23 December 2008

Blog by mobile

Just testing blogging by remote location. At this moment I am taking a break from shopping. :)

22 December 2008


I am on vacation for the next two weeks. I may still post but that will be totally up to what happens away from work! Regardless, I wish all a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. Stay warm.

17 December 2008

AU Class results

I finally got around to checking the results of the class I taught at AU08 on developing standards within Revit Structure. The data is below for your review. I think it went pretty well. This AU went with electronic surveying so the percentage of student responses is less than in years past. Also different than before is a simple yes/no as opposed to a rating scale. People probably a kinder in yes/no voting but the info is still valuable. Thank you to all who took the time to do the survey.

Survey Results SE314-1

Structure or Standards? Do Both!

David Harrington Attended 100

1.Did the session description accurately reflect the class you attended?
44 Answers (44.0%) 41 - 93.18% Yes 3 - 6.82% No

2.On a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent) please evaluate:
44 Answers (44.0%)

8.84 Speaker's ability to present and communicate
8.97 Speaker's knowledge of subject
8.93 Speaker's preparation
8.68 Course materials
8.61 Technical content
8.86 Overall course

Average: 8.82%

3.This course met your learning objectives?
44 Answers (44.0%)

41 - 93.18% Yes 3 - 6.82% No

4.I would recommend this speaker?
44 Answers (44.0%)

42 - 95.45% Yes 2 - 4.55% No

5.I would recommend this session?
44 Answers (44.0%)

42 - 95.45% Yes 2 - 4.55% No

6.I would like to learn more about the topic of this session
44 Answers (44.0%)

38 - 86.36% Yes 6 - 13.64% No

- this was a very informative session
- Very credible speaker.
- Class was very similar to CM311-2
- great class very informative
- I loved it. great ideas to take back. I have work to do! wanted more specific instructions in the handout.
- David is always enjoyable
- No comments
- Speaker was charismatic and knowledgeable. Excellent presentation
- This was a great session. Every cadd modeler should attend. I am taking away alot of good information. Thanks
- Already knew what he showed
- Interesting session, Good speaker.
- great job

If you are interested in seeing this class it is available for free on the AU site, all you have to do is register. The class presentation was recorded with audio. Also available is the handout in PDF that was provided to the class attendees.

11 December 2008

Discounts on Techsmith Software

I just got an email from Techsmith promoting their software such as Camtasia and Snagit. I use both of these programs, Camtasia for training videos and Snagit for writing technical pieces. In the email is a coupon for $ off since I stopped by their booth. Below is the info so you can get the same discount. Why should you pay more for not going to AU?

$55 off the Snagit & Camtasia Studio BundleSimply click here to order before January 5, 2009 with promo code AUTODSK08

You can also save if you already own Snagit or Camtasia Studio and would like to upgrade!
upgrade to Snagit 9.1, use the code AUTODSK08SU at checkout to get $5 off. To upgrade to Camtasia Studio 6, use the code AUTODSK08CU to get $25 off. Or feel free to call us directly at 800.517.3001 or +1-517-381-2300! Please have your original purchase order number or software key available.

Valid through January 5, 2009.

10 December 2008

A follow up on the font

A reader of this blog asked what is the 'magical address' regarding the font. Well I don't have a web address to where it can be found, although I am sure there is one. No, all you need to do if you want the font is email me directly. Those in my class have my email from the handout. My email is also shown within my AU Online profile. I have also given it here on this blog a few posts ago. But I do try to avoid putting it out on the Internet directly as to keep spam at a minimum. Funny I know, but it is a goal...

09 December 2008

AU2008 Online is LIVE

It took a day longer than promised but the AU2009 Online site is now live. Here you can get a sense of what AU is like by reading and watching many of the presentations and classes.

Font from class

I am still waiting for the AU Online speaker web site to become active so I can post the materials from my Revit Standards class. Additionally, I mentioned during the class that I had found an architectural style font in TTF format. If you would like a copy of this font file just email me.

06 December 2008

Into Tomorrow at AU2008

Here are the URL links to the various things related to the radio interview I participated in at AU last week.

