20100609

"Geometry is Trivial, What are you trying to accomplish?"

You can model goddamn anything in Revit.

[mmmm . . . except this:



Regardless . . . it isn't interesting to ask "Why the hell can't Revit make [insert shape]?" Because Revit can. It is YOU that is inadequate. Also, your shoes are ugly. Gaudi drew the Sagrada Familia with a ruler, a compass, a french curve, and a bunch of string. Man up.

[Oh, and it would be a major pain to make this:

The more interesting thing to ask is "why do you even WANT to make it in Revit?"

Do you want to create variations on a theme?

Do you want to understand the logic of the form?

Do you want to analyze it?

Do you want to optimize it?

Do you want to document it?

Do you want to make changes late in the game?

Do you want to build it?

Do you want to build it and still be able to pay the mortgage?

Do you drink Moxie, run marathons, or date Charlie Sheen? [This is just a calibration question to control for masochists. If you said yes, go ahead and make your goofy ass stuff in Revit. Don't forget the alligator clips and candle wax.]

If you said yes to any of these, then your life might have just got a little harder (but perhaps more interesting). If you said no, or even said yes to a couple of these, stick to your non-Workplane based, nurby, subD mesh 3d package with more robust booleans and fillets. Workplanes are a pain in the butt for freeform modeling. Make it in your unconstrained environment (without meshing it if you can), import or link the damn thing into an in-place mass, and hang some walls on it. Done.

26 comments:

  1. Those looks more as result of some generative geometry algorithm..
    http://peterzalman.blogspot.com/2010/06/generative-design.html

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  2. I’ve been hearing these anti-blobby arguments from Autodesk since they acquired Revit. I thought for a second they have woken up and smelled the coffee, which is the reason they implemented the new massing tools. Apparently this anti-blob sentiment is still present. It seems to be a way to justify the poor modeling tools by saying that Revit is for ‘real world project’. I’ve heard them all, from “clients aren’t going to pay for that” to “not because you can model it, you should”. The truth of the matter is that the world is evolving and so does architecture. While in the United Stated, you can get away with an off the shelf brick colonial, in other countries, fortunately architecture is still architecture. New trends like computational design and the use of algorithmic editors for form finding is standard practice in many Europeans and Asian countries. It’s not surprising that Revit isn’t used there at all.

    Looking at Zaha Hadid’s building (the second picture), it’s clear that Revit can’t be used on such a building. At the same token, Zaha Hadid is an Autodesk customer and uses Maya and AutoCAD extensively. And even if they import dead geometry from Maya, which kills the BIM process, they wouldn’t be able to edit the geometry. At least in Autocad you can move, resize, push pull, an imported geometry or edit the 2d curves. I don’t understand either why Autodesk seems to stress the use of the building maker. Walls can’t vary in thickness which is usually the case on double curved walls, and you can’t control the wall ends and joints.
    There is also this argument of work planes. Freeform modeling is difficult in a software packages that are parametric and work plane based. Well, Catia, Solidworks, Generative Components don’t have that problems.

    I think Autodesk should really get their act together. They should make a decision whether they want to please their US based customers or be an international leader and acknowledge these new trends. Fortunately, the Autocad guys know their weaknesses and made great strides to bridge the gap.

    Just a few years ago it was unthinkable to Internet or video call on a phone. “Why would you want to use the Internet on a phone” was said by many. Apple made it possible and I wouldn’t know what to do now without those features on my Iphone.

    Let’s hope there will be a change in attitude at Autodesk or we will see Revit dying a slow death.

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  3. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the comments. However, there is nothing anti-blobby in this post. I like blobs. Some of my best friends are blobs. I think there are many ways to make blobs, and Revit is one of them. But not all blobs should be made in Revit. Not all blobs should be made in Maya or GC or Catia. Know your blob, and why you want to make it.

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  4. Zach, aren't you glad that despite your clearly stated disclaimer:

    "The materials contained and the opinions expressed on this blog are my own and are not necessarily those of Autodesk"....

    *YOU* are Autodesk. You have such control! Such power! C'mon Zach, why are you, personally, holding people (or Revit) back! If only you, personally, would come out of the dark ages, everything would be right with Revit.

