Tag Archives: Concrete

Autodesk University 2014

In exactly one week I leave for Las Vegas and Autodesk University Conference and Exhibition 2014. This will be the fifth time I attend this conference, and the third time in a row. This event will be far more intense than the four previous conferences combined. Here’s a summary of what I will do, and where you can find me, listed according to expected level of stress induced.

Revit as a Tool for Modeling Concrete Reinforcement, Wednesday December 3, 4:30 PM (PST)

Once again I take the stage with my rebar show in Las Vegas. I did the same presentation in 2012 and 2013, in addition to RTCNA 2013 and RTCAUS 2014. I’m very familiar with the content of this curriculum, but this time the circumstances have changed slightly. In short, Autodesk are streaming 13 out of approximately 800 classes and presentations live world wide, and have decided that my little rebar rant is worthy. And it’s totally free. That’s right. Carl Bass, Jeff Kowalski, Amar Hanspal and yours truly, free of charge.

AU Live Stream Schedule

AU Live Stream Schedule

I find this both terrifying, humbling and very, very exiting. Obviously, I don’t know how many people will be watching. Most my friends in the Nordic countries will probably be sleeping, except my mom (I hope!). But the thought of how many design professionals are online in Asia, Oceania and America at that time makes me think this will be the biggest rebar fest of all times.

If you are going to Vegas, you can sign up to attend in person here:

SE6926 – Revit as a Tool for Modeling Concrete Reinforcement

If you want to lie on your couch in Islamabad or Reykjavik, wearing boxers and a stained t-shirt, you can join me here:


Computational Logic in Structural Design hands-on lab, Tuesday December 2, 1:15 PM (PST)

This is perhaps the session that I’m looking mostly forward to! For one hour and fifteen minutes my friends and I will have a blast with some really beautiful computation in Dynamo. This is part of a lab that I developed with Julien Benoit for RTCEUR in Dublin earlier this year. Sadly Julien won’t be (physically) present in Vegas, but I have convinced Dynamo Grand Master Andreas Dieckmann to cover his absence by helping me out in this lab. It’s like bringing on Messi to cover for Ronaldo.


Expect to refresh trigonometry in SE6925-L

There are right now 6 available seats left, and in case you book one of them, be prepared to automate some really nice structures based on periodic functions and parameter manipulation in Dynamo!

SE6925-L – Computational Logic in Structural Design

Learn visual programming to make awesome

Learn visual programming to make awesome

Dynamo Hackathon, Monday December 1 to 3.

From Monday to Wednesday evening Matt Jezyck and Zach Kron from Autodesk are hosting a Dynamo Hackathon for everyone who wants to hack at Dynamo with others while at AU. Together with Julien and Andreas I have submitted a project that I have been wanting to work on for some time. Ever since I first laid eyes on Harry Mathison’s Image-O-Matic – an addin that produces a set of images based on parameter iterations – I’ve had a dream of building something similar, based on Dynamo.

The ultimate outcome of this work is a set of technologies that can animate anything in Revit; movement, analysis, schedules, analytical data, in addition to parametric iterations. Imagine how you can present your building design if you have, say, 200 different visualized daylight analysis results, based on 200 facade alternatives, all collectively animated in a video or gif loop? You know what I’m thinking? AEC porn. That’s what I’m thinking.

You are more than welcome to join! As far as I know anyone can sign up. In case animation doesn’t quite do it for you, there are a number of other awesome projects to join. Oh did I forget to mention you’ll be doing this together with some of the smartest people in international design technology? Well, you are.

BIM Workshop, Monday December 1, 8:30 am PST.

The same Mr’s Kron and Jezyck are hosting a whole-day BIM Workshop event about visual programming before the Hackathon starts. This is an addition and prelude to the regular conference that starts on Tuesday. It will be a good opportunity to refresh some basics and explore more advanced analytical problems. It will also be a fine way to meet up with the other people who suffer from need of automation at the cost of manual labor. The lazy smart people.

In addition to all this, and all the regular classes, I’m helping out as a lab assistant for Marcello Sgambelluri’s Dynamo for Dummies, participating in the Design Computation Symposium and meeting up with fellow Expert Elites at various social events. I’ll be consuming beer with my good friend John Fout at the CASE Party on Wednesday, where I also look forward to catching up with a host of smart and entertaining people that I have the privilege to know.

I’ve come to realize that there are three reasons why I put myself through all this several times each year. I love finding, learning and developing knowledge of new technologies. I have a passion for teaching what i learn to others. And I’m absolutely addicted to hanging out with people who make me laugh. That’s Autodesk University in a nutshell. That, and much more.

See you there!

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.


Structural rebars in beam

Structural Foundations with voids for cutting concrete

Foundations and voids thick linesA few weeks ago Steve Stafford wrote a blog post about the use of voids in families. It appears the Autodesk documentation for Revit recommends to “avoid voids” because of performance issues. I found this interesting as I tend to use this functionality a lot when making sure modeled objects cut each other as they should according to construction. The automatic joins and Join Geometry gives me pain in over 50 % of the situations where I need to do this, and when Autodesk introduced the “Cut with Voids When Loaded” option in the Family Editor they opened up a lot of efficient 3D detailing potential.Cut with Voids When Loaded

Of course this requires that someone sets up all families with voids, and this can be tedious work. Especially with constraints (you want the voids to follow the same rules as you solids) and nesting. But once you’re done, the models can reflect reality way faster and more intuitive than before.

If you are into 3D Rebar, you will notice that using voids to cut will produce Rebar Cover references for your reinforcement modeling. That’s a good thing.

Foundations and voids no piles medium lines

I use this functionality on more objects than Structural Foundations. For instance prefabricated slabs embedded in cast in place structures, or columns cutting slabs with a tolerance. The options are endless.

So, what does not work very well when you’re playing around with this? First, there is a graphical bug in Revit 2013 that occur “sometimes” when you do not use a voided family for cutting. In some cases Revit views will display the yellowish void instead of geometry. This can badly affect your drawings if you print with color, so beware. Second, you always have to Cut Geometry manually. There is no automated procedure to do this. Again though, the upsides are greater than the downsides.

One can always hope Autodesk adds some new functionality in the future, and high up on my list is the ability to use family solids for cutting. The void cutting is okay, but in most situations I am looking for my solid geometry to cut something. An option to enable automatic cutting like in Wall-, Floor- and Face-based families would also be favorable.

I’ve always thought Revit lacks a way to control the construction procedure of elements, and something like a hard coded “operation sequence number” (almost like Phases) could provide helpful. Try to imagine a cut priority connected to placement procedure. Pile = 1, Concrete Foundation = 2, Foundations Slab = 3, and so on. And the lowest number will always cut the higher number. From a structural and construction point of view that would make sense.

Last I’d like to use this opportunity to show a small detail I’ve added to all our circular elements (foundations, columns and openings). It’s a tiny cone that is hidden by default in most view, but gets exported to IFC so that site engineers and land surveyors can use our models to pinpoint the concentric global position of each element.Foundations and voids coordinates medium lines

With the “avoid voids” mantra in mind, lets hope the Autodesk documentation needs a few revisions rather than my project models.

Download one of the Steel Piles from Content.