via GoTo Meeting.

Eagle Point- easing the masses fear of the Big Bad BIM

And you thought 3D models were cool…

How about holographic printouts of those models?

Zebra Imaging- mystifying the Big Bad BIM at all turns.

Construction Animation

I have been perusing the myriad of 4D/ Construction sequencing/ BIM marketing animations on YouTube in an effort to spark my creativity for some marketing material of our own.

This is one of my favorites. The slightly cartoonish quality conveys thought without being set in stone (it also implies a moderate amount of time was spent on the project, although I know that isn't true.)  I also like the mixture of detailed Construction activity animation (such as the aqueduct sections being hosted by the traveling gantry) combined with the overall 4D whole project animations.  Hat's off to Intellibuild.

Intelibuild- capturing the Big Bad BIM on "film."

Edit: fixed missing video embed.