Archive | April, 2015

BIM Collaboration

28 Apr

Coordination guidelines

This content is published to provide advance information to parties collaborating with TKA

This approach considers the modeled information to be the primary source of truth; therefore, it is expected that content contributed by consultants follow this same logic:


Two-dimensional documentation is to be extracted from the 3D model – the 3D model is NOT to be generated as a parallel effort to 2D drawings.


In general, all content that is depicted on document deliverables according to the acceptable standard of care is to be modeled in an agreed BIM platforms documented in a Project Execution Plan or BxP. For design development and construction documents, modeled elements are to be created to a design level of detail – either generic [LOD200] or specific [LOD300], depending on the requirements of the project.



Consultants are expected to share BIM data with TKA and other members of the design team. Models must be uploaded to a project collaboration system on an agreed schedule, set forth in the BxP.

Naming of models will not change during the project lifecyle. (Versions will update through the transferring system)


Model Element Authoring Table

The Model Element Authoring Table (MEA) is a more detailed specification of the modeling responsibilities throughout a project team. In other words, who will model what, and when. This will become a critical roadmap by which to measure each team member’s compliance with the modeling plan.


More information about level of development can be found in the LOD Specification BIMForum 2013


LOD100 “Estimate it.”

LOD200 “Specify it.”

LOD300 “Bid it.”

LOD350 “Buy it.”

LOD400 “Build it.”

LOD500 “Operate/maintain it.”

Model-Based (3D) Coordination

At specific project stages (depending on the details of the BxP), it will be the responsibility of a multi-discipline firm to be self-coordinated BEFORE transmitting the models to the team. For example, mechanical, electrical and plumbing models being prepared by one engineering firm must be coordinated with each other before integration with the architecture and structure models.

Sub consultants using Revit will be responsible for creating a Navisworks export, to be delivered with the original Revit files, according to the collaboration schedule set forth in the BxP. This requirement ensures that the Sub consultant retains responsibility for the model content exchanged from one platform to another.

Template clash tests


TKA team has developed a series of template interference tests in Navisworks to facilitate 3D Coordination during design phases. 

Within the BxP template, the design team will agree to the clash tests to be conducted during the design phases. This will set the expectations for any other recipient of the design models, such as the builder or client. 

HOK BIM Solutions: BIM Collaboration.

Clash Resolution

It is the responsibility of the Architect to supervise the 3D Coordination process; however, each Sub consultant must participate in the resolution of clashes in order to achieve the stated quality control goals of the project.

In addition to participation in inter-disciplinary clash resolution, Subconsultants are responsible for performing self-checks (intra-discipline) on model content BEFORE the models are distributed to the team. This means that there should be no interference clashes in testing structure versus structure; and HVAC versus HVAC; and so on.



Collaboration Technology

TKA employs several technologies to support an advanced level of collaboration with our extended design teams as well the owners and builders to whom we provide services.


TKA’s enterprise solution for web-based conferencing is WebEx by Cisco. Project meetings can be conducted with many constituents with the options to use toll free phone access or the microphone and headset connected to the computer. Meetings can be recorded for future reference and played back with a free player available from the WebEx website.


Newforma Project Center

TKA utilizes Newforma Project Center and InfoExchange for all project management and collaboration. All design data artifacts are transmitted via the TKA InfoExchange site. 
If your firm also utilizes Newforma Project Center, there may be opportunities to streamline the connection with an TKA project team via automatically synchronized project folders. Please contact the TKA IT Department  for more information.

Citrix XenApp


TKA’s major projects maintain hardware that supports Citrix XenApp – a system that offers extended design team members on-demand secure access to enterprise applications. This tool eliminates the need to send large design files over the Internet. Instead, remote users can run software such as Revit via a web-browser without ever moving a file off the project server.

While this platform is not used on every project, it has proven to be extremely effective on large projects with design team members in various remote locations.


Invisible door swing 2D issue

15 Apr

Including model line invisible in elevation and 2d symbol lines as “cut” not projection. 

How to auto load LISP files in Autocad?

8 Apr

Add them to the startup suite.

Type APPLOAD  and drag&drop them into the startup suite…


There is a default Trusted path location that should be known to avoid this message.


IF LOAD is not pressed in two or three seconds after autocad is lauched, Autocad does not continue and I need to close the program with Ctrl+Alt+Del.

So better use the Path below for your startup suite contents


Curb and Gutter Along Topo

8 Apr

BIMtionary: Curb and Gutter Along Topo.

A curb and gutter that actually follows your topo elevations.

The only downside I have found to this method is that you need to be sure your topography is final (or darn close) and won’t change at the areas of the curb and gutter – it can be a nightmare to change after the fact.

Use the Split Surface tool to split the surface into 3 parts, forming your road – you’ll have to do this twice as the Split Surface tool only allows you to split the surface into two parts each time.

On each side of the road, use the Split Surface tool again to split the surface into (2) 6″ (or whatever your specs) pieces or slivers outward from each side of your road – this will later become the top of your curb and your gutter.

Go to an elevation view and move the road, and the two inside most 6″ pieces (your gutters) down your required curb height.

