Shoegnome | Shoegnome http://www.shoegnome.com Being an Architect in the 21st Century Ain't Easy Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:36:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Trimble Launches SketchUp Mobile Viewer for iPad at Basecamp 2014 http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/15/trimble-launches-sketchup-mobile-viewer-ipad-basecamp-2014/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/15/trimble-launches-sketchup-mobile-viewer-ipad-basecamp-2014/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:07:38 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2258 SketchUp Mobile Viewer is now a thing. Read the presee release and some of my thoughts about the fast evolving BIM landscape.

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Jared’s Note:  See what I was saying? SketchUp + Trimble is a force to be reckoned with in the BIM world. This press release fits a bit too well with my recent posts: SketchUp is BIM and BIMx Pricing Complexity.

For Graphisoft and ArchiCAD Users, see what Trimble is doing? A $9.99 app with no in-app purchases or complex pricing options. Simple and straightforward. BIMx Docs might be a better app (I don’t know, I haven’t used the new SketchUp App), but pricing confusion is hobbling it. Let’s solve that ASAP.

For Autodesk and Revit Users, Trimble, Graphisoft, and Nemetschek now have their mobile apps for viewing and sharing models, where’s your equivalent? UPDATE: On further inspection the Autodesk 360 Mobile app seems to be in the same class of Apps, though what’s the deal with not storing the data locally? That must limit usefulness on the job site. Regardless, you once claimed superiority based on market penetration and ubiquity…that era is over. Rise to the challenge. Do it.

For everyone, it might be time to test exporting to SketchUp and seeing how our models look in this viewer. Anyone want to write a guest post on that? UPDATE: anyone want to do a guest post comparing all four of these similar Apps—BIMx Docs, Autodesk 360 Mobile App, bim+, and SketchUp Mobile Viewer? I would love to see a pretty chart comparing things like cost, hardware requirements, model size, data available, 2D + 3D availability, sharing, markup capabilities, navigation ease, special features, etc. etc. That would be a great thing to read.

Clearly 2014 is the start of a whole new world of BIM. I can’t wait until ArchiCAD 18 comes out and we have a more complete picture of the amazing changes that are upon us.

SketchUp Users Gain the Ability to Access Content and Models in 3D Warehouse Anywhere, Anytime.SketchUp Mobile Viewer v2

VAIL, Colo., April 15, 2014—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) today announced the availability of the SketchUp Mobile Viewer for iPad, a new app providing design and construction professionals with convenient, on-the-go access to SketchUp models. 

Available in the iTunes App Store, the app allows iPad users to store and access their own 3D models, as well as explore and download models from the entire universe of SketchUp files available in the 3D Warehouse. Users also can orbit, pan and zoom around 3D models using multi-touch gestures, and present their own private 3D models to clients and partners.

The app was launched during the SketchUp 2014 3D Basecamp 2014 conference in Vail, Colo., where over 300 power users and enthusiasts from across the globe are gathered to collaborate and learn through various training sessions, presentations and workshops.

The announcement follows Trimble’s recent release of SketchUp 2014, which featured major enhancements to 3D Warehouse, as well as new tools for classifying model components and tighter interoperability with other products in Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows. The SketchUp Mobile Viewer is the first-ever SketchUp tablet product; Trimble plans to add support for Android tablets in an upcoming release.

The SketchUp Mobile Viewer is available now for $9.99 exclusively through the Apple App Store. The app is compatible with iPad 3 or iPad Mini 2 and newer Apple tablets, and with iOS 6 and newer Apple operating systems.

SketchUp Mobile Viewer

SketchUp for Construction

SketchUp is a popular 3D modeling platform used around the world and is key technology within Trimble Buildings, a group within Trimble‘s Engineering and Construction segment offering solutions for construction project optimization across the design-build-operate (DBO) lifecycle. With solutions that span the brands of Meridian Systems, Plancal, SketchUp, Tekla, Trade Service, Vico Software, and WinEst, Trimble helps the construction industry improve productivity, increase efficiencies and maximize the profitability of projects, from simulation to renovation. Used in over 150 countries around the world and supported by a global dealer and distribution partner network, Trimble technology is a mainstay of the building industry. Information on Trimble Buildings’ DBO portfolio is available at: http://buildings.trimble.com.

About Trimble

Trimble applies technology to make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. Solutions are focused on applications requiring positioning or location, including surveying, construction, agriculture, fleet and asset management, public safety and mapping. In addition to utilizing positioning technologies such as GPS, lasers and optics, Trimble solutions may include software content specific to the needs of the user.  Wireless technologies are utilized to deliver the solution to the user in the field and to ensure communication between the field and the office. Founded in 1978, Trimble is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif.  For more information, visit: www.trimble.com.

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SketchUp Pro 2014 and IFC: welcome to the new world of BIM http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/13/sketchup-pro-2014-and-ifc/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/13/sketchup-pro-2014-and-ifc/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 02:02:08 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2188 What does it mean that SketchUp Pro 2014 can now attach IFC (and other) data to elements? It means SketchUp is now BIM. This is big news.

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SketchUp Pro 2013 was announced back in late May of 2013 and now SketchUp Pro 2014 is out.

This is old news, I know. Oh well. It’s been a busy few weeks and we have SketchUp Pro 2014 for a year (plus or minus) before we need to start talking about SketchUp Pro 2015. So there’s time.

