July 31, 2013

Ideate, Inc. Welcomes Eugene A. O’Day, IX, to Tech Expert Team

San Francisco, CA, 7/31/2013 – Ideate, Inc., an Autodesk Gold Value Added Reseller, today announced that Eugene A. O’Day, IX, has joined Ideate, Inc. in its Portland, Oregon office as Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Application Specialist. Ideate is also currently seeking qualified candidates for additional positions.

O’Day brings more than 25 years of architectural and mechanical experience to the Ideate Tech Expert Team, and he has special expertise in all things Autodesk Revit and Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Teaching is also a passion of O’Day’s. He has been an instructor in undergraduate degree programs, has traveled worldwide teaching Autodesk solutions to major corporations, has taught at accredited Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) throughout the Northwestern region, and is a frequent and popular instructor, speaker, and presenter for AUGI® CAD Camps, Revit- and related product user groups. He has also been a trusted public school district advisor on new drafting instructor hires.

“We are pleased to have Eugene on board. His years of professional experience in advanced design solutions and as a training expert are sure to enrich our AEC customers’ opportunities to achieve their best success,” says Bob Palioca, President, Ideate, Inc. “Eugene’s breadth of skills and extensive background dovetail perfectly with our Ideate Tech Expert Team.”

Ideate is growing and looking for talented qualified candidates to join the Ideate Tech Expert Team. Complete details on job descriptions and the application process can be found on the Ideate, Inc. Careers page.

About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years’ experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and is a leading Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating five Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in the northwestern U.S., Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk’s highest levels of authorization.

Autodesk, ATC, and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

AUGI is a registered trademark of Autodesk User Groups International, Inc.

 

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July 29, 2013

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Cloud Computing - An Inevitable Force

As part of my work, helping AEC firms adapt to technology change, I am often asked about “The Cloud.” First, let us start with a definition:

“Cloud computing is the use computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).” (Wikipedia).

Often professionals say “I will never have my work ‘in the cloud.’” First, never is a long time, and technology is ever-changing. The AEC industry moved from hand drawn drawings in the 1990s and many firms moved to Building Information Modeling in the past decade. Technology marches on.

What are the business benefits of a move to the cloud for designs/documentation, etc.?
  • Information can be obtained while at client offices, jobsites, work from home.
  • Computer intensive activities (rendering, computation, simulations) can be done ‘in the cloud’ while design/documentation work can continue to be done (freeing up computer resources and productive time).
  • Maintain a 99+% uptime of information accessibility.
Here are the perceived cons of cloud computing:
  • My client will not allow it.
    • This is the reason I hear the most. If this is correct, a conversation with the client is necessary to explain the limitation the restriction plays. 
  • I fear my work being stolen by the cloud host (usually Microsoft, Amazon, or Google).
    • This seems unlikely. The amount of data passing through the cloud service providers is so huge, it is unlikely that any one file is reviewed.
  • Data being collected by the cloud host.
    • This is the most logical. Google has always gathered information about your web-search activities. So, is it possible that data collection might be done to determine if your project has the word masonry in it – yes – but should you be concerned?
Projects require the ability to be nimble and agile – fast moving and democratized in the access to project information + data. That is the hallmark of ‘cloud’ services.

Cloud services are here to stay, and will grow in usage and functionality.  “Staying on the sidelines” is not a viable option for long.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech

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July 26, 2013

Importance for Architectural Project Managers to be PMI Certified

Many architectural firms have a job function called "Project Manager", what credentials should they have?

- Should they be Architectural School Graduates?
- Should they be Licensed as an Architect?
- What additional credentials should they have as a  Project Manager (PM)?

Many firms are sure about the architectural school graduation, and many firms seem to value having a license as an Architect.  But that seems to  be where the credentials end.  Firms then seem to focus on particular project experience (K-12, retail, health care).

I am not discounting project experience, but there seems to be another credential needed.  However, what other credentials/knowledge are needed.

Project Management is defined as "the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals" (Wikipedia).  I find many people define project management as delegating to others, emailing, and taking meeting notes.  This underestimates the breadth of knowledge, requirements, and skills needed to be a good project manager.  What is the answer?

