Archive | April 2, 2013

Revit adaptive component tutorials

If you have been playing around in Revit 2013 and trying to learn the new features, you may have heard of, or come accross adaptive components. Adaptive points and Adaptive components can be used to make elements which are adaptive, or elements which can move. An example could be a panel system on a wall which can be modified and reshaped according to the points you set. The use of repeating and dividing is another feature which is useful when modeling complex geometry in Revit. Reporting parameters can be used to report and react to certain situations, e.g. a panel which opens and closes depending on the proximity of the sun.

Below are a number of tutorials from around the web which are well worth looking at if you are trying to learn more about advanced modeling in Revit. 

CAD-1 Presents – Adaptive Components in Revit 

Zach Kron – Adaptive Components: From Data to taDa! 

Autodesk Building – Adaptive Component in Autodesk Vasari

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Julien Benoit – Adaptive Components Webcast (repost)

Updates, or lack there of

Just a quick post to apologise for the lack of posts lately. I have been in the process of moving from Denmark back home to England. Normal activity will resume shortly! Look forward to catching up on all the latest BIM news and sharing it with you all here soon. Thanks for checking back regularly!

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The B1M Is now free

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The idea for The B1M came from a desire to encourage wide-spread sharing of BIM knowledge and experiences in one location helping people understand it better.

The community is now free to join and has seen a real surge in the number of members signing up – we had a quick catch-up with Fred Mills (who runs the site) to find out more:

Fred said: “Our desire to make a difference to our industry, combined with our experience in social media and research on various successful online business models, led us to choose the original concept for The B1M.

“I suppose we thought that the whole ‘£2 for 1 million places’ thing would really create added interest around our community, whilst acting as a ‘think-twice’ barrier to preserve the quality of our user base. In practice it proved a bit of distraction. The decision to make the site free to join better aligns it with our true cause, objectives and values”.

“I am not out to make money. I admire people that have made a difference in the world and I want to contribute myself and make a difference to our industry. That’s my simple motive and it’s what drives me”.

The B1M went free on 18 January 2013 and all existing members either had their £2 fee refunded or chose to add them to The B1M’s donation to Cancer Research UK that was initiated on Twitter.

Fred said: “The charity donation was a great idea and Cancer Research UK is a cause that’s particularly close to both Tom and my hearts”.

He concluded “My ultimate aspirations for The B1M are a lifetime’s work and will, I hope, leave a legacy for future generations delivering and enjoying our built environment. That takes long term vision and is about much more than making money”.

Members can sign up at, join the ‘Friday BIM debates’ on The B1M LinkedIn group or get involved in the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Revit Walkthrough going up stairs

If you have been using Revit to create walkthroughs of your building you may have noticed there is not a default option for ‘walk up stairs’. Instead you have to create the scene yourself. By default the camera follows the line of sight, which is usually efficient when walking around on flat ground. The problem occurs when you try and walk up stairs or along other non-flat paths as this does not create a very realistic looking result.

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I am going to share a few tips here which I picked up when playing around with this. The first thing you have to take into mind is the height of the eye, or in Revit’s case ‘Offset’. The default value will be 1750, I personally prefer to use 1500, but that’s just a case of perspective! Another aspect to bare in mind are key frames. Key frames are the frames which you place every time you click the camera tool when creating a walkthrough.

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When you want to climb up stairs, plan where you will need your key frames to be, and by which offset increment you will need to increase it by every time. If you are unsure about the total height you need to increase it by over the course of the stairs, go into an elevation view, and measure from 1.5m on the base floor up to 1.5m on the destination floor. You may have a height of about 3m, split this into say 5 key frames, increasing the offset each time by 600mm. You may find you need to add more keyframes as you begin to edit the Walkthrough.

You now want to edit your Walkthrough and set the camera views so that you can create a more realistic stair climb animation. The first thing I like to do is watch the Walkthrough all the way through and see how it looks by default, takes notes of frames which you need to change. Once you begin to edit the frames, use the ‘Next/Prev Keyframe tool’. These are the main scenes, and the frames in between these will be a gradual increase between them.

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The best way to edit the camera scenes is by using the ‘View Cube’. The ‘Walk’, ‘Look’, and ‘Up/Down’ tools come in very useful when dealing with walkthroughs. If you are trying to control the scenes with the usual Revit navigation methods you may be finding it very difficult to make precise movements. The view cube tools allow you to edit your cameras in a way which is much more precise; very useful especially when going up stairs! Go through all your key frames and make sure that all the camera angles are set up in the way you want them to appear.

