Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kinect touch free controls for Windows 7

Templating nomenclature & Updated browser settings for project browser(VIEWS)

04.AI-IN-PLANS (1/8"/FT)
04.AI-IN-PLANS (1/4"/FT) Added- for interior floor plans (Intended for AE451 series – needs some coordination with interiors- Steph & Michelle can we meet tomorrow morning?)                to show casework and interior elevations (& Details?)

Project browser settings:

Browser- (Default) Browser

*UNUSED VIEWS filters out showing all unplaced views in the set- except dependant/primary views
*USED VIEWS isolates views placed on sheets.

*NOTE: for USED / UNUSED - With the exception of PRIMARY/DEPENDANT Views… Primary views are never placed on sheets… so they show as unused even though the dependant views ARE on sheets. Unused dependant views show under the primary view status.

View templating nomenclature:

|  |  |       |      |
|  |  |       |
|  |  |       +-----------EXTENDED DESCRIPTION
|  |  |
|  |  +-------------------2x Discipline designator or
|  |                       Typical View Type (PLAN, DETAIL, GENERAL, DRAFT)
|  |                       (*NOTE Can be applied to other view types)
|  |
|  +----------------------rough sequential order in set
+-------------------------View Sheet prefix association:

##=PARTIAL, 00=general, 01=plans, 02=elevs, 03=sections
04=large scale views, 05=details,
06=schedules & diagrams (& door glaze details)
07=user, 08=user,
09=3d representations (Including perspectives)

*FOLDER_0 = view template name


Applying view templates applies folder1 and folder 2 which organizes  views in Project Browser.

DRAWING CLEANUPS... Elevation marker cleanups

For elevations on the plans that exist within a callout-
1. Go to the callout (Or verify the scale of the callout)
2. Select the point of the elevation
3. Match the HIDE AT SCALES COARSER THAN properties of the elevation to the callouts scale. If the callout is 1/2"/ft then the Elevation marks within that should be hidden at scales coarser than 1/2"/ft.
If for some reasons callouts are being deleted - YOU MUST OPEN THE CALLOUT TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY ELEVATIONS IN THE CALLOUT and change them back to 1/8"/ft. If this step is not followed the elevations will be invisible in every view.
NOTE: SIM views are view-specific and do not have a hide at scales coarser than.
This could be handled programmatically- search through every view defaulting the hide at scales coarser than for the finest scale visible. Filters for tags and limit for hide at scales coarser than and [ ]only views on sheets (REGEX filter) should be considered.

FW: 03683 Partition schedules

There are a lot of reasons for including interior finishes included with wall types including accounting  for material thicknesses and elevational information, fire & Smoke ratings, etc .

Ways of managing the wall partition schedule that meets the BIM nature of projects (Including finishes) are being devised. Some of the wall types should be inseparable like heavy stone finishes on a load bearing partition while others can be additive- like the wood finish panel  systems in corridors. Having placeholders for elements like these in critical wall types or UL Specific wall types should be the basis for categorization.

The VA Is heading to a process similar to this (<>).

I disagree with the approach of creating 'general' partitions with generalized notes (I.e. Cementitious board at all wet areas, Impact resistant board at all corridors and only one A1 wall type) and I disagree with reverting to a generalist approach to the Revit BIM model- its ends up being counterproductive in the long run. 
We are currently implementing coarse view patterns for fire walls- and have many permutations of wall types representing walls with tile, special finishes, impact resistant finishes, etc. and combinations thereof. I suspect the answer lies in a combination of what the VA is proposing and spliced parameters including the Fire Rating parameter.

In the meantime- anyone have some good solid ways of categorizing those wall types or how do you separate they wall types and categories? 

Filters?  Display representations? What elements do you use to drive these things?


Partition schedules

For the wall legends the underpinning data needs to be the basis for tagging- and from best accounts in my research and discussions with other BIM Managers- modular systems seem the best way to go.

One possible combination a wall class (Existing, Concrete, Masonry, H=Shaft, S=Steel Stud, W=wood) +
(Nominal size of the wall assembly rounded to the nearest quarter i.e. 4 for four inches,
More definitive would be eights expressed as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 so 4-1/2" would be 42, 7-5/8" would be 75. This could be brought back to 1/4" increments- and should be noted in the schedule general notes.

Additionally for more interior-intense finish jobs I have seen systems similar to above over a
list of modifiers for interior-exterior in a compound tag.

The finishes won't be of particular note to the wall tags- Unless there is a specific UL that calls it out or requires it... Or if a specific assembly is required for structural support as in the stone.

