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. 

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.