Tag: building

Revit Architecture

Revit Architecture

Saturday, February 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

RKO backlot main hotel views

RKO backlot main hotel views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revit Architecture

Those of us who know anything about BIM or Building Information Modeling know how much of an oh-so-joyous happy dandy fun time Revit Architecture can be.  With its tendencies for the user to have to be highly accurate in the development of a structure without having the ability to adjust measurements manually, Revit can be an extremely time consuming and often excruciatingly painstaking program to design fully developed construction in.

Rendering can be a whole other monster to deal with in itself.  Any project with a significant amount of At the school where I learned my Revit skills, we have wonderful 2 core processor Dell desktops which pretty much are good for doing a percentage of the floor plan work and unless you have several hours to spare, then forget about rendering big projects.  Especially if animation or 3DS Max plug-ins are used, then you should really expect to be spending a significantly lengthy amount of time rendering your projects.

Of course, now we have cloud-based rendering with the experimental plug-in dubbed Project Neon, located on Autodesk Labs which is in the beta phases and allows for the user to render their images through their Autodesk account instead of locally through their own computers.  But rendering a project is still very time consuming and the use of your Autodesk account is not always available (at such places like certain schools).  It is because of the complexity of the program and the time it takes to create each individual aspect of the entire program that the program in its entirety is not always taken advantage of in the workplace.

Just imagine the incredible and beautifully polished 3D designs that could be showcased during potential project bids in any given circumstance if the software were to develop with simplified convenience in mind.  Nevertheless, Revit still is a remarkable program and it is improving dramatically by the year.  I hope to see the day when rooms are created and developed with much simpler methods and randomly generated components and furniture are brought into the program.  These improvements, including the ability to freely manipulate measurements would make Revit an excellent program to use regularly in the workplace.

CAD to BIM Conversion

CAD to BIM Conversion

Saturday, January 14, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

CAD to BIM Conversion

Converting CAD drawings to BIM is an important process for any design firm.  CAD to BIM usually means AutoCAD models are converted to Revit 3D models.  These conversions are not necessarily easy and can often take a bit of work to complete correctly and precisely.  BIM actually means Building Information Modeling which produces 3D ,4D or 5D Building Information Models with high level detailing and complexities using software like Revit, ArchiCAD etc.  These models can be further utilized to get a better estimation of materials for construction purposes. How can these drawings be converted?  Why should this be converted?  Let’s talk a bit on that.

Building Information Modeling has been in the CAD Industry for about a decade.  Prior to BIM, CAD Drafting was widely used to create drawings, plans and construction drawings.  Now a lot of builders are shifting to re-construction of buildings according to updated standards and technology like Green Building, Energy Analysis etc.  So it is vital to have the CAD plans convert to models for further utilization.  This gave birth to CAD to BIM Conversion.


The best software which is mostly chosen for conversion is Revit.  This software provides most accurate 3D modeling with high quality construction documentation which makes these tasks smooth for engineers, contractors, modelers and many other people involved in the project.  Thus, for conversion, the basic input we require are 2D CAD design files or drawing files.  To further continue with conversion we require a PC with moderate configuration to run Revit, and having Revit software installed.  The final output will be in the form of 3D model along with brief documentation.

Following Steps must be effectively followed for CAD to BIM conversion:

1. The very first step is to open Revit software and import CAD based drawing files drafted in AutoCAD into Revit.  A very important thing to be kept in mind while importing is that 2D drawing files must be imported by elevation level in Revit.

2. For importing one must go in the import menu and click insert drawing file.  Then, by giving the path of location of CAD drawing, it will successfully import the 2D cad drawings into Revit.

3. The next step after importing is to draw building components like walls, doors, windows, roofs etc. over imported 2D cad drawing.

4. We can easily find the building components which are already present in Revit families by default.  One can also create customized families in Revit as per client’s specifications.

In this way 3D BIM model can be easily created from 2D CAD drawings.


1. A BIM model provides a high level of construction documentation which is very useful at the time of construction for contractors and structural engineers at site.  CAD based designing does not usually provide such kind of documentation as a result of it being too much work and time to create this documentation.  Revit is simplified modeling in many ways.