A schedule of wall types should also be generated and left on the sheet just as the VA indicated on their sheets. Note also  the VA Doesn't appear to have a graphic wall legend.  Instead we could utilize the schedule and general details which would save a lot of space and follow the current trend Tony seems to be headed for.

Ideally the head/jamb/sills are called out in the schedules-
Callouts cannot go in legend views. Callouts can go into drafting views.  So a drafting view of a typical window with 'width see schedule' and 'height see schedule' should cover most types.

Dummy tags or text typically gets overlooked. General notes or schedules would be preferred over the dummy tags is possible- with the callouts being the most ideal.

Shortly before each critical printing the schedules and the partition types should be looked over.

Architectural Revit SEED Process for establishing origins with consultants

The 'seed' process requires Architecture to create a base minimum shell model of slab, grids & floor levels for each building. These seeds are distributed to the consultants to ensure each trade within a building links to the same coordinate system.
Sample seeding process:
·         Architectural creates a shell model of slab, grids & floor levels for the buildings- establishing the XYZ 0,0,0 point- typically at a grid intersection (A1)
o    If a good CAD File has been created and can be used they should be brought in at 0,0,0 and followed as a basis of organization so CAD and Revit will overlay properly
o    If no reliable CAD files exist origins can be located by turning on the "Reveal Hidden Elements" light bulb located at the bottom-left of the modeling view
·         Enables work sharing
·         Saves the file with correct naming (per project requirements)
·         Depending on which is the most logical discipline to control the grids & levels:
o   If Architectural is charged with controlling the model- structural references/copy/monitors the Architectural model.
o   If Structural is charged with controlling the model(need more immediate access for structural analysis, etc.):
§  Architectural sends the seed to structural.
§  Structural takes over the Grids, Levels, Columns and structural walls in their model.
§  Structural sends the model back to architectural.
§  Architectural removes the temporary structural grids from the architectural model- Links structural in & uses their grids & Levels. As a precaution – a copy/monitor operation is typically used so if the structural team should lag behind- architectural can update the model's structural components.
·         Once established the 'seed' model is sent to the remaining consultants.
·         The consultants then copy/monitor the levels and if necessary the grids, walls, floors from structural or architectural.
·         An 'architectural' Revit site plan will be used to locate all buildings on the site.
·         'Progress model' Exchanges are made on a weekly basis at the end of the week(Friday-Sunday)  so that disciplines are always within 1 week of one another. These are not finished products. These can also be made 'on demand' as necessary.
·         'progress models' are copied to archive folders on upload or download for future reference.
·         Alternatives like the riverbed appliance or script automation could keep files updated on an hourly or semi daily or daily basis.

translate process (Details 1-1/2"/ft and finer)

Focusing on one typical detail the following process evolved - the results match the Revit detail very closely... We will have to see if successive exports have any glitches in them.
Since Revit is exporting in a CAD layer format much like the NCS- the following was translated down to Dustin's template (Fewer layers....) for this project.
#1 Export from Revit (Using the NCS3.0 APPX template and Override objects:
#2 Open in AutoCAD and cleanup using DWG_CLEANUP VBA (I have here locally - we can set to redistribute if needed)
#3 LayerTrans using the attached template: NOTE_ Not all line weights are there- BUT most are... We can adapt further and re-examine if later exports vary too much:

More of a what we can use Revit for…

More of a what we can use Revit for…

Revit can be used in a very limited fashion to leverage CAD drawings.
·         Link the CAD file in (Verifying the origins line up) to the current view only, and origin to origin.
·         Use Room separation lines (at the centerline of the CAD walls) to set the limits of the room.
·         Furniture will then schedule according to the rooms.
·         Color keyed schedules can be quickly created and labeled.
·         For more accurate square footages, use generic wall types to approximate wall thicknesses.

Visibility and graphics 101 checklist for missing objects-
Start with the light bulb tool in the lower-left hand corner of the 'Drawing area' in the rightmost side of the 'View Control Bar'- click it and it will show all hidden objects loaded in the drawing. To restore an element's category- select it, right click it and unhide category. And remember NEVER use the hide element, override graphics for element! It is a slippery slope quickly leading to inconsistent drawings and inconsistent visibility across views!

Visibility & Graphics 102 – View templates and object settings
Many of our graphics for plans, sections, elevations, finish and furniture plans are already refined by the object styles in the DOD template. The graphic detail levels (which automatically correspond with certain scales), line weights and cut weights have been set and associated with view templates to keep the graphics readable and consistent from view to view.