We all knew big changes were coming to SketchUp when it was bought by Trimble and started adding a year to the product’s name. And sure enough, big news keeps coming. Everyone who supports OpenBIM should be very excited about this release. I am personally thrilled with SketchUp Pro 2014, even though I’ll almost certainly never use it (I will most likely download SketchUp Make 2014 for one reason or another). Instead of adding their own parameters and creating a new proprietary system, SketchUp has gone the route of OpenBIM and made it very easy to attach IFC (or other) data to elements. And that is fucking awesome.

Primary-Benefits-of-BIM-smallI’m saying it here and now, and you can all quote me if you’d like. SketchUp Pro 2014 is now a BIM software.

SketchUp Pro 2014 crossed the threshold. IFC does it for me. We can still argue if it’s a good BIM program or the best or able to do X, Y, or Z, but it qualifies in my eyes now. Henceforth when I talk about BIM programs I will include SketchUp. It deserves that qualification. For those of us paying 5-10x for our software, we should be a little nervous. I’ve no doubt that ArchiCAD 18 will be a better program to use than SketchUp 2014 (I’m biased as hell, remember?). But the gap is narrowing. And narrowing fast. Think about the development of Revit and ArchiCAD over the past two years. Look at Revit 2015 when it arrived. Was there some equally big shift? No. Sketchy lines sure as shit isn’t as big news. Will ArchiCAD 18 have some major jump shift towards the future when it comes out? I hope so. But it’s hard to imagine what could be added to make an equally huge splash (Building Materials in ArchiCAD 17 might qualify, but that’s for a different discussion). Look again at what has been happening to SketchUp since it was bought by Trimble. The gap is narrowing.

Yes there is still a long path ahead. IFC gurus like Rob Jackson need to tear SketchUp Pro 2014 apart and do tests. SketchUp still needs to go 64-bit to handle the massive projects that ArchiCAD and Revit can handle. And there’s no work sharing function, yet. And yes I know there are issues and concerns that some people have that while SketchUp can now attach IFC data (or any other schema to its elements) it is nowhere near ready to handle COBie to the extent required by the UK in 2016. But you know what? That’s still a little over 18 months away. There is still Sketch 2015 before then, plus a rich and healthy API scene.

Luke Johnson had the best quote about this “Un-coordinated BIM is like having all the ingredients of a delicious cake and eating each of them separately.”  Fine. I’m sure that’ll change. Either through plug-ins or future development or whatever. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t know. To me being able to attach data to elements (especially in an OpenBIM format like IFC) means SketchUp models now are speaking the right language. Elements imported into other programs will be that much more useful. That’s great. But here’s what’s more exciting. SketchUp is saying that they are doing BIM now. And I believe them. The question remains what kind of BIM are they going to do? If you’re on board with anything I have to say about BIM then you realize what we are doing with ArchiCAD and Revit is just one corner of BIM. The spectrum from pencil on paper to augmented reality is huge, diverse, and the path to the future has many routes.

I think SketchUp instead of playing by Autodesk’s or Graphisoft’s rules are reminding us there are other ways to do BIM. And that is very exciting.

BIM is Dead

Here are some other thoughts for you to mull over as you digest what it means to live in a world where SketchUp Pro qualifies as BIM.

Refer back to my primary benefits of BIM diagram above. Where are SketchUp’s strengths? Not in production (as compared to Revit or ArchiCAD). Collaboration? A bit more, but still not the best. Design? Much more so. So much in fact that many users of other software still think they need SketchUp for design. Integration? You bet. This is where SketchUp will probably blow past everyone else. Fortunately Trimble believes in IFC and OpenBIM so the rest of us will benefit too.

SketchUp is part of Trimble. Trimble is really interested in the construction site and what happens at either end of the building process. The BIM that SketchUp advances will be one that is seamless from conceptual design to construction and hand off because that is the BIM that Trimble is interested in. Look at the form of SketchUp and see how that is where it is going—the first big step was the formal alignment with the maker movement last year when the free version of SketchUp became SketchUp Make.

SketchUp was a disruptive force when it appeared so many years ago. It democratized and simplified 3D modeling. Anyone could model anything in SketchUp. And now there are 3.5 MILLION models in the 3D warehouse. SketchUp can now attach IFC data to elements. Connect those dots.

SketchUp has always been about openness. The developers views have always been about working and playing well with others. This was only furthered when it was part of Google. The SketchUp teams’ old boss at Google, Eric Schmidt, summed it up well: “Open always wins”

I had the opportunity to have a conversation with John Bacus a few weeks ago. John’s title has changed over the years as SketchUp has gone from @Last Software to Google and now to Trimble but it’s always essentially been head of product design for SketchUp. Anyways, in our discussion he said something like this: “access to data has to be open, extensible, and open to changes to design, field, economy, etc.”

In 2014 SketchUp became BIM. And I think we’re all in for a whole new thing.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed. If  you’re like me, you’re going to keep a close eye on SketchUp but keep using the tools you know and love. That’s okay. Just don’t get complacent. If that tool you still love and use is ArchiCAD, you should get my template: download the Shoegnome Open Template.

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BIMx Docs pricing explained perfectly, well actually not really. http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/11/bimx-docs-pricing-explained-perfectly/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/11/bimx-docs-pricing-explained-perfectly/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:34:23 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2249 Are you a little confused about the BIMx Docs pricing change? I've got you covered. Check out the official press lease and my ultra clear explanation.

