Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Autodesk's commitment to BIM Interoperability

BIM Interoperability

building smart - engThe Autodesk commitment to interoperability
Buildings and infrastructure are complex, as are the Building Information Modeling (BIM) data and applications that support them. Autodesk offers more applications that further a BIM workflow than any other vendor. But we believe that AEC professionals need to be able to use any application from any vendor at any stage in design, construction, and operations processes. Autodesk is committed to advancing that degree of interoperability throughout the industry.
Autodesk supports buildingSMART International, the organization that develops and maintains the IFC standard, the leading interoperability standard. More than 100,000 users have downloaded our IFC Open Source export for Revit since 2011. No other vendor holds as many IFC import and export certifications.
Autodesk has supported the buildingSMART initiative on COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) BIM data standard. In January 2013, we completed the independently audited buildingSMART Alliance COBie Design Challenge for Architectural Design and Coordinated Design, achieving 100% positive marks with a complete COBie deliverable that required no additional processing or edits.
As the first major CAD vendor to run our applications on nonproprietary hardware, the Autodesk commitment to openness runs deep. Autodesk:
  • Released an open way to get data in and out of our flagship application before any other major CAD vendor (DXF)
  • Made our IFC import/export tool for Revit open source
  • Secured the rigorous IFC 2.0 Coordination View certification in the first wave of vendors
  • Helped found the International Alliance for Interoperability, which became buildingSMART
  • Provides buildingSMART with solid support in its effort to further BIM openness
openBIM® explained in 4 minutes
The film explains the basics of the openBIM® and buildingSMART concepts.

Autodesk 2016 products that support IFC

A360 enables design, engineering and project teams to work together efficiently on one central platform.
Advance Steel
Advance Steel detailing software helps accelerate design, steel detailing, steel fabrication, and steel construction.
AutoCAD Architecture
AutoCAD Architecture software is an architectural drafting tool to help you design and document more efficiently.
AutoCAD MEP software helps you draft, design, and document building systems.
AutoCAD Civil 3D
Use AutoCAD Civil 3D civil engineering design and documentation software to support BIM workflows.
BIM 360 Glue
BIM 360 Glue is a cloud-based BIM management and collaboration product that connects your entire project team.
Fabrication CADmep
Fabrication CADmep mechanical detailing software supports fabrication workflows for MEP contractors.
Fabrication ESTmep
Fabrication EST cost estimation software can help MEP contractors gain a better understanding of real project costs.
Use InfraWorks 360 software to plan, design, and engineer with real data, in the real world, in real time.
Navisworks project review software products enables AEC professionals to holistically review integrated models and data.
Design, construct, and maintain higher-quality, more energy-efficient buildings with Revit software, built specifically for BIM.
Revit LT
Revit LT software is a 3D BIM tool that helps you produce high-quality 3D architectural designs and documentation.
Robot Structural Analysis
Robot Structural Analysis software provides engineers with advanced BIM-integrated analysis and design.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Autodesk to do away with discipline specific Revits

Autodesk Revit Verticals to be End-of-Life and Replaced with Revit 2017 "One-Box"

Revit logoAs of the first customer ship of Autodesk Revit 2017 software, the Revit “verticals” (Revit Architecture, Revit MEP and Revit Structure) will no longer be sold separately.
These products will be replaced by Revit 2017, the “one-box” version of Revit containing the capabilities of all three verticals currently available in Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium and Ultimate, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate, and Autodesk Revit Collaboration Suite.
Autodesk subscribers to the Revit verticals and suites containing the Revit verticals as well as owners of perpetual licenses with a current maintenance plan will be migrated to Revit 2017.
Affected customers will receive an operational communication informing them of this change.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2017 Released

NEW! AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2017 - Now Available!

AutoCAD 2017AutoCAD 2017 has just been released.  Here are some of the key features and benefits that might appeal to you:
  • Import PDFs: a top-requested feature based on customer feedback, PDFs have been added to the supported ‘Import File’ formats.
  • Share design views: improve collaboration by publishing your drawing views to the cloud in a secure format.
  • Smart centerlines and center marks:  when you move associated objects, the centerlines and center marks update accordingly.
When customers subscribe, they get the AutoCAD 360 Pro mobile app, allowing them to view, create and edit drawings on their phone or tablet, and share designs and revisions directly from their mobile device.
AutoCAD LT 2017 Release includes Enhanced Support and AutoCAD 360 Pro
Introducing the AutoCAD LT 2017 release, offering smart 2D drafting tools that help speed documentation work. It is perfect for value-conscious drafting professionals who want to create precise 2D drawings. This release includes some of the same features as AutoCAD 2017, such as the ability to import PDFs, the Autodesk desktop app, and smart centerlines and center marks.
When you  subscribe to AutoCAD LT, you get direct one-on-one global phone support, support via chat, faster response times, and more, with enhanced support benefits. You also get the AutoCAD 360 Pro mobile app, allowing you to view, create and edit drawings on your phone or tablet, and share designs and revisions directly from your mobile device

Saturday, February 13, 2016

BIM 360 Docs is here and it's free!