Visibility and graphics 201 manual checklist for missing objects
In visibility/graphics- verify the object's category is visible, verify no filters are hiding the object, and the object is within the view's View Range (Cut, Bottom and items 'beyond' in the view depth). If working with Worksets make sure the workset is visible in the view and loaded and no filters are interfering with the visibility of the workset.

Worksets 101- Speeding up Revit

When working with large worksets in Revit, there are several ways to get Revit moving faster. One way is to limit the number of worksets that are loaded by either unloading worksets or limiting worksets when opening the file. By loading some, rather than all of the worksets, Revit has less overhead and runs/saves a little faster.

Worksets 102- or "Hey- where did my objects go?"
If you have missing objects from a view Don't Panic! Start with the light bulb tool in the lower-left hand corner of the 'Drawing area' in the rightmost side of the 'View Control Bar'- click it and it will show all hidden objects for visible/loaded worksets.

If you still don't see what you are looking for- the workset may be unloaded.

Make sure the workset is on, visible in the view and loaded. To load/unload a workset- use the collaboration tab and Worksets - select the respective workset and OPEN.

Worksets 103- Filters and worksets
Work set's graphics can be controlled with Filters. If you have all objects on a particular workset, i.e. equipment or consultant drawings, filters can be used to half-tone or highlight in red the entire workset-

Revit Server (New fall 2010)

Found this from an AU2010 class- The Revit Server Extension may prove helpful if we need to work over the WAN.

From what I gather it adds an intermediary  between the actual central file and what the end-users perceive as the central file.

Typically for use if users on a project must collaborate across the WAN.

A central server (over the WAN) maintains what I will call the WAN-CENTRAL file
The local server communicates with the WAN-CENTRAL to maintain updates on what I will call the LAN-CENTRAL during STCs
The end-users STC on their system syncs with the LAN-CENTRAL copy. This is supposed to eliminate the (potentially deadly) Wide Area Network lag- so users perceive a STC that is as fast as a LAN STC and no issues arise from the lag not syncing across systems.

All this appears to be handled with my SQL- so true locks can be established with pieces and parts of the file's work shared elements.

Really Dr. Seuss'ish eh? But if they keep heading in this direction – I believe it may also eliminate the scalability issues Bentley has virtually solved.

Free with subscription pack.

Seems the best option for large projects in general – Autodesk should consider this approach for Revit in general... this may be where they are already heading. With this approach linked files would be virtually transparent either over the LAN or the WAN.

This hasn't been tested in virtual servers and the could yet- but that too may prove to be promising. A typical added cost could come in the form of a redundant 'Revit server' which mirrors the main server in the even the main goes down. If the server goes down – everything stops.

Once they establish a more distributed model- where there are redundant communication avenues between machines as well as the WAN-central I believe they will have nailed the next big hurdle.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BIM Standards - more about process than limits...

Notes from AU-
For designing models define the processess- eg- A sweep should cut the wall but not typically be embedded in the wall type. Sweeps should be modeled separately from wall types to limit creation of wall types.
Model floors for each level separately

In this blog there are several Process vignietttes which are intended for searching an use to work collaboratively with one another.

And another big tip I really would like to approach more often- talk to contractor about what they need in the model- what they would like to see -- Satterfield & Pontikes are able to turn around cost estimates on buildings in as little as 15 minutes once properly set up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shared parameters "_TYPE" Parameter

When setting up a typical standard - with standardized naming (ie modular naming for walls, doors, widows, etc.) there is a shared _TYPE parameter in the 3.0 shared params file that can be used.


If the _TYPE shared parameter is not used- type marks will automatically be assigned and are un-inheritable from project to project. This will need to be something assigned to the standard if the ID Tagging systems are to be unified.


Friday, August 13, 2010

[ORUG] Spot elevations

Another tidbit FYI : )   Spot elevations will only work on Model components not detail components (In sections in particular). A Circle with a bar through it (NO Symbol) will appear if the user does not tab down to the model elements underneath.

Note also- Spot slopes in elevations will tag the roof hip befor tagging the roof slope. Use the TAB key to select the slope beyond.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Callouts that overlap break lines



When making callouts- the cannot overlap Match lines without overhanging the view. There are some cases where the callouts cannot be broken into smaller separate individual callouts. One work around is to utilize SIM callouts to act as partial references to the callout. 


One major drawback- the cropped region does not relate to the limits of the callout. It would be better to make smaller independent callouts if possible to break up the spaces.



These callouts overlap the boundary and can cause print issues:

The workaround should only be used if smaller separate callout regions cannot be used.