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Jared’s note: before you read the official press release from Graphisoft, here’s a simple graphic I created that explains everything about the new pricing scheme. Oh and then there’s a few hundred word rant… (I’ve got an e-mail out to Graphisoft to verify I’m understanding things correctly; I’m not optimistic that I am wrong).

BIMx Docs Cost seven day limitationI am very disappointed with the seven day window limitation for the download links of the new BIMx Docs pricing option, but I guess I can see the reasoning. Think of it like putting out a bid set—everyone has seven days to receive the documents. This aligns well with tradition and isn’t that unreasonable. Every time you have to print sets it costs money. You send the files to the printer and then they all get delivered (one way or another) to the recipients in a given amount of time. This new BIMx pricing is really no different. Except much cheaper. $39.99 for everyone to get their sets is a steal, compared to the old ways. Fine. And for late comers to the team, they can just pay the $9.99 themselves. That’s not a huge deal, right? But this arbitrary time limitation will also hold back the adoption of BIMx Docs as the great tool that it should be. We pay again and again for printed documents because each print takes discrete resources. Digital is different. The beauty of (for instance) a PDF is that it is open and infinite. Everyone can access it and everyone can receive it whenever they want. This openness is only made greater by the plethora of tablets and smart phones.

A time limitation for download is an artificial barrier.

By limiting the download link time of a BIMx Docs file, it means model authors can easily share the file for one week. Then when they need to share it again with new team members, prospective clients, subcontractors, etc. someone will have to pay again. And again. And again. This serial requirement to pay for something that has already been paid for will hold BIMx Docs back. It decreases its utility. If I as an architect pay $39.99 for everyone to access the BIMx Docs file this week, what do  I do next week when one or two more people need the file. Or the week after that? And after that. And that. And that. It’s not a good solution.

I hope the time limitation is removed. Let us pay a price and have the ability to do whatever we want with these files. I would love to put a BIMx Docs file on my webiste to be downloaded as an example of how awesome it is to work with me (or to show other ArchiCAD users what badass stuff we can do with BIMx Docs). But I can’t do that. Unless I pay $39.99/week and keep updating the download link. That is stupid. If charging for all this is a way to pay for development costs and some profit (which I am 100% cool with) then change the pricing once again. Charge me $150 for the full unlimited models app and $100 for an unlimited model. I don’t care. I actually really like the idea of an unlimited app, an unlimited model, and a one-off model. It’s a good breakdown and it aligns with my needs, and my clients needs. BUT. Pick a price. Make me pay just once. And then let me do what I need with the app and with the file. Until that time comes, there will be plenty of us taking advantage of this great tool. But it won’t become central to our business models. It won’t start replacing what it was designed to replace. We’ll all still just be dabblers.

Graphisoft needs to make one more tweak to this pricing model.

Think of it this way. What is better? Having some of us pay $39.99 for some projects a few times as teams change over time. Or having most of us pay $59.99 or $99.99 on EVERY project so that all our teams on every project are always using this great tool?

When it comes down to it, it’s not about the money. Not for me at least. It’s about the ease of use. The biggest problem with the time limit is that it makes my life harder. I can’t have a permanent link I can send to everyone. I can’t build a project website with that information on it. I can’t make it central to the communication of my project. It’s one more thing I have to manage. And it’s a mistake.

Let me make a BIMx Docs file for a project during Schematic Design. Let me pay to share it with whoever I want. Let me use that file to create great architecture. And then let me keep sharing it with an ever expanding team as the design develops and goes from initial idea to completed project. And then let me figure out how to use that BIMx Docs file as part of Facilities Management—and for other atypical creative uses. These are things I want to do. But I can’t. Not until the pricing is fixed one more time.

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04/13/2014 Update: There are some BIMx surveys on the ArchiCAD-Talk forum. I highly encourage everyone to fill them out and voice your concerns. Speak your mind here and let’s fix this!

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GRAPHISOFT BIMx News:

New Licensing Option for Sharing BIMx Docs with Clients

BUDAPEST, April 8, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, announced today that its award-winning BIM presentation app, BIMx Docs, will now be available through a new licensing option allowing architects to easily share their Hyper-models with clients.

Answering its top user request for BIMx, GRAPHISOFT introduces a new license option for an architect to share BIMx Docs with clients and other AEC stakeholders for a per project fee of $39.99. Shared BIMx Docs projects can be accessed from iOS devices within 7 days after sharing.

In conjunction with the new license option, GRAPHISOFT has also adjusted the prices of its existing BIMx Docs license options:

  • The basic BIMx app remains free of charge, allowing clients to fully explore the 3D part of BIMx Hyper-models.
  • The previously introduced BIMx Docs function packs giving access to the full project documentation including 2D drawings are available for $9.99 for one project; $74.99 for an unlimited number of projects.
  • The standalone BIMx Docs app can be purchased for $74.99 from the AppStore.

Please visit Apple’s App Store to download the BIMx app.

About BIMx Docs

BIMx Docs is a professional BIM project viewer featuring “BIMx Hyper-models,” a unique technology for integrated 2D and 3D building project navigation. BIMx Hyper-models offer extremely smooth handling and outstanding performance even for projects with complex 3D building models and extensive 2D documentation. See an example of how BIM technology providers choose to use BIMx as a technology platform in BIMobject® AB’s latest press announcement.

