June 30, 2016

How Suite it Was

Autodesk recently announced it’s replacing the popular Design & Creation Suites with industry collections. So, why are they messing with a good thing?

The answer is easy: because they’re giving you something much better. They know you want to know soon as updates are available, understand what has changed, and have the option to incorporate changes at a time convenient to you. They also know you expect your mobile experience to be the same as your desktop experience and that you prefer to pay as you go

Industry collections give you all this and more.

Easily Select the Right Collection


You’ll see a big difference between Suites and collections as soon as you start exploring. You no longer need to evaluate a multitude of Suites and select a tier that best matches your needs. Now, simply select the collection for your industry: Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection, Product Design Collection or the Media & Entertainment Collection.

Get More for Your Money


Industry collections, which are workflow focused instead of product focused, provide you with value that well exceeds the Premium Suites at a very competitive price. 


Industry collections offer:

• Access to a wide selection of the most essential Autodesk software for your industry in a single collection that will evolve and get better over time.
• Continuous access to the latest software releases and enhancements through the Autodesk desktop app.
• More cloud services, enabling you to access powerful, flexible tools whenever and wherever you need them.
• The flexibility to choose single-user or multi-user access.
• The ability to grant shared access to cloud (for those who subscribe to a collection with multi-user access).
• The option to choose a term that works best for you (
monthly, quarterly, annual or multi-year).

Do you know what hasn't changed? All subscribers to Autodesk products will continue to receive previous version rights, global travel rights, technical support, and powerful administrative tools.

Gain a Competitive Advantage


I know change can be difficult, but this change is good. I recommend you embrace it: those who adopt collections will have access to more tools.

Contact me if you’d like to learn more about what industry collections can do for you. And keep an eye out for my next blog post with more on collections and licenses.


John Souza
Director of Sales
John Souza started on the ground floor with Autodesk CAD, selling solutions since release 10. In the nearly 30 years since, he's worked to grow his expertise with each Autodesk solution, weaving a career around cutting-edge 3D design software sales.

He has proven success in building high-performing sales teams in the Civil Engineering and Government sectors, he's managed and led business development and sales teams for Autodesk and Advanced Solutions. Joining Ideate, Inc. in 2003, he was initially the Manufacturing Solutions Director then worked to expand reach within the AEC community as Director of Business Development. Today, as Sales Director, he leads a dedicated team working to connect architects and designers with best-fit design technology education and implementation solutions.

June 28, 2016

Ideate Participates in Another Successful Bike First!


Bike First! Camp, a program of Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA), has a powerful impact on all who participate – from volunteers and parents, to those learning to ride a bike for the very first time. This is why Ideate, Inc. is once again excited to have sponsored this important annual event.

The camp took place in north Portland from June 20 – 24th, 2016 and provided an opportunity for those with varying abilities to hop on a bike and build confidence riding. Bike First! uses adaptive technology to help teach balance and boost esteem on bicycles with a 97% success rate, getting an overwhelming majority of campers up and away on two wheels.

NWDSA says “Biking is more than just exercise and transportation: it’s a social activity of connection, a childhood rite of passage and a first taste of independence. This unique approach has enabled thousands of people, with a myriad of disabilities, to become independent bicycle riders.

Ideate, Inc. believes strongly in being a part of the local community and supporting programs like Bike First! is one way in which we are proud to participate.

Learn more about NWDSA & Bike First!

June 27, 2016

e-Learning - Upcoming Revit, Revit MEP, and Ideate Software Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education.
6.28::Revit 201:
Coordinating Revit Architectural Mode for Consultants
6.29::Revit 201:
Scheduling 201
6.30::Ideate Software:
Ideate BIMLink for Revit MEP Projects
7.5::Revit 201:
Project Setup for Revit MEP
7.6::Revit 201:
Rapid Detailing
7.7::Ideate Software:
Introduction to
Ideate Sticky
7.12::Revit 201:
Shared Parameters and Schedules in Revit MEP
7.14::Ideate Software:
Simplify Revit Model Management with
Ideate BIMLink
7.28::Ideate Software:
Audit Your Revit Projects with
Ideate Explorer
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.

