What’s better than clash detection? Live clash detection!

We’ve been doing iterative clash detection in out projects for years. This is an old-fashioned and time-consuming process, which consists of repetitive manual or semi-automatic tasks:

  1. Convert each discipline model into the Navisworks / Solibri file formats.
  2. Update project federated model.
  3. Run multiple clash tests.
  4. Publish results.
  5. Introduce results to the design team.
  6. Next hour/day/week/month repeat steps 1..5

Wouldn’t it be great if we could spend our time in a more effective manner? There are actually a couple of software platforms that offer live (real-time) clash detection inside Revit environment.

BuildingSP ClashMEP

Read more about ClashMEP here

MagiCAD for Revit 2019

Read more about MagiCAD for Revit 2019 here

Both of these Revit add-ins use the same concept: they provide you with clash detection in real time, while you build your model. There is no need to iteratively run clash tests, and you can visually see the conflicts in views and schedules. You can see the full process in these videos above.

The future of clash detection is coming!

Autodesk published IFC Manual for Revit users

Revit IFC Manual is a 52-page document, which describes all of the available options for using IFC format within the Revit environment. This is definitely a handy document for everyone working with Open BIM.

This document is intended to serve as a guide for Revit users handling IFC data and providing a better understanding of the settings available in Revit, discussing the way they can influence the quality and the content of the IFC file.

The Revit IFC manual therefore sets out the basics of IFC and explains in detail how to export, link and open IFC files in Revit.

Revit IFC Manual

The Revit IFC Manual is available for download from the official Autodesk website (direct link). I also suggest you to check out a series of articles by Simon Moreau from BIM42 about Revit IFC exporter settings:

You may also need to update your Revit IFC exporter to the latest version: download from Sourceforge

Conductor Revit & Rhino add-in becomes free and open source, bringing Trello boards inside your models

Conductor is a Revit and Rhino add-in that integrates Trello task management with your models. This add-in has originally been released as paid application (I’ve already mentioned it in my post last year) by Nathan Miller from provingground, and now it’s available for free.

Conductor uses Trello API to move your tasks between Revit (Rhino) and Trello. The integration is clean and seamless:

 

Below you can find the the add-in requirements:

  • Revit 2017/2018*
  • Rhinoceros 5.0 64-Bit for Windows*
  • Windows OS (Developed and tested with Windows 10)
  • ClickOnce installer is best used with Internet Explorer
  • ClickOnce user installer assumes a standard Windows user setup
  • Internet connection
  • Trello account (you’ll also need to authorize the app with your own Trello token)
  • * Versions for Revit 2019, Rhinoceros 6, and Navisworks 2019 are forthcoming.

You can also read the full description here (including the download links), and release notes here. Source code has been posted to bitbucket.

Speckle.works now supports Dynamo

A couple of months ago I wrote about the tragic death of Flux.io – the service that allowed us to seamlessly exchange BIM data through the cloud.

One of the possible substitutes for Flux is the Speckle.works – an open source (MIT) data communication platform. Until recently it had only Grasshopper integration, and yesterday they published the very first alpha version of the Dynamo package.

For those of you missing the Flux, go ahead and download the package called “Speckle for Dynamo” from dynamopackages.com

Please note that this is still an alpha version, and there may be some issues. And in case you encounter any problems, don’t hesitate to report them @ GitHub or Speckle.Works.

Dynamo 2.0 is now available

A couple of months ago I’ve made a Sneak peek into Dynamo 2.0, showing you some of the upcoming changes to the “Next gen Dynamo”. And now that Dynamo 2.0 has finally arrived, you can do the following:

  1. Read the official release notes here: To Dynamo 2.0 and Beyond.
  2. Download Dynamo 2.0 release version from the official repository @ DynamoBuilds.comDynamo 2.0 release
  3. Back up your existing Dynamo library:
    %appdata%\Dynamo\Dynamo Revit\1.3
  4. Completely uninstall Dynamo 2.0 pre-release build if you have one.
  5. Install Dynamo 2.0 release version and play with the new features.