Project Management Institute (PMI) (www.pmi.org) is an organization that provides credentialization and continuing education for project managers.  Why should that be crucial for architectural project managers? 

As a PMP certified professional, Architect, and project manager, the knowledge I learned:

Why it is important to get all the stakeholders involved in a project, including input that may cause project delay?
Why understanding risk and opportunity, how to mitigate risk and leverage opportunity is a key to a successful project?
How do you know when your project is either over-budget or behind schedule - at any point in the project duration?

Building Owners would find value in these traits, and could leverage your firm's ability to secure more work.  Investigate PMI's website - the testing is rigorous, but the educational and practice rewards are high.



David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech

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July 25, 2013

Ideate BIMLink: Collaborate with Simultaneous Access to BIM Data - Workflow Using a Google Sheet

Ideate, Inc. is pleased to show a greatly improved workflow for data management with Ideate BIMLink. In addition to being able to push and pull data from a Revit® Building Information Model (BIM) to a regular Excel® spreadsheet, you can host the sheet on Google Docs and use Google Sheet to provide worldwide simultaneous access to the sheet BIM data. Anyone can use the Google Doc App or a link to access the sheet collaboratively and simultaneously and then with the use of Ideate BIMLink, can publish that same information back to the Revit model.



The benefits of this realtime collaboration in the cloud include a security and notification system, so that you can control who has access to the sheet and whether they can review, comment or edit. The version control features allow for historic rollbacks to previous versions.

Take your Revit data to the cloud with Ideate BIMLink and Google Sheet.

Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.      


Jim Cowan
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Jim Cowan’s extensive AEC design industry experience and Autodesk design solutions expertise have made him a sought after university curriculum developer, instructor and presenter. Jim’s areas of expertise include 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 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). YouTube Channel: MrJimCowan

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July 24, 2013

The Pain of Jobsite Inspections

All of us who have gone to a jobsite to do an inspection, whether as the Architect doing a contract required review, or as part of a construction team (Construction Manager/Superintendent), or as an Owner’s representative; the process has always been the same. Carry to the jobsite all the drawings and a camera, maybe a recorder, but always your trusty pad and pen to record the issues/concerns and notes required. I speak of this experience because the jobsite visits are engraved into my brain as having one ever-lasting memory – that of frustration.
Frustration of having to first record, then document, then usually having to input the information into the computer; then comes the real frustration – do it all over again in the next inspection.  There must be a better way! 
There is a solution.  Autodesk BIM360 Field provides a solution that fits today’s technology and jobsite-specific issues. Autodesk BIM360 Field provides a Web and Tablet based (iOS) construction jobsite information management system.  Checklists/Punchlists, Equipment/Assets, Reports, and Issues are all tracked from a tablet, while being able to record/document jobsite conditions.

Why should you care?
• How much time are you, or your company, spending writing and re-writing lists, and then distributing them to the project team. Count the hours – they rack up each month.
• Have you ever left important information back at the office (a specific set of plans, or shop drawings). That is a waste of precious time.
• Have you not had the most up to date information at the jobsite and made judgments/decisions based upon out of date information – that is certainly risky.
• Have you ever wondered if an issue got resolved, who resolved it, and when? Lack of accurate, timely information (data) can lead to rework, redo, re-decide and other time delays. Delays cost money.
The great thing about BIM360 Field is that you don’t need to be BIM-enabled (though if you are, there are some additional benefits). If you currently work with 2D plans, and using pad and pen to document jobsite events/issues/concerns – look into BIM360 Field. The costs are reasonable - the value is great.

BIM360 Field has benefits for Architects (who do jobsite review), General Contractors, and Subcontractors (who have large teams on a site). Owners who take an active role in construction activities can also find great benefit.  For further information, visit our website (http://www.ideateinc.com/products/bim_360_field.html).

Ideate, Inc. is an Autodesk VAR, one of a select number of Autodesk resellers who have be selected to sell Autodesk BIM360 Field to customers. Call us at 888-662-7238, or talk to your Ideate Account Manager about discussing Autodesk BIM360 and your needs. (www.ideateinc.com).