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Classroom Training - Open Navisworks, Civil3D, Revit Architecture, and Revit Structure 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.
7.6-7.7::San Francisco
Navisworks Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::Seattle
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::San Francisco
Revit Structure
Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::San Jose
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
7.18-7.20::San Francisco
Civil 3D Fundamentals
7.19-7.21::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now! 

Contact the Ideate Training Department at 888.662.7238 x1012 or education@ideateinc.com

June 23, 2016

AutoCAD 2017: PDF Data Import by Choosing an Underlay (Part 2)

At Ideate, we are reviewing Autodesk's latest software releases in an effort to detail the most useful new features for you. In this post, I am going to discuss using the PDF Import command to import geometry, text and images from a PDF underlay in AutoCAD 2017. 

To learn how to use the PDF Import command to bring in data by choosing a file, check out last week's post, AutoCAD 2017: PDF Data Import by Choosing a File (Part 1).

The beauty of using the PDF import command for an underlay is the ability to individually choose objects from a PDF to import. For example, you may want the linework from a PDF, but not the titleblock.

First things first; prior to starting the PDF import command, I recommend turning off PDF layers that have objects you do not want to import. This will make choosing the objects you do want to import much easier. After editing the PDF underlay’s layers, go ahead and start the PDF Import command. You can find this command on the insert tab of the ribbon, the application menu, or the PDF Underlay tab. You can also type PDFIMPORT in the command line.
After starting the command, you need to select the PDF underlay option. Next, the command line will ask you to "Specify first corner of area to import or [Polygonal/All/Settings]." You can either use a selection box to select the objects you want to import, or you can invoke the Polygonal or All options to select items. The settings option brings up the PDF Import Settings dialog box. For an explanation of these options, refer to Part 1 of this post.
Once you choose the objects you want to import, the command line will ask if you want to keep, detach, or unload the PDF Underlay. Choose which option makes the most sense for you. The data will now import into the drawing. A status bar at the bottom right of the AutoCAD interface will show you how far along the import is. Please note, it may take a few minutes to import all the data.

If you get a message that says "No objects were imported," the most likely cause is xref pathing. In order for the PDF import command to work, the PDF needs to be underplayed using full path. If it is set to relative path, you will get the following message and your data will not import.
This is a quick fix. Open the xref manager and re-path the underlay. Select the ellipse button for the underlay to re-path it.
Using the PDF Import command on a PDF underlay is a quick way to insert specific PDF data from a PDF. After starting the PDF import command and choosing the underlay, you can select the PDF data you want to import, then determine what happens to the underlay.

For a closer look at importing a PDF by choosing an underlay watch my video on our Ideate, Inc. YouTube channel.

Thank you for reading. For information on training and consulting for the various products Ideate services, visit our website.


Kate Ming
AEC Application Specialist 
Kate is a California licensed civil engineer with 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, utility design and site development. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. As a Civil 3D Autodesk Certified Professional Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and InfraWorks.

June 21, 2016

New to Revit 2017: Reference Plane Subcategories

New to Revit 2017, you now have the ability to add subcategories to your references planes.
Assigning subcategories to your reference planes helps control visibility and graphic settings. Having different colors and linestyles for your reference planes will make it easier to distinguish the different uses for the reference planes. 
View my short video demonstrating how to add subcategories to your reference planes.

Thank you for reading. For more information on Revit and other Autodesk products, and information on training and consulting for the various products Ideate services, visit our website.


AEC Application Specialist
Emily Clark holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kansas State University, and has over 19 years of experience in the Architecture industry. Her experience includes working for a number of Architecture and Design/ Build firms in the Western United States. She has been a Project Designer, Intern Architect, BIM Manager and Design Technology Manager. She has contributed to the completion of projects ranging from high–end custom residential to Education and Healthcare design. She has worked with multiple platforms and her passion for BIM has enabled her to help transition firms and advance with technology. At Ideate, Emily provides training and support for Revit Architecture.

