Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012: a Big Bad Year?

The  Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (sometimes called the Mayan calendar) is coming to an end this year.  The most hyped phenomenon related to this event is The End of Days.  You probably were aware of this (unless you don’t have access to The Discovery Channel, BBC, History Channel, NPR, or the Internet.)

Anticipated by some, is a period of enlightenment where people and social conditions change for the better (again tied to the ending of the Mayan calendar.)
What will happen in the AEC industry this year?

Will we see an End of Days scenario in which the down economy forces more firms to close up shop, fewer firms taking the “risk” of adopting new technology and process, and a “tightening of belts” that equals razor thin margins across the board?

Or will we see an Age of Enlightenment in which Designer, Contractor and Owner work together using IPD, BIM and other collaborative tools to create efficient, quality facilities on time and under budget?

It remains to be seen what the coming year will bring. Personally, I think the ending of the Mayan Calendar is more akin to the comic below than anything.
While I really like the idea of the calendar continuing forward, “business as usual.” This is becoming increasingly less and option for our industry.  Let’s make this a great year!

The Big Bad Bim doesn’t fear the Big Bad Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year

Apparently, 2D CAD is still useful for something.  Smile
Know your limits and celebrate responsibly.
Architects Guide to Drinks
Disclaimer: I don’t know where this came from. It has been passed around the interweb for quite a while, it seems.  I think sharing this with those close to you is exactly  what it was intended for.

Edit: Feel free to download a copy from Scribd

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

AU 2011: Another one down…(a little late)

Hmmmm, Forgot to actually publish this post.
Think of it like finding a $20 bill in your winter coat pocket after a long hot Summer.

Finally home and recovering from a totally packed week in Las Vegas. While I am still processing all that I saw and experienced, here are a few things that stood out (to me anyway.)
  • Attendance seemed to be up from 2009 (the last time I attended.)
  • The Cloud is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and presentations.  The idea of Infinite Computing has the potential to effect our efficiency in ways that we are only just discovering.
  • Efforts to leverage BIM is occurring at the both the front and back end of our processes
    • Many techniques of Reality Capture are gaining ground and influencing how our Virtual Reality designs are interacting with the Actual Reality already in place (i.e. Laser Scanning, Photogrammetry, PKNail, etc…)
    • Digital-to-Analog is the step that takes our Virtual Designs and places them in Reality quickly and accurately. (i.e. Robotic Total Stations, Get-the-Point,  Augmented Reality, etc etc.)
  • Colloquialisms are funny. (I.e. “Now, lets get the dogs to eat the dog food.” and “They are too busy chasing pigs to mend the fence.”)  :)
Autodesk University 2011- approx 7000 folks who aren’t afraid of the Big Bad BIM (not very afraid, anyway.)
See you next November!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I don't know where this came from (I swiped it from Revit Architecture's Facebook page)

Happy Holidays Everyone.
Here's to a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Glue that holds it all together…

The glue that holds all relationships together -- including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity.” –Brian Tracy (Self-Help Author)
At AU 2011 Autodesk announced it’s intent to acquire Horizontal Systems (developers of Horizontal Glue.) The deal is expected to close before the end of Autodesk’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which ends Jan. 31, 2012.
What is Glue?
… Glue brings BIM to the cloud with technology that supports multi-discipline model collaboration and intelligent object data exchange for the building and infrastructure industries. This approach enables architects, engineers, owners and builders across the globe to collaborate in real time in over 40 different 3D formats, while providing a solution to distribute BIM data into external business systems.
I saw a demo of this a couple of months ago.  Horizontal Glue provides for one… web-accessible… model for all players on a project.  One source of truth… One database…  Shared across the web by countless users. 

That alone is worth looking into.  Add to that integral “Clash Detection,” (I prefer the terms Spatial Coordination or Trade Coordination, but to each their own) Quantity Take-off, (QTO (there’s a TLA, they’ve been hiding for awhile) and 4-D scheduling and you’ve got a Cloud based BIM Coordination application.

