While most of us are buying VR tech and making it work nicely, AR (Augmented Reality) solutions are becoming more viable and more mainstream. Did you know that you can download and use emulators to assist you to develop augmented and mixed reality apps? Check out the links below:
BIM always makes sense for Healthcare projects, and in my opinion BIM will eventually make total sense for FM and Building Operations. I am deeply embedded in a few projects that are spanning across BIM, FM and Healthcare, and so I was especially interested in this whitepaper:
First Steps to Successful Deployment of BIM for Healthcare Operations
One particular comment really resonated with me, and I have copied it here below:
As Meghan Ruffo, contract BIM manager, Carolinas Health System, points out, tools can be added over time to process additional data. “Don’t think you have to have a perfect system set up to get started,” she advises. “Say you don’t have a space management system that integrates with Revit yet. You can still capture that information, and when you do implement that tool you will be ready to go.”
Aconex is a CDE (common data environment) used a lot through some regions for managing AEC correspondence. It is also used to register and share some BIM-related files and documents, although I don’t personally think Aconex is a great tool for that particular job.
In any case, if you are using it regularly it makes sense to automate the process. RTV have built a tool that allows you to connect with Aconex, and publish and transmit documents through the official register.
If you try to build a connector to get some Revit data to a database like MySQL, you may hit an issue where some strings that are allowed in Revit will do funny things to your SQL instructions, like this:
What to do? We need to ‘escape’ these characters during our data export or INSERT to create something that the database engine can consume. There are some exotic ways to get around this (like encode your text in base-64), but in my case I just wanted to replace the problem character with the escaped version. Ideally, we would use characters that we know will never be found in Revit Type or Family Names.
Revit does not allow these characters in most type and family names:
Looks like a backslash could work, as this is an escape character in MySQL, and it is not allowed by Revit as above.
You can do this a lot of ways in various coding languages, but an easy way is with a String Replace in Dynamo, like:
This workaround doesn’t handle every situation – like if you are pulling parameters out of Revit that contain all kind of characters, you may have to look at a more reliable text cleanup or encoding solution. But this helps with the Type and Family names at least 🙂
Recently I undertook a very detailed and intensive research project focused on BIM and Revit Content Management Systems. The results of that research will eventually become fully available… In fact it will be discussed in detail at an upcoming webinar (register here).
The research covered a range of product categories including Revit Integration and Management features. However, it also considered the cost and ROI of various content management systems. On a related note, I was very happy to hear that Unifi have now released UNIFI Standard, a content management solution for firms with less than 30 design staff, offered at the very attractive $14/month. Basically, as a smaller firm you can still afford to access a lot of the awesome Unifi Content Management features, but there are service level differences that mean it makes more sense for larger firms to stick with UNIFI Enterprise.
licensing model is named user – each person is assigned a license
price is $14/user/month
there are service level differences between Standard and Enterprise (level of support, customer/account management, onboarding services, SSO integration) although both products have access to the same content management features.
UNIFI Enterprise remains for firms who need more than 30 licenses and it will have two licensing models – active users or open/concurrent licenses. The pricing will be dependent on what type of license and how many are needed.
If you are using more than one Autodesk SSO, you may come across this problem…
After a Windows Update or something similar, Revit is not responsive after first launch. Clicking has no effect, but there is no dialog shown either.
You may investigate the process details and determine that LMU.exe is thrashing, and you could look at log file in C:\ProgramData\FLEXnet and see it growing. You can also observe something like this in the Revit Journal file: ‘C 08-Aug-2017 14:53:49.479; 0:< manage licensing ‘C 08-Aug-2017 14:54:03.845; 0:< License checkout failed: 20 ‘C 08-Aug-2017 14:54:03.845; 0:< License cleanup skipped
This is telling us there is a licensing problem. In this case, a perpetual license has somehow become deactivated. What is the fix?
You need to login with Autodesk SSO login credentials that have the Perpetual license for that product available…
To do this:
Start Revit Viewer for the same year version that is causing the problem, such as Revit Viewer 2015
Use the top right panel to logout and login with the correct SSO (login credentials)
Then, attempt to launch the full Revit application
It should re-activate itself now that the correct login credentials have been used
You can probably switch back to other credentials now that the activation has occurred
You can also use the A360 icon to sign in, this may be more reliable in some cases:
Yet another situation where you need to know What Revit Wants 🙂
We live in an age of robotics, drones and automation. And those things can be interesting in their own right. But when it comes to Architecture, some technologies seem to replace warmth and light with cold industrialism. Happily, Enscape is not one of those technologies. Whenever I use Enscape, I feel this effortless artistry at my fingertips. It takes the most basic of ideas and makes them more real, adding depth and light and excitement. Yes, I know that Enscape is essentially an addin, a piece of software that consumes models and renders them in real time. But it is executed so well, that it makes it seem like so much more. And in fact, it really does legitimately enhance the quality of work that you can produce rapidly within your own office.
I have posted about Enscape before in this full review, and in this post about Enscape 1.9. The question is: What does Enscape version 2.0 bring to the table?
One of the most significant enhancements in Enscape 2.0 is an improvement to the lighting engine, a feature that results in more Realistic Lighting. There has been additional thought and development work given to things like indirect lighting, behaviour of reflections, and overall realism. You will likely notice this difference if you open a model you used on previous versions of Enscape and try it with Enscape 2.0.
There is also a really nice new Grass material that looks great and is very easy to use. Along with this, better trees, plants, and other improved RPC replacements have been added.
Improved Navigation Methods:
Hit the M key at any time to activate a mini map:
Also, you can now Right-click on element to orbit around that element.
Performance and Hardware
I was warned that Enscape 2.0 introduce a higher demand on GPU performance due to better visual quality. This may make it necessary to go one step left on the performance slider (e.g. high instead of Ultra) to get the same result and speed than in an older version. Lighting calculation starts at medium and will be quite demanding. “LOW” should be renamed to draft mode because that is what it is. If there are no artificial lights in the project, this is good for a quick walkthrough. My main workstation is a Metabox with a 980GTX graphics card, and I did notice some slowdown when setting Rendering Quality to Ultra. You may have to experiment with your own machine, depending on how good your graphics card is. Just turn the quality slider down a bit to get to the performance that you need.
Also, I have it on good authority that better Performance will be available in a hotfix soon.
Complete List of New Features in Enscape 2.0 for Revit and Sketchup
Here is a complete list of new features and changes made in development of version 2:
Design tweaks for SketchUp lights window
Option to disable grass
Replace the ugliest trees
Change light icon for Sketchup
Implement better realtime DOF (depth of field) method
Try using White Mode with Outlines and Architectural Two-Point Perspective
Also try only using about 5% of Outline slider to see how it makes detail stand out
Recently, I was working as Construction BIM Manager on a significant health project. We worked on the coordination of a very complicated operating theatre fitout with very limited area for services. Architectural elements had been modeled for coordination purposes only, but definitely not for presentation. I was asked to try and quickly produce some images for a media release, and I immediately thought of Enscape. Would it be able to produce something convincing, even though we had no real entourage or materials applied? Below is the result achieved in just a few minutes:
I enjoyed using the white mode as it meant I did not have to spend a lot of time putting materials into the model. To see how this looks with grass and trees, I used similar settings on the sample commercial Architectural Revit project. The image has so much life and range, and it required almost no work at all to produce:
With Version 2.0, Enscape has taken a big step towards exceptional visual quality and realism. Both the Revit and SketchUp versions are updated so no matter which program you currently use, the new features are now available. I hope you enjoy trying out the new version!