1. Create a floor plan of the area,

a. Rename the view to match view naming standards

b. Select the elements you want to focus on and use the sunglasses to isolate the elements

c. Associate the correct view template


2. Turn the Crop Regions on and size them around the elements to crop out unwanted annotations or view information


4. In each overlapping dependant view- create a callout linked to the view. You can copy the remainder of the callout over the break line. The location of the detail# / sheet is view specific- so each copy in each dependant view should be adjusted for clarity and location.


Remember “Similar” callouts are view dependant- but display in both Primary and its dependant views (depending on the annotation crop)


If you do end up breaking into smaller callouts be sure to check the view names and view titles to remove any room references that no longer apply to the new cropped region.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

List of AutoDesk products supported on Windows 7 (32 bit AND 64 bit?)


With the TurnTool software you can make 3D models available for everyone
online on the internet or offline from CDROM, USB or from your computer

Google SketchUp to Unreal Editor Help - Epic Games Forums

Sketchup into Unreal....

You have 2 options when doing this

1. Buy the Pro edition (which is about $500 i dunno), that has the export on it already
2. Get HT3DUT3. Its a plugin which i use that can convert skp straight into 1 mesh of t3d or even a whole world of t3d. Its great.


UDN - Two - CADtoUnreal

UDN - Two - CADtoUnreal

Download details: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express (x64 bit!)

Anyone tried this for the Revit x64 DB Connect???

Monday, June 21, 2010

EXTENTS of a view from a callout, section or elevation

Keep section and detail callouts relatively tight to what is being annotated.


Basically –

If the current view’s range ‘touches’ the extents of a tag’s Crop Region that callout/section/detail will show in the view. If MORE space is needed for annotations- turn the annotation crop on and stretch the limits to include the necessary annotations.


There are many places where annotations can be turned off but all views should be kept closely cropped to the elements (i.e. curtain wall elevations) referenced.


Several comments regarding “CW showing in plan” were due to the section-elevations of the curtain walls extending too far to the plan views below.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Revit View naming conventions established in the DOD outline correspond with slightly adapted NCS Version 4.0 File naming conventions. There are a few basic reasons for the format and rigidity

If you don't have the luxury of a 100% Revit-BIM Based project you will need to import/export to CAD and subsequently DGN for most DOD / USACE projects.
The  Revit View naming conventions established in the DOD outline correspond with slightly adapted NCS Version 4.0 File naming conventions. There are a few basic reasons for the format and rigidity
1. The view names need to be organized in something other than "DETAIL 1", "CALLOUT OF FLOOR PLAN 1" "ELEVATION 1", etc. from Revit's generic naming conventions.
2. Because the views are exported to PDF and DWG reference especially in Hybrid projects- the best convention we have to follow is based on the current NCS (National Cad Standard currently version 4.0).  Every major player in the US either loosely or strictly follows or will be following this standard; Including U.S.A/C/E, VA, GSA, and DOD. Building Smart Alliance currently oversees the NCS and the NBIMS initiatives.

As NCS is modular it breaks down most of the file naming for the base types from which the USACE and VA have adapted their systems. As Revit appends the view/sheet name to the project name on mass export/print - it is best to use a project and view naming system with these file structures in mind.
3. Familiarity  with a system keeps users in touch otherwise we tend to use it or loose it.
USACE deviates slightly from the NCS (as does the VA). And there are some overlaps where view/file names would otherwise 'overwrite' one another which is where the more detailed overview from which the DOD Template is derived. The more detailed version in the Legend view of the DOD-Revit template file spells these definitions out more explicitly incorporating  previous resolutions to issues already dealt with and strike some solid ground among all these standards.
This standard is young, It is not perfect, and it will evolve and grow.
If you don't use this system and plan on exporting/printing from Revit you will have to rename, by hand, every single file generated every time you export. Sheets, because they basically do follow the standard, do are not as much of an issue but still benefit from this structure.
The Revit View Naming system developed takes the Project numbers (file prefix) and USACE and VA and NCS export issues into account based on ongoing experience with these projects and can be quickly cleaned up by Denis Kozlov's DEN4B ReNamer 5.25  (8 April 2008) with a renaming profile. This should correctly compact the name of the files to meet DOD requirements quickly.

Cad Export Process

Added... "Browse to the export folder." below

Cad Export Process (After bare-bones & Materials are assigned)
Revit Icon> Export> CAD Formats > DWG

Select set to export (Or Insession)

Select sheets/views to filter in the list. Sort by name to itemize everything by drawing type and its name

Set up CAD Layer naming (If not already set)

This may require selecting one of the read-only layer exports and resaving it under a different Name. Revit ADDS ALL LAYER NAMES from linked drawing files- to prevent this list from becoming too large we made it read only.

