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: (

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. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Autodesk and U.S. Department of Energy Team on Open Sourcing Major Update to EnergyPlus Engine

At Greenbuild 2013, Autodesk Spotlights New Initiatives and Technologies for Sustainable Building Community 

In a public handoff to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) at Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia today, Autodesk is donating completely re-written EnergyPlus engine source-code, to be made available under the DoE's open source license.

Read More

Monday, January 27, 2014

Getting more out of your Revit Schedules

Have you ever wanted to get a bit more out of your Revit schedules?  If so, than here's a video for you! Schedules can be a very powerful tool in Revit--and if used correctly, can have multiple uses. For example, why not start using schedules as a design check to increase productivity? Who knows, maybe by simply unleashing some power inside Revit Schedules, you might eventually abandon that trusty calculator by your desk since you can now add parameters, create formulas based on said parameters and even add a conditional format to bring your schedules to life with colour.


In the attached video, we will figure out if we are meeting the minimum square foot requirement for our rooms in our model by:

  • Creating a custom parameter (Area Required).
  • Creating a room schedule (Number, Name, Area, Area Required).
  • Editing the Area Required parameter for each room.
  • Creating a calculated value called Area Check (Area Required - Area).
  • Adding shading (new in Revit 2014) to the Area Check column in our schedule.
  • Creating a conditional format called Area Check (Area Check > If Between -10sf to 10sf make the schedule field Green). This lets us know if we are within our specified requirement.
  • Modifying walls and watch the fields change colour.

In earlier versions of Revit, you could only shade with 1 colour through a conditional format.  It is only in the latest Revit 2014 you can add shading right from the ribbon when viewing a schedule.


If you are a Revit MEP mechanical user, why not use the same workflow to design check your air flow requirements inside of the spaces against the air flow parameter in an air terminal. For electrical users, you can check your foot candles inside your spaces against the foot candles in a light fixture. 

Enjoy this video from my colleague, Bill Wright

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Learn how LOOK Effects plans and creates visual effects for the FOX TV show "Bones".

Since the inception of the internationally popular FOX TV show “Bones,” LOOK Effects has worked closely with the show’s creative team to plan and create the visual effects using Autodesk's 3ds Max software.

Now deep into season nine, LOOK continues to turn Los Angeles into Washington, DC; extend sets into the grand rooms of the Jeffersonian; enhance practical gore and bring crazy weather to locations all over the US.

Be sure to check out this webinar which will feature VFX Supervisor Christian Cardona and 3D Supervisor, Michael Capton, discussing how LOOK accomplishes visual effects for 22+ episodes a year. Michael will continue with a detailed shot breakdown of the VES Awards-nominated tornado sequence from season seven.​

This webinar will be in English only.

Date:  January 28, 2014
Time:  4:00pm - 5:00pm EST

Register here now

Monday, January 20, 2014

Revit Daylighting

A new plug-in was recently introduced to Revit users called, Revit 2014 Daylighting Analysis plug-in (RDA), which uses

the Autodesk 360 Rendering cloud service to provide users with a very fast and physically accurate daylighting analysis from within Revit. 

Designed with users in mind, this easy-to-use tool allows Revit users to now specify the location they wish to analyze, regardless if it's a floor (single or multiple) or an entire building and can produce LEED IEQc8.1 2009 results for submittal. The RDA plug-in generates illuminance results from Autodesk 360 that are comparable to Radiance.

Since results are generated on your Revit model, users can see exactly how the daylighting is interacting with their Revit model even as they orbit or change views.  All results will appear in real-time.

Note: The RDA plug-in will only run on Revit 2014 UR2.

To view our video demonstration on how to use this tool, click here.

If you are interested in this plug-in you will need to join the Technology Preview by clicking here.
For all other inquiries, contact us today to learn more.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Be Aware that Your Autodesk Cloud Credits Changed

Autodesk Subscription and Rental Plan customers receive 100 cloud credits per seat of software that they have on Subscription contract.  These free credits make it easy for you to try out the services on Autodesk's 360 Cloud Service.  Up until December 13, 2013, companies where able to pool these credits and share them with other users with a license on the contract. As of December 13, the policy changed. First, any unused cloud credits will expire on the anniversary date of the customer's Subscription contract (ie. your renewal date).  Secondly, each user on an existing contract will automatically receive 100 individual cloud credits that cannot be shared, pooled or transferred. The idea around this is to get more users to try Autodesk 360 Cloud services instead of one or two power users using up all the firms credits themselves.

Need more cloud credits?
You can purchase more cloud credits by contacting me.   Please support your local Autodesk Reseller instead of buy directly from Autodesk - we depend on your business to survive and be here to support you locally in the future.

Did you know you can now rent Autodesk software?

Rental plans allow you to license Autodesk software for a specified period of time to meet a variety of project, budget and business considerations. Rental licenses give you short-term access to Autodesk software, with the option to renew as required. Rental licenses offer benefits similar to a perpetual license with Autodesk Subscription, including basic support and, for most products, access to select Autodesk 360 cloud services. Other benefits include:

  • Flexibility: pay as you go for access to software only when you need it.
  • Scalability: manage costs without a large up-front investment or long-term commitment.  Quickly scale up and down to manage a variety of temporary project and staffing needs.
  • Access to the latest tools-stay current with the latest releases and product enhancements.
  • Various rental plans available: monthly, quarterly or annually.

