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The Future of 3D Printing

Why stop at 3D printing your face or a small representation of a building... why not 3D print an entire house.


Top Ten Posts From 2011

With the year wrapping up I have looked back to see what was the most popular topics on this blog for 2011. Counting down to #1 we have:

10. Good to Great – “First Who… Then What”

Do you have the "right" people to fuel your implementation and innovation?  If you have not asked this question then your efforts, desires and passions may not be able to be fulfilled.  The "right" people are your most important assets, not just people.

9. Architects We are the 99%

This post was one of my fastest idea to generation topics of all time.  It all came together between the train station and my office at the time.  I would have to walk past the Occupy Boston protesters and a whole bunch of ideas flooded my mind.

8. BIM Is So Last Year

This post outlined how just about everyone is doing the "BIM" thing.  How does one measure one firm against another?  How many answers would you get if you were surveying what the definition of BIM is?  What will be after BIM, will it be more defined or will it be as general as CAD is?  It is not that you own the tool, it is how you use it.  Are you a rough framer or a master carpenter?

7. "Super Revit Families" - Are They Good?

Is it best to use a lot of static or slightly parametric families or a couple "Super" families that can adapt to numerous needs.

6. Revit Copy From Project to Family #Fail

Always a point of contention, you want to layout something in a project and use that within a family but that is not the intended workflow.

5. Faster Revit Render

Basic premise is why render something one does not see.

4. Stair Planning Family

Stairs are always difficult within Revit but this family which was adapted from my Autodesk University 2010 fun during the Fuzzy Math session helps schematically layout your stair needs. 

3. Revit For Presentations - Graphics That "POP"

This year's Autodesk University 2011 has alrady made the top of the charts for hits.  Graphics are an important part to relaying information.

2. Autodesk Showcase or Galileo, For Architects?

A continuing struggle for many is how to present the model to a client and unfortunately there is not one solution that matches the needs, in my opinion.

1. Sheet Creator App for Revit

I am surprised that this little app that I created for Autodesk University 2009 still gets so much interest.  You may have noticed that I had the 2012 version in the download area but never really announced it. If you have issues with the app not running it is a security issue and it can be resolved by following the instructions here:

So what does 2012 hold?  Not much Revit but a lot of interesting technologies, trends and business thinking.  Are you happy with your current processes, workflow and abilities within the available software?  If you are or are not but want to help provide feedback on the next generation of software.  Sign up to be part of our feedback community at:


#AU2011 Revit for Presentations - Graphics That "POP" - Video and Materials

Video was not available the first day that Autodesk University announced but it seems like all has been resolved and it can be shared with the community of users.

Thanks to everyone who filled out the surveys.  David and I beat the average rating for every category and we enjoyed hearing what you thought in the comments.  Also, thanks to the bloggers spreading the word and showing an interest in what we presented. Revitdialog, What Revit Wants, Shades of Grey, Revit Sticky Notes and probably others I am missing.

There have been a few questions since the session and I thought others might benefit from the responses:

QUESTION: Why did you use BASIC ROOF to model the parcels and roads?  Can an In-Place Mass be used instead?

ANSWER: There are a couple reasons to use basic roofs after one has modeled the site using a conceptual mass.  The first reason for me is that one can model the sloped site and then the roof elements applied to the mass can be raised or lowered a specific elevation.  This helps show curbs and road depressions better.  The second reason is that less information needs to be entered in the roof compared to a conceptual or in-place mass to control through material assignments and filters.  Usually, in-place masses are mostly instance driven and the larger the project the more one would have wished they could have used type parameters.  The final reason is that I found it easier to schedule roof elements for things like green space, impervious surface and other site requirements.

QUESTION: I have been reviewing the content for use in some Urban Planning work by our planners and I have a question about the below graphic which is not part of any of the datasets.  Were these all in Revit?  The bottom one looks like a rendering while the left one looks like Revit with some transparency added.  The left one is very pleasing with a kind of sketchy feeling. Is it two view composited, one with linework only and another with shading or real colors?

ANSWER: You are correct that the bottom image is the only one in the entire presentation that was rendered.  The left image that you are refering to is just one image with the obstructing buildings being ghosted.  I appologize for the file not being in the dataset but here is a link to it:

OTHER QUESTIONS: If I missed an email or comment please let me know and I will get back to you.


Other materials can be found here:

Handout -

Powerpoint -

Dataset -


Handout (Mirror Site) -
Powerpoint (Mirror Site) - 

If you want to help provide feedback on the next generation of software.  Sign up to be part of our feedback community at:


Live Buildings Announcing Feedback Community

As you probably know, I joined DS Solidworks to work on their AEC product development which is known as Live Buildings.  Having recently been in the AEC field myself, I understand how the process of developing projects from inception through completion is done.  I also know that each firm and company is different and there are many ways to do similar tasks with even more ways of producing the deliverables.  Different needs from software are required based on project type, project size, services delivered, regional requirements and many other variables.

I want to offer a unique opportunity to everyone in the industry.  This opportunity is to help shape software through your feedback.  Typically, software is developed, sold and then you may be asked for feedback on how to alter what has already been created to better align with your process.  Those who developed the software are invested in what they spent time creating and many times the tools are difficult to change.  I would rather help provide the industry with actual solutions based on your needs before it is difficult to change.

That is where your feedback is important.  Without it, we would create solutions for a few rather than the masses.  When you sign-up for our Feedback Community you will be able to help influence decisions on development through your responses.  I look forward to collaborating with you.

You can sign-up here:

Also follow us on Twitter @LiveBuildings and Linkedin


Revit Presentation Graphics That "POP"

Last week I presented at Autodesk University for possibly my last time due to my new position.  Even though it might be the last for me, David Light and I brought our “A” game and knocked it out of the park.  With our passion for graphics and the role graphics should have in the architectural process, we split up the session into two parts.  The first part was David Light showing what Revit can do OOTB (Marketed Processes) and what everyone should be doing at a minimum along with some tips and tricks.


With that as a base, the second part was on my research over the last year on presentation graphics that can be seen on the daily postings on the Archdaily website.  I kept a feed and would grab each image that I deemed as an intriguing graphic.

From that research, I determined that the current graphics used in presentations included life/feeling while at the same time having simplicity/focus.  From this research, I explored ways of adding life and feeling through new custom built content within Revit.  At the same time, I struggled with how to add the simplicity and focus within the limitations of the visibility graphics controls and that led me to filters which have an immense amount of control ability.  My hope was that this research and testing would reduce the need to go to multiple other software packages to get a graphical “feel” because it was believed that it could not be done within Revit.  The more software packages used for one portion of the process greatly increases the disconnect and rework in each package while reducing the time you can spend designing since all the time is spent coordinating software. 

While you wait for the recording to be published by Autodesk University, grab our presentation, handout and the dataset which includes numerous examples of entourage, analysis, annotation, site and other content as well as hours of fun deconstructing the settings to work them into your office’s best practices.  Enjoy and let me know what you think…

Handout -

Powerpoint -

Dataset -