Browse to the export folder.

Strip everything off the ‘tail’ of the file name so the project number (and building identifier if necessary) are the only  elements left to use as a prefix. Revit will add a “-“ after this prefix.

  • For standard CAD export - Make sure the [ ] Xref views on sheets is unchecked. This places all elements with the sheet in one file.
  • For “STRIP REFERENCING”  Make sure the [X] Xref views on sheets is checked.

*If files and borders are to be x-refed for continuity- editing in CAD must be done to setup the xbdr files and other base files.

You can then use Re-namer to further clean up and refine the file names (If you have several to do at once)

Mass-renaming of files should only be attempted by those who are certified to use it.



Finish extents tag-  to show extents of finish along wall in plan. 
This 'tag' is actually a  DETAIL COMPONENT that you can use to tag walls/extents of finishes to show the extent of finishes in plan (Interiors old-school).
It can be taken one step further- By incorporating this detail component into a generic wall hosted family- it can force to snap to walls and will show wherever the instance is cut. These families would actually map the extent of the wall finish as a wall-hosted object which then would show the tags when cut. This can be done but would take some reconstruction of the family to keep it under control (Like the ADA graphics- it would likely need to be a generic subcategory and/or locked down to a specific workset)
MARK and DESCRIPTION are the parameters for the text/graphics. These are designated by type.



To show the ceiling plans correctly, the RCPs will be cut at a height of 7’6”


All the drop soffit areas lower than this will need to have plan regions added to them to drop the RCP cut plane in these regions to 6’9” to display and register correctly.




A SINGLE SKETCH in the PRIMARY VIEWS with all the plan regions indicated can be used to lower the view across all drop soffit areas that are below the 7’6” mark similar to below. Try to keep relatively tight to the


Without a ceiling to tag, no height information or graphics stippling/representations will show (The elevation targets will disappear).





Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Windows Azure... ((CLOUDS HERE!))

Autodesk likely destined for the clouds... So' Private and Public' (MS 'Dedicated VS Standard') versions are already being run in the clouds... HUGE application implications for work-sharing applications like REVIT!

 try it


Welcome to Project Twitch! This project is testing remote delivery of our applications over the Internet. The goal of project Twitch is to enable you to test and try the latest versions of AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, and Maya without having to install or download the applications. These applications run remotely on our servers and are delivered to you over the Internet.






View References

View references

 – there are two types of VIEW REFERENCES

 – opposite and adjacent.


View References ONLY show in PRIMARY<>Dependant view relationships. They are not visible in standard views. It is best to find the extents of the dependent views from the primary view and place the view reference tags there- use the dependant view extents (Dashed in view/annotation crop regions in the primary view) to place the tags.


BOTH Opposite and Adjacent tags should be used as they ‘grow’ from opposite sides of the match line-

The invisible aligning line (Below in purple) should align with the match line. Each must point to the corresponding dependant views- adjustable from the options bar or element properties.



·         In the primary view reference ALL view reference tags show.

·         In the dependant views- ONLY the view tags unrelated to the view show. In the example graphic above- match line 1/AE111-B will not show in dependant view AE111-B, however it will show in dependant view AE111-A as well as the primary view.

·         Hopefully in future Revit versions- a single tag placed in an overlapping region will point to the adjacent view.


Important to note these are the same tags shared between PRIMARY and DEPENDANT views. If more than 1 / 2 of the tag is off the crop region or annotation crop region it will not be visible in the dependant view- so keep that in mind when laying out the tags.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CAD Export processes updated 2010-06-03 v1_0

This document outlines the processes of cross-platform collaboration between Revit and AutoCAD. Version 2010-06-03-1.0

Basically the steps involved in Exporting from Revit to CAD (and back) are as follows:

  • Creating reference in Revit (Discipline and type-specific, plan, section, elevation, Callout or detail) Naming the callout view name correctly.
  • Creating sheets in Revit (Setting up the details on the sheets in Revit)
  • Exporting Revit to CAD
  • Matching Revit output in CAD
  • Detailing in CAD
  • STRIP REFERENCING (For re-importing to Revit)
  • Re-Importing the enhanced information back into Revit.

NOTE:   Elements shown in RED are behaviors that need to be verified with each upgrade/update to Revit or CAD editing program. Each update can cause its own unique set of issues and should be tested on a case-by-case basis. This should probably be done with a single detail/sheet export/import from Revit to CAD before full export to CAD is assumed to be working correctly.