2. For 3D BIM models created in Revit, a number of users can work in a single file.  In AutoCAD only a single user can access and work at a time.

3. Revit provides the ability of storing all project data in a single file.  In AutoCAD there can be multiple files for a single project.

Thus BIM can be considered the most organized and quicker process for moving towards construction faster.

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Revit Sheets

Revit Sheets

Saturday, June 18, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Revit Sheets

I wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about Revit sheet layouts and printing parameters involved with sheets in Revit vs. sheet is AutoCAD.  The examples above are a architectural exercise building I have been working on in Revit 2015.  What I like about Revit sheet layouts and printing is that the creation and setup of title blocks in Revit is simple and easy, as long as you have pre-existing title block templates already created in your files.  But like all Autodesk programs, there are default title blocks already created for the user to choose from, which are downloaded with the program on installation.  If you are unable to find the title block templates in your files, then you might want to take a look at the Autodesk website for additional files or read through the forums and support guides for information about the missing files.

So, in order to create a new sheet, all you have to do is right click on the Sheets tab in the project browser located on the left side of the screen and then select New Sheet from the available selections, and you get a New Sheet dialog box which asks you to select the title block or title block size, or load a new one into the project.  Once you have created the new sheet, then all you have to do to populate the sheet is to drag and drop the views or schedules from the project browser onto the sheet.  With the predefined title blocks in Revit, there is no wondering if the title block dimensions and parameters are correct for the scale of printing you wish to do in Revit.  Revit also has a Sheet Composition panel under the View menu, which allows you to add a placement grid to your sheet viewports, and a matchline function which allows you to split lengthy views into sections in order to place them on to the sheets without having an undesirable viewing scale for the architectural model on the sheet.

When scaling a plan or model in the sheet title block viewport, you want to make sure that the dimensions and features of the plan or model are visible on the printed sheet for presentation.  As you can see with the examples above, I was using an A or letter sized 8.5″ x 11″ title block for an E sized 30″ x 42″ project, so the dimensions and features are extremely small for the sheet layouts.  I found that at this size, it was better to print out the floor plan layouts without any title block, which allowed me to scale up the model and made the dimensions and features more discernible in the printed outcomes.  When creating sheets for schedules and general notes, I found that it is often better to create multiple sheets for different schedules and tables/charts.  When you add all of the schedules and tables/charts to one single sheet; depending on how many schedules and tables/charts you have, it often makes the sheet extremely cluttered with a mess of schedules or tables/charts and in order to fit all of the schedules or tables/charts onto the sheet, you often have to scale them down which can make them indiscernible and your sheet look very unprofessional.

3D Printed Architecture

3D Printed Architecture

Monday, June 13, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

3D Printed Architecture

3D printed architecture is quickly becoming a viable method of construction in the near future.  Teams of architects in London and Amsterdam are competing to produce the first habitable printed structure, using technology that could transform the way buildings are made.  Though they all have the same objective, the teams are investigating very different materials and fabrication methods.

Existing 3D printers are only able to produce homogeneous materials that have the same properties throughout. But graded materials would be useful for printing architectural elements such as beams or façades that mimic bone, which is hard on the outside but spongy on the inside.  But gradients are hard to produce with the current generation of 3D printers, which rely on armatures or gantries that can only move on three axes such as back and forward, side to side, and up and down, and which must lay down material in layers, one atop the other.  They also require complex support structures to be printed at the same time to prevent the printed objects collapsing under their own weight.

In traditional 3D printing, the gantry size poses an obvious limitation for the designer who wishes to print in larger scales and achieve structural and material complexity.  Research is being done in investigating ways of printing with additional axes of movement, by replacing the gantry with a six-axis robotic arm.  This will allow “free-form” printing at a larger scale and without the need for support structures.

