Tag Archives: Adaptive Components

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Learn Dynamo

How?

There are hundreds of ways you can learn Dynamo. My good friend and mentor Julien Benoit at Groupe Legendre teaches his colleagues every day. Dynamo is so integrated in his team’s project that they have to. For many of us this is more a case of playing around until we find relevant problems to solve. I have three main categories of ways to learn Dynamo.

First, use the resources on dynamobim.org and dynamoprimer.com. They include video and written tutorials that cover basic and advanced procedures of computing and automating data. Simple exercises like form creation, parameter manipulation and Excel interoperability are perfect introductions to understand what kind of magic you can pull on your colleagues and clients.

Second, interact with the community. Like many new, free open source programs Dynamo has conjured a fantastic community of people who help each other every day. Guys like Dimitar Venkov and Andreas Dieckmann have done miracles teaching people how to solve their own design problems. Actually Dimitar has two live Code Blocks in critical workflows on my current project at Snøhetta, and I would have gotten nowhere without Andreas’ Clockwork Package. The same goes for Konrad Sobon who created Mantis Shrimp that allows me to move data between Grasshopper and Dynamo, something I do on a daily basis at Snøhetta. Adam Sheather made Dynaworks, a Package that Julien uses to move clashes between Navisworks and Revit in his own workflow. All of these were developed for free under open source licensing. That’s the result of a community of people who like to help others.

Last, arrange courses. When I worked at Dark we asked Nathan Miller to fly from Omaha to Oslo to direct a three day training session. Nate came, and I invited BIM specialists from other companies in Oslo to split the cost. I personally made leaps in understanding computation during those three days. Let me know if you want to set something similar up for you and your colleagues. I can deliver introductory curriculum and pretty advanced architectural design with Dynamo. I can also get you in touch with people like Julien, Andreas and Nate who are on a completely different planet when it comes to advanced topics. As a sidenote to that, Andreas’ topic for his Dynamo class at Revit Technology Conference Europe 2015 in Budapest this fall is Automate Automation. No? He basically has Dynamo run multiple Dynamo definitions in multiple Revit sessions at any time. It blows my mind so hard that I need alcohol and nicotine to not pass out.

When?

“I am too busy. I have no time. All the deadlines. Bu-hu.” We all have time, we just use it differently. I make Dynamo-time when I’m alone at nights (yes it does sound a bit dirty), or sometimes when my wife is working. I also make Dynamo-time at work, and constantly try out stuff that often breaks. When it works, I make awesome. And catch up all time spent. Usually.

Why?

Because then you decide what happens.

30 years ago design professionals started drawing lines, text and hatched areas on computers instead of paper. Then 10 years ago we began modeling information in 3D databases. But the operations were not vastly different. Draw, move, rotate, copy. From now on we will start programming information. For coding n00bs like myself visual programming software like Dynamo and Grasshopper are perfect introductions. Building designers need to start making our own software to understand how our components interact, how they perform and to feel greater ownership to our own processes as designers.

To finalize, some images of our latest work at Snøhetta. Facade components beautifully placed according to inner facade mullion and framing placement, and randomized with 4 different sizes, 4 materials, approximately 50 % flipped and “some” of the flipped panels sandblasted. Totally 64 different types. Plus the cut corners, of course. All Dynamo and Adaptive Components.

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Smithsonian collage

Dynamo Video Tutorials

How do you learn to play the piano?

You learn the basics, find a YouTube instructor, and practice a melody that you like. That’s how I do it anyway. How do you learn computer software? You learn the basics, and find a problem that you love solving. That’s how my son learnt how to ski. It has to be fun. And now I play Bach. Because I think its awesome.

I recently hosted a whole day Dynamo lab for engineering students at Bergen University College. The curriculum that I used was a developed version of material I presented in 2014 with Julien Benoit at RTCEUR, and solo at Autodesk University (AU) 2014; Computational Logic in Structural Design. The math and script was developed last summer, with much help from Zach Kron.

