AUGIWorld June 2018 -- How Autodesk Users Win

AUGIWorld June 2018
Autodesk product users are lucky. They are among a robust community of fellow users who continually seek to make the products they use accomplish a bit more. In areas where a given Autodesk product’s functionality could use some strengthening, these innovators will often come up with an app to provide the needed boost or extend the functionality.

One needs to look no further than the Autodesk App Store to take advantage of these helpful tools. To make it even better, Autodesk itself has a long history of encouraging and supporting innovation among its users. Everybody wins.

The June 2018 issue of AUGIWorld focuses on third-party applications developed by the talented Autodesk user base.

In the June 2018 issue:

Bridging the Gap Between Drone and CAD — No doubt about it — drones are cool. But, as Shawn Herring illustrates in this article, you have to know what to do with the drone-captured data once you have it.

The Challenge of Implementation — Gareth Spencer discusses all the little (and big) things you need to consider when implementing new software.

Location, Location, Location — Where you are, physically, while at work can make a bigger difference than you might think. Mark Kiker explains.

Four Favorite Plug-ins — Brian Chapman shines the spotlight on four of his favorite 3ds Max third-party apps.

Realistic Trees, Step by Step — Matt Wunch takes you through the vegetation creation process in InfraWorks.

This Time It’s Okay—Keep Your Head in the Clouds — Greg Hines recalls his technology journey from school days to current day.

Inside Track — Brian Andresen presents three AEC-related products from Autodesk and its partners. This month: MapBoards, a utility for woodworking projects; Docuflow, which facilitates high-quality publishing of drawings; and an app that allows you to install scripts or add-ins from GitHub in Autodesk Fusion 360.

AUGIWorld June 2018 Issue Released!


BiLT ANZ 2018 Finale

There is more to BIM than technology and BiLT ANZ 2018 reflected an increasing focus on the human side of BIM and related AEC professions.

One prominent sign of this was a panel discussion, “Gender diversity in AEC: Challenging our industry sponsored by Central Innovation”, which featured on the Friday plenary mainstage. Moderated (with contributions) by Justine Clark (Parlour); Elizabeth Harper (GHD), Glenda Caldwell (QUT) & Todd Bartley (AECOM) challenged the majority male (~85%) attendees to address diversity in their own environment. Aspects discussed included the benefits of diversity, considering messaging in advertising, approaches to diversity in the recruitment process, training to address conscious/unconscious bias, and flexible working arrangements.

A great resource (for local attendees) is “Marion’s List”: a public register of women in Australian architecture and the built environment disciplines to approach for input, mentoring and speaking. It’s a proactive response to help address gender bias in industry forums/events and a fine example to consider matching (if not already established) in your region.


Saturday, the final day of BiLT ANZ 2018, skipped the previous days morning plenary and launched straight into the 75-minute streamed sessions. For me it started with Phil Lazarus’ session “Advance your digital agenda” which was also all about people. @bimtroublemaker was in great form sharing how to talk BIM with your management. It was an introduction to the psychology of management and how to frame your BIM strategy in a way they will embrace. A compilation of inspired career advice rounded out a great session which finished with the line: “Never curse that "They don't understand BIM", that keeps us employed”.


A Guided Tour of Cutting Edge Creek with Some BIM Geeks” was a fast-paced multi-presenter tour of both technology and techniques led by Luke Johnson with Joe Banks, Dominic Martens, Adam Sheather & (via video conference from the US) Aaron Maller contributing. It ranged from choosing and implementing hardware (personal and network), approaches to evaluating/auditing models, tips for data wrangling (including a mention of Safe’s FME and the line “a Revit model is not a database”) and collaboration platforms. It ended with an overview of the diverse range of hardware they use every day. Aaron’s is missing from the photo below as needed an entire second slide…


Luke Johnson’s “The Worst BIM Projects - A Case Study of How BIM Can Go Wrong, and How to Avoid the Pain” was a frank, courageous, look at a project where BIM didn’t work. It was revealing that the failure was more the human, contractual and process aspects than a tale of technology not working. Luke addressed what happened, how to avoid or detect similar signs of looming problems in your own projects, and how to handle them if they happen. While it is great to hear of success stories it is also valuable to learn from other’s lessons, pain, hard as that can be to share.

My final session of the day was “Connect the docs: BIM 360”: Carl Storms’ impressive explanation of the mix of applications and services which make up Autodesk BIM 360. To compress the complex and twisted history of Autodesk’s cloud offer, the capabilities, duplications and limitations of the ‘Classic” and newly released “Next Generation” BIM 360 into 75 minutes is quite a feat. Carl did this admirably in a slick presentation which covered all aspects.


The Closing Keynote and Wrap Up was sponsored by ClearEdge and Kelly Cone hosted the Vision 20/20 Competition. It was a fast paced (20 slides, of max 20 seconds each) and fun look into the future of AEC/BIM based on the topic: “The Dangers of Technology”. Performed live and judged by the audience (voting with the BiLT app) in real time. Finalists Carl Storms and Nathan Love did a brilliant job netting prizes including a ticket to any BiLT 2019 event (Nathan) and gigantic Millennium Falcon Lego set (Carl).

