Saturday, June 30, 2012

RTC NA 2012 Wrap Up - With an Eye Towards Add-ons

This was my second year attending RTC North America. I departed Seattle on a cool Wednesday morning when it was perhaps 53°. Two days later I was absolutely melting at the RTC BBQ event as the thermometer topped 103° in sweltering Stone Mountain, GA. The image to the left shows the temperatures in Seattle and Stone Mountain at 4pm on the last day of the conference. (Purple's not a good color on a temperature map...)

There was a nice vendor turnout this year, with many of them marketing Revit add-ons either as their primary or supplemental businesses. I trawled the floor looking for ones that I was previously unaware of and was rewarded with a few…

PopIcon is interesting for being the first commercial add-in to take full advantage of the more integrated Revit interface access enabled in the 2013 API, documented so well, as always, by Jeremy Tammik on his The Building Coder blog.

BIMAssist caught my eye; I would’ve sworn that I had blogged about this reseller-developed suite of tools previously but couldn’t find a prior post…

CSG BIM Cloud is an interesting cloud-based collaboration solution because it is from a long-time Steelhead reseller and is designed to leverage the Steelhead WAN accelerator appliances.

There were also other cloud-based solutions that I was previously unaware of in the form of Revit[]Connect and Assemble.

Speaking of cloud-based collaboration solutions, RTC did something very forward thinking this year in setting up their two labs using private cloud servers, one provided by BIM 9 and the other by Advance 2000. It was an innovative way to introduce many of us to working on such a setup. I had multiple sessions in each room. BIM 9 performed almost flawlessly, with the exception of one blade server dropping Internet access during a session, affecting perhaps a quarter of the class – but overall the user experience with BIM 9 was indistinguishable from a routine desktop session.

Chameleon - Grasshopper & Revit Interoperability

Chameleon is a plugin for both Grasshopper and Revit with a focus on interoperability, simulation, and efficient practice workflows. Chameleon’s main advantage is its ability to facilitate easy transfer of geometric data between Grasshopper and Autodesk Revit, but also includes other valuable tools to make life easier, both in Grasshopper and Revit.

There's more information on this free add-in on Hiroshi Jacobs' website.

Further reading: Grasshopper-related add-ins. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

New Dynamo WIP Released

A new Dynamo for Vasari work in progress was released just last night. I got to play with it in a lab at RTC today and was impressed; it's not as mature as Grasshopper but it sure is maturing quickly!

There's more information on the Autodesk Labs blog.

PopIcon Software for Interface Customization

Your humble blogger is trawlling the vendor area at RTC for fresh add-ins, and has found a few. First up: PopIcon:

PopIcon™ Software Puts Families and Icons at Your Fingertips


PopIcon™ Software is an application programming interface for Autodesk Revit that makes it faster and easier to create building models and documentation because you can easily find, select and place your components directly into your model without having to search and load additional families from your Revit library.

Product Features and Benefits
  • Select elements to place from easy to understand icons on tabular ribbons—no hunting for families.
  • Software includes six popIcon tabs plus popIcon families designed specifically for Revit Structure technology.
  • Add your own custom tools to popIcon’s Custom Components panel for easy access to your own symbols and families.
  • PopIcon loads along with Revit software. No additional waiting. It is simple to use—just click and place components directly into your drawing.
  • Makes learning and using Revit software easier.
  • Makes detailing in Revit software as fast and easy as CAD.
  • Improves Q/A and drawing quality by giving users access to a common library with the same symbols and names.

Click image for a larger version

There's more information available on the PopIcon website.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Open Source IFC Exporters Released for Revit 2013

2013 UI - This contains the IFC alternate Exporter UI for Revit installer compatible with the Revit 2013 series of products. There is no Revit 2012 version of this UI. This replaces the default IFC Export UI in Revit, and adds new functionality such as saving export configurations, and new export options such as saving to ifcXML and ifcZIP file formats.

2013 - This contains the IFC Exporter for Revit installer compatible with the Revit 2013 series of products. For more information on the difference between 2012 and 2013, check out the [What's new in 2013] section of the Wiki accessible from this site.

 These free add-ins may be downloaded from the SourceForge website.

Credit: Luke Johnson's What Revit Wants blog.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIIP Export Schedules

Simple and useful. Export with one click all the schedules of your project in an Excel Workbook with a sheet for each schedule. Tired of having to export every time in .txt and then import back into Excel sheet by sheet ? This application is the solution.

This add-in may be downloaded from the Autodesk Exchange | Apps website.