David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, virtualization and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and building industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech

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July 23, 2013

Classroom Training – Open Revit Classes

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What's New in Revit MEP 2014: I have a different View than you! - Ability to assign Temporary View Templates in Revit.

Revit 2014 in general has some great enhancements, one that, in my opinion, that will be used a lot is the ability to assign temporary view template overrides to the "assigned" View Template per view.

The assignment itself is a basic two step process:

1. Select a view template to apply as a temporary state
2. Then any property associated with view templates can be modified, but not saved

One of the common frustrations that we at Ideate, Inc. deal with in the improved Revit 2013 View Templates is the inability of individuals to make quick changes to the view, due to it being "locked" to a view template.


Temporary View Properties is a new platform feature that allows you to change view properties without affecting the saved view state. Starting the mode allows changes to the view to meet your current workflow. These changes will not affect the view for printing and will not cause issues while collaborating via worksharing. Using the feature may reduce the need for saving and maintaining working views, although that is not the primary use case.


Selecting “Temporarily Apply Template Properties…” enables you to enter the mode with a current view template applied to the view properties. This enables the mode to be started from a known state.



The menu saves the last 5 view templates that have been used when activating the mode.  Once the mode is activated a frame is drawn around the view with the title, “Temporary View Properties” to indicate that the view is temporary.
 
This improves documentation and design visualization with ability to change view properties without affecting the saved view state.



Bill Johnson
Ideate Senior MEP Application Specialist

Bill has over 20 years experience in applying AEC design solutions for large commercial companies. A graduate of Pasadena Institute of Technology, he has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill has also had the opportunity to act as Lead AutoCAD Designer for multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

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July 22, 2013

What's New in AutoCAD MEP 2014: What is your "Standard" - Enhanced Layer Standard NCS 5.0

 At Ideate, we’ve been reviewing the Autodesk 2014 product line and sharing new features and enhancements that we think will benefit users. AutoCAD MEP 2014 has some solid enhancements, one of the ones that will give companies and users additional flexibility is the Layer Standards and Layer Key Styles compatible with the new US standard - NCS 5.0.

Autodesk created the NCS 5.0 Layer Standard, NCS 4.0 Layer Standard, and 3.1. They had several goals to accomplish. Bring AutoCAD MEP up to date with NCS 5.0 Layer Standard. Make AutoCAD Architecture and MEP both use the same Layer Standard and Layer Key Style for consistency. Some companies standardize on a ALL CAPITAL LETTER layer format, and some on a Title Case format.

The MEP layer standard accommodates the NCS standard, with some flexibility (optional front status, and extra Minor3). The primary change in 2014, is the Field values match NCS 5.0 values everywhere possible (exception being the additional MEP values that support our content). Autodesk updated the layer values on the keys, so that they accommodate the NCS 5.0 values where applicable. That was huge in MEP, because back in 2007 they had Minor1 values that were only 3-characters. There is now the enhancement to have 4-character values in Minor1 everywhere in MEP.
 


This new enhanced Layer Standard drawing features:
o Ability to generate the correct layer names more easily 
o New layer standard and layer key styles
o NCS 5.0-compliant
The bottom line is for those firms that follow the NCS 5.0, you will no longer need to modify layer names manually to comply with NCS 5.0.



Bill Johnson
Ideate Senior MEP Application Specialist

Bill has over 20 years experience in applying AEC design solutions for large commercial companies. A graduate of Pasadena Institute of Technology, he has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill has also had the opportunity to act as Lead AutoCAD Designer for multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

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July 19, 2013

Autodesk InfraWorks Tips and Tricks: JavaScript Support

Here at Ideate, we are always on the lookout for helpful tips and tricks that might be of value to our customers. While attending Autodesk Technical Academy this year, we were able to get a first-hand look at some of the additional features of Autodesk InfraWorks. One of these was the support of JavaScript for use when configuring data and for adding Tooltips to existing objects in the model. The Autodesk techs hosting the session were kind enough to share those scripts with us, and now we would like to share them with you.