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud™, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007.

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ACUA SPRING ACADEMY 2014: Geekout to ArchiCAD in Finland May 23rd and 24th, 2014 http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/04/acua-spring-academy-2014-geekout-archicad-finland-may-23rd-24th-2014/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/04/04/acua-spring-academy-2014-geekout-archicad-finland-may-23rd-24th-2014/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:12:56 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2246 Between the location and the topics, this looks like it might be the best ACUA event ever. OMFG.

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ACUA Spring Academy 2014

ARCHICAD SPRING ACADEMY 23 MAY 2014ArchiCAD Spring Academy 2014 is organised by ArchiCAD Users Association International and M.A.D.

The Experience

ArchiCAD Spring Academy 2014 is a two day celebration that will educate, entertain, and immerse you in the ArchiCAD community. You will be offered access to ArchiCAD BIM related products and services, paired with expert advice, demonstrations, workshops and instructions. Conference programs feature world famous architects and industry leading minds, presenting cutting edge product training on the topics you most want to see. Whether you are a creative professional or a CAD-BIM manager, ArchiCAD Spring Academy has the conference content, special presentations, exhibit hall highlights and experiences that meet all of your specific needs. The exciting and highly informative agenda is focused on innovative use of design tools, technologies, and methodologies that allow and encourage new forms of architectural expression.

Get all the details, register, and otherwise make all of us who can’t attend super jealous by clicking here. Oh by the way, the text above is straight from ACUA’s website.

Check out the Agenda: lectures on the future of BIM, interfacing with Tekla Structures, a discussion on using Solibri Model Checker, collaboration with Cinema4D and SketchUp, EcoDesigner Star, rendering classes, an ArchiCAD 18 sneak peek, and much, much, much more. My goodness does ACUA put on a good event. GSNA and all of us North & South American users really need to get our big events to be this jam-packed with amazing lectures. Not that our event last year in San Diego wasn’t a ton of fun and super worth it; I just want more!

Follow Shoegnome on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube for more. Does your ArchiCAD Template suck? Why haven’t you downloaded mine yet? It’s yours for the taking.

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BIM Bang! Expanding Applications for Building and Enclosure Modeling http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/31/bim-bang-expanding-applications-building-enclosure-modeling/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/31/bim-bang-expanding-applications-building-enclosure-modeling/#comments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 17:56:29 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2242 I'm giving a talk at the CSI Products Fair in Charleston, South Carolina on April 9th, 2014.

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beccharlestonprintnewcolor

I’m giving a talk next week in Charleston, South Carolina. The details as well as a link for more information & how to register are below. If you are in the area you should definitely come. I’ll also be hanging around the CSI Products Fair afterwards and I’m working with Graphisoft North America and Ken Huggins to put together some ArchiCAD event around lunch on the 10th.

The talk is on Wednesday April 9th, 2014.

Summary

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is transforming how we design, construct, and operate buildings. To kick off the 2014 CSI Products Fair, BEC Charleston and the Charleston Chapter of CSI present Jared Banks, AIA—a Seattle-based architect, writer, lecturer, and consultant to Graphisoft—who will guide us through several key BIM topics. Afterwards, plan to stick around for the product exhibits, refreshments, and an opportunity for some informal Q&A with Mr. Banks.

Learning Objectives

  1. Fundamentals of BIM authoring software and its interface with other BIM tools for planning, analysis; project management, and facility operation.
  2. Using BIM to facilitate building enclosure design and documentation.
  3. Using BIM improve team communication, integration of specifications, and coordination of other data regarding energy, cost, and scheduling.
  4. BIM as part of a larger revolution within the construction industry, including sustainability and integrated project delivery, and the effects it will have on both the AEC team and the end users.

Continuing Education

  • AIA 3.0 LU/HSW
  • Certificates Provided for all attendees

Learn More and Register!

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Is there a benefit for Engineers and Architects to both use Revit? http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/26/benefit-engineers-architects-use-revit/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/26/benefit-engineers-architects-use-revit/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:28:34 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2233 Is there a benefit for Engineers and Architects to both use Revit? I think that's a legit question. Are there benefits beyond standard BIM advantage?

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Mecha-BIMzilla loves Mecha-BIMzilla

Recently on LinkedIn Stephan Langella asked a very simple question:

“To my Revit enabled architectural peers, what are the benefits to your business by having your services engineers in Revit?”

As of yet no one has been able to give him an answer affirming the benefits. I think this is a fascinating for two reasons: one grand and one very personal.

The grand reason is about our community as a whole

If all (or a majority of) the benefits described by being an all Revit team are really just the benefits of BIM collaboration then we are doing ourselves a disservice by treating it as anything special. This isn’t a dig against Autodesk or Revit users. It’s just about clarity. If so much of the high level collaboration is going to happen in Navisworks, Solibri, or a similar model checking program, who cares if everyone paid money to the same company for their authoring tool. This gets to the heart of BIM collaboration and model sharing. What are the benefits, reasons, and pitfalls? If there is nothing uniquely special about the Revit to Revit collaboration then let’s move beyond that as an excuse to pick one software over another.

What does Revit to Revit provide that IFC or .dwg or any other solution doesn’t offer? If there are special benefits, I think those outside the Revit circle will be very curious to know what they are.

