Enscape3D minor update 2.4 deserves a major title. Here is why.

Enscape3D evolves with a decent speed, introducing a bunch of great features with each release. This is probably because of the way Enscape team interacts with their users through the Trello development agenda. Everyone has access to this board and can not only see the future development plans, but also vote for the favorite ideas.

The latest and greatest Enscape3D 2.4 brings a lot of new features, some of them are just brilliant:

  • Asset library
  • Web standalone export
  • Adjustable grass
  • 6X faster video rendering
  • Improved sky rendering
  • Water on mini map
  • New mouse/keyboard input
  • Stability fixes
  • Normal map auto-detection
  • Quality & performance improvements
  • Video export performance
  • Image quality and stability
  • Panorama upload
  • Improved depth of field
  • Panorama flagged as 360° image
  • Latest Nvidia Display Driver compatibility

I’m going to focus on these two things that I highlighted in red. The first feature is called “Asset Library” and contains a number of entourage components like furniture, people, trees. Asset library resides on the Enscape ribbon in Revit, which is pretty cool:

Enscape3D 2.4 update

The button opens an asset library window with categories, search bar and preview images. Clicking on the image inserts the element in Revit:

Enscape3D Asset library

My second favorite feature is the brand new Web standalone export. With Enscape 2.4 you’re able to export your walkthroug to WebGL format compatible with almost all of the modern web browsers (see the screenshot from Firefox Quantum below):

Enscape3D WebGL2 Firefox

The export process is super easy: just launch Enscape3D walkthrough by pressing the Play button, then click on Export Web Standalone. Enscape will open a web page in your default web browser and after a while (depending on the size of your model) you’ll be able to walk in your model inside the browser! Read the Web Standalone how-to article at the Enscape3D website.

That is a long waited feature, because now you can share the walkthrough with a client, or any other person who doesn’t have a powerful workstation to run EXE files with realtime rendering. Of course, there are some limitations, but anyway Web Standalone is a game-changer.

So I’ve played with Enscape3D Web Standalone for a while, and here is what I’ve found:

  • Export process is fast and easy. Enscape uses Amazon web services for model conversion and hosting.
  • Web viewer requires WebGL 2, which means that it won’t run in old browsers and iOS mobile devices (at least for now):

Some android devices support WebGL 2, but the viewer lags so much that it’s barely usable, which is also sad. Click here to check if your browser supports WebGL 2.

  • I don’t know why, but Web Standalone doesn’t run in my desktop Google Chrome. The loading bar gets stuck at 100% and nothing happens. If you happen to see such weird behaviour, try using different browser (Firefox Quantum for example).
  • Web Standalone does not support WASD buttons for moving. Navigation however is working with arrow keys. Other hotkeys (space, shift+mouse buttons work as expected.
  • Overall graphics quality is pretty good, given that we look at WebGL. Textures, trees, water, shadows are present, but do not expect the PC-like quality in web browser.

If you are an Enscape3D user like me, go ahead and try these awesome features: version 2.4 is available for download here.

 

ArchiCAD Connection add-in updated for Revit 2019

Graphisoft has recently updated its ArchiCAD Connection Revit add-in that streamlines the dataflow between ArchiCAD and Revit through the IFC format.

ArchiCAD Connection has several main features:

  • “Improved IFC Import” has extra options compared to the native Revit IFC importer.
  • “Link IFC” merges IFC models into the current Revit project as a non-editable reference.
  • “Export to ArchiCAD” enhances Revit elements conversion to IFC for use in ArchiCAD.

ArchiCAD connection may be also useful for non-ArchiCAD users, because it correctly exports IFC with shared coordinates.

The add-in is available for download from Graphisoft Interoperability section after logging in.

Farewell to the Revit 2019 Extensions

Bad news for everyone who has been waiting for the next Revit 2019 Extensions release. Autodesk recently published the following statement concerning the fate of Revit Extensions:

As of April 20, 2018, Autodesk will not deliver Revit® Extensions for Autodesk® Revit® 2019. Instead, customers using the timber and reinforcement modeling extensions can easily migrate to alternative solutions delivered by technology partners.

Revit 2018 is the last version that supports Extensions.

For more info check out an article at Autodesk blogs.

Revit roadmap update – September 2018

Autodesk has just published an update for the public Revit roadmap. The updated document contains both new features that have already been implemented in the latest 2019.1 release, and plans for the future development.