Throw in RFI generation and tracking, Versioning control, and the ability to handle Submittals and Procurement right in the Model environment and you have a BIM based Project Management solution!!!


With Horizontal System’s innovative, cloud-based technology, and Autodesk’s vast range of BIM applications (not to mention their deep, deep pockets) look for good things to come
Keep an eye out for more Buzz about Autodesk 360.
Autodesk and Horizontal Systems- sticking to the Big Bad BIM

PS: You can find a copy of the full press release here (amongst other places.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Hypermodel. What’s all the Hype… about a Model?  It’s everything BIM should be, that's what it is.

Rob Snyder has started a string of posts at Bentley Colleague Blogs dating all the way back to June 2010 (really? 2010? we’re not jumping up and down about this?) talking about the concept of “Hypermodeling.”
The concept (according to Rob)
“The 3D model is infused on demand, automatically and comprehensively, with the clarifying remarks and graphics of the project’s documentation, the very documentation with which the project team has exerted itself clarifying the project.”
In short, attach 2D annotations, callouts, text, dimensions, etc. etc. directly to the 3D model in context.  Completely documenting the project in one place. Reducing ambiguity in the Document set, and filling in the information missing from today’s 3D models.

Don’t stop there. Add specs, Finish and Material samples, photos, videos (installation instructions perhaps,) the sky’s the limit.

Check out Rob’s posts.
Watch the YouTube videos

Links to all YouTube videos here.

My favorite video here.

Yes, these examples are Bentley.  Personally, I don’t have much experience with Bentley at all.  I’ve heard good and bad (but I hear the same about Autodesk products.)

I could do the same with Autodesk products (I think) by Appending 2D CAD docs to a Revit model in Navisworks.

Here’s the kicker.  Bentley is testing technology that places these 2D references automatically!!!.

Sign me UP!!!!

Bentley. Marrying the Big Bad BIM and 2D CAD  in Hypermodeling bliss.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

AU 2011: Certified Professional

Well, I finally sat down and spent the time to take the Revit Certified Professional exam.  Having come from an Autodesk support back ground (when I was an Application Engineer with a Value Added Retailer (VAR)) I didn't really see much need to take the exam.  Given the opportunity to sit for the exam at no cost during AU  why wouldn't I?

For the cost of a couple of hours of my time (quite a bit of which was standing in line) I am now an Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 Certified Professional.  Thank you Autodesk for making this available to all attendees.

Now if we could just have a version for Revit Structure and Revit MEP as well. That would be great.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AU 2011: 3D pdfs from SimLab Soft

Worthy of more review is SimLab Soft’s SimLab Composer and it’s ability to produce 3D pdfs with multiple saved views and animations. 


Making BIM easily digestible for non-tech savvy users. SimLab has no fear of the Big Bad BIM

Note: in case you haven’t noticed, I’m using these posts to capture technologies and processes to look into further. My apologies if your RSS reader is overflowing.  Of course you're probably used to that during AU.  My hope is that you will find some interesting tidbit in the ramblings as well

3Dconnexion releases a new mouse

I haven't had a chance to use any of 3Dconnexion's 3D peripherals for at least 5 years.  I was excited about them then and they continue to hold a fascination for me.  As someone who spends more than 3/4 of their waking hours in a 3D virtual environment, I am interested in anything that can make the experience more efficient and enjoyable.

I can't wait to try them all at the Exhibit hall.

Check out their newest press release below.
3Dconnexion:  Taming the Big Bad BIM

LAS VEGAS (Autodesk University, Booth #136) – Nov. 29, 2011 – 3Dconnexion today announced the SpaceMouse™ Pro – its newest 3D mouse for professional 3D software users working in a range of industries from mechanical engineering to media and entertainment, product design, architecture, and healthcare. SpaceMouse Pro combines 3Dconnexion’s patented six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) sensor for intuitive and precise 3D navigation with an advanced ergonomic design and innovative On-screen Display, to deliver superior comfort and a simpler, more productive workflow.

