Tag Archives: Reinforcement

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.


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.


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!


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!

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 and Reinforcement


Structural rebars in beam

I had the great pleasure of presenting Revit Reinforcement problems, solutions, features and workflows at the Revit Technology Conference Australasia 2014 in Melbourne Australia last week. As always on these conferences I get to meet so many interesting and smart people who share my passion for 3D digital building design, but this time something was slightly different. This time I met surprisingly many who was already familiar with parts of my work on Reinforcement and Adaptive Components. That was a bit new to me, and something that makes me immensely proud. To realize that people on the other side of the planet use your research is indescribably motivating.


Changes since previous Rebar presentations

The presentation I did was basically the same brain dump curriculum that I did at AU 2012, RTCNA 2013 and AU 2013, although this time modified with updates for Revit 2015 (there are a few important ones) and removal of the sections on complex modeling (double-curved concrete walls and post-tension reinforcement). I decided to remove the last parts mainly because I’ve done little progress on the Adaptive Component research lately, and also feel these families have some performance issues when used on multiple and large repeaters.


Rebar Set Symbolic Representation

To me, there are two big new features in Revit 2015 when it comes to reinforcement: Symbolic Representation of Rebar Sets and Rebar Number. As I said during my presentation, these features seem to work really well, and especially the representation tools look good with last year’s Multi-Rebar Annotation families. Hat tips there to Pawel Piechnik and his team at Autodesk for implementing important features that are easy to use, fast and well implemented.

Rebar Number

Rebar Number

The presentation I did at AU 2013 received amazing reviews, something I naturally was rather pleased with. Here is a selection, with ratings from 1 to 10:

  • Quality of the class materials: 9.44
  • Overall Class Satisfaction: 9.24
  • Speaker’s level of preparation: 9.56
  • Quality of the technical content: 9.38
  • Speaker’s knowledge of the subject: 9.47
  • Speaker’s ability to present and communicate: 9.41

The RTCAUS 2014 presentation was also well received, but feedback forms are not yet complete.

Download and read the updated Rebar bible and RTCAUS handout from Content.

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


Path reinforcement


Tonight I added a new section to my website: Training.

I mean to provide Revit training to whoever wishes to learn about using Revit to the best of it’s abilities, and I look to make this website section the portal for pre and post training information and content.

For the future I plan to offer all kinds of customized training, be it project workshops, general topics or just fun stuff. To get started somewhere, the first available published training session is Revit as a Tool for Modeling Concrete Reinforcement. This is an extended version of my 90 minute class SE4240 (with the same name) from Autodesk University 2012. As you can see, I also plan to make available organic modeling curriculum based on my computational design studies from the past six months.

If you are interested in contacting me about Revit training, or know someone who are, please do not hesitate to do so through the contact form in the Me section.

Post Tension Tendons Animated

After a few posts on the use of Adaptive Components for Post Tension Tendons, it’s now time to take it a bit further.

Some Reviteers out there might have had the chance to look at Image-O-Matic from Boost Your BIM (boostyourbim.wordpress.com and twitter.com/BoostYourBIM). This App will turn your Revit Views into series of images. These images can in turn be used to create videos in different ways. I’ve installed Windows Movie Maker and produced an mp4 for YouTube. Pretty straight forward stuff.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you play around with Image-O-Matic. It’s only for Imperial units, so you might want to make use of some converter parameters or switch back and forth between units in your Revit project. I prefer to use unit-less parameter types like Numbers or Integers in formulas with the Length parameters that control geometry. Also, the App will only use one parameter. That means you have to be a bit creative with formulas (again) if you want to control multiple geometry. Last, the App will not be available when you’re in a perspective view (like all other Add-Ins). Solve this by starting the program in another view, and move to a perspective view when selecting the family.

Family parameters and formulas

These are the parameters and formulas I’ve used to make the animation above. The Angle parameter, which has the same units in Metric and Imperial, is used by Image-O-Matic for changing geometry. Using the trigonometrical function I get an accelerated movement in between the top and bottom extremes, where the movement decelerates.

Probably totally and utterly useless for anything, but quite fun to play with.

Post Tension Structures in Revit continued: 5-point bars and path hosting

PT slab 5-pointAfter the last post on post tension bars in Revit I received some positive feedback and questions about how one would go ahead and add more points. You can do this by simply copying the intermediate point(s) around and re-hosting, followed by a new hosted circle and sweep.PT bars 5-point

Now, when changing between 3-, and 5-point tendon families we encounter some challenges with the Adaptive Point Numbers. Every time Revit has to generate new points, like when you change from a 3-point PT tendon to a 5-point, it will use the default placement in the family rather than something that would seem more appropriate to you. And is you change back from 5 to 3, Revit will shorten the tendon, because Adaptive Point Number 3 is not the end number in the 5-point family.

You can solve this by changing the intermediate points to Shape Handle Points instead of Placement Points in the Family Editor. Doing this the end points will always remain number 1 and 2, and the tendon span length will remain constant. The intermediate shape handle points will still jump around, but you get less modifying to deal with.

PT bar 5-point

Download the new 5-point PT bar from Content.

PT slab 5-point surface perspectivePlaying around with more and more points you inevitably start to wonder if there are cooler ways of modeling the whole shebang. Indeed there are. Once you have Adaptive Points to play with it’s fairly simple to host these on as many divided paths as there are points.

PT mass divided paths

Because most post tension tendons only curve vertically, you want to make sure the divided path points that host the PT tendon Adaptive Points always form a plane. This is not always the case when you start messing around with curves as the point locations are often a product of the path length, which in turn varies depending on the curvature. You can override this, and have all points in one plane, by using the Intersect tool and Reference Planes.

PT mass divided paths with refplanes

In the example used here I’ve made 5 3-point splines, where 3 of them form vertical curves. With these I can control the entire vertical layout of the now organic post tension structure parametrically. Please note that this of course does not work if you’ve changed the intermediate points to Shape Handle Points. They need to remain Placement Points.

PT massDownload the sample PT mass family from Content.

PT slab 5-point surface closeup