After thanking all the attendees for coming, the Organisers, Sponsors, Speakers, Technicians, and QUT Volunteer Students who helped deliver it BiLT ANZ Chairman Chris Needham summarised the biggest BiLT event to date:


This quote, from Ashraf’s opening keynote, Chris highlighted in his wrap up resonated. BiLT is about people, connecting, learning, sharing and BiLT ANZ 2018 delivered.


With the conference formally wrapped up the BiLT finale was the “Special Event brought to you by CSI & BILT ANZ — an elegant evening with lots of food, cocktails, music, dancing and entertainment”. The venue was spectacular, Brisbane City Hall, and host Ashraf Habibullah certainly delivered! The entertainment was his band, from the US, and with food & drink galore it was a spectacular ending to the conference.





BiLT ANZ 2018 delivered an impressive variety of technology, techniques and tuition but most importantly a brilliant venue for networking and learning. There are regional BiLT events around the world, next up is BiLT North America in St Louis, and you won’t regret attending if you get the opportunity.

You can follow BiLT activity on Twitter @BiLTevent



BiLT ANZ 2018 tees off!

The BiLT ANZ 2018 opening plenary began with sponsor sessions - from Autodesk & Newforma - then Omar Awny introduced the remarkable Ashraf Habibullah whose keynote lit up the room with his personality, presentation and (literally) with his illuminated foil jacket.


He's a Structural Engineer, President and CEO of Computers and Structures, Inc (products including ETABS) but didn't talk about that other than to illustrate his point. The theme was how to make a difference as a person and a professional by bringing delight to your life, those around you, and your work. In addition to charming the audience, aided by gifting several iPads, Ashraf will be hosting (even bringing his band from the US) what is promised to be a spectacular closing evening event on Saturday.

With the plenary over the sessions which form the bulk of the event kicked off. There are multiple 75-minute streamed sessions ranging from presentations, panels, forums and hands on labs. I can only give an impression of this as there is simply no way for one person to see them all!

The range of content on offer represents the incredible growth of the RTC Events portfolio. What started fourteen years ago as a series of Revit Technology Roadshows, one of which initiated the Auckland Revit User Group I'm involved with, has become a distributed virtually connected international workforce staging nine events per annum around the world.


My day one sessions included Paul Wintour looking at the world of computational design and the various approaches to modelling geometry and analysing objects/spatial relationships. It was high level but offered a good conceptual guide to the benefits and limitations of different approaches and algorithms.

From the world of computational theory, it was into the very real world of interiors. I was attracted to Ceilidh Higgins session on interior design for Revit as it relates to the workflows we face in my day job, retail design. I picked up some useful tips and approaches to 'adapting' Revit to do a job it isn't really optimised for and techniques for interior projects where you may not get a building model. As retail tenant you often just get what you’re given with little control on the model deliverable. Tips include only modelling what you need, using CAD links for detail where the model isn't available, and simple families in groups as an alternative to complex 'try to do it all super families'.

This, as with all sessions, offers a point of view and stimulates some interesting conversation in the room about alternative approaches. It's the incidental conversations, random meetings and follow-up discussions (which overflow into the hallways and exhibit space) which are the difference between attending an event and seeing the same presentation online.

Industry standards are the subject of much debate and I attended a session by the Australasian BIM Advisory Board on their work to create industry wide standards. The concern I have is the world seems to have a lot of organisations setting standards, but the software has crude tools for managing data where client requirements and standards can vary.

The evening welcome event was held in the exhibit hall giving a chance to meet sponsors, exhibitors and fellow attendees. For those who desired this carried on at the nearby Baedeker Bar after-party. It is in an old brick mill building with a neat speakeasy atmosphere, cobbled floor and secret spinning bookcase door!


The Friday morning Plenary recognised the support of HP/Nvidia hardware, Central Innovation (whose offer includes hardware, ArchiCAD and Solibri platforms) and Autodesk. Ian Molloy, of Autodesk, also talked about connected BIM and the ESRI/Autodesk partnership announced at Autodesk University 2017. I was surprised HP/Nvidia didn't have more of a presence in the exhibit hall given the brilliant range of AR/VR hardware they offer but it was covered by reseller partners.

My first session of the day looked at the reality of BIM from the Quantity Surveyors point of view. Keeley Pomeroy had a practical overview of the benefits, pitfalls and costs of BIM at different deliverable stages and some achievable approaches to maximise the benefits, minimise the pain.

The next session was lifecycle data management from the owner’s point of view. Looking after an iconic UN World Heritage Site with a 250-300+ year potential lifespan is as lifecycle as it gets, and the Sydney Opera House was designed long before BIM. Chris Linning & Steve Lianos session covered the journey migrating decades of legacy into a digital model-based facilities management solution. It was a revealing look at the complexity of managing a unique public building from both an operational and refurbishment viewpoint.

Next it was Kevin Thickett’s very realistic view of the maze of potential for misunderstanding that Level of Development, Detail, Completion, Complexity has become. He offered a view that cut through the complexity with "Kev's Gospel of the Good LOD". By the way, the D represents development and forget about the rest.