The first of our scripts deals with Building Randomization. In many cases, our InfraWorks model may start with building footprint information that locates and defines areas that the buildings will occupy. In order to create buildings in the model, we can apply a user-specified height to those footprints to produce an extruded 3D model. Although this is a quick and relatively easy solution, it does not provide much in terms of variety. All buildings are generated at the same height, giving it an unnatural look. With the Building Randomization script, varying height, fa├žade, and roof styles are assigned to the buildings based on pre-defined case criteria. To use the script, simply delete the default script and paste it in as a replacement.

Here are some screenshots of a sample model with the defaults, then with the randomization script applied.


Default: All Buildings are the same height


After Randomization Script Applied: Varying Height & Styles

Our second script was created to add a custom Object Tooltip that includes a Google Maps link in it. This script can be applied to buildings in your InfraWorks model and automatically launches and locates those buildings when clicked. It also includes user-defined Name, Description and User Data fields that can be edited for each object when the Tooltip is applied. It can also be copied and pasted, however this script is added to the Tooltip cell in the Object Properties palette for each individual object rather than applied to the entire data source like in our first example.

The screenshot below shows the Tooltip that appears when the object is hovered over in InfraWorks as well as the user-defined properties and link to Google Maps.

Google Maps Tooltip


You can download a copy of the scripts here: 

Building Randomization

Google Maps Tooltip

To see a video on how these are applied, visit our website at www.ideateinc.com/2014.



Matt Miyamoto, P.E.
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Matt is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Hawaii. Matt obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has 7 years of private sector design experience which he applies in his role as an application specialist with Ideate, Inc. His project experience includes residential and commercial site development, private and public sewer, water and drainage systems, harbors improvements, and roadway improvements. While in Hawaii, Matt was involved in multidisciplinary projects for City and County agencies, State Departments, the Army COE and private developers. @MattM_PE

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July 18, 2013

What's new in Revit Structure 2014: Edit Rebar Constraints!

One of the common questions I get when teaching rebar modeling in my Revit Structure classes here at Ideate,Inc is how to override the default constraint behavior of the rebar to its host elements. The answer would be 'not easily possible', but not anymore with the introduction of 'Edit Rebar Constraints' tool in Revit 2014.

With the introduction the 'Edit Rebar Constraints' tool you can now apply overrides to the default host constraint behavior on a selected rebar element. The Rebar Constraints dialog box lets you select either Bar Plane, Start of Bar, End of Bar, or Out of Plane Extent. The face of the host that represents the constraint target highlights in the drawing area.
 



Shruti Harve, LEED AP

Ideate Senior AEC Application Specialist

Shruti holds a Master of Science degree in Architectural Computing from University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom and is LEED accredited. Her experience includes working in Architecture and Construction firms in India and the United Kingdom as well as Structural Engineering firms in the Bay Area providing design, 3D modeling and drafting services. At Ideate, Shruti provides training and support for Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, 3ds Max, Ecotect and AutoCAD Architecture.

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July 17, 2013

Demystifying your Autodesk 360 Account: Account Access and Syncing

Ideate is committed to your success, and as such I would like to start to demystify your Autodesk 360 account. Autodesk 360 is an online document storage and collaboration platform. You can create folders and share files of any file type. The difference between Autodesk 360 and other online storage platforms is that it links directly to your Autodesk Software. It has specific settings that allow you to easily collaborate with other users and share software settings amongst many workstations.   

In this blog, I am going to walk you through signing into an account (this is assuming your account in already created) and I am going to explain the different settings and options.

To sign into your account, click the sign in at the top of your screen, as shown in the diagram below, or you can select any of the options on the Autodesk 360 Tab from your Ribbon. Not all Autodesk software has the Autodesk 360 Tab, but all have the 360 drop down menu shown below.

Once signed in, you can manage your account settings and options through the 360 drop down menu or the Autodesk 360 Tab.

I am going to now walk you through the list in the 360 drop down menu. These options also appear on the Autodesk 360 Tab on the Ribbon. Additionally, the Autodesk 360 Tab has a share and collaborate panel which does not appear in the drop down menu, we will not cover those options specifically in this blog.