Autodesk announces that BIM 360 Docs is now available for public access.  From its start as Project Alexandria to a successful debut at Autodesk University and a 2-month preview, BIM 360 Docs is here.

BIM 360 Docs host of great features, including: 
  • Powerful tools to publish and curate construction docs, including the ability to automatically extract sheets from multi-page PDFs and models
  • Access control, versioning and history to control the flow of documents and accurately release information to the entire construction project team
  • A zero-client plan and model viewer — optimized for the iPhone and iPad — that lets you easily switch between 2D and 3D files
  • Collaborative viewing and markup tools, including the ability to control visibility of markups based on permissions

With BIM 360 Docs, Autodesk is delivering on their mission to offer construction project teams and 
single system that can be used by everyone on the project – from designers to contractors to owners — for all their construction document management needs.  We’re unleashing the power of this “one app” mission by offering BIM 360 Docs without limits on the number of users, or the amount of storage — and offering it free for a single project. 

Ready to try it out for yourself?

Starting today, you can use BIM 360 Docs for free to manage all your construction plans, models and documents.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is Canada's New Anti-Spam Legislation a Joke?

Well as of July 1, 2014., companies in Canada are not allowed to email businesses without the written consent of the recipient, according to the new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).  Is this a joke?  I think I have received more emails over the last few weeks asking me for my consent than I have received actual spam!  Are these email requests not spam under the definition of spam in the Legislation?  Therefore, has this Legislation not just exponentially contributed to an increase of spam rather than get a control on it?  All of this reminds me of the infamous telemarketing "no-call" list the government tried to implemented a number of years ago.  In droves Canadians submitted their phone numbers in wishful thinking that unwanted solicitation calls would cease - my experience was they actually increased.  You see, this no-call list was submitted to the companies making the phone calls, instructing them to not call those numbers on the list.  Well, with limited resources to police the no-call list, I believe the list actually became a list that validated "good" phone numbers to the telemarketing companies; hence the increase in calls to me.  Although the CASL is different in its concept, it still begs the question on how it will be enforced, if at all.

The interesting thing to me is that nowhere in the Legislation does it outline or stipulate how a company is suppose to seek your consent other that saying that it has to be in writing.  How does a company make you aware that they have content that is worthy of your consent without sending it to you first?  Or at the very least, how do they contact you asking for consent without spamming you for your consent?  It will be interesting to see how and if this Legislation will be enforced or just forgotten about over time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Redcage Partners with Nasuni

Redcage is proud to announce that we have partnered up with Nasuni, the next-generation of cloud-integrated storage for the enterprise.   Nasuni's Storage Infrastructure as a Service (SIaaS) is a complete storage solution leveraging the cloud as a primary storage component built-in to a unified storage system.  If your firm is sharing design data between remote locations, either internally between branch locations or externally with consultants, Nasuni will reduce file open times to seconds instead of minutes, allow you to manage file distribution with multiple entities around the globe, and give you full encryption security to ensure your data is safe and sound.  Combining Autodesk's Revit Server technology with Nasuni's Service greatly improves the performance of Revit Server.

Redcage will be hosting a free Nasuni Event on June 6th.  We encourage you to come out and see the future of distributed enterprise storage. You can register for this event here

Redcage is Autodesk Building Specialized

Autodesk has recently made changes to the way they categorize their Partners.  Partners are now designated by Specializations which align with their expertise through demonstrating their aptitude in certain areas.  To gain a Specialization, a Partner must demonstrate and prove their ability to consistently deliver advanced client solutions and support in the area of the Specialization.  Partner personnel are required to pass certification exams relating to the industries in which they do business. Working with certified personnel gives you the client the benefit of this expertise. Certified personnel are uniquely qualified to help you get the most out of your Autodesk solutions.  The "Specialized" designation indicates that the Autodesk Partner has expert knowledge and has demonstrated expertise in delivering advanced customer solutions, consulting, training, and support in the area of the Specialization.

