Thursday, August 15, 2013

Been a while since I have been able to post something that all the other Revit Blogs have not already posted.

Yes, lots of blogs about the Revit Technology Conference 2013 held in Vancouver, BC, and yes, I was there.  The trip was great.  I drove from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to make the trip since I have a passport card instead of a passport. Drove pretty much the whole way with my Jeep top off until I hit Snoqualmie Pass where the tops went back on. (No wonder this pass is always closed in the Winter, its cold in the Summer too!).  I did get a bit lost getting to RTC, since I didn't have a data plan there so my smartphone was useless.  Luckily the GPS was working and I could see where I was at via a crude faded out map.  So I did get to where I wanted to go and was even able to make it to the Speakers Party. No, not a speaker, I just know a lot of Revit folk and at least my Twitter worked with the hotel wifi.

The Conference.  Got to meet a bunch of folk who I haven't gotten to meet at previous RTC's or AU's.  Marcello keeps blowing me away with his approach to Revit. OMG!  I have a whole day of just LABS! Take that AU!  Keeping this part short as everyone has read about it already.  By the way, finally met Dave Baldacchino (Do U Revit Blog) and Jeff Pinheiro (aka TheRevitKid)) along with the Pragmatic Reviteer himself Gordon Price (a fellow RFO member).

Cutting to the end....learned lots at RTC NA 2013.  Drove back the Sunday after the conference to CdA to talk about all the cool stuff I learned the following Monday,.

Get called into the Principal's office at 9am.....I am being let go because of "lack of work"!.  OMG!!!!....WTF!!!!  Along with a lot of other not safe for the web words.  They send me to RTC, everything paid for, only to let me go when I get back.  Starting to really question who is running things at this time!!  I got two weeks notice, can search for jobs on their time.  Send a guy to training then let them go....did anyone look at the cost beforehand?

Well, I did find a job, and its with a company that my previous company thought I was lacking the knowledge of how construction works.  Yep, its with a residential construction company.  Here is the kicker, they don't use Revit.  They use Chief Architect.  The folks behind the 3D Home software you can find at Staples and Office Depot have a design program too.

It will be one week tomorrow since I started this new job.  So far what I can say Chief Architect is ALOT like ArchiCAD (Where I have almost 3x the experience with vs Revit).   But there is a lot that Chief Architect can do that neither ArchiCAD or Revit can do that actually makes me admire the program.

So......Not Another Revit Blog is transforming to a comparison blog.  I love Revit, but I work for people that use ArchiCAD and Chief Architect. Stay tuned for some comparisons between these three design programs.  
BTW, I say "Design" as Chief Architect is NOT a BIM program.  It is a Design and Construction Document  program only.  A lot like ArchiCAD.  But, I am still learning, so who knows?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

AU2012 - Top DAUG

So at the Revit Technology Conference - US 2011 they introduced a new contest called Top Cat. Similar to the Top DAUG contest at Autodesk University which is AutoCAD based, this one is Revit based.  The folks at AUGI were there and brought that same contest to Autodesk University 2011.  Top DAUG was a hit because besides AutoCAD, people could compete in AutoCAD, Civil3D, 3dMax, Inventor and all the flavors of Revit. After many attempts at getting fellow Revit users to take the test, Aaron Maller took my dare between his classes and wound up winning the first Revit Architecture Top DAUG....

Fast Forward to AU 2012....I was there once again guiding folks in their attempt to take Top DAUG.  This year the folks at Knowledgesmart  added Navisworks to the list as well as all the other tests in 2011.  I was there for every test, making sure everyone knew what they needed to know to take the test (yes, rather redundant at times as some were explained the same thing while waiting in line).  Every person that took the test asked if I had taken it...the answer was no...we had been slammed with folk from the very beginning and  I never had the opportunity to take it myself.  Wednesday night, about 20 minutes before the Exhibit Hall closed I decided to take it.  Yeah, I got a 98 with 9min 30 seconds (Stupid massing questions that I never use).  But I had seen other 98's as well, so I wasn't too concerned....until I found out that I may have the best time!!!