The first option is to Sync my settings with the cloud. This allows you to move to other work stations and use the same settings through your Autodesk 360 account. You can sync settings from your desktop to the cloud or from the cloud to your desktop. For example, if you have your work computer set up just how you like it, you can sync those settings to your Autodesk 360 account, and then move to another computer, login to your Autodesk 360 account on the other computer and sync those settings on to the new computer. Once you have synced your settings, there will be a check mark next to the “Sync my settings with the cloud” option in the drop down menu, and the “Sync my Settings” button on the Autodesk 360 Tab will highlight as blue. The settings that you can sync are shown in the images below.

Selecting Online Options in the Autodesk 360 drop down list opens the Online tab of the options dialog box, shown below. From here, you can select to automatically save a file to your Autodesk 360 account every time you save a file on your desktop application. If you go in and out of a lot of different files, this could quickly fill up your Autodesk 360 account. I recommend unchecking this box unless you absolutely know you want a backup copy of your files on Autodesk 360. Also on the Online tab, you can be directed to your Autodesk 360 account, and you can sync your settings.
Choosing Autodesk 360 from the drop down list or selecting Launch Website on the Autodesk 360 Tab will take you to your Autodesk 360 online account. An example of an Autodesk 360 account is shown below.
Lastly, choosing Account Details from the drop down menu opens your User Profile dialog box. From in here, you can change basic account settings such as user name, email address and password. You can also select the services tab and see how much storage space you are currently using, see what other 360 services you have access to, and check your cloud credits (shown at the bottom of the services tab). Also, you can select the Downloads tab to be directed to a download for the Autodesk 360 mobile app and be directed to the downloads subscriptions page.
 


Thank you for reading. We will continue to bring you information on all of the Autodesk software. Check back to our blog regularly for updates and tips and tricks for a variety of different Autodesk software.

Visit our website at www.ideateinc.com.


Kate Ming
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Kate has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Prior to Ideate, she worked at a multinational company for four years doing general civil design on large infrastructure projects. She is versed in roadway, rail, and utility design. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. At Ideate, Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and Navisworks.  

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July 16, 2013

Classroom Training – Open Revit Classes

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What's New in Revit MEP 2014: Parameter Variance for Groups - Ability to have parameters vary for groups!

Revit MEP 2014 has some great enhancements, one of the most unique is the ability to have parameters vary by groups. One of the most common frustrations that clients have is the inability to schedule "groups" within Revit and we have suggested several different "workarounds" during support case issues at Ideate, Inc.


However with this minor enhancement it will open up more opportunities to push data into elements within groups and allow us to schedule this data. The reason for this, is we can use the “new variance parameter by group” functionality in 2014.

For example, when creating an instance project parameter (Text, Area, Volume, Currency, Mass Density, URL, Material, and <Family Type> only), you now have the option to allow the value to vary for different group instances. The user can edit the parameter value for an element in a group instance without changing the value for corresponding elements in other group instances.

Since you can vary the value of parameters assigned to groups, this will provide more flexible data reporting and increased support for COBie requirements. Data can also be incorporated into the operation and maintenance phase of a building lifecycle more efficiently.




Bill Johnson
Ideate Senior MEP Application Specialist

Bill has over 20 years experience in applying AEC design solutions for large commercial companies. A graduate of Pasadena Institute of Technology, he has worked for TEECOM Design Group, GTE/GTEL, Greg LeDoux and Associates, and Scottish Power in England. Bill has also had the opportunity to act as Lead AutoCAD Designer for multimillion dollar communication sites which have included structural, electrical, HVAC, conduit, cable plans and equipment layouts. He has a Sustainable Design Certification from the University of California at Berkeley.

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July 15, 2013

Improved Stair Functionality in Revit 2014

Throughout the Ideate series of Revit 2014 Blogs and Videos Ideate has introduced a number new functionalities within the Revit product. In continuation of this series Ideate brings you an improvement to the component stairs introduced in Revit 2013. Stairs and railings are a continuing multi-year project with this year's improvements being made to seven areas within the component stairs.

