Tag Archive | Autodesk

Conceptual massing and energy modeling now avail on iPad

Autodesk have jumped the gun in the conceptual modeling mobile device ‘race’, with the release of Autodesk FormIt. FormIt seems, at first glance like a cut down version of Vasari, where you are able to model basic geometry, set a location and run basic conceptual energy analysis on your mass directly from your iPad. The fun in this is that you get to feel like your actually modeling it with your hands rather than a mouse.

“Introducing Autodesk FormIt. the 1st Architectural Form Modeler for the iPad. FormIt is an intuitive, easy to use mass modeling application helping designers make informed decisions while accessing site & climate data. The building and site aware app allows designers to sketch proposed design options that can be compared with program requirements and then shared with the project team for continued collaboration through Autodesk® 360. – Available now on the Apple App Store”

This is quite a step up from the current modeling tools which are available on mobile devices. Although I can’t see people designing buildings and whole projects with this tool, it could certainly come in useful on site, and to test how specific geometry would perform in a specific location in relation to wind and solar analysis. I have not seen the app available on the App Store but I will post a link here as soon as it’s available.

Update: Autodesk FormIt – By Autodesk Inc. App store link

More news on M-SIX VEO

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I am excited to report the release date of the eagerly awaited M-SIX VEO software has been announced. Over the last year there have been a lot of promises about what VEO is going to offer and how it is going to be a game changer in the AEC industry. With this recent news, we are not so far away from finding out if these promises will come to fruition.

Other big and very interesting news in this story, is the announcement that M-Six have secured some seriously valuable partnerships from the big players in the industry: Autodesk, Graphisoft and Vectorworks to name a few! Could this be the first truly open BIM platform?

Read the official announcement from M-SIX HERE 

Exactly what the results of all this will offer are still unknown to the vast majority of us, aside from a few teaser videos not too much is known. A small team have been ‘secretly’ working on the project over the past 6 years with vigurous testing over the past year at least. With the news that VEO have partnered up with Autodesk etc. You can be sure the product they have designed is going to be an exciting and important part of the AEC professionals toolbox. 

My very first blog on this website was the announcement of the VEO platform by M-SIX, so I am verey much looking forward to seeing what the final outcome will be! Eagerly awaiting more news…. 

 EDIT: More unoffical news here via VeoNews.blogspot.com 

Revit LT is released, but what is it?

So, we heard the news yesterday that a new version of Revit has been released by Autodesk. Nothing to get excited about if you are already an owner of a full vanilla Revit installation, but possibly something to look forward to if you are a small business trying to get your foot in the Revit door. 

The actual meaning of the acronym LT in software terms has a number of different possible meanings. I have always translated LT to mean Lite / Light, but there are many different opinions on this. Others translate it as: “LimiTed, LapTop, LiTe, Learning & Training.” I’ve always thought of it as Lite, so I will stick to that for this blog. 

Revit LT in short, is a cut down version of Revit – Many of the features of your full install of Revit will not be included, but I will cover what is missing further on in this post. The detailwhich will appeal to a lot of companies and individuals is the price. With a standalone license of a single Revit installation costing around £3500 The Lite version may seem attractive to some at a reported price of £1500.

“Use the intuitive 3D modeling tools to visualize and communicate your designs more clearly, and meet the demand for BIM deliverables.”

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So aside from the price, what else is being cut from a full Revit installation? Source Seiler cad support blog

  • Worksharing.
  • Parts & Assemblies.
  • Stair by Sketch.
  • Truss & Reinforcement.
  • Conceptual massing & Adaptive components.
  • In-place modeling
  • Rendering and the Raytrace and Realistic View Styles. (Cloud rendering still available.)
  • Interference Checking and Copy/Monitor.
  • Copy/Paste Elements from Links.
  • Customizing the Visibility of Linked Models.
  • Point Cloud Imports.
  • No Decals.
  • No export of SAT, ADSK, gbXML, IFC, ODBC, or Family Types.
  • Autodesk 360 Energy Analysis for Autodesk Revit.
  • No Third party Applications.

As you can see – Quite a significant amount of the key features in a full installation of Revit have been completely cut out. Now in my opinion for a small business just venturing in to the world of Revit this may be okay, but it certainly couldn’t be used to replace a full version of Revit for companies who are already using all the features. In particular the lack of import / export capabilities linked with the inability to use worksets and worksharing substantially reduces the ability to collaborate and cooperate with other individuals or companies. To me this seems like a bit of an ‘Anti-BIM’ move, with a closed, cut down version of an already excellent BIM enabling software. 

