October 21 @ 11 PM PDT: Webinar Invite

You’re invited to join our webinar, “Revit Keyboard Shortcuts” with Brian Mackey on October 21 at 11 am. 

To combat the time consuming process of right-clicking or holding Ctrl + other key to see an outcome in Revit, Brian has developed several tips and tricks as well as keyboard shortcuts that will make every Revit user more productive. 

Join our webinar to get the scoop on these time saving tricks that will make you more Revit savvy. 

October 14 @ 11 am PDT: 15 Min to BIM Invite

Webinar Invite!

You’re invited to join our 15 Minutes to BIM webinar, “Saved Searches – Access Your Content Quick”

UNIFI Spotlight: Karen Pierce, SR. BIM Specialist, CM-BIM

UNIFI Spotlight: Karen Pierce, SR. BIM Specialist, CM-BIM

Karen Pierce, CM-BIM is a Senior BIM specialist, dedicated to helping customers get the most out of UNIFI. She received her A.S. in engineering from Georgia Perimeter College in 2012 and has had an exciting, versatile career in the building industry since. Before UNIFI, Karen worked as an electrical designer, a BIM manager, and as a consultant. In her different roles, she experienced every facet of BIM Management, from building Revit content, to converting CAD standards to Revit standards, to leading Revit software training for AECs. 

Her diverse experience gives her a unique perspective to be able to provide unique solutions to customers across the building lifecycle, due to her intimate experience across the project lifecycle. She is a published CSE author and has contributed several cutting-edge articles to the publication. Most recently, Karen obtained her CM-BIM (Construction Management – Building Information Modeling) certification to further expand her industry expertise.

Why the Building Industry?

When asked why she’d chosen a career in the building industry, Karen said that she’d played with Legos and Erector sets when she was a child, while her father worked various construction jobs before eventually becoming a superintendent. She spent many summers on job sites with her father, which helped inspire her to go into the field.

Her favorite aspect of her job at UNIFI is that she gets to coach prospects and customers on the UNIFI product and finding creative workflows to solve issues around content management.

CM-BIM Certification

The CM-BIM certification Karen recently earned is an assessment-based certificate credential that denotes knowledge and understanding of concepts related to BIM adoption, practice, and process transformation as outlined in the AGC BIM Education Program. After finishing the course, Karen felt she was able to build on her real world experience and add what she was missing from being self-taught in the industry, including increased expertise into process and best practices. It provides a critical resource to share with the UNIFI team and enhances her ability to journey with UNIFI customers.

To obtain her certificate, Karen attended AGC BIM Education Program courses, which culminated in an exam requiring candidates to receive at least a 94 out of a possible 125 points.

From the CM-BIM courses, Karen learned, “As a prior designer and BIM Manager, I’ve worked with many of the multiple toolsets required to accomplish BIM. However, walking through the multiple tools needed across multiple disciplines and throughout each project, phase was illuminating. When you compound the multiple tools required, identifying and maximizing ROI becomes especially critical. By analyzing multiple case studies and tracking our own company’s lessons learned, we can start to see how BIM ROI can be not only measurable but practical.”

Technology’s Influence on the Building Industry

Technology is rapidly transforming all aspects of the world around us. Communication and collaboration technology has been at the forefront of this evolution for the building industry and with the recent pandemic, AECOMs rely on new technologies to discuss and share projects, as well as data, amongst one another more than ever. According to Karen, “In order to stay relevant in this current climate, companies need to cut the red tape and embrace innovative technologies as often as they can.” 

Why UNIFI?

Between her role at UNIFI and recent CM-BIM certification, Karen is poised to grow her reputation as a trailblazer in the building industry’s technology evolution. Karen acknowledges that while many AECOs utilize traditional folder systems for digital assets, she’s committed to helping them implement UNIFI to search, find, distribute, and manage their content more efficiently given that project quality starts with the content

In conclusion, UNIFI is a platform Karen truly believes in, “UNIFI solves real problems for the building industry that I’ve endured firsthand. Features such as automatic upgrades, easy version control saved searches, and a built-in content request platform empower users to have a single source of distribution.” Karen is extremely excited and passionate about transforming the way the building industry works with UNIFI, and we’re equally as enthusiastic to have her on our team.

Rhino to Revit

Rhino to Revit

If you’re not familiar, Rhino 3D is a free-form surface modeler which uses the NURBS mathematical model to generate geometry. This makes Rhino one of the leading CAD tools for conceptual design in the AEC space as it provides an intuitive interface for creating geometry quickly and easily.

Rhino to Revit

Rhino also includes a visual scripting application, Grasshopper, which is similar to Dynamo for Revit. Grasshopper grants Rhino users the ability to leverage automation techniques without software development experience.

Although Rhino is popular amongst architectural designers for conceptual design, the leading authoring tool for construction documents is still Autodesk Revit.

In this post we will cover how to bridge these two tools to help you get your models from Rhino to Revit.

Interoperability: Rhino to Revit

Many design firms juggle multiple design authoring tools as part of their daily workflows, but the question always remains, “how do I get these different tools to talk to each other?” In other words, what is the best way to get a model from Rhino to Revit?

