Strategically Delete View Types

At a certain point many of us come to the decision of adding custom View Types for various reasons. In one instance I set these up to help organize the Project Browser and set up default View Templates so new users wouldn’t be so lost trying to turn stuff on/off, etc. It is also good for standardizing what you see on all overall plan views. When you get into multi-discipline organizations, or really detailed schemes, you end up with LOTS of View Types.

Continue reading →

Not BIM: A PID for Brewing Beer

A few years ago I ran across this blog/site about a very fancy electric brew system.  At the time I had just moved into a house with a very enclosed basement and a gas burner and the resulting CO and CO2 had me worried.  So I decided to build an electric brew kettle with temp control.  Honestly I always hated that a gas burner was so variable, this would be much more precise and maybe faster.

It took me forever, mostly because I would go months without working on it and in the process forget things I had learned earlier.  It helped that I had two in-laws with EE degrees to run ideas and questions by.

Enough with the context, here’s the project. Continue reading →

Purge Unused


Autodesk has confirmed the problem in 2016.  The criteria are a bit weird but you should be able to re-create the problem like this:

  1. Create a section (possibly any view type) of a custom type with a shared and/or project parameter.
  2. Change type to another type after placement.
  3. Run Purge Unused and you’ll see your original type as an option (assuming you have no views already created with that type). Select that original type for purge
  4. Your section previously created will disappear.

So many problems with this.  But I’ve found even more weirdness. Continue reading →

Stephen F. Austin

I got sucked into Texas history recently.  My dad has been telling me stories about growing up in rural Texas and it got me curious.  So I picked up a dense biography on Stephen F. Austin.

After reading through it I’m amazed at what he went through and how he did what he did.  The scale of the land he traversed and surveyed by horse in the early 1800s is incredible.  What he sacrificed to accomplish goals that were driven by honor and a sense of responsibility for the early settlers was incredible. The story of his life was fascinating to say the least. Continue reading →

A Modest Proposal (not like that)

First, you should know this has nothing to do with Swift’s essay. Just a clever title as there is a proposal in here.

While at RTCNA in Phoenix this year I had loads of great conversations.  At previous events like this very few conversations diverged much from the AEC industry, BIM, or related technologies.  This year was quite different in that respect.  I spent a few hours after midnight discussing the early history of Texas.  I was in the midst of reading Stephen F. Austin, Empresario of Texas and I was fascinated at how much I didn’t know. Of course politics came up at one point, a few times actually but I did decent job of keeping my foot out of my mouth (I think). Continue reading →

BIM Workshops Presentations

This year I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to participate in two BIM Workshops.  I made my first trip to Omaha, Nebraska and the second to lovely Anaheim in Southern California.

In both instances I meant to have everything ready for use for the people attending my class but alas, that didn’t happen.  Since I didn’t do my job there, I figured I should post it here.  So without further fanfare, here you go:

Strategies for Stud Wall Projects

Converting Standard Details in Revit

Strategies for Stud Wall Projects


Wood and steel stud projects are purposefully vague.  The structural engineer doesn’t specify where the walls will go or how long they are, just what they are made of and if they are “important”.  Framing is a guess in most of the building.  Granted, the engineer will specify spacing and sizing of joists but when it comes to precise placement that is outside of their realm.  The framing contractor will make minor adjustments as necessary to accommodate conditions.  In fact, some inspectors will balk if the structural drawings show all wood joists and expect the framer to follow the lines as shown.  Continue reading →

Converting Standard Details to Revit

With any firm, there are details that are used over and over. Even with the 3D and well-coordinated nature of BIM, there are firm-developed “standard” and “typical” details that are used on every job. Some of these provide speed and in other cases provide standards to ensure that a very common condition is properly called out. Over the years, I’ve worked with two firms to convert details from AutoCAD to Revit.  In the process we learned lots about what works and what doesn’t, encountered pitfalls and snags, and developed lots of best practices that will make these essential items work smoothly and reliably.  Continue reading →

Dynam(o)ite Your Design: Continuous Truss Girder Bridge

From a few engineers I’ve been told that Robot isn’t quite there for most of what they do in the US (composite for one). But this is interesting to see how to leverage our computing power at the desk to making design exploration easy. Too often I think we rely on making a “best effort” at coming up with designs without time or tools to explore options. This kind of exploration will hopefully allow us to optimize designs to use less material or come up with novel solutions to problems. But again, I’m just guessing 😉

Revit beyond BIM

Just before I take a rest and leave my computer, Dynamo, Revit, RSA, social media, blogs, … closed for a few weeks (yes, it’s holiday time !), I would like to share with you a project I will work on more in depth after this period.

It concerns a continuous steel truss girder bridge. In many cases the bridge engineers need to take assumptions before they start building up their analysis models. With the next video I want to show you how this can be anticipated by using Autodesk Dynamo Studio and Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis. With this combination you can (again) explore multiple design options of your analysis models.

This script should be more elaborated as we want to go further into the domain of structural optimization and steel modelling with Autodesk Revit. But that will be something for the sequels on this topic.

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