Today’s material limitations can be overcome by printing with responsive materials.  Gantry limitations can be overcome by printing with multiple interactive robot-printers.  Process limitations can be overcome by moving from layering to weaving in 3D space, using a robotic arm.  Robotic arms can be used to print in traditional materials, such as plastic, concrete or composites, or employed to weave or knit three-dimensional fibre structures.  Researchers are also exploring how the high-performance fibres excreted by silkworms and spiders could be produced artificially.  In the future, buildings may be constructed by swarms of tiny robots that use a combination of printing and weaving techniques, called “swarm” construction.

Blue Roof Bungalow in AutoCAD 2015

Blue Roof Bungalow in AutoCAD 2015

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Blue Roof Bungalow in AutoCAD 2015

Well, I stumbled across a wonderfully small and totally eccentric AutoCAD project that is available online at www.IzzCAD.com, which is a Blue Roofed Bungalow style house.  This project was a lot of fun and a good learning experience for anyone who is new to AutoCAD and wants to learn the basics of 3D architectural modeling and drafting.  Downloading the project off of the website costs around $8, but I believe the price is absolutely worth it, since you get videos and tutorials of this project along with tutorials and videos of an office layout project, and two other wonderfully designed, completed house project drawings as well.

I would like to mention that the videos for the house project are incomplete, and there are times where it is up to the imagination of the designer to fill in the blanks, so to say.  Also, the project design was created in metric measurements, and the videos and tutorials are shown using metric measurements as well.  But, anybody who is new to AutoCAD will learn relatively quickly that it is essential in architectural drafting and modeling to set up your drawing measurements or UNITS, previous to beginning any design or line work in the program.

The tutorials show the beginner how to this as well as other basic preparation commands and setup parameters that are involved with initializing an architectural design drawing, such as creating a title block for your project layout.

Another topic of interest that the tutorials focused a lot on is roof inclination and taper calculations.  The important number to have for setting the angle of your project’s roof is the degree of taper, which is the number that you input into your taper angle command when you extrude your roof design.  This is a simple calculation, but it is essential to have the roof inclination angle number, so that you can subtract it from 90 degrees to come up with the degree of taper for your roof.  But, a lot can be learned from these simple tutorials, and this information can prove valuable in future drafting or modeling endeavors.

AutoCAD 3D Cottage

AutoCAD 3D Cottage

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

AutoCAD 3D Cottage

Hello everybody, I just recently completed a fun little AutoCAD project that I wanted to share with you, which is an AutoCAD 3D Cottage.  It is a simple design and the materials and textures involved in the project make it look like an old, rustic, mountain getaway cottage.  It is a fun little day project and it is good practice for anyone who is into graphic design or drafting and design to work with and learn some fundamental tools and capabilities of the program.

The tutorials, which are shown above, are very nicely presented (maybe with the exception of the music), and are very thorough and detailed compared with most tutorials and videos of this nature that you will find on video streaming services such as YouTube.  Yet, as it is with many tutorials you find online, there are also a couple of problem areas that I came across while following the procedures, and I would like to share these with you.

The first is the IMPRINT command, which was used in the video to merge the outline of the foot path to the ground area in front of the cottage in order to form a combined entity with divided face features for pasting the grass and rock materials to their designated areas.  This command did not work the way it was shown in the video at all, and I was left to design my own extruded foot path and move the created foot path extrusion into place.

The second problem area is applying the rock material to the bottom foundation sides of the cottage.  As you can see from my pictures, the rock material resulted in vertical lines on left and right sides of the cottage, as compared to what the rock material was supposed to look like in the front and back sides.  I tried to change the sample and offset settings for the material image, as well as rotating the material image and bump texture image as well, but to no avail.  Maybe if I had messed around a little bit more with the material properties, I might have come up with a solution, but the resulting rendering of the cottage shows the stripes on the left and right sides.  Maybe we can pretend that it has wood siding on the left and right foundation sides for now!

Also, I did not complete the tutuorial in its entirety and added the ground leaves that are shown in the tutorial in my project.  But, the end result still came out looking not too bad.  Maybe there are some grizzly, log cabin, mountain pioneer drafters out there that can out do me.  Whatdya think?