Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Step Closer to Model Based Code Review

Solibri announces $21 Million dollar technology grant to North American Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) to acquire their software for model review.

 Scottsdale, AZ, 10 Dec 2012 - Solibri, the global leader in model-based QA/QC technology, through its U.S. operations has established a $21 million grant program that North American Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) can use to acquire Solibri Model Checker technology and receive assistance incorporating Building Information Models (BIM) into the digital review process. Interested AHJs are encouraged to apply for the technology grant immediately at the Solibri website (www.solibri.com), following the link for AHJ Grants.

Full press release here.

Direct link to Grant Program page.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Throwback

In which I will dredge a favorite post from the past (mostly for my own enjoyment.)

Finally got one in on Thursday.  :)

I STILL love this clip... <BUMP>


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BIM and Integrated Design (a book review)

It's time for a loooong overdue review of a book that we all need to read and reread:

BIM and Integrated Design;
Strategies for Archetectural Practice
By Randy Deutsch, AIA, LEED-AP

A while back I posted about the fact that their are no road maps to successful BIM and that we need more BIM explorers (as opposed to BIM navigators.) I stated that you should use the BIM compasses available to guide you in that journey.  Well, this book will teach you to build your own compass. You'll find the real substance you need to plan, execute, and  measure BIM implementation in your office.

Are you thinking about implementing BIM, but don't know where to begin?  Buy this book.

Has your firm implemented BIM, but you feel like you've hit a wall, or maybe BIM isn't all it's cracked up to be?  Buy this book.

Are you struggling with the fact that you have invested time, money and effort in BIM software, but have failed to see a return on investment? Buy this book.

In BIM and Integrated Design, the author (Randy Deutsch http://bimandintegrateddesign.com/) talks about the one thing that is consistently missing from most conversation about BIM... people. The social impact of adopting BIM, VDC, IPD, etc far outweighs the cost of software, hardware and training. Arguments about what a software can and can't do leave out the one thing we can actually do something about. How people handle change. Prepping your team to handle this change is what makes the difference between "wanna do" BIM and leaders in our industry.

In his own words:
"BIM and Integrated Design is an implementation book from a firm-culture standpoint, addressing Building Information Modeling as a cultural process with a focus on technology's impact and transformative effect - both potentially disruptive and liberating - on the social, psychological, and practical aspects of the workplace."
 The first part of the book is titled "BIM as Though People Mattered." And that about sums it up. Teach people about change and how to accomplish it, give them new and exciting tools to work with, map out short and long term goals to focus that change, and get out of their way.  Then you'll see some magic happen.  Throw some technology at people who don't really agree that anything is wrong in the first place, and you have a recipe for heartache. Applying technology alone to an issue rarely makes it better.

Some key points you'll learn:

  • What you're really adopting when you adopt BIM. 
  • The difference between adopting BIM and implementing BIM. (that difference is very important.)
  • What are the real social implications of BIM?
  • What strategies you should employ based on company culture.
  • Who should really be working with BIM (in the industry and in your company.)
  • How to work with others in a BIM environment
  • Education and training tactics.
Mr Deutsch does a great job of laying this all out in language that just about anyone can understand. His experience as an architect and educator combine to make this an essential resource for those of us struggling with change in our industry. He wisely states;
"What design professionals do - what they produce - is neither facilities nor documents but change. Yet, ironically, when it comes time for them to confront it they seem to have such a hard time swallowing change themselves."
 So, in case you missed it, my opinion is that you should... BUY this BOOK! (click the picture above or go directly to Amazon and search for it)

I'd loan you mine, but I use it everyday. See.

Randy Deutsch- helping people everywhere to not fear the Big Bad BIM.

Edit: Added image of my copy. 8/24/12

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

200 posts

200 posts in 4 years... hmmmmmmmm. Gotta reflect on that...

Got sec? Or 2? Thinking about LEAN

Just about everyone who works in the AEC industry has at least heard about LEAN. It's a buzzword that's thrown around at least as often as IPD and BIM. And just as often the hype has outdistanced the substance.

Why?  I know for me personally, the subject has been littered with scheduling systems, ambiguous graphs, flow charts, and industry terms that I just can't get my head around.  On the surface, the concept is a no-brainer... common sense even. But somewhere between theory and reality, I would lose touch and fail to implement what I have learned.

