Tag Archive | Autodesk

Naviswork Switchback with Revit

Trying to find those saved viewpoints from Navisworks in your Revit model?

Navisworks switchback is an excellent and very simple tool to use, to find referring views from Navisworks in your Revit project.

When making issue reports / clash views it is sometimes difficult to find the same referring view in your Revit project – Navisworks Switchback makes this seamless. Below is a short video showing how it works.

If you are using someone elses model you may find that you may need an additional step of locating the Revit model as the original file is being referenced from the authors server – Simply browse for your local version of the Revit model.

Autodesk – Security and the Cloud

Like it or not, as a technology professional, the cloud WILL become part of our every day work in the near future – if it’s not already! Many applications which you currently use may already use cloud technology without you even realising it. Security issues are of course a big concern when moving forward with tecnolgoy and into new ways of working. There are many questions that need to be answered in order to make the cloud user feel like their sensitive data is secure.

Autodesk 360 is a completely cloud based service – offering many tools for use in the AEC industry. The huge advantage of the cloud is the speed and efficiency. Instead of using your own PC for intensive tasks such as rendering and interactive energy analysis, you are able to utilise the massive power of the Autodesk cloud servers and computers. This will not only be a faster process, but also leave the computer your working on free for use on other activities.

Autodesk have released a document which was discussed on the ‘Introduction to Autodesk BIM 360 webinar’ earlier today, which was recorded and will be released publicly, next week (week 5). In this document ‘Autodesk 360: Work Wherever You Are – Safely’, it discusses the security technologies that are employed on the Autodesk cloud servers as well as suggesting that the cloud is a SAFER way to transfer and share files than the traditional methods we are used to:

uploaded imageThere‟s trust in being close. Many people associate their local workstation‟s or PC‟s content as safer than their files on the Internet. This isn‟t always the case. Often computers are susceptible to security risk because their files aren‟t fully protected against unauthorized access and intrusion. Furthermore, as files are transferred across the networks, they can become compromised if not done so in a secure manner. With Autodesk 360


  • The platform is built on a reliable, protected technology infrastructure specifically built just for cloud computing. 
  • You control who has access to your data, when you share it, and who you share it with.
  • You can access it from anywhere through an Internet connection after providing your login ID and password securely.
  • The services are designed to protect data and authentication in transit.

For more information, read the full .pdf document on the Autodesk website HERE or by clicking the image above.

All Autodesk University classes now available online

Just a quick post on a Saturday morning to notify any of my readers who have not already heard; The rest of the AU classes which had not been available up to now can now be veiwed online on the Autodesk University website. 

I’ve been looking forward to seeing a lot of these classes ever since I heard so many good things, about so many different classes from AU 2012. This is a chance for all of us who weren’t able to attend AU this year to catch up on the latest news and tips from Autodesk users and experts from around the world. Below is a video from one of the classes I have been most looking forward to see, winning the award for the best rated class of AU 2012:

Marcello Sgambelluri - Advanced Autodesk® Revit® Modeling Techniques Using Complex Geometry: Walls, Floors, Roofs, and Beams


There are hundreds of classes worth checking out. So make sure you don’t miss the chance to get up to date with the latest and most advanced user information available for Autodesk products. A bit like Christmas come early (or late!) for those seeking quality information. A #ukbimcrew AU2012 Class List has been created – Add your classes and give them a rating for others to figure out what classes contain the gold.

Shared parameters in Revit

Here are a series of useful videos uploaded recently on the Autodesk Building Solutions YouTube channel. This series covers the basics of shared parameters in Revit, an important library of definitions used when working on Revit projects. It is a good idea to have a shared parameter file set up in your office or home if you are working on multiple projects with the same standards. 

“A Shared Parameter is like a definition and the Shared Parameter file is like a dictionary.”  – Steve Stafford

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 1 

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 2

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 3

Autodesk Building Solutions – Shared Parameters – Part 4

For more information on shared parameters, view the Revit Wiki Help page here:

Autodesk Wiki Help – Shared Parameters 

Autodesk FormIt challenge – designbymany

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Autodesk FormIt by now – The new tablet based geometry creation application for designers. FormIt is the first 3D modeling tablet app aimed primarily at the AEC industry. if you haven’t already seen FormIt in action you should check out the video below, but in short: It’s a cut down version of Vasari with simple geometry tools (extrusions/voids) which are fully controllable via a touchscreen with your fingertips! 