June 20, 2016

e-Learning - Upcoming Revit and Ideate Software Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education.
6.22::Revit 201:
Getting Started with Daylighting Studies in Revit and 3ds Max
6.23::Revit 201:
Conceptual Massing Studies
6.24::Revit 201:
Working With Materials in Revit
6.28::Revit 201:
Coordinating Revit Architectural Mode for Consultants
6.29::Revit 201:
Scheduling 201
6.30::Ideate Software:
Ideate BIMLink for Revit MEP Projects
7.7::Ideate Software:
Introduction to
Ideate Sticky
7.14::Ideate Software:
Revit Model Management with
Ideate BIMLink
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

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Classroom Training - Open Navisworks, Revit and AutoCAD and 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.
7.6-7.7::San Francisco
Navisworks Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::San Jose
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::San Francisco
Revit Structure Fundamentals
7.18-7.20::San Francisco
Civil 3D Fundamentals
7.19-7.21::Sacramento
AutoCAD Fundamentals
7.19-7.21::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
7.26-7.27::San Jose
Civil 3D for Surveyors
Know your software. Sign up now! 

Contact the Ideate Training Department at 888.662.7238 x1012 or education@ideateinc.com

June 16, 2016

Model In-Place: Prefabricated Non-Planar Building Modules

A Component Model in-Place workflow is typically touted as a one-off solution for when you have a custom situation in a projectnot addressed by system or loadable families, such as a curved roof or ceiling or a serpentine wall – but what if the built-in solution repeats?

The scenario covered here is for a repeatable prefabricated, modular unit, as initially explored by Eileen Gray in her Maison Elliptique (1936), where three or four prefabricated modules are combined to make a home. 

Revit lets you create an in-place family for the required categories (Roof with Ceiling) but editing them can be problematic because each copied in-place family – unlike normal Revit families – is unique. Objects created belong to the datum objects (reference plane) they are created on. This makes it difficult to edit a copied in-place family. 

A solution is to create a Group from the in-place family for copying and then to ungroup them for unique editing. 
Two Modules With Opening
The in-place families can be grouped, copied, ungrouped and edited to add more modules. 
Four Modules With Opening
For more detail on how to group and upgroup families for editing, watch my video Model In-Place: Prefabricated non-planar building modules.

For information on training and consulting for the various products Ideate services, visit our website. Also check our blog for continued solutions as we encounter them.

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.

June 15, 2016

Ideate Announces Revit Architecture Fundamentals - Online

Hello, folks, 

Welcome back to the Ideate Blog. 

I want to share a big project I have been working on for the last few months with you: instructor-led online training. 

Those of you who know me, know my background is in Residential Design, including high-end custom residential buildings, single family residences, and multi-family units. I have trained many clients in the use of AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. I have also written technical books used in many colleges across the country. Needless to say, the last 25+ years have been very rewarding for me and I have been involved in some really fun projects.

A few years ago, I decided to head back to school and finish up my degree in Instructional Design, where I honed my skills in developing and putting together instructional materials. After a rigorous and dedicated training regimen, I graduated the day before I deployed to Afghanistan with the Oregon Army National Guard. Upon returning from military service, Ideate approached me about creating an online training course. I jumped at the opportunity to put my skills and experience to work developing and creating another great training opportunity for our clients.

Now, I am proud to announce Ideate will be providing a larger online educational presence beginning August 2016.

What is this "online training" I speak of? First off, we are taking what has been successful in our brick and mortar classrooms, and applying it to an online training environment. Our Revit instructors will teach using a “best-practices” methodology, as opposed to a feature-based methodology. Our new Revit training, which will be provided by instructors who have been in your shoes, will focus on the practical application of tools. You will learn the tools in a manner similar to how you might use them in your work, rather than us teaching you a tool out of context, and leaving it up to you to figure out how to implement it.

Many of our classes are instructor-led, and our online courses will be no different. However, given that online training is online, we have had to develop a bit more regimentation for the online environment to ensure you get the best quality training possible.

The online program:


We have developed a four step process, where each topic will be covered in 20-25 minutes. For our fundamentals course we will host six, half day classes. Each class will be four hours in length, with a break, in order to accommodate your busy work schedule, and limit all day training burnout. 


The process breakdown:


Topic Description/Lecture (
3-5 minutes): First, we will briefly explain the topic/function.

Topic Demonstration (
3-5 minutes): Next will be a demonstration from the instructor and a preview of the exercise.

Topic Exercise (
10-15 minutes): This section will be reserved for the student to work through an exercise on the topic described at the beginning.

Topic Assessment (1 minute): The final step of the process is a 1-2 question assessment of the topic, in an effort to re-enforce what was taught.

