I have been using Foxit Reader for a number of years. It allowed me to print PDFs with a custom scale of 50%. In Australia, we often print A1 size drawings to A3 paper for in-office review, so Foxit was a better alternative than Adobe Reader. It was also nice and fast.

However, after installing Foxit version 5, I was very disappointed. Custom scale printing seems to have disappeared! And there was silly looking themes as well! You can even turn on a Ribbon!

Looks like PDF-XChange Viewer has come to the rescue. As with other free PDF viewing programs it is crippled a little bit compared to the Pro version. However, it has some nice features:

  • Custom scale printing
  • Ability to save PDF as an image direct from the viewer (File – Export – Export to Image)
  • Ability to stamp / markup PDF files and then save them (and that’s without using Pro version)
  • Measuring tools
  • One-click access to open in Adobe Reader

Check it out at link below.  I recommend using one of the MSI installer options.
Tracker Software Products :: PDF-XChange Viewer, Free PDF Reader

In Revit Structure,  you can select a number of elements and then ‘save’ that selection as a Selection Set.  That selection set automatically becomes a Filter that can be used in Visibility / Graphics.  Very handy!

Now, why should us Revit Architecture users be without this time-saving, highly useful feature?

Here is what you can do – go to the feedback form at Autodesk – Contact Us – Products.  Fill it out in a similar way to that shown below:

Here is some text you could put (copy-paste) in the box:
Autodesk should release the ‘Save Selection’ feature from Revit Structure to Revit Architecture users.  This feature would increase productivity and be highly useful for many RAC Users.  Ideally, this function would be available on the Multi-Select ribbon panel.

Let’s see how long it takes before we get some action!

Here are the previous posts where I have mentioned the Autodesk feedback form:
What Revit Wants: Legacy Mass Forms – follow up
What Revit Wants: V/G Dialog does not scroll when Overriding Category

When contractors figure out how to control the design, then the industry will be turned upside down.

The above quote is from Jason Grant’s Blog.  For a while now, it has been my desire to post about the future convergence of design and fabrication, but I am struggling to find both the ‘time’ and the ‘angle’ to write from.

At RTC Australia, in the ‘Film and Stage’ session with Phil Read, we discussed the  workflow on a film set.  Essentially, everything happens quickly – the design and construct timeframe is exceedingly compressed.  All the parts of the process must be expedited:  Brief – Schematic – Design Development – Modelling / Documentation – Output to Fabrication.  Some of the work is done using a type of CNC hotwire cutting process, with styrofoam as the substrate.

Here is an example of such a fabrication method:

How does this all affect AEC and Building Design and Construction?  Well, I think time will ultimately tell.  I don’t feel like making sweeping assertions today…

However, I would assume that the concept of ‘compressed timelines’ will continue to impact on the AEC Design and Construction process.

In the meantime, consider the rest of the quote:
AEC is the only profession where the fabricators do not own the designers. Nike designs and then fabricates the shoe, Ikea designs and then fabricates the products and basically every element around us owns the fabrication and the design. When contractors figure out how to control the design, then the industry will be turned upside down.
Jason Grant’s Blog

Image from http://www.architecture-tech.com/2010/07/one-small-step.html

Feel free to comment and share your wisdom…

Martijn is starting up an interesting series of posts about Custom Curtain Wall creation at RevitForum Blog – it would pay to follow this series of posts.

In part ‘zero’, he establishes some groundrules that any decent Revit user will be interested in reviewing. I was particularly interested in his Family creation guidelines. The workflow he presents may look basic enough, but if you do things in this order, you may save yourself much heartache and re-work. Check it out:

When creating Families, there’s a set workmethod:

  • Draw the desired geometry layout in Reference Planes and/or Reference Lines
  • Dimension Refplanes / Reflines
  • Add parameters to dimensions
  • Flex parameters and check if they don’t break
  • Add geometry and immediately assign it to a subcategory
  • Add more parameters to define geometry and add data.

In Family Creation, parameters are placed in one of the following views:

  • Plan View, Level 1
  • Elevation View, Exterior
  • Elevation View, Left.

via Martijn de Riet at
RevitForum Blog: Custom Curtain Wall, pt 0: setup

The Autodesk Certified Hardware page allows filtering by the products you intend to use (ie. Revit).  This page should be your ‘first stop’ when installing or updating your Graphics Card / Display drivers.  Once you find a Certified, Recommended driver, you can download it direct from this page.

Autodesk – Certified Hardware – Find Graphics Hardware

Autodesk – Certified Hardware – Find Graphics Hardware

An interesting little article that relates to the food service industry and the fact that Revit is something they may not want, but will have to deal with.

Because Revit was not specifically developed for the foodservice industry, it presents a steep learning curve for design consultants and equipment distribution channel companies. This concern is reinforced by the fact that no single standard for Revit applications to foodservice facility design projects has yet emerged, leaving industry members to sort among different erstwhile providers claims and features to determine whether to go with “VCR” or “BetaMax.”

Revit: Problem Or Solution? | tsrmag.com – The Schechter Report –