Please note that there are still some issues with this release

(see this page @GitHub for reference: dynamo known issues):

  • Node library search may not work properly (GitHub issue 8757 & GitHub issue 8769)
  • Dynamo 2.0 has a conflict with Revit 2018.2’s and 2018.3’s (GitHub issue 8768) implementation of P&ID Modeler (thanks jmmkm for the tip in the comments section below) resulting in the library/browser now showing. This issue is not present in 2018.1, or Revit 2019. If you want to use 2.0 with Revit 2018.2 or 2018.3, you will need to remove the the manifest file
    C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2018\AddIns\PnIDModeler\PnIDModeler.addin
  • For custom nodes, using dot-notation in node Names or Categories will result in additional nested sub-categories. The “.” will work as a delimiter to determine the additional hierarchy. This is new behavior in the library for Dynamo 2.0.
  • If the network drive pointed to by “Manage Node and Package paths” is > 1TB in size loading Dynamo may take a minute or more, irrespective of actual package size. We recommend drive size of 100GB or smaller.
  • Toggling the freeze state can cause a node to be executed twice after editing a Code Block Node.
  • Installers fail to prompt for missing VC++ components which causes Dynamo to silently crash at load time
  • Packages that deliver DynamoServices.dll may have corrupted multi-output port nodes; instead of multiple output ports, they will be collapsed into a single output port.
  • Some JSON graphs may open and erroneously appears to have unsaved changes as shown by the asterisks in the workspace tab.
  • If your workstation contains multiple major versions of Dynamo, e.g, Dynamo 1.x and Dynamo 2.x, Dynamo Player will start with whichever version you select for Dynamo for that session.
  • Custom node libraries that contain the same category and node names result in unexpected library organization.

If this list of known issues is not critical for you, feel free to be an early adopter.

Navisworks 2019: nothing to see here, move along

This year’s Navisworks 2019 has been around for about two weeks, being released rather quietly. And the reason for this is pretty obvious: there is nothing new inside, except for the version number, desktop shortcuts, and a splash screen.

Considering the huge amount of time and effort that Autodesk spends with BIM 360 products, it is no surprise that Navisworks becomes abandoned. New features are coming to the cloud, leaving desktop products obsolete, and this is inevitable.

All of these machine learning and artificial intelligence stuff just can’t fit into the single desktop application. And we’ll probably see the other products shifting to the cloud in the coming years.

Flux.io is shutting down on March 31, 2018

Now it’s official: Flux.io, the cloud platform which helps architects, engineers, designers and other AEC professionals seamlessly transfer building data is shutting down. These are the sad news for many of us, especially those who have built up their workflows upon the Flux platform.

The current Flux products (both platform and applications) will be shut down on March 31, 2018. Time to start looking into similar solutions like Speckle.works, an open source data communication platform.

Sneak peek into Dynamo 2.0

It’s been a while since the last “major” Dynamo update (Dynamo 1.0 was released way back in 2016). And if you are tired waiting for something new, you can download and install one of the latest Dynamo 2.0 daily builds from the Dynamo development builds webpage.

Starting from this year’s daily builds, Dynamo team has changed the way Dynamo installs, so that it doesn’t interfere with existing 1.x installs:

  • DynamoCore and DynamoRevit will be installed in the folder named using DynamoCore major version instead of major version point minor version;
  • Installing the new Dynamo 2.x build should not affect your existing Dynamo 1.x installed;
  • Installing a new Dynamo 2.x build with a larger minor version will overwrite the content in major version folder.

Considering that Dynamo 2.0 will save files to a format that is not compatible with earlier versions, it is highly important to backup your existing Dynamo content folders. Please read this safety note from Dynamo team before downloading and installing daily builds:

These are the early stage builds that are leading to the Dynamo 2.0 release. Please keep in mind that it is early days for these builds, there are still a number of large moving pieces and, as always, this area should be treated as an active construction site. If you do decide to participate, please wear your hardhat!

