Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Free Library of Native Revit Assembly Details

ArcXL are now providing a free library of native Revit details for download. Registration required.  You can view the details here

Thursday, 10 May 2012

BIM Show Live - Content from inception to reality

Thank you to everyone who attended our BIM Show Live speaker presentation today on assets and content management.

As promised, here are the resources, used during the speech to assist with planning, developing and managing content.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Autodesk AEC Live! Leeds Event

Today I attended the Autodesk roadshow event in Leeds. It was a good format with lots of animated presentations (not the usual dull slide shows).

Some of the things I took away from today are listed below:

Autodesk Infrastructure 2013
Great product for massing up early stage site proposals and it integrates very well with the importing of Revit models. Jack Strongitharm illustrated how easy it was to establish a topo surface, drape texture, lay a road through the site, add a Revit house model, add hardscaping and streetscape items then generate rendered images using realistic image mode and sun path lighting.  It gets my vote over traditional methods of carrying out these early stage feasibility schemes.

After the session I asked if it could translate the topo back into Revit. The short answer was 'yes' (but I'm dubious as to how usable that data will be in the Revit model).

Revit Architecture 2013
Lots of info out on the web about what has been released so i'm not going into detail on this one.  Although Simon Gillis did provide a nice demonstration of a housing master plan using Concept Mass and generating Net/Gross Schedules which looked quite nice.

Revit Structure 2013
Again, lots of info elsewhere on this.  Ralph Pullinger did demonstrate a new plugin which looked really nice for timber frame design.  If you haven't already seen it, check out Horizon from Wolf Systems. I believe this is now packaged with Revit Structure??? Post blog note: It's not packaged with Revit but it is a free plugin.

Pozzoni - BIM Level 2 Case Study
James Savage and Mark Stodgell from Pozzoni delivered a squaky clean demo of a live level 2 BIM project with all three disciplines working in Revit.  We all expected the worst when James mentioned 'Live' and 'Revit' in the same breath but thankfully no technical glitches (from the software or it's operator!).

They finished with a presentation of their company show reel which I found quite impressive so thought I'd post it here.  Mark mentioned that all the models in the show reel were developed in Revit before dropping into Max for visualisation and animation.  Take a look...

Project Galileo
This was a nice little demo of soem Augmented reality on an iPad but sadly I cant find the video on youtube which Simon used to demonstrate the product.  Here is a clip of the software from the labs site.


My only negative to take away from today is that Autodesk seem to be developing literally 'thousands' of software applications which is a little demoralising when i'm focusing all my energy on Revit and a few other associated products. When will it end! :-(

The event was marked as fully booked online but it certainly wasn't a full house.  If you havent signed up, only the London event is remaining. Go check it out (even if it says its fully booked!).

Links available on Lee Mullin's blog here:

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The BIM Gateway

The BIM Gateway is a one year collaborative project between the RIBA Technical Research Department and the University of the Arts London.The project is co-funded by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board “Metadata Production Tools (Fast Track)” funding stream.

The site contains a range of information with various links, news feed updates as well as details of their twitter account and subscription to their RSS feed.

Check it out here

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Google Project Glass

Suddenly it doesn't seem so unrealistic...

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Slab Edges and Insulated Slabs

If you have a slab with insulation and other such zones underneath it, you may have noticed that if you apply a thickened slab edge, you get strange results? The insulation cuts straight through the thickened slab!

Here's the fix:

After placing the slab edge, choose Unjoin from the Modify tab on the Ribbon and unjoin the Slab edge from the slab.

Next, choose Join from the same ribbon tab and be sure to choose the slab edge first, then the slab you want to join it to.

Tada! It works.

Sadly this workflow won't allow you to wrap the zones around the thickened slab edge. Maybe a fix for Revit 2013/14?

Rules for this to work:

  1. The material of the concrete slab must be exactly the same as the material set in the slab edge type.
  2. The slab edge insertion point must be the top of the slab or offset vertically in the parameters to sit at either the underside of the concrete zone i.e. not the underside of the floor construction.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Content Studio - Like iTunes on Steroids!

If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at Content Studio for Revit which was released last year as a networked library edition.  In the last few days a single-user edition has also been released.

So what is it? 

Content Studio is basically like iTunes on steroids.  The software takes what iTunes (or any other media player) has done for the music industry and applies it to Revit Family libraries:

Instead of Genre, Artist, Album etc. you now get for instance; Category, Version, Author etc. which means you don't have to worry about which folder your files are stored in anymore, just add it all in there!  You can search and filter by fields to find what you want in a single library with no folders and no fuss (all the usual search tools really).