    Jose Canusi

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  5. "New trends like computational design and the use of algorithmic editors for form finding is standard practice in many Europeans and Asian countries. It’s not surprising that Revit isn’t used there at all."

    Sounds to me more like you're the one out of touch there, buddy. I've seen plenty of examples of computational design and algorithmic approached being used within Revit.

    I even used it to win a design competition by having a friend write me a little randomization script tool for Revit. A script mind you that was so trivially easy to make, it took him an afternoon. If that.

    "There is also this argument of work planes. Freeform modeling is difficult in a software packages that are parametric and work plane based. Well, Catia, Solidworks, Generative Components don’t have that problems. "

    Truly spoken like someone who has never really used those tools. Or Revit, much, either. You're making some base assumptions here, and then running yourself off a cliff, Paul.

    With the better Freeform tools and Adaptive components in 2011, I've found that the whole 'workplane' thing has gotten pretty moot, and that the parametrics are approaching a more fluid workflow.

    I love how Catia gets trotted out all the time like it's a viable solution. Call me when it doesn't cost five figures and is usable by mear mortals.

    And Solidworks? Really? You ever tried to model a building in a tool like that?

    And as cool as the forms are that GC can do, when it comes time to actually build that stuff you're going to need a lot of tools, working together to do it.

    This crazed idea that Revit has to be a end-all, be all, or it's a total failure is really, really shallow and immature IMHO.

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  6. “I even used it to win a design competition by having a friend write me a little randomization script tool for Revit. A script mind you that was so trivially easy to make, it took him an afternoon. If that.”

    Probably not as limitless and sophisticated as Grasshopper. Well, at least it’s good to know that Revit can do some random paneling.

    “With the better Freeform tools and Adaptive components in 2011, I've found that the whole 'workplane' thing has gotten pretty moot, and that the parametrics are approaching a more fluid workflow”.

    Could you make the Zaha Hadid building with the new massing tools and adaptive components? Probably, but it would take a very long time. And that time we don’t have. That is the reason why people go from Rhino/grasshopper/maya to Autocad, because it’s faster, flexible and easy. You can even model that building in Autocad 2011 while Autocad was originally built for 2d hardcore drafting. Yet Revit is an architectural tool that is dependent of other modeling tools.

    “love how Catia gets trotted out all the time like it's a viable solution. Call me when it doesn't cost five figures and is usable by mear mortals.”

    And even so, many firms use it because they can get things out of it that they can’t with Revit. No firm is going to invest in a tool if it isn’t useful.

    “And Solidworks? Really? You ever tried to model a building in a tool like that?”

    I’ve modeled a curtain wall with all the nuts and bolts, because at that time (before RAC 2010) Revit couldn’t do any custom curtain panels. Even now I would probably use Rhino and Grasshopper to design a curtain wall and transfer it to Solidworks for manufacturing. There are some cases where I would go straight into Revit.

    “And as cool as the forms are that GC can do, when it comes time to actually build that stuff you're going to need a lot of tools, working together to do it.”

    It works seamless with Microstation. It’s a great design tool but I would rather use Grasshopper. Faster, cheaper and easier.

    “This crazed idea that Revit has to be a end-all, be all, or it's a total failure is really, really shallow and immature IMHO.”

    Revit doesn’t have to be an end-all product. Exporting Revit models to visualization, manufacturing and analysis package doesn’t hamper the design process. And it should stay like that. However, Revit should be more active at the front end of design. You should either be able to design everything in Revit through intuitive tools like polygonal modeling, sub-D, nurbs, etc. or through algorithmic editors. Rhino needs Grasshopper to be parametric, Revit is already parametric.

    Or Revit needs to be able to import the geometry and be remains editable. Importing static geometry into Revit while the design iterates isn’t efficient.

    Revit should be a product that adds value to certain part of the process. And since it’s called Revit Architecture It should let you intuitive create models, computate the models or import geometry and be a master documentation tool. It probably can do all three but not so efficient.

    At the end, let us not question the reasons why people want to design blobby buildings; let’s try to figure out how to make these models in Revit.

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  7. Paul, you live in a very different world than most.

