Design Strategies with FormIt 360

Lately I have been working with the FormIt 360 and Insight 360 development teams working on some new and exciting upcoming features. In my Autodesk University class “AR18857 – Design Strategies with FormIt 360” Hopefully I will be able to show off some if these new items with my existing workflows on designing/modeling facades in FormIt and getting feedback from Insight 360 on what is working and not working.

AU FormIt Class

I have been working a lot on workflows for designing curtain systems inside FormIt 360 for façade layout. There are some great tools in FormIt to quickly start flushing out design intent for these type of designs. At the bottom of this post I have some links if you are interested. One of the new additions to FormIt 360 is allowing Dynamo Scripts to be part of the FormIt design model. Josh Goldstein, User Experience Designer at Autodesk, was a huge help at making my “wish list items” of how this would work and developing a Dynamo script for me to help with creating curved curtain systems inside FormIt 360. This will be something that I will be handing out at my AU class so everyone can build upon this great Dynamo script or use it as is.

I will also talk about hitting what I call the “brick wall” at your firm on trying to get people to start using FormIt 360 instead of the “other” design tool. There are some strategies that we will look at to help you win this battle. We will also learn how to use some built-in tools to establish a FormIt content library from either your existing Revit family library or even the “other” design tool content library (existing local library or from the web).

One other miss conception is there no method of moving forward the design changes in your updated FormIt model to your existing “FormIt converted to Revit model”. Remember, this is one the biggest reasons why FormIt 360 is so much better because there is no such thing as a “throw away model” unlike the “other” design software. This workflow will even be better and easier hopefully by the time AU comes around compared to the current way that I do it, which again isn’t hard in any way.

As I mentioned earlier with some of the recently updated features in Insight 360, the workflows are becoming easier to get quick feedback on your façade design. Insight 360 works with FormIt 360 directly and FormIt has a built solar analysis but bringing the FormIt model into Revit will give you additional feedback for the Insight 360 energy model.

Some of these existing workflows are not well known but as you can see in the image below the results. This is all done in just a few clicks, so the workflow is fast which means someone can go through multiple design iterations very quick.

To see your final results, you just need to send your FormIt/Revit design model to Insight 360. Again, some simple clicks take it up to the cloud for analysis which typically you will get results back in minutes.

From here I can see the results but I can also make additional changes for wall/glass ratio, wall/roof construction, glass type, shade devices, and numerous other settings.

If you want to get a head start before my AU class, the FormIt 360 team has graciously put together an overview of several posts and webinars that I have done: LINK. Last year I spoke at the Revit Technology Conference and I shared my PDF document if you would like to read than watch the different videos: LINK. And finally, here is a link to everything that I have done so far that is posted on my blog: LINK.

Posted in Autodesk Revit/BIM, BIM Strategy, Early Design, Software Tips and Tricks, Sustainability | Leave a comment

Revit 2017 Font Fix Workflow

Earlier I wrote an article on how Revit 2017 fonts have changed and can cause the text to grow and shift. I wanted to share with everyone my process of figuring out what has changed so I know what to fix in the families, legends, schedules, and text. Our client, RNL Design, wanted me to start going through this process of upgrading their families and templates. Hopefully this helps you to know where to start looking and saves you some time.

The first step is upgrading your family library; this can be a tedious process if you don’t have a tool to automate the steps. I’m happy to say I have a tool for you that is free and you can download here.

Just a heads up, I changed the file extension from “exe” to “txt” so hopefully your virus software doesn’t interrupt the download. Once you download it just rename it back to “exe” and you are good to go. Just start a dummy project and pick on the new tab on the ribbon and follow the dialogue box, this is from our developer that helps us with developing our Pro-Revit tools.

The next item is taking one of your projects and print a sheet set from 2016 and 2017. Make sure that you use the same print settings so the PDF’s are exactly the same, and the names have a prefix of 2016 and 2017.

The magic tool that helped me know where the problems are between the two print sets is Bluebeam. Bluebeam has an excellent tool called “overlay”, it also has a tool called “compare” but I soon realized that “overlay” does a much better job, visually.

Make sure that you select all of the pages, for myself I used a dark green for 2016 print set and red for the 2017 print set. Once done, Bluebeam will create a new PDF that show the two print sets merged and overlaid. Here you can start seeing the differences with the color, much better than the “compare” tool that use clouds to show where the changes are.

You can see how the schedules and legends have changed, including the titleblock information. As I worked through the print set nothing was hard to fix, it was a tedious process of jumping back to the actual Revit 2017 project to see how much to adjust and then jumping into the Revit 2017 Template to make the final adjustment.

RNL Design is a multiple discipline firm so I have multiple projects and multiple templates that I have to go through. Again, I wanted to follow up from my last post and show you this is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Hopefully this also shows my worries of a client wanting to upgrade mid-stream a project from Revit 2016 or earlier, to Revit 2017.

Posted in Autodesk Revit/BIM, Software Tips and Tricks | Leave a comment

Autodesk FormIteering Workshop


Have been asked to teach at the Revit Technology Conference at the Autodesk FormIteering Workshop, can’t wait to spread the knowledge! LINK

Posted in BIM Strategy, Early Design | Leave a comment