Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Phases of Revit

I did not create this list but I have always thought it was a great explination of how you feel as you start experiencing Revit. This list was created by Christopher Zoog, who also has a Revit Blog. This list is timeless and will probably always relate to the latest release.

Recently, my boss has started using Revit since we only have one project left in AutoCAD and it has been interesting to watch him go through these phases. Although, he does have the benefit of asking me questions as he learns the program which I did not have the luxury of. Therefore, my Phase two was much more painful than his has been. I do believe that if you have never used CAD, Revit would be more easy to learn than AutoCAD or ADT. If you do have a background in AutoCAD you can find that it is difficult becuase you can not use the same commands in Revit. I bet you AutoCAD users can agree that you also use the escape key in every program when you make a mistake, I know I used to. Revit works different from AutoCAD or ADT. If you can step away from the ways that you used to do things, learning Revit will be simple (for the most part).


Phase One - Initial Excitement!!!
"Holy Crap! Look what I can do with this thing!"

Phase Two - First bump"Hmmmm...?
Why won't it do what I want? That's not how I do it in (insert other cad software here)!"

Phase Three - Creamy Middle
mmm... things are going more smoothly, now......mmmmm"

Phase Four - WTF stage
The family editor "eats you up and spits you out"!

Phase Five - The EnlightenmentThings really begin to click!
You understand why things are happening in your model, and better yet how to control them and avoid problems. You have conquered the family editor.

Phase Six - Zen of Revit
You have mastered nearly all things Revit. You "know" what Revit "likes", and what it "dislikes" during model construction, a sixth sense, really. You spend your time exploring and tweaking advanced scheduling, OBDC, external parameters, AR3. You have a template to beat all templates, families for every situation.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Manufacturer Families - Part 2

After thinking more about my last post on this subject, I have come to the realization that Autodesk will probably never create content based on manufacturers. There would be many legal issues and ramifications with them creating these. This could stem from many aspects: incorrectly sized object creates a cost impact in the field, wrong part number brings the wrong item to the field, and the big thing is how does Autodesk pick the manufacturers. They could really alienate themself from companies if they chose one over another to create content from. Why should they worry about this even though it is the largest hurdle that a new user finds with Revit? The family editor is definately the hardest aspect of learning Revit. You need to understand what the best type of family you want to create to get the best end result, know what aspects should be locked and what ones are dynamic, what information you want to schedule, referance planes, visibility settings, add enough detail but not too much also, and they just take a lot of time to make correctly which is never in the budget. If you really master the Family Editor then you have pretty much mastered Revit and you can do anything.

With that said, we are left on trusting how others create content and then downloading from a variety of sites or just creating our own. My goal by the end of this year is to create or download a lot of content so that we can work more efficiently in our office. Here is a list of what I need more of..... What would you like to see? Throughout the year I will upload some of my good families to Revit to pay back the Revit Community for the many downloads that I have used in the past year and a half. It would be great to hear what you think would be beneficial to have more of.

1. Doors - Variety of interior and exterior with different panel options, glass options, and an adjustable swing. Also, I need these in single, double, bi-fold, and pocket. The other item not really well covered is garage doors. I have a lot of manufactures in mind for the door category but it really matters what you are working on.

2. Windows - Where do I start with this.
For our residential projects it would be great to have Double Hung (regular, cottage style, half-round, and archtop), casements, awning, and transom units. It would be great to have these with different grille patterns but it would be best if you could at least turn on or off the bottom grilles or both the top and bottom grills since not every project uses them. Manufactures for this would at least be: Andersen, Marvin, Pella, Duratherm & Jeld-Wen.
For our commercial work it would be really great to have some content from EFCO, Kawneer, and Vistawall. This includes regular aluminum windows, storefront, and curtainwall.

3. Plumbing - This is an important category since it really does affect layouts in bathrooms but it would also be great to be able to schedule. Some key companies could be: Toto, Elkay, Kohler & American Standard.

4. Elevators/Lifts - Not as important since you have many variables to consider before having a set size and manufacturer but some standard sizes would be great.

5. Fireplaces - There are a few of these around but I think this category could always be expanded with some more parametric models. Also, chimney caps are really important but hard to find.

6. Architectural Woodwork - Stairs, Railing, Ballusters, Generic Cabinets, and more trim profiles.

7. Site - Bicycle Racks, Site Benches, and Planters

8. Toilet Compartments & Accessories - Don't really know who I would use as a manufacturer for toilet compartments but I would probably use bobric for the accessories.

9. Lighting - Too many manufactures to list. I started recently with taking the Iris line from Cooper Lighting and creating downlight and downlight accent fixtures. They started out simple but at least they look good on the schedule. This is a category that I will focus a lot of time on.

What do you think about the list? What do you think is important, what is not, and what would you add? It was really great for me to think this through but other input is always great.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Seasons Greetings

While this has almost nothing to do with Revit, I thought I would show it anyway. We have had fun showcasing our first Revit home (currently under construction) and this holiday card showcases the house and some other projects. I used Illustrator to create the sketchy illustration on the front of the card. While this is a little late, I hope everyone had a happy holiday.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Manufacturer Families

Why is it so hard to find manufacturer based family content? There doesn't seem to be anything out there. Sure, we have the Andersen Windows that we can download from autodesk and you can find Pella Windows and some other things at RevitCity. Where is everything else??? We can not be expected to create architecture and then all of the furniture and fixtures that go into it. The biggest problem that I come across is that the standard families that you can use are not realistic sizes and/or do not work correctly.

There should be someone at autodesk who only creates family content. Getting over the learning/concept of the Family Editor was not as painful as how many families I download and then need to fix because they forgot to lock something to a reference plane or you try to make something a little smaller or bigger and the family freaks out. Even the out-of-the box content has this problem.

How much would you pay to download good clean families that would make your job easier? I know I would pay (or make my boss pay) A LOT!!!

Manufacturers... people would spec your product just because we can insert a family of that product and have it automatically scheduled. Easier for us... more sales for you.

Sorry... Had to get that off my chest.

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