Monday, December 6, 2010

Robots everywhere...

Despite Jeffery McGrew's conspicuous absence from the AU scene this year (I didn't see him, did anyone else?), robots were everywhere!

There were some great things at the Design Computation Symposium covering both a metal bending robot for complex metal panel designs with curved folds and a "generic" robot arm used for a variety of construction tasks like laying bricks. This was some super cool stuff to see in action and imagine out on our jobsites.

Before you say "whatever, that's so in the future" check out this real world example:

Or, these videos:

Can you imagine having an argument with one of these out on a jobsite???

Thursday, December 2, 2010

AU2010 - Fuzzy Math

Fuzzy Math!

The class went great, and we had some really good feedback from the attendees. We did have some issues with getting files uploaded and accessible on the AU site, so I've posted a link to get all the class materials here!

Enjoy (you closet geek you...) !

Monday, November 29, 2010

Design Computation

I'm at the design computation symposium, and Carl Bass was talking about digital fabrication and design. One main point in his talk was the gap between the finished digital product and the actual fabrication and installation of that item ( In AEC ). But, on the design side we also have a large gap in our ability to simulate and analyze design to real performance due to the complexity of the built environment...

Come on real time simulation of energy performance...

Monday, November 15, 2010


In the department of controversial, head on over to the Inside the Factory blog and take a look at Project Vasari. Basically, this is the Revit conceptual massing environment pulled out of Revit as a stand alone modeling tool.

So, why is this controversial? Well, read the comments...

There is a lot of criticism (as there always is) about the factory spending time & money on this project when some other tools (text editing, stairs, site tools, etc...) languish in the dark despite the fact the they would see much wider use than a Revit Lite for conceptual design. But, I had to respond on one front - there were people on the boards saying that Autodesk was focusing on this because Revit isn't good enough for some of the more adventurous buildings like those for the Olympics in London. Well, this isn't a bird's nest but it isn't a strip mall either...

This project was primarily designed, produced, and some of it rendered all in Revit. This is what conceptual modeling is for. I'd post something in rebuttal on the Inside The Factory blog, but the problem is I half agree with the negative comments... But, the other half of me is glad to see Autodesk working to counter those people out there that think Sketchup is a faster conceptual modeler than Revit. A free tool to get people hooked on conceptual modeling in Revit will hopefully help to bust that perception.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Laser Scanning.

I'm at the Leica User Conference in San Ramon, CA. Aside from Bocce and wine, I've been absorbing a ton of neat stuff from the forensics and disaster relief presentations. There are some really cool auto recognition features available to those fields that we can learn from.

Also, Leica shared their new PCE, or "point cloud engine", with us. For us BIMmers, think of this as PIMs (point information models). I think we're really going to see a wave of scanning in AEC in the next two years as the software vendors catch up to the scanning use cases in our industry. We still need a way to bi-directionally link object to each other though, because the points are way to accurate and too dense for documentation, but need to be referenced so they can be used for collision and fabrication.

A long ways to go still... BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why are plug-ins so important?

So, I just had a great lunch yesterday with some coworkers and a software rep for a PIM (project information management) solution. Part of our conversation touched on integration and interoperability across platforms and disciplines.

One really interesting point the rep made was that their goal was to enable people to interact with their program from whatever "home" program a user was familiar with. This really caught my attention...

We all struggle with the number of applications we all need to "master" now a days. In contrast, this idea of ubiquitous data access in a smaller subset of programs really offers some advantages in efficiency for the end users of software. It turns the traditional "hub and spoke" diagram most software providers show with their program as the "hub" a bit on its head. In this model, each "role" or person uses whatever program they need for their primary tasks, and can pull all the other data in other programs and visualize in their own thus making every program a "hub" and a "spoke" simultaneously.

What can I say, I like it! So, that is why plugins are so important in Revit. Those plugins are going to enable us to create or answer RFI's, see energy efficiency results from our engineers, check on the LEED submittal processes that are related to building elements, or who knows what else all within the comfort of our "home" program... Yummy. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, September 17, 2010

Slight change of plans...

Since there are likely to be several sub-topics of this blog (categories, families, stairs & railings, etc...) I figured it would make more sense to break things up a bit. This particular page will instead be focused on the general discussion a whole, and topic specific posts will hop onto the appropriate page. Hopefully that will keep it a bit more organized as more posts get up there...

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Blog...


Since I got a "Revit Futures" class accepted at AU2010, I figured it was time to start the associated blog. The classes I submitted originally were topical, and there were 5 topics I sent in on this first attempt:

Reporting Parameters

The one that got picked by the Revit gods is Categories, so we'll focus on that for now...

There is some background on this, for the past year myself and several colleagues and friends have been having conversations with several people at Autodesk about the shortcomings of Revit's category system. I'll post an abbreviated version of this sometime this week for you all to look at.

Until then...