David Spehar and Robert Manna had a session on using data to fix what BIM broke. They began with a short (one slide) history of BIM and posed the question;
“Are we at the point in the BIM party where everyone is suffering from a hangover? "
They offered a solution which took a proactive approach to analysing and reporting BIM progress, and potential problem tracking, to avoid the catastrophic broken BIM which can result from ignoring issues.

I later saw another session which took the opposite approach, ignoring issues which don't impact the outcome, but that is the benefit of seeing different views in the community. Nobody has all the answers; other’s solutions may not fit your needs but can spark the idea or process which does.


The day finished with an evening function at a nearby golf course. We had the run of the event space, terrace bar, awesome BBQ dinner, a driving range and mini-putt course for the BIM geeks to display their golf skills. It was a nice end to the second day. Tomorrow, is a full schedule of sessions and the much-anticipated evening extravaganza in conclusion.


I’ll be following up with a summary post, but you can also follow BiLT ANZ activity on social media; look for the #BILTANZ tag and follow @BiLTevent on Twitter.

BiLT ANZ 2018 Event Website: www.rtcevents.com/bilt/anz18/

BiLT ANZ, the biggest ever!

My journey to BiLT ANZ 2018 began with an unexpected email from AUGI: Would you consider doing some blogging for AUGI? Yes!

I have attended a couple of the predecessor Revit Technology Conferences (RTC), in New Zealand, but this is my first BiLT. The 2017 name change really acknowledged RTC’s already broadening approach to BIM and its future intentions. What started out as a platform focused conference now embraces the reality of BIM being a multi-platform, multi-discipline, and multiple industry activity. Like RTC, BiLT is a valuable forum “Bringing industry Leadership Together” in a platform neutral industry focused event. While Revit is still prominent there are sessions on many other BIM related workflows, applications and platforms.

Although I have been to Australia before this is also my first visit to Brisbane. Surprising it has taken this long given many Kiwis (including me!) have family connections here due to emigration over the past couple of decades. At one stage it seemed just about everyone in Auckland was ‘moving to Brissie’, attracted by higher pay and tropical weather, but more recently the trans-Tasman people flow has balanced out. Leaving Auckland on a gloomy, wet and cold (for NZ) morning to arrive, three hours later, in sunny warm Brisbane certainly made a good first impression!



The Royal International Convention Centre (the BiLT venue) is in Bowen Hills, a newly regenerating mixed-use area a few kilometres from the Brisbane CBD. The three-day BiLT schedule kicks off with a plenary session comprising of brief sponsor addresses and a keynote with a more general design focus on the first morning. The rest of the day, and following days, offer a wide variety of parallel streamed 75-minute sessions. Formats include presentations, forums, and hands on labs. Deciding which to attend is a challenge and it becomes apparent why larger organisations send multiple attendees to cover the impressive line-up.

A sample of the sessions I’ve chosen give a flavour of the diversity of subjects on offer and the creativity in session naming:

  • The Gospel of the Good LOD According to Kev
  • A Guided Tour of Cutting Edge Creek with Some BIM Geeks
  • Implementing Revit for Interior Design Teams
  • Analog Lab: UX Design for Revit Families Using Empathy, Prototyping, and Testing
  • Advance Your Digital Agenda Through Persuasion and Influence
  • Improving Productivity and Asset Outcomes Through the Consistent Adoption of BIM
  • Why BIM Costs Money – A View from a Quantity Surveyor
  • Chameleon Yoga BIM - Flexible Digital Collaboration

Between sessions you can meet attendees, speakers, sponsors and vendors in the Exhibition space. It offers lots of opportunities for networking, satisfying the tea/coffee habit and refuelling. There are also several more formal evening social events including a first day Welcome Function, Golf themed (?) evening function on Friday and a special closing event (party!) on Saturday evening. It is at the Brisbane City Hall and hosted by keynote speaker Ashraf Habibullah.

It is the networking that makes attending an event like this worthwhile. That literally started on the flight from New Zealand with a bunch of familiar faces in the boarding lounge and sitting next to a BiLT ANZ sponsor travelling from the US via NZ. Given the wide variety of people it has attracted, ~500 attendees make it the biggest ever, there will be lots of new people to meet.

I’ll be following up with mid-event and summary posts, but you can also follow BiLT ANZ activity on social media; look for the #BILTANZ tag and follow @BiLTevent on Twitter.

BiLT ANZ 2018 Event Website: www.rtcevents.com/bilt/anz18/



AUGI HotNews -- May 2018, Issue No. 180

Read the full issue—must be logged in to read our online version.

The full issue contains the below articles, plus sections — AUGI Forums (hot topics), Articles by AUGI Members, HP Solutions (News and updates on HP Z Workstations and HP DesignJet large-format printers), Autodesk Product Updates (Service Patches and Updates released by Autodesk during the past month), Autodesk News (recent news relating to Autodesk), AUGI Volunteering (opportunities), AUGI Members’ Blogs…

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