    "Revit should be a product that adds value to certain part of the process. And since it’s called Revit Architecture It should let you intuitive create models, computate the models or import geometry and be a master documentation tool. It probably can do all three but not so efficient."

    The main disagreement here (as far as I can tell) is that many, many people feel that Revit is this now for them.

    And you don't. Because, in your world, most firms buy Catia and use Grasshopper and Rhino as a viable early design tool, then dump the resulting mess into AutoCAD to draft it. Or, laughably, send those models "directly to Solidworks for Manufacturing" (along with magical hand-waving for how THAT would work out) as if any serious curtain wall fabricator or steel sub would actually use YOUR model beyond design intent.

    Paul, I hate to break this to you, but your world simply doesn't jive with reality.

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  8. So, how would you consider to be a realistic design process?

    As far as I'm concern there are many blogs of the use of Grasshopper in architecture. Last year at the Autodesk BIM conference in Berlin, Patrick Schumacher (Zaha Hadid) showed how the use of Maya, Generative components and Rhino for their designs and integrate it with Autocad. Lava Architects showed a great presentation how they utilize Grasshopper in the design of the Snow Flake Tower. You can check out the PDF's on the German Autodesk website.

    Closer to home, Shop Architects have a very interesting chart of all the software they use. it give you insight on how they Rhino as their prime design tool together with Digital Projects and Generative Components. Check out Lift Architects, the masters of Grasshopper. Check out the case studies at Case Inc. on how they gave Rhino support on some projects. I can go on and on.

    Like I said before, I agree with you that Revit shouldn't be end-all product. At the same token, when I mention a few products that could be complimentary to Revit, you disagree.

    Sure, the average firm doesn't have all those fancy software. They will just be fine with Revit. But, since this blog is dedicated to a particular segment of the market, the tools and work flow I mentioned are not that uncommon. as a matter of fact, it's reality and I'm part of that world. And I assume you too, otherwise you would not be browsing around here, but visiting other Revit blogs, happily worrying about the looks of your elevation tags.

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  9. "So, how would you consider to be a realistic design process"

    I think that a realistic process for our industry is a lot like the games and entertainment ones: namely, it's about the tool chain, the people, and the process; not one specific link of that chain. This is already quickly becoming the reality in the construction industry here in America.

    I don't disagree that there are complementary products to Revit. If you can point out where I said that these tools such as Rhino et all weren't valuable, I'd like to see it.

    I also don't disagree with you that there are things that Revit isn't any good for. Within my firm we use a lot of Blender and Adobe on the front end and CAM software on the fab side along with Revit. You milage may vary.

    What I was saying is that this assumption of yours that 'real architecture' is done in a certain way, only using a certain toolset, and that Revit isn't useful or capable working that way, well, it's simply not true.

    Grasshopper is cool and all, but it's just another tool. It's not even as 'sophisticated' as you make it out to be: it's a visual kludge for people who can't program to make funky shapes in Rhino.

    There isn't anything wrong with that, but come on, let's be honest here, it's not sophisticated. Catia, yes. GC, again, yes. Grasshopper? No. Heck, I've seen Modo and Blender make more impressive forms in less time with their build-in toolset. Sure, it's not solids, but whatever.

    You began this thread implying that Revit is a failure because it's not being used within a particular tool chain favored by a certain kind of Architect doing a certain kind of work. You also stated that Revit couldn't be used in a way that it's used every day by many. Also, you frankly were rather insulting to us American architects, of which I will soon be one.

    It is because of these things that I'm saying you need to get out more.

    For example, when we were coming back from speaking at the BIMForum winter conference, we stopped by a specialty contractor in LA who we met at the conference. They were doing simply stunning work going from high-poly Z-brush models to 3DStudio Max to heavily automated AutoCAD shop drawings to CNC rebar benders to prefabbed barcoded sections to make concrete mountains for theme parks directly from digital models. Like what we do at my firm, only times several thousand times the scale and speed. Humbling and mindblowing! And light years ahead of where 99% of the Architecture world currently is.