Dave Graveline's website
The AU 2008 video spots
My video spot

04 December 2008

Nearly over

My last day at AU is now. I just wrapped up my lecture and it went pretty well I think. The issue was standards so it is a little thin to start with but I filled up the time well enough. The handout was very comprehensive so I hope the attendees feel it lived up to their expectations.

In a hour the AU wrap event fires up and ends at 9pm. I then am heading to the airport to catch my 1am flight back home.

Another thing that I did while here was sit for a short radio interview for www.intotomorrow.com, a radio show on technology. It was kinda different for sure but fun as well. This weekend the spot will be broadcast and it will be downloadable very soon. Keep an eye out, I'll post a link to it when it is available. www.graveline.com is probably where it will be put.

A final word from AU. I met a number of people who actually said they read my blog. Frankly I was shocked! Since I don't pay that much to this blog nor the visiter counts I had not idea it was being a source of information much less entertainment. I now feel a little more compelled to put more good stuff here, we shall see. To those that took the time to say hi, thanks!

Skipped a day!

Well I had wanted to post each day of AU but ended up just being way to busy to sit and do it. Such is life I guess. Today looks to be another great one, a number of classes as well as conducting the class I am teaching at AU on Revit Standards. Then late in the day is the final event, the AU Party and Design Slam. After which then I head back towards Tampa on a lovely red-eye flight through Houston. Ugh!

02 December 2008


Okay, I am totally exhausted. Last night I hit the speaker social and had a wonderful time chatting it up with fellow speakers. Always a low key event, this is one chance to actually say HI to guys that due to everyone's schedule I won't see again during the show.

During this little party I also spent some time with Tom Wier and Jamie Richardson, fellow Mastering Revit Structure authors. We reflected on the book writing this year, the publishing process and our hopes for the book acceptance in the industry. Writing a book is like have a kid - you want it to be good and a success, regardless of making any money! Only the main stream authors write for cash, us tech writers do it for the love of writing and sharing information.

Following the speaker gig, I hit the AEC Bim party. This thing started small just a few years ago and now has hundreds attending. During this event I spent a good deal of time talking to Nicolas Mangon and others with Autodesk. I did so much talking that my voice this morning was a bit scratchy and soar. I think I may need to take it easier today.

Next up today is the keynote, AUGI Volunteer luncheon, followed by a couple classes. Then this evening is the exhibit hall opening. That is always the craziest and most entertaining time for me.

01 December 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Okay, here we go again - Autodesk University! The premier (and only) Autodesk focused event held yearly in the USA. Just got in this afternoon after a nice flight from Tampa via Houston. Did the whole registration thing but this year was different than before - self check-in kiosks! Kinda cool I guess, but it does make the whole thing a little less interesting. Hack your name and then get sent to a queue where someone calls out your name and you grab your stuff and jet. I guess I like the interaction.

Anyway, all is set. There are two things to hit this evening; the AU Speaker Social. It's a chance for the staff to meet and greet with the speakers and share a drink or three. Usually a fun time and very low key.

After that is a AEC BIM Mixer - yet another opportunity to meet and greet with the movers and shakers in the A/E/C & BIM industry. After Thanksgiving last week, I feel like a shaker more than a mover. I suspect I will get a chance to meet the cream of the BIM crop at this - and have another beer I suspect.

Tomorrow, classes begin! I hope to keep my blog hot with blurbs from the event. I also noticed it is 1 year now since this little rag was born. It started with a lot of energy but I will admit has foundered a bit on occasion. I pledge to do it right from now on - and post as a good blog parent should!

25 November 2008

Sometimes publishing isn't easy

If you have been following this blog you will recall that last week I received copies of my Revit Structure book. After myself and the other authors began checking it out we discovered to our dismay that the book's Foreward, provided by our good friend Nicolas Mangon, was inadvertently left out of the final digital source sent to printing.

Well the publisher is going to post it on their web site and when the book gets a second printing, it will be there, but in the meantime it is only fair to offer up any venue I have to get his statement out in the public eye. To that end, below is the Foreward for the Mastering Revit Structure 2009 book.