There are a number of cleanup VBA utilities that can be used to refine the Revit CAD Exports to align the Fonts, dimension styles, etc.

Exporting to CAD should only be attempted as a last resort as the process is time consuming and lengthy.

·         Create callouts/details in Revit
·         IMPORTANT: Rename the views in Revit to the view-naming protocol for the project. See the drafting view area for references to the view-naming conventions.
·         Create the sheets in Revit by dragging and organizing the details on the sheets. IMPORTANT: name the sheets per the sheet naming protocol for the project.
·         Assign base materials and callouts in the views on the sheets. This is the door/window/material callouts relevant to the type of view being exported. This is the "bare bones" basis for the AutoCAD information.
·         After bare-bones & Materials are assigned export the file(s) by using Revit Icon> Export> CAD Formats > DWG

Select the set to export (Or In session)
Select sheets/views to filter in the list. Sort by name to itemize everything by drawing type and its name
Set up CAD Layer naming (If not already set). Once set for a file Revit retains this information on a per file basis.

This may require selecting one of the read-only layer exports and resaving it under a different Name. Revit ADDS ALL LAYER NAMES from linked drawing files- to prevent this list from becoming too large we made it read only.

Browse to the export folder.

Strip everything off the 'tail' of the file name so the project number (and building identifier if necessary) is the only element left to use as a prefix. Revit will add a "-" after this prefix.

  • For standard CAD export (ONE-WAY to CAD) - Make sure the [ ] Xref views on sheets is unchecked. This places all elements with the sheet in one file.
  • For "STRIP REFERENCING"  (TO CAD and back into Revit) Make sure the [X] Xref views on sheets is checked.

NOTE:   If files and borders are to be x-refed for continuity- editing in CAD must be done to setup the xbdr files and other base files.

NOTE:   Renaming software can refine file names but will break x-ref naming associations. A preset for Bay Pines exists here:
               S:\Healthcare\3683a-00 VA Bay Pines\2.0 Drawings\2.4 Revit\4.0 Publish\4.3 DWG\4.3.1Renamer_Presets\03683a-00-VA_BAY_PINES-new.rnp
               *Mass-renaming of files should only be attempted certified users. If you have any questions or need someone else to clean up the DWG file names contact Ron Allen ( and we can go over the use of this software.

When exporting to CAD Revit creates PCP files containing pen weight information. As there are a number of customizations that occur in Revit between differently scaled views. This needs verification in a real-world test. Each new version of Revit/CAD can cause issues in exporting making it difficult to maintain visual fidelity between CAD and Revit drawings. It may be beneficial to use the exported PCP file for the sheet layout. Adjustments to the layer-export file may be necessary.

One way to minimize the graphic impact of CAD & Revit sheets in a set is to create the bare-bones details and sheets in Revit, export the sheets to CAD, embellish the details in CAD via a 3rd file then link just the embellishments back into Revit for printing. We will call this strip referencing as each step in the information chain is stripped out from the previous one minimizing file sizes an the information therein.

On exporting from Revit [  ] Xref views on sheets should be selected to create separate drawing files to reference back into Revit.

Detailing in cad is intended to enhance the elements in those files using the elements as markers and locators when Revit resources are not available and CAD is the only resource available or is an only option.

Under no circumstances should the original location or base points in the drawing file be changed or the elements relocated in the file. The base points should ensure critical for re-referencing will match when the CAD files are brought back into Revit. This needs to be verified- there are some import issues when dealing with CAD in Revit Details. Real-world tests need to be run on a case-by-case basis to verify origin-to-origin match ups in Revit details.

Once the views/sheets have been exported to begin detailing in CAD:
  • Open an individual detail file
  • Save the file back out appending "-CAD" to the end of the file name. (IE "03683 - IDT3‑1G-301T - CASEWORK-CAD.DWG"
  • Move all the line work and hatching from the file away from the original location- this will be used for quick reference and eventually deleted.
  • XREF the original detail file (i.e. "03683-IDT3‑1G-301T-CASEWORK.DWG") back into the drawing as an overlay at 0,0,0.

Detail over the elements using:
  • The layers exported by Revit
  • The line types exported by Revit
  • The hatch patterns exported by Revit

Avoid the use of:
  • Masking regions
  • AEC Objects
  • Objects requiring proxy elements in earlier versions of AutoCAD. Proxy objects don't always translate. Keep it simple.
  • Match text styles, heights and dimension styles if possible

The "–CAD" version of the file should x-reference back into the CAD sheets at the same origin point in model space.

