Thursday, July 26, 2012

Complacent or Compliant? You Decide!

You better know. No, you MUST know what is running on your network lest Autodesk License Compliance come knocking and find something you weren't expecting. If you haven't already, I would highly recommend you run a tool they have that will scan your entire network and report back to you only what is there.

Behold the Autodesk Inventory Advisor

When you download the zip file, it has 2 files inside it - the installer and a quick start guide which also contains the unlock code to use the software.

Using the tool will require network administrator privileges so you will likely need to shack up with IT to run this, unless you are the IT dept. too.

You have a couple options to scan the network - importing your Active Directory or scanning by IP range were the 2 we looked at. We went with the IP range option as it would be more complete.

Once finished scanning you will get a full report of every Autodesk software across your entire organization with options to export to different types of formats. Here is an example of what you might find.

Don't wait - go make sure your Autodesk license usage is compliant!

Monday, July 16, 2012

USC Practical BIM 2012 Highlights

USC Practical BIM 2012 event this year was excellent! Great speakers sharing what they've done to make BIM practical for them and how we can do the same. For those that weren't able to be there, here are some of the highlights from the day.

Session 1A: Practicing Practical Practice
Some called this slot the BIM Dream Team as Marcello Sgambelluri, Jay Zallan & Troy Gates presented topics. Marcello talked about project budgets and not allowing over zealous modelers eat away your fees by generating unneeded geometry. Just because its spatially correct, doesn't mean its nessecary. Talk with the whole project team, including the owner, to ensure you are working towards a common goal. Jay mentioned that AutoCAD processes don't always require architectural practices to be good, whereas BIM processes do - something I'd agree with. This means planning! Plans are nothing - planning is everything! Do you plan out how you will execute your next BIM project or simply hope it will go well? Troy spoke about how his company always follows a BIM execution plan for BIM projects they work on. It's essential for seamlessly integrating all the teams and the technology used. In all, I'd have to say these 3 sessions were the highlight of the entire day!

Session 2A: Connection : Customization : Cloud
Johnson Fain showed off some of their design work done in Revit to kick off this session - great designs were shown! It was interesting to see their software history shown as having gone from AutoCAD to Revit around 2005. Dennis Sheldon, CTO of Gehry Technologies, shared some insight on projects they are working on, including a massive shared project with over 200 concurrent shared users accessing the model, 80 trades involved & spread internationally across 12 countries. Mario Guttman presented some of the great tools he has been developing for Revit, specifically those found at Whitefeet. Go check them out if you haven't already!

Session 3A: Integration : Collaboration : Ownership
Michael Cervantes from LACCD presented their efforts on BIM from an owners perspective. They are holding lofty standards on their projects done in BIM to ensure they can take advantage of the data downstream after project completion. This was also the first time I'd see a presentation done with Prezi - really slick presentation tool that's way better than PPT.

Session 4A: BIM Implementation
It was great to see David Graue & Gautam Shenoy present how they've approached bringing BIM into HNTB. They likened BIM to Warcraft - A Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMPORPG). Everyone has a role to play - learn to rely on each others strengths as you go on your campaign!

Session 5A: Real and Virtual
Kimon Onuma presented the efforts that Onuma Systems have put into with the California Community College District (CCCD) on getting all campus facility data into an online system. Due to the efforts they've put into it, you can view the majority of info about CCCD facilities in Google Earth. You can also continue to add info and data as new projects are completed or as existing buildings are retrofitted. Kimon closed by asking "What would you do with 71 million square feet of BIM"? Why not surf it?

Hopefully, you too will find success on your next BIM project by applying practical efforts to it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Version of Revit Do I Have & How to Borrow a Network License...

That tiny, miniscule button in the upper right corner of Revit (and most other Autodesk products) will do 2 things for you that I commonly get asked about.

  1. What version of Revit am I using & do I have a service pack (web update) installed?
  2. How do I borrow a network license?
Item 1 - Checking what version of Revit you are running:
  1. Click the highlighted button
  2. Choose "About..."
  3. Note the version shown (indicated by yellow rectangle) and whether or not there is a service pack installed - if a service pack/web update is installed, it will say something like Web Update 1 underneath the "Build" number

Item 2 - Checking out a Network License
  1. Click the highlighted button
  2. Choose "About..."
  3. Click the "Product License Info..." button in the bottom right corner.
  4. Click "Borrow License..."
  5. Pick a date from the calendar and click the button "Borrow..."
  6. Please note that even if the calendar window says to pick within the valid date range, the company you work for may limit this range to less than the range shown