With only 5 minutes left until the Exhibit Hall closed, my time would be not be contested.  The next day the winners of each track were announced.  Each winner got a $100 gift card to Amazon.  The overall winner got a free pass to AU2013 and a HP Laptop.  

Here are the pics of the winners....

BTW, the Civil 3D winner/Top DAUG overall winner did an awesome job finishing the test in 7 minutes 30 seconds.  If I only didn't spend over 3 minutes on one of my questions. (Spent the time thinking it couldn't be right.....125 doors and 200+ instances of glazing?.....sigh (turned out I was right).

So kudos to those that won the other tracts....

Here is the full list:

The winners are:

3ds Max - 

James Clarke
AutoCAD 2D - 

Glenn Sinclair
AutoCAD Civil 3D - 

Fred Wismer
Inventor - 

Tracy Chadwick

 - James Austin
Revit Architecture - 

Michael Patrick
Revit MEP

 - Maxime Sanschagrin
Revit Structure

 - Eric Bernier
Overall Top DAUG Winner for AU 2012

  - Fred Wismer

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tip: Extracting PAT files from a Revit Model

I posted this over at RevitForum, thought I would share it here.

There is a little trick I discovered on how to get pat files from Revit (in case you were not the originator of the pattern file)...

Select multiple views for DWG export that has the pattern you want to get... Don't just select one! The pat files will disappear too fast!
Open one explore window with where your exporting the another one to save the PAT files....
What will happen is you will see the DWG being saved, then PAT files, and when the PCP file is saved the PAT files disappear. I copy and paste all the PAT files into my other open window.

Now, open the CAD file you just exported and find the fill your wanting to acquire. The pattern name is FP_(x) will find that same pattern name in the PAT files you copied over...

Voila! You have the pattern that you don't have to spend forever trying to recreate...

EDIT: The reason for the multiple files....when you try to copy and paste Windows will lose the info on what is getting copied...but the next view is the same pat files, so you have time to paste.

Nobody is perfect

As many people know I am into gaming big time. Currently all my extra time is spent in front of my computer playing Battlefield 3. I watched a video of a few weeks ago of a guy jumping out of a jet, using a rocket launcher to kill the jet chasing him, then getting back into his jet. Way cool! First thing I thought of is how can someone be so good to do stuff like that? Hacking or what?
Here's the vid:
Pretty amazing right? That's how I feel when creating new families in Revit after attending AU and RTC. OMG! How did they do that!
Well, luckily the same guy that created the video of the RPG shot also posted an extended version. It took practice, lots and lots of practice.
The same can apply to Revit, your never going to get it done right the first time.

Currently I am working on changing out our doors to shared panels and frames, something I picked up from Aaron Maller and Shawn Zirbes. Aaron shared his door families over at and I have been using them as a sort of guide to apply to my own. I liked how he setup his shared parameters so I borrowed his naming to my own, with a few tweaks here and there.
Here is a tease of what I am working on currently.
Stay tuned for more about this. I have the panels finished and am currently working on the frames. What I really wish I did was start with the frame that had the most constraints, as each shared frame must have the same parameters as a frame with less constraints, else your door frame will error when it can't populate all the parameters correctly. So I find myself adding parameters again to all the previous frames that I thought were finished.

Getting Started - First Post

I have been wanting to start my own blog like everyone else I know in the Revit World. Problem is what can I blog about that hasn't been done already?! I don't want to be like some other bloggers that seem to copy someone else's blog word for word and even use the same pictures just for the sake of populating their own blog. This drives me crazy when reading the Blog Feeds over at and find multiple feeds about the same thing.

I wanted to be a bit different, but still have something constructive to talk about. Lately work has been a bit slow and I have been trying to update our company Revit Library and try out the new methods I have seen at RTC and AU. Folks like Aaron Maller, Jason Grant, Marcello Sgambelluri, they make things look so easy until you try to build them yourself. It's like, they figured it out, why can't I? Then it hit me "Hey! I have something to share!"

So this blog content is going to be about the trials of attempting new ways of using Revit and sharing it with everyone that might be reading. Besides families, our office is also attempting the idea of the multi-discipline model, both Architectural and Structural in the same model. There's something else I hope to post about.