When I was only 5 or 6 years old, I decided to become a structural engineer like my father. Every weekend, my dad would take me to visit the construction sites he was working on. I enjoyed watching concrete being poured, rebar being bended and installed, and was fascinated by the cranes, formwork, and cement trucks. As a teenager, I got my first computer, and realized the power of programming and its ability to automate tedious work. I had a big dilemma; which career should I choose? Should I pick computer science or structural engineering? I decided to pursue both. My graduation thesis was naturally a mix of computer science and structural engineering. My passion for conceiving how I might be able to blend these two different fields of study led me to develop load distribution software for concrete structures. The software enabled engineers to pre-size concrete structures in a matter of hours, thus being able to evaluate the material quantities of steel and concrete. In realizing how fragmented the industry was in terms of process, roles, responsibilities, and task automation, I then decided that I would spend my career trying to create tools to streamline the design-to-construction process. Over the past 20 years, I have been involved in the design of software for structural engineers, drafters, and fabricators in Europe and North America. I’ve worked on a wide variety of products that cover all areas of the structural industry including structural modeling, structural analysis and design, steel and concrete detailing, and finally design of post tensioned and precast concrete structures.

In April of 2003, one year after Autodesk acquired Revit Corporation, I was hired by the founders of Revit to extend the product beyond simply an architectural based product to a complete structural package based on the same principles. I remember when I used Revit technology for the first time. I was amazed by its parametric approach and the great potential for the structural engineering community. I was very overwhelmed. I thought to myself; how do I get started? What do I include? On the positive side, I was starting with a blank canvas. The challenge for me was that I had no paint or brushes, or even subject! Through my past experiences, I’ve learned that you should never design software for yourself. I also remembered a line from a product management course that I had taken which was simply “your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant!” Not a very comforting thought, but probably very accurate.

With that in mind, I needed to gather information and input from potential users, industry experts, and engineers. I had to find people that could help me. I found myself chasing structural folks, who were interested in Revit Technology in blogs and forums, when I found Tom Weir from Brandow & Johnston in Los Angeles. I sent him an email to ask for his help. His reply was a resounding, “YES, YES, YES!” He reminded me that he had been in the industry for over 20 years, too! Tom was an early user of AutoCAD V2.6 and Softdesk Structural. He has been a model enthusiast since the beginning. Given Tom’s passion and energy, I jumped on a plane to pay him a visit. We spent quite some time reviewing his process and exploring his ideas. It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship that still continues to this day, and in fact, Tom has been involved in every release of Revit Structure.

A few months later, I was put in touch with Walter P Moore and Associates (WPM). We met to discuss software and technology. At WPM, all roads eventually lead to David Harrington. When it comes to technology, David has extensive experience on model-based technology, and specifically, Architectural Desktop. He is also a power user of AutoCAD. David and I had some very interesting discussions on how to move from an AutoCAD environment to a Revit environment. We still share the same passions and always continue our discussions each time we meet.

In June 2005, we launched the first release of Revit Structure. Even with such a young product, we immediately experienced tremendous interest from the community. I was invited to present BIM vision for structural engineers by Jamie Richardson from Ericksen Roed & Associates, Inc. Shortly thereafter, Jamie started working on multiple projects and rapidly became a Revit Structure expert. Jamie has made significant contributions in the development of the product. Lastly, I am one of the most loyal readers of the content put forth by Eric Wing editor and writer for Revit in AUGI World Magazine. Eric’s creative ideas and desire to take Revit Structure to a higher level for the Structural Engineering community is an inspiration that I am very excited about.

In my opinion, these four authors are a virtual “dream team” of Revit Structure expertise and industry knowledge. They all share the energy, the passion, and even the emotion for Revit Structure. Combined with thousands of users around the world, they play a vital role for the continued success and future enhancement for Revit Structure to make it the best product for the structural engineering community.

With a tighter introduction of analysis in the BIM process, with the new simulation concepts based on analysis, a more complete BIM including more data and details, and with more interoperability between the different disciplines (architects, MEP, fabricators, civil), we see a viral adoption of BIM within the structural community. We also know that we are just beginning a massive industry process change that will streamline the lifecycle of a project from design to construction and maintenance. Very few people have the opportunity to see their industry be transformed so dramatically. These are very exciting times and Tom, David, Jamie, and Eric are active contributors to this phenomenon.

