This morning I attended the U.S. CAD Solution Tour for Autodesk 2012 Products (aka Make Your Ideas a Reality per Autodesk speak). Overall it was a very well put together event showcasing live what the 2012 building products from Autodesk have to offer.
The first session highlighted KaDe King, their resident AutoCAD expert who deftly showed some of the great new features in AutoCAD 2012. Items she covered were the new Content Browser, Auto-Complete for commands, new functions for Grips, being able to select/manipulate the UCS icon (my personal fav), the drastic increase in the ability to import more file formats, the parametric Array command and adding dynamic views to sheets.
The expert panel from the U.S. CAD building team brain trust went in action (photo below) with a couple guest speakers - Scott Davis from Autodesk and Lonnie Cumpton from BIM9. William Troeak presented some of the general Revit Arch 2012 new features. William showed some of the great new presentation features for 2012 with the surface ghosting and new paint tools along with tagging/annotating in 3d. One great little tip he pointed out was that if you place regular text in your 3d view, if it is ever unlocked, the text will not hide with the other annotation objects (such as tags).
William was followed by Lonnie presenting new features centered around the new worksharing capabilities. Lonnie has unique qualifications to talk about the impact of worksharing enhancements after having worked on the Cosmopoliton in Las Vegas. After completing the project in Revit at about 7.5 Million Sq Ft and 47,000 sheets in the completed CD set, he's gained a little experience from it. In addition to covering worksharing enhancements such as the ability to remove worksets when detaching from central, he also showed a few ways for color coding them. You can color elements based on who has an items checked out or per the workset they belong to (great for seeing who has item checked out or ensuring all objects are in the correct workset). It was pointed out that the refresh rate can be set to update as frequently as every 5 seconds.
Up next was Dawn Hata covering Revit Structure and Michael Shinn covering Revit MEP. Dawn pointed out that we can now set VG to control and easily turn off the Revit Structure Analytical model with greater ease. Repeat after me: "I will go update my view templates now". Once all the Revit flavors were covered, Joel wrapped up by presenting Navisworks Manage 2012 and I owuld say the highlight was the ability to place objects into a shaded view with wireframe active, greatly enhancing the ability to view collisions in 3D. Lastly, I would like to say that it was refreshing to see the entire team utilize ONE building model design in each of the different software packages.
After the first session, everyone broke out into separate rooms, one for a presentation on Siteworks for Revit and the other on BIM9. Siteworks for Revit shows great promise in easily modifying site features and related info directly in Revit. BIM9 essentially allows you to setup your own private BIM cloud for accessing Revit projects remotely. Trust me, it works wonderfully!
All in all it was a great event and it was great to see some industry friends. Now to go get some of these tips in the hands of users throughout the company!