Revit MEP

Revit MEP

Friday, May 16, 2008

NavisWorks Collision Detection vs. Clash Detective

Don't be confused or tricked when looking for the correct NavisWorks program that can find interferences between two or more solid objects. NavisWorks comes in 4 flavors; Freedom Viewer, Review, Simulate and Manage. Only Manage comes with Clash Detective, while Review and Simulate and Manage comes with Collision Detection. Don't get the two mixed up, because they do two very different things. It is very deceiving. What is the difference?

Collision Detection
This function defines you as a collision volume in a walkthrough environment that can navigate around and interact with the model, obeying certain physical rules and gravity that confine you within the model itself. In other words, you have a mass and as such, cannot pass through other objects, points or lines in the scene.

You can walk over, or climb over objects in the scene that are up to half the height of the collision volume, thus allowing you to walk up stairs or through a door, but not allowing you to walk through a wall, for example.

Clash Detective
The Clash Detective tool enables effective identification, inspection, and reporting of interference clash in a 3D project model between various 3D solid objects.

Using Clash Detective can help you to reduce the risk of human error during model inspections.
Clash Detective can be used as a one-off 'sanity check' for a completed design work, or it can be used as an ongoing audit check of the project.

You can use Clash Detective to conduct clash tests between traditional 3D geometry (triangles), and laser geometry.

You can combine the Clash Detective functionality with other NavisWorks tools:

  • Linking Clash Detective and Object Animation together gives you the ability to automatically check interferences between moving objects. For example, linking a Clash Detective test to an existing animation scene would automatically highlight clashes for both static and moving objects during the animation, e.g. a crane rotating through the top of a building, a delivery lorry colliding with a workgroup, etc.
  • Linking Clash Detective and TimeLiner together enables the time-based clash checks on the project.
  • Linking Clash Detective, TimeLiner, and Object Animation, together enables clash testing of fully animated TimeLiner schedules.

So if you, or somebody is looking for "Collision Detection" in a software program, make sure you know what that means.

Free VE-Ware Sustainable Design Software Available in June for Revit

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) launched VE-Ware sustainable design software that provides limited access to the company's Virtual Environment Apache thermal analysis software for free.

VE-Ware reportedly gives instant feedback on a building's energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions based on real geometry and using international data on climatic conditions and the typical characteristics of different building, room, and system types. Because it facilitates iterative design, allowing the comparison of different design, layout, and system options, VE-Ware is appropriate for use at early stages of design.

In the United States, as a direct response to the Architecture 2030 Challenge, VE-Ware will assess how the building is performing against this benchmark, for example, whether it meets the current Architecture 2030 50% energy reduction targets.

The data entry and outputs are managed for the user so that anyone can use VE-Ware to help reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of a building, the company states. For example, an architect, facilities manager, or building owner can undertake detailed energy and carbon assessments that can make a real difference to the green credentials of the building.

Currently only models exported directly from Autodesk Revit can be accepted by VE-Ware. However, over the coming months the company plans to expand the software's capabilities to include other options for inputting the geometry data. The goal is to make VE-Ware available globally to anyone who wishes to use it, regardless of vendor or system.

The free VE-Ware will be released in June 2008. However, interested parties can register now at the IES Web site.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reed Construction Data Launches SmartBIM for Revit

Reed Construction announced the launch of SmartBIM solutions for the architecture, engineering and construction communities. This first phase of SmartBIM will include SmartBIM Library(TM), SmartBIM Objects(TM) and RSMeans(TM) Quick Cost Estimator.

With the launch of SmartBIM, Reed Construction Data seeks to further enhance the Autodesk(TM) Revit(TM) user experience through its comprehensive object-organization solution (SmartBIM Library) while providing high-quality, parametric BIM objects (SmartBIM Objects) and enhanced ability to value a project (RSMeans Quick Cost Estimator).

Reed Construction Data's SmartBIM Library is a companion product to Autodesk Revit that enhances content management by allowing design firms to organize, manage and locate BIM content more easily and intuitively. It also allows users to generate libraries from data and objects that they currently use, and drag and drop objects directly into Revit models. In addition, SmartBIM objects will be able to link directly to RSMeans data for costing and other analyses.
Reed Construction Data is also offering SmartBIM Objects for Building Product Manufacturers (BPMs). SmartBIM Objects are high-quality objects designed to simulate the actual product and embed critical product data and specifications in the Revit model.

SmartBIM Library

SmartBIM Library targets firm-specific Autodesk™ Revit™ Component and System Family management. The product addresses Revit content management problems encountered by design firms.

Currently, the file system is the predominant tool for organizing and finding Revit families. SmartBIM Library (SBL) is a companion product for the Revit user, and can assist the user with organizing, managing and locating BIM content. It will also allow you to generate libraries from your Revit families.


SmartBIM Library ships with a default Library that contains Reed Construction Data developed content and it allows you to create and view libraries. You can flexibly create a master office library, a library for each project, a library for each building type, etc. After selecting a library, you can find Revit Families hierarchically by category and type, through 3D visualization of thumbnails and DWF views, and by searching and inspecting property sets. Upon selection, you can drag-and-drop a Family into a Revit project or save it to a directory folder, see Figure 1.
In addition, you can view Guidelines that describe best practices for modeling on the Revit platform. The guidelines include basic modeling advice for each Revit Type (Door, Window, etc.), recommend family and type name conventions, and offer tips and tricks of modeling for 'count ability' as well as design representation.