The -CAD version of the file should also reference back into the Revit drawing detail as origin-to-origin. This will bring in the additional detailing from CAD over the Revit detail. Because the views were exported as x-refs from Revit- the titles of the CAD files should match the view titles in Revit.

Monday, May 31, 2010

FW: > Quantapoint Laser Models vs. "Point Clouds" - The Difference is Clear - Meet Project Schedule and Budget, Improve Project Safety, Execute More Projects - Quantapoint (Looks like best one yet)


High Definition CAD Models – Automatically From Point Clouds!   

ClearEdge3D is the maker of EdgeWise™, the only software capable of automatically extracting truly editable 3D CAD models from ground-based laser-scan (LIDAR) data. With its patent-pending computer vision algorithms, EdgeWise is able to dramatically reduce the time required to create clean, accurate, as-built CAD models. Using this technology, even the most complex models can now be completed in hours, rather than weeks or months.



Conference Recap: SPAR 2010

March 1, 2010


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A scan of the hottest new products and the latest trends that captured the attention of attendees.

More than 775 people from 32 countries registered to attend SPAR 2010 in Houston, February 8-10. Despite a historic Mid-Atlantic snowstorm that snarled travel along the East Coast, conference organizers reported that attendance was up more than 20 percent compared to the previous year.

Anticipating the positive attendance figures, equipment manufacturers and software developers were eager to tout their latest partnerships and product offerings. AVEVA and Z+F announced a stronger technical and commercial partnership focused on delivering new levels of integration and productivity between laser scanning, detailed design and asset management. The two companies are working together to trans
form the efficiency of producing intelligent 3D CAD models from laser data so that the time and cost of producing intelligent AVEVA PDMS 3D models can be drastically reduced. They also aim to allow high-definition, photo-realistic laser images to be quickly and easily hot-spotted, linked to other plant data and accessed over the web in AVEVA’s asset information management solution AVEVA NET. “’As-is’ 3D models are becoming a popular method [of managing assets]; however for many this is still not viable due to the time and costs involved creating ’as-is’ 3D models,” said Derek Middlemas, group operations director of AVEVA. “Working with Z+F, AVEVA will offer a solution which significantly reduces the time and cost of producing ’as-is’ 3D models, making 3D models accessible to all asset management programs."

Montage of scan points (orange), EdgeWise polygons (white), and Revit Model (blue). Courtesy of GSA

ClearEdge3D announced the availability of a downloadable trial version of its EdgeWise software, which automatically extracts editable 3D CAD models from ground-based laser-scan (LIDAR) data, along with the upcoming release of a 64-bit version of EdgeWise later this month. The company also highlighted several noteworthy applications of the software during SPAR 2010, including the development of a Revit building information model (BIM) of the Chicago Federal Center by Ghafari Associates LLC. Ghafari’s laser scanning teams used a Leica 6000 phase-based scanner to collect 500 scans. As the scan data came in from the field, it was first registered using Leica Cyclone. Next, EdgeWise was used to automatically extract rectilinear, Revit-friendly .dxf polygons from the point clouds. These polygons were directly imported into Revit, skipping an entire manual modeling step that was traditionally one of the most time-consuming processes associated with scan-to-Revit modeling. Once these EdgeWise polygons were in Revit, the modelers could then either adjust their existing models (from the 2D plans) or build new features directly on top of the EdgeWise polygons. Finally, NavisWorks was used to validate the resulting Revit model against the point cloud. “EdgeWise allowed our team to significantly improve point cloud to Revit data and work flow efficiencies,” said Bob Mauck, Ghafari Associates. “The EdgeWise polygons from the 500 scans gave our team a quick way to create surfaces and model only what was needed—when it was needed—to support design-side delivery dates.”

Sonia Delgadillo, senior applications specialist at COADE, presented a technical seminar on how to easily build intelligent, specification-driven
3D plant models from laser scan data within the unified AutoCAD environment. The seminar addressed how the same 3D model can be used to automatically create deliverables such as fabrication isometrics, plans, sections, elevations and complete bills of material. Delgadillo also gave a a demonstration of the time-saving bidirectional link between CADWorx plant design and CAESAR II for pipe stress analysis along with CADWorx fieldpipe for Leica CloudWorx, which was developed for the back-office creation of accurate as-builts from point cloud data.