The personal reason is about my current work

I’m working on a project that is mono-platform. The architect, the structural engineer, and the contractor are all using ArchiCAD. This is the first time I’ve ever been in this situation. And in fact, we’re going a step further. We will all be working within the same model. The project is only two weeks old, so I’m the only one in the model so far, but I’m interested to get a taste of this mono-platform life—not to mention experimenting with the mono-model paradigm. It will be interesting.

In the coming weeks, my hope is that a) I’ll hear about the benefits of Revit to Revit and see how I can gain those benefits in ArchiCAD to ArchiCAD. b) I’ll discover some benefits of mono-platform and mono-model myself. c) I’ll learn more about BIM in general.

Is there a benefit for engineers and architects to both use Revit? Or let’s expand the question to is there a benefit for engineers and architects to use the same software? And if so, what is it? Leave a comment.

And remember we are all in this together and use great programs…

In Related News

Bentley’s AECOsim Building Designer (SELECTseries 5) will be able to import and use RFA files (Revit Families). Maybe more developments like this will help make all this worry about who’s using what program completely moot. And while we’re on the subject of using RFA content in non-Revit programs…if Bentley can do it, why not ArchiCAD or SketchUp? Come on developers, let’s do this!

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed. If you are really into having your work environment similar to other people, wouldn’t it be cool if you were using the same ArchiCAD template as other people? Turns out that’s possible: download the Shoegnome Open Template.

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Monochromatic Models in ArchiCAD http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/25/monochromatic-models-in-archicad/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/25/monochromatic-models-in-archicad/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:33:36 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2227 In this video I talk about how to create monochromatic models in ArchiCAD. There are a few techniques and they all offer some great potential.

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Monochromatic Model in ArchiCAD

ArchiCAD offers us a lot of power to explore atypical methods of communication. Some of these techniques are due to good BIM practices and others are just using BIM tools for Not So BIM purposes. But then again once you start looking at the bigger picture of what BIM is doing to our profession, you can see that taking the 3D Model and toggling on and off different aspects and qualities of the data is very much BIM.

Typically I like to describe a technique I use, a feature I think is important, or my own explorations of a new aspect of ArchiCAD. This video on monochromatic models in ArchiCAD is sort of all that and also something else. In the video I describe how to use the Renovation Filters in ways that don’t support renovations. In fact it kind of assumes you’re not using the Renovation Status for its intended purpose. This video will teach you something about the proper way to use Renovation Filters, but this is really about creative problem solving in ArchiCAD. I also talk about the awesomeness of Building Materials—because Building Materials offer a really cool way to tweak the visual qualities of your models in interesting ways as well.

I don’t know how many of you will use the exact processes I outline in this video, but my hope is that it’ll spur you to think of other ways that you can add a lot of value to what you’re doing in ArchiCAD. In the end, I want to get you thinking—to connect the tools within ArchiCAD with the bigger picture of what you need to do on a daily basis as a designer or architect. So enjoy some rule breaking with this video on creative model display.

One Addendum

For more on using an .aat file to replace your Attributes via the Attribute Manager, read this blog post I wrote on BIM Engine. At the end of that article is a download link for a sample .aat file that will turn all your Surfaces white (the .aat file is from ArchiCAD 16, FYI).

One Bonus

If you change windows and doors to a different Renovation Status from the rest of the model and override that group with a transparent Surface (as well as overriding the status of the rest of the model with a solid Surface) then you can get a model like this:

Double Override

Cool, huh? Even if you are using the Renovation Filters for their intended purpose, you could do a Save As, change everything in the model to the same Renovation Status, then change all the elements you want to stand out to a different Renovation Status.

One Reminder

It’s important to remember that with these methods you’re not creating a static image but a fully dynamic model. That means you could use these monochromatic models to create fly-throughs, BIMx models, live 3D sections cuts, and everything else you’d do with a regular fully colored ArchiCAD Model.

One Disclaimer

I think one of the great benefits of BIM is that visualization is integral to design and documentation. We can have pretty without the need to orphan the data. So a rendering from the model—either done within the authoring tool or via a connected 3rd party rendering application—means you can get continuous images throughout the life of the project. This is different than spending a week on a Photoshopped image and having to spend another week to do a similar image when the design is updated. We should be able to output renderings and interesting images just like we do black and white sections and elevations: whenever we want with little additional effort. The techniques I describe in this video assume you’re either not using all the features of ArchiCAD (ei, the Renovation Filters are available for misuse) or that you are doing a Save As to tweak the model. I think that’s okay. This technique is so fast and intentionally crude that it should take no time to set up. And thus while it might be a diversion from the critical path of the model, its detour time is so minimal as to be zero. In fact it’s a good reminder that even while we strive to keep everything in the same model, it is okay to do a Save As for exploration and the benefit of creativity. Hard drive space is essentially free. Save a thousand copies of your file if that helps improve the design. There’s no reason not to.

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GRAPHISOFT’s Brand-new BIMcloud Announced at Exclusive Tokyo Press Event http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/25/graphisofts-brand-new-bimcloud-announced-exclusive-tokyo-press-event/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/25/graphisofts-brand-new-bimcloud-announced-exclusive-tokyo-press-event/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:26:40 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2234 GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud® is a full-fledged BIM collaboration platform allowing teams of any size to collaborate on native BIM data in real-time.