“3D mice revolutionize the way people interact with digital 3D content,” said Antonio Pascucci, vice president of products, 3Dconnexion. “We are committed to developing products that meet the needs of 3D users. SpaceMouse Pro provides a professional 3D navigation experience, enabling users to better understand their 3D content, while its new advanced ergonomic design ensures a comfortable working experience.”

The SpaceMouse Pro 3D mouse is an easy-to-use, professional solution with advanced features, including:

-      Professional Navigation: The patented six-degrees-of-freedom sensor provides intuitive 3D navigation while five QuickView keys offer one-touch access to 12 view combinations – top, right, front, and 90-degree rotation.

-      Advanced Ergonomic Design: SpaceMouse Pro ensures a balanced and comfortable workflow with full-size, soft-coated hand rest and fifteen large, tactile and easy-to-locate buttons.

-      Application Control: Four large, fully customizable Intelligent Function Keys provide fingertip access to frequently used application commands while the new On-screen Display provides visual feedback on function key assignment. In addition, SpaceMouse Pro’s Keyboard Modifiers provide convenient access to Control, Shift, Alt, Esc functions.

3Dconnexion will be demonstrating the SpaceMouse Pro in booth #136 at Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nov. 29 – Dec. 1.


Long awaited (by me at least) Point Known launches PKNAIL Pro yesterday at AU 2011 (how appropriate.)

To truly use BIM to full effectiveness there is  a real need for accurate existing conditions capture.  PKNail translates “…measurements directly from wireless laser range finders into a BIM workstation…”

With reality capture such a wide ranging topic, it will be interesting to see where PKNail fits into the continuum.

Now all I need to do is get a trial to evaluate.

POINTKNOWN is clearly NOT afraid of the Big Bad BIM!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AU 2011:Get the point?

A focus of AU 2011 has been both the front end and downstream usage of the BIM.

A real upcoming force in using BIM for field layout is Get the Point (GTP.)

because the job waits for no one.

Adding survey point information to multiple BIM file formats ( notably Revit and Navisworks) and pushing that data to a robotic total station for field layout, GTP is helping surveyors, MEP, and specialty contractors to not be afraid of the Big Bad BIM

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 28, 2011

AU 2011: Snubbed again

Yet again I haven't been invited to a Revit Blogger/ Media event.  Maybe I need to post more than once a year...?   :)
Maybe next year.

AU 2011: Design Review Mobile for Android???

Autodesk has just launched a Beta testing site for Design Review Mobile on Android devices.

Visit and enter your email address and Android device type to be considered for the Beta testing group.

AU 2011:Leadeship Forum Keynote

An inspiring kickoff to what looks to be another incredible Autodesk University.

Memorable quotes:


(Think: which one of these reactions do I want my customers to have and which do I want my competition to have?)

"How do we get the dogs to eat the dogfood?" (in relation to implementing strategies at the user level.)

The five main disruptive technology sectors in the AEC industry.
  1. Reality Capture
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Infinite Computing
  4. Analysis/Visualization
  5. Translating Digital to Analog
Look for opportunities to set your business apart from the pack in these areas.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get your 3Dconnexion to AU

I’m already booked for AU, but I figured I should pass this along. Hmmmm, I should could use a SpacePilot though….

3Dconnexion is offering a trip to Autodesk University in Las Vegas on Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, as well as a airfare, accommodations and a SpacePilot PRO 3D mouse.

Submission will only be accepted by midnight U.S. PDT on November 7, 2011. For details, please see terms and conditions. The winner will be contacted by email or phone on November 8, 2011 and will have 3 days to claim prize.

Enter Here!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Design Review for iPad...

 Released today.  Just in time for my birthday.  Thanks Autodesk.  :)

Design Review Mobile

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Echo...

Now's your chance to give feedback on possible new tools for Stairs and Railings in Revit.  Speak now, or for ever hold your whining...

Revit OpED Stairs and Railings