So, there is my initial opinion on the release of Revit LT, but what is the initial reaction from Twitter?:


#RevitLT looks brilliant for small practices, not if you want multi-user access to the model though. usa.autodesk.com/revitlt/

— Elrond Burrell (@ElrondBurrell) September 5, 2012 


#RevitLT = BIM software that doesn’t import or export BIM data. #BackToThe90s

— Nigel Davies(@NigelPDavies) September 5, 2012 


#RevitLT = For those that want a phone but don’t want to call or text anyone. A collaboration tool without the collaboration.

— BondBryanArchitects (@BondBryan) September 5, 2012 


There are just a few examples of what others are saying about the new release of Revit LT. Although in general the response has been fairly bad, this is to be expected from a very BIM focused group of individuals. If you are a small company or individual wanting to learn and get into Revit and even get your foot in the BIM door then Revit LT may be a good starting block. But for anyone who has been using Revit for a while, will most likely not be able to cope with the loss of some of the key features of this software as listed above.

Fore more information about Revit LT including a full list of features, visit the Autodesk Revit LT website here. 

Autodesk Structural Engineering Curriculum 2013

An update to Autodesk’s BIM Curriculum has been released, and this time focusing mainly on the sturctural sides of BIM. This curriculum helps aspiring civil and structural engineers master engineering design and analysis, and structural modeling while promoting new ways of working to create sustainable design and construction.

“Expanding Building Information Modeling (BIM) across your structural engineering workflow can help you efficiently design, analyze, document, and build your projects. Autodesk BIM solutions can provide work-sharing enhancements to improve collaboration between engineering and architecture teams. Utilize the integrated analysis functionality to make informed engineering, design, and construction decisions.”

The new curriculum consists of the following units seen below:

Unit 1: Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Cloud Computing
Unit 2: Overview of Revit Structure 2013 and Autodesk 360
Unit 3: Modeling for Building Structures
Unit 4: Extending BIM for Structural Analysis and Design: Desk to the Cloud
Unit 5: Advanced Structural Analysis and Coordination
Unit 6: Construction Documents and Details
Autodesk are looking for feedback so if you have worked through the curriculum or if you have any suggestions about what should be featured in the next updates, fill in the ‘Faculty survey’ here or the ‘Student survey’ here.

Augmented Reality with Autodesk Showcase 2013

Autodesk labs must have been hard at work recently with a number of exciting and very interesting add-ins which have been released over the past week or so. I will be discussing ‘Augmented Reality’ for Showcase 2013 today and move on to speaking about Maximo for Revit over the weekend – Both completely different but each with their own value to me.

Now if you are a user of Autodesk 3Ds Max you may have already played around with a similar plugin before called AR-Media. AR for Showcase is a slightly more updated versions with more options, and most importantly your model or AR image can be displayed almost anywhere or on anything, not only a black box marker.

In short AR for Showcase allows the user to view their models as real objects through their webcam or video recording device. The idea is simple – Create you model, export it in to Autodesk Showcase – Set a marker as your ‘point of origin’ for your model – Use your webcam to record your marker and wallah! You now see your model represented as an AR object through the recording of your webcam / video recorder.

As you can see in the bottom video to the right – Adam Ward from BIM Store posted a video on Vimeo showing some cubicles that they had designed as Augmented Reality objects through the use of his webcam.

The uses for this are numerous – 1 of the key uses could be on construction sites where you are interested to see how a certain building or object will fit in to a space in real life. It’s like having a video of a building in an area where you want to build before it’s even built! With the possibility of scaling your AR object it could also be very useful for space calculation for interior designers etc.

I am planning as always to try out this new technology and will be posting my results as soon as I’ve finished it. – Any suggestions for what kind of object to project then let me know via Twitter or on the comments section on the blog. Happy weekend to everyone.

Autodesk BIM 360

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BIM 360 is a new technology recently released from Autodesk, A seemingly useful tool for BIM managers for overall project review and mark up. It is based on the Autodesk Vault technology, and is likely to be a key tool for future BIM projects.

Working along side existing technologies such as Revit, BIM 360 allows users to merge and align models, review clashes, reviewing model and integrating with CMiC. If you are already creating projects in Autodesks – Revit, Navisworks or AutoCAD there is a simple add in which you can download that will then get added to the addins menu on your ribbon. Simply click on this button in the ribbon to begin reviewing the project in Autodesk 360.