Additional Location Line options: Revit 2013 introduced the ability of sketching component stairs by selecting a location line other than the center of the run. Specifying the left or right side of the stair run allowed designers to sketch a run of stair along a wall. New to Revit 2014, two additional location line options are available and the three existing location lines readjusted. Location lines now include Exterior Support: Left, Run: Left, Run: Center, Run: Right, and Exterior Support: Right. Now designers are able to sketch on the exterior sides of stair support elements, on either side of a run, or down the center of the run, opening up a number of options for sketching stair runs. Figure 1.


Figure 1
 
Modify the run width before or after stair creation: Prior to Revit 2013, the width of a stair run could be set in the Properties Palette. In Revit 2013, the minimum run width was set in the stair's Type Properties. In Revit 2014, the width of the stair can be set in the Actual Run Width option in the Options bar. Additionally after a run is created, it can be selected in it's sketch mode and the width of the run modified with grips or by using a width temporary dimension. Figure 2.


Figure 2

Modify the Landing Shape: Automatic Landings include new control grips to modify the landing leg length. This is the point where the landing connects to the run. Figure 3.

Automatic Landing Reshaping Behavior: Initially when an automatic landing is created, the edge of the automatic landing remains flush with the edge of a stair run. In Revit 2014, control grips are available along the edges of the landing to change the shape of the landing. Additionally modifying a run will also modify the landing shape . Figure 3.

Figure 3

Automatic Landing Creation: When creating a U-shaped/switchback stair that includes varying run widths, the automatic landing is initially created with a depth equal to the width of the narrowest run. The landing depth can be modified after the stair runs and landing are created through the control grips along the edges of the landing.

Accurate Modifications: Temporary dimensions are now available when modifying a run's width, the landing depth on a U-shaped/switchback stair, the radius of a spiral stair, and the distance between stair components. At the time of run creation, listening dimensions are available for both straight runs and arc runs. Figure 4.

Figure 4

Snapping reference Improvement: More snapping capabilities are available during the creation and modification of stair components. For example, run to run vertical, horizontal, parallel, and perpendicular snapping is available when dragging the stair path end point. Figure 5.

Figure 5


Ron Palma
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Ron has over 24 years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for a residential design firm. His instructional background includes being an Autodesk Certified Instructor, trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor where he was a senior instructor at Ft Lewis Washington. Ron is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard and platoon sergeant, training and mentoring soldiers in their careers. Ron is a published writer and continues to author professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Ron provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. Follow Ron @RonPalmaAEC.

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July 12, 2013

Autodesk InfraWorks 2014 Proposals and Scenarios

At Ideate, we are reviewing the latest release of Autodesk’s Suites. New to the Infrastructure Design Suite is Autodesk InfraWorks, a re-branded and enhanced Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler (AIM). Autodesk InfraWorks is an easy to use, high-level collaboration, communication and visualization tool for planners, designers, and anyone else involved in the planning and pre-design phase of a project’s lifecycle. 

Two new features in InfraWorks are the ability to create Proposals and Scenarios. Proposals allow a user to develop simultaneous design alternatives while Scenarios allow a user to share designs online with groups of other users through an Autodesk 360 account.

Proposals
A Proposal is a design alternative. It is a set of InfraWorks objects developed on top of your existing data. A user can have many proposals in the same design footprint, allowing for multiple design alternatives. This can be done quickly and is useful for working with clients in real-time.

You access the Proposals dialog box on the home tab of the InfraWorks Ribbon, as seen in the image below. You can add different InfraWorks objects to create proposal components, as identified in the Proposals Dialog Box. To add components to a proposal, use the create/edit features tool bar. A user will need to make sure that objects are being added to the correct proposal. To do this, a user must set the correct Proposal in the drop down list in the Proposals Dialog Box, or the proposals drop down list above the InfraWorks Ribbon. Users can create, delete, and merge proposals in the Proposals Dialog box.