For more details on Autodesk's rental plans or for pricing, please contact us at 1-888-249-4481, ext. 223 or by submitting your details using our contact form

Monday, November 11, 2013

HUGE Policy Change for Autodesk: NO MORE UPGRADES!

Autodesk Policy Change- Upgrades Ending February 1, 2015

As announced at the recent Autodesk Investor Day, effective February 1, 2015, Autodesk will discontinue upgrade purchase options for all non-current versions of our products.  Autodesk will still continue to offer customers options to “cross-grade” from a current-release perpetual license to a current-release with greater functionality, such as AutoCAD to a Design Suite.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Autodesk FormIt

This mobile app helps you capture building design concepts digitally anytime, anywhere ideas strike. Use real-world site information to help create forms in context and support early design decisions with real building data. Experience a continuous Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow by synchronizing designs in the cloud for further refinement using Autodesk Revit software products and other applications.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max Design, 3ds Max, and Maya 2012 Available

The Subscription Advantage Pack for Autodesk® 3ds Max®2012, Autodesk® 3ds Max® Design 2012, Autodesk® Maya® 2012, Autodesk®Softimage® 2012, Autodesk® Mudbox® 2012, Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suites 2012, and Autodesk® Smoke® 2012 for Mac OS® X software are now available through the Autodesk Subscription Center.

Feature highlights:
  • ActiveShade support for iray® renderer
  • Adobe® Photoshop® and After Effects® interoperability
  • New render pass system

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autodesk Videos

Here are some links to recently released corporate videos from Autodesk - some pretty nice imagery!!



Better by Design

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stop the Cap!

More than 160,000 ordinary Canadians have signed a petition telling telecom companies to back off their Internet Overcharging schemes. The NDP has adopted an anti-Overcharging position, and now, an ally of ours, is spearheading an effort to get the larger Liberal Party involved in the fight against Internet ripoffs.
Deep pocketed cable and phone companies have invaded Ottawa with their lobbyists and friends to try and keep your broadband bill as high as possible. We can trump their hand, but only if you get involved.
With Canadian government pressure, the CRTC will fold like a wet newspaper. Openmedia is trying to collect a historic 200,000 signatures, and starting today every signature will send e-mail to the inbox of Michael Ignatieff and Liberal Party Digital Critic Pablo Rodriguez, encouraging them to join the fight.
If you don’t want to pay through the roof for your broadband, hurry and add your name to the petition. Ottawa has been surprised by the backlash from everyday consumers from BC to PEI. Now let’s deliver the death blow to Internet Overcharging and tell Bell, Rogers, and Shaw to enjoy the fat profits they already earn, and stop the gouging.
Action Alert — Canada’s Internet Ripoff Goes to Parliament: Get Involved – Click Here!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ecotect Analysis Software Price Reduction

Autodesk announces a price reduction on it’s Ecotect Analysis software as of February 1st.  The price is being reduced from US$3,000 to US$1,500.  Ecotect Analysis software includes Autodesk Green Building Studio software as a Subscription entitlement.  the annual Subscription rates are also reduced to US$360 per license.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Subscription Advantage Packs (Canadian French)

The Autodesk Subscription Advantage Packs include product enhancements, presentations, and other resources available only to current Subscription customers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Autodesk 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2011 Hotfix 4 Now Available

An update for Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 software and Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 software is currently available on the Autodesk website. This hotfix helps resolve issues with the following features: the 3ds Max® Character Animation Toolkit, Autodesk FBX interoperability, Autodesk Materials, and mental ray software. It improves the overall operation of the 3ds Max software products. For more information on issues resolved in this hotfix, please visit the AREA.

This hotfix is cumulative; it contains the fixes from all previous 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design software hotfix releases.

Action: Go to the Autodesk 3ds Max Services & Support page to update your software.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Great “Revit Content” Website

Doors, Windows, Walls, oh my…Here is a great website, Revit Content,  were you can buy professionally developed Revit content (families).  The best part is it comes with a 30-day Full Money Back Guarantee.  So the if the content doesn't fulfil your requirements, you can ask for your money back within 30 days or even better yet they will amend the content you purchased to your requirements for FREE.  How’s that for customer service?

All the Content is Certified.  The Content provided is professional created Revit Families that go through a multi-level certification process.  Learn more

Content Update - As soon as a content is going to be updated, every single customer who has downloaded this content before, gets automatically an notification email that a new update on this particular Revit Content is available for a FREE download - Yes, it is FREE for everybody who downloaded this particular Revit Content in a previous version.  This Service gives you the guarantee to always have the latest Revit Content which makes all the difference to the accuracy, stability, performance and data output achievable within your Revit Project.  Learn more about our FREE Content Update Service.