    Also at the BIMForum conference we met someone with a fully automated steel fabrication shop, all robots, and like five guys, cranking out all the steel for a building using a toolchain of BIM model to Tekla to their in-house CAM software and to the machines, able to do what used to take three times the people and four times as much time. Everything barcoded, everything tracked, it's frankly stunning what's going on within that space.

    It's the contractors that are really leading the BIM charge, so you can take your 'real architecture' with it's Grasshopper models and pontificate all you want. Go talk to more high-end contractors doing cutting edge work, and you'll see it's all about finding a valuable tool chain to automate as much as possible, along with a sensible process and smart people. Not about what links in that chain they may be using.

    Where we do agree is that Revit should work more seamlessly within a larger tool chain of process.

    Also BTW: Revit is used in China. A lot. This is my point: you make a bunch of grand statements like that, don't back them up at all, and then when someone tells you your vision doesn't jive with reality you change the subject to talking Grasshopper blogs and small Architecture firms that only do a handful of buildings a year. ;-)

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  10. thanks Dr Kron. this will be posted outside my cube. and by the way. your shoes are ugly..hehe..great blog. have set it to home page.

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  11. "Gaudi drew the Sagrada Familia with a ruler, a compass, a french curve, and a bunch of string."

    Damn sight easier than using Revit...

    Thanks for the post - although I was already fully aware of my inadaquacy with Revit. Just looking for some help; because there's virtually none offered by Autodesk at all. For anything.

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  12. It always amuses me how down on Revit people get becuase it doesnt generate "a particular form" as quickly- or in as few clicks- as "Program X." As if to say Generating a Form is ALL we do in Architecture. That that is IT.

    Digital Project is a fantastic tool. Its extremely capable. Its extremely awestriking. Its also a nuclear bomb to blow out an antfarm. Dont get me wrong, i LOVED working with it... As i LOVE working with Revit. But ill tell you something: Everyone gets their panties in a bunch when it takes a few workarounds to model a form in Revit, but they dont seem to get their panties in a bunch everytime they have to "Define in Work Object" in Digital Project just to CHANGE something. (Admittedly, its been a few years since ive used DP, so im sure theyve made improvements and you no longer have to stand in declaration of your order of operations like youre declaring youre about to cross an international boundary.... And why shouldnt it be such a declaration, for 20k).

    No software does EVERYTHING well. B.I.M. (Stupid catchphrase and token-stupidity-inducing-word that it is) isnt a piece of software. Not any of them.

    Why is it SO impressive that other firms can bang out a *super cool form and document it* when it takes them 4 apps to do it, but the expectation on Revit is to do it in one?

    Modeling forms can be a PITA in Revit, for sure. Its made leaps and bounds in the last two years, particularly in 2011, as far as im concerned. But ill tell you what. As much as i love DP, i wouldnt want to deal with the assaches of detailing architecture on 100% of my projects, for the 5% of the time the Form Editing would be "easier."

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  13. What's really ironic here is the vast assumption that the Architect's model is accurate enough to deserve to be done in NURBS, and that it will be fabricated EXACTLY from that same NURBS surface. That the Architect's model is somehow a perfect vision of both aesthetics and constructability, not to be touched by lessor mortals.

    From talking with some of the fabricators who DO those skins for those blobs, it's pretty obvious that they are taking the Architect's models as a design reference only, and recreating those skins with the know-how that makes them really work.

    Case in point: read up on Steve Holl's turbulence house that didn't work. Architect modeled all the skin panels, had them laser cut and CNC folded- and oh wait, they don't fit together because Architects don't know about things like K-factors and use tools like Rhino to unfold things like sheet metal and are too smart to talk to, you know, anyone else really about how to build things.

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  14. I’m fortunate enough to work for a firm that has a variety of different software. Every time we start a project or enter a competition we evaluate what is the best software for that project and who is going to work on it. It’s also a personal preference. Especially in competition, where you need to knock out many concepts within a few days and create a design before the deadline, people use whatever they are comfortable with, which is usually software like Modo, Maya or Rhino.

    We use Revit to design and document more conventional shaped buildings, simply because Revit is very good at it. For the more blobby shapes we use different 3d tools in combination with AutoCAD, because we are more productive with them on those types of projects. So, we don’t have problems with Revit, we us it as best as possible.

