Autodesk’s New Terminology for Licenses

As most Autodesk software users have learned, Autodesk has modified its method of selling the various software packages and how users pay for ongoing usage of the software.  I won’t go into those actual methods as they are well documented at Autodesk.  However, since “words mean things”, I am posting this notification from Autodesk.  When you see information from Autodesk, it is important to know what they now mean as the old terminology we previously used may not mean the same thing now.

Here it is….

Dear Autodesk Customer,

On February 1, 2016, we are making some simplification changes to our subscription offerings by:

  • Changing the way we talk about our offerings
    • Everyone with a Desktop Subscription or Cloud Service Subscription will simply be subscribing to an Autodesk product or service—rather than purchasing a “type” of subscription—and will be referred to as a subscriber.
    • Network licenses will also be referred to as multi-user access (shared by two or more people).
    • Standalone or named user licenses will also be referred to as single-user access (used by one person only).
    • A “Maintenance Subscription” will be called a maintenance plan—and to accurately distinguish these customers from subscribers, they will be referred to as maintenance plan customers.
  • Consolidating our Global Travel Rights policy
    • If you have purchased your software in your home country you will be allowed to access and use your software while traveling worldwide for the term of your subscription or maintenance plan.
  • Updating our terms and conditions, effective February 1, 2016
    • To reflect these simplification changes, and other related changes
    • Pursuant to section 8.9 of the Autodesk Maintenance Subscription Terms and Conditions and Autodesk Desktop Subscription Terms and Conditions, those terms and conditions are being replaced by the new maintenance plan terms and conditions and subscription for single-user terms and conditions which will go live in early February here.

If you have questions about the new terminology or changes to our Global Travel Rights policy, contact your Autodesk Authorized Reseller or your Autodesk sales representative.

Are Revit Dependent Views Still Needed?

Autodesk introduced dependent views to Revit several releases ago and they have been a popular feature when you have a large building with multiple units/areas in order to show the entire floor plan at a scale of say 1/8″=1′-0″.  When they were introduced, they were great as they allowed us to break up a large floor plan into manageable units and control the visibility of all units by only modifying one view.  We were able to get good consistency and increased speed, along with having view reference tags for adjoining views.  I thought is was a great feature.

However, is the use of dependent views still as important at it was when they were introduced?  My belief at this time is that they are not as important for everyone.  I think some users will get good benefit from them, but others will get benefit from not using them.

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Revit 2016 R2 Update 1 Released

Autodesk has released Update 1 for the R2 version of Revit 2016.  Almost all of the improvements are stability related, so if you have been have any issues with Revit 2016, you will want to install this update.  But then, you will probably want to install this update to help avoid potential stability issues.

Get Update Here

See List of Revit 2016 Enhancements

Revit 2015 Update 11

Autodesk has released Update 11 for Revit 2015.  It appears that the release is primarily about stability of the software, but it is always a good thing to have better stability.

The following are listed improvements in Update 11.

  • Improves stability after editing a dimension witness line and then moving the mouse outside of the Properties palette.
  • Improves stability when creating dimensions.
  • Improves stability when working within a worksharing model with central files on an unstable network environment.
  • Improves stability when modifying a schedule’s appearance when the schedule does not contain table contents and headers.
  • Improves stability when encountering conflicting non-unique extensible storage schemas.

Following are the build numbers for Update 11:

  • Revit 2015 build: 20151207_1515
  • Revit 2015 R2 build: 20151208_0715

Get Update Here

See PDF of Revit 2015 Enhancements

 

Revit Electrical Panel Load Calculation Issues

I was recently exposed to an issue with electrical panel loads that illustrated what I feel are unique characteristics of how Revit circuit loads and Load Classifications affect the values that you see on the electrical panel schedule.  If everything is utilized in Revit exactly as Revit is designed and intended, everything works fine.  However, that rarely happens.  Engineering firms create and customize families, and change or set Load Classifications which can impact the proper loading calculations.

Many companies have electrical panel schedules which display the Loads Summary at the bottom of the panel.  This summary section separates each Load Classification into its own line so that you can see how much Connected Load exists for each different type of Load Classification and the Estimated Demand for each Load Classification.  Those load values are then displayed as the Total Connected Load and the Total Demand Load that should include everything on the panel.  The Total Connected Load is then displayed on a Switchboard panel schedule from which that panel is served.  There are many different variations of how this information is displayed, but the general process is the same.  Subpanels may also be involved, but the same issues exist with those loads.

In reviewing the issue, there were 2 different problems that were manifested in the panel loading.  This article is an attempt to describe those 2 problems to help others understand what may be happening when load numbers don’t add up.  I recommend everyone read the Autodesk Knowledge Network’s explanation of how Load Calculations are supposed to work.  Read it at About Load Calculations.

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SketchUp 2016

Trimble has announced the release of SketchUp 2016.  SketchUp has been a popular 3D design software for several years as it is used by designers desiring an easy to use software to visualize a project in 3D.  While I do not personally consider it a software to use for documentation purposes, it is a great tool for design and visualization and I know designers that do use it for project documentation.

Trimble has 2 versions of SketchUp:

  1. SketchUp Make is the version for personal use and is free.  Note that it is not licensed for commercial work, so you cannot legally use it for professional services.
  2. SketchUp Pro is the version for commercial use and must be purchased if you plan on using the software to professional services.  The price for the Pro version is $695.00.

If you have never experienced SketchUp, I recommend that you check it out at http://www.sketchup.com

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Unload Revit Link Per User

Autodesk has just released the Revit 2016 R2 update to users that are on the subscription program (both maintenance and desktop).  Autodesk has started providing these R2 releases mid-year and can include significant improvements.  While there are reportedly 25 updates in this release, there is one that I particularly like as a user working on a model with multiple other users.  That is the ability to unload a Revit link on a per user basis.

Prior to 2016 R2, if I unload a Revit link and Save to Central, the file will be unloaded for other users when they Save to Central or Reload Latest.

Being able to unload a Revit link on a per user basis means that I can unload a linked file and I will be the only user affected.  I can save the file to central with the file unloaded and when other users Save to Central or Reload Latest, their version will still have the link loaded.

There are definitely times when I want to increase my Revit’s performance and memory usage and I don’t need a loaded link throughout the day, but I can’t unload it because others need to have the link loaded for their purposes.  You can really annoy other users by unloading a link that they want to use or see.

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