Credit: Luke Johnson's What Revit Wants blog.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Off to RTC!

As a relative neophyte, I attended the inaugural Revit Technology Conference (North America edition) last year in Huntington Beach, CA. This year's event is being held in Stone Mountain, GA, and starts this Thursday, June 28th.

I'm excited to be presenting this year with my co-presenter Van Woods. We're slotted in Session 5 and are presenting a lecture titled "The US Army Corps of Engineers: Revit QA/QC from an Owner's Perspective". There are good times to be had for sure.  ;-)

I cannot express how impressed I was with RTC last year. Here's hoping that this year's conference will be just as excellent.

Maybe next year I'll present a "Best of the Revit Add-ons Blog" session...

I hope to see you in Georgia later this week!

dp stuff - Free Add-ins

Over on his dp stuff blog, Dima Chiriacov has posted these free Revit add-ins...

Place random stuff in Revit, such as a random pattern on a façade.

Access your most often used views.

Talk like a real Architect!

There's more information on these free add-ins on the dp stuff blog.

The add-ins may be downloaded here.

Thanks for letting me know about these Dima!

Friday, June 22, 2012

FABmep+ Add-in - Revit MEP to Fabrication

Extend Revit® Design Intent Models Fabrication Level

FABmep+ has been specifically designed to improve a problem that is faced from receiving Autodesk Revit design model from consulting engineers. This solution allows a user to convert design intent Revit® models into ‘real world’ fabrication level designs, constructed with manufacturer specific content.

Revit® will only allow users to design to conceptual levels of detail. FABmep+ allows these concepts to be imported in the MAP Software suite of products with little effort. Utilise the unparalleled parametric fitting libraries available and take those models to fabrication standard for accurate estimating, procurement and manufacture.


The FABmep+ Revit® plug-in enables users to select services within the conceptual model that are to be mapped to equivalent services in FABmep+.

Once imported, FABmep+ provides a unique interface for mapping the system services, plant and equipment items.

There's more information on the MAP Software website.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Autodesk BIM 360

Autodesk has rounded out and re-branded their cloud-based offerings as BIM 360. The offerings now include the web-based BIM management application Glue, recently acquired from Horizontal Systems, and the construction field management software recently acquired from Vela Systems.

The Autodesk BIM 360 brand includes the  following categories and products...

Collaboration and Access

Clash Detection, Coordination, and Collaboration—NEW
Autodesk® BIM 360™ Glue is a data-centric, cloud-based management solution for building and infrastructure projects that provides easier access to project models and data to support collaborative, multidisciplinary workflows across authoring tools and project control applications. It enhances cross-team coordination globally as updates are immediately available in project models.
Price: Please inquire

Conceptual Design and Feasibility Evaluation—NEW
Autodesk® 360 Infrastructure Modeler enables users to publish, store, and manage large models in the cloud. Users can invite other authorized team members to access, download, and edit shared models simultaneously, and review multiple project proposals using the same data more securely without sending files via email or external hard drives
Price: Included with Autodesk subscription

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Artlantis for Revit Users

Create your model in Revit, export and edit it in Artlantis. Return to Revit, make changes to the geometry, export a new Artlantis file and recover your previous work done in Artlantis.

The Artlantis export plug-in offers a direct transfer from Revit into Artlantis, without the need for intermediate file formats. During the export, special entities are automatically exploded. Artlantis’ .atl file format is cross platform; it can be read on both Macintosh and Windows.

Let’s see in detail what Artlantis can recover from your Revit model:
  • The geometry
  • All cameras for parallel views
  • All cameras for perspective views
  • The shading color and transparency of materials with their names
  • The geographical position of the Sun active for the parallel view that is used for the export.

There's more information available on the Artlantis website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lumion - Quick and Easy Architecture Visualization

The Revit® visualization revolution

The fastest way to visualize and render videos
  • Easy workflow from from Revit® to Lumion®
  • Render videos in hours, not weeks
  • 2300+ high-quality models and materials
  • Be faster and increase your business

Is it not unbelievable you can make movies you like in 10 minutes?

Lumion gives you control. It sounds simple but it works wonders.

How it works
  1. We make it easy to export your Revit designs to Lumion.
  2. In minutes you will be adding people, cars, trees and materials. Even if you never used Lumion before.
  3. Lumion Quickly saves an MP4 movie file or pictures in various formats.

There's more information available on the Lumion website.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Twinmotion - Real Time Rendering

The Twinmotion plug-in for Autodesk® Revit® 2013 is available.