We’ve add some major projects to our roadmap for this update.  We’ve decided that is time to start working on improvements to wall elements since walls are such a critical piece of the project. We are starting slowly with some more straight-forward improvements that have been on Revit Ideas, but behind the scenes will be working to make the data of walls more robust and better serve the future.  Our goal is to reduce the need for complex modeling tools (like in-place or massing) and provide better data for quantities and materials as you design for better understanding of the impact of design choices.

Read the full article at Autodesk blogs.

Rhino inside Revit is live on GitHub

It’s been a month since I wrote about the work-in-progress McNeel’s technology called “Rhino Inside”:  Will Rhino 7 run inside Revit? And now it is live on GitHub!

sample3

The Rhino Inside technology allows Rhino and Grasshopper to be embedded within other products, including Revit and AutoCAD. This repository contains all the sample developer code for loading Rhino inside other 64-bit Windows applications.

Note that you’ll need to download Rhino WIP version to be able to play with Inside technology.

APIdocs.co brings Revit, Rhino, Navisworks and Grasshopper APIs together

Apidocs.co is an ambitious online project by Gui Talarico, the author of the Revit API website called RevitAPIdocs. Instead of focusing on one particular application, apidocs combines several applications’ APIs into one online library with more than 120K unique documents:

apidocs.co

Apidocs has a clean and user-friendly interface, which is easy to use and navigate. Just select the desired application, then either search or dive into its API:

apidocs.co interface

This project is a huge timesaver and a one-stop shop for several design applications’ APIs. Moreover, it is open and free for everyone.

And if you are interested in supporting the project, head over to support page: apidocs.co/support

What’s new in Navisworks 2019.1

Navisworks 2019.1 update (available via the Autodesk Desktop App) comes with the following list of bug fixes and improvements:

Improvements

  • [LMV] Support .VUE file property.
  • Fixed incorrect IFC Class and Element description in IFC hierarchy.
  • AVEVA E3D import (RVM file format) – missing attributes in the object properties.
  • Allow Display ID to be shown in Timeliner overlay text.
  • Add a space between the date and time in TXT clash report exports.
  • Read shared parameters in corresponding to IFC data.

Bug fixes

  • Timeliner Auto Attach not working on certain Category/Property.
  • SceneConvertServer doesn’t shutdown.
  • Setting global options via API or XML file has no affect with out-of-process loaders.
  • ArchiCAD 21 cannot export nwc with error “Cannot write output file”.
  • Cannot check ArchiCAD 21 in “Configure Installation” dialog when installing NWExporter2019.
  • C++ error rendering a model.
  • Navisworks does not display anything if the assembly is saved in a substitute LOD.
  • Navisworks Manage 2018 crash with CER during Save.
  • CER when load IFC file after install IFC for Revit.
  • Navisworks License Timeout.
  • Multi – threaded clash, crashing with a point cloud data set.
  • A Chinese translation mistake in Archicad config file “nwexportarchicad.name”.
  • ArchiCAD21 Exporter options display unreadable code in localization OS.
  • Exported NWC and Glued model are not what is displayed in Revit.
  • English Language Pack – Spanish category objects in selection tree.
  • Revit to Navisworks Export is excluding certain instances of family.
  • Navis exporter progress dialog issues.
  • Global Options overrides are not passed onto SceneConvertServer.
  • Some files cannot be loaded with internal error.
  • Cannot load rvt because of an internal error.
  • Navisworks 2018 crashes with saving file.
  • Embedded texture is not displayed while opening NWD file.

Direct download links for 2019.1 update could be found at Luke Johnson’s blog.

If you are interested in Navisworks future, please vote for bringing back Navisworks Idea Station here: Autodesk community ideas.

 

Will Rhino 7 run inside Revit?

McNeel & Associates have recently published a webpage about the “Rhino Inside” technology, which sounds pretty amazing:

Rhino 7 WIP (Work in Progress) can now run inside other 64-bit Windows applications such as Revit, and potentially AutoCAD, Solidworks, Photoshop, Excel, etc.

Imagine that you could run Rhino’s geometry engine inside Revit environment. This could be a game-changer for those who work with conceptual design.

The bad news is that “Rhino Inside” is in the early phase of development, so that there is nothing to see or test for the moment. Even the Rhino Inside webpage is full of placeholders for the download and help links:

Try Rhino inside Revit (RiR)

  1. Download and install the Revit plugin.
  2. Try the Rhino, Grasshopper, and Python examples.
  3. Build your own RiR tools. How to get started…
  4. Check out the source code for RiR and the related examples.
  5. Try writing a Rhino Inside plugin for your favorite product. How to get started…

Personally, I don’t mind the wait: it’s almost certainly better to have the new feature work well when it launches, rather than launch with bugs.

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!

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.