The structure was inspired by a question I got from a colleague during a Computational Design workshop at Dark: “Dude, have you seen the Smithsonian”? Voilà; I had a problem that I loved to solve. Now, 64 students in Bergen have learnt how to mathematically model the roof of the Smithsonian American Art Museum atrium roof in Washington DC.

After AU I expanded the example with more Structural Framing diagonals, analytical model information and Robot integration. Instead of writing new or revising documents to supplement the live labs, I decided to record short and fast video tutorials and post the on YouTube.

The students are now using these tutorials to learn Dynamo with my Smithsonian roof problem, and so can you:

Here’s the handout I wrote for AU: Computational Logic in Structural Design

In the future I hope to expand the curriculum further by applying more analytical data (Loads, Load Combinations, Boundary Conditions, Calculations, Results Management, Analytical Visualization, and so on) and perhaps genetic algorithm optimization techniques (Galapagos, Optimo). I’d be very interested to hear if you have ideas to ways this problem, and it’s solutions, could be enhanced.

Last, I gave my students an assignment. Go ahead if you want, and see if your skills and imagination can challenge theirs:

Create a Dynamo script that generates a roof of steel beams based on a trigonometric function. The example below is based on a sine curve between 0 and 180 degrees. The structure must be parametric in length, width, height and grid. Present the results in an inventive way.

Assignment

Animate design iterations in Revit with Dynamo

I want to animate design iterations in Revit with Dynamo.

Now I can. Thanks to the first ever Annual Dynamo Hackathon, which took place in Las Vegas during this year’s Autodesk University, I am now able to create animations of a whole set of various parameter calculations and variations. Eventually I want to include analytical data, quantities and optimization techniques in this workflow, but for now I have more than enough to learn about the current set of tools.

origo_collage_take2

The idea came to me during breakfast the day after Matt Jezyck announced the Hackathon. I asked my friends Andreas Dieckmann and Julien Benoit what they thought about it, and they immediately got on board. When Andreas and I arrived in Vegas, we hooked up with Ian Siegel, and got to work. In short, we have produced 5 Dynamo Custom Nodes that can animate;

  • Number and Length Parameter iterations
  • Element Transparency
  • Camera movement
  • Element Color Ranges

Check out the very cool showcase video Andreas put together between AU sessions:

There are some limitations to what you can animate currently. Depending on our progress on these limitations, and more specifically Dynamo development, the plan is to release these nodes in the Package Manager early in 2015.

Check out the Dynamo 2014 Hackathon site for more information on the various projects at Autodesk University 2014 Dynamo Hackathon, and the Dynamo Blog Post for final results and voting at 1st Annual Dynamo Hackathon.

Above and below are some use cases that I have tested after AU. Both models are Dark Architects projects, with the above using Ian’s facade alternative on Origo, and the example below changing Adaptive Component parameters on the facade of Lørenfaret Grønn Portal.

LGP_take1(It may take a while for these GIF’s to load. They are rather large.)

BIM Conferences in 2014: A Summary of Published Content

Yesterday morning I woke up in Istanbul. By noon I was back at the office in Oslo having lunch with my friends at Dark. That flight marked my final appearance as a speaker at international BIM conferences in 2014. I’ve been in Melbourne, Chicago, Dublin, Las Vegas and now Istanbul. At all these events I have contributed with multiple presentations and labs, totaling almost 14 hours on stage. Most of the material has been presented multiple times, but the total number of handouts and datasets that had to be produced, revised and quality assured is overwhelming, especially due to Dynamo versions but also new Revit featuers.

In the menu Workshops above you can now download most of the material I have used in these training sessions. It’s all a collection of company training, conference labs or online presentations. Here’s a quick capture of 2014 additions, in reverse chronological order:

Autodesk University 2014

At AU 2014 I did one Dynamo lab and one Rebar presentation. The Dynamo lab was jam packed, and we created a pretty awesome mathematically defined roof structure of Adaptive Components that reported each panel’s deflection. The exercise was similar to that used in the double lab Julien Benoit and I hosted at RTC EUR 2014. A fun fact from this lab was that I had the company of two Lab Assistants; Marius Jablonskis from Norconsult, who had never seen Dynamo before but is in other ways a fine person, and Andreas Dieckmann, the Dynamo Grand Master. (He dislikes me calling him that, which makes me want to do it more.)