Enter Paul Aker, CEO of FastCap LLC, an international product development company responsible for an amazing number of developments in the woodworking/cabinet making world. Yesterday I had the opportunity (thanks to Turner Construction Tempe, AZ office for hosting) to hear Paul speak to a group of LCI (Lean Construction Institute) members about his take on LEAN. Succinctly put;

LEAN = Eliminating Waste

That's it.
That's all.
End of story.

I'd heard that before, but in the past it got lost in all the techniques. The Flow charts and planning systems and Japanese terms that I had no frame of reference for. But Paul says this with such conviction that the basic truth, LEAN = Eliminating waste, is impossible to ignore.  It's not about Last Planners, or 5 S's or pull planning. These are all valid components of how you might implement LEAN, but they are not what LEAN... is

How do we eliminate waste? Paul emphasizes two points;

Learn to see waste
Continuously improve, everything

Read that again. See the waste that is everywhere. Continuously improve... everything.  

The key is learning to see that anything that doesn't add value is... waste; the half empty water bottles left on the conference room table, excess materials ordered for a project, time spent waiting for a large document to print. Once we recognize waste, we can set out to eliminate it

A "light bulb" moment for me was; the improvements you make don't have to be big or dramatic. In fact, small improvements made each day will go farther than large improvements made irregularly.

In Paul's book, 2 Second Lean: How to Grow People and Build a Fun Lean Culture, he explains how you can take these concepts and apply them to your work and home life.  I highly recommend it. A fairly short read at just 100 pages or so.  Lots of pictures and QR code links to videos make it effective for visual learners. There is a ton of substance for such a compact book.

Paul documents how he goes from the high of being ranked "Business Startup of the Year" in Whatcom Co WA and being offered a loan of "any amount of money you want" by a bank President based on how efficient his shop was, to being told by a manufacturing consultant that "you don't know what you're doing and you don't know how to manufacture." This is the event inspired Paul's LEAN journey and has helped him develop his current LEAN philosophy.

A key takeaway is that LEAN process and using LEAN as a business tool can only get you so far. The crux is to create a culture of learning and continuous improvement. And that will be the hardest part for all of us. Changing culture isn't easy (as any BIM/Leed/IPD/(insert industry change) champion will attest.) Without that culture, though, you will always feel like you are pushing a train.

I encourage all of you (no matter your title, position, or industry) to learn more about how you can reduce waste. Visit the 2 Second LEAN website, read the book, watch the videos on FastCap's website.  Start to implement your own 2 second improvements daily and I guarantee you will see a measurable difference in your quality and efficiency.

While I have plenty of questions about how this all plays out in our industry, I know that I can always default back to Learn to see waste and Continuously improve, everything..

If you ever get the opportunity to hear Paul speak, it will be time well spent.

What are your experiences with LEAN? Have you been on jobs that claimed LEAN project management but seemed to come up short?  Have you seen dramatic increases in productivity or quality due to LEAN principles? Or do you think it's all a bunch of hype?  Let me know in the comments below. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Revit deployments for Dumb Es*…

I’m an E (an Erik with a "k" if you didn't already know.)  Maybe not a dumb E, but surely an ignorant one.

I have a distinct lack of IT and networking skills (even though my last firm lumped me in the IT Department (much to their amusement and my chagrin.))

That said, the power to be able to configure, update, and install software through “deployments” has fascinated me for awhile. So much power… (cue evil laugh.)

So when I started to hear Aaron Maller (Malleristic Revitation) tweeting about a project he was involved in that made the whole process digestible for guys like me (dummies, not necessarily dumb Es) I was hooked.

That project? The Pragmatic Reviteer has created a web-based course titled;
 Revit Deployment & Management for Medium Sized Offices
I am currently about 1/3 of the way through the current “lectures” and I intend to do a more comprehensive review at the end of learning journey, as well as posting of my experiences using the knowledge imparted, but I think I’d be doing a disservice to you if I didn’t let you in on this excellent series of lessons.

