Enhancements For Advance Steel and Steel Connections

Autodesk is enhancing its product for structural engineers and is previewing those enhancements to Advance Steel and Steel Connections for Revit at NASCC 2017.

Following is Autodesk’s statement concerning the enhancements.

Autodesk Revit and Advance Steel better connect structural design and fabrication

Since acquiring Advance Steel in 2013, Autodesk continues to work towards better support for BIM-centric workflows for structural steel design and detailing. For instance, we have been working to strengthen the interoperability between Autodesk Revit design software and Autodesk Advance Steel software. In advance of tomorrow’s opening day of the NASCC conference, we’re happy to announce that the forthcoming Advance Steel 2018 release next month will now offer seamless consumption of LOD350* Revit models.

This exciting news means that engineers can deliver more accurate designs and bills of materials to the detailer and fabricator. And for the detailer, it means they can more quickly respond to design changes while delivering the files needed to drive steel fabrication. This interoperability will help steel detailers and fabricators take full advantage of the steel design model—a notable benefit for the industry.

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Year End BIM Evaluation

It is now the end of another year, with all the experiences of life that comes with that year.  As such, we tend to evaluate the past year and look forward to the challenges and experiences of the new year.  That includes all different aspects of our lives, including the personal and professional sides.  However, in additional to individuals doing this, organizations need to do the same thing.

Since this is an building industry oriented blog, I am going to touch on what I believe to be an important component of AEC firms in the technological age in which we now live.  That is the evaluation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) within your firm.  While there are still many AEC firms that have not moved into the world of BIM, it is becoming more common and more important in the industry.

It is extremely important to evaluate BIM within a firm.  There are costs associated with moving toward BIM integration and it is important to understand whether your firm is getting a return on that investment and how it can be improved.

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One-Line Diagrams in Revit

As I work with electrical engineers who are migrating to Revit, a common question that I get is “How do I create one-line diagrams in Revit”.  One-line diagrams, also called single-line diagrams, are an important part of electrical drawings for construction documents, so it is a subject that needs to be addressed.  They are a simplified method of representing a 3-phase power system that shows distribution boards, switchboards, transformers, panels, breakers, etc., with lines illustrating the connectivity of the components of the distribution system.  The diagram is not just for physical construction of the building’s electrical system, but developed by the electrical engineer during early stages of design.

The problem that you run into with creating one-line diagrams inside Revit is that the one-line diagrams are generally created before the equipment is actually placed in the Revit model.  The electrical engineer will design the building’s electrical system by developing this diagram, then placing the electrical service equipment based upon the diagram.

Unfortunately, Revit does not provide a way of coordinating the one-line diagram with the actual electrical components placed inside Revit, either before the electrical equipment is placed or after the equipment is placed in the model.

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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.

Project LOD for BIM

It is becoming more common for the Level of Development (LOD) to be specified on projects that require Building Information Modeling (BIM).  Many times, the “LOD” term is thrown around and utilized without the specifier being familiar with what the term really means.  As a result, confusion abounds and clients may say they want “a LOD 500 project”, although it does not really exist.

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Alternative to AIA E202 Document

When working with Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, contract documents concerning the development and usage of the actual model are extremely important.  I have previously written articles on the “Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit Document E202″ by the American Institute of Architects.  An alternative to this document is the “ConsensusDOCS 301 Building Information Modeling (BIM) Addendum” by ConsensusDOCS, LLC. Continue reading

BIM Standards with the AIA® E202

The Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit Document E202 was developed by the American Institute of Architects in 2008 and is an extremely important document when working with Building Information Model (BIM) technology.  I have previously blogged about the Level of Development portion and its impact, but there is another aspect of the document which is also very important.  A portion of the document addresses the BIM standards that are to be utilized when creating and sharing the model.  This portion is very important as it creates continuity for the project and provides the owner with the format that they desire, if applicable.  It can also have a big impact on productivity. Continue reading