FARO Technologies Inc. announced the April 2010 release of FARO Scene 4.7, the latest version of its scan processing software for the FARO Laser Scanner. The new Scene 4.7 features more efficient point cloud handling and visualization due to the new 64-bit architecture, which extends the usable memory. The new version also incorporates “one-click” Web-share functionality. Scanned images can now be put on the Internet, thus enabling industries such as architecture, engineering and law enforcement to share scan information with customers, suppliers and partners without the need of additional software. The Web-share functionality is natively built into the FARO Scene 4.7 software, no additional software is required to publish the scan data on the web. The new software will be delivered with every FARO Laser Scanner, and current users of a 4.X version of the software will be provided with a free upgrade.

Leica Geosystems HDS and INOVx announced a partnership to jointly develop advanced software
for converting laser scan data into intelligent plant models. Integrated products will be based on Leica Cyclone software and INOVx RealityLINx software. Availability of the first integrated products is planned for the second quarter of 2010.

3D Laser Mapping highlighted the portable version of its StreetMapper mobile mapping system, developed in conjunction with German guidance and navigation specialist IGI mbH and technology company Riegl, along with recent deliveries of the StreetMapper system in China and Lithuania. In China, the device has already been used
for high precision mapping of the Peking University Campus, 3D modeling of road tunnels in Beijing and highway surveying for road construction and network planning. Operated by Tecdawn HT and its partner, Eastdawn IT, the StreetMapper system, was also used as part of a project to assess, analyze and manage public safety and security ahead of the 11th National Games of the Peoples Republic of China. In Lithuania, the State Enterprise Transport and Road Research Institute’s Road Survey Division is using the system to help evaluate the condition of the road network, plan road repair and reconstruction projects and provide additional information for economic justification of proposed works.

Topcon’s IP-S2 mobile mapping system coupled with the Velodyne HDL-64E S2 high-definition LiDAR scanner.

Mobile mapping was a major attraction during the conference, with numerous systems on display outside the convention center. Among these was Topcon’s IP-S2 mobile mapping system coupled with the Velodyne HDL-64E S2 high-definition LiDAR scanner. This combination offers dual-frequency GPS and Glonass tracking; a high-performance, six-axis MEMs-based IMU; vehicle odometry and tracking information from dual external wheel encoders; a 360-degree horizontal field of view and 26.8-degree vertical field of view; a user-selectable 5 to 20 Hz scan rate; the ability to generate more than 1.3 million points per second of high-accuracy, high-density information; and up to 120 meters of range.

Riegl's VMX-250 mobile scanning system offers high performance in a compact design.

In addition, Riegl showcased its VMX-250 mobile scanning system. First introduced at the INTERGEO Exhibition in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2009, the VMX-250 has now entered commercial production and is available to be shipped worldwide. The system consists of two Riegl VQ-250 “full circle” laser scanners, which combined can achieve 600,000 measurements per second, enabling an extremely fast, efficient and highly accurate 3D mapping of highways, streets, railroads and other areas. The system configuration includes the latest modular IMU/GPS unit for an extremely lightweight, compact design. (The unit at SPAR was installed on a small car.) The technology’s echo signal digitization and online waveform analysis capabilities reportedly provide excellent multi-target detection, even of 3D data of objects that are obscured by fences or vegetation. According to Jim Van Rens, president of Riegl USA, the technology is the first all-digital scanner on the market. "The integrated data acquisition, calibration, and processing and georeferencing software combined with the completeness of information provided by the system offers substantial time savings in post processing," Van Rens said, indicating that a 1:1 field/office time ratio is achievable.

While the mobile mapping equipment was impressive, attendees noted that software development in general continues to lag. “It appears that the focus is primarily on modeling and surfacing instead of on analysis and processing, which is where development is needed,” said Clay Wygant of WHPacific, one of the early adopters of mobile mapping technology. “I know of some firms that are piecing together 11 or 12 different programs to produce their deliverables, but it really shouldn’t be that complicated. There are still a lot of opportunities
for improvement.”

John Russo, AIA, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Architectural Resource Consultants, said that he noticed a substantial amount of lingering skepticism about mobile scanning in general. However, both Wygant and Russo believe that additional success stories will help spur technology improvements and open new markets.

The Scan to BIM track with its focus on real applications was one of the most talked-about sessions of the conference. The GSA is driving many BIM laser scanning projects, but a number of architecture, engineering and design firms are also paving the way. Other areas of interest included scanning
for transportation and infrastructure, historic preservation, and industrial applications.

"The technology is advancing so fast, yet it is never fast enough,” noted Russo. “The consensus seems to be that more needs to happen to automate the post processing of scan data.”

Did you attend SPAR 2010? What did you think? Share your thoughts on the conference below.