If you are at all involved in managing Revit (content, installs, etc) you owe it to yourself to at least watch the Promo video to see what it’s all about.  If it sparks your interest, the price is very reasonable for the depth to which the topic is covered.

Also check out the Revit Bistro- a collection of small plates and specials from the Pragmatic Reviteer on Udemy (no cost at the moment.)

The Pragmatic Reviteer- teaching the Big Bad BIM to guys like me (dumb and otherwise.)

* Similarity to a popular self help publisher is purely for comedic effect.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Forcing YES/NO parameters

A reader's email asks:
Hi Erik,
I saw your tip on the CAD Shack blog about formulas in Revit. Here's
the link to the blog:
I have a question for you that you might be able to solve. I am making
a new window and I want to have the option to turn the visibility of
the sill on or off, depending on the type of window I use. I have
nested the sill into the family, and I have assigned a visibility
parameter to the sill, but how to I assign a formula to be able to
turn it on and off? You wrote on the CAD Shack blog about 1=0 and 1=1,
however I'm lost as to how you enter these into the formula column?!
I would really appreciate you advice on this.


That was someone else's comment ( tucker_arch ) but I think what they are trying to say is :

If you set a Yes/No parameter to have a formula of 1=0, Revit will return <False> or an unchecked Yes/No parameter. 

The formula doesn't have to be 1=0, it can be any false statement... 10<230, (1*2)=10000000000, I can dance!  (well maybe not the last.)  

Making a true statement will result in a "Checked" box.  1<2, 1=1, etc etc.

Now just paste the true formula into the formula cell of the types you want to HAVE a sill and the false formula into the types you don't.

I wish tucker_arch had an account or contact info so I could have asked what they truly meant.  If that's you (or you know tucker_arch) let me know and I'll add your comments here.

Gladly helping readers with Big Bad BIM... daily.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"Building Long with VDC..."

"Building Tall with BIM brings Gain, but Building long with VDC is a bigger game."
So says ENR about some local Arizona BIMMERS (Eric Cylwik and Kevin Dwyer from Sundt Construction) who have put together an informative piece on using VDC for Horizontal Construction (Civil and Infrastructure) featured in an ENR post.

Courtesy Sundt Construction

Make sure you visit the full article as well where they go into depth about how the concepts of VDC (Horizontal Construction guys shy from the term BIM. Has something to do with the "B" I'm told.) save money and accelerate schedule. Great job Gents

Sundt and ENR, not afraid to bury the Big Bad BIM...

Friday, July 13, 2012

RTC USA 2012 Recap

I hadn't planned to do a Recap with all the great examples already out there (compiled here, Thanks Phil.) but I needed fill out an Official RTC 2012 comments form, so here are some excerpts from there:

Overall Comments:
 Personally I think this is the best conference related to BIM and Revit around.  RTC fits into my personal education/career path and I truly enjoy collaborating with the high level like minded folks who attend.

Evergreen Marriott was a lovely setting.  I wish they had done a better job of having rooms ready when scheduled.  I know that there were a couple instances of "quick turnaround" that were unavoidable, but a notable exception was the Kick-off/Keynote.  That's one session expected the venue to be available 15 mins before start (for those of us that can't fathom arriving at the start time...)

Comments about the after hours functions:
Welcome Function:  Always good to have a chance to reconnect with old acquaintances before the real meat of the event kicks off.

BBQ: A highlight for my wife (Partner's Package)  Nice laid back atmosphere, I think the venue and activities (Volleyball and Triumph rides (Thanks Phil)) encouraged folks to mingle outside of there groups.

Gala Dinner: Great food.  Awesome dinner conversations.  Cheesy 80s/90s Prom music appreciated by some (ok just my wife) and disdained by others (everyone...?)  Packway Handle Band was great.  They ARE coming to Vancouver, right?
 Comments about RTC Staff:
Only good things to say about the staff. I had no issues that needed to be solved at the event.  I know this is because of all the work put in by staff behind the scenes. Keep up the good work.
What three things will you take away from RTC and implement in your office?:
Data, Data, and more Data
My focus in the coming year is to leverage decisions made throughout the project and prevent rework and churn.  Quite a few of sessions addressed exactly that topic.