InfraWorks Ribbon

Proposals Dialog Box

Scenarios
A Scenario is an isolated geographical section of a chosen proposal which can be shared with other users. The Scenarios dialog box is accessible on the Present tab of the InfraWorks Ribbon. From the Scenarios dialog box, you can create, delete, edit, copy, and publish Scenarios as well as create Scenario files. A user can name, define the geographical extents, edit a few basic settings, and determine a display resolution for a Scenario, as seen in the Create/Edit Scenarios Dialog Box. Once a Scenario has been created, it can be published to a particular group to be viewed in either in an InfraWorks 360 mobile application or the InfraWorks desktop application. It can also be viewed in a web browser.

InfraWorks Ribbon
 
Scenarios Dialog Box
 
Create/Edit Scenarios Dialog Box

Both Proposals and Scenarios allow a user to effectively and efficiently communicate design intent of multiple design alternatives. I encourage you to check out these new features.

Visit our website at www.ideateinc.com to see what Autodesk InfraWorks can do.


Kate Ming
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Kate has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Prior to Ideate, she worked at a multinational company for four years doing general civil design on large infrastructure projects. She is versed in roadway, rail, and utility design. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. At Ideate, Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and Navisworks.  

Get it. Know it. Use it.

July 11, 2013

3D Laser Scanning: Different Type of Scanners

Hi this is Eugene A. O’Day, IX, an application Specialist with Ideate, Inc.

Did you know that 3D laser scanning is as much about precise measurement as it is about stunning visualization?  Are you intrigued with the concept of Scan-to-BIM?  Wait I might be getting ahead of myself.  Are you unfamiliar with the terms; 3D laser scanning, LiDAR, and point clouds?  If you are, then this blog might interest you.  Today’s blog will focus on the very basic of scanning terms and the different types of 3D laser scanners. 

Scanning Terms 101
 
3D Scanners:
Devices that analyzes a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance i.e. color. The purpose of a 3D scanner is usually to create a point cloud of geometric samples on the surface of the subject.  The collected data can then be used to construct digital, three dimensional models. 
 
3D Object Scanning:
Allows enhancing the design process, speeds up and reduces data collection errors, saves time and money, and thus makes it an attractive alternative to traditional data collection techniques such as tap measure with pencil and paper. 3D scanning is also used for mobile mapping, surveying, scanning of buildings and building interiors, and in archaeology.

LiDAR:
Is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. The term LiDAR comes from combining the words light and radar.

Point Cloud:
A large group of 3D points that spatially represent the environment around the laser scanner.
 
Types of Scanners

There a handful of different types of scanners on the market; each type comes with its own limitations, advantages and costs.
 
Airborne:
Airborne laser scanning is a scanning technique for a data capture of the earth surface.  It’s an important data source for environmental applications, being able to map topographic height, and the height of surface objects, to high vertical and horizontal accuracy over large areas.


Ideal Usage:
• Exterior mapping
• Corridor
• Large scale mapping

Accuracy and Range:
• Accuracy +/- 10 CM Depending on conditions.
• Range 3.000 feet (typically flown at about 3,000 FT).
 

Mobile:
Mobile mapping is a non-invasive, state-of-the-art solution that incorporates the most advanced ground-based LiDAR sensors, cameras, and an inertial measuring unit to collect survey-quality point data quickly and accurately.
 

Ideal Usage:
• Rapid exterior mapping for corridors w/imaging.
• Mapping, Asset Management, Utilities, Planning,
Disaster Management, Tunnel, FAA airport design and layout. 

 
Accuracy and Range (Topcon IPS-2)
• Accuracy +/- 3 to 5 CM Depending on conditions.
• Range 30 to 100 meters depending on conditions.
 
Think Google maps
 

Phased Based:Constant waves of varying length are projected. Upon contact with an object, they are reflected back to the scanner. The distance from the scanner to the object is accurately measured by measuring the phase shifts in the waves of infrared light.
 

Ideal Usage:
• Exterior high accuracy longer range scans
• (Architectural Reconstruction, Surveying, Engineering, Planning, Forensics).

Accuracy and Range (Topcon GLS-1500)
•    Accuracy +/-2MM
•   Range 150 to 330 meters depending on conditions.
 

Time of Flight:
An active scanner that uses laser light to probe the subject(s).  At the meat and potatoes of this type of scanner is a time-of-flight “laser rangefinder”. The laser rangefinder finds the distance of a surface by timing the round-trip time of a pulse of light. A laser is used to emit a pulse of light and the amount of time before the reflected light is seen by a detector, is measured.
 