Redcage has been certified BUILDING SPECIALIZED by Autodesk.  The Building Specialization encompasses Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure, Ecotect Analysis, InfraWorks 360, Quantity Takeoff, Robot Professional, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, ReCAP, Showcase, 3ds Max Design, Navisworks, Green Building Studio, and Autodesk 360.

Redcage moves Corporate Head Office to Mississauga, ON.

As of this April, Redcage has moved to a new head office located in Mississauga, ON. at 299 Courtneypark Drive East, Unit # 101. This professional space boasts 3000sq. ft. of offices and a new state-of-the-art training facility.  Adorned with large windows which provide an abundance of natural light, Redcage picked this location due to its centralized location in the GTA.  With easy access from the Highways 401, 410, 407, 403, and 10 and surrounded by local amenities, it makes for the ideal location for all clientele.
The full address is 299 Courtneypark Drive East, Unit #101.  Mississauga, ON. L5T 2T6.

Redcage Awarded Autodesk Platinum Club

At Autodesk's recent One Team Conference, an annual sales and leadership event, held in Las Vegas, NV., Redcage Solutions was awarded Autodesk's Platinum Club for being Autodesk's Best New Reseller of the Year.  This prestigious recognition for outstanding achievement by a partner in a channel network of over 2500 partners worldwide solidifies Redcage's expertise in delivering superior-class service and technical know-how to their customers. 

"On behalf of Redcage Solutions, we would like to sincerely thank Autodesk for this prestigious award and recognition," said Gino Barone, President and co-founder of Redcage Solutions. "Looking back at the year it has taught us many lessons, but the single most important lesson Redcage has learned is that our relationships with our clients are not just an aspect of our business-they are the foundation of it.  Please allow me to extend my deepest gratitude to our clients, the Redcage team, and our partners for their contribution towards this great achievement."

As one of the newest Autodesk partner in Canada, this honor is no small feat and marks another milestone for the Redcage team.  "We may be the newest Autodesk partner but, our experience stems from decades of working in and with the building and manufacturing industries using BIM and CAD Solutions!" said Mr. Barone.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Revit 2015 System Requirements - No support for 32 bit O/S

Revit 2015 does not support 32bit operating systems. So if you plan on upgrading to Revit 2015 and currently have a 32bit OS, you will have to upgrade to 64bit OS.   
See requirements.

The Data Boom: Store, Access, Share, Secure, Archive

Your company's data is everything; it's the blood line of your business.  It's your business' intellect, identity, personality, and quite frankly what makes you different from your competitors and appealing to your clients.  It is arguably the single most valuable asset your firm owns.  So are you managing, protecting, and utilizing it the best way possible?  Probably not; most companies don't.  And it is not your fault, it is just what happens when companies get bigger and new technology grows the data.  Today's enterprise data storage solutions are tasked with storing, managing, protecting and providing access to data in order to support business initiatives.  The demands on these storage solutions multiply as organizations become more distributed and corporate data grows exponentially.  Simultaneously, IT is under continuous pressure to spend less while also taking responsibility for more strategic initiatives.  This combination of factors is driving a need for innovative data storage solutions that manage and distribute data more effectively in this changing business environment.   Does any of these sound familiar?
  • Are you regularly running out of network drive space?
  • Do you need to archive more often than before to make room for newer project data?
  • Is project data getting larger and larger (Revit files)?
  • Are you struggling to find better ways to share data internally within your design teams or externally with consultants?
  • Are file open times getting greater and greater?
  • Do you need to collaborate with teams in other parts of the world?
  • Do you use Revit Server and find it a necessary evil?
  • Has your firm ever lost project data that had to be done over?
  • Do you feel confident in your current back-up / archiving methodologies?
  • Do you worry about a possible disaster or future potential for catastrophe?
These are some tell-tale signs that might be indicating that your firm's data is at risk in the near future.

Recently, cloud storage has emerged as a tool with new capabilities and the potential to solve the storage challenges of today's enterprise.  Leveraging the cloud as a component, Storage Infrastructure as a Service (SIaaS) is a new solution for enterprise data storage that delivers uniform storage with superior functionality across an enterprise organization.  After adopting SIaaS, organizations are better equipped to address the data management and user access demands of today.

Organizations often streamline costs and improve efficiency by outsourcing key applications and infrastructure.  However, in the case of data storage, enterprise organizations do not want to (and should not have to) sacrifice data security and performance for the benefits of outsourcing.  With the right solution, organizations can gain the value of storage as a service with the added benefits of centralized management, improved control and local performance.