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A final tip to make a smoother walkthrough would be to increase the amount of frames that the walkthrough will consist of. I find that 600 creates a pretty smooth result. This is what I have used in the video below. You may wish to set some scene frame rates differently if you wish to pass a certain scene quicker than another. The more frame rates you choose the longer your video will be. I don’t claim to have a perfect method – any suggestions or tips are welcome.

Autodesk – Security and the Cloud

Like it or not, as a technology professional, the cloud WILL become part of our every day work in the near future – if it’s not already! Many applications which you currently use may already use cloud technology without you even realising it. Security issues are of course a big concern when moving forward with tecnolgoy and into new ways of working. There are many questions that need to be answered in order to make the cloud user feel like their sensitive data is secure.

Autodesk 360 is a completely cloud based service – offering many tools for use in the AEC industry. The huge advantage of the cloud is the speed and efficiency. Instead of using your own PC for intensive tasks such as rendering and interactive energy analysis, you are able to utilise the massive power of the Autodesk cloud servers and computers. This will not only be a faster process, but also leave the computer your working on free for use on other activities.

Autodesk have released a document which was discussed on the ‘Introduction to Autodesk BIM 360 webinar’ earlier today, which was recorded and will be released publicly, next week (week 5). In this document ‘Autodesk 360: Work Wherever You Are – Safely’, it discusses the security technologies that are employed on the Autodesk cloud servers as well as suggesting that the cloud is a SAFER way to transfer and share files than the traditional methods we are used to:

uploaded imageThere‟s trust in being close. Many people associate their local workstation‟s or PC‟s content as safer than their files on the Internet. This isn‟t always the case. Often computers are susceptible to security risk because their files aren‟t fully protected against unauthorized access and intrusion. Furthermore, as files are transferred across the networks, they can become compromised if not done so in a secure manner. With Autodesk 360


  • The platform is built on a reliable, protected technology infrastructure specifically built just for cloud computing. 
  • You control who has access to your data, when you share it, and who you share it with.
  • You can access it from anywhere through an Internet connection after providing your login ID and password securely.
  • The services are designed to protect data and authentication in transit.

For more information, read the full .pdf document on the Autodesk website HERE or by clicking the image above.

All Autodesk University classes now available online

Just a quick post on a Saturday morning to notify any of my readers who have not already heard; The rest of the AU classes which had not been available up to now can now be veiwed online on the Autodesk University website. 

I’ve been looking forward to seeing a lot of these classes ever since I heard so many good things, about so many different classes from AU 2012. This is a chance for all of us who weren’t able to attend AU this year to catch up on the latest news and tips from Autodesk users and experts from around the world. Below is a video from one of the classes I have been most looking forward to see, winning the award for the best rated class of AU 2012:

Marcello Sgambelluri – Advanced Autodesk® Revit® Modeling Techniques Using Complex Geometry: Walls, Floors, Roofs, and Beams


There are hundreds of classes worth checking out. So make sure you don’t miss the chance to get up to date with the latest and most advanced user information available for Autodesk products. A bit like Christmas come early (or late!) for those seeking quality information. A #ukbimcrew AU2012 Class List has been created – Add your classes and give them a rating for others to figure out what classes contain the gold.

IFC – What It Is and Why You Should Care

Here is a great video recorded from New York City Revit User Group or NYCRUG. Presented by Christopher Zoog, he discusses ‘What is IFC and why you should care’ An excellent hour long presentation well worth watching. I’ve uploaded the video to my YouTube channel after speaking to Christopher – Thanks to Ryan Schultz for sharing the orginal recording on Dropbox.

BIM 2050 Group launches

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Yesterday saw the launch of the BIM 2050 group. This a government supported project with the focus on young professionals shaping the future for BIM in the UK construction industry. The main aim of the group is to focus on the following areas:

  • To improve image and efficiency of the construction industry.

  • Promote shared knowledge and be an active forum for like minded industry professionals to collaborate.

  • Develop and review strategic scenarios for the future of the construction industry

  • Offer unique perspectives and critical thought leadership to challenge the construction industry.

  • Disseminate information to help positively shape the future of the construction industry

  • To take a wide view of the industry and research what an interdisciplinary scope of work may look like as technology develops.

Cabinet Office – Voice for construction professionals – BIM 2050 Group launched
Construction Enquirer – BIM 2050 group launched to map digital future

We have already saved £179m for the taxpayer by stripping out waste and are trail-blazing the use of digital technologies such as BIM, a pioneering UK-led ICT solution that shares building plans with multiple contractors working on a building project.

It is imperative we pass the baton of reform to the next generation of engineers and architects and the BIM 2050 group will help do this – it provides young construction professionals with a voice to challenge existing ways of working and deliver better results for the public and UK plc.”