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TOKYO, March 25, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT® announced today its upcoming BIMcloud® Solution in the presence of selected international journalists and top Japanese AEC companies. The exclusive event took place at the prestigious Roppongi Hills Club of Tokyo with live connections to GRAPHISOFT’s Southeast Asia headquarters in Hong Kong as well as its global headquarters in Budapest. BIMcloud announcementViktor Várkonyi, CEO, GRAPHISOFT, presents GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution in Tokyo, March 25.

“Most people associate Cloud Computing with online services such as Data Storage, Software Virtualization or Software as a Service (SaaS). Potentially, we could accomplish much more with the Cloud but we need to look beyond basic Cloud Services for that,” said Ákos Pfemeter, Vice President of Marketing at GRAPHISOFT. “It may not be part of the common understanding today, but we strongly believe that Cloud Computing is most disruptive to the way people collaborate. GRAPHISOFT’s upcoming BIMcloud Solution will leverage this specifically for the AEC industry by allowing firms of any size to implement fully-integrated BIM collaboration workflows both in public and private cloud environments…”

GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud

GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud® is a full-fledged BIM collaboration platform allowing teams of any size to collaborate on native BIM data in real-time. GRAPHISOFT’s patented Delta-Server™ technology, combined with cutting-edge cloud-server architecture, provides the essential features of a world-class BIM collaboration environment:

REAL-TIME — Collaboration is best performed through real-time connection between parties. Thanks to GRAPHISOFT’s patented Delta-Server technology, real-time collaboration on complex Building Information Models is possible regardless of the size or location of the collaborating team. Cloud-based system architecture guarantees simultaneous access to collaborative BIM projects 24/7 for any number of endpoints from any location in the world equipped with a standard Internet connection.

ROBUST — GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution offers built-in conflict resolution, which means “server-locks” are completely unknown phenomena for its users. In addition, extremely high network tolerance makes even long distance access possible on standard Internet lines. Support for the secure HTTPS protocol and advanced backup and version rollback options provide your BIM data – the most valuable Intellectual Property asset related to any construction project – with unprecedented data safety.

FLEXIBLE — GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution is not demanding on hardware or software. The same system can easily be deployed both in any public or private cloud setups. Connection between client computers running the BIM applications and server computers providing the collaboration platform in the cloud requires no special hardware or additional software: a simple Internet connection using standard HTTP protocol is the only requirement for real-time collaboration between virtually any locations in the world. For BIMcloud Servers, standard desktop configurations should suffice, while the BIM Cloud Manager is accessible in its full functionality from any mobile device.

SCALABLE — The Cloud’s most important advantage to real-time BIM collaboration is its capability to scale server resources. With the GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud, the project team does not need to stop working while the BIMcloud Server’s resources such as processors or memory size are increased. Another advantage is the system’s horizontal scaling with assigning new BIMcloud Servers on demand as the number of projects grows in the cloud.

INTEGRATED — GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution is fully prepared for integration into large enterprises’ IT infrastructure. Dynamic Active Directory integration through LDAP protocol allows users to use their domain username/password combo to access their BIM projects in the cloud as well. Multi-tier user access and role management ensures that the BIMcloud can easily be adjusted to any organizational setup in any large enterprise environment. The BIMcloud’s Mobile integration allows external team members to participate in the BIM workflow using their mobile devices as well.

GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution goes far beyond basic cloud services offerings available on the market today. It is an all-round cloud-based collaboration solution providing the complete software layer necessary for deployment on premises as a private cloud solution or in the public cloud as a cloud service. Thanks to its unique set of features, it is the only cloud solution that offers a true model-based BIM collaboration environment for companies and projects of any size. With the help of its mobile integration through the cloud, all stakeholders of the design-build process can actively participate in the collaborative work. The GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud is by design suited for even the most stringent enterprise level workflow and security requirements to provide a suitable solution for the collaboration problem of companies where collaboration is a critical part of conducting everyday business. Its private cloud setup option enables companies working on projects with extended security requirements to keep their data on premise and entirely under control, offering the benefits and flexibility of the cloud to all AEC projects without exception.

“This is the first time GRAPHISOFT will launch a worldwide rollout of a new product line in Japan,” said Bence Kovács, Vice President of Asia, GRAPHISOFT. “This clearly shows the impressive progress our large Japanese customers have made in their BIM implementation in recent years.  It also demonstrates our strategic focus on South-East Asia, which we believe is one of GRAPHISOFT’s most promising growth areas in the coming years,” he added.

The GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud® was released in Japan on March 25, and will be rolled out worldwide together with ArchiCAD 18 in Q2, 2014. Stay tuned for GRAPHISOFT BIMcloud news by visiting http://www.graphisoft.com/bimcloud/.

About GRAPHISOFT

GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud™, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007.

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Analog — Digital — Organic http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/17/analog-digital-organic/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/17/analog-digital-organic/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:37:22 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2221 The organic future will not be what Hollywood has been telling you. Nor will it be like what most architects assume. This is a good thing. Here's my article from the SCI-FI issue of CLOG that explains why.