Storage Infrastructure as a Service (SIaaS) is a solution that leverages cloud storage and allows IT to centrally manage data storage delivered as a service.  The solution is comprised of an on-premises controller combined with cloud storage and powered by an innovative technology, which altogether deliver a full enterprise-class data storage solution. SIaaS simplifies the way organizations consume, manage, share, and integrate storage, transforming from a complex hardware infrastructure distributed throughout the organization, to a centralized service with convenient access from every office and device.  This unique approach to enterprise data storage provides significant advantages over the complex hardware components in five key areas: 
Consolidated storage
  • Superior functionality
  • Uniform infrastructure
  • Unlimited scalability
  • Everywhere access
The technology and time are right for considering moving your company's data to the cloud.  For more information on Storage Infrastructure as a Service (SIaaS), contact pbardati@redcage.ca.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Revit Tip: Setting up Shared Coordinates

In the video link below we show you how to set up shared coordinates in a Revit project using the specify coordinates at point inside of Revit. We will also be using a CAD survey and linking the CAD file into Revit.

Additional Tips:

1.  Do not reclip Survey Point and Project Base Point until you have adjusted everything.

2.  Export your Revit site as an AutoCAD file and Xref back into AutoCAD survey to double check if your setup is correct.

3.  If error appears when linking CAD file into Revit try and change your CAD units to Meters.

4.  Cleanup the CAD survey and only have the relevant information required to setup your Site in Revit.

5.  Beneficial to have a separate site Revit file and link this Revit Site plan into your Revit building project.

Click here to view video.

Monday, March 31, 2014

PDF to CAD Converter

CAD drawings are often saved in PDF format, which is great for sharing, as it doesn't require the native application to view the document. The problem is that a PDF is useless if the user wants to edit or make changes to the drawing. The only solution is to convert it back into a CAD format using a PDF converter.  Design professionals can convert vector images and text locked in native PDF files into fully editable CAD formats where they can be used and edited as needed.

Able2Extract PDF Converter is a very comprehensive PDF software solution with many conversion options:
  • The ability to convert PDF to DXF and DWG formats for easy editing in CAD
  • Extract text and vector drawings trapped within PDFs with just a few clicks
  • View even the most complex 2D data using an advanced built-in viewer
  • Preview the content to be selected and converted
  • Convert drawings directly into layers
  • Works on multiple platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
We tested this application and found it to work quite well.  Although we had difficulty going directly to DWG, it worked flawlessly going to DXF, which can then be saved as DWG in AutoCAD.  Text comes in as text, geometry come in as polylines, and some default layers are set up.  However, dimensions do not come in as dimensions but since you are probably converting a drawing that is scaled, you will want to scale everything up or down and re-dimension anyways.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Powerful PDFs with Bluebeam Revu

PDFs are a staple in our digital environment today.  We primarily use them to distribute and share our designs with others without having to send the native files (DWGs, RVTs, etc.).  Well, what if you could do more with these PDFs - much more!  That is where Bluebeam Revu comes in.  At a very attractive price, Bluebeam Revu opens up your PDF capabilities greatly.  Bluebeam has plugins for AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks, SolidWorks, SketchUp, and Office for direct PDF creation and batch options, or use the Bluebeam PDF printer to convert other CAD and Windows files to 10 different file formats.  Bluebeam automatically reads your drawing's orientation, scale, line weights, merged lines, plot style table and page size, so there is no need to adjust your settings.   Redline 2D and 3D PDFs with industry-standard markups including text, clouds, highlights, CAD symbols, stamps, images and more. Save custom markups in the patented Tool Chest for easy reuse, and use Revu's editing capabilities to assemble PDFs of RFIs, submittals, bid sets and more.  Perform takeoffs, automatically  compare drawings revisions,track markups in a list, integrate with SharePoint or ProjectWise, go mobile on a tablet PC or iPad and collaborate with project partners around the world in real time using Bluebeams's cloud-based solution, Bluebeam Studio.


Check out these videos showing how Bluebeam is used by Architects, Engineers, and Construction.

Read case studies from AEC customers and learn how Bluebeam has changed the way they work.

Download a 30-day trial today and experience the Bluebeam difference.
Bluebeam Revu 12 is Here!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Project Collaboration for AEC: Vault Professional Subscription now includes Autodesk Buzzsaw

Autodesk Vault Professional is data management software which helps organize, manage, and track data creation, simulation, and documentation processes for design, engineering, and construction teams. Vault Pro gives you more control over design data with revision management capabilities and quickly find and reuse design data, for easier management of your design and engineering information.

Autodesk Buzzsaw is a leading cloud-based document, design, and model management solution for centralizing and more securely exchanging project information across companies, disciplines, and locations. Buzzsaw helps enable Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows with tools for documentation, modeling, and data management. Access Buzzsaw securely from your desktop, the web, or your mobile device.
Now with Subscription to Autodesk Vault Professional, users of Vault Pro are entitled to an Autodesk Buzzsaw site with an equivalent number of Buzzsaw users.  The Buzzsaw Benefit Form requires a valid Buzzsaw site name.  To create and validate a Buzzsaw site name through the Buzzsaw trial site mechanism, go here.   

Monday, March 3, 2014

Revit Keyboard Shortcut Tip

Did you know that you can have multiple assignments for the same keyboard shortcut?

Assigned EE to "EDIT" just about anything, Edit Boundary, Edit Profile, Edit System, Edit Family, etc.  Then do the same for FF "FINISH" (this eliminates having to click the "Green Tick".  Lastly assign CC to "CANCEL" (this eliminates having to click the "Red X'.

Now  you can speed up your editing as such:
  • click on floor, type EE, and you are now in Edit Boundary, type FF and you are finished.
  • click on wall, type EE, and you are in Edit Profile, type FF to finish.
  • click on roof, type EE, you're in Edit Boundary, type FF to finish and so on.

You can also Cycle through all the available commands that are associated with the first letter of a keyboard shortcut by using the left/right arrow keys.
Source: RevitForum.org (http://www.revitforum.org/tutorials-tips-tricks/581-more-shortcut-key-magic.html)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Worksharing Display Modes - Revit Tip

A great Revit tip is Worksharing Disiplay Modes, which is conveniently accessible inside of Revit.  With these modes, users can easily visualize their model to understand what is happening in many areas in and around their project's environment.

Prior to worksharing display, it was difficult to see which elements within Revit each user had ownership of.  This oftentimes than not, created workflow issues when borrowed elements were modified.   Another common problem is when users would forget to switch to the proper workset prior to placing elements in Revit.  This resulted in multiple elements appearing on the wrong worksets.

The solution to avoiding these unnecessary workflow hurdles has now been simplified by using the Worksharing display command. With this command enabled (see control bar image below), users can choose between four worksharing display modes.

Checkout Status
Helps users distinguish between elements that are owned
by the individual, others or no one.

Individual owners will help users visualize exactly which elements are belonging to which users.

The worksets tab helps users visualize elements based on the workset to which they're associated.

Model Updates
Allows users to see changes to the model and to observe which elements have been deleted and/ updated.

Users can make changes to the colour display of these modes by selecting Worksharing Display Settings.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Do you need some ice for your drink?

Here is a very interesting article from the Toronto Star speaking about new age building designs and the potential hazards that are created from ice and snow build up on the exterior. 

When the this ice and snow eventually give way to gravity, it is coming crashing down to the streets below.  We do wind analysis, sun/shadow studies, line of sight studies and wind/snow load calculations; so do we need to now do winter melt-down analysis?

Toronto Star: More ice risk seen from new building towers

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Autodesk Subscription: What you need to know

Do you know that your Subscription contract is with Autodesk; not the reseller you purchase from or renew with?  This is a very common misunderstanding amoung a lot of Subscription Contract Administrators.  Subscription is a direct contract with Autodesk that provides you with standard entitlements for your software licenses.  These standard entitlements are no different no matter which reseller you deal with.  Autodesk's standard Subscription entitlements are: 

Version Upgrades when released (typically yearly around the end of March)

 Web-based Technical Support directly with Autodesk (not live)

Access and use of Autodesk's cloud services (Autodesk 360)

Additional Licensing Rights (Previous Version, Home Use, and Out of Country)

So you don't lose out on any of these entitlements or privileges no matter which reseller you decide to deal with.  It is like buying a car, you are not locked into dealing with the same dealership you purchased the car from; you can take your car to any dealership for service and the support from the car manufacturer is the same.  The dealership may offer you more value-add to encourage your continued business with them.  So Autodesk resellers may do the same.  Where there may be a difference is what the reseller opts to offer as additional entitlements that are not part of the standard Autodesk entitlements.  For example, Redcage Solutions offers Free, Unlimited:
        Live Technical Support from our Autodesk certified Application Specialists

Installation / Deployment Support for all your licensing

"How-to do something in the software" questions

Tutorials on how to use Autodesk 360 cloud services

Asset / Contract Management services

Hard-copy Media requests

Ultimately, pick a reseller that you are comfortable dealing with, one that goes the extra mile for you without trying to charge you for everything you need.  One that Specializes in your firm's discipline and has the expertise on staff to provide you with the best level of knowledge, support, and service on your Autodesk investment.