The Single-user edition has recently been released for those who don't necessarily need a networked (shared) company library of Revit families (or want permission based quality control features).

I could go on here but there's a short 2 minute video on the home page which summaries the product much quicker than I can.  You can also view it below on YouTube.

How does it work?

The application indexes any families you add into it including Type parameters and Type Catalogues. Revit families are added to a work in progress area where you can add more keywords, descriptions etc before submitting the files to the main library.  In the Content Studio Multi-user edition, the main library is shared across a network and sits on the companies own file server.  In the Content Studio Single-user edition, the library is stored locally in your documents.

The software is a standalone app but it also comes with a plug-in to integrate it with Revit 2011 and 2012.

There's a slick search pallet which is accessed from within Revit to make searching and using content extremely quick.

The software adopts a 'search once find all' policy by holding everything on one single library. In the pallet you search, select, then load. That's it, straight forward. Its a far cry from the current family load process in Revit; navigate the ribbon, click Load family, then browse the Company library for a family, then the Autodesk library, then the multitude of project specific libraries, load in the family, choose the type from the dropdown...

How long does it take to setup? 

The software takes less than a few minutes to install and register. The next task is to add some content into the library.  You can do this from your desktop, from projects, from the family editor, or if your feeling lazy there is an import tool. There are some pre-indexed libraries being built on the Content Studio website which allow you to get up and running with the software even quicker (although only Revit Architecture Metric is available at the moment).

A free trial is available from the Content Studio website for both the single-user and multi-user editions (and the file is around 40mb so doesn't take long to download).

Content Studio also has a blog site which contains news about new features and latest activity.

Check out the blog site here:

or the main website here:

Go check it out.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The 12th London Revit User Group Meeting

Last night was the 12th London Revit User Group meeting held at Arup’s London office.  

A big thanks to Alan Wooldridge and the other committee members for organising the event.

The event consisted of two very interesting speeches covering very different subjects; the first from Paul Morrell (UK Chief Construction Advisor to the UK Government).

Paul delivered a very entertaining and no fuss presentation on the governments BIM initiative and how they can help with the transition (including what this means for the construction industry as a whole).  My favourite quotes taken away from this speech were “Only ask for what you can use”, and “Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you have to.”

To me, both statements really hit home with everyone involved in the construction industry.

In a world now bombarded with all consuming superfluous data, it really makes sense to cherry pick the right  information which is beneficial to the project stakeholders (including end users!).

The second speech was by Dr Stephen Hamil from NBS and Drew Wiggett from Ryder Architecture (also linked with BIM Academy).

They delivered a great speech which was a demonstration of the new digital library currently in production called the National BIM Library.  I think it’s quite brave for anyone to pick up this mantel:  To take the first steps to consolidating a nationally recognised library of Revit and IFC compliant components is quite a task. With so many issues in the industry relating to standards and usage this is going to be a tough challenge. One of the things I liked about they way they are tackling the issue is starting with data in excel and transposing it through IFC into various software formats eg. Revit, ArchiCAD, Bentley etc...

NBS were very open in admitting that this is an evolving process and that the first phase of content would be quite minimalistic, then progressively evolving with feedback from users over time. I look forward to seeing this one develop!  If you wish to give them some feedback or input on any of these subjects, they have a linked in group 'The National BIM Library' which you can join here  They are actively encouraging input.

A big thinks to Carl Colins from Arup for wrapping up the evening and providing superb directions to a pub that didn’t exist:  Around 40 of us all wander  aimlessly around London until we realised the pub had changed names and it was only a stone’s throw from the Arup office (so no hard feelings Carl).

To echo my comments earlier about the ‘all consuming data’, here’s a sneaky shot of a couple of usual suspects having a lovely digital conversation at the bar.  Spur of the moment shot guys (I know you weren’t heads down buried in smart phones all night).

Never the less, whilst most of us were inside enjoying a nice drink, others found that digital data just too hard to let go of!

Eventually batteries ran flat and traditional pub conversation resumed.  A great night was had by all and quite a few new faces in attendance also seemed to really enjoy the event.

Thanks to LRUG and the venue sponsors for hosting. I'm looking forward to the next one in March.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year - Content Creation Workshop

Well after a year of babies, hospitals, operations and time off work I've finally found time to start blogging again!

I thought I would kick off the new year with a great little news letter sent through from CADline who are now running free online workshops on Revit training.  Their next session is scheduled for 27th January at 11am GMT. The subject is 'Creating Families (Window with Changeable Panel)' presented by Stuart Tanfield.

Should be a great insight for anyone learning Revit in 2012!

Register here:

CADline Community website also has many other resources freely available: