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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snooping Under the Tree for Revit Architecure 2008

The presents under the Christmas tree continue to grow. It's Christmas for Revit users too! Here are some of the new features in Revit Architecture 2008.

Color Fills
Color Fill enhancements provide better control over the creation, management and display of color fill patterns. Because the software offers more options for conveying design ideas in plan, Revit families such as furniture, equipment, and floors no longer hide behind color fills. Maximizing valuable drawing real estate, the color fill legend reports only those color fills represented in the active view.

Revit Groups
Revit Groups, also known as repeating units, provide a modular design technique ideal for building types comprising of many rooms of similar size, shape, or configuration; such as, hospitals, hotels and apartment buildings. New workflow enhancements include the ability to load an RVT file as a group, save a group as an RVT, or change a group to a linked file. Additional enhancements include a new Group Edit Mode, which provides for the creation of elements while editing a group, numerous user interaction improvements, and the ability to exclude elements on an instance basis to accommodate special conditions.

Dependent Views

Addressing the needs of firms managing large projects, dependent views provide a robust mechanism for segmenting projects across multiple sheet views. Coordination across sheets is automatically maintained between parent and dependant views helping to ensure model fidelity. All building information, including annotations, is kept accurate and up-to-date throughout the design process.

Match Lines & View References
The addition of Dependent views bring about the creation of new tools in order to support that documentation technique. An additional crop region called the Annotation Crop provides the ability to crop annotations in the view and is accessible from the view properties; Match Lines have been introduced to denote the boundary between two (or more) dependent views; View Reference is a new annotation that provides an associative connection from a parent view to a dependent view. Similar to section heads, the View Reference will automatically display a view’s number and sheet number once the dependent view is placed onto a sheet.

Masking Regions
History of Project: Prior to Revit Architecture 2008, Filled Regions were used, not only as intended, but also as a tool for obscuring or masking model geometry while detailing. The creation of a new Masking Region provides a tool with explicit masking functionality.

Benefit to User: The Masking Region tool provides a new method that is tailored for obscuring other elements. Masking Regions can be used in 2D model views as well as any 2D or 3D Revit Family (including detail elements and annotations).

With the new Masking Regions comes enhanced collaboration between Revit Architecture and AutoCAD. When viewed in DWG format, visual fidelity is maintained as Masking Regions obscure geometry beyond and appear opaque.

Autodesk VIZ and Autodesk 3ds Max Interoperability
Autodesk® VIZ or Autodesk® 3ds Max® software products can import or link 3D DWG™ files produced with Revit Architecture. Maximize your workflow by sharing model geometry, materials, and camera positions throughout the iterative design process. Create stunning photorealistic interior and exterior renderings to help sell your design ideas.

Graphical Overrides
Graphic overrides provide an ability to modify the graphic representation for a single element, thereby offering additional options for how elements appear in views. Graphic overrides also provide a visual method for hiding or revealing single elements or groups of elements by view. Settings are visually retained from session to session, reducing setup time in anticipation of plotting and printing.

File Linking

Offering more flexibility and easier management of linked model information, Revit links are organized within the project browser to provide new drag-and-drop management, together with quick and easy access to the Link Manager. Project visibility is significantly improved for the project team by displaying nested links within host files. The functionality of color fills is also enhanced as fills within host files are applied in linked views.

Tis the Season - AutoCAD Architecture 2008 New Features

It's my favorite time of year... right up there with Christmas! Here are some of the features that will be available in the upcoming AutoCAD Architecture 2008 release.

Area Documentation
  • Space Layout Productivity
In AutoCAD Architecture, the ability to generate spaces automatically from objects & linework has been integrated directly into Palettes. This also provides the advantage of pre-specifying various options, such as style, to help streamline space creation.
  • Automatic Update during design
Spaces in AutoCAD Architecture now are capable of being associative to the objects (walls, slabs, curtain walls, etc) which surround them, eliminating tedious steps of updating space objects when boundaries change. This interaction with bounding objects is also supported through xrefs.

