Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Have you been looking for a way to roll a trip to SEA into a business expense?  Look no further!

RTC is having its first ever Asian event in Singapore!

Submit your abstract here!

Singapore is a pretty righteous place to visit on its own but its a short flight from several south east asian tourist destinations!  Phuket, Bangkok, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon, Angkor Wat!  All accessible by short hops on budget carriers!


Come one!  Come all!  Lets make it the BIGGEST & BESTEST RTC EVER!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Revit Basics: Display Configurations and Graphic Display Options

So i have been doing a Forum for Advanced Revit Training in Singapore for the last year or so... trying to bring a bit of AU to South East Asia.  Last night, I had the first event at Autodesk's local office.  Had about 40-50 interested Reviteers show up.

I gave an hour talk on Categories, Display Configuration, Graphic Display Options and then a few tips to make graphics that pop.  The presentation and dataset can be downloaded from here if anyone is interested  in some free training materials.

Farts 2.01: Display Configurations In Depth

I also reference a presentation given by David Light and Jason Grant.at AU 2011 called GRAPHICS THAT POP.  The class really opened my eyes to some of the possibilities. Their material can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here.

Looking forward to doing this about once per month and will continue to post up the lessons to float them out to the far reaches of the interwebs.  Its all part of my efforts to save the world one model at a time.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in Revit

The other day I stumbled upon the Ferrari World Building by Benoy Architects.  Like so many other buildings which have been the basis for this blog, it captured my imagination because i wanted to know how you would generate and refine such a form in Revit's conceptual massing environment.

First thing i did was to start in sketchup so i could grab some key dimensions to start with:

The i recreated the circles and key curves in a conceptual mass family.  A 3 point curve sets up the pincers.  Points offset from a pair of constrained reference points along the bisector set up a curve for the broad side of the form.

A key element of success in generating a form like this is realizing that it is essentially a 60 degree swept profile with cutaways which is then mirrored around a circle.  If you make 1/6th of the form, you've pretty much got the whole thing.
So with these key curves done, i generated the voids to cut the skin:

I found some design information about how the skin profile was generated:

It would have been easier if i'd had a CAD file but approximating the curve wasn't that hard:

Then sweep and cutaway the excess so you only get the 60 degree segment:

Tweaking the parameters which control the broad curve, we can finesse the form a bit:

Cute.  But looking back at the picture, i can see that the center is a different material and there is a silver band along the broad edge.  This requires offsetting a second set of points from the ones which drive the broad curve.

In the end, i had to take the base skin and cut it up into 3 different parts for the 3 materials of the form.  These 3 then get nested into a single family which can still be massaged:

Then brought into the project environment, mirrored around and voila!

I could have gone much further with the parameters to control many more aspects of the form, but I figure this wasn't bad for a couple of hours work.  Fun stuff.

Link to the file:

Ferrari World.RVT

Monday, November 3, 2014

Twitter Ass(ault)

Do you follow @Autodesk?

Now would be a great time to start.  Later this week they are letting me pump a bunch of pictures through their twitterfeed for a day.

Should be good fun.... I guarantee.... @bimtroublemaker

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TOP 10: Secrets to Successfully Integrating BIM...

Like many BIM professionals, i get bulk mailers about BIM news.  I usually give them a cursory glance, but rarely does anything really carry any weight or grab my attention.I met the author, Robert Mencarini, at an Autodesk Revit Gunslinger event several years ago.  I remembered him because the dude was ON FIRE!  Really passionate fellow.  I was interested in what he had to say and i wasn't dissapointed.

"BIM is both a technology and a process. This forces firms to reevaluate how they produce their design services. The winners will differentiate themselves by focusing on producing services that their clients expect, such as those that impact time, money and quality."

Though the article is supposedly focused on health care facilities, I think he did a great job of clearly and concisely expressing the principles behind the 3d sandbox we are all playing in. Here is the Article:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DYNAMO Tutorial Presentation

For the past year, i have been running an informal Advanced Revit training series in Singapore.  Last week I walked through a couple of exercises in DYNAMO to illustrate some key functions of the platform.

I figured i would make the materials generally available if anyone else wants to take a stab at it.  Maybe a good start to build a training session.  It took about 90 minutes to get through the material.  A guy on the development team came and he thought it was pretty cool.

You can download the dataset and presentation here:

Have a nice day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Practical Dynamo - Excel Linking 2: Keeping Track of Your Families

There is an advantage to living in a small city/country with a disproportionately large contingent of ADSK employees: I have great access to the development team!

In my last blog post, I pointed out how the list of values for the selected families were not in alphabetical order:

This was because the instances were sorted in order according the GUID:

Without taking the GUID into account, it was impossible to map data from excel back to the appropriate family instance.  If i sorted the data in Excel, I would end up with results like this one:

Not quite hitting the mark in terms of "Data Integrity".  What i needed was a way to export the data, taking the GUID into account, and then be able to map values to the right object on the return trip.

I got in touch with my friends Sharad and Ritesh at ADSK in Singapore and told them about my problem.  These guys love both a challenge and customer feedback; its a match made in heaven because i am a man with problems.

Explaining my dilemma to them, they knew exactly how to solve it and we developed these 2 scripts.


I included the UniqueID into the index stack:

Making my excel spreadsheet look like this:

Now when i bring the data back from Excel, there is the index for my elements included.  The order of the GUIDs will inherently match the order of the lists for the other data indices.

What the boys at ADSK told me about was a command ElementSelector.ByUniqueID.  They made me create a code block like you see above and then plug that into SetParameterByName node.  Now DYNAMO will pick my instances by name and in the correct sorted order.

And I am whole again!

The ElementSelector.ByUniqueID is a "hidden command" apparently.  It was in the user menu previously, but the team took it out because they couldn't think of a scenario where it would be useful!  BIMTroublemaker to the rescue!

This whole process makes me happy like ordering from the secret menu at In & Out!