Saturday, August 29, 2009

Working with Revit MEP

Since AutoCAD MEP has been around longer than Revit MEP, I've got more experience with the AutoCAD MEP program. I have been around Revit and was on the scene working for a reseller when Revit MEP came out. I followed it closely for the first couple of years and then just watched from the outside as an MEP consultant.

If you find your firm going to Revit MEP, it's probably because you have landed or want to land a project where it is required. If you have some AutoCAD MEP experience, you will at least understand systems and connections. If you have Revit Architecture or Revit Structure experience, then you will at least understand Revit and families.

Two questions always come up. First, what are the system requirements. For most Autodesk programs you can find these at the Autodesk website. For Revit MEP, I believe these specifications are inadequate for real world use. The second questions is always whether the product is ready for prime time. It's getting better, but it's a matter of question and debate.

You'll find the Revit MEP System Requirements here.

What I recommend for Revit MEP is that you read some posts in the AUGI Forums on the experiences of other users. You'll learn some of the following that I gleaned today.

Revit MEP files can be 75-150MB in size. Add to this a possible additional 500 MB in linked models. You may have both a structural model and an architectural model.

You need to anticipate file size and how your network is going to access these files. Network speed and capacity is going to play a role here, not just what computers you buy.

Revit does not yet take advantage of multi-core machines. Rendering is the only portion that can use multi-core as I understand it. Clock speed and RAM seem to have the biggest impact. Seems to be 12MB is the minimum RAM.

When you start to look at your pilot project, you'll also want to visit and discuss with other users different methods that work better in addition to whomever will be handling your implementation. You're going to need help to do this right.

Some firms separate disciplines into different central files while others create a workset per floor per discipline. Most seem to strip the architectural file to decrease the size. You'll want to review the pros and cons of these actions since some methods almost defeat the purpose of using Revit because you lose the ability to connect when you split up to more manageable file sizes.

Here are some threads and resources that I recommend you investigate before you invest in a system or begin a new workflow.

Happy with your Hardware?

Revit MEP Afterthoughts

Revit - Hardware & Operating Systems

Revit MEP Resource Center

Autodesk Model Performance Technical Note

Autodesk Whitepaper on Hybrid MEP Design and Documentation


Revit Garage

The MEP CAD Engineer

Revit MEP Blog

Inside the System

CAD Shack

The BIM Bulletin

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hybrid Design with AutoCAD MEP & Revit MEP

Autodesk Webcast on MEP Engineering Webcast Series: Hybrid Design & Documentation with Autodesk MEP Engineering Solutions
Date and Time: 2009-Aug-26
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Pacific Daylight Time

Read this whitepaper on hybrid designs with AutoCAD MEP & Revit MEP.

Check out more resources on the Revit MEP Resource Center and the AutoCAD MEP Resource Center.

Friday, August 21, 2009

AutoCAD MEP 2010-Turn off warnings

AutoCAD MEP 2010 has solution tips as did 2009. Many users call these "warnings" which is why they often have trouble finding information about them in the Help file.

Under the View tab of the ribbon you will find an MEP View Panel that contains toggles to turn on and off Flow Arrows, Solution Tips, and the Compass.

New Revit MEP Blog

A new blog by another AutoCAD MEP consultant like me. Welcome.

The BIM Bulletin

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

AutoCAD Selection Tip

You may have followed my Top Tips post late last year. The top support request that I get is always around selection. It's either one of two things.

Both of these are solved from the Selection Tab of Options. Both of these are caused by events other than the user changing them in the Selection Tab of Options.

Noun/Verb Selection
This allows user to select the object and then select the command or select the command and then select the object. If you are selecting the object followed by the command and then are prompted to "select objects", then this is probably unchecked.

Use Shift to add to selection
This was created for the small population of people that have a fear of selecting too many objects at once (not counting window or crossing). When this is checked, let's say you select the erase command. You select an object and then click to select a second object and the first one becomes unselected. If you didn't have too many martinis for lunch then this box probably needs to be unchecked.

Both of these go back at least to R11 when I began using AutoCAD and I'm sure way before then. The dinosaurs probably used these commands first.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Home Run Arrows in AutoCAD MEP

In AutoCAD MEP, the Annotation Tab of Electrical Preferences allows you to control the tick marks, the home run arrows, connections, and crossings.

If you do not want tick marks or do not want tick marks shown on a home run, you can un-check the options.

To change the home run arrow, you choose arrow type in a similar manner to choosing arrows in a dimension style. In fact, the drop down list will look very familiar to you if you've changed arrows in dimension styles.

Paper distance fields in the dialog box are the plotted height of the annotation.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Autodesk University Early Registration Opens August 12, 2009

If you are an AUGI member, Subscription Member, or Member of AU Online you can register for Autodesk University August 12th. Don't miss the best training available, bar none.