I will also be showing staff some of the fabulous eye-candy that was at RTCUSA.  No, not BIM-chicks or BIM-Studs, but David Light, And the Mana's Revit stairs and Rails. Everything that Marcello produces and Tim Waldock's Divide and Conquer.  Whew!!!

Can't wait till next year. Maybe I can wrangle attending all three events.  Vancouver, Auckland, and Delft... oh my.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Assemble Systems: big "I" BIM

Thanks to Assemble Systems for contributing and being a sponsor at ENR's FutureTech 2012 event. I wanted to single them out for a moment because I think they are offering something unique that will impact the way you interact with the "I" in BIM.

I spent some time (certainly not enough time) with Trent Miskelly (VP of Development) during a break and learned a little about what they do.

Basically, Assemble Systems is a Web Based program that allows you to slice, dice and filter your BIM data in ways that currently are in the realm of the BIM manager and other high level users.

Using their tool Team Members who don't have access to the model can now get just about any non-graphical information that exists in the project.  Quantities, locations, Manufacturer information, etc...

Publish your model to Assemble Systems and now you can create and save views that only include the data needed for the task at hand.  Sound familiar?  It should, that's exactly what you do in Revit.  You filter the view to make the overwhelming amount of information included in the project useful at that moment.

Set up views by adding and removing columns of infiltration.  Sort and filter that information by any parameter or value available.  Even use Comparators (=, <, >, etc) and Booleans (if, and, or, etc...) to create more complex filters.  Sure, you can do all of this by exporting the model to Access or a SQL database.  (Wait, that's not universally true.  Maybe you can do that, but I can't.  I'm not a SQL wiz and I don't have access to Access.)  Even if you can use the data in similar ways, Assemble Systems doesn't stop there.  You can bring those filters into Navisworks as selection sets and see this data in a very visual way.  Oh, and I almost forgot... you can export all of this to Excel for disbursement to the team.

Assemble Systems is truly a tool (as opposed to a packaged solution.)  Learn how it works and create your own uses for it.  Their website shows some suggested uses, such as Estimating, or variance reporting between versions of models, but don't stop there.  Get out of the box, only you know how this tool can help you be more efficient. And I think that's the most exciting thing about this company.  They encourage that attitude. Get in touch with them and get to now what they are all about. 

Assemble Systems: not afraid of the big bad "I" in the Big Bad BIM.

ENR FutureTech conference San Fran 2012

BIG Thanks to McGraw Hill for such a quality event.  Just about halfway through and the big players are in attendance in abundance.  Brian David Johnson's (futurist at Intel) Science Fiction and the Future of WORK was an awesome, inspiring piece that looks out to 2022.  Very quotable as seen in the Twitter stream (#ENRTECH)

Jim Balding (The Ant Group,) Wes Hardin (Burns McDonnell,) and Justin Schmidt (DPR Construction) gave a great panel presentation on Digital Visualization and Augmented Reality.

From The Ant Group's YouTube Channel

And some pics. 

Can't wait till lunch. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independance Day!

Freedom, Justice, and the American way. Take just a moment and pause to think about what that means, what it has meant, and what it can mean.

Now, go enjoy your holiday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Most BIM-teresting Man in the world

Stolen from a meme, referenced in a tweet by @jvandezande... well, you know how these things go.  Ahhh, the internets...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

RTCUSA Day 2 recap

Another scorcher in Atlanta. Reports of 106 F. Sessions even hotter. My day was all about DATA, DATA, DATA. Leveraging Room data, Big data mining of projects for assessing the health of your project and your firm. Inspiring stuff.

Classes I wish I had the opportunity to attend yesterday- Building Smarter Models with James Vandezande and Visualizations to the Max: Taking Revit into game engine environments for real-time rendering, physics and animation by Marcello Sgambelluri. My twitter feed was on fire about the classes.

All this led to a heat stroke inducing riverboat ride to a whole pig BBQ on the other side of the lake. I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all. And it was comforting to see that the hotel pool was not cordoned off with Police tape this morning.

On to the next one!

Friday, June 29, 2012


Great Keynote yesterday. A "Fireside Chat" with Dick Morley and Brad Holz. You may know of Dick, and if you don't you should. Developer of the PLC (Programable Logic Controller) and the ABS (Antilock Breaking System) among others things.