Looking forward:

As 
previously indicated, the first Ideate online education offering will be our Revit Fundamentals course, available in August 2016. Future online courses will be released over the following months to include topics such as Families, Revit for Interior Architects, Revit for Landscape Architects, AutoCAD, and Civil 3D.

I look forward to helping you continue your education, and am excited by this new education delivery system.

Take Care Until Next Time,

Ron

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

June 14, 2016

AutoCAD 2017: PDF Data Import by Choosing a File (Part 1)

AutoCAD 2017 is here and with it comes the ability to import geometry and text directly from a PDF. No longer will you have to draw over PDF lines to create the PDF line work in a drawing. Now, you can import a PDF directly into a drawing and the data will automatically be generated. There are, however, two methods: you can import an entire PDF by choosing the PDF from a file, or by choosing PDF data from a PDF Underlay. 

For this post, I will focus on importing data by choosing a PDF from a file, and discuss the various settings options. Please do watch out for my next post which will address importing PDF data from an Underlay.

To get started You can type PDFIMPORT to start the commandor you can find the "import PDF" command on the insert tab of the ribbon, as seen below.

Additionally, you can find the PDF import command under "Import" on the application menu, as seen below.
Press "Enter" to open the browser dialog box. Browse to the PDF you want to import and select it. Once you've selected the PDF, the following Import PDF dialogue box will pop up.
The Import dialog box options are straight forward for the most part, however, a few options warrant additional explanation.

Choosing the page to import

If you have a multi-page document, you can select an individual page from the full document to import. A preview area shows the pages. To select the page that you want to import, left click on the preview. The page highlighted is the one that will be imported. If you want to only view the page to be imported, you can select the single page preview button. 

Scaling, Inserting, Rotating

Scaling can be tricky as AutoCAD does not automatically scale the PDF geometry. In order to scale properly, you have to understand the size of the PDF and factor it into the import. There is a box in the Import PDF dialog box specifically for the scale. Additionally, you can choose to rotate the data upon importing.

If you do not choose the Specify Insertion Point on the screen options, the lower left corner of the PDF is inserted at (0,0) in the DWG. Since PDFs do not have world coordinate systems and scales as part of their information, you will need to insert the PDF by choosing the insertion point option, then move the data once the line work is imported. I recommend importing as a block to make moving and scaling easier. Once you have moved and scaled the block, you can explode it to access the individual geometry, text and images.

PDF Data to import

You must choose as least one of the three data import options in order to import: vector geometry, true type text, and/or raster images.

All lines, hatches, arcs, non-true type fonts and other geometric objects are considered vector geometry. Hatches are brought in as individual lines and not as an AutoCAD hatch pattern. The background shading is brought in as a solid hatch, when the solid fills option is selected. If the solid fills option is not selected, the shading within a hatch pattern will not be imported.

It’s worth noting that unless text is true type font, all text comes in as polylines and not text. This means you cannot edit the text using the AutoCAD text editor because it is considered geometry. Currently, there is no way to convert the polylines representing text to actual text.

"Raster images" refer to any images contained in the PDF. Images are imported and saved in a PDF image folder. You can find the PDF image folder in the options dialog box.

The PDF creation method determines how the data is imported. If the PDF was created from an AutoCAD file, the line work comes in as AutoCAD line work. However, if the PDF is an image or a free hand drawing, it comes in as an image and not as line work.

Layers


There are three factors that determine what layer objects will go in the drawing. Layer management is dependent on the layers that are in the PDF, which is dependent on how the PDF was created. If it was created from an AutoCAD file it has the layers from the drawing file. This is convenient because you can choose the Use PDF Layers option to create the same layers that were in the original AutoCAD drawing. This option will create the exact same layers, but add a PDF_ at the beginning of the layer name. A layer that was originally called chairs, will now be called "PDF_chairs."


If you choose to Create Object Layers during import AutoCAD will create new layers specific to PDF object types. The object types and their corresponding new AutoCAD layer names are in the table below.

