Category Archives: New releases

Revit patch… Heartbleed

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 10.57.39 AM

Over the weekend, I was very surprised to see the Autodesk Application Manager pop up. Yes, Revit 2015 was found to have a vulnerability to Heartbleed. — Who names these things anyway? I want that job. — Given the internet connectedness of things and how we use our design software tools these days, this was bound to happen.

Luckily, the process is relatively painless, and this new Application Manager seems up to the task of helping us to both stay informed and current in our software patch state with a few simple clicks. Kudos to Autodesk for rolling out another great feature with Revit 2015, that many people may have overlooked. It’s well done, and works much better than past ‘hot fix’ installs, which were in fact never hot at all as they used to – and of course still require that you close your application.

So, while the new method of installing updates is much improved, I would recommend one more thing: Why not implement a method that downloads when prompted, and only installs when you are done working? That would be even less obtrusive.

Revit 2015 System Requirements

Windows 8.1 is finally supported. While I still haven’t been able to install Revit 2014, or Vasari Beta 3, Revit 2015 is officially supported on Windows 8.1. With previous versions, you get the following error (I’m currently testing Windows 8.1 Enterprise in a Parallels Virtual Machine). Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.51.01 AM

So, good news if you plan to upgrade your OS and all of your active projects. As far as large firms are concerned, I wonder what is the intended upgrade path that makes sense? We still have a project wrapping up that’s using Revit 2011, many projects starting out with 2014 today and everything in between. Very little is seamless in the world of AEC, especially when some of the buildings we design take several years to complete.

Interestingly, there’s now published recommendations for Parallels Desktop for Mac. I’ve been using that for years, and given I have a three-day old Mac, am anxious to try it out with these settings.

Source: http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/System-requirements-for-Autodesk-Revit-2015-products.html

Is Revit dead?

cross-159805_150Many of my colleagues have recently expressed concern regarding the future of Revit. It’s not a terribly difficult observation to make; from the end-user perspective, Revit (the client application) has shown a reduced pace in the development of new features. Yes, there’s seemingly been for a number of years the long list of requests for better or new features in the core Revit product that are still unmet. So, is Revit dead? Certainly not. I don’t think any of you should be worried. I’m very hopeful for the future of this tool, and feel this lull is merely the calm before the storm.

Will something replace Revit as the de-facto BIM application? Perhaps. Nothing lasts forever. I cannot predict what Autodesk or its competitors will do over the next decade, however I’m sure we will see some significant advances in technology. Infinite Computing? What the naysayers may be missing is that Revit is no longer just a single desktop-based client application. It has evolved into a platform, or perhaps something more like a BIM ecosystem. It’s about connected-ness.

Autodesk is in this for the long-haul. And it’s not just about you and I, it’s about the next generation and ensuring the company can engage and continue to provide relevant innovation. Take for instance the Design The Future US campaign, to donate tools to STEAM schools across the United States.

I sincerely believe the Revit development team has taken a page from the Apple playbook. Much like the iPhone has become a new digital hub, replacing the Mac, the new, more mature Revit ‘the platform’ is replacing the Revit ‘the client’ of old. Revit is repositioning itself to replace, well Revit. The other page they are taking is more secrecy, which makes one wonder if they might just be working on that Next Big Thing.

This new role as platform is allowing Revit to stretch its legs and become even more important as it moves away from being perceived edge of design and focussed more exclusively on documentation. Revit has now and will become more deeply integrated with the core of planning, conceptual design, detailed design, fabrication, and operation of our built environment. Take, for instance the tools that integrate with BIM 360 Glue and Field as more details of the upcoming release are revealed.

6a014e8810350e970d01a73d9c0a8a970d

The Revit 2015 BIM 360 ribbon panel

To better predict what Autodesk might have up its sleeve, let’s look at the shape of the current ecosystem that may not be completely obvious, especially to those who only use a handful of these tools and services.

Let’s look at what we know from publicly available information:

  • With ‘prosumer’ iOS apps like FormIt and SketchBook mobile in the iOS Apps Store and Google Play, in-browser apps like Project ShapeShifter and Fusion 360, and mature professional creation tools like Maya and AutoCAD for Mac – the exclusive focus on Windows-based desktop applications is long behind us
  • Autodesk is investing heavily in the cloud – by some accounts up to 500 million USD per year
  • With Rendering, Daylight, Energy, Material Life-Cycle Costs, Wind and Structural Analysis all now available in the cloud, simulation is getting closer to the design tool, more real-time and more accessible
  • No longer just Buzzsaw and Vault, arguably little more than file management systems with some data capabilities, collaboration is something that they now are exploring on multiple fronts. With communities and tools such as: Autodesk 360, BlueStreak and the new iOS app Autodesk Instant, expect more to come.
  • Design computation within the Revit environment, with a relative newcomer named Dynamo, has become a reality in the last year. While still in Beta, the active community and rapid development pace has been really exciting. This is especially true since Dynamo is an Open Source project (found here), with a few interesting forks, including one for Autodesk Inventor on GitHub. Even though this is Open Source, it is a project that Autodesk is spending significant time and development to bring to bear.
  • Revit in the Cloud – with the last few releases being certified for Citrix, creating your own private cloud to allow access to your models, even while away from the office or without a powerful laptop is completely possible. When at home, I don’t need to bring my workstation laptop home. It’s very simple to access the Citrix farm from my own personal computer, even a Mac. With any stable internet connection, I sometimes use an iPad to quickly view models. I’ve written about the experimental cloud solution Octane Cloud Workstation in the past, and this now seems to be getting more recent press coverage – see this article on Architosh.
  • Revit interoperability with fabrication tools, facilities management platforms, Civil 3D and Infraworks means the useful data accessible to your fingertips is growing exponentially – to help make better decisions and incorporate the knowledge and experience of those in allied disciplines to ensure your architectural designs both take their environment into account, and are also more easily made and deployed and integrated into the built environment.