Customizable User Interface

SmartBIM Library features a customizable user interface based on Rich Client Platform and plug-in architecture technology that allows you to flexibly display, arrange, and size each application pane, see Figure 2.


SmartBIM Library ships with a library of Revit families developed by Reed Construction Data. These parametric family models are designed for quality, re-use across projects, and utility for design representation and ‘count ability’ for quantity take-off. The "Reed” icon shows in the library thumbnail for each Revit family developed by Reed Construction Data. You will have the option to receive regular updates and additions of generic and manufacturer specific content developed by Reed Construction Data. Additionally, Reed Construction Data can deliver content on-demand by special agreement.

Family Content Publisher

Family Content Publisher© is a companion product to SmartBIM Library. It is a Revit Architecture 2008™ add-on that automates the extraction and creation of SmartBIM Objects (thumbnail images, 3D DWF models, property sets) from Revit Families for presentation in SmartBIM Library.

Considered together, SmartBIM Library and Family Content Publisher programmatically generate libraries from Revit family files that exist in the file system. When you create Revit families or obtain them from other sources, you can easily add them to an existing library or a new library by using these tools.


SmartBIM Library currently installs on the desktop or to a Local Area Network.

STL Exporter for Revit Platform 2009

Create 3D Prints of your Revit 2009 models. As architects and engineers start their digital designs earlier and keep them digital for longer, they want a way to still physically interact with their designs. With the economical availability of 3D printers this has become possible. 3D printed models increasingly serve as a critical part of the design process to study design options and improve communication between project members and owners. The STL Exporter for the Revit 2009 family of products is a proof of concept project that we are working on. It is designed to take a 3D Revit building information model and create an STL file that can be used for 3D Printing. We invite you to take it for a spin and see what you think. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

To Get Started

  1. Download the ZIP package that cantinas the installer, installation and user instructions, and a feedback form from Autodesk Labs.
  2. Unzip the downloaded ZIP file.
  3. Follow the Read Me file to install the STL Exporter.
  4. The next time you open Revit 2009 you will see a new option called Export STL under the Tools::External Tools menu.

To Use It

  1. Load a model and select a 3D view that you want to use as the bases for your print.
  2. Using the instructions in the Read Me file set up your 3D view in the one of the Revit 2009 family of products.
  3. Export the model using the command under the Tools::External Tools menu.
  4. Make any required changes to the STL file using an STL viewer.
  5. Print the STL file using a 3D Printer.
  6. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Duct Size Parameter - Inches - Revit MEP by Steve Stafford

Steve Stafford blogged about changing the connector parameters from feet to inches. It's a great article that also includes a video.

Thank you Steve for the Info.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Displaying room color fills in section views In Revit MEP 2009

To display the color fills and room objects in section views, you need to enable volume calculations. Follow these steps:

  1. On the Settings menu, click Area and Volume Computations.
  2. In the Area and Volume Computations dialog box, under Volume Computations, select the Areas and Volumes option.

Color fills and room objects will now be displayed in section views.

64-bit Revit 2009 products - Ummm, No.

64-bit versions of Revit 2009 products are not currently available.

Revit 2009 products can be installed on a 64-bit operating system in order to take advantage the memory allocation feature.

If you create a Revit Deployment image, you might be confused by the check box of either 64 bit or 32 bit deployment. I'm not sure what this check box does, but it does not install a 64-bit Revit Program. Maybe its for future when it is available in 64-bit.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Inclusion of McGraw-Hills Sweets Content Now in Autodesk Seek

As many of you have probably read from everybody elses blogs, Autodesk has released their Seek website that allows architects, engineers and designers to search, select and specify building products using Autodesk’s advanced search technology.
Well now with a new partnership, Autodesk connects AutoCAD, AutoCAD MEP and Revit-based users with the McGraw-Hill Construction Network through the Autodesk Seek web service.

McGraw-Hill Companies and Autodesk, Inc. today announced a new partnership that will extend the rich building product content of MHC's Sweets Network to millions of Autodesk designers using the groundbreaking new Autodesk(R) Seek web service. By connecting building product manufacturers to architects and engineers inside their design applications, MHC continues its commitment to integrate best-in-class content into industry-leading workflow applications easily accessible to design and construction professionals.

Together, MHC, the leading provider of design and construction information and intelligence in North America, and Autodesk, one of the world leaders in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, construction, and media and entertainment markets, will enable designers to search, select, and specify building products directly from their Autodesk applications. Adding Sweets content to the designer's workflow reduces the time spent searching for and creating building product information during the design project.

"By combining the speed and efficiency of Autodesk Seek with the breadth and quality of building product information in the Sweets Network, we have a powerful new solution for the millions of designers and building product manufacturers we serve together," said Jeff Wright, director of Autodesk Content Solutions.

Inclusion of Sweets content in Autodesk Seek will enable building product manufacturers to:
  • Reach millions of highly qualified AutoCAD(R) and Revit(R) software application designers who specify product information directly into designs from their desktops
  • Integrate rich information beyond simple product pages including catalogs, CAD details, 3D Revit models, and 3-part specifications
  • Increase awareness of designers' activities and identify sources of product inquiries, thus enabling continued relationship building Demonstrations of Sweets content in Autodesk Seek, will be available at the McGraw-Hill Construction booth #15011 at the AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition at the Boston Convention Center on May 15-17.