Thursday, 30 June 2011

Time Travel Again - Back to the 80's

I've just lost 31 years and I'm 22 again.......

A quick trip down to the local supermarket to pick up a new windscreen wiper and as always I look at the Budget CD's and there it was.

A mixture of Solo in Soho and Philip Lynott Album plus some rare tracks ....20 Tracks for £3

As it says on the back cover of this cracking collection Phil Lynott was the leader of Thin Lizzy he was a musical hero, master songwriter and majestic singer, yet as this collection of solo hits, album tracks and rare b-sides proves he was much more.

And yes I am enjoying the magic it's like having my original record collection back

Monday, 27 June 2011

Government thinks there are Too Many Architects


"RIBA president Ruth Reed says she has been told the government thinks there are too many architects in the profession."

OK I've always said this myself, we could get all the bad ones, line up 5 against a wall and shoot them daily until the number of good ones increases ;0)

Joking aside this is serious stuff for Architectural students to read more CLICK HERE

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Autodesk University AU2011 - Newsletter


AU 2011: Hot Topics, Expanded Curriculum, Innovative Technologies, New Business Strategies

I’m very pro Autodesk University (AU) as a powerful resource for information, in a presentation I’m drafting for the next LRUG meeting I point to various classes & labs that can be downloaded in a variety of formats.

Last year there were serious problems with attending virtually, and I’m really hoping that lesson have been learnt and that measures are in place to ensure everything actually works this year. I’ve submitted this as feedback to AU and I hope to get some kind of reply and assurance, as it’s nice to know that as a customer you are being listened too.

For those of you that are new to Autodesk and perhaps Autodesk University, below is repost of the current newsletter details.

Click Here to visit the AU web site and register as a member
Autodesk University (AU) is where architects, engineers, and designers come together annually with industry and technology leaders to better understand new technologies, exchange best practices, and form new business strategies— and this year is no exception.

Expanded Curriculum product training remains a key focus, but AU 2011 is moving well beyond tips and tricks to offer more for advanced users, senior designers, business leaders, and workflow and process strategists.

“This year we asked for very specific types of classes, and our speakers responded,” said Joseph Wurcher, AU program manager. "So, for example, we are emphasizing classes that show you how to combine Autodesk products to streamline your workflows and processes, using the right tool for the right job."

The expanded curriculum of more than 800 classes and hands-on labs includes new classes on:
  • Design leadership
  • Innovation strategies
  • Web, cloud, and mobile technologies
  • Workflows and process
  • Visualization
  • Sustainability
  • Change management
Whether you are interested in lean manufacturing, automotive design, or building information modeling, you will find a great selection of tightly focused classes this year.


Leveraging Film Industry Techniques to Tell a Story

A schematic or drawing just isn’t enough anymore. Your clients want to see and experience a design before they pour an ounce of concrete. AU 2011 features two tracks focused on design visualization and storytelling. Learn how to leverage digital entertainment techniques for use in conventional AEC and manufacturing designs.

"We will be highlighting new supercool game development technology," said Wurcher, "to show how this technology can be used to develop more realistic walkthroughs and product demonstrations. For example, Autodesk® Mudbox™ is an excellent tool for creating human figures to populate visualizations."


Processes, People, Workflows, Business Strategies

"This year, we have even more content for senior designers, design technology managers, business leaders, and workflow and process strategists,” Wurcher noted. "It can make it easier to get approval if you bring management along."

AU 2011 will feature classes to help leaders manage change and bring in more business. How do you encourage innovation among your staff? What strategies can help you be successful in today's market? How do you manage a transition to Autodesk® Revit®? How will mobile products and cloud computing affect your company?

We are also expanding the Design Technology Management Conference, which will be held immediately prior to the AU conference in Las Vegas. This year's event includes a Sunday night keynote and networking session, followed Monday by a full day of classes and unconference sessions designed to help you manage technology and the people who use it.


AU 2011 Registration Opens in Late August

Early Bird registration opens August 30. You can save you and your boss up to US$500 by registering early. You also get first pick from the AU 2011 class catalog.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Manchester Revit User Group is Forming

MRUG - Manchester Revit User Group

Are a free Autodesk Revit user group that meets to share tips and tricks, best practices and discuss the Autodesk Revit software and its impact on the AEC community.

Join them on Linked-In

Monday, 20 June 2011

Revit Users Ireland Group - Meeting No.1


Revit Users Ireland Group are pleased to announce thier first group meeting (see details below). Please try to attend, and share this with any of your colleagues.

Below is a LinkedIn “event link”, to register your interest:

Date: 29th June 2011

Time: 6.30-8.30pm (registration, coffee/tea at 6pm)

Venue: The Maxwell Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2
(entrance off Westland Row, opposite Pearse Street Station)

Getting There:

Dart/Rail – Pearse Street Station
1.2km from Green Line Luas (St. Stephens’s Green Stop) - 15 minute walk
1.2km from Red Line Luas (BusAras Stop/Connolly Station) - 15 minute walk

They will gathering in the Gingerman Pub (Fenian Street) afterwards, for some networking/socializing.

Good Luck with your first meeting Guys!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Government Construction Strategy Report Published


Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now emerging as a common requirement on both public and private sector projects alike. Only recently, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to make savings of at least 20% across all public sector construction projects and that BIM is to be mandated to help drive more efficient cost benchmarking.

