Tuesday, November 20, 2012

zzzz....uh...huh? AU is in a week? Geez, I overslept..

Wow, where does the time go? Autodesk University (#au2012) starts classes one week from today...and the last couple of months have been crazy, getting all of the handouts, datasets, powerpoints, props, home movies, etc. finished. But I'm about there...

And when you finally get a moment to reflect, you hope you've put something together that really hits home with users. This year's approach was a little different - I wanted to find what the really obscure little things were that come up as support issues, and get them addressed. But I also needed to hit on the bigger picture, and make sure that the day to day items - using systems, making families quickly from scratch, or from manufacturer's content, etc.

And then I an email from an engineer I know, saying that he doesn't think MEP BIM is ready for primetime yet. And I couldn't disagree more, but if you don't train your staff for a few years, then, yeah - you're likely to have the same attitude. So here's what I think - Revit MEP 2013 and AutoCAD MEP 2013 represent the best two MEP design applications on the market, hands down. Both have their strengths, but both require you to make some changes to your design process.

Here's an example. In one of my classes, we talk about adding an instrument connection to a duct or pipe. The instinct says, add a tap. Instead, if we're making this connection at a fitting, such as a duct tee or flowmeter, why not add the physical connection to that component? It will stay connected to the part, if the part moves or changes size, the connection is still there. It can be fabricated into the part prior to being added in the field, so that may save a little "field fit and finish" time.

That's one of the challenges that comes with BIM. If you're still in the drafting mentality, then all you're thinking about is a line or circle - but in BIM, you HAVE to think more from a DESIGN standpoint. It's all about making a more easily constructable building, that's more sustainable while allowing for creativity in the design.

The beauty of AU is that it's a gathering of like minds, that are looking for that tip, or method, that helps you stay current with technology, or gain that competitive advantage. We're driven to find better ways to leverage our tools, and make life easier for ourselves (as though it isn't already). And we really want to find ways to interconnect all of this information, and come up with the big picture, that satisfies the client's and end users needs (think airport electrical outlets).

So take a little time this week - network with your peers, get to know some of the industry leaders, and take advantage of some of the best and most passionate instructors in the world. We'll all be hanging out in the same place - so come by, say hello, and let's talk about the future. And if you can't make it, check our AU Virtual - last year, tens of thousands did - so the learning doesn't stop on November 30th. I'm ready - are you?

See you in Vegas!

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