Smithsonian collage

The Rebar presentation was a repeat/continuum of the presentations I did on similar topics at AU 2012, 2013, RTC NA 2013 and RTC AUS 2014 previously. The only difference this time was that it was live streamed across the world, with a couple of thousand people watching. It’s still being watched in fact, as the recording continues to reside at au.autodesk.com/au-online/live-stream/revit-concrete-reinforcement.

2014-12-11_21-41-38

Common for both sessions was the great feedback I received both verbally and digitally (as class rating), and that I had a great time with my friends in the audience.

Revit Technology Conference Europe 2014

At RTC EUR 2014 I did one Dynamo presentation and the double lab mentioned above. The double lab differed from the one I did at AU in that it excluded Julien’s second part on using Dynamo for working effectively with analytical information on the basis of a simple Adaptive Component structure. Basically, I did the easy part of creating a structure, and my friend did all the complex analytical hacks with Python. We got great feedback for the session, but next time I think we will try to keep it a bit more simple. The maths in Dynamo that created the roof structure for us was developed in collaboration with the coolest dude in Computational BIM; Zach Kron.

Photo by Srecko Sljivic

Photo by Srecko Sljivic

The Dynamo presentation I did alone also got great reviews, even though I struggled a bit with some normals midway. I love doing live demos, and this time I built a space frame with variable thickness based on a double curved surface. Here I was luck to have all other Dynamo presenters at the conference lined up on the back row, commenting everything I did wrong in their eyes. Actually I wish they had, as that might have saved me from n00bing with normals.

2014-11-23_18-36-07

Beautiful 3-dimensional math, developed with Zach Kron

Check out Julien’s blog; AEC, you and me for news and updates on his presentations.

Revit Technology Conference North America 2014

I wasn’t scheduled to attend RTC NA this year, but Steve Stafford contacted me two weeks before to inquire if I could cover for a cancellation. I can never say no to the man and booked my flights instantly.

I did a double lab on computational logic in structural design; the first part with Masses and Adaptive Components in the conceptual modeling environment; and the second part on Dynamo. The exercises I used was the same space frames I lectured on in Melbourne at RTC AUS a month before. My inexperience with labs at the time was saved by Brian Mackey and Bruce McCallum, who were both present and helped out the participants who ran into trouble. Thanks again guys!

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Revit Technology Conference Australasia 2014

My first BIM conference of 2014 wasn’t until late in May, but the distance I had to travel made up for the lack of activity prior. I did two presentations; one my regular rebar show, and my first ever international lecture on Masses, Adaptive Components, Maths and Dynamo. Being the first time, I naturally ran out of time with Dynamo in the end. The rebar presentation, however, was really good, and it was later ranked sixth best session of the entire conference at the RTC Blog: www.rtcevents.com/blog/?p=1091

Space Frame based on Massing, Adaptive Components and The Pythagorean Theorem

Space Frame based on Massing, Adaptive Components and The Pythagorean Theorem

Next year I will focus more on Computational BIM and Dynamo in architecture, as that’s what I’ve actually been working on the last year.

Now it’s time to relax and bring the stress down for Christmas with the family. All my friends abroad, see you next year and thanks for an epic 2014!

Dynamo for Structural Design at RTCEUR 2014

One of this year’s definitive personal highlights will be the dual lab Julien Benoit and I will be hosting at the Revit Technology Conference Europe 2014 in Dublin by the end of October. My recent adventures at RTCAUS in Melbourne (read more here) and Julien’s unstoppable research has produced some interesting results, particularly on working with Adaptive Components, Structural Framing, Analytical Models and Loads effectively. We’ve made a short teaser to show a glimpse of what you can expect to learn if you decide to show up on the green island.

Sign up for the conference: Revit Technology Conference Europe 2014

Julien’s blog: AEC, you and me

See you there!

