Tag Archives: Training

Bad Monkey Stream in Porto

Marcello, Julien, Adam and me are going to give you a Dynamo show the world has never seen before. At 09:00 on Friday October 21 in Porto the four of us host a Dynamo Lab at Revit Technology Conference together, and you should consider being there.

Havard_Vasshaug_RTC16 Marcello_Sgambelluri_RTC16 Adam_Sheather_RTC16 Julien_Benoit_RTC16

 

 

 

 

Marcello Sgambelluri hardly requires any introduction if you have ever been attending a conference with any Revit in it the past decade. The american with the curly hair constantly keeps hammering top rated classes around the world, but to the best of my knowledge this is the first time he ever sets foot on European soil. I am plainly super exited to have him coming here, and that we are doing a class together.

Julien Benoit from Nantes has been my very good friend ever since we met at the first ever RTC held in Europe, in Delft back in 2013. Julien has been teaching Revit and Dynamo to French engineers and architects for a number of years, and the work that he and his colleagues are doing is simply amazing. We did a joint lab together with Andreas Dieckmann at RTC last year, and it was a no brainer to set up a similar session again.

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Put Adam Sheather next to almost any normal building industry professional, and he will seem like a God. Literally. Put him next to me, and I will look like the biggest retard who ever put on two shoes. I call him The Prodigy. The man writes code like he never did anything else, but there is so much more to the bearded Australian. The creator of Dynaworks has great visions and thoughts about the future of building design and construction, has a great sense of humor and currently holds the world record for longest RTC lab – 300 minutes, all alone and hung over in Melbourne in 2014. Like Marcello, I don’t think Adam has shared many skills in Europe before, and it is fantastic that he is making the long trip from Brisbane to Porto to be a Bad Monkey on stage.

The four of us have got something special lined up for the hopefully many lucky souls who sign up for Session 2.1 Bad Monkey Stream: Learn Dynamo. We will each run one half session focusing on teaching participant different ways of creating their own scripts for various design problems. Be there! You will be a much better person after.

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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.

Fully Clothed

Fully Clothed


Half Naked

Half Naked


Nude

Nude


Close Up

Close Up

 

Dynamo in Oslo and Copenhagen

“What is the coolest possible thing we can do?”

Lars Robertsen at Autodesk asked me that question two months ago. I responded “Well that would be having Julien Benoit, Andreas Dieckmann, Matt Jezyk and Dieter Vermeulen come to Norway to show of amazing Dynamo material.” I have to admit that Zach Kron was on that list as well, but I´m sure Matt will do just fine without the Barry White of BIM at his side.

My friends are coming to meet you. Seats are limited, so hurry up. If you are using Revit, you need to learn Dynamo. It´s as simple as that. And you will struggle to find a better lineup of people to teach you. This is the A Team. (Sorry for the lack of humbleness. I have decided to stop using that for a while.)

The events are all free, and are the results of a collaborative effort between Dark Architects, Snøhetta, Autodesk, C.F. Møller and Multiconsult. It´s a beautiful thing when people just get together and teach each other stuff.

Register:

Copenhagen August 26 Event

Oslo August 27 Event

Thanks to Julien, Andy, Matt and Dieter for coming, Cathrine Mørch for hosting, Jill Nilsson for organizing and Lars for asking an awesome question. See you all there!

Learn Revit

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“Can you make a basic Revit video tutorial series for me”, Rodrigo asked.

“Of course.”

I did. It’s out. You can listen to my ranting at thinkparametric.com/courses/revit-architecture-101

Margarida Jeronimo Barbosa at Dark helped me so much making this course that I’m embarrassed to admit it. Great work. Thank you<3

I also owe big thanks to the team at Dark and Zinc who I worked with on this project: Jeanette Norin, Caroline Stokkebokjær Hjelseth, Kaja Kittang Kvande, Christine Grape and Ida Stople. I wrote about the project in the blog post A White Sheet.

The main reason I wanted to help Rodrigo and his friends at Think Parametric is I really like their Rhino and Grasshopper courses. I’ve also come to find many interesting design workflows integrating the four programs Revit, Dynamo, Rhino and Grasshopper. I believe Think Parametric’s computational exercises combined with building information modeling knowledge offers many interesting building design solutions.

At RTCAUS I used several examples of moving data between these four programs and letting each of them use their own strengths. I plan on doing more of the same at RTCEUR. And who knows; maybe one day you’ll find a video tutorial on the same topic at Think Parametric?

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

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.

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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.

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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!

11

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 0.0.1

Space Frame with Structural Framing in Dynamo

Space Frame with Structural Framing in Dynamo

The last year I’ve become more and more involved with Dynamo, the open source visual programming interface that eats, drinks and sleeps with Revit. Since Christmas I’ve arranged multiple Computational Design workshops at Dark with the goal of increasing interest in visual programming and narrowing the gap between BIM and Computational Design tools. We’ve had Nathan Miller from CASE over the Atlantic for a fantastic training session, and I’ve started speaking about Dynamo at international conferences.

