Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wrapping up 2015 and AU - it's NEW Year!

It’s been a pretty amazing year, and one of the busiest I’ve had to date. We’ve worked on dozens of BIM projects, had learned a lot and improved our process, while made some mistakes that have help us grow as well.

Here are my key takeaway tips for Revit and BIM projects:

  • Make sure you stop using mapped drive letter designations (i.e. x:\project) when linking files – this includes CAD and BIM. When you’re working in a Revit project, it’s the name of the server, or UNC name, that gets stored with the project (i.e. \\server01\project). This especially rings true when you’re working with multiple office locations that aren’t using some form of document sharing, such as the A360 Collaboration for Revit tools.
  • Clean those CAD files up - especially the layers! Make sure you’re following the national CAD standard, but assigning the lineweight to the line, instead of using colors for plotting lineweights. These convert automatically to Revit linestyles, when linked or imported into a Revit model. And make changes in the Revit model to these settings after the file is linked in for more consistent plotting results.
  • Keeping pounding away at Inventor for Revit families – it’s the best tool to clean up and prepare content for a project. The best file format for conversion has been ADSK for me, since it got be defined for an assembly of parts, rather than just the part.
  • Take some time get to know Dynamo if you’re writing code for Revit. One of the tasks I want to look into is whether or not this up and coming programming language can be used to define and control parameters that are associated with MEP connections in a family…stay tuned…

AU was a great event as well. I think it was definitely one of the busiest for me personally, between the Expert Elite events, user research, classes I attended as well as my own. The quality of the instruction continues to rise, and Autodesk is really picking a lot of winners when it comes to classes. The only comments I received regarded the lack of technical instruction over customer stories, and the limited number of MEP classes. Hopefully they can tackle some of these next year.

I went outside of the box this year. Since it was Gannett Fleming’s 100th anniversary, we’ve had these cardboard cutouts of Farley Gannett, the founder of the company, in every office. Since it was nearly time to retire the cutouts, one of my co-workers who was attending this year’s event, helped me drag Farley all through the Valley of Fire state park, and then through the exhibit hall on opening night. We got to tell his story, and he made some great friends. Here’s a few of pictures from the event.

Speaking of next year, Autodesk has made a change that has really made me happy, and hopefully will make it easier for others to attend the event. They have signed a five year agreement to have AU stay at the Venetian and Sands conference center, which is definitely my favorite venue. It’s right in the heart of the strip, with easy access to other casinos, shopping and more. The quality of the accommodations is outstanding, and the hotel really knows how to host a top shelf convention.

But the better news is the schedule – next year, it’s before Thanksgiving – Nov. 15-17th! That means that I get my week back in between the holidays, to spend more time at home with family and friends in one of my favorite times of the year. It also gives me more time to absorb what I’ve learned, and figure out how to implement new techniques and methods before the new year. I’ll definitely be there, teaching or not!

As always it’s an honor to teach. I know it’s hard to please everyone, and every year there’s someone with a bone to pick. Normally I don’t do this, but I do want to answer one easily offended critic. I’ve been showing home movies for years before my class, but if you don’t want to see the fishing videos, that’s fine. But I would like to personally invite you to contact me directly, so I can invite you to go do a little fishing with me. We’ll crack open a couple of beers, have a “come to Jesus” meeting, and I’ll do what I can to help you have a happier life. I do hope you got something more out of the class, that will help you in your career.

And next year, the videos will all be about AU – top moments, great friends, and my favorite parts of AU. Who knows…maybe you’ll be in them, too! For all who played along, and hung out with Farley, and then came to the class and listened to all the old jokes, thank you, thank you. I hope the classes were insightful, and you took away something that will help you in your job as well.

On to 2016 – let’s roll!

David B.