Ideal Usage:
• Interior high density high accuracy scans (MEP, Architectural, Structural, Facilities Management, and Forensics).

Accuracy and Range (FARO Focus3D)
•    Accuracy +/-2MM
•   Range 60 to 120 meters depending on conditions.

Stay tune for more Scanning definitions…


 
Eugene . O’Day, IX
AEC Application Specialist

Eugene A. O’Day, IX, with more than 25 years of architectural and mechanical experience, offers a trained focus on all things Revit and BIM. Teaching is a passion of his. Eugene has been an instructor in undergraduate degree programs, has traveled worldwide teaching Autodesk solutions to major corporations, has taught at accredited ATCs throughout the Northwestern region, and is a frequent and popular instructor, speaker, and presenter for AUGI® CAD Camps, Revit – and related product user groups. He has also been a trusted public school district advisor on new drafting instructor hires. At Ideate, Eugene provides training and support for Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and AutoCAD. Eugene is also a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional.

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July 10, 2013

eLearning – Upcoming Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
7.9.13::Revit 201:
Design Options
7.16.13::Ideate 101:
Getting Started with Vasari
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

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July 9, 2013

Classroom Training – Open Classes

Know It. Ideate Training.

Position yourself to land dream projects. Tap the full potential of your software solutions. Increase your facility, fluidity and capability to maximize the value of your precision software tools.
7.10-12::Sacramento
Revit MEP Electrical Fundamentals
7.16-17::Portland
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
7.16-17::Seattle
3ds Max Design for Architects
7.22::San Francisco
Revit MEP Overview
7.23::San Francisco
Revit MEP Mechanical
 Know your software. Sign up now!

Ideate, Inc. Releases Vastly Enhanced Ideate Explorer for Revit 2013.3

SAN FRANCISCO, California – 7/9/2013 - Ideate, Inc., a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer and Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services for Building Information Modeling (BIM) to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industries, today announced a new release of Ideate Explorer for Revit, the Autodesk Revit add-on that lets users explore, quantify and manage the more than 100,000 building elements in an Autodesk Revit file. 

Ideate Explorer for Revit 2013.3 is a significantly enhanced release over previous versions. Its productivity-related improvements and enhancements support several important workflows: 

• It is three times faster than previous versions, with ultra-fast launch and ability to speed through mega files  
• Added pre-defined filters let users find Model, Annotation or Audit elements
• Users can create custom filters for use in making parameter-specific selections
• A new, improved user interface provides even more time- and click-savers:
o A smaller dialog that remembers user preferences
o Improved, faster Export to Excel
o Check All/Uncheck All—a faster one-step operation
o Ability to isolate Elements from within Ideate Explorer
• Enhanced information about CAD Links and Imports

Glynnis Patterson, Ideate Director of Software Development says, “Ideate Explorer for Revit is designed to help the everyday Revit user navigate quickly through the building information model and to assist BIM Managers in performing regular project audits. These audits are vital to the health of the Revit project and can now be done in less time due to our significant performance improvements.”

Bob Palioca, President, Ideate Inc., says of this latest release, “We develop our solutions to contribute to our customers’ success. We are delighted with this highly intuitive, greatly enriched, more powerful Ideate Explorer for Revit.”

Revit users can test drive the software with a 30 day free trial, and can also register for Free Online Training with no purchase required. Those who already have Autodesk Revit 2014, pre-2013 versions of Autodesk Revit, or who are interested in network licensing options can contact explorer.sales@ideateinc.com. 



About Ideate, Inc.
Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years’ experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM) and is an Autodesk solutions provider offering quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the AEC industry since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating five Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in the northwestern U.S., Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk’s highest levels of authorization.

Ideate BIMLink lets users pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft Excel and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease.  www.ideatebimlink.com Ideate Explorer for Revit is a simple, powerful Autodesk Revit add-on to explore, quantify and manage the 100,000+ building elements in a Revit model. www.ideateexplorer.com

Autodesk, ATC, and Revit are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
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