Twisting Elliptical Tower with Attractor Wave from Nate's training session

Twisting Elliptical Tower with Attractor Wave from Nate’s training session

Why? Apart from the obvious fact that I like it, I think there are three very interesting aspects of playing around with it. First, and most apparent perhaps, Dynamo provides an opportunity to work with complex and optimized shapes and structures in far less time than traditional tools will. Second, since it interacts deeply with the Revit API, it allows us to develop and share BIM automation scripts. In other words, you, me and everyone can create automated behavior and extend the hard-coded capabilities of BIM and Revit with little or no experience with programming. Last, and for me most interesting, it opens the first door to a vision of designers taking ownership of, and designing their own design tools. Ever since the Personal Computer became mainstream almost all building designers have been slaves to what software developers have done. This might provide an opportunity for the building design industry to start getting actively involved in how software works.

Jesse Pinkman as Adaptive Components in Revit with Dynamo

And that’s pretty interesting stuff. Ever since my introduction to CAD (you can read more about that here), I’ve spent an enormous amount of energy on working for a more efficient and fun way of deigning better buildings. It’s hard not to imagine Dynamo, or an evolved version of it, being part of that now.

Very well. So what have I done lately?

Dynamo in Structural Design

At the recent Revit Technology Conference (RTC) Australasia in Melbourne, I gave my first ever presentation of Dynamo in Structural Design for an international audience. I got overwhelmingly positive feedback after the session, which confirms my suspicion that visual programming and computational logic in structural design has some promise.

Space Frame with varying thickness

Space Frame with varying thickness

During the hour and fifteen minutes I basically went through two examples of working with Conceptual Modeling, Math and Dynamo, both involving some version of a space frame.

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

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

The Dynamo exercise builds a double-curved space frame of native Revit Structural Framing elements, that include Analytical data. This offers loads (pun intended) of potential re-use in structural analysis workflows.

Reaction Loads (Dead and Live) analyzed in Revit Extensions, saved as Internal Loads in Revit and tagged

Reaction Loads (Dead and Live) analyzed in Revit Extensions, saved as Internal Loads in Revit and tagged

The frame has a computational attractor system that makes it thicker in the middle and more narrow by the supports, all perfect for an optimized structure.

Axial Stress analyzed in A360 Structural Analysis and visualized in Revit

Axial Stress analyzed in A360 Structural Analysis and visualized in Revit

The four steps in building a Double-Curved Space Frame with computed varying thickness in Dynamo

The four steps in building a Double-Curved Space Frame with computed varying thickness in Dynamo

Those who will be at RTCNA in Chicago can see this material on the Friday of the conference. Not only can you see how it works; I’m modifying the presentation into a lab so you can interact as well.  I wasn’t originally scheduled to be there, but dues to cancellations the committee asked me to come. Hope to see you there!

Training

If you, or someone you know, is interesting in learning how Dynamo works, interacts with Revit and extends the capabilities of BIM tools, please do not hesitate to contact me for availability and details. All my training sessions are highly interactive, and we use a lot of improvisation to find the right problems to solve. I’m also constantly updating the Dynamo part of my Training schedule, in addition to the Gallery.

Exercises in use of trigonometry to generate different surfaces and control parameters

Exercises in use of trigonometry to generate different surfaces and control parameters

Workshops and development

I will continue to host Computational Design workshops at Dark. During these we usually start by going around the table with a quick recap of recent developments, and continue by working collaboratively on different design problems. Please let me know if you would like to be invited!

Recent research on Diagonal Grids and Structural Framing, Perspective

Recent research on Diagonal Grids and Structural Framing, Perspective

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Recent research on Diagonal Grids and Structural Framing, Dynamo definition

Acknowledgments

Three individuals come to mind when I’m thinking about who to thank for my new found passion and skills. First Nathan Miller at CASE for traveling far across the continents to help me and my Norwegian colleagues and friends take a leap in Dynamo knowledge. Only months before his first child was born. Congratulations and thanks! Second Dynamo Master Andreas Dieckmann for his extreme Dynamo and Python knowledge, but perhaps most of all because of his inspiring attitude towards sharing that knowledge along with vast amounts of valuable packages. World class innovation. And last, but not least, my own mentor Julien Benoit. Our brainstorming, regular meetings and common goals are fantastic to be a part of, and I look very much forward to our collaboration in the future, first of with a joint lab at RTC Europe. Interestingly, a little over a year ago I didn’t know who any of these individuals were. 2013 really seemed to be the year of fantastic new connections.

What lies in the future then?

Like most Dynamonians, I have realized that Python is something that just has to be learnt. It’s not a question of if any longer, but when. It’s when you dive into Python that you really start automating BIM, as you can build a lot of custom Revit interaction through Revit API. Also, I both hope and believe I will get a chance to use this technology on innovative architectural and sustainable design soon. I’ve done some simple research on competitions and early phase design iterations, but it lacks depth. Oh, and I need to make Dynamic Relaxation work.

Simple Facade Study Dynamo Iteration

Simple Facade Study Dynamo Iteration

I hope some of this can contribute to expanding interest around this new box of technologies. My enthusiasm and knowledge of this has little value if there is no one I can show it to. That’s you. Let’s do it!