Rhino to Revit

The good news is, these applications are compatible to some extent and there are two main ways to port your models from Rhino to Revit.

Method 1: Import the Rhino Model to a Revit Family

The most common technique to import Rhino to Revit is to import the .SAT Rhino file directly into a Revit family of the “Mass” model category. Once imported into the family, the family can then be loaded into a Revit project as usual.

Conversely, you also go from Revit to Rhino with a similar export/import process.

This process is fairly straightforward, but if you are looking for a solid step-by-step guide is available from BIMtopia, Transferring Models – Rhino to Revit to Rhino.

Method 2: From Rhino to Revit Using Rhino.Inside.Revit

One of the latest work in progress (WIP) projects for Rhino is the Rhino.Inside initiative which allows users to run Rhino and Grasshopper “within” other applications. This means unprecedented free-form modeling tools are now available in Autodesk’s leading CAD and BIM applications. In addition to the new tools exposed to Revit, this new approach to interoperability also means a more simplified Rhino to Revit workflow.

For more information about this progressive initiative and a full how-to guide on how to implement, check out Rhino.Inside.Revit.

Rhino to Revit or Rhino.Inside.Revit?

Either of the two methods above will help with getting 3D models from Rhino to Revit, but which path should you take?

Put simply, if you need a quick way of getting geometry from Rhino to Revit or perhaps you only just need to do this once, simply import it into a family (method #1). If you are looking for true interoperability between the multiple authoring tools, you most definitely want to go with Rhino.Inside.Revit (method #2).

Although it is a bit more upfront setup,  Rhino.Inside.Revit enables entirely new possibilities for Rhino to Revit workflows. So if Rhino and Revit are integral pieces in your tech stack, try out this new way of connecting Rhino to Revit.

Revit Add-Ins Are Where It’s At


Like Rhino to Revit, UNIFI also helps users save hundreds of hours annually by maximizing efficiency in Revit. Visit us here to learn more.

DTS Invite: August 26 and October 21 at 11 am PDT

We’re thrilled to be gold sponsors at DBEI’s virtual DTS event this year! 

Join us on August 26 and October 21 at 11 am PDT for two discussions you can’t afford to miss. You can check out the full details here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Autodesk Transitions to Named User Licenses

In May 2020, a new Autodesk license structure was introduced which assigns licenses using Autodesk usernames rather than serial numbers. These “named user plans” began rolling out May 7th, but current customers had their existing multi-user subscriptions retired just recently on August 7, 2020.

What is a “named user plan” and how is that different?

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Depending on how your IT department handles software installations, you most likely have lived through the pain of dealing with serial numbers and product keys when installing Autodesk software. With named user plans, these serial numbers are no longer required, as you only need to login to your Autodesk account to gain access to all of the software that your organization has purchased for your use. This alone is an improved user experience for both end users and administrators, as it simplifies the onboarding process for new staff and the management of licenses for existing staff.

The improvement over managing serial numbers is just one benefit of enabling this new license structure, so what else can Autodesk customers expect as a result of the Autodesk license transition?

Usage Data is Gold

Whether you’re in architecture, engineering, construction, you need to ensure your team is running as efficiently as possible and this new license structure may actually help. Now that each license is assigned to an individual team member, usage data can be tied to a person on your team, enabling more granular usage data insights. At UNIFI, we also transitioned from a network or “open” license model to an active user model, which increased simplicity and allowed our customers to increase their ability to effectively plan for their team’s growth.

Administrators will have the ability to understand exactly how their team members are using Autodesk software, which can result in cost savings. For example, the new named user plan enables visibility of an individual user’s activities within a Revit model. These insights can reveal if you have team members who are using a license for the full version of Revit (which can cost over $2,000 per year) when they can actually do their job just as effectively with the free Revit viewer.

Autodesk Licenses

Additionally, customers have reported that simply having visibility of what version of software is installed on what machine is a big win to ensure their team is always using the latest and greatest release.

Future State of Autodesk Licenses?

If you’ve already read through the article for the new named license structure, you may have seen noticed a fascinating statement made by Autodesk:

“This is just the start of a more relevant user experience including collaboration, tailored learning content and insights.”

Undoubtedly, the concept of “tailored learning content” is intriguing. Will Autodesk roll out a mechanism which addresses each specific user’s needs for technical training? It is definitely a possibility!  

Cost Associated with Autodesk License Structure Change

Autodesk Named User Licenses.

As one would imagine, a change in the Autodesk license structure means a change in cost to the customer, for better or for worse. For anyone transitioning to named user plans, Autodesk advertises a trade-in offer which is, “similar to your current rate.” Through this program, customers can trade in each seat for two subscriptions for two users. In other. words, if you have 20 seats, you can trade them in for 40 subscriptions for 40 users.

For more information on license costs and the trade-in program, check out Autodesk’s named user article.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that Autodesk customers expressed disappointment a few years ago when the transition to subscription licensing was first announced. The new named Autodesk license structure is sure to rebuild some goodwill. For information about named user plans, check out the list of frequently asked questions by Autodesk.