    The point I was trying to make from the beginning of this tread is that Autodesk should not question the reasons of blob architecture, as an excuse not to further develop the modeling tools in Revit, They should either provide the tools needed to design and document all types of buildings or focus on interoperability with other programs. However, it’s ironic that Revit’s weakest link is its modeling tools while it’s categorized as an architecture software. Wouldn’t it be strange that a manufacturer has to use Autocad or Rhino to create fillet and bevel edges, because Inventor can’t do that?

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  15. Again- So you use other wares in CONJUNCTION with AutoCAD, but you see no validity in doing that WITH Revit, which just doesnt make an entirely amount of sense to me.

    Second- Where is the ASSumption that Autodesk is not developing the modeling tools coming from? A complete rework in 2010, and major revisiting of that rework in 2011. AND additions to interoperability, even if its (sadly) still limited to their platforms. But again, how is all of that progress "not developing" the modeling tools?

    As for "anon," that entire blurb of yours really has no place in the conversation, unless youre stipulating that because architects "dont always get it right," they shouldnt bother doing it at all. Which is just.... absurd. But keep painting with the broad brush, your ignorance is showing. :)

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  16. I think the reason get down on Revit is Autodesk markets it as an end all. Spend $6,000 dollars on our software and it will meet all your modeling needs.
    Revit’s biggest downfall has been not to incorporate standard modeling tools that have been developed over the years. The lack of a good 3D modeling environment is number 1, and not talking about the massing environment (which has made a few strides in the last couple years), I am talking about the real world revit environment where 99% of everyday modeling takes place. The lack of snapping and placement of items in 3D is absurd for a modeling package. Why do columns ONLY snap to grids, they won’t even find ref planes? Why can’t I dynamically extend or shorten a columns? Try dividing a curve into equal segments, something that is standard with most cad application for years. Why can’t I place a line or even a wall for that matter by length and an angle. Why can’t I specific the size of rectangle when I place it? And the list goes on. Also I wouldn’t call Revit parametric, it’s more like semi-parametric. Where the user has very little input on what get tied to what. Try locking the end point of a beam to work plane. You can’t do it. Try placing a brace with the work point at the bottom of the beam. Can’t do that either.
    Revit has some of the best tools for creating documents, tagging elements, and creating schedules, but designing the software around the documentation 1st has hindered the modeling aspect of Revit.

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  17. Totaly agree with "anonymous" . But then again, Autodesk can't be blamed for everything. Just look at the top 10 wishlist at Augi. All document related. Revit 2011 was a hit by its users becaus of features like guide grids, custom elevation markers, repeat last command. Somehow as a software company, you need to respond to the request of your costumers. But if you customers request foolishnish, then your stuck with a software that looks more like à Microsoft office package than 3D package.

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  18. Im not sure ive ever read an Autodesk marketing piece that said it was an end all. Ever. But maybe ive been missing all of the good marketing pieces that claim it is so. Im CERTAIN someone here will point me to them, though, which will be great. I look forward to seeing them!

    Im not really sure how you can *discount* the conceptual massing environment, when the discussion at hand is FORM MAKING. But, alright. I wouldnt mind a little more push and pull flexibility WRT things that are parametric, and the views that youre in (particularly the 3D views, both axon and perspective), but i really cant say its ever hindered my ability to design something i was trying to design.

    As for what made 2011 great, it certainly wasnt Guide Grids, and it certainly wasnt the stupid Elevation Markers. Adaptive Components, changes to Concept Massing, a modeless properties palette (say what you want, but its one step CLOSER to faster editing and designing).

    But theres not much point in continuing the debate, since no one will address why other products are touted as SO GREAT when they can barely do anything but be a one trick pony requiring OTHER programs, but the same playing field doesnt apply here. (Unless- of course- you have that marketing material...)