I hope you enjoy this book. I know it will help you to become a more productive user of Revit Structure as it will open your eyes to new technologies and ideas while providing the vital tools necessary to design and build the greatest structures in the world!

Nicolas Mangon
Senior Structural Business Line Manager
Autodesk, Inc.

21 November 2008

Oui Paris!

I was chatting with Nicolas Mangon at Autodesk and being that he is French asked if had a 3D DWG file of the Eiffel Tower. Well he didn't, at least not at that moment. So he looked around and his fellow Autodesker(coworker) Pawel Piechnik came up with one. Impressionnant! He sent it to me as an AutoCAD DWG file. I ran it through a custom program here at WPM and stupéfier! A Revit Structure model of the Eiffel Tower!

Now, for sure the model is not complete. There are lots of little pieces not modeled. But what this does show is that there really isn't a project that can't be modeled if you want it bad enough.

I was going to post the files here but they really are too large for this blog. But if you want a copy, just drop me an email at dharrington(at)walterpmoore.com.

Au revoir!

18 November 2008

The book has arrived!

I got my fingers on my complimentary copy of the Mastering Revit Structure 2009 book published by Wiley! This puppy is nearly 800 pages - whoa. I am positive this manual will really knock the industry and spawn a lot of interest. So often it is the theme for engineers to just do things, you know, the hard way. That is how they are wired. But with this book they stop for a second and let someone else tell them how something should be done for a change!

13 November 2008

What you may not know about RST

As part of the advertising effort for the Mastering Revit Structure 2009 book coming out, my fellow author Jamie Richardson penned a list of 10 things you might not know. I know it may sound a little goofy but it actually is a pretty good list. To save you click time, here is the list:

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Working in Revit Structure

1. Structural Slab Properties: One of the instance properties of a slab is for it to be a structural slab. This is the default setting but can be set to be non-structural. If a slab’s layer function is set to display Structural Deck and its properties is set to be a Structural Slab, the flutes or profile of the deck will be visible in section views that are set to medium or fine detail levels. A slab with these characteristics can be copied into Revit Architecture which will take on the properties of a Structural Slab, thus displaying the flutes of the deck. This allows both structure and architecture to take advantage of the deck profile display.

2. Edit Structure Assembly Dialog: The bottom of slabs can be set to be flat while the top surface slopes. This can be done by setting the layer of the slab that is to be flat to be “Variable” in the Edit Structure Assembly dialog. The overall thickness must be as thick as the distance from the highest point of the top surface to the bottom of the slab.

3. Pressing the Spacebar: Pressing the spacebar while placing elements such as Structural Walls and Structural Columns will flip the wall about its location line or rotate the column about its insertion point prior to placing it in its final location. Pressing the spacebar after these elements are placed will perform similar behavior.

4. Selecting the Appropriate View: Dimension the outside face of an HSS Tube Steel member cannot be done when the view is set to a fine detail level. To place these dimensions, first set the view to a medium view, place the dimension by selecting the outside faces of the member, then set the view back to the fine detail level.

5. Callouts: Callouts can be placed to reference other views the same way Sections can be placed by selecting “Reference other view” from the Options bar prior to placing the Section or Callout. Callouts are a bit different in that views must be set to crop the view in order for them to display in the Reference other view pull down. If views are not showing up, check this setting.

6. Options Bar: When selecting the sketch lines while editing a slab shape, the Options bar displays additional information for adjusting the steel and concrete cantilever distance. Adjusting these settings allows for the steel deck to pull back from the concrete slab edge in a composite slab scenario.

7. Span Direction Tag: Rotating the direction of steel deck in a slab can only be done by using a Span Direction tag. If the slab is not tagged with a Span Direction, you must do so prior to rotating the steel deck direction. Once a Span Direction tag is in place the deck can be rotated by rotating the tag or by selecting the tag and choosing “Align Perpendicular” from the Options bar. Select the edge of slab to align the deck.

8. Breaking Stacked Walls: Stacked walls can be broken up into Basic walls by selecting them and right-clicking to select “Break up”.
9. Splitting Walls Horizontally: Walls can also be split horizontally. In a 3D or section view select “Split” from the Tool bar. Select the location for the wall to be split. When using this tool, the wall automatically creates a lock which locks the walls together vertically and horizontally. If one wall moves they will all move.

