March 21, 2017

Revit Live: Explore Your Model

Transform your Revit models into interactive visualizations you can step into and explore with Revit Live! 

This cloud-based software allows you to move around your model, from outside to in, up and down stairs, and through doors that open when you approach them. You can also easily explore the model from any height; view it from the perspective of a toddler or wheelchair user. It even comes with options to control the time of year and day, giving you a good idea of how your structure will appear in different light and weather conditions.

It’s easy to convert your Revit files into Revit Live. Simply create a 3D view that contains the things you want to see in Live. Click a button, and all your content is carried over, including materials, lights, and Rich Photorealistic Content (RPC) Families – no need to rework anything. Your terrain model will be extended to the horizon to produce a robust 3D landscape. Then it’s easy to move around and present with the simple click and drag method and by using the mouse wheel.

One of the most promising features of Revit Live is non-Revit users can really get a feel for your design without owning Autodesk Revit Software. All they need to do is download a free 30-day trial of Revit Live.

Options for exposure control and animations are available in Stingray – but I will save that for a later post.

For now, check out the accompanying video to this post to see Revit Live in action. 

For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

AEC Senior Application Specialist
Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience, Autodesk design solutions expertise, and status as an Autodesk Certified Instructor have made him a sought after university curriculum developer, instructor, and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include eLearning, interoperability between solutions, and overcoming barriers to the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Educated in Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art/Heriot–Watt University and in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Jim has special focus on sustainability issues: daylight analysis, sun studies, lighting analysis, modeling buildings, and conceptual energy modeling (models with shading devices). You can learn more from Jim on his YouTube Channel.

March 16, 2017

BIM 360 Team: Service Unavailable?

With cloud computing becoming more prevalent these days, much of our data is now being stored in “The Cloud.” So, what happens when The Cloud is unavailable? Does all work come to a screeching halt? In some cases, the answer may be yes. But have no fear, we have a recommended practice for moving forward with Revit projects stored in the BIM 360 Team cloud.

With Collaboration for Revit (C4R) and BIM 360 Team (cloud storage space or “the hub”), Revit models are processed via C4R and stored in the BIM 360 Team hub. Essentially, the Revit model “central file” is stored in The Cloud, with BIM 360 Team being the interface to manage and view the model.

After a Revit model has been processed and stored in BIM 360 Team, a cache file is created on the local machine that was used to process the Revit model. This cache file enables faster loading and synching times when working between C4R and BIM 360 Team. Other team members can use Revit with C4R to open models from the BIM 360 Team hub, which in turn creates a cache file on their local machines. Essentially, this becomes their copy of the Revit model.

Since the local copy of the Revit model is a cache file, it is hidden from the everyday user, and is assigned an arbitrary name with letters and numbers, as depicted below.

The fact that cache files are created by initially opening a file from the BIM 360 Team hub and then updated each time the Revit model is synched means that a local copy of the model can be worked on in the event the BIM 360 Team service becomes unavailable.

To locate the cache file for a project, use Windows Explorer and copy/paste one of the following addresses:

  • For Revit 2015: %localappdata%\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2015\CollaborationCache
  • For Revit 2016: %localappdata%\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2016\CollaborationCache
  • For Revit 2017: %localappdata%\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2017CollaborationCache

Once the folder has been located, look for the Revit (.rvt) model with the naming convention described and depicted above. Once the cache file is located, determine amongst your team members the copy that should be used.

Ideate’s recommendation is to use Revit to open and detach the cache file, then process the file as a new Central model on your local network. Note that once detached, the file will no longer synch with the model stored in BIM 360 Team. This will allow users to create local copies to work from in the traditional work sharing environment. Later, when the BIM 360 Team service becomes available, the Central model can be detached from the local network and processed back to the BIM 360 Team hub for cloud collaboration.

Alternately, the cache file can be detached, worked on, and saved. When the BIM 360 Team service becomes available, the changes can be copied from the detached copy of the Revit model, then pasted into the Revit model in BIM 360 Team. Note that this is a less desirable process, as Revit building element relationships may not be coordinated correctly and can be time consuming.

We realize that both methods are not ideal courses of action, but if time working on the model is critical, the above suggestions will help you move forward.

For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

Ron Palma
AEC Application Specialist
Ron has 25+ years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for residential design firms. His instructional accomplishments include: Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor. Ron holds a BA in Instructional Design suma cum laude, is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, where he is a First Sergeant of an Infantry Company, specializing in training and mentoring soldiers in their careers, and has been deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Resolute Support. Ron is a published author and continues to write professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional, Ron continues to provide Revit Architecture and AutoCAD training and support for various AEC firms. @RonPalmaAEC

March 14, 2017

Build Great Things

Ideate, Inc. is proud to partner with Connect2Classes, a Seattle based website where prospective students can search and register for local and online classes.

Focused on customer satisfaction, Connect2Classes (C2C) is your go-to resource to find learning opportunities in the Seattle area for hundreds of varied topics.

After receiving frequent requests for Revit classes, C2C and Ideate have partnered to address the growing market demand. Ideate’s emphasis on quality education is a perfect fit for the C2C business model and we are proud to offer monthly Revit Architecture classes at our downtown Seattle office, as well as online.

Visit C2C’s website for additional details.

For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

February 21, 2017

Creating & Showing Individual Wall Wraps at Wall Ends in Revit

As an application specialist who provides Autodesk Revit Architecture training and solutions for customers in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner industries, I keep up to date on features that users in those industries would like would like to see in Revit software. One that I have heard users speak of for years is the ability to control Wall Wraps on each end of a wall and have those controls as Instance Parameters.

The wall wrap parameters exist as Type Parameter in a Wall Family, and there are no controls for end 1 and end 2. With wraps enabled, a freestanding wall will have wraps at both ends. Furthermore, if you want the same wall type to have wraps for some walls and no wraps for other walls, you must duplicate the wall type, so you can sort the Type Parameters out. For those of you who have dealt with this issue, you know it is unfavorable, because you are managing additional walls just so you can control the wall wrapping.

Until an improved feature is addressed in Revit, we have to resort to a workaround. Fortunately, there are a few workaround options out there. The one that I came up with uses the Door Family Template to create the wall wrap. Why use this template? Because families such as doors and windows have reference plane options that control wall wraps that allow us to create a workaround family to control wraps at each wall end, individually.

Here is a screenshot that highlights the steps for creating this family. I encourage you to give it a try and play around with your options. 

You can also watch my screencast, Control Wall Wraps at Each End of a Wall, on the Autodesk Knowledge Network.

Additionally, I created a Revit Wish list feature for individual Wall Wraps. If you are interested in voting for this feature, visit Autodesk Community’s Revit Ideas and vote for, Wall Wraps, Inserts, and Wall Layer Extension.

Thank you for reading! For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate Inc. website.

Sash Kazeminejad
AEC Senior Application Specialist 
Sash is a registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional who holds a Master of Architecture from Montana State University. Sash’s experience includes project management, BIM management, and design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon. In addition to being a Bluebeam Certified Instructor, Sash is As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash who provides Revit Architecture training and solutions for AECO firms. @sashpdx