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Well, designbymany have issued a challenge under the title ‘FormIt University’. The competition is open to anyone (providing you own an iPad and a copy of the FormIt app). The brief is to design a school campus in Mumbai which will be assessed by a panel of familiar faced judges! There are no design limitations aside from a few requirements with rooms and meter squared usage. As far as the aesthetics of the campus goes, you are advised to create a unique building which will stand out as a land mark in the area. Exact coordinates are given in order to virtually locate your model accurately.

The winner of the competition will be presented with a full 1-year license of Revit Architecture 2013! An excellent prize, no matter who you are! As it stands, there are only 8 people participating in the challenge, leaving a chance for you to submit your design and stand a good chance of winning. If you have an iPad, download format and get modeling! The submission deadline is January 14th 2013 so I’m frantically trying to get my hands on an iPad before then :)

The video above is an interview from Autodesk University with Tom Vollaro, one of the developers of the app and a judge on the designbymany challenge (You may recognise him if you’ve been watching the Vasari talks). Tom has also been working on the development of Vasari, so the similarities between these applications is to be expected. You can also see a number of designs made with FormIt on YouTube, as well as some excellent tips on Dave Lights Everything Revit blog which is linked on the side of this page. 


  • Post submission in .AXM file format (required)
  • Post images (required)
  • Post concept diagrams (optional)


  • Rebecca De Cicco – KSS
  • Aaron Maller – Beck
  • Tom Vollaro – Autodesk
  • DesignbyMany Users – Community voting will be taken into account for the final winner


  • All designs must be submitted by Monday, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 11:59 PM (GMT -4)
  • Community voting will end on Monday, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 11:59 (GMT -4)

See the full brief, view participants, judges and enter for yourself on the designbymany site here.

Project Falcon now available for Revit

uploaded imageYesterday saw the release of Autodesk’s Project Falcon add-in for Revit. This is a tool which has been in testing for a while as a stand-alone tool or connected to other software packages such as Inventor, via Autodesk Labs. Project Falcon is a wind tunnel / wind analysis tool which can be used to generate an accurate air flow simulation around your model / building model. Some of the tools you will see in this add-in may look familiar from the energy analysis tools inside of the now graduated Autodesk Vasari. 

“Project Falcon is a free* technology preview that simulates air flow around vehicles, buildings, outdoor equipment, consumer products, or other objects of your choosing in a virtual wind tunnel. Falcon technology is extremely geometry tolerant and easy to use, enabling you to begin seeing and understanding air flow behavior within seconds of starting the application. Results update almost in real-time in response to changes in wind-direction and speed that you specify. Visualization tools available within the Falcon family of applications include 2D and 3D flow lines, shaded result planes, vector plots, and surface pressure shading. Quantified outputs include velocity, pressure, drag force, and drag coefficient.” 

Read more on the Autodesk Labs – Project Falcon page HERE 

  • The Project Falcon standalone technology preview will operate until March 15, 2013.
  • The Project Falcon for Inventor and Project Falcon for Revit technology previews will operate until August 30, 2013.

Head over to the Autodesk Labs page now and download yourself a free copy of the Project Falcon add-in for Revit HERE (64 bit only)


Another excellent resource has been released via Autodesk Labs which is Project Grapevine, this is basically a new approach to forums and finding help to your Autodesk related problems online. It is a portal where you can ask questions, attach photos, text and even files, to help the community understand and aid you in solving your problem. Seems like a fantastic idea and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses – The more people who use it, the more effective it will be. Could this be the end of Autodesk help forums as we know them?