Object Type
Objects included
New AutoCAD layer name
Geometry
Lines, arcs, polygons, polylines etc.
PDF_Geometry
Solid Fills
Fills created from hatch patters
PDF_Solid fills
Text
Text
PDF_Text
Raster
Raster
PDF_Images

Additionally, if you import multiple PDFs with this option selected, a number will be added to the layer to indicate which PDF the layer is from. For example, PDF1_Geometry, PDF2_Geometry, etc.

The last option for layer creation is Current Layer, which places all objects created on whatever layer is current.

Import options

When you import as a block, all objects (geometry, text and raster) are combined together as one object. When imported, the block will be on the current layer while the components within the block follow the layer management options you set in the layer section of the import box.

Join line and arc segments options join contiguous objects into a single polyline wherever possible.

Converting solid fills to hatches converts 2D solid objects to a hatch. Wipeout objects and wide polylines are included as fills. 2D solids that are inferred to be arrow heads will not be included. Solid fills are imported with a 50% transparency so that you can see objects below it.

Apply Lineweight properties will take the lineweights from the PDF.

Lastly, there is the infer linetypes from collinear dashes option. This will create dashed linetypes. Without checking that box, each dash will be imported as an individual line.

After you’ve hit "OK" and started the import process, it may take a few minutes to import the data, 
so be patient. A progress bar shows up at the bottom right of the screen to indicate how far along in the process the import is. 

In summary, the PDF Import command is an easy way to obtain geometry, true type text, and raster images from a PDF. Again, I definitely recommend importing a PDF as a block using the specify insertion point option and then rotating and moving the block to position where you need it. From there, you can explode the block to obtain access to the imported data. There are several layer management options for the imported data. There are also additional import options including joining arch and line segments, applying lineweights, inferring lines from collinear line segments and others.


To review this information in more depth, please watch my corresponding video AutoCAD 2017 PDF Data Import by Choosing a File (Part 1).

I encourage you to play around with this new exciting command and see what it can do for you.

For more information on AutoCAD, as well as training and consulting for the various products Ideate services, visit our website.


Kate Ming
AEC Application Specialist 
Kate is a California licensed civil engineer with 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, utility design and site development. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. As a Civil 3D Autodesk Certified Professional Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and InfraWorks.

June 13, 2016

e-Learning - Upcoming Revit and Ideate Software Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education.
6.15::Ideate 101:
Network License Manager
6.16::Ideate Software:
Revit Model Management with
Ideate BIMLink
6.22::Revit 201:
Getting Started with Daylighting Studies in Revit and 3ds Max
6.23::Revit 201:
Conceptual Massing Studies
6.24::Revit 201:
Working With Materials in Revit
6.28::Revit 201:
Coordinating Revit Architectural Mode for Consultants
6.29::Revit 201:
Scheduling 201
6.30::Ideate Software:
Ideate BIMLink for Revit MEP Projects
7.5::Revit 201:
Project Setup for Revit MEP
7.6::Revit 201:
Rapid Detailing
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

Get It. Know It. Use It.

Classroom Training - Open Revit, Navisworks and AutoCAD 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.
6.21-6.22:Seattle
Civil 3D for Surveyors
6.21-6.23::San Francisco
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
6.22-6.23::Seattle
Revit Architecture Beyond the Basics
7.6-7.7::San Francisco
Navisworks Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::San Jose
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
7.12-7.14::San Francisco
Revit Structure Fundamentals
7.18-7.20::San Francisco
Civil 3D Fundamentals
7.19-7.21::Sacramento
AutoCAD Fundamentals
7.19-7.21::Portland
Revit Architecture Fundamentals
Know your software. Sign up now! 

Contact the Ideate Training Department at 888.662.7238 x1012 or education@ideateinc.com

June 9, 2016

From Napkin Sketches to Revit

I have been in the business of designing buildings since the late ‘80s. And, over the years, I have seen the design and documentation practices change a lot. I started off sketching ideas on “trace” (aka, tracing paper or onion skin), copy paper, paper bags, lumber, wall board, and even the proverbial napkin. After the idea was sketched, I would turn the sketch over to a drafter to be turned into working or construction drawing (CDs). The drafter would then use any number of mediums: stone and chisel, chalkboard and chalk, paper and pencil, vellum and ink, CAD or BIM tools to create these CDs. But my process was always the same regardless of the medium, start with a sketch.
We are now in the digital age of design, and our design methods are certainly smarter than they have ever been before. We have instant access to information to make our design bigger and better, but there is still something to be said about getting ideas out of your head and put to paper.

