Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ideate BIMLink 2013–Preview

BIMLink by Ideate is a tool I would recommend every company that is serious about BIM has in their suite of software packages.

Ideate BIMLink lets you pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into user-friendly Microsoft Excel and push Excel data into Revit with equal ease. This indispensable tool gives you unprecedented access to Revit data – the I – in Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Below is a sneak peak at the 2013 release.

Ideate BIMLink 2013 Preview

Revit 2013 Wiki Help



Revit 2013 wiki help is now live

Currently the Wiki only shows ‘Whats New in Revit 2013’

  • General Enhancements
  • Features of Revit in the Autodesk Building Design Suite
  • Architectural Enhancements
  • MEP Enhancements
  • Structural Enhancements
  • Administration Enhancements

Click here for more information.

Revit 2013 – New Features (All Platforms)

View Template Changes

Whilst Revit 2013 still supports doing a one-time application of the template properties to the view through the ribbon or through the right-click menu, a feature has been added to allow users to assign a view template to a view through the view properties.

View Templates
When you assign a view template to a view, the view will now update automatically when you change the view template. If a view property is controlled by a view template, the view will be locked to that template and the property will be disabled. You can control which properties are applied in the view template.
You can still choose to do a “one time” application of a template’s properties to a view (either through the ribbon or through right-click in the project browser).

The “View template” property schedules and is also available to Project Browser organizations.

You can now duplicate types for most view types (such as floor plans). You can choose to associate a view template with a view type. If there is a template associated with the type, you can choose to make new views of this type dependent on the template. View types and templates can be managed by creating a view list.

View Templates_2

Construction Modelling – Merging Parts

Merge Parts will conjoin two or more parts (with overlapping geometry and identical materials) into a single part. For example, you’ve divided these pre-cast concrete panels and would like to merge the corner into a single part:

PC 1








1. Select each of the parts.
2. Click the Merge Parts button (which is now active in the contextual ribbon).
3. The two parts are then combined into a single part.


A Part can be added or removed from a Merged Part:

1. Select the Merged Part.
2. Click the Edit Merged button in the ribbon.
3. To add a Part, click the Add button. To remove a Part, click the Remove button.
4. Click on the Part you wish to add or remove. Click Finish.


Exclude Parts

Exclude Parts will remove (not simply affect the visiblity of) Parts from the project. In this example, you want to remove the upper panel of the wall on the left:


1. Select the panel.
2. Click the Exclude Parts button (which is now active in the contextual ribbon).
3. The Part is now not visible and will not participate in Parts Schedules or Lists.


It is worth noting that excluded parts can be restored later.

Dividing Parts with a custom profile.

When dividing Parts you can now specify a profile family that will change the geometric condition at the division. This is a new type of profile family that is composed on a single curve chain that works in conjunction with the Divider Gap parameter to create geometrically complex join conditions. A single profile is applied to the entire division. To create different profiles for vertical and horizontal conditions, you will need to create separate divisions.

Divide with Profile

IFC Export

Coordination View 2.0 (CV2) improvements

IFC export has added a number of improvements for Coordination View 2.0. These include:

• Coordination View 2.0 added as an export type

• Use separate IfcGeometricRepresentationSubContexts for 'Axis', 'Body', 'FootPrint', 'Profile'

• Material definitions moved to element level, and MaterialLayerSetUsage restricted to WallStandardCase.

• IfcColumnType properly formatted.

• 2D information, space boundary information and Internal Revit property sets not exported by default when exporting to CV2

2D Plan view export no longer offset from 3D Geometry

Families that export a 2D representation in addition to the 3D representation will have the 2D origin offset correctly synched to the 3D origin offset.

Always export True North to IFC

True North will always be exported to the IFC file, even if True North is the same as Project North. In Revit 2012 and before, True North was only exported if it differed from Project North.

Beams never extruded upwards

For certain beam shapes, Revit would extrude the beam vertically. This has been fixed to disallow this case

Beam Length fixed for certain beams on export

Straight beams with square profiles whose axis lined up with the Y direction had their length and width parameters reversed. This has been fixed.

Better Geometry splitting for elements allows for fewer surface models

Previously, openings and other elements that had multiple pieces would export as one surface model. In many cases, they now correctly export as multiple extrusions

Coarse tessellation for some element types

Floors, Railings, and Room geometry exported as solids or surfaces (not extrusions) will have a coarser geometry than default. This creates smaller and more useable files, and increases export speed.

"Current View Only" export now works in any model view

IFC export no longer temporarily switches to or creates a 3D view on export. As a result, the "Current View Only" option will work on any model view, not just a 3D view. Also, the phase of the selected view determines which phase is used on export.

Doors with nested openings export opening

Previously, a door with multiple openings would only have the opening exported if the openings could be stitched together into one solid. Now, we also support cases where there are nested openings in the family file. In this case, only the outermost opening is exported in the IFC file.