Dynamo 2.0 brings a plenty of changes, including:

  • New JSON file format instead of XML-based one;
  • Updated node library with different organization:  Dynamo2.0_Library
  • New OOTB (out of the box) dictionary nodes:Dynamo2.0_Dictionary nodes
  • Custom packages have been moved to the dedicated “Add-ons” submenu;
  • Usability fixes for those who work with Python (code execution button, custom templates, multiple editor windows, etc.).
  • And, of course, a lot of tweaks under the hood. You can view the full list of the future changes here.

Dynamo 2.0 can be installed side-by-side with existing 1.x versions, allowing you to experiment with the early pre-release tools without interfering with your existing workflows. You will be prompted to choose which version you wish to run when first launching Dynamo in Revit:

Dynamo2.0_Launch

This setting will be saved per-session of Revit. Restarting Revit will enable you to switch to a different version of Dynamo. Please don’t forget to back up your existing Dynamo workflows, packages and files. And do not use unstable software in the real project environment!

Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Certification Retirement

Today is the last day to finish your Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Course and earn the certificate before the entire course gets retired.

BPAC-Badge

If you are currently enrolled in the course, you’ll have time until December 15th, 2017 to finish it. Any non-completed courses will be de-activated together with the training portal after December 15th, 2017.

But don’t worry, all of the course content (excluding quizzes) is already available in Autodesk Sustainability Workshop: Building Performance Analysis Course page.

The course itself won’t disappear: the authors are currently working on bringing BPAC to Autodesk Design Academy portal in the next coming year.

Revit 2017.2.3 update is now available

This update contains an update to the FBX SDK and provides a number of security improvements related to processing FBX, DAE, 3DS, and DXF format files. It also brings a number of bug fixes, which could be found at the release notes page.

For Revit 2017.2.3 update instructions visit readme page. Update is available to subscribers and current maintenance plan customers via the Autodesk Desktop App & Autodesk Account.

Navisworks 2018.2.1 update is now available

Navisworks 2018.2.1 update (available via the Autodesk Desktop App) comes with the following list of bug fixes and improvements:

Enhancements
LMV users will now see a clear error message when the Navisworks extractor fails
• In Recap, a viewpoint is saved at the origin of each scan
• Navisworks now supports the ability to outline cross-sections

Fixes
IFC Loader
• Imported IFC files now include classification data so that it can be used to create search sets
• Model hierarchy is now preserved when using the Revit_IFC loader, to help find information more efficiently
• Resolved an issue where Revit AddIns for IFC Loader cannot work if Navisworks 2018 is uninstalled, then reinstalled
• Resolved an issue where Navisworks 2018 crashes when an IFC file with reinforced bars is imported

Navisworks 2018.2.1 update is now available

Revit 2018.1 update comes with enhanced Dynamo Player

Good news, everyone! Revit 2018.1 update is now available for download from the Autodesk Account portal. It comes with some cool new features (see this article at Autodesk blogs for the full info), including enhancements to Dynamo Player. Now it finally supports changing input values directly through the Player UI, which is super handy:

Dynamo_Player_update_2018.1

As you can see, there may be plenty of inputs that could be changed without even launching Dynamo. But note that there are still some limitations:

  • Code blocks as input strings are not  supported – if you prefer to write text inputs in code block, using quotes, you’ll need to rebuild these Dynamo graphs (swap Code Blocks with Strings) to use with Player;
  • Custom nodes as inputs are not supported – they are not shown in the Player UI;
  • Frozen nodes will be shown as changeable inputs, while they’re not used in the script logic.

Anyway, this is a cool update, and I’m sure that these subtle issues would be fixed in the near future. And by the way, here is the quote from Dynamo community addressing these issues:

We will look into the frozen node and address them in the future.
For the Code Blocks it’s a little more tricky but doable if there is a strong request from the community.
For the custom nodes it would be really nice indeed to have that.
The way I see this as a possibility in the future : a third party will create the custom node on Dynamo and then will have to create the node UI representation in Dynamo Player ( using some Dynamo Player API which doesn’t exist yet ). So the third party will have control over the DB level of the node and also over node UI representation in Dynamo Player.
Good news is that things are designed internally to make this possible in the future.
However , since this still requires a significant development effort we need to have a strong request from the community so that decision factors prioritize this accordingly. So please tweet about it on every occasion !