Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It Only Takes a Spark....

It only takes a spark to light a fire (at least that is how the song goes that I learned...). Already the blog-o-sphere  & twitter (so I hear) have lit up with news about Spark. As Steve called it a "Revit Lite" as it were. What I do like about Spark is that while it is a great intro to Revit, it seems to me that once anyone is feeling comfortable with Spark, there is a good chance you'll be wanting to into full blown Revit in order to take advantage of some of the missing features. Speaking of which, here is the run down on what you should not expect to find in Spark:

Missing Revit features in Spark

Obviously Vasari fills some of the gaps missing from Spark, but there is also no clear or defined workflow between the two. Secondly, don't expect to be opening your Rvt file from Revit in Spark, it will be automatically converted to a link for you. This means that you can still at least link in a structure model or MEP model if you happen to be a small arch shop dipping your toes into Revit. There are a couple of missing items that I was a bit surprised by perhaps the most important "trusses". However, fear not you can still create line based families (which can be assigned to structural framing) so go ahead, make your own parametric pre-fab truss, it will probably look better than what Revit creates, and you'll learn how to build parametric families.

Look for a follow-on post in a few weeks where I plan to tie up a number of these lab items into hopefully an interesting (and perhaps compelling) workflow.


Monday, August 29, 2011

A Storm is brewing....

Well, actually it left yesterday, her name was Irene. But the word on the street says a Storm is coming to Autodesk Labs. I think it is interesting that we are starting to see a plethora of "apps" that leverage the model directly out of Revit for analysis. First we had "Conceptual Energy Analysis (CEA)", then project NEON (well not analysis, but cloud based computing for long duration tasks), now we have Elum tools under development (see Jason's and Steve's blogs), Vasari seems likely to continue to the trend of analysis for early stage design, what might be next? What's a big ticket analysis item that could be easily shoveled into the cloud....?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Revit Server Installation/Updating & Mosaic

A Revit Server post to leave you with as I head out on vacation...

I recently ran into an issue with Revit Server that also caused another large firm quite a bit of distress. THe problem is this:

1) User A installs the Revit Server application onto the server OS/hardware.
2) User B goes to either update the Revit Server applicaiton or un-install. If the user runs the Service Pack EXE it reports the program cannot be found. If User B goes to un-install the Revit Server application the Add/Remove Programs dialog does not display the Revit Server application.
3) User A logs into the server and can update Revit Server or Un-install the application from the server.

So, the short story here is that if you only use Windows User accounts that are associated with specific users, then when it comes time to update or remove Revit Server you need to know who originally installed the software on the server. If you have a generic "Admin" account that can be used then that is your best chouice when it comes to installing and patching Revit Server. This "bug" in terms of Revit Server seems to likely be related to the increased security restrictions applied by the Windows 2008/7 environment(s) and how the installer for Revit Server works. This issue has actually exsisted since 2011, so it is not related to the new 2012 installer. In terms of getting it "fixed" I'm not holding my breadth as this issue is likely well embedded into how the software is installed in the first place.

One other note, Autodesk Labs has a new project called "Mosaic" check it out, I think it has some interesting potential if people take to it. It is kinda like a "Google" reader for AEC Tech geeks.