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This article originally appeared in the SCI-FI issue of CLOG. As it is central to much of my thinking these days, I decided it was time to share. The image below is artist David Lamont’s concept for the Vorlon Transport B. You can see the original image and more here. I really wanted to include David’s work with the original article, but CLOG chose to put a quote from my article on the opposing page instead. Since this is now on my blog I can add this awesome visual for those of you who don’t immediately know what I’m talking about in regards to Babylon 5. I trust you have all seen Star Trek and Star Wars.

vorlon_transport_b_by_dlamont-d4gskps

Analog — Digital — Organic

Star Wars and Star Trek offer seductive potential futures. One appeals to our hardscrabble romantic side, the other to the comfort of clean linear technological progress. Star Wars is an analog universe. Steel and mechanical energy are paramount. Star Trek on the other hand is a digital future. Silicon and the flow of electrons underpin all the advances. These sci-fi universes are extrapolations of then-contemporary technologies mixed with asynchronous future-tech required by the plot. Neither approximates our impending reality.

The creators of the mid-90s television show Babylon 5 better prognosticate the world to come. The Vorlons are the most evolved race; their technology is depicted as organic. Spaceships are made for and become extensions of specific individuals. Reminiscent of giant space-faring cephalopods, these ships are semi-living, semi-sentient: a hybrid of animate and inanimate. The spacecraft aren’t built; they are grown. Chemical reactions and DNA are the building blocks.

The trend towards organics and bio-mimicry is apparent in 2013, though mostly visible outside the purview of architects: organic light-emitting diodes, DNA used as data storage for computers, and tiny organisms being developed to digest or produce chemical compounds. As these and other technologies reach the consumer, another critical trend will meet biotechnology halfway: 3D printing. The current expression of 3D printing focuses on the DIY freedom of desktop printing, mass customization, and the ability to print common materials like plastics, metals, or chocolate. But the larger potential of 3D printing is to act as the systematic tool for growing organics and other advanced materials. 3D printers will create objects using the building blocks of life: DNA, RNA, and proteins.

These printers will enable us to live in a world of designer materials—a world where the fundamental construction elements are not carbon or silicon but rather biological macromolecules. The architectural implications of this new reality are far-reaching. Every piece of a building can be as complex and computationally powerful as any living creature. Each component can be an engineered negligibly senescent organism with underlying DNA identical to the rest of the building or completely unique, depending on the needs of function or location. Just as buildings are now designed for specific clients, so too could materials be designed for specific uses.

The result will not be a world of Vorlonesque soft buildings with smooth surfaces covered with naturalistic shifting patterns and biomechanical tentacles, but rather one of smarter, more responsive materials. The trend toward organics will be about the essence of the material and not the physical appearance that describes its creation. The form of a grown object will no longer be constrained by our views of what organic matter looks like. Instead of a shallow stylistic visual shift in our environment, the future of organics will be a fundamental leap forward, a deeper change in how our world is built and operates.

Subscribe to my blog to read more about the tricky world of being an Architect in the 21st century: Shoegnome on FacebookTwitter, and the RSS feed. If you want more on Hollywood’s misunderstanding of the future, listen to this 99% Invisible episode.

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Architecture Business Plan Competition http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/14/architecture-business-plan-competition/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/14/architecture-business-plan-competition/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 19:13:15 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2217 There's an Architecture Business Plan Competition coming up. If you qualify, think about getting involved. It won't hurt you. And actually might improve your firm.

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This looks pretty interesting. Below are two press releases about an upcoming competition that is a bit unlike your normal architect focused competition. Instead of focusing on design, it focuses on BUSINESS. You have two weeks to register and then another month to enter the first part. For any of us that qualify this should be a no brainer. If nothing else, think of it as an excuse to codify your business plan and maybe win some money as a result. Anyways good luck and here are the details:

archtiecture business competitionArchitecture Business Plan Competition Announced

Charrette Venture Group has announced a business plan competition for architects who are considering starting their own design firm and for existing architectural firms that have been in business for five years or less. The first prize winner of the competition will receive $10,000.

Des Moines, Iowa, January 22, 2014 Charrette Venture Group has announced a business plan competition for architects who are considering starting their own design firm and for existing architectural firms that have been in business for five years or less. The first prize winner of the competition will receive $10,000.

Eligible participants must be a licensed architect in the U.S. or Canada, and, if operating an existing design firm, must have been in business for five years or less. Interested architects should register online by March 28, 2014, and an executive summary of their business plan must be submitted by April 25, 2014. The winners will be announced at a special reception in Chicago, Illinois during the American Institute of Architect’s national convention on June 26, 2014. There is no cost to enter the competition. For detailed rules, the full competition timeline, and additional resources on how to write a business plan, please visit the competition website at http://www.architectbusinessplancompetition.com.

“The architecture profession is filled with many talented, creative individuals, and it is a highly entrepreneurial profession with many architects choosing to launch their own firms. However, the importance of entrepreneurship is often times overlooked or understated,” said Matt Ostanik, President and Founder, Charrette Venture Group, and himself a registered architect in state of Iowa. “The goal of the competition is to encourage more architects to start their own firms and to inspire a broader dialog about the role of entrepreneurship in our profession.”

Competition Jury Members Announced

Charrette Venture Group has announced the jury for the 2014 Architecture Business Plan Competition. The jury is comprised of business leaders with extensive experience in architecture and design business leadership.