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  19. Autodesk biggest claim is that you can go from conceptual design to construction documents all with inside Revit. My point is that just because you can make some free formed flowing surfaces with some cool patterns on them in the massing environment doesn’t equate to full construction set of documents. If fact most of the heavy modeling has yet to be done, and it’s not going to be done in the massing environment. For instance, some poor sap (that’s me) is going to have to figure out how to model the structure to support for free formed blob and the current tool set in Revit doesn’t make that efficient. Most recently we had to figure out what would be the best configuration using straight beams to support a wavy, curvy, sloping theater balcony , and man was it a pain the a** in Revit. Sections upon sections upon sections. Actually IMO one of the best tools that has introduced in 2011 was the ability to place beams by picking lines from a 3D DWG file, although I still don’t understand why you can’t snap in 3D to a dwg file. So when people ask can Revit model this I tend to look at the bigger picture. By the way Malleristic the most of my comments weren't directed at your little discussion with Paul. Just wanted to state my opinion.

    Dennis

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  20. "But theres not much point in continuing the debate, since no one will address why other products are touted as SO GREAT when they can barely do anything but be a one trick pony requiring OTHER programs, but the same playing field doesnt apply here. (Unless- of course- you have that marketing material...) "


    Why are other modelers better that Revit?

    Polygonal modeling is (for me) the most easiest, intuitive and fast way to design early concepts. You can subdivide the surface however you want; you have access to vertices, edges, border, faces etc. Even AutoCAD, a different modeler by nature, got these tools recently, which shows you the importance of having these tools. Revit on the other hand, doesn’t have any of them. Create a simple cube and you’ll notice that you can’t split the top and bottom face. You can’t re-split a split face. You are limited in adding profiles in the direction the cube is extruded. And the list goes on.

    Modifiers are another reason to use other modelers in the conceptual phase . This extends the modeling capabilities even further. Tessellation, cage, subdivide, bend, twist to name a few. The fact that you can box model an object and smooth it out is extremely useful. You can argue that Revit is a parametric modeler, so it's difficult to build these tools in Revit. Granted. Autocad doesn't have these modifiers either, but it does have the basic toolset, (mesh, solids, nurbs) to recreate the concepts made in other packages.

    While Nurbs may be associated with funky design buildings, there are many reason to use them for day to day tasks. Think of canopies, toilets, chairs, about anything that is smooth.

    Why not use these modelers in conjunction with revit?

    Bringing geometry in Revit has its limitations. You can edit it. But for the sake of this conversation let’s assume the geometry doesn’t need any modification. There are two options. You can import a mass geometry in Revit or you can import fully developed parts. Using the building maker (if you chose the first options) has many limitations. First of all, Revit splits the surface of geometry which gives you undesirable results. Floors by face are limited to horizontal planes; you can't apply Roof by face on all roof surfaces. If the angle is to step or curved, it will give you an error message. Walls by face can be used on all surfaces, but most of the time doesn’t join correctly. Many times the wall needs variable thicknesses on a double curved surface. The wall by face isn’t an option then. The top and bottom face of the wall doesn’t cut off correctly. Or better said you can’t control it.

    The second option is to import parts of the model in Revit. You will need to slice the model and import the parts in the proper category. That way you retain some BIMness in the model. A windows can host in an imported wall. However, disassembling and assembling each part is extremely time consuming. The faster way is to import the whole model. This would be in the case of a Zaha Hadid building that doesn't have a single straight line, wall, roof, railing . This requires to manually draft each layer and joins to get proper construction documents. However, you can't pick line or snap halfway on a double curved surface. This means you need to export 2d profiles of the edges of the model and import it in Revit. These profiles enables you to snap,draft and offset off them. But then again, why go all through this trouble just for the sake of Revit?

    SO when do we use what?
    Here is an example:

    The USA, Pakistan and Icelandic pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Beijing, would be done from concept to completion in Revit.

    The Chinese, Hong Kong and Italian pavilion would start of in an all purpose modeler (3ds max, Maya Modo) and end up in Revit.

    Revit will be bumped on the UK, Danish, Brazilian, Spanish pavilions (and the rest)

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  21. The german Detail magazine dedicated
    no. 5/2010 to 'analog and digital'.

    http://www.detail.de/rw_5_Archive_De_HoleHeft_231_ErgebnisHeft.htm

    For most projects they discuss, they do
    mention the actual process each office went
    through from one software to another to get
    exactly what they wanted.
    The complexity of the projects also makes it
    clear that finding (or even developing) a
    one-stop solution would be unfeasible.