So, while some of you may not be pleased with the new features list (described in my previous post), you need to see the bigger picture. It may be made from Sketchy lines today, and it will sharpen over time. The new BIM workflow focusses more on collaboration, construction and not just design and engineering, simulation, visualization, and most of all harnessing and contributing to Big Data. I, for one, welcome our new digital design hub.

The future of design looks bright. Viva la Revitlution!

What’s new in Revit 2015

So, let’s just get right to business. What you came here for, the Revit 2015 new and enhanced features summary. I have no images to share, yet. This list is not exhaustive. For more information, until Autodesk rolls out it’s own announcement, visit: CADLine

New Features:

  • Sketchy Lines can be applied to any 2D or 3D view to help present your ideas.
    • To get good results, it is recommended to have a supported graphics card and driver with hardware acceleration and utilize anti-aliasing.
    • With this new graphic display setting, you can now enable anti-aliasing per view.
    • The Graphics tab of the Options dialog allows finer level of control for anti-aliasing, which will let you dial in to the right level of performance.
  • There’s a new ability to order and sort parameters within the Family editor.
  • Linking IFC files is now possible.
    • Revit displays IFC geometry much better than with the native import method, and this may change as the import/export IFC tools are still Open Source.
    • At this time, linked IFC files cannot be dimensioned to or used as room-bounding elements.

Enhancements:

  • Schedules are much improved – with type and instance parameter images able to be shown in the schedule – think room data sheets and furniture spec reports.
  • Revision cloud drawing and management tools much improved.
  • Hidden line display in various discipline view settings is improved, especially holes in slabs.
  • Revit Fabrication export settings for moving data to AutoCAD MEP or AutoCAD Fabrication CADmep is improved.
  • Many other productivity and performance improvements.
    • One example: Duplicating a view used to take a view named ‘View 1′ and automatically name it ‘Copy of View 1′, and will now put ‘Copy #’ as a suffix, so you don’t lose track of where the copy went in the Project browser.
  • Energy Models geometry extraction from the Revit model are significantly more accurate.
  • As per usual, many API features have been exposed.

I’m certain there will be more to write about this release over the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

alas, poor Yorick.

Revit 2014: To select, or not to select?

That is the question.

History Lesson

One of the most troubling support issues is when a designer working in Revit exclaims that things moved, deleted or were altered “on their own”. It takes a delicate approach to resolve this issue, as it is often a question of process or an incomplete understanding of the tool. For many years, Press and Drag has been something that I’ve advocated as disabled when deploying Revit to a large firm. To do this, we would simply enter the following line(s), if they don’t exist, in the Revit.ini:

[Selection]
AllowPressAndDrag=0

Some feel very strongly about this setting.

Today

Now, in Revit 2014, there are a number of new options, and again most of them are by default enabled. The question is, should the helpful BIM Manager change these settings, as we have before, or is the general skill level of designers using Revit now at the place where they can make their own informed choices? To select, or not select? That is the question, again.

You can get to these settings in Revit 2014 at any time from the Modify tool drop down, or on the Status bar, in the lower right corner. See images below.

SelectionBar

Here is a run down of the available options:

  • Select Links
  • Select Underlay Elements
  • Select Pinned Elements
  • Select Elements by Face
  • Drag Elements on Selection (The old Press and Drag with a more descriptive name)

For more details on what each of these do, go read up on Controlling the Selection of Elements, in the Revit Wiki Help.

Out-of-the-box, Revit has Select Elements by Face disabled. This makes good sense, else working in 3D or elevation/section views would be unpredictable and inconsistent with prior behavior for most tasks. I somehow think modifying any of the options would cause more help desk calls in the future, not to mention more frustration by someone when they can’t select a thing that is clearly visible on screen.

Below are the new options that you could put into your Revit.ini should you desire. Enabled is a value of 1, and disabled is a value of 0. Again, I’m just not sure of the right thing to do. I’ve indicated my current thoughts in blue.

[Selection]
AllowLinkSelection=0
AllowUnderlaySelection=0
AllowPinnedSelection=1
AllowFaceSelection=0
AllowPressAndDrag=0

I’d love to hear what you would select in the comments.

Revit: What’s new in Revit 2014?

Leave it to David Light to have the scoop earlier than most of us. Like in years past, hop on over to his blog for everything Revit upgrades and how this can help your BIM productivity. The webcast (livestream.com/autodesk) starts in only 35 minutes.

Revit: What’s new in Revit 2014?.

Revit | Building Design and Construction | Autodesk

It’s that time of year again… The birds are singing, the snow (if you had any this year) is melting, and Autodesk is taking the wraps off new updates to your favorite design applications. Along with those rollouts, are new origami inspired logos for both the company and it’s major products.

And, look: There’s a few features for Autodesk® Revit® 2014 listed on the product page now, and teaser images to go along with them. Some of my favorites (that I can share at this time):

  • Non-rectangular crop regions
  • Split elevations
  • Displaced Views
  • Parameter variance for groups
  • Alternate dimensions
  • Dockable window framework
  • Temporary view templates

via: Revit | Building Design and Construction | Autodesk