Thursday, September 3, 2015

Erupting from Chaos…AU, RTC and Catching Up!

Man has it been a busy summer…between work, vacation, getting this fixed and repaired around the house…2015 has shot by like a rocket, and now the fall is on us. The older I get, the faster it goes.
So here’s the catch up time….

RTC First!

I finally got to attend a Revit Technology Conference, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The folks at RTC put on a great show, a little irreverent (just my speed) but populated by a mass of “true believers”. Users attend this conference because it’s the passion. And there was no better way to stoke that passion when Jim Balding, the conference host and talk show wannabe, brought out the founders of Revit. That’s right – Irwin Jungreis and Leonid Raiz, from the original Charles River Software company.

This got me feeling my “Sheldon” coming on (I have the DNA of Leonard Nimoy, er Leonid Raiz), and after the excitement of hearing the history of the program, it was awesome to realize how close I had been to the beginnings of this product. My days started when my old employer, CADRE Systems, became a Revit reseller right when the acquisition took place. That’s where I met Richard Taylor and the others, in the old Waltham office.

I made sure I got their autograph on my badge, and also made sure to tell them both how big of an impact they’ve not only had on my life and career, but on countless thousands around the world. It’s not every day that you meet someone that helped create a paradigm change…and they’re about as down to earth as anyone can be. I had a few conversations with Leonid over the next couple of days, and he always seemed to be amazed at how much enthusiasm and respect people had for him, and his accomplishments.

Back to the conference…I got added as a last minute speaker, and presented a lab on Advanced Content Editing for Revit MEP Users…And More. We took a little time talking about nested families, and how to leverage parameters to get the families to behave the way you want. We also covered my favorite activity of late, converting content from Inventor, which I feel like I’m finally getting better at doing. The room was full, and had a lot of great feedback and conversations after the class. Thanks to all those folks that signed my coffee mug - you're the real stars in the real world!

And I actually got to go to some great classes. Aaron Mailer, who was in a similar boat to me, having to pick up someone else’s class, did a great job with Navisworks Optimization, which we want to use more frequently. Paul Aubin, the Revit maharishi, did a great job of covering Revit materials, which I put to use right away in our 2016 content. And sitting in on Don Bokmiller’s roundtable brought tout some great, open, and honest assessment of the state of content for Revit.

So here’s the takeaway – if you’re a Revit user, and can’t afford AU, save your money and go to RTC. The quality of the conference, the staff, presenters and the people that attend match and exceed AU quality. The comraderie and networking is priceless…and you can really learn a lot at the after party! 

Next year the North American conference is in Scottsdale, Arizona, July 14-16th. Yep, it’s gonna be a hot one, in more ways than one. For more information, go to

Autodesk University 2015!

…is just a few months away, and RTC really got me stoked up for it. Sign up now at before it gets booked up!

This year, I’m presenting two classes:
ES10022 - How’s BIM Doing in Your Multioffice Pond? – on Thursday, December 3rd at 8:00am PST, is about optimizing Revit workflows between offices and outside firms. The course overview is listed:

Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents a great deal more than switching from 2D CAD to 3D modeling. Face it; these tools and work processes can be complicated. Throw in multiple office locations, different design partners, and old work methods, and you can have a real mess on your hands. In this session we will take a look at how programs like Revit software disrupt these ponds, and how you can learn to gain efficiencies while you’re in it. We will start by explaining how a basic peer-to-peer type of environment could work, and the pros and cons of this system. Next, we will throw CAD into the mix, and we’ll cover lessons learned. Then we’ll review document management tools such as Vault software, and we will wrap up with a discussion about how the Autodesk 360 software applications can help. If you’re a business owner trying to make sense of all of this, or a designer just looking to get your work done, you need to join us for this fast-paced and sometimes downright funny way to learn how to manage your BIM projects.

Learning objectives

  1. Learn basic worksharing methods and best practices for Revit projects in multiple office locations
  2. Discover the lines where CAD and BIM are blurred, and how to avoid duplication of tasks with correct application of tools
  3. Examine the next level of document and project management with Vault integration into Autodesk’s design applications
  4. Learn where the cloud-based A360 software applications can benefit your multioffice projects
Since I’ve been playing a lot with the new Revit Collaboration tool for A360, as well as trying to ge tmor engaged with Vault, this course will cover the pros and cons of both, and will hopefully help you make the best decisions for you firm. We’re also going fishing in this class, complete with poles, a pond, and maybe a hook or two. Bring your waders, you may need them…

Next up:
IT11130 - Seamlessly Integrating CAD and BIM Standards for AEC Projects – Thursday, Dec. 3rd at 1:00pm PST.

Session description:

If you listened to all the grand predictions a decade ago, you’d think the only thing we’d be doing is modeling everything in 3D. But that reality hasn’t come to pass. The CAD manager and Building Information Modeling (BIM) manager have to know how to get everything to play nice, capitalizing on the power of BIM tools while making sure the 2D work that’s still required is completed correctly. This course will take a look at key settings and work methods, beginning with a comparison of national CAD versus BIM standards. Next, we’ll examine tips for making CAD files such as templates work better in a BIM environment, and then move into sharing files both ways—correctly. The last item examines how to alter the CAD interface to follow BIM tasks, making it easier to move back and forth easily between the applications. Taking this information-packed course will help you maintain your 2D sanity while moving the Design Team forward with today’s 3D modeling tools—so sign up early and often.

Learning objectives

  1. Compare National CAD Standards with National BIM Standards
  2. Discover key setups for CAD and BIM templates for smooth sharing
  3. Learn how to import and export guidelines for 2D and 3D files—both ways!
  4. Learn how to alter the AutoCAD CUI to better emulate the BIM environment
Autodesk has changed the format for lectures into Industry Talk, which is what the first class covers, and instructional demos, which is what we do in this session. The difference is Powerpoint versus real world. I do both in both sessions, but the focus is stronger on the demo in this class. It’s the first IT based class I’ve taught at AU, and has filled up enough once that it’s already been moved to a larger venue.

Register soon, as the classes usually fill up the closer we get to the conference. The early bird registration period ends September 24th, so save some money...and get in on next year's home movies! 

But even more important, we’re back at the Sands Convention Center at the fabulous Venetian/Palazzo Hotel and Casino, where the crowds and atmosphere are great. You won’t want to miss this event, it’ll be a doozy!

See you in Vegas!