Vasari Beta 2 is released

Does the BIM news ever end? New software, tools, addons left right and everywhere else. Very exciting times in the BIM / AEC industries. The latest news is the release of Vasari beta 2; main updates:

  • Automatically sync files with Autodesk 360
  • Solar radiation legend improvements
  • Category filtering in dialogs

Vasari Beta 2 is out!Sync your models with Autodesk 360! autodeskvasari.com

— Autodesk Vasari (@autodeskvasari) November 28, 2012

Follow the link above for download and release information: 

Autodesk Fusion 360

Anyone who was tuned in to the ‘Keynote Address’ presentation yesterday from AU will have seen Autodesk CEO Carl Bass introducing a new product to Autodesks ever growing repertoire of design tools. Fusion 360 looks like a fantastic product, branded as ‘3D CAD in the cloud’. From what I saw of it yesterday in the small introduction, I was blown away. The modeling tools available far exceed the abilities of Revit’s native modeling tools.

There was definitely a hint of the ‘Morph tool’ by Graphisoft in there, and I am very happy to see this. When ArchiCAD 16 came out I was more than just slightly envious of this amazing free form organic modeling tool, where you have almost complete control over your design, virtually unlimited by the tools you have at your disposal.

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Aside from the modeling aspect of the tool Fusion 360 allows interoperable collaboration at the click of a button. Models can be uploaded from Revit, Rhino, ArchiCAD you name it – with synchornised results far more accurate than what we are acheiving at the moment. We have been promised a fully interoperable and extremely accurate product to product exchange. Sounds very exciting, and about time too. This promises to be the first truly open BIM platform, I truly hope that this is the case!

You can view more information about Autodesk Fusion 360 by click on THIS link or clicking on the image above. You may also wish to sign up for the newsletter on the site. There is an option to ‘Get in on the beta’ – Give it a try, you never know you may be one of the lucky few! I am very much looking forward to trying out this product and can’t wait to try and create some Revit families using the organic free form modeling tools.

Additional videos on AutodeskMFG YouTube channel, find them HERE.

Fusion 360 are also on Twitter, follow them HERE @InventorFusion

Autodesk Virtual University 2012

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To everyone who was left at home and unable to be in Las Vegas this week for Autodesk University, it’s not all bad news. Autodesk are providing a live stream from Vegas for certain presentations – View the live stream here. Carl Bass and Jeff Kowalski are kicking off in 25 minutes (16:00 GMT) with the ‘Keynote Address’ presentation.

All of the classes will also be recorded and available on demand around a week after the event is over. Many of the speakers will also be releasing handouts for the presntations, some of these are already available so go and check the AU Virtual catalogue.

Conceptual massing and energy modeling now avail on iPad

Autodesk have jumped the gun in the conceptual modeling mobile device ‘race’, with the release of Autodesk FormIt. FormIt seems, at first glance like a cut down version of Vasari, where you are able to model basic geometry, set a location and run basic conceptual energy analysis on your mass directly from your iPad. The fun in this is that you get to feel like your actually modeling it with your hands rather than a mouse.

“Introducing Autodesk FormIt. the 1st Architectural Form Modeler for the iPad. FormIt is an intuitive, easy to use mass modeling application helping designers make informed decisions while accessing site & climate data. The building and site aware app allows designers to sketch proposed design options that can be compared with program requirements and then shared with the project team for continued collaboration through Autodesk® 360. – Available now on the Apple App Store”

This is quite a step up from the current modeling tools which are available on mobile devices. Although I can’t see people designing buildings and whole projects with this tool, it could certainly come in useful on site, and to test how specific geometry would perform in a specific location in relation to wind and solar analysis. I have not seen the app available on the App Store but I will post a link here as soon as it’s available.

Update: Autodesk FormIt – By Autodesk Inc. App store link

More news on M-SIX VEO

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I am excited to report the release date of the eagerly awaited M-SIX VEO software has been announced. Over the last year there have been a lot of promises about what VEO is going to offer and how it is going to be a game changer in the AEC industry. With this recent news, we are not so far away from finding out if these promises will come to fruition.

Other big and very interesting news in this story, is the announcement that M-Six have secured some seriously valuable partnerships from the big players in the industry: Autodesk, Graphisoft and Vectorworks to name a few! Could this be the first truly open BIM platform?

