What's up with Revit 2011?

Lots . . . I kind of don't know where to start. There are many feature lists out there, and very comprehensive rundowns of the whole release. Loads of bells and whistles to look at, but I'm going to really just be talking about a few things for a long time: Adaptive Components, Division by Intersects, and Reporting Parameters.

All parametric/All the time. There's much to say, please stay tuned.

Here's some stuff I made over the last few months.


I've been waiting for you GC, we meet again at last . . .

Life is full of funny coincidences. Totally unrelated to the last post, someone just gave me a heads up about a free download for Generative Components. Now, I dabble in Grasshopper, and scratch my head a bit about Catia/Digital Project watching from the outside, but in terms of digital diversity, I really don't get out much. So if I see the opportunity to drop this (in)famous application onto my desktop and fiddle, well, by god I'm going to fiddle.

And I am humbled. As with any new application, you open it and see the befuddlement stretching out before you like the great plains. I just want to figure out how to draw a line . . . how? Well, take your pick:

Back in the day, I did my fair share of 2d Microstation, but this is a whole other ballgame. The enticing thing about it is something I had heard about from others but never got around to experiencing first hand. The "thin wrapper" around the API, the completely exposed guts and wires. I want to know more. Especially when I see this sweet little symbolic hierarchy of relationships that gets generated on the fly.
Or this ugly and powerful looking explicit manner to define a simple arc.

Yes, I know, plenty of you have been far down this path already, so I won't blog extensively on my bumbling toddler-like first steps. But when I get a chance over the next few weeks, I hope to be able to dip my toe in this strange yet familiar water. Anybody have some tutorials to point this Padawan towards?


Doodle Manifesto

When a child picks up a crayon and draws, he/she is not out to build skills. He/She is doodling.

If a child does not doodle with crayons, he/she will not build skills.

Doodling represents the world in a diagrammatic way, not by what it looks like, but by what it means. A kid can make a meaningless photograph, but not a meaningless doodle.

If a tool is cheap and readily accessible, people will doodle with it. Paper, pencils, crayons, mud, clay, Sketchup, Blender and even Rhino are cheap and accessible. Few people will doodle with $5000 finger paints. Besides, they're kept in that drawer with all the important documents and work stuff, best not to even go in there, looks boring.

If tools are expensive, they will be used for serious purposes, by serious and expensive people, who walk around with serious expression on their faces so you know that they are expensive. They will not laugh at your poop joke. They will look like this (minus the fabulous turban):

Serious people do not doodle. They do NOT play with crayons.

They also can't draw for poop.


Formula Driven Curves and Surfaces

Short description: Like the helix family from a couple weeks ago, these files allow you to load either a curve or a surface and manipulate them purely by math. Look Ma, No API! These are 100% good old fashion parameter driven loaded families.

I don't have the time now to really describe them, but I thought I would put them up for your dissection and inspection. I'll try and do an update with simplified interface. At the moment, you have to do a lot of correction for units, which is sort of a drag. Also, if you want to do something really complex, you will need to add more points.

General how-to operate these files: the formula driven spline, you can open up loaded family "formulaPoint" for edit, and change the formula that drives the parameter "y". Reload and presto: a new curve. For the formula driven surface, open "formula3dPoint" for edit and change the formula for parameter "z". I have included a couple other formulas in dummy parameters in the family for you to play with, just cut and paste into the y or z parameter
Download from HERE.

More to come


Set the massing tools free(ish)

User question: "Can I make a 3d sweep using the conceptual modeling spline by points tool, but not have my sweep stuck in the massing category?" As always, the answer is a resounding "sorta".

I've heard this question for issues ranging from folks wanting to do accurate and complex curbing for parking lots to wiggly columns. I'll show an example for how to make structural supports for curtain walls.
The same principle applies to do any category: make a dummy 3d shape in massing and use the edge of it to guide a sweep made in any other in-place mass category. Hackalicious

Sorry again for poor sound quality, one of these days I'll get a real mic.