Standards are currently being drawn up with a view to roll out BIM on public projects in 2012.

Please  Click Here to access the full government report dated May 2011, and just released.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

STL Exporter for Revit 2012 is Released as Open Source

I've just found this and need to share....

From the company that spend so much time in court righting for the rights and the ownership to the dwg and dxf format, Autodesk has donated the STL Exporter for Revit to Open Source under the LGPL 2.1 license. The source code, latest builds and user/technical documentation will be available at the following site. You will be able to view and edit the source code to suit your needs.

This is something Autodesk has never done before with an add-in/plug-in/app for Autodesk Revit or any other Autodesk product. (See MapGuide for the first Autodesk contributed open source project.)

The code hackers and tinkerers among you are probably saying “cool! – now I can play with it and make it suit my needs”.

The skeptics among you are probably saying “Autodesk is trying to dump responsibility for this thing on the user so they don’t have to support it”. To the skeptics I would recommend you read on. ...... Click Here to visit the whole posting over at BIM Apps.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

File Upgrader for Revit Vs the Content Batch Upgrade Utility

I read the posting over at Autodesk //Labs_ It’s Alive in the Lab about the File Upgrader for Revit June ADN Plugin of the Month and wondered why they had released this when there is already the Content Batch Upgrade Utility and what the actual difference is between the two.
So I emailed Scott Sheppard who passed it on to Saikat Bhattacharya, who is a Senior Developer Consultant in the Autodesk Developer Technical Services team, and happens to be the one who developed the File Upgrader for Revit

Saikat kindly took time out to explain to me in detail about the differences, knowing I can’t be the only one out their asking this question I asked if he would grant me permission to post his email here for other interested parties, you can guess the answer as the email is below:-

"The Content Batch Upgrade Utility is quite similar to the Revit File Upgrader utility since both of them are aimed to help migrate/upgrade existing content from previous versions of Revit to work with Revit 2012. However there are some differences in both the tools in the way they so the upgrade and what they do. Following is a brief list of differences between the two tools  –

1)     The File Upgrader utilty also upgrades the RVT, RTE and RFA files where as the Content Batch Upgrade utility helps mostly in upgrading in RFA (family) files.

2)     The File Upgrader has a user interface which allows you to select the folders from where files are to be upgraded (called source) and a destination folder outside of source folder, where you would have the latest set of Revit files for Revit 2012. The Content Batch Upgrade Utility  differs since it upgrades an existing folder of RFA files there itself (without creating another copy of it).

3)     The File Upgrader works with files that are marked as read-only too whereas the batch content upgrade tool does not.

4)     In case of any errors, the File Upgrader makes a note of it in the log file and the user interface dialog and completes upgrading the entire set of files. At the end, the user is expected to go back to the list of failed files and manually open the files to determine what might have gone wrong. In case of Content Batch Upgrade Utility , it stops the upgrade if any of the files are not upgraded due to any error or if they are marked read-only. So the users in this case might have to check the list of files that have been successfully upgraded and delete them from the list and then start the process again for the remaining files.

5)     The File Upgrader uses Revit .NET API and thus can be used as reference by other developers who want to use Revit API to enhance Revit’s functionality. Or even if they want to include some of the code from this utility in their applications.

6)     The File Upgrader currently cannot close the last open file and this has to be manually closed by the user after the upgrade, whereas the batch upgrade tool has no such limitation.
. . .

The users now have both the options to achieve the end goal  - which is to provide some bit of automation in upgrading old Revit files to work with Revit 2012 faster (without the initial upgrade that Revit does each time it opens an older version file). And so users are free to use any of the tools which they feel best fulfills their requirement or the one that they are most comfortable working with."

So now we all know ;0)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Short Family Content Survey

Erik over at Inside the Factory is asking for your involvement in making Revit better fit your needs, so don't delay take the survey and help Autodesk help us, if you don't contribute you can't really complain if you don't end up with the option you would have preferred!

Autodesk is working to improve the organization of Revit family content and looking for Revit customers to participate in a short online survey at

The survey has two parts:

In Part I, you will be asked to review three proposed options for organizing Revit family content, select the option you like the most, and tell Autodesk why you chose that option.

Option 1 by Category
Option 2 by Object Type
Option 3 by Discipline

In Part II, you will be asked to try a few tasks using the best option you chose.
The two-part survey will take about 20 minutes to complete and will only be used by the Revit product team. 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Typical Engineering Question or Bridge Bashing!

A JCB weighing 22 tons is on top of a lowboy trailer and heading east on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas ..

The extended shovel arm is made of hardened refined steel and the approaching overpass is made of commercial-grade concrete, re-inforced with 1 1/2 inch steel rebar spaced at 6 inch intervals in a criss-cross pattern layered at 1 foot vertical spacing.


When the shovel arm hits the overpass, how fast do you have to be going to slice the bridge in half ?

(Assume no effect for headwind and no braking by the driver...)

Extra Credit:

What is the time and distance required for the entire rig to come to a complete stop after hitting the overpass at the speed calculated above.

Yes, you can neglect friction.

No, I couldn't solve it either......but who cares;

The pictures are great! 

Apparently the driver was on his cell phone..................