Autodesk®BIM 360 is Autodesk’s vision for collaboration and data management in AEC, which is exactly the new approach described above: provide AEC project teams with a complete,accurate, digital view of their project, with access to information across the project lifecycle.

For more information on Autodesks BIM 360 software click here to see the BIM 360 Autodesk Whitepaper

View more videos about Autodesk BIM 360 here YouTube playlist BIM 360.

Autodesk BIM curriculum for students

Today I am just posting a short blog post about Autodesk’s BIM curriculum, which contains some useful videos and tutorials I found a while back on Autodesk’s website. I have worked through the curriculum and found many elements of it to be extremely useful. For newly graduated students, and anyone who is new to the process of BIM, I would highly reccomend this ‘BIM curriculum’ as a good starting point to bring you up to date with what you need to know. 

The curriculum starts with the very basics of 3D modeling in Revit, up to 4D simulation in Navisworks as seen in the video above. Aside from this, you will gain a good understanding of how worksets and phases work in Revit Architecture, as well as the basics of work sharing. All of these elements are essential tools in a working environment, and may be elements which students did not have the oppurtunity to learn in their universities.  

Not only are there video tutorials to follow, but also exercises to complete for students as well as an assesment system. In some of the topics, powerpoint presentations are also attached to help give a better understanding. I would reccomend this to anyone who wants to know the basics of BIM, or even to teachers and educators looking for some teaching inspirations for their students! The whole course is free and available for anyone to use and learn from.

View the Autodesk BIM curriculum here

Autodesk Students: CADlearning courses

So I was recently logged in to the Autodesk student community. I found a link to some different support and tutorial files which were provided by Autodesk. Along with this was an advertisement for a 7 month free trial with CADLearning. I decided to look into the tutorials and service that CADLearning provided. After a short while I realised that the courses were very in depth, with a lot of different tutorials, covering a wide range of “topics” in Revit Architecture. Ranging from the very basics, project set up, walls, curtain walls etc. To the more complicated and useful: scheduling, phasing, worksets and collaboration. Each one of these “chapters” or “topics” comes with a series of tutorials explaining the different aspects of each topic. 


After watching and taking note of the tutorial videos, you are offered to take a self assessment test which is a series of multiple choice questions which you have to answer relating to that specific topic. In total there are 30 topics and each one comes with a multiple choice test. There is also a skills assessment test which involves working on a .RVT file and answering questions related to that. You are then able to see your score and evaluate the questions that you got wrong, in that hope that next time you won’t make the same mistakes! 

I feel although a lot of the topics are fairly simple, there is a lot of information which you might not specifically have known or realised before. If you have the oppurtunity, I would definitely recommend heading over to the Autodesk student community site and seeing if you are eligible to take the assessment tests from CADLearning. I feel this is another fun and slightly more interactive way of learning to use software for example Revit rather than reading from a book or watching hours of tutorials. CADLearning also offer tutorials from many other Autodesk software packages, so make sure to check out the information on their site. Give it a try today, I guarantee you’ll learn something new! 

Revit Architecture 2013 videos

Autodesk Revit Architecture 2013 – Construction Modeling Autodesk Revit 2013 extends the capability to support construction modeling by allowing further customization with parts. Parts can now be merged, excluded and restored. Two or more parts can be merged into a single part. Exclusions will remove parts from the project similar to the way elements can be excluded from a group, and finally excluded parts can be restored at any time. Autodesk Revit Architecture 2013 – Component-based Stairs New Component-based stairs in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2013 provide capabilities to assemble a stair using individual run, landing, and support components. Each run and landing component can be modified by using direct manipulation controls. During the creation process, you can preview the stair in 3D as you sketch the various components. Component-based stairs allow overlapping stairs to be created, as well as more stair layouts including spiral stair cases and winder stairs. Additionally, you can create multiple runs and have Autodesk Revit automatically create landings to connect the runs. Ideate Inc home page Ideate Inc YouTube channel

Autodesk virtual event today!


Autodesk Virtual event today which will be show casing the new 2013 products and talking about how BIM is effecting the AEC industries. Should be a great event, starts at 17:00 and ends at 21:00 GMT. Looking forward to seeing some new features, and hearing the pespective of the Autodesk team.

Join us for the Autodesk Virtual Event on March 29, 2012. See how Autodesk BIM solutions are transforming the building and construction industries.

With tight budgets, project complexity, and short timelines, the building and construction industry is under pressure. It’s time to move forward or risk falling behind. Building Information Modeling (BIM) and new technologies are changing what’s possible. With our latest software releases, Autodesk helps you lead the way in transforming your business now and into the future.