Space Frame with Structural Framing in Dynamo

Space Frame with Structural Framing in Dynamo

Computational Design workshops 2013 at Dark

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

One of the things I really wanted to do when I started my current position as Digital Design Manager at Dark was to try to generate some interest around computational design. I’m absolutely no computational nor design expert, but I have some interest when it comes to conceptual modeling tools, math and visual programming, and as with many things in life; when you like something you stick with it.

We put together 6 workshops, most of them with different attendees. This meant we spent some time on introductions to the concepts and tools available each time we met. Still, I was very impressed by the work that we managed to produce during the 3 hours these workshops lasted.

I normally divide the workshops in three parts; during the first hour I show something I believe will be new to the present attendees, the second hour everyone model something from their imagination – totally without creative constraints or guidelines, but before we start I announce that during the last hour every participant must present their work to the others. That has a tendency to up the prestige slightly. I guess I never actually mentioned that their work would also be published online…

We’ve mostly used Autodesk Vasari during these sessions. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to spend much time on visual programming and Dynamo yet, but this is something I hope we can dive into at the start of 2014. I’m sure Zach Kron will recognize some of the patterns in our exercises, as we’ve used his YouTube on several occasions. I bow in honor.

While these interactive training sessions are mainly for Dark employees we have at times invited certain individuals from other companies and educational institutions. If you’d like to be invited to these workshops, please let me know and perhaps we can make it happen. They will also most likely be published in the Events section on Relinquish.

Here is a sober selection of the creative work we produced during some of these very inspirational workshops:

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

René Damborg Jensen

René Damborg Jensen

René Damborg Jensen

René Damborg Jensen

René Damborg Jensen

René Damborg Jensen

Charlotte Hansson

Charlotte Hansson

Charlotte Hansson

Charlotte Hansson

Marin Kulas

Marin Kulas

Charlotte Hansson

Charlotte Hansson

Charlotte Hansson

Charlotte Hansson

Simona Ferrari

Simona Ferrari

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Arne Folkestad Bjelland

Ida Stople

Ida Stople

Vilde Aspen

Vilde Aspen

Vilde Aspen

Vilde Aspen

Vilde Aspen

Vilde Aspen

Andreas Haukeland

Andreas Haukeland

Erik Ege

Erik Ege

Maya Målsnes

Maya Målsnes

Kjell Kristian Karlsen

Kjell Kristian Karlsen

Håvard Vasshaug

Håvard Vasshaug

Håvard Vasshaug

Håvard Vasshaug

Håvard Vasshaug

Håvard Vasshaug

Revit Technology Conference North America 2013

PT project-1

In July I had the great privilege and pleasure of both attending and presenting at the inaugural Revit Technology Conference (RTC) North America, held in Vancouver Canada. This was my first ever RTC, and being invited to speak was very humbling and exciting.

Meeting funny people from all over the world who have the same passion as me for 3D digital design is truly one of the most rewarding aspects of the kind of work I do.

Thankfully, this was only the first of several social events this year, as I will be present at both RTC Europe in Delft and Autodesk University in Las Vegas. I’m also of course looking very much forward to this year’s Revit Gunslinger event in Waltham, MA.

The presentation I did at RTCNA was about 3D reinforcement modeling in Revit. It was an updated and enhanced version of the same session I did at AU 2012. Specifically I added a section on complex rebar modeling, exemplified with Adaptive Components for post tension tendon modeling. This example is mostly “for fun”, as I’m still not too sure how well these families work with regards to detailing, documenting and fabrication.

In case you’re interested in checking out the class material, here’s the PowerPoint. my Rebar Manifesto and over 80MB of delicious rebar dataset:

Session 7 Intro (.pptx)

Session 7 Rebar Handout (.doc)

Rebar Dataset (.zip download)

Rebar Dataset Dropbox share link

The rebar dataset includes a sample project (courtesy of Rambøll), my presentation demo project file, Rebar Shape RFA’s, a selection of exported models (IFC, NWC, IPB and DWFX), post-tension families (Adaptive Components) and some data-files (Shared Parameters and IFC Export mapping text file).

I would humbly guess the Rebar Shape families could provide useful for structural engineers, at least across northern Europe.

Enjoy!

Structural rebars in beam