10. Reference Planes: Reference planes can be placed to attach elements to or used to cut elements by using the element attachment tools or the cut geometry tools on the Tool bars. After the reference planes are placed, it is recommended you give them a name so they are not mistakenly deleted. If they are deleted, the attachments or cut relationship to the elements are lost.

11 November 2008

Going to AU08?

You going to AU2008 in early December? If so, look me up, I'll be there! Aside from taking classes based on programs I don't know all that well, I'm teaching a class on developing Revit Structure standards which I am actually looking forward to. Standards have always been a fun topic for me - I guess because I have strong feelings about what looks good or not. Back in the day I was trained on manual drafting techniques so whenever I can I try to bring 'sexy back' to the CAD world.

Also while at AU, Wiley publishing is hosting the Mastering Revit Structure 2009 book authors in their booth at various times. Want to say hi? That might be the best way to find me. Another to option is the AUGI Booth. If I'm in the exhibit hall and not at Wiley's, I'll be over at the AUGI Booth hanging with the members. ;)

10 November 2008


Last week I traveled to Las Vegas to conduct Revit Structure training for engineers in that office of Walter P. Moore. It all went pretty well, no major suprises. The only real hickup was that I was out of sync with the beam tag family WPM was using in our default template. It was kind of a shock, leading the students down the tagging path only to not find the tags I was expecting. Luckily we stored the old tags on the server so we loaded those and kept on going. Then in the evening I asked others and looked at our internal RST change posts and learned we had moved to a newer single tag with multiple value capability. So then on the following day I brought the students up to speed and continued on.

I think this internal class was my 9th conducted. So far so good.

30 October 2008

Worst blogger ever

I do feel that way - I have so ignored this thing it is pathetic! Anyway, I'm setting a reminder to myself to post more often so we shall see.

So what is new? Well the Mastering Revit Structure 2009 book is done in writing and off in production with expected street date late in November. You check it out at Wiley's web site for the book here. It came out really good IMHO, I hope it gets a great reception in the industry.

AUGIWorld is offline for the moment. AUGI and SolidVapor are producing an issue for AU (Nov/Dec08) but after that is unknown. I've done technical editing for AUGIWorld for quite some time so I will miss it but no doubt find something new to do.

Workwise I have a number of projects underway, most notably a new baseball stadium with a retractable roof. Doing a large roof like this in Revit is interesting to say the least! Also, back in August Walter P Moore opened an office in San Francisco and Washington DC. So literally, WPM, spans coast to coast now.

22 September 2008


Whoa, it has been a while since I visited my poor little blog site. I have recently been traveling and training people on Revit Structure. I went to Kansas City, Atlanta, Orlando, and San Francisco. Plus I had to 2 hurricanes mess up my plans at various moments. I am still amazed at how few hotels offer free internet. As such I have been out of touch with many things except email on my phone.

This week I go to Houston and then I hope to take a break for a month at least. I have to begin planning for AU 2008, get my flight and write my paper for the Standards class I am teaching.

I also at the end of August I finally moved into a 'new' home. It was a short sale - wow, what an aggravation that was. Anyway, so I have lots on my 'Honey do' list - especially with all my recent travel taking me out of the house!

09 August 2008

AU or bust!

The registration is now open for Autodesk University 2008. The premier annual event for Autodesk, here is the chance to rub (leader) shoulders with the brightest in the industry - and I'll be there too!


08 August 2008

AUGI and SolidVapor part ways

A bit of a shock, AUGI and SolidVapor are ending their partnership after 4 years. The organization grew a lot in this time and is much more professional now than ever before. I hope AGUI can take the best of what SV was able to do and continue to expand on it. Volunteers, now is the time to put up.


I got BIM&BEAMed...

The people over at Autodesk invited me and I accepted to be interviewed for the current BIM&BEAM series on Revit-ready companies. Way cool!


19 July 2008

It's time for some campaining!

Sorry for the lack of postings. I, like everyone else I know, is busy as ever. But I do sense a slowing enough to begin again to post on a regular basis. I'm not ready today for anything meaningful but I might as well offer up a laugh for those who actually read this thing.


19 June 2008

AU 2008 Class: Standards!