This year’s event features sessions from Autodesk executives, as well as building and construction experts, including:

  • Review of Strategic Initiatives for Autodesk by Carl Bass, Amar Hanspal, and Lynn Allen 
  • Building a Better Architecture Business with BIM, by Joy Stark
  • BIM for Building Engineering, by Sarah Hodges
  • Implementing BIM in Construction, by Anthony Governanti

Register Now

Autodesk 2013 products released!

The time has finally come! The Autodesk 2013 products were released on 27th March 2012. The AEC industry has been eagerly awaiting the news of new features and programs almost since the release of the 2012 products, and this year, it certainly sounds like Autodesk have exceeded themselves. As the NDA was lifted yesterday, a lot of the folks working over at Autodesk have been going blog mad about the new features, which I love

ImageI just wanted to post a quick round up of the best features, and point anyone who is unaware in the right direction of some solid official information from Autodesk! The “place to go” for all the latest news and features is David Light’s blog: Everything Autodesk Revit & BIM.

The biggest and most important change in my opinion is that Autodesk have decided to incorporate Revit Architecture, Structure and MEP into one stand alone package. This package will just be known as Revit 2013 (OneBox). This is very exciting news, not only does it promote collaboration but also allows users to learn more about each specific package, rather than being locked in their package and not understand how the others work. Here is a snippet from DLs blog:

“Revit 2013 will come in its now well established traditional flavours of Architecture, Structure & MEP. But it will also come as a complete AEC solution, code named “OneBox” during development, this will be all three disciplines installed as one. The official name will just be Revit 2013. In Revit 2013 you have access to all of the platform tools and if you need to, you can customize the ribbon interface to turn off the discipline tools you don’t require. This can be done via the options dialogue box under User Interface.”

Main changes in “Revit Architecture 2013” are as follows. Each of the features listed below have been significantly improved:

  • View & view templates
  • DGN v8 import & export
  • DWF & DWG tweaks
  • IFC
  • Materials
  • Further Construction modelling enhancements
  • Worksharing
  • General usability improvements
  • Massing – repeating & dividing
  • Visualisation & Graphics
  • Stairs & railings
There is a detailed explanation of each of the new updates to the above features on Davids blog. He has spent a lot of time writing up this information in as much detail as possible to help people like me and you be the first to hear about the new changes so give his site and visit and make sure to leave some feedback to show your appreciation.  
I am very excited to begin working in the new Revit 2013 softwre. I am currently downloading my copy and will be posting some screenshots of new layouts or new features to my blog as soon as possible. Other programs such as Autodesk 3Ds Max and Navisworks have contrinued to develop and become more interoperable with other  software solutions such as Revit. I will be posting more about specific changes over the coming weeks once I have had the chance to explore them all further. Massive thanks to Autodesk for more amazing products and David Light for all the info to keep us going before we try them out ourselves!

My top 3 AU 2011 classes

45 Revit tips in 45 minutes

This class will be a fun and upbeat binge of random Revit platform tips. Everyone loves to learn something new, regardless of how small that something is, and even the most veteran of Revit users never stop learning. The tips covered will range from very small and simple to some that will require a bit more explanation. While this is primarily a Revit platform class, I will also try to put a couple of Revit Architecture, Structure, and MEP tips into the mix.

Key Learning

  • List at least 5 things you previously didn’t know
  • Improve your workflow
  • Show off to your work colleagues by showing them something they didn’t know

Revit rendering tips

This class will cover a multitude of topics related to creating renderings in Revit. Class highlights include using Design Options to manage “props” for rendering, using a future phase to quickly create a “chip board” type rendering, and employing transfer project standards to load different color schemes for materials. The class also covers how to use Remote Desktop to utilize idle computers when producing multiple still images, how to use Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) photometric files to get more realistic results.

Key Learning

  • Create a custom material library
  • Use the Section Box to create interesting renderings of building sections in perspective
  • Set the project location and true north to get accurate daylight

Creating parametric components in Revit

The key to mastering Autodesk® Revit® Architecture, Revit MEP, or Revit Structure is the ability to create intelligent, parametric families for your content libraries. It is not as easy as simply building a 3D model. This class will show you how to use the modeling tools in the Revit Family Editor, as well as the process of creating intelligent parameters to properly control their dimensions, behavior, and visibility. Additionally, you will learn how to make sure that your families “play nice” with other elements in your model.

Key Learning

  • Work with nested families
  • Select the correct family template for appropriate component behavior and categorization
  • Work with parameters to control model geometry