Friday, January 27, 2012

Restructuring for BIM Success

A recent article published in Design Intelligence, Restructuring for BIM Success, written by my colleague Jay Zallan couldn't have been written more succinctly. I can't stress how true the following statement he made is:
"CAD processes don’t require that architectural practices be good, but BIM processes do because without teamwork, communication, and defined processes, firms cannot realize the full benefits of BIM."
I've seen this personally many times. If you haven't already read the article, I would encourage you to give it a read. More importantly, at the end of the article is a series of links to BIM resources for everything you would need to put BIM into practice at your firm, if it isn't already. If BIM is in place, these documents can serve as a way to compare what your firm is doing with what others are putting in place for a successful BIM experience. Lastly, if you haven't read it before, Jay's blog: "Fear and Loathing In a CAD vs. BIM World" has some great content regarding Revit and BIM - check it out!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

BIM Spectrum - Virtual Event

A virtual event is coming up quickly - BIM Spectrum set for February 16th, hosted by Imaginit. There's a great line up of speakers for this event, including Phil Bernstein from Autodesk. It should prove to have some great insights as to where things are headed not only in the industry but also at Autodesk. Are you attending?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Autodesk Licensing Online Only...

For those that deal with getting license files for Autodesk products, things have recently changed. I received a notice back on December 20th via email and had largely forgotten about it until I noticed a recent post by the Up and Ready blog. If in the past, you used to request licenses via email or fax (who uses faxes anymore!?!?) they were retired at the end of 2011. For me, this produced a large <gasp> followed by some vocabulary exercises...

The following comes via a post from the Up & Ready blog and their latest post on the relatively new procedures for requesting license assistance.

One-Step Licensing Assistance Web Form - Use this page to get a report of all licenses registered to your company name or activate a product once (with a wait time)
Register Once - Log in with your account info for instant, automatic online license generation (how instant remains to be seen)
Online Licensing Support for Customers - great for general queries about licensing
Common Registration and Activation Questions - if you are new to licensing Autodesk products, this will be of great help

Lastly, it was mentioned in the notice sent to me back in December that you can still request licensing assistance via subscription center by opening a case. So now, instead of simply sending an email, I have to log into a system and log a ticket. I don't know about any of you out there, but I will miss the email alias for license requests...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vasari - Parametric Sliders

So, it looks like there is an update posted for the Parametric Slider tool on the Autodesk Labs Vasari page. The current update addressed some stability and usability issues as documented on the Wiki site for the add-in tool. Looks like the updates will address a number of issues that will make it more valuable!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Point Cloud Feature Extraction for Revit 2012

Who deosn't love free stuff? The Autodesk Labs team has posted another tech preview for your enjoyment! The Point Cloud Feature Extraction for Revit 2012 looks to be what I was initially hoping would happen when Revit first started to support point clouds. While other solutions have existed for a while to convert point clouds into native Revit objects, this is the first official release of a tool from Autodesk to do just that. This initial release seems to target the key model components such as Floors and Walls along with a couple other tools. Check out the landing page (link above) for it on Labs to download, get an overview & some how to videos! The getting started page has some sample point cloud files for testing if you need some for testing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

AUGI World - January 2012 - INI vs Outie...

The latest issue is out - AUGI World - January 2012 - why not check it out on your Friday? There's something for everyone. AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Inventor, IT Systems, Navisworks, Revit and more are discussed! So much good stuff, plus a little article I wrote on taking the Revit.ini file and making it yours. Go get your copy now!

AUGI is also wanting to know, how did you come to know about AUGI? Quick survey on their home page: Survey link

As a side note, the Revit Factory is looking for your input - do you run with Press & Drag on or off? Seems like a fitting survey after the AUGI article I wrote. Leave a note! I did!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Word, Excel & PPT on the iPad...

In a previous post I mentioned an app called CloudOn that provides access to Word, Excel & PPT on your iPad. My reservation was that it wouldn't insert images. I've also found that the arrangement of the interface was different than what I was used to on my desktop. It is nice though to have it integrated with Dropbox for document editing, storage and printing if needed.

However, I now have found an even better app, thanks to Gizmodo & some friends at work. OnLive Desktop has an iPad app which gives full access to all current features of Word, Excel & PPT, with a full Windows 7 desktop. It even accepts hand writing input and translates it to text. Documents are stored on their server with access via web browser. So, if you want to print from your iPad, you can view the files you have and either print from Safari or open in Dropbox and print from there - straight from the iPad. If you have an AirPrint enabled printer, great, otherwise, tie this together with an app called Print n Share (try the free version to see if your printer works) and you've got yourself a great workflow on your iPad!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Taiwan Tower International Design Competition

My fellow colleagues at HMC have gone and designed something very special. HMC was selected as one of 5 finalists in this competition which resulted in a spectacular design, lofty sustainability goals and some incredible imagery to convey that design intent. Please check it out!

Taiwan Tower International Design Competition - link

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A few more apps...

I've come across a few more apps that I didn't mention in my previous post that I now feel are worthy.

SamCard - Take a picture of a business card, creates a contact from it instantly! - (free)
CloudOn - Microsoft Word, Excel & PPT on your iPad, integrated with Dropbox - (free) The potential for this is incredible, however I see 2 limitations currently. A constant, steady network is required and I don't yet see a way to insert images or print. Otherwise very cool!
Skitch - Take a picture, add markups, share with anyone - (free)
Neu.Annotate PDF - Open PDF's, mark them up with shapes, highlights & added text & share - (free)

I've been working towards a fully digital workflow, in a slightly different way than before. Online storage of docs using Dropbox, editing/viewing documents using Neu.Annotate, Pages or CloudOn, sharing documents & ideas via Dropbox/Facetime/Skitch and so on. The future is now and looking very promising!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My new iPad case and why I love it!

So I finally got a cover for my new iPad. It's the incase Origami Stand Sleeve, in black of course. I've tried a few different case and seen/heard of the love for different types like the Apple smart cover, cases with built in wireless keyboards, etc. However, it always struck me as odd that all these different ways were being developed that went beyond what Apple developed. For me, the Apple smart cover had 3 flaws that rubbed me the wrong way. First, it only covered the front & not the back and secondly it was expensive. Thirdly was that the viewing angle was relatively flat. When sitting down and placing it on the desk or my lap, I was always getting reflections from overhead lights or windows.

Other cases that are designed to remain on the iPad or hold it like a daily planner type notebook, ones that add external keyboards and other gimmicks give me pause. I'm sure apple spent lots of time & money researching how people would interact with this device and gave it appropriate ergonomics. To envelope it in a case for the majority of the time seems to defeat the design of the iPad. Do you wrap a laptop in a leather bound case with an extra keyboard?

I will admit though, that I am somewhat concerned about damage to the iPad. Dropping, scratching and screen shatterings are something to be avoided at all costs. I have relatively stable hands and don't see myself taking my iPad to hostile environments. I do however want quick access to it and to be able to place it on a table surface without worry of the back getting scratched. I also want to stuff it into my laptop bag without worry of the iPad getting scratched or the screen chipped/scratched.

When looking for case, I found that the Origami Stand Sleeve fit my bill the best. I can stuff it in my laptop bag (or others), I can get to it quickly, I can hold the iPad without interference of a case on it most of the time, I can set it on a table surface without the back being prone to scratches and I can stand it up at what has been an optimum viewing angle so far. Very happy with it to date. Here is a few pics of it with one of my favorite apps when its not in use - "Time 2" which mimic's the PADD device from Star Trek: The Next Generation...