It was a free flowing, stream of consciousness education that covered topics ranging from how to effect the world consumption of oil by 5% (copper cored steel motor shafts that make bearings last at higher temps) to why Dick never got to develop an orange sorting system (did YOU know they paint oranges for visual consistency?) and Javahoe (not a "lady of the night" that hangs out at Starbucks, but a full size Backhoe controlled over the web. )

Learn more about Dick here and visit his site http://www.barn.org/ It will blow your mind. "Dick doesn't think outside of the box, he doesn't recognize that there is a box."

Oh, and thanks to Evergreen Marriott Resort for having muffins with my name on them.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What kind of Collaborator are you?

CADSoft Consulting brought some great representatives from Autodesk together to talk about Emerging Technology for Building Professionals, and I was invited.  :)

Tim Douglas reminded us of the importance of DATA in our models.
Scott Davis talked about the power of visualization (and NOT just the photo-realistic type.)
Ken STowe talked about the ROI of BIM and a Workshop series he has facilitated on the subject. If you ever have an opportunity to participate in that workshop  I highly recommend it (even from the short description we had today.)
And Chuck Mies talked about how Owners can use BIM and what we all have to do to make it happen.

Thanks to all of you.

In relation to the Post title, Chuck Mies brought up a great point about the buzzword Collaboration, their are two definitions:
intr.v. col·lab·o·rat·ed, col·lab·o·rat·ing, col·lab·o·rates
1. To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
 2. To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.

How are you collaborating on your current projects?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Autodesk and Vela systems...

...it just makes sense.

Autodesk aquires mobile construction management solution provider Vela Systems today.

With Vela's cloud sourced, list based project management and issue tracking solutions and Autodesk's BIM authouring capabilities we will start to see a more seamless integration of BIM use on the construction site.  Interesting things to come for sure....

See the press release here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Reflection of...

...my other blog. Just Geeky enough to make it here.

Once in a lifetime...
...is such an overused expression.  But today folks over most of the world have an opportunity to view a true "once in a lifetime event."  The Transit of Venus!  I know, exciting right?  What, pray-tell, is the Transit of Venus?  It's when Venus passes between the Earth and Sun and is visible crossing the disk of the sun.

WARNING!: Once in a lifetime events do NOT give us license to be stupid.  DON'T LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! You won't be able to see it anyway, given that Venus will appear approx 1/32 the size of the Sun.  And you may not be able to see anything afterwards.  (Safe viewing tips below.)

What's the big deal, anyway?  Well, this rare astronomical event occurs in pairs (the last was in 1999) and the next won't be until 2117!!

Wait, I thought you said this was once in a lifetime?  You just said it happened in 1999.. Right... it wasn't  once in a lifetime then, it was twice in a lifetime.  Duh. Clearly that's why I didn't blog about it then (and I was too busy partying with Price.)

OK, so it happens once every century (or twice, or whatever) why should I care? Aren't planets and stars and stuff constantly circling the sun?  Planets, yes. Stars, no. (maybe visit the planetarium? today would be a good day.)  This particular event was instrumental in measuring the size of the solar system! And was arguably responsible for making our exploration of Space a reality.

OK, OK, I'm convinced.  How do I view this awe inspiring display of celestial clockwork?

First you have to NOT be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

If you're lucky, you get an awesome sunset view like the image above.  If not, you have a couple of options.

  • #14 Welding glass or Eclipse Shades  (Welding Glass available at local Welding Supply shops, Big Box Stores (Home Depot, etc) or Farm Supply Stores)  You'll need some pretty darn good eyes to Venus transit the Sun though.  We're not talking lunar eclipse here.  Much, much smaller.
  • Visit your local Planetarium.  If you're reading about this for the first time, you're probably out of luck.  Space geeks probably have all the spots reserved. Probably a pretty rockin' time though.
  • A Pinhole projector.  This is one of the few ways the non-planners can see the transit of they are interested.  Given the size of the silhouette on the disk of the SUN, your mileage may vary.  Pinhole projectors can be elaborate or simple.  You can even use your hands. Just hold up both hands with your fingers overlapping at right angles. The holes between your fingers make pinholes.