I got notice today that the class I submitted to teach at Autodesk University 2008 was accepted. The class title is 'Structure or Standards? Do Both!', this 90 minute lecture will focus on how to customize the Revit Structure templates and installation to both control standards as well as provide a means to organize your content.

Standards have long been a favorite subject of mine, albiet always a contencious issue. For a few years I wrote the CAD Manager column in AUGIWorld and often touched on this problem. I am very much looking forward to this class. Sweet!

16 June 2008


I got word that a class submitted by Marcello Sgambelluri with John A. Martin & Associates got accepted for Autodesk University 2008. The class title is Modeling and Documenting Complex Geometry within Revit Structure, a mouthful for sure, but should be quite interesting. I need to be sure to sign up for it so I can get a seat! ;)

05 June 2008

AUGIWorld Articles Off to Production

I know, I know, no posts very recently. I'm busy as anything but much of it I can't really discuss publically. Bah!

However, I just sent off the editorial content for the July/August issue and it looks to be a killer edition. We have articles on Impression, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Inventor, and Revit Architecture.

As always, if you are interested in writing for AUGIWorld, or Hot News for that matter, just contact me and see where you can get plugged in!

19 May 2008

See it in 3D

I was reading the Bim&Beam blog (nothing on my blog to read anyway) and noticed some discussion on STL (sterolithography) and 3D printing of models. So I rounded up some pics of stuff I had made and sent it off to the BB boys. Well they liked it enough they posted them which is cool. http://bimandbeam.typepad.com/bim_beam/2008/05/3d-printing-exa.html
Now as for my thoughts on this topic, there are a few methods out there and if you go down that road you need to run some tests. You need to know if your structure type #1) can support itself with whatever material you are using, and #2) can support other things as well. Both of these issues should be paired with the size of the members you are modeling. If your incoming member is thinnly walled the shape itself will have trouble keeping its strength.
Until these systems can actually do metal, one has to embellish the shapes to get them to work. Therein lies the rub, if you fake it to make it work - does it still have value as model?

21 April 2008

Head, meet Jay Leno!

WOW, I’m one degree of separation from Jay Leno via the Matt Murphey clay head. My good friend Shaan Hurley, keeper of the head, got to meet Jay Leno at a recent Autodesk presentation. Back during AU 2007, I knew the head would become famous and I smartly had my own photo taken with 'him'.

19 April 2008

Happy Passover!

From WikiPedia:

Passover (Hebrew, Yiddish: פֶּסַח, Pesach, Tiberian: pɛsaħ, Israeli: Pesah, Pesakh) is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. It is also known as Festival of the Unleavened Bread (חַג הַמַּצּוֹת, ħaɣ ham:asʕ:oθ, "Chag/Khag Hamatzot/s").

Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan (19.April.2008), the first month of the Hebrew calendar, in accordance with the Hebrew Bible. The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt took place in the spring and so Passover must be celebrated in the spring.

17 April 2008

Mastering Revit Structure 2009

Okay, the secret is out. Myself and a few other guys are writing a book on Revit Structure 2009 to be published by Wiley/Sybex! Anyone who has ever written a book will tell you, it isn't a small task. And the worst/best part is that you don't do books for the money, it really doesn't pay much. But there is glory, fame, ego boosting, etc. I've done a few books on AutoCAD but did those mostly alone. This time I am simply part of a great team of writers and enjoying it - so far.

16 April 2008

Revit Structure 2009

Finally, I can say something! RST2009 is out of the lab and onto the streets! If you are a subscription customer you will get it soon. You can also be impatient and download it from the web site if you wish.

Autodesk and their staff blogs are doing a fine job in exposing the new features so I won't bother to repeat them. I will add that the new CIP features with joining and material 'welding' are a welcome addition. The new dimenion features are also very cool.

Overall RST2009 is evolutionary, it improves a lot, adds a bit more, and should be a very easy upgrade for many. One other side note is that Autodesk requested customer work images, and got them! I submitted a number for Walter P Moore and they are shown during the install process! One this post is one of my favorites. Ever wonder what goes into a CIP connection with post-tensioning cables? Take a look!

