Monday, December 15, 2008

All of My AU Classes are Now Available Online

As promised, this year I recorded all six of the classes that I taught at Autodesk University. While most of those classes were also recorded as part of AU (and are available on the AU-online website). But not all of my classes were recorded by Autodesk, and only those who have attended Autodesk University have access to the AU-online website.

So, for the sake of completeness, and to ensure that everyone has access to all of my classes, I have posted all of this year's classes (as well as several from past years) on my website. Here you will find not only all of the class handouts and PowerPoint presentations (in PDF format) but also the complete webcasts of all of this year's classes. I've also posted datasets from several of the classes, and will gladly add more materials in response to requests.

So, what will you find? Here's a complete list of the classes that I've posted:

I hope you find these materials useful and take full advantage of them. And I welcome your feedback. I am always working to improve these materials.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Great Revit Sessions at AU

There's no end to great Revit classes this year at Autodesk University. This afternoon I taught a class to help users collaborate between Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, and Revit Structure. This was by far my biggest class (nearly 450 attendees) and my sense is that it went well. The class was recorded and I will be posting it as a webcast. Look for it next week on my website at

I've also been attending classes every chance I get. This afternoon after my class I went to a class titled "Solving Common Revit Architecture Problems" by Harlan Brumm. Harlan is the Global Technical Lead for Revit Architecture in Autodesk's Product Support Department.

This is such a popular class that it's being given twice. Yet there were more than 100 people lined up outside the room waiting for last-minute space. This class was a must for anyone who has ever had issues with items not appearing in views, problems with family creation or display, corrupt file errors, memory issues, or problems printing and plotting from Revit. Many of the topics Harlan covered are also addressed on his blog at

Well, gotta dash. The AUGI Annual Meeting starts soon and then there's the annual AUGI Beer Blast.

AEC Keynote at Autodesk University

I'm at Autodesk University this week, and while I'm teaching six classes, I'm also taking at least that many more and also attending most of the keynote sessions. This morning's session is of particular interest to Revit users.

Jay Bhatt started off this morning's keynote by outlining five key areas on which the company is focused as it continues to enhance its BIM initiative. One key area is a greater enhancement of conceptual design tools. To help illustrate that, he brought up other members of the development team.

Paul Donnelly started out by paraphrasing the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." He showed some of the new free-form design tools that are planned for the next release of AutoCAD and pointed out that since many customers will have AutoCAD as part of their Revit Suite solution, they will be able to use these tools in AutoCAD and then bring those designs into Revit. But then he showed similar new freeform design tools right inside Revit. In the brief demo, you could see that the next release of Revit will most likely incorporate a ribbon bar interface similar to what was introduced in AutoCAD 2009. But as the designer worked in the new freeform modeling environment in Revit, the interface automatically changed and adapted to what he was doing, rather than having to switch tools and open the Element Properties dialog box.

I've been a bit skeptical about what the ribbon bar would mean to Revit users, but from what I saw in the brief demo, I am a bit more receptive.

The next topic addressed was sustainable design. The team showed tools in Civil 3D and Autodesk Ecotect as well as enhanced heating and cooling load analysis tools in the next release of Revit MEP. The new release has multiple levels of report, from basic to advanced.

Jim Lynch, VP of AEC Marketing showed how BIM can create a more integrated design delivery process including using Autodesk Inventor to study fabrication of custom components and Navisworks to run collision detection.

Next, the estimating team used Autodesk Quanity Takeoff to do a quantity takeoff directly from the Revit model. The estimator saved that takeoff to an XML file and then brought that information into Constructware. Quantity Takeoff is a product based on DWF. I first saw this product in an early incarnation at the Autodesk University held several years ago in Orlando, FL, but its release was definitely under the radar. It's definitely worth a look.

Definitely a lot to mull over. I've got to get moving now to head off to my first Revit class of the day. Stay tuned for more.