Read the official announcement from M-SIX HERE 

Exactly what the results of all this will offer are still unknown to the vast majority of us, aside from a few teaser videos not too much is known. A small team have been ‘secretly’ working on the project over the past 6 years with vigurous testing over the past year at least. With the news that VEO have partnered up with Autodesk etc. You can be sure the product they have designed is going to be an exciting and important part of the AEC professionals toolbox. 

My very first blog on this website was the announcement of the VEO platform by M-SIX, so I am verey much looking forward to seeing what the final outcome will be! Eagerly awaiting more news…. 

 EDIT: More unoffical news here via VeoNews.blogspot.com 

Revit LT is released, but what is it?

So, we heard the news yesterday that a new version of Revit has been released by Autodesk. Nothing to get excited about if you are already an owner of a full vanilla Revit installation, but possibly something to look forward to if you are a small business trying to get your foot in the Revit door. 

The actual meaning of the acronym LT in software terms has a number of different possible meanings. I have always translated LT to mean Lite / Light, but there are many different opinions on this. Others translate it as: “LimiTed, LapTop, LiTe, Learning & Training.” I’ve always thought of it as Lite, so I will stick to that for this blog. 

Revit LT in short, is a cut down version of Revit – Many of the features of your full install of Revit will not be included, but I will cover what is missing further on in this post. The detailwhich will appeal to a lot of companies and individuals is the price. With a standalone license of a single Revit installation costing around £3500 The Lite version may seem attractive to some at a reported price of £1500.

“Use the intuitive 3D modeling tools to visualize and communicate your designs more clearly, and meet the demand for BIM deliverables.”

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So aside from the price, what else is being cut from a full Revit installation? Source Seiler cad support blog

  • Worksharing.
  • Parts & Assemblies.
  • Stair by Sketch.
  • Truss & Reinforcement.
  • Conceptual massing & Adaptive components.
  • In-place modeling
  • Rendering and the Raytrace and Realistic View Styles. (Cloud rendering still available.)
  • Interference Checking and Copy/Monitor.
  • Copy/Paste Elements from Links.
  • Customizing the Visibility of Linked Models.
  • Point Cloud Imports.
  • No Decals.
  • No export of SAT, ADSK, gbXML, IFC, ODBC, or Family Types.
  • Autodesk 360 Energy Analysis for Autodesk Revit.
  • No Third party Applications.

As you can see – Quite a significant amount of the key features in a full installation of Revit have been completely cut out. Now in my opinion for a small business just venturing in to the world of Revit this may be okay, but it certainly couldn’t be used to replace a full version of Revit for companies who are already using all the features. In particular the lack of import / export capabilities linked with the inability to use worksets and worksharing substantially reduces the ability to collaborate and cooperate with other individuals or companies. To me this seems like a bit of an ‘Anti-BIM’ move, with a closed, cut down version of an already excellent BIM enabling software. 

So, there is my initial opinion on the release of Revit LT, but what is the initial reaction from Twitter?:


#RevitLT looks brilliant for small practices, not if you want multi-user access to the model though. usa.autodesk.com/revitlt/

— Elrond Burrell (@ElrondBurrell) September 5, 2012 


#RevitLT = BIM software that doesn’t import or export BIM data. #BackToThe90s

— Nigel Davies(@NigelPDavies) September 5, 2012 


#RevitLT = For those that want a phone but don’t want to call or text anyone. A collaboration tool without the collaboration.

— BondBryanArchitects (@BondBryan) September 5, 2012 


There are just a few examples of what others are saying about the new release of Revit LT. Although in general the response has been fairly bad, this is to be expected from a very BIM focused group of individuals. If you are a small company or individual wanting to learn and get into Revit and even get your foot in the BIM door then Revit LT may be a good starting block. But for anyone who has been using Revit for a while, will most likely not be able to cope with the loss of some of the key features of this software as listed above.

Fore more information about Revit LT including a full list of features, visit the Autodesk Revit LT website here. 


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