  • Project the image with Binoculars or a Telescope.

Thank You NASA!!

So, get your Geek on and take part in a truly once in a lifetime event.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Is your organization stuck?...

Is there a human being alive who is capable of getting to an airplane who doesn't know how to buckle his seatbelt?

Given that we have 100% seatbelt understanding among the flying population, why do flight attendants repeat the instructions literally millions of times a year? (Low and flat across the waist...)

It's stuck. - Seth Godin
 How do you get ""Un-Stuck"?  For a start, visit Seth's Blog

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Fun

I know what you did last Summer...

Now put those pencils mouses mice down turn off that computer, and have some fun...  It's Summer!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goodnight iPad

Goodnight Moon iPad.

As we struggle to find balance between the virtual and real worlds, a guiding voice gives advice for some "planned downtime."

Thanks to Laura Handler (@lhandler) at (bim)x for tweeting this.  Made my afternoon.

The Big Bad BIM, signing off (for the evening.) :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Autodesk Fabrication: It's about time...

I mean... it's about time saved not having to redo work done by the designer... it's about time gained by designing in 3D and porting that into your CAD/CAM fabrication workflow... OK, I mean, it's about time Autodesk released a solution that takes BIM to the fabrication floor.  ;)

Free Trail here.

I hate the fact that no one dates anything anymore... How long has this been available to the public?  Copyright 2012, I guess that's a good sign...

Image courtesy of Autodesk, Inc.

Long and short of it is; it's here... and it's available for free trial!  Get your copy today and run it through it's paces.

One more step toward a paperless process.  One more step towards breaking down barriers that create inefficiency and waste.  One more step towards buildings the way they should be, safe, sustainable, efficient, and economical. (Pretty lofty goals for the ideas encapsulated in BIM, I know.  Don't agree? Meet me in cyberspace and we'll duke it out.) 

Guest Blogger opportunity alert...  Anybody want to do a write up on this?  I don't really play in the MEP arena anymore, but this is cool... stuff and I'd be happy to host your write up here.  Full credit given of course.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Throwback

In which I will dredge a favorite post from the past (mostly for my own enjoyment.)

This week's throwback takes us to a post about the ever important, oft misunderstood Model Progression Spec (MPS) that has made it's way into the AIA E202 BIM Protocol

A model progression…?

And when you're done progressing, head to BIM Execution How-to to learn how to fill in that MPS.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Parameters: Family vs. Project vs.Shared Family vs. Shared Project

Parameters are where it’s at (ala Beck.)

They make the rockin’ BIM go ‘round (sorry Freddie.)

Sorry, it’s Friday afternoon and I’ve had entirely tooo much caffeine.

Skillful use of parameters are the difference between BIM and parametric modeling. Get some information in that model, by Jove. But, beware, not all parameters are created equal!

Straight up Family Parameters typically control geometry or are used for calculations inside a family.  They are not accessible in the Revit project environment (except through the Properties dialog, which I would argue is a “window” into the Family.) Noted exceptions to the above are parameters that Autodesk has placed within the template for certain family categories that schedule and tag like; Door “Height” and “Width” and “Type Comments” in all categories. (Don’t get me started on parameters that exist in families but aren’t accessible in the Family Editor, like “Mark.” Or those that exist in the family, are visible in the project, but can’t be scheduled, like Wall “Height.”  Ah, Autodesk. Consistently inconsistent.)

family parameters

Mark Value

Project Parameters apply to all families in a given category. Want to add information to the Room category about it’s floor finish?  Create a Project Parameter that contains that information. Now you can create a Room Finish Schedule that shows floor finish. If you want to tag that value, see below. Note: project parameters are the only way to add new information to systems families such as Rooms, Walls, Floors, etc.  However, they are a broad-brush way to add information to all categories.

Manage Tab

Project Parameters

Shared parameters are great…
(OK, maybe not great. Great would be being able to put a check in box in the parameter dialog in the the Family Editor environment that allowed you to choose “appears in schedule” and “can be tagged.”  No more multiple shared parameter files and the trouble that they can cause.  )

… well, anyway, they are useful.

Shared family parameters create information that can be tagged and scheduled. Fantastic.

