April 30, 2012

3ds Max Design - MassFX

Wind, gravity, and kinetics... we can incorporate all of these into a scene in 3ds Max Design. Lets start with a simple example of a bouncing ball, rolling down a sloped ramp, and the ball running into dominos that, once struck, will topple over, and make a series of dominos fall over, until it hits against a large domino at the end, that topples over.

First we create a sphere, ramp and dominos and copying several of them to make a row to fall against. These are all made using standard creation tools of sphere for the ball, and box tools for the ramp and dominos.

Next is to use the MassFX tools. These are tools which apply Rigid Body conditions to the objects. Allowing them to react and react to movement and collisions from other objects. The ball and dominos can all be applied as Dynamic Rigid Bodies. This make the an object that will not pass thru another object, but "bump" against them with some kind of reaction. For the object, especially the ball, we will enable gravity, so the ball can be dropped (no pun intended) and hit or react against the ramp, causing it to roll down to hit against the dominos, causing a chain reaction, knocking over each domino as it is hit.

Watch this quick video on the ball dropping, rolling down the ramp and knocking over the dominos. Full screen will display the video better. Enjoy!

April 26, 2012

Navisworks 2013 – My First Impressions

For an overview of the new features and enhancements for Navisworks 2013, see the link: http://usa.autodesk.com/navisworks/features/
My Favorite New Feature
Grids and Levels from Revit
In the past we had to do a lot of setup to get grids and levels to display in Navisworks, particularly difficult to acquire from Revit.  3D Grids were introduced as a Family that helped to go from Revit to Navisworks.  Now in the new 2013, standard Grids and Levels will pass over to Navisworks.  The only specific setup that I have found to have this feature work: The grid must be native to the project; you cannot just have the grid displayed from a link.  Also, to get the Level information, you need to have at least one grid line.

Revit Grids and Levels show up now in Navisworks 2013

My First Bug Find

Navisworks Revit File Reader
With 2013 you can now read a RVT file just like you can read an AutoCAD DWG file.  Fortunately, the folks at Autodesk did not take away the Revit Plugin so that we can export from Revit to NWC.  I write ‘fortunately’ because I have discovered that the Reader doesn’t read some objects in Fine detail, while the Exporter does.  
I tried the main two ways the Reader looks at a RVT file: Navisworks Named View and Whole Project.  My Navisworks Named View is set to Fine display.  
With the Reader, Pipe and Conduit fittings are single-line.
Cable Tray is Medium Detail level
With the Exporter: Pipe, Conduit, Cable Tray and
Duct all come in at Fine detail
I have only tested RMEP objects and specifically just Duct, Pipe, Cable Tray and Conduit.  Duct seems to be OK either with the Reader or the Exporter, but I wonder if this is because Duct is the same when displayed in Medium detail as with Fine detail.  Cable Tray, in my test I used the Ladder type, the Reader brought it in equivalent to the Medium detail level, while the Exporter shows it as Fine.  Pipe/conduit fittings do show up with the Reader, but they are shown as the coarse/medium detail level, single-line display.  In contrast, the Exporter exports out the fittings as Fine detail (oddly though, the fittings come in NW a different color from the pipes themselves).
Consequently, I recommend for you RMEP folks to continue using the Exporter until a fix gets applied in an Update.


April 5, 2012

Mobility, Workflow and Productivity

Mobility is an essential part of today’s normal business workflow. With the workplace no longer being defined by the company’s headquarter address, having immediate access to information – from the jobsite, the fabrication shop, on the road, at a client presentation – is crucial to successful business transactions.

We put together a quick survey to explore how mobility is being addressed with technology in the design industry's day-to-day business. The survey can be accessed on our homepage at www.asti.com or here . Some preliminary results were included in our March webinar which focused on mobile apps.

Check back next week for results and see what your peers are doing.