Assign the appropriate materials to the roadway, curbs and topo (asphalt, concrete and grass) – now you can see things shaping up.

Now, using the Split Surface tool again, Split each of the four 6″ spaces 1/8″ from the their shared edge – creating (2) 1/8″ slivers of curb in between each of the two 6″ pieces.

Finally, go to a 3D view and use the Merge Surfaces tool and select the lower 1/8″ curb piece and then the upper 1/8″ curb piece – this will join the two 1/8″ pieces to create your curb wall.

If you pick one of your topo pieces and try to edit them, you can see it doesn’t bring you into sketch mode but into the actual Toposurface edit mode where you need to modify the elevation points in order to modify the surface. This is where it can get rather tricky and cumbersome if you need to modify your topo after you go through this process

Recording a Scene Animation to convert to a Viewpoint Animation in Navisworks

7 Apr

What Revit Wants: Recording a Scene Animation to convert to a Viewpoint Animation in Navisworks.

You probably know that you can import a Viewpoint animation into a Scene animation in Navisworks, like this:

Animation Ribbon – Animator

Add Scene

Right click on the Scene, Add Camera, From Current Viewpoint Animation



Ok, that’s fine. But what if you do some work on the Scene Animation, add keyframes, adjust pacing, and then you want to convert it back into a Viewpoint Animation? Here’s how you do it:

Open Animator and get a Scene animation ready to press “Play”

Animation Ribbon – Click the Record button

Click the Scene name, and the Play button will activate in Animator

Press Play in Animator, and wait for your animation to complete

Press Stop in the Ribbon


Press the Record button again to toggle it “off”. Navisworks will now save the Animation into your Saved Viewpoints

Delete any unnecessary Cuts etc



With this tip, you can now convert to and from a Scene and Viewpoint animations as needed. Viewpoint animations are a bit easier to put together, but it might be easier to adjust the pacing in the Animator. Obviously, the Animator has more power and control if you intend to actually animate objects in your scene.


On a related note…

I’ve come across a bit of a bug in Navisworks 2015 with Viewpoint animations and huge models (like 2gb huge). If you have a Home view with Hide/Required and Materials set, and all your Animation views have those options unticked, then you should be able to flick to your animation without losing your colours, right? Well, in some cases it seems to work, but in others it seems to reset the appearance whenever I switch to the animation, meaning I lose colour overrides.


I tried working around the color issue like this:

Open project

Make a new folder

In the folder make a new animation

Drag all of the views from previous animation to the new one

Collapse the Animation

Switch to a view with Hide/Required and Color applied (ie. Home view)

Click on the new animation name (OK, doesn’t seem to reset colours)

Expand and click a view (sometimes works, maybe, but can also fail)

Another workaround is to switch to your coloured Home view, save a 2013 version NWD and work in Navisworks 2013. Sometimes the downgrade bakes the colours into the elements, meaning you don’t lose them when you switch to and from the Viewpoint Animation.

How To Create a Revit Walkthrough and then Upload it to Youtube

7 Apr

What Revit Wants: How To Create a Revit Walkthrough and then Upload it to Youtube.


Here is a brief how-to on creating a large, high resolution rendered Revit walkthrough (or sun study) and then subsequently compressing and uploading it to Youtube.

Setup your walkthrough view.

In Revit, Export – Walkthrough and divide the total frame count of the animation into parts that have a manageable number of frames (I recommend 100).

Do this for each part of the Walkthrough (ie. create files with frames 1-100.avi, then 101-200.avi, 201-300.avi etc). Use ‘Full Frames (uncompressed)’ when creating these parts.

Use VirtualDub to join the parts together. In VirtualDub, open the first part. Press Ctrl-Right arrow (this takes you to the end of the file), then go File – Append AVI Segment… and choose the next part. Do this however many times is need to append all parts to the original file.

In VirtualDub, go to Video – Compression and I recommend using the ‘Cinepak Codec by Radius’ if you have it. Quality = 100.

In VirtualDub, go to Audio and choose ‘No Audio’

Choose Video – Full Processing Mode

Now go File – Save as AVI and create your combined and partly compressed AVI file.

Open Windows Movie Maker. Import the combined file into the collections.

Drag the file into the storyboard at the bottom.

Go to File – Publish Movie. Choose ‘This computer’ and click Next. Choose a filename and location and click Next.

I recommend choosing ‘Best quality for playback on my computer’. This should reduce the file to a manageable size.

Now, open your browser and login to your Youtube account. Choose ‘Upload’.

Select the compressed video you have created, and upload it. This may take a while, so just wait patiently (or do some other work!)

Once uploaded, you can now share the link code with Clients or others who may like to view the animation.

Dots at the end of Demolished walls

6 Apr

The problem is being caused by the Projection line weight value for walls exceeding what is set for the cut walls in the Phases Override dialog.  That is, walls are set to have a cut value of 2, any Projection lineweight that exceeds 2 results in the “dots” which are actually just the intersection of the wall boundary lines at the corners of the wall.

2015-04-06_Dots At the end of Demolished Walls