Des Moines, Iowa, March 03, 2014 The 2014 Architecture Business Plan Competition has announced the members of the competition jury. Comprised of business leaders with extensive experience in architecture and design, the jury will evaluate entries and select honorees for the business plan competition. The competition is open to architects who are considering starting their own design firm and for existing architectural firms that have been in business for five years or less, and the first prize winner will receive $10,000.

The 2014 jury members:

Bob Fisher is a principal of the Greenway Group and the associate publisher of DesignIntelligence. He brings a deep understanding of market and business strategies that help clients in the A/E/C and design industry develop best-of-class positioning, branding, and marketing programs. Bob also writes about business and design and is a guest lecturer for industry groups and colleges on the topics of business foresight, communication and professional practice.

Rena M. Klein, FAIA, is a nationally recognized expert in small firm practice and author of The Architect’s Guide to Small Firm Management (Wiley, 2010). She is principal of RM Klein Consulting, helping design firm owners run their firms better. With 20 years experience as the owner of a small architectural firm, and over 10 years as a consultant and educator, Rena brings a special understanding of design firms managed by entrepreneurial architects.

Mark R. LePage, AIA, is a founder and partner at Fivecat Studio Architecture in New York, a leading residential design firm. He is the founder of Entrepreneur Architect, an online education resource helping architects to build better businesses, and he is the host of the Entrepreneur Architect Podcast series. Mark focuses on teaching sole proprietors, small firm architects and students the importance of business success in the profession of architecture.

Oscia Wilson is founder and chief executive officer of Boiled Architecture in San Francisco, a firm focusing on collaborative project delivery for commercial projects. She has an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and she frequently speaks about topics related to growing an architectural firm. As the founder of a three-year old firm, she brings a special perspective on the challenges of starting a new business. She is also the founder of the Women Entrepreneurship Retreat.

Matt Ostanik, AIA, is the founder of the Architecture Business Plan Competition and the president of Charrette Venture Group. He is the former founder of Submittal Exchange, a web-based construction software firm whose solutions are used by architects across North America. Submittal Exchange was acquired by Textura Corporation in 2011, and Matt served on the executive team that led Textura through a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013.

About Charrette Venture Group

Charrette Venture Group, LLC is a consulting firm focused on supporting entrepreneurs in architecture and design.

 

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#internmistakes — A Monument to a Former President http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/13/monument-former-president/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/13/monument-former-president/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:52:40 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2208 #internmistakes is surprisingly underused on Twitter. Maybe my adventures in this article about being a lazy intern will change that.

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train wreck at Meacham Creek no2

Train Wrecks make the best Metaphors

To any emerging professionals reading this, let me make this clear: your first clients aren’t homeowners or businessmen. Your first clients are your bosses. They are the ones you need to impress. They are the ones you need to make happy. Seriously. This isn’t about sucking up to them or treating them like reverent gods. No. It is about treating them like clients. Like people you’re trying to make happy so that you can do the best project you can do, and hopefully use that work in a portfolio to get future clients.

I wish I understood that when I was younger. Shit I wish I understood that even a few short years ago. I don’t think I figured this out until after I stopped having bosses. Hopefully my mistakes can be good reminders for you to do things more intelligently.

#internmistakes

Oh the stories I could tell on Twitter followed by the hashtag #internmistakes…remember when I alluded to a story about building a full scale mockup of a monument to George H.W. Bush in my article Sometimes I wonder if I’m the Bad Guy? Well I wrote up the full story, plus some other interesting tidbits in an article for the latest issue of the AIA CRAN Chronicle. Here’s the link to the saga of that fateful week which convinced one of my ex-bosses that I was a lazy dud:

A Monument to a Former President

After you laugh at my youthful foolishness (and hopefully learn how to avoid some of my mistakes), take a look at the rest of the Winter 2014 CRAN Chronicle. There’s another large article of some other architects sharing their own train wrecks. No one else’s story involves Chinese investors flying half away around the world to see some half-assed model making, but there are some great ones about machete unions, horrible contractors, crazy clients, and some timid architects.

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Goodbye Intern. Hello Architect in Training http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/12/architect-in-training/ http://www.shoegnome.com/2014/03/12/architect-in-training/#comments Wed, 12 Mar 2014 19:36:05 +0000 http://www.shoegnome.com/?p=2215 I think we should all call interns Architects in Training. But you're an intern who doesn't want to get licensed? Then you're a design or floor plan wizard.

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When it comes to what to call people who design buildings, I’m a hardliner. To me it’s pretty black and white. Okay well there are some fuzzy edges, but not for most of us. And most likely you don’t fall into those tricky gray areas.

I wrote an article for NCARB (yeah that NCARB) about the title Intern. For me, there’s no question what we should call interns. I think after reading my article you’ll agree as well. Here’s the link to the post on their blog:

Architect, Architect in Training, or a title without the word architect in it…

ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECT IN TRAININGIf you want more about my thoughts on going from school to intern (Architect in Training) to Architect, here’s a whole bunch of articles for you to read. If you crave more on the mythical unlicensed architect, here’s enough posts to strangle a unicorn. Also it should be VERY clear that the opinions expressed in my article are solely those of me and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). HOWEVER, I wouldn’t mind changing everyone’s view on this and turning the term AIT into a real thing.

By the way, THANK YOU NCARB for allowing me to write a guest post for you.

Why aren’t you reading my article on NCARB’s blog yet?

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