Getting the idea from your head into Revit:

Beginning with a napkin and a conveniently available Ideate pen, I quickly sketched out an idea for a restaurant.
After I had my sketch, I took a picture with my smartphone (previously I would have handed the sketch to the drafter), and sent it to my computer via Bluetooth, (back in the day it might have been sent by facsimile machine). Note as long as your image is a .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .tif file, you can import it into Revit.

In Revit, I started a new drawing, then used the Image tool to insert the image into the Revit model.
Simply “click” to place the image into a floor plan view or an elevation view. Note that images cannot be placed in 3D views. If you need images in a 3D view investigate the Decal tool. Or maybe that will be the topic of a future post.

Once the image has been placed in the View, it will most likely not be scaled. This is where the Scale tool can be used. The object is to figure out what size something is in the sketch and scale it to the desired size it should be in Revit.

Select the Image to access the Modify|Raster Image tab. Under the Modify panel is the Scale tool.
Once the Scale tool has been accessed Revit prompts you to “Click to Enter Origin”. Because the image is a raster file, Revit cannot snap to a point on the sketch. Pick a point on the sketch from which Revit should scale the image up or down.
After selecting the origin point Revit prompts to “Click to Enter Drag Point”. As you move the cursor a listening dimension is displayed indicating the length from the origin to your cursor location. This is where you specify a referencing length within the sketch that will then be scaled to the desired length.

Move the cursor along the sketched wall to the corner of the building. Again, you cannot snap to the image pixels, so the point being measured is only as good as the sketch and where you decide to click the drag point.
After specifying the drag point, Revit prompts to “Click to Enter New Position of Drag Point”. Ignore this prompt, simply enter the desired real-world length. For example, in my sketch, the distance between the origin point and the drag point (considered the reference length), measured out at 14’-3”, in the sketch but is supposed to be 36’-0” in the model. Entering 36’-0” will scale the referenced length of 14’-3” to 36’-0” scaling the entire image to a “real-world” size.

After the image is scaled, use the image as a guideline for the design. This is where you can test how well scaled your sketching skills are. Keep in mind that you will not be able to “snap” to the sketched lines, and use the sketched image as a guideline.

With the napkin sketch scaled, use any Revit tools to trace over the image to develop your design and move it forward in the BIM world.
Check out the accompanying video to this blog post and prepare to take your drawings from napkin sketches to Revit.

For more information on training and consulting for the various products Ideate services, visit our 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

June 7, 2016

Congratulations to Our Long-Time Customer, Kava Massih Architects

We are proud to be associated with industry leaders, and our client Kava Massih Architects (KMA) is definitely a leader. KMA has received numerous awards, including The Pulse of the City News’ “Star Award;” Building Online’s “2014 Builder’s Choice Award for Affordable or Workforce Housing” for The Ambassador housing structure in Emeryville, California; and the AIA California Council’s title of “2014 Emerging Talent Firm.” And recently, KMA celebrated its 20-year anniversary!

“We are thrilled that KMA has reached this significant milestone,” said John Hlady, senior account manager, Ideate, Inc. “Ideate has been working with KMA since the early days, and we have seen how creativity, collaborative spirit, and commitment to sustainable processes have contributed to the firm's prominence in the community.”

In addition to receiving numerous awards, KMA has been featured in several articles, including “Bay Area Crane Watch: Bay Meadows and 4 other big projects changing the region's skyline” and “Kava Massih: An architect learning to let go, and when not to," San Francisco Business Times, 01-29-16 and 03-14-14 respectively. Additionally, several of KMA’s projects have been featured in photo tours in Healthcare Design Magazine.

J. Conner, KMA principal, said, “We turn to Ideate Inc. for advice with our Autodesk purchases. John Hlady knows the software inside and out, and he is deeply connected to the industry. He also stays current on our company vision, goals, and projects. With his depth of knowledge, he is able to help us make sound business decisions.”

Those sound decisions have earned the firm a reputation in the Bay Area as a driving force behind a wide range of innovative architectural designs with a solid capability of delivering on time and on budget.

Congratulations KMA! Here’s to many more decades of working together.