This is another key step for UK BIM which is already up there and competing with the best in the world. The BIM 2050 group participants are young professionals who all have a forward thinking approach with a passion for BIM and emerging technologies. They will help to steer the UK government BIM stratergy and ensure that the UK stays up there. As a young passionate young BIM professional myself, I will certainly be looking into and hoping to play my part in the future!

Read more about the BIM 2050 Group and other UK government statergies on the BIM Task Group website here.

A chance to win your custom designed Revit app!

Have a great idea for a new add-on for Revit but have no way of creating it? Here’s your chance! Harry Mattison over at the BoostYourBIM blog is offering the chance for exactly this! For a chance to win a custom built Revit API app designed by YOU, all you have to do is enter his competition:

To celebrate the posting of Image-O-Matic on the Autodesk Exchange, I am sponsoring a great contest!

  1. Download Image-O-Matic from the Autodesk Exchange and use it to make a great video showing the animation of a Revit family or phased model.
    For a Vasari installer, visit
  2. Email me for a free license so Image-O-Matic will be able to make large image files. Or purchase a license for only $4.99 at
  3. Upload your video to YouTube
  4. Leave a comment on this post with a link to your YouTube video

Contest ends February 15. Two winners will be chosen through a poll that I will post here after February 15 – one winner for phasing, one winner for instance parameters.

Each winner will get to design one Revit API app that I will build to their specifications!

The app should be approximately as complex as Image-O-Matic and I will collaborate with the winners to agree on the final design.  The winners will get a free, unlimited license to use them. Boost Your BIM will retain ownership of the app and its source code, but maybe I will share the source with the winners if I am feeling generous. 

For more info on the lift family shown in this video and other amazing Revit projects by Marcello Sgambelluri, visit

All you need to do to enter is, have an awesome, fully parametric Revit family that you have designed yourself, download Harrys Image-O-Matic tool and create a short animation video, as seen above. This is a great opportunity to have that Revit add-in you’ve always wanted, coded by a very experienced Revit API user. Visit the Boost Your BIM blog today to find out more!

How to share your BIM & Other large files

Just a quick post to share information about an excellent new file sharing site which I have just discovered via Michael Clothier on Twitter. WeTransfer is a very quick and simple way to upload files to workmates or clients. It is completely web browser based, so there is no need to download any software onto your computer, like with similar tools such as Dropbox.

All you need to do is browse for the file on your computer, enter your email address, and then enter the email addresses of up to 20 recipients. You are able to share for free, files up to the size of 2GB. If you join the WeTransfer Plus service and pay €10 a month, your file upload limit will be increased to 5GB and you will also be able to share the file with up to 100 recipients.. 

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Once you have entered the email addresses, click send. You will see a progression bar with your file uploading. Once the file has uploaded, a download link will be sent to the emails specified. You will even receive a confirmation email when the file has been downloaded! Overall, a very quick and easy way to share a large file with multiple recipients. 

Shared parameters in Revit

Here are a series of useful videos uploaded recently on the Autodesk Building Solutions YouTube channel. This series covers the basics of shared parameters in Revit, an important library of definitions used when working on Revit projects. It is a good idea to have a shared parameter file set up in your office or home if you are working on multiple projects with the same standards. 

“A Shared Parameter is like a definition and the Shared Parameter file is like a dictionary.”  – Steve Stafford

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 1 

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 2

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 3

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 4

For more information on shared parameters, view the Revit Wiki Help page here:

Autodesk Wiki Help – Shared Parameters 

The IFC/COBie Report 2012

“The rest of the world is in awe of the UK BIM strategy and the progress made so far.”

The IFC/COBie Report 2012 is a document created by The NBS along with the OpenBIM network with input from some of the major Tier 1 contractors and their supply chains. It is a description of a series of test run on Autodesk, Graphisoft and Vectorworks BIM authoring software to test the capability of the buildingSMART IFC file format to find out whether it is capable of supporting the creation of COBie datasets from the Building Information Model.

Although the results of the tests are not directly stated, the report still makes for a very interesting read; discussing the obstacles and the changes needed to make the IFC format an accurate and universal file format for sharing information and data between BIM authoring platforms. You can read the full report HERE or click on the image below for a direct link to the document.

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  • “..the IFC definition of the COBie dataset provides for an enduring format, independent of software vendors and versions”
  • “The industry must do more to promote the examples (case studies) that are available in the US and the UK”
  • “There is also a lack of guidance on where the information to populate the COBie should be coming from, is it coming from the IFC schema or being manually added?”
  • “Data is disorganised at the moment. COBie forces us to be organised.”

Above are a few interesting quotes and important questions raised from the report: For more information about COBie and a list of resources and organisations pushing COBie to the masses, view The NBS blog.