Shared project parameters create information that can be tagged and scheduled. Wonderful.

Wait… they do the same thing? Similar, but not the same.  Just like non-shared parameters; Shared Family parameters exist only in the family they are created in and Shared Project parameters exist in any family in the category the parameters are applied to in the project.

Need a parameter that applies to all Mechanical Equipment across the project?  Maybe, “Delivery Date?” Create a Project Parameter (will only appear in schedules) or a Shared Project Parameter (can be tagged and scheduled, but increases complexity in managing your information since a shared parameter exists outside of the project in a text file.)


Shared Project Parameter

Need a parameter that only applies to some equipment? Say “Gallons per Hour (GPH)?” Create a Shared Family Parameter (the only way to tag or schedule information in a family is if it’s a shared parameter.)

Pretty straight forward stuff really. Keep your mind organized while deciding what kind of parameters to use.  Definitely do not listen to The Pogues while creating parameters.  Save them for hardcore geometry modeling.  Maybe spin some Yo-Yo Ma. Relaaaaax.

Next time, we will look at some unexpected behavior of Shared Parameters in the project environment and how to combat it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What the BIM?!!?

Trimble buys SketchUp from Google.!!!

This is earth shaking (to me at least) the "...leading provider of advanced positioning solutions that maximize productivity and enhance profitability," Trimble, acquires SketchUp from Google to "...Enhance its Office-to-Field Platform." 

Game Changer?   Could a light weight modeling application used by millions across the globe, now partnered with a true leader in using data driven models  to construct the Built Environment rock the AEC industry?  Nah, probably not... (Sarcasm Folks, Sarcasm)

Press Releases:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reality Capture Magic

The good folks at Sensopia have an awesome little iOS application that is going to change how we capture existing condition floor plans.

This FREE (!!!!!) app captures floor plans of rooms as you drop "markers" in the corners and at doors.  It's not really photogrammety.  You're not taking pictures.  You are capturing points through your view finder using the compass and gyroscope built in your device. Then you stitch those rooms together into a floor plan.
Add multiple floors and BAM (not BIM, not yet.) As-Builts.

How accurate is it?  I haven't confirmed yet. There is a calibration feature.  And I'm sure like most tools, a majority of the how accurate the output comes from user input.

It truly is amazing.  After a half hour or so of playing with it, I think I could put it to pretty good use.  And that was without watching the tutorials (that's not pigheaded manliness, it's just that intuitive (OK, oink.))

I'm going to try an capture the new palace sometime over the next week.

Watch the videos.
Download the FREE app
Capture your world. (FYI, you do have to create an account with Sensopia.  Aren't we all used to this by now?)

Maybe they will develop an app that captures the faces of walls and stitches those into a BIM (model, for you kitten killahs.)  That would be something...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BIM Execution How-to

Follow this link to a document that is intended to spark the conversation necessary to plan the Level of Development (LOD) requirements on a BIM enabled job (i.e. filling out that LOD matrix on your BEP).  It is not a form to fill out (there are plenty of those) nor is it a template to apply to your projects,  It's more a compass than a road-map.

Note: Licensed through Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
Model Level of Develop (LOD) Planning by Erik Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

If anyone would like a .pdf copy let me know through the "Contact" page re: BIM LOD Planning. There's no rocket science here though.  Just good, old fashioned communication and planning.

Don't let that blank BIM Execution Plan (BEP) make you afraid of the Big Bad BIM.

Edit: Added Creative Commons licensing 4/12/2012
Edit: Made document publicly shared and search visible 4/16/2012

XPM for AEC with BIM...

Embrace the TLA . Andrew Abernathy at Strings, Connections and Links talks about how Extreme Project Management (XPM) when combined with BIM can bring peace and harmony efficiency to the AEC industry.
Are you Agile?

XPM- taming the Big Bad BIM by being flexible.

Is Drawing Dead? Another view

I recently posted my thoughts about the Yale School of Architecture's symposium Is Drawing Dead?
Joann Gonchar, AIA continues the discussion in her article The Afterlife of Drawing at Architectural Record

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stop saying Revit can't...

Them; "You can't schedule Wall Height in Revit."
Me; "You want them to the nearest whole foot?"

