Monday, September 8, 2014

Get Some Serious Help for your Revit MEP - the kBIM Template!

Emy McGann, one of my former co-workers, who help me co-author several Revit MEP training manuals, and is one of the best BIM Managers I know, and Karpinski Engineering, have teamed up to release a Revit MEP template and content to help the small engineering firm get started in Revit.

From their press release through the ASHRAE website:

"kBIM Template and Library for Autodesk Revit includes a Revit template, customized Revit library, and supporting help documentation, all designed to enhance the building information modeling (BIM) process for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology disciplines.

Developed by Karpinski Engineering for use with Revit 2013, 2014, or 2015, kBIM Template and Library provides large-firm capabilities to smaller firms.
$5,500 ($5,000 ASHRAE Member) / CD / 2014Available Now
Features include:
  • Custom view templates to enhance drawing set-up for each discipline. See a sample
  • Standard symbols for devices that represent regularly used drafting items such as valves, pipe fittings, duct fittings, electrical devices, plumbing fixtures, fire protection devices and data/telecommunication devices
  • Equipment and fixture schedules with corresponding Revit families that enable automatic schedule population
  • Custom schedules and tags to aid in electrical circuiting
  • Standard pipe designations and line type
  • Design checks as visibility and graphical settings (device indication of circuit inclusion)
  • Custom drawing annotation styles and device tags
  • Equipment clearance representation
  • Device annotation offset for drawing clarity"
To get a copy and get off to a great start, follow this link:

Ask for Emy McGann, and she'll get you hooked up. You can also order it through the ASHRAE bookstore if you're a member:

Happy Modeling! David B.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer's Up...Conference Time! Misc. Rambles...

The fall is upon us…man, where did summer go? And it didn’t even get hot here until this week…so much for local warming...

Speakin’ time…

I’m up to my ears and elbows the next few weeks. First up is a trip to ASHRAE’s IBPSA conference in Atlanta, GA. The conference runs from Sept. 9-12th, and covers how BIM, analysis and simulation affects today’s engineering firms and designers. I got lucky and will be speaking at the conference on Wednesday, Sept. 10th at 3:30. The session I’m doing is titled BIM Integration Best Practices for Today’s Engineering Firm. I’m covering these four topics:

       Planning for and addressing staff issues for effective use of new technology, and preparing a training program
       Reviewing current hardware/software assets, and how to choose between traditional local hardware configurations and cloud based services
       Understanding the impact of BIM software on project schedules, standards, content and deliverables
       Leveraging BIM projects, associated engineering data and content beyond the typical construction documentation deliverables

All of these came about as we moved into the more advanced stages of our implementation of Revit. In some areas, we’re exceeding expectations while others we seem to be falling off. The idea is to help users address these issues to keep a firm from losing momentum, when it comes to the culture changes and shock that accompany a BIM project.

While focus is on BIM in regards to using it for simulation, analysis and more, the content can be relative to all users. I’ll get the powerpoint available as soon as possible – since it’s an ASHRAE conference, you want see anything specific to reference Revit, AutoCAD MEP or anything else we use, but the points are still applicable.

Vegas Baby!

AU 2014 at Mandalay Bay – Las Vegas, Baby! It’s coming fast, and this year marks more than a decade for me. The load is light, unfortunately, for what may be one of my last AU conferences as a speaker. I’ve loved doing these, but the direction and content is getting spread a little thin. I’m not mad at Autodesk for it – it’s tough to press 175 applications into 700 plus classes in 3 days, so I don’t envy the schedule. The only issue I would have is the reduction in “tips and tricks” classes and labs that can really push the user to the next level, in favor of the more “firm oriented” classes that showcase specific projects. It’s almost like we need to break AU up into two conferences now, since it’s gotten so big. I’m looking to present at other conferences in addition to AU with a lighter load if possible, so let’s see what happens this year.

But don’t think for a minute it’s not worth going – in fact, only having two classes this year is giving me a chance to spend some time with other instructors, something I haven’t been able to do much of. I’ve signed up for a lot of classes this year, and am also planning on renewing my Revit certification as well. Here’s my classes, in case you haven’t signed up yet:

MP5173 - Managing BIM Projects Without Going CRAZY
This course (which is being recorded LIVE and will be broadcast as a part of AU Virtual) covers effective practices for project managers, engineers, and designers working on Building Information Modeling (BIM) projects for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, water/wastewater, and other engineering practices. Learn how BIM and Revit software alter the traditional design workflows and processes, and discover how to manage the disruptive changes. The course will cover pre-project planning, dealing with project components and content and understanding what tools can really help the project bottom line. We will also cover where Revit software alters typical project tasks. The course is well suited for the first-time manager and experienced user. If you're ready for an energetic, fast-paced class that packs in a lot of information, then sign up early and often.

MP6393 - Fast Content for AutoCAD MEP 2015
AutoCAD MEP 2015 software, a world-class design and drafting application, is the Zen master of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design software. The software continues to lead the way in everything from design to fabrication to owner for excellent workflows. In this fast-paced hands-on lab we will take a look at creating custom content. We will start by using Inventor software to create a more detailed model. Next, we will use this model to create a new multiview part. Once the part is defined you will learn a quick way to use the new symbol and annotation planes to add line-based symbols, and then you’ll create a new catalog to store your custom content. Every AutoCAD MEP software user should learn how to use the overwhelming volume of manufacturer’s 3D content; this lab will help you learn how to do that.

So, no labs this year – but that makes it easy for me…tell you what, I’ll have some other stuff available for the masses as well – if you can track me down this year, tell me you want the “good stuff – the really, really good stuff”…and I promise I won’t send you outside to the street hawkers! Bring your own USB key, that’ll be the only way to get it…sign up at, the early registration period ends soon!

Coming soon…

If you didn’t know this, I’ve been working in my off-time as an author for 4D Technologies’ CADLearning series, which provides online training videos for Autodesk products. My sessions for AutoCAD MEP 2015 and AutoCAD P&ID 2015 are already finished, and I’m working hard on AutoCAD Plant 3D 2015 right now, with lots of new stuff included. I had a lot of people ask about the Plant 3D series last year at AU, so check it out – you can find all kinds of cool stuff at Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Happy modeling! DB