Detail Documentation
  • Master Format 2004 Support
Many users are beginning to use the updated MasterFormat 2004 edition on their building design and construction projects. AutoCAD Architecture now provides content, detail components and keynote databases that are configured for The Construction Specifications InstituteĂ‚’s MasterFormat 2004.

Annotation Editing
  • Annotative Scaling
Automatic scaling of drawing production allows users to simply change the scale of the design, and the annotations including dimensions, tags and leaders are automatically updated.

Graphic Editing
  • Object Graphic Control
The new Display tab in the Properties Palette provides instant visual feedback after modification of an object or its components. This reduces the steps need to change graphic appearance by leveraging a similar interaction with basic AutoCAD linework.

  • Graphic Control per Viewport
You can also display objects differently in selected layout viewports while retaining their original layer properties in model space and in other layout viewports. With layer property overrides, you no longer need to use tedious and error-prone methods such as duplicating geometry on separate layers or making copies of xrefs. Instead, you can use the Layer Properties Manager to set overrides for color, linetype, lineweight, and plot style for each layout viewport.

Drawing Management
  • Sheets graphics coordinated with views
By selecting an option in the Project Setup dialog, changes in a View drawingĂ‚’s layer display carry over to its corresponding Sheet View layer display. The Sheet View layer states will resolve to and display the same as the layer states in the View drawing.
  • Launch Projects via shortcuts
You can now launch a Project Navigator project by double clicking on the .APJ file from within Windows Explorer or a shortcut created on you desktop.
  • General Fit and Finish
· Performance
· Project name on Project Navigator
· Add folder in Project Browser
· Better handling of missing templates

Revision Communication
  • Drawing Compare
New Drawing Compare feature, available through the Autodesk Subscription program, uses color-coded displays to show items on a drawing that have been changed, added or deleted by other members of the design team. Changes to items such as styles, fire ratings or other non-graphical properties also can be tracked.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Say Goodbye to ADT

It's been rumored for years. Will Autodesk kill Architectural Desktop? Well, they have finally done it. Architectural Desktop will not be released in the new 2008 line of products. You will have to get used to calling it by its new name-- AutoCAD Architecture 2008. That's right, it's just a name change with some features that are really cool. Autodesk will be releasing their new 2008 product line soon, and one of the biggest changes that the Building Solution Division needs to get used to are the name changes. Below is a summary of the name changes for the 2008 releases.

In the upcoming weeks I will give sneak peeks of some of the new features in the 2008 product lines. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Is DEMO a Phase?

This morning I got a chance to read Steve's blog at Revit OpEd. He had a good article on how to show future phases by overlaying them onto sheet views. If you have not seen his blog, check it out. I want to expand on his article by explaining how to set up phases in your project, and defining the terminology for creating phases and filter states.

To begin setting up phases, you will find Phasing under the Settings pulldown menu. The dialog box is divided up into tabs. The first tab is where you set up the names of your phases. You will notice that the dialog box has Past on the top and Future on the bottom. It is important to order your phases chronologically. The default template comes with two default phases-- Existing and New Construction. You can rename the defaults or add new phases by clicking on the Before or After buttons in the Insert section.

Most people, including myself, think that Demolition is a phase in a project. With Revit, it is a Phase Status. Let me explain. You could have demolition in any or all phases of your project. It is just part of that particular phase. There are 4 default phase status' that can be used on every phase. You can set items to either Demolished, Existing, New, or Temporary in each phase. The following chart defines each of the phase states.

These settings can be applied in the Properties of each item. Simply tell Revit what phase the item is created in and what phase the item will be demolished in.

Once you have items set to the correct status, you will need to assign views to show the phase and apply the appropriate phase filter. You can do this in the View Properties.

You can create additional Phase Filters or Override the Graphics in the main Phase dialog box under the Settings pulldown.

I hope this helps expand on what Steve wrote about. Phasing in Revit works well if you understand the concept of phases, phase states, and how to apply them to views.