Export Assemblies

Assemblies will now export as IfcElementAssembly, with all exported elements associated to the IfcElementAssembly directly (instead of the Level). Assembly elements will be re-imported, but there is no support for creating new AssemblyInstances on import yet.

Export Files with multi-byte characters

IFC export will no longer silently fail when a filename with multi-byte characters (e.g. Chinese characters) is used.

Export PSet_BuildingCommon

If any of the PSet_BuildingCommon parameters are in the Project Information, we will export the standard IFC property set "PSet_BuildingCommon".

Export Parts

If "Current View Only" export is chosen, and the view has Parts visibility on, then parts will be exported instead of the original element geometry. If the "Split Walls and Columns By Level" option is chosen, then wall parts will be assigned to the appropriate level as determined by their spatial position.

Export Uniformat information as IfcClassification and IfcClassificationReference

IFC export now exports the UniFormat information found in many Revit families as an IfcClassificationReference, with a corresponding IfcClassification.

General optimizations to reduce IFC export file size

Some redundancies have been removed from IFC files. These include:

Increased caching of IFCPROPERTYSINGLEVALUE, resulting in more shared Revit internal properties.


Reusing the first IFCCARTESIANPOINT in IFCPOLYLOOP for closed loops.

IFC Import

Better wall joins

IFC import handles some simple butt, mitre and square-off cases between joined walls in the IFC file, even if no connection geometry is provided. It is still a work in progress.

Different representations have their own elements and sub-categories

Different representations for entities (e.g. wall axis and body, stairs body and boundary) now get imported as separate elements in their own sub-categories (e.g. "Axis" sub-category for walls). This allows for these 2D representations to be hidden or deleted.

Fix normal of slightly non-planar faces

IFC import now properly handles faces that are almost planar. These faces will be faceted so that each triangular facet is (necessarily) planar. This especially affects Tekla files.

More materials imported

Extraneous joining of extrusions in import caused some sub-components to lose their associated material. This has been fixed by reducing the number of joined geometry operations.

Prevent creation of illegal faces in imported geometry

IFC import now does more checks to ensure that illegal faces do not get created on import. This includes, but is not limited to, faces whose outer and inner boundaries coincide (therefore, having no surface area at all).

Space geometry not imported as in-place family solid

If an IFCSPACE can't be imported from a file, we no longer create an in-place family with a solid representation of the space volume, if it is in the file.

Text Font now set correctly

The text font could incorrectly reset to the template default after the first text note is imported.


  • New Materials Data model – Incorporates an extended set of material assets now including appearance plus structural and thermal performance properties which can be applied to projects in logical combinations for a range of different purposes e.g. appearance for rendering, thermal for whole building energy analysis.
  • New Materials User Interface – Designed to leverage the new data model and provide consistency across a number of Autodesk products (Revit, AutoCAD and Inventor)
  • Thermal Properties Data – Added to facilitate easier / faster heating and cooling load calculations, energy analysis and gbXML support.
  • Structural Properties Data – Extended to facilitate easier / faster structural analysis

Multi-segmented Grid Lines

It is now possible to create multi-segmented gridlines. During the grid line creation, select the Multi-segment option on the Place Grid contextual tab. This takes you into a sketch mode so you can draw the grid line.

I have to give a big shout out to Dave Light, be sure to check out his blog for another excellent summary of the latest release of Revit.

Revit Structure 2013 – New Features

In this post I am going to concentrate on the new features that are specific / beneficial to Revit Structure users.

Reinforcement – Snapping to Fillets and Hooks


Structural Wire Fabric

Structural Fabric Reinforcement can be hosted in Structural Floors, Foundation Slabs and Structural Walls. A Structural Fabric Reinforcement element is made up of 2 element types, Fabric Wire and Fabric Sheets.

Fabric Wire is used to define the reinforcing wire, which is used to create the Fabric Sheets. Both of these elements are system families. The templates will be populated with Wires and Sheets that are common in the locality of the template.

Fabric Wire Reo

Structural Units

Several new unit types have been created:

Reinforcement Area, displayed in:

  • Square feet (SF, ft2)
  • Square Inches (in2)
  • Square millimeters (mm2)
  • Square centimeters (cm2)
  • Square meters (m2)

Reinforcement Area per Unit Length, displayed in:

  • Square Feet per foot (ft2/ft)
  • Square inches per foot (in2/ft)
  • Square millimeters per meter (mm2/m)
  • Square centimeters per meter (cm2/m)
  • Square meters per meter (m2/m)

Reinforcement Spacing, displayed in:

  • Decimal feet (’ , LF)
  • Feet and fractional inches (X’ XX”)
  • Decimal inches (“)
  • Fractional inches (“)
  • Meters (m)
  • Centimeters (cm)
  • Millimeters (mm)
  • Meters and centimeters(m cm)

Reinforcement Cover, displayed in:

  • Decimal feet (’ , LF)
  • Feet and fractional inches (X’ XX”)
  • Decimal inches (“)
  • Fractional inches (“)
  • Meters (m)
  • Centimeters (cm)
  • Millimeters (mm)

Bar Diameter, displayed in:

  • Decimal feet (’ , LF)
  • Feet and fractional inches (X’ XX”)
  • Decimal inches (“)
  • Fractional inches (“)
  • Meters (m)
  • Centimeters (cm)
  • Millimeters (mm)

Crack Width, displayed in:

  • Decimal feet (’ , LF)
  • Feet and fractional inches (X’ XX”)
  • Decimal inches (“)
  • Fractional inches (“)
  • Meters (m)
  • Centimeters (cm)
  • Millimeters (mm)

Additional units:

  • Mass per Area (ex. kg/m2)
  • Mass per Volume (ex. kg/m3)

A number of new unit types have also been added to support other Structural features.

General Structural: Weight, Mass, Displacement/Deflection, Rotation, Period, Frequency, Pulsation, Velocity, Acceleration, Energy

Section Properties: Section Dimension, Section Property, Section Area, Section Modulus, Moment of Inertia, Warping Constant, Mass per Unit Length, Weight per Unit Length and Surface Area

Analytical Model Enhancements

New Analytical Links (formerly known as a Rigid Link)

  • The previous (R2012 and earlier) Rigid link has been replaced with a new Analytical Link Element. In all places where automatic Rigid Links would previously have been generated, now new Analytical Link elements will be generated. These may be selected, deleted and will be restored (if previously deleted) by clicking “restore links” on the analytical adjust toolbar.
  • Analytical Links can now be created manually in places where you need them. In Analytical Adjust mode (Analyze>Analytical Adjust), select Analytical Link. The placement editor will allow you to select 2 nodes between which a new analytical link will be created.
  • Analytical Links have types which allow the user to configure link release conditions.

Physical Material Asset reporting in Analytical Model

Analytical Material

  • The name of the physical asset assigned to the selected physical beam material will be reported in the analytical model properties for quick verification of proper physical material properties.
  • In the Beam (Structural Framing) element the material parameter has been renamed “Structural Material”. Selecting the ellipsis button next to the material name will take you to the materials dialog where you may edit the physical asset of the current beam material or assign a different material.
  • In layered elements e.g., floors, walls the user may elect the material assigned to one of the layers to represent the structural material for the layered element. In the “edit structure” dialog, you will find a new column labeled “structural material”. Check the row which will represent the structural material (to be used for analysis) for this layered element.

Analytical Element and Analytical Node Identification

Analytical elements and analytical nodes now offer Comments and numbering parameters that may be used for identifying these elements in analysis results.

Revit 2013 –‘OneBox’

The Quasar is here.

Revit Quasar

Perhaps as much as 50% of the EM radiation in the Universe is related to Quasars around Black Holes. The Quasars result from material being pulled off nearby star(s), transferred as stellar winds along magnetic lines from the stars, and accumulating in a disk around the Black Hole.

Finally, with the release of Revit 2013, all three disciplines are combined into one package ‘one box.’ We will still have the traditional releases of Revit: ‘Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP’ 

In Revit 2013, you have access to all of the tools and functionality from all of the Revit products. You can turn on or off disciplines based on what you typically use via the options button. This updates the user interface and the behaviour of the software to add or remove items that are specific to your needs.rac2013_img2

Revit 2013 – Comparison Matrix

Thanks to Luke Johnson at What Revit Wants for sharing this one with us, this is the start of what will be no doubt a tsunami of information about to be released on the 2013 Autodesk products.

I for one am excited that the NDA will soon be lifted.

Follow this link to open up a pdf showing the comparison matrix for Revit Architecture 2013, Revit Structure 2013, Revit MEP 2013 and Revit 2013 (One Box)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PK Nail Pro for Revit

PKNail Pro is a commercial grade application built through field testing and surveying experience to allow a user to quickly and accurately capture building information. Laser to BIM technology allows a user to translate measurements directly from wireless laser range finders into a BIM workstation massively reducing data collection time, rework and increasing accuracy.  

PKNail provides not only experienced surveyors but new users a solution that makes them more productive right out of the box.  Their patent pending work flow and real time data capture methods utilizing point-to-point laser technology (PPLT) allow users to capture critical data and building geometry allowing them create Building Information Models on site and in real time.

More information can be found here

Below are a series of PK Nail Videos.

PK Nail – Autodesk University Welcome


PK Nail Chapter 1 – Adding Levels


PK Nail Chapter 2 – Adding Window Information


PK Nail Chapter 3 – Adding the First Walls, Windows and Doors


PK Nail Chapter 4 – Closing the Exterior Shell


PK Nail Chapter 5 – Copying Walls to Other Levels


PK Nail Chapter 6 – Activating Walls and Adding Features


PK Nail Chapter 7 – Activating and Adding Interior fit outs