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Friday, 26 February 2016

Ode to Homer Simpson

As an ode to the King of Procrastination, Revit Recess will forever immortalize Homer Simpson as a Conceptual Mass family.

"Don't eat me. I have a wife and kids. Eat them." - Homer Simpson

I sourced a few of literally thousands of Homer Simpson images from the internet, and got to work recreating his bust in Revit. Remember, best practice states that when we create a family in Revit, we draw the framework first, then add the geometry.

"It's not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child, but somehow I managed to squeeze in 8 hours of TV a day." - Homer Simpson

I thought adding the geometry would be a tad more difficult, but I managed to achieve an acceptable result using only Revolves, Extrusions and Sweeps.

"Marge, can we go home? All this fresh air is making my hair move and I don't know how long I can complain." - Homer Simpson

A few materials were created and applied to the existing geometry. You might have noticed that Homer's nose is either broken, or I messed up my modelling. It was the latter (Very late night). I quickly fixed his nose this morning by replacing the extrusion with a sweep, as per the render to the top of this post. 

You might also ask yourself: "Why did Herman not fix the previous images?". The short answer is: I am way too lazy.

"All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer." - Homer Simpson

Note: If you want to really see something impressive, head over to Kelvin Tam from REVIT SWAT's website, where he created Iron Man in Revit - Bloody impressive! 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Revit for Conceptual Urban Design

Connecting people and places - a Very rudimentary explanation about Urban Design, but quite apt in my opinion. Even though there are software packages available that are more suited to urban design, such as Autodesk Infraworks, conceptual urban design is still possible within Revit. This Revit Recess blog entry will focus on conceptual urban design within the Revit platform.

A very quick concept design can be created using the conceptual massing environment, complete with planting and roads. You will notice that I haven't paid particular attention to the road design or outlay from the images below. With the mass family loaded into the project, I thought that the Sketchy Lines functionality looks quite good as opposed to the standard Revit render or realistic visual style

Using a combination of Area Plans, Color Fill Legends and Project Parameters, it is quite easy to graphically indicate Open Spaces, Building Ownership & Zoning Plans, to name a few examples. Used in conjunction with schedules, the power of conceptual urban design in a BIM model is amplified to a large extent. 

As always, I always like to close off a blog entry with an Enscape Render, as I use this add-in 99% of the time I need to send quick rendered images to a client. 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Railing me this, Railing me that

Nostalgia can be defined as a "sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. The word nostalgia is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain, ache", and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. Described as a medical condition—a form of melancholy—in the Early Modern period, it became an important trope in Romanticism" - Wikipedia
People are resistant to change. This is normal. People are naturally afraid of the unknown and yearn for "those good old days" when designs were "simply" created with a pencil and sepia paper. I have a lot of respect for these old school skills; however, times are changing: In order to survive, we need to embrace change. Change is fun; Embrace technology to make your life easier. Never. Stop. Learning! 

This Revit Recess blog entry will investigate how Railings can be used to create completely different objects using different modelling and assembly methods.

1. How do you find a missing train? Follow the tracks

In this example, a railway track was created by creating a new railing profile and baluster family.

These families were used in the type properties of a newly created railing system family, by editing the Railing type properties. 

Tussen Treine - Richard van der Westhuizen & Gerhard Steyn

2. Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"?

Even though creating a forest natively in Revit might not be the best-practice option, it is possible and actually very easy to do. One can nest a planting family in a baluster family. The amount of planting RPC's will depend on how many rows of trees you require (Or how many times you need to replicate your treeline).  

I nested 5 Eastern Hemlock trees into a baluster family and created a new railing. Depending on the direction the rail is sketched, the trees will either be added on the left, right, top or bottom of your sketch line.

Suikerbos, Ek wil jou hê - Unknown musicians at the Brass Bell tunnel

3. Stay ahead of the curve

Using very similar nesting methods as described above, a simple horseshoe arch was created as a generic model family. This generic model family was nested into a new baluster family. You will notice that not every arch has a lighting fixture attached to it. Because we can set up multiple balusters per railing, all that was needed was to have an Arch-With-Light, and an Arch-Without-Light baluster family set up within the Type properties of the railing.

David Kramer - Stoksielalleen

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Conceptual Massing - Intersecting References

Revit's conceptual massing is often overlooked in lieu of an "old trusted" conceptual drawing program. In my opinion, if you want to be the best architect, the best engineer, the best CAD operator - you need to not only become an expert in your current software, but also have a very clear understanding of other software's capabilities.

So let's leave our Sketchup mindset at the door, just for a moment, and instill a mindset of: How can I apply this concept, this principle to that challenge, that problem - We are talking about conceptual design and modelling methods here, folks.

In this Revit Recess blog entry, we will play around in the conceptual massing environment - Specifically looking into Divided Surfaces' Intersect functionality. 

A simple form was created, constrained by reference planes.

What I would like to achieve, is for the form to be divided, i.e. create a custom grid, at locations I specify. 

By dividing the form's surface, I can now create a custom grid, through the Intersects command
The custom divided surface will now look as such:

We can even take it one step further and apply an existing divided surface pattern to my customized grid layout. The divided surface pattern will conform to the custom grid

The end result can look similar to the structure contained in the image below, but truth be told: The possible applications are endless!