14 April 2008

AutoLISP is *still* alive

Anyone using AutoCAD still? HA! You know you are, admit it. Well I still do and still dearly love its easy to use programming language AutoLISP. Well my fellow Lispers, there is a new wiki site for all things Lisp. http://lispwiki.com. I even have a program or two up there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Bye, Bye VIZ

Just an FYI, Autodesk is not continuing to upgrade Autodesk VIZ for the next round of releases. The last we will see of VIZ is the current 2008 version. In its place is a copy of 3ds MAX, named Autodesk 3ds MAX Design 2009. As far as I can tell this version and Autodesk 3ds MAX 2009 are exactly the same although there might be some library differences. From what I heard this will be followed by future separation as Design tracking along as a AEC product while just MAX will continues to be heavily developed for gaming companies.

If you have VIZ licenses shortly you will be able to cross-grade them to Design lics for about $250 each. Contact your reseller for more information.

03 April 2008


Just got back from a short trip and lo and behold, my mail had a cardboard box in it! My first copy of AutoCAD 2009 has arrived! Now I have some work to do, building network installations so my fellow coworkers can bask in the glory of the new user interface!

I know, a little cheesy, but to a long time user a new release is like getting a birthday present. I've got my prep work still to do - upgrading my menu to the new ribbon interface. Then there is the sorting through dozens of PC3 and CTB/STB files used on old projects and don't need to be carried to 09.

Okay, now it don't sound as fun anymore... ;)

24 March 2008

Deadline Day: AUGIWorld

Today is the bi-monthly deadline for article submissions for the next AUGIWorld issue. After today the contents goes into technical editing and then generally into production next week. It won't be seen again until about the middle of May when the May/June 2008 pape copy issue hits the streets.

07 March 2008

Revit Library Part 3

Here is a screen cap of what I was trying to describe. The # directories are *my* stuff, then there is a shortcut prefixed with a ! sign which when selected teleports the user into the out-of-the-box directory structure but under the same family type.

You should note the overall directory structure coming from S: drive, \Content is all from Autodesk whereas ...2008\Imperial Library is my structure. Let me know if you need more clarification.

06 March 2008

Revit Library Organization Part 2

Hey, you came back! Thanks!

To continue, what I have done to handle this issue is two part:

Family Files: I assign a unique naming convention to all custom or revisied family files. For my firm we choose a '#' prefix for all files we created or changed. If I am modeling away the time and see a family file in my model without a # sign prefix, then I know we didn't make it. If by chance I see the same family name with a # sign prefix, then I know I need to use that one instead. As an added benefit family files prefixed with a # sign will be listed at the top of their section in the Project Browser.

Directories: I also name all directories with a # sign prefix, telling the user that this directory is the company default structure. All families files/directories are stored on the server as well. On the server we also have all out-of-the-box content (under \Content of course) but in another main directory area. That content is not under the default directories users place in their Options File Search paths.

For example, you need to load a Detail Component. You fire up the Load dialog and you will be presented with all Firm family files. More than likely that is what you want, but on occasion we have not provided our own. In that directory will be a shortcut link to the same structure under \Content. The user can then click the link and will be in the out-of-the-box location.

I know this seems confusing so I will try to break it down again. There are 2 directory structures, A & B. A has the same organization but only contains Firm family files. B is out of the box. Within the A structure are shortcut links to the same structure location in B. The user's Options are all pointed to A directory structures.

That is the essence. If you don't understand it let me know and I'll post a pic of the layout.

05 March 2008

Revit Library Organization

Those 'reviting' will probably admit one of the coolest and most irritating facts about Revit is that the developers update the program in-between major releases. For example, Revit Structure 2008 has had 3 (I think) revisions since originally being released. So, you get the latest and greatest families, fixed bugs, perhaps a new feature, and overall a great benefit for the user. However, for the BIM Library guy - total hell. If you are like me, not only do you have to make these new families available but you also need to keep track of custom or user-enhanced families. How do you organize a directory structure that you can update quickly AND at the same time preserve your own files, not overwrite them, and make them available for use first so that your users load those *enhanced* families before loading out-of-the-box ones?