Our plug-in renews again this year the winning alliance between the most complete architecture software, Autodesk® Revit®, and the most innovative visualization software on the market, Twinmotion. With the Twinmotion Plug-in for Revit, you can now export your project just in a few clicks, completely optimized and automated for real-time use.

From the most demanding architects, to large agencies, like the fiercest independent will appreciate the precision and beauty of the visual rendering of Twinmotion, especially when associated with the computing power of the BIM software : Autodesk® Revit®.

Discover the plug-in, which has been specially designed to improve productivity and enable you to achieve better results faster, through some exemplary achievements of the alliance on our Success Stories page.

Like these confreres, try it yourself: the procedure is simple.

With the Twinmotion plug-in for Autodesk® Revit® 2013, you export your project in a few clicks. It is already optimized for immediate use in real-time.

There's more information available on the Twinmotion website.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Update on Stadia Cloud-based Interactive Rendering

Robert Pogue of Earlybird Technology sent me an email this morning highlighting improvements in Stadia, a product that I posted about previously here. I must say that Stadia's looking great.

From Robert:

"You'll be excited to learn that Stadia has dramatically improved in the last few months. Here are the big changes:
  • High Dynamic Range rendering brings out detail in bright and dark areas
  • Dramatically improved lighting simulation
  • Incredible Antialiasing makes edges appear smooth and natural
  • Automatic exposure adjustment lets the virtual camera adjusts to ambient lighting
  • Larger models and huge elements (millions of triangles) process without issue
  • Realistic color tones with automatic contrast post-processing
  • Smoother viewing, walking, and flying
  • Collisions turned off in flying mode
  • Increased resolution to 1680 x 1050
  • All these improvements are available to every user without any action. With the cloud, we push the updates to our service, and everyone benefits. No updates (the old add-in works like a charm), no upgrade fees, no compatibility issues - it just works.

"Here's what the changes look like:

Click image for a larger version

"Many of these improvements are benefits of deciding to build Stadia 'From the Cloud Down'. For example, the kind of lighting simulation we are doing now would be totally impractical on a desktop machine.

"I think we're getting closer and closer to the goal of making interactive renderings as easy to generate and share as images are today."

Real time visualization for Revit has become a crowded market as evidenced by other posts on this blog (including some forthcoming ones). While I tend to shy away from comparative comments here,  The Revit Kid had this to say about Stadia in his post titled Real Time Visualization Software and Revit...

"Stadia3D is by far the easiest connection with Revit.  What ever you see when you render in Revit is practically what you see in Stadia. It requires a tiny add-in to be installed and the rest is done in the cloud."

There's more information available on the Stadia website.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Smart Browser - A Free Revit Family Browser

Briefly mentioned previously in my blog post on tools4revit, Smart Browser® is a free Autodesk® Revit® add-on for speedy Revit family searches in external libraries.

Smart Browser usages

Locate Revit families on your computer/server/clouds; itemize and evaluate Revit families what are internal to your current project; review Revit family in 2D and 3D views before inserting into the project; drag and drop elements into Revit projects; share, sell or buy Revit families.

There's a nicely descriptive tutorial on Smart Browser by Benjamin Malone on the BIMopedia website.

This free add-in may be downloaded from the Smart Browser website.

Related posts: family browsers.

Credit: Luke Johnson's What Revit Wants blog.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Revit ApplicationStore

The Revit ApplicationStore is an extension to Autodesk Revit that helps you download, install and execute Apps from developers from all over the world. Using Revit ApplicationStore is 100% FREE! Some Apps might cost a small amount of money.

List all Walls     Price: FREE

This app lists all wall types and the total inner wall area for each type.

Request an App!     Price: FREE

Use this App to request new Apps. If we like the idea, you will get it for FREE!

Auto Number     Price: FREE

Allows the user update the mark parameter of parking components, with a prefix, postfix and a specific interval.

OCOS - One Click One Structure

OCOS, One Click One Structure is an add-in for Autodesk Revit Structure. It is designed to create BIM (Building Information Modeling) models from a description in one click. To cast structures from the description into a mass instance as a mold is also in one click.

For building appearance, strip, ring, fan or pyramid, even their combination can be formed by one line of parameters.

During modeling, loads and boundary conditions can be appended to models, and the models can be used directly by finite element analysis software, such as Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis, without any more preprocessing. This is very important for construction plan and structural optimization. It creates building models quick and efficient, and seems to extract structural information from a visual 3D world and describes them on a paper for review. In other words, the design core of structures can be cast into any appearances of architecture, design once, apply to anywhere. Convergence, divergence, curling up, twist, and their combination make conceptual mass family easy and reliable.