    There's also a brief interview with the ceo
    of nemetschek (who owns allplan, archicad and some other stuff) and he admits that all of their software could be in competition with each another, but the focus is different on each one so that it suits different people
    and different stages of a project.

    ...strangely enough, that one-page
    interview has a one-page add of revit
    next to it... :)

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  22. Uh, Paul, a moment ago you were touting Grasshopper and Rhino as your best early schematic design solution, and that then taking those models into AutoCAD was the way you guys did things.

    Now you're saying that Sub-D ploy modeling in 3DMax and Modo is 'the stuff' instead, and that it's all going to happen in Revit?

    I'm confused as to what you're point is at all by now. Seems to me like you just like to complain about Revit.

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  23. It depends on the project and people we have on the projects. On most projects Rhino/Grasshopper is part of the design, develop or production process. 3ds Max, Modo and Maya are used more as a sketching tool. It's like paper and pen. You can easily push pull, stack up modifiers, use scripts etc. These models are then exported to Rhino.

    Autocad also has it's purpose. Generally to make 2D drawings.

    The Detail magazine is very interesting by the way and it shows many digital workfows. For example, the workflow of the Australian pavilion is shown through scree shots, where you can see how the model is developed using TopMod to Rhino/Grasshopper to Ecotect back to Maya ect. Revit isn't mentioned in none of the projects.

    And that's the point I'm trying to make. Revit isn't robuust enough to be part of the these types of processes. And that's the problem. It doesn't have the import/export options to be part of the of the bigger picture, yet at the same token, it doesn't have the tools to be an end all product either.

    So it's up to Autodesk where they want to go with Revit. They can join the 3d world and be part of a high end design & document process or they can continue being an isolated product good enough for mass production in the AEC world. Both choice are good as long as they're clear to their clients. However, with the new conceptual tools in RAC 2010/2011 me and many people were under the assumption that they wanted to be more than just average.

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  24. Hi to everyone. I think You should see those videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7f6PupmlrI&feature=related
    It shows some of modelling capabilities of
    Revit. Those videos where made by Aleksey Borisov from Samara, RU.

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  25. Let's face it, none of the tools we praise or scorn can do it all. What I look forward to is the day when we don't have to talk about tool chains. Having to redraw or port over from one tool to another is very wasteful of time and money for everyone concerned. Absurd really. The day will come (because it will be an economic imperative)when a conceptual tool that is fascile with an algorithmic design approach will flow all the way thru the process to drive fabrication equipment.
    Currently the is the prospect that contractors, sub contractors actually and fabricators will co opt the architectgs role in documentation. If I were Revit or any other software vendor I would be concerned about how my product will fit into such a world.
    If Patrik Schumacher of Hadid is right, parameticism will become the next epchal approach to architecture. Clearly right now Zahas tye of work represents a small fraction of what is being built and the most compelling and exciting work out there. I suspect that once the work she has on the board and underconstruction is compolete she will vault into the number one position in the world if there is such a thing (but you get my point).
    Let's not be too focused on how we do things today. We have been making buildings by piling up sticks and stones since the day of the pyramids. Looking our a decade or two, we will "manufacture" components and subassemblies of buildings that are concieved of as habitable organisms, with their systems integrated at a biological level.
    Our trajectory is in this direction. The tools that support this (exponential) change will survive and prosper. Work Flows and indeed business models that adapt will thrive.

    I prefer a DNA model of highly complex algorithms that allow the manufacture of buildings much the way biological organisms are formed. This coupled with advances in nano technology and we may literally grow buildings.
    If Ray Kurzweil is right, in 50 years (or less)advances in computation will result in sentient computers and AIs with vastly more capable aesthetic capacity that humans.
    OK I'm a little bit off the reservation, but let's figure out where we want to go as architects and then collaborate to make it possible. There will likely always be a wide array of flavors in architecture and that's a good thing.
    To put myself in context, I'm 60 years old and am just relearning programming so that I can bring my vision closer to reality.
    Architecture like life is as much process as it is destination. Keep growing!

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