At UNIFI, we’re thrilled to see this offering by Autodesk as journeying with our customers, optimizing efficiency, and maximizing your Autodesk investment is what we’re all about. To learn more about how we achieve this, please click here.

Have you transitioned to the named user licenses? What has your experience been like? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

September 9 @ 11 am PDT: 15 Min to BIM Invite

Webinar Invite!

You’re invited to join our 15 Minutes to BIM webinar, “Upgrading Revit Content (Made Easy).”

August 26 @ 11 am PDT: Webinar Invite

Webinar Invite

You’re invited to join our upcoming webinar, “Revit FAQs: Answered”.

August 12 @ 11 am PDT: 15 Min to BIM Invite

Webinar Invite!

You’re invited to join our 15 Minutes to BIM webinar, “Ultimate Guide to Revit Families.”

Rehau on Connect

REHAU is a family-owned, premium worldwide brand for polymer-based innovations and systems in the AEC industry. With in-depth knowledge of materials and extensive experience in technologies and manufacturing processes, REHAU meets wide-ranging individual needs with customized solutions. From hygienic drinking water to radiant heating/cooling systems, their mechanical and plumbing products are used worldwide in housing, commercial buildings and infrastructure to ensure reliable and efficient supply.

Most importantly, REHAU understands the benefits of providing their customers with building information modeling (BIM) tools to help them do their job better and more efficiently.

BIM @ REHAU

 “BIM lays the groundwork for long-term success.” – REHAU

Navigating through their website, it’s clear that REHAU understands the importance of BIM. On their Technical Resources for Engineers and Designers page you’ll find technical documentation, downloadable BIM content, and custom tools. These fantastic resources are provided to help REHAU customers on their journey in BIM implementation.

“BIM describes the working method, but for its execution appropriate software tools and above all product data of the manufacturers are required. REHAU offers its customers the required BIM content from a variety of REHAU products that can be used in different BIM platforms.”

It’s worth noting that, in addition to Revit, REHAU provides content for multiple BIM and CAD applications, which is a testament to their commitment to BIM as a technology and process rather than any one application.

REHAU’s Revit Content on UNIFI

Yes, REHAU’s website has an amazing section dedicated to BIM, but did you know that their content is also hosted in their UNIFI channel? Our Revit add-in enables enhanced usability of Revit content. Key features include single-click to load families into a Revit project, filtering families by metatags, searching for fittings by parameter value, batch loading families, type catalogs, and more.

This is just a handful of UNIFI’s features that improve efficiency for our customers. If you would like to learn more about UNIFI, reach out to us here. 

But enough about us, let’s take a closer look at some of the content that REHAU provides to their customers via their UNIFI channel.

Pipe Fittings

 

REHAU initiated their BIM content efforts in 2016 with their focus set on core components of radiant floor heating systems. With that being said, it’s no wonder that there is a full line of pipe fittings available to their customers on UNIFI.

These pipe fitting families are more than one would expect from a manufacturer (no offense, manufacturers). These families just might prevent BIM managers from recreating this content as they typically do.

For example, many MEP engineers prefer to present their pipe, duct, and conduit as a single line, rather than 3D geometry on their construction documents. In Revit, pipes turn into a single line when viewed in either coarse or medium detail level. Similarly, pipe fittings in a coarse or medium detail level view is expected to display an annotation symbol rather than the 3D extrusions of the valve.

The images below demonstrate how REHAU has built their manifold, pipe, and pipe fitting families to support this need. On the left you can see an example of how these families are displayed in coarse and medium detail levels, while the image on the right demonstrates fine detail level. As this is an often overlooked feature for inexperienced Revit users, REHAU has proven to have a deep understanding of their customers’ needs by providing tools to support their workflows.

Yes, Revit’s performance will improve with less surfaces and 3D geometry in your view, but pretty pictures are worth a thousand words so here’s the same model in a shaded 3D view set to fine detail level.

Revit Templates

In addition to dozens of families, REHAU also provides Revit templates on their UNIFI channel. Within these templates, users will find that REHAU has provided critical tools for piping design in Revit such as pipe families and schedule views.

The Pipe Fitting Schedule is essentially a bill of materials which includes quantities, part numbers, bend angles, and more. This another efficiency boost for REHAU customers, as schedules such as this would typically need to be created from scratch. By providing this to their customers they are potentially saving their customers time on projects.

This is just another example of a standard that REHAU provides to their customers to aid in their BIM adoption.

It’s worth mentioning that UNIFI supports the storage of pipe families and schedules independent of a RVT or RTE file. Additionally, our platform can store drafting views, materials, and more.

Conclusion

While these are only two features that make REHAU’s BIM efforts stand out from the typical manufacturer, there are many more benefits to checking out REHAU’s Revit content on UNIFI.

For the full experience, log in to the UNIFI web portal and navigate to the Subscription Center. Once you’ve subscribed to REHAU’s channels, your team will have access to all of REHAU’s high quality BIM content.

Not a UNIFI customer yet