This add-in can work in any language version of Autodesk Revit. Just modify some parameter definitions in your local language for description need.

There's more information available on the Autodesk Exchange | Apps website.

BIMobject Online Content Portal Add-in

The world’s first fully integrated BIM object solution inside a BIM software. With the Revit app the whole BIMobject™ on-line portal is integrated inside Revit, allowing BIM users to find, search, filter and browse dynamically for BIM object content on the portal.

Users can view and use the full extent of the portal’s features (including fully rendered 3D previews) inside Revit, creating an easy and flexible way to find content for their actual BIM project.

The BIMobject™ app for Revit is easy to install and will create a new ribbon, where you can reach all of the real BIM objects from real manufacturers in a easy and convenient way. Revit family download is seamless and fast into the actual Revit project.

This free add-in may be downloaded from the Autodesk Exchange | Apps website.

Rex Heat Load

Calculations of the heat load can now be conducted in accordance with the recommendations of the EN 12831 that is commonly used in Europe.
 Application takes data directly from the building model in Revit MEP and automatically determines the zone, room, spaces, and ventilation streams.

The main advantages of Heat Load:
  • Retrieval of model geometry from Autodesk Revit MEP 
  • Collection vent stream from the Autodesk Revit MEP model 
  • Calculation in accordance with EN 12831 code 
  • Calculation of unheated room temperature 
  • Possibility to modify the data retrieved from the Autodesk Revit MEP model 
  • Interactive graphical viewer of the building 
  • Expanded report with complete data report 
  • Instant brief reporting for a quick check of the correctness of results 
  • Storing results of calculation in Autodesk Revit MEP objects

This free add-in may be downloaded from the Autodesk Exchange | Apps website.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SAuBIM – Code Calcs

SAuBIM – Code Calcs v1.0 for Autodesk® Revit® Architecture is a compact, easy to use, and time saving program.  It takes advantage of the information in your BIM model and saves you hours of time.

What does it do?

SAuBIM – Code Calcs v1.0 streamlines two very tedious processes when completing a building model: building code calculations and floor plans. 

Code Compliance Floor Plan Tags

There is a major link that has not existed, and still does not exist, in Autodesk® Revit® Architecture.  This link is the ability to display calculated data from a schedule into a Tag or Symbol on your floor plans.  Well, SAuBIM takes care of this for you when it comes to Occupancy Tags on Code Compliance floor plans.

SAuBIM will create the required schedules to automatically calculate the following items:
  • Occupancy Loads (Per Room)
  • Required Male Water Closets
  • Required Female Water Closets
  • Required Lavatories
  • Required Drinking Fountains

Once the schedules are loaded into your Revit® template or model all the work is done for you.  Simply build your model, make sure your rooms are set to the correct Use Groups (Use Groups and integers are editable), create your Code Compliance plans with the proper room tags, and SAuBIM will take care of the rest.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Relationship Viewer Add-in for Project Vasari

Relationship Viewer is a Work in Progress add-in for Project Vasari.  This add-in takes the user’s current selection and displays a diagram showing its relationship to the other elements in the document. You can use this add-in to visualize and better understand the relationships between objects in Project Vasari.

The Relationship Viewer add-in joins the previously available add-ins for Project Vasari: Parametric Sliders, Parameters from Image, Dynamo for Vasari, and the Vasari Software Development Kit (SDK).

Wall Chamfer and Fillet for Revit (ADN Plug-in of the Month for June 2012)

This plug-in can be used to create a chamfer or a fillet between two walls. The command allows you to select two walls and to specify distances along each wall from the intersection of two walls to create a chamfer and a radius for the fillet. The command then calculates the intersection, inserts the third wall representing a chamfer or a fillet, and adjusts the end points of the given walls.

This free add-in may be downloaded from the ADN Plug-ins Catalog website.

Delete Sheets, Views, and Revit Links (Free Case App for June 2012) (Updated)

It is a common task to remove as much from a model as possible prior to sharing it with your consultants for the purpose of linking into their model or sometimes you want to lighten up a model that was sent to you for the same purpose. Delete Sheets, Views. and Revit Links does just what it says. You can select which of the three options you chose [sic] using the provided check-boxes.

This tool should only be used on models detached from central as it can be quite destructive.

This free add-in may be downloaded from the Case Apps website.

Update 5/8/2016: CASE and the CASE Apps website are no more but, courtesy of WeWork, the CASE Apps are now open source. They may be accessed on GitHub.