(Hint's in the post label...)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Time to step up your game...

R W SMITH (Commercial Kitchen designer and supplier) has a published a BIM Services book to highlight how they can benefit projects using BIM.

Kitchen supplier, folks!!  What was your excuse again?

Thanks to Steve Stafford at Revit OpED for bringing this to light.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Let's have some Pi...

It's Pi day everyone!!!!  It's Pi day! [In his best Steve Martin "The new phone books are here!" impersonation]

Created by Larry Shaw from the San Francisco Exploratorium, traditional Pi day celebrations involve walking in circles and consuming Pi pie.

Little known to the mainstream (I'm sure my wife doesn't celebrate it) but loved by Geeks everywhere, Pi day is celebrated on March 14 due to the correlation between the date represented as 3/14 and the commonly shortened format of Pi 3.14.

Learn more about Pi day at it's Wikipedia article or at Piday.org

The Big Bad BIM embraces his Geekdom and invites you to join him a virtual circular promenade, culminating in the consumption of many, many sectors of delicious Pi pie.

Special note: To attain Super Geekdom keep your Pi Day celebration to a Dull ROAR until March 14th, 2015 at 9:26:53 AM or 3/14/15 9:26:53... the first 10 digits of Pi (3.141592653.)  Now that party is gonna be off da chain!!!  Whoot! Whoot!

Friday, March 9, 2012


In which I will dredge a favorite post from the past (mostly for my own enjoyment.)

Is Revit faster than…

I’m SO tired of the questions/observations/comments on the speed of Revit in delivering a project. Is Revit faster than <insert drafting software here> (AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, etc., etc.?) I thought Revit was supposed to be faster than CAD… It takes forever to <insert modeling task here> compared to CAD.
Seriously? Which is ... more

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Autonomous Agile Aerial Robots

AAAR...?  Like a Pirate?  No, wait, that's Arrrgh.

These quadrotor configured flying robots have been making the BIM blog rounds for a while.  Not sure why, I think we just have an innate love of "cool." I've been following them for awhile on YouTube. They are cool in and of themselves, but when you hear the back-story, more so.

Anyway, here's the scoop straight from the developers.  Very worthy of your coffee break time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

3D PDF... from Navisworks

Intratech (a Korean company (so don't be weirded out if you go to their site and it's mostly in Korean)) has announced the release of their Eagle 3D PDF exporter for Navisworks.

This neat little Plug-in allows you to export small areas of your model to .pdf format.  You can even export all of your "clashes" to 3D .pdf. 

From their site:

3D 공간을 문서화 하는 기술 !

3PDF는 무료 어도비 리더로 3D 모델에 대한 설계 검토를 할 수 있도록 하여 줍니다.  3D PDF는 항공부문과 제조업에서 기업간 협업과 3D 기술문서화, 협업 수단으로 사용되고 있으나  건설, 플랜트, 조선과 같은 중후장대 산업군에서는 모델이 크므로 뷰잉 성능이 낮아  잘 사용되지 않고 있습니다.  인트라네크는 이러한 성능 문제를 해결하여  무료 어도비 리더의 잇점을 활용할 수 있도록  Eagle 3D PDF Exporter를 개발하였습니다.
Translated using Babylon.com:
3 D space technology document! 3 PDF is free Adobe Reader 3 D model for the review the Designed to allow. 3 D PDF aviation sector and the manufacturing industry-business collaboration and 3 D document technology, collaboration tool, and use, but construction, plant, such as the pole of the industry after the model since there is a high-performance in view, well is not used. In a Alelanesia these performance troubleshooter free Adobe Reader's benefits you can take advantage of Eagle to 3 D PDF Exporter development.
I think it loses something in the translation.

If you're adventurous, give it a try. Free 14 day trial 

The only complaint I have so far is that the Y and Z axis seemed swapped in my PDFs.  I've had the similar problems before when I start a .nwd from a .dwf exported from Revit.  Anybody have ideas about that one?

Intartech- not afraid of the International Big Bad BIM

PS the Linked In conversation about the launch mentioned a discounted rate to non-Korean buyers until they get a marketing partner.  Sounds like opportunity on both fronts.