Come back tomorrow for how I do this... ;)

03 March 2008

Dinner with an old friend

Way back when, when I was on the AUGI Board of Directors, there was a guy who helped run Autodesk User Group Services named Kevin Merritt. An excellent fellow, he had the wonderful job of *doing* what needed to be done for us user/volunteers. He and I worked together for many years but from different sides of the country. Kevin lives near Autodesk in California and I live in Tampa, Florida. So whenever there is a chance to meet up I go for it. Well last week Kevin was in Orlando for a convention and even though he gave me little notice, my beautiful wife Carla, and I trucked on over to O-town and shared a nice meal with Kevin at the House of Blues at Downtown Disney.

02 March 2008


Okay, I'm the worst blogger ever. I have no excuses, although work and home are eating much of my waking time. There hasn't been much going on other than those anyway.

However, I am very busy. On my plate at the moment is doing some training internally at Walter P Moore. I hacked up a 12 hour RST basics class for engineers and have given it once. It went pretty well and I'm looking to repeat it again at the end of the month.

Also coming is preparing for the next version of AutoCAD. We have a custom menuing system at WPM and I need to rework for our new AutoCAD GUI enhancements.

Anyway, I have more to chat about but need to unplug for the evening. I promise to offer a better blogging effort - I just need to give myself a daily task in Outlook!

05 February 2008

Revit extensions start to rock

Well, the boys over at the BIM & BEAM blog have stated that the www.extensions4revit.com site is up and running again. But now there is a difference, those wanting to grab hold of the latest extensions for Revit Structure will now have to trek over to the Autodesk subscription site, log in, and there you will find the new, single pack, version of the latest Extensions.

Gone are hassles with downloading a bunch of little apps, now one download and install will get you everything they have to offer. If you have not tried the extensions (and you use RST), you should give them a whirl. I especially like the Grid and Level Generator.

29 January 2008

Don't like Press + Drag?

Joe Fiorello asked if there was a way to turn off Press + Drag feature in Revit Structure 2008. After a little review of the Revit.ini file I found a toggle that should turn it off at application start.

To have on...


To have off...

Now that is a big screen

Poor little blog getting ignored...sorry buddy!

Saw this in the news, amazing. Probably not that good for CAD work but gaming...nice!

22 January 2008

Neat Computer Gimic

Ever delete something you that later you wished you still had? Duh. Anyway, here is a potential new product to solve that very problem - but solve it with some style and cleverness!

Designed to mimic the look of a trash can, TEMPO is a unique hard drive storage device. Intended to protect the user from accidentally deleting files, it can also be used as an external storage device. As you delete files, they are automatically copied to the *TEMPO. As it fills up, led's light the "can" from the bottom up, informing you of how much space is available.*Tempo is just a concept. It hasn't been technologically designed.

15 January 2008

AUGI India Launches Local Chapters

The Local manufacturing Chapters on AUGI India

AUGI India is launching a new intiative: seven AUGI Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) Local Chapters. The seven cities to host these user groups will be :


Very cool!

10 January 2008

AUGI Forum discussion on Protecting Revit Families

There is an interesting thread on the forums regarding a method to protect families from being copied out of an original model. I had to pen my own opinion on the issue...check out the thread here. Note, you will need to be a AUGI member to get access - but that is easy and free!

07 January 2008

Short Term Bug in RST2008

Found over on the Bim & Beam blog. This is interesting, I've never heard of a software bug that dies on its own. Cool....

03 January 2008

Beach Rock Pictures!

Here's a link to pictures of coquina rocks along the beach south of St. Augustine, FL. My parents took me there as a kid, it has probably been over 30 years since I was last there.

Pictures of Castillo de San Marcos!

I finally got around to uploading pics from my recent trip. Click here to see pictures of Castillo de San Marcos, the only extant 17th century military construction in the country and the oldest masonry fortress in the United States. It is in St. Augustine, Florida. For more information, visit the National Park Service web site regarding the monument.

02 January 2008

Poll Results: Revit Structure Keyboard Shortcuts

Well the results are final, 66% of this web blog vote want Autodesk to provide Revit Structure Keyboard Shortcuts in the product. Only 22% were against the idea, and 12% said they really didn't understand what I was talking about anyway.

Thank you to all that voted. Look for more polls as the mood strikes me. ;)

01 January 2008

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish everyone a happy new year, full of life, love, and prosperity in the coming year. Take care.