Content Notifer - keep you always informed about the Revit Content that is coming online.  Learn more about our FREE Content Notifier Service

Monday, November 1, 2010

10 Things to Know About Revit Server (repost)

The blog Revit Clinic had a post last month on the 10 Things to Know About Revit Server.  This was a very good informative post that i encourage you to check out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New McGraw Hill Construction Green BIM Smart Market Report


Autodesk recently participated as the premier corporate sponsor for the Green BIM Smart Market Report. Key findings from the report demonstrate:

  • Green building sector will drive adoption of BIM - 7 out of 10 respondents report medium to high green project involvement.
  • Opportunities in Green Retrofit - 88% of non-green BIM users believe they will use it for retrofit projects during next two years.
  • Energy Performance Monitoring - Owners have low awareness of the benefits of BIM.
  • Energy Performance Simulation - Green BIM users are simulating energy performance, including lighting/daylighting, whole building analysis, and energy code compliance.

Resources to support Green BIM opportunities include:

Friday, October 15, 2010

AutoCAD for Mac - First Customer Shipment

Autodesk is planning the First Customer Shipment (FCS) of AutoCAD for Mac on Friday, October 15. On this day, customers will be able to place orders with authorized resellers.

Autodesk recognizes that many existing AutoCAD software customers may have a preference for Apple Macintosh hardware and AutoCAD for Mac software. To support these customers, Autodesk is offering a US$400 upgrade from AutoCAD 2011 software to AutoCAD 2011 for Mac software. For a limited time, existing AutoCAD 2011 software customers with active Subscription contracts may be eligible to save even more.

From October 15, 2010, through January 14, 2011, existing AutoCAD Subscription Customers can save up to US$400 on new commercial licenses and up to US$200 on upgrades by mail-in rebate:

  • Save US$400 on new licenses: AutoCAD Subscription customers are eligible for a US$400 mail-in rebate on new commercial licenses of AutoCAD for Mac 2011 software.
  • Save US$200 on upgrades: AutoCAD Subscription customers are eligible for a US$200 mail-in rebate on upgrades from AutoCAD 2011 to AutoCAD 2011 for Mac software.

The AutoCAD for Mac Competitive Trade-up Program offers an option to purchase specially discounted, new licenses of AutoCAD for Mac for those customers who own a competitive product. To receive the special discounted price, customers must purchase Autodesk Subscription for each qualifying license along with the discounted product.  Examples of competitive products that will be accepted under this program are listed below.

  • Vectorworks
  • ArchiCAD
  • TurboCAD Mac Pro
  • Siemens NX

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Subscription Advantage Packs: Tools That Make an Impact

The 2011 Subscription Advantage Packs are now available to Subscription customers via Subscription Center. This year’s English Advantage Packs launched on September 29.

Autodesk Subscription Advantage Packs are available for download now by Subscription customers. Get ahead by gaining early access to the latest product enhancements for the 2011 version of your Autodesk software. Available for select products, Subscription Advantage Packs can include:

· Additional product features that expand and improve software functionality

· Integrated web services that promote collaboration and support sustainable design

· Robust design content such as specialized libraries and other tools that enrich visualizations and renderings

Download Your Subscription Advantage Pack by logging in to your Subscription Center:

Tutorial – How to Download Subscription Advantage Packs

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Service Pack 2 out for all Revit 2011 products

Autodesk has announced the availability of the Revit 2011 Update 2 build (20100903_2115) Release. the links below:

Revit Architecture

Revit MEP

Revit Structure

Autodesk Revit Platform 2011 Enhancements

  • Improves stability when locking of constraints within families.
  • Improves stability when modifying the properties of an element.
  • Ensures „Select All Instances‟ when used on viewports within a sheet does select all the viewports.
  • Improves stability when using the “Create Form” tool when In-Place edit a mass.
  • Improves stability when using “Complex” complexity mode during gbXML Export.
  • Corrects glazing area when using “Simple” complexity mode during gbXML Export.
  • Improves stability when editing element Phase inside a group.
  • Improves consistency of the ifcflowsegment and ifcflowfitting properties during a re-export to IFC.
  • Improves stability when exporting to AutoCad 2000 DWG files.
  • Improves stability during export to DWG files when exporting a view with a linked DWG in "new layers for overrides" mode.
  • Improves stability after switching location within the InfoCenter settings
  • Improves stability of InfoCenter when logged into Revit with a double byte username.
  • Improves stability when selecting materials from within the materials dialog.
  • Improves stability when switching between views
  • Improves visibility of manually applied hidden lines during printing and exporting of Structural Hidden Lines views.
  • Improves performance when using spinner control in the Decal Types dialog.
  • Improves stability when selecting array elements from within the Reveal Hidden Elements display mode.
  • Improves stability when finishing Sketch mode.
  • Improves stability when selecting a reference plane within the conceptual mass editor.
  • Improves stability when launching multiple sessions of Revit.
  • Corrects shadow casting of linked RVT files when in realistic display mode.
  • Improves stability when dragging sun.
  • Improves stability when upgrading Revit 2010 project file.
  • Corrects color of masked regions when rendered in Consistent Color display mode.

There are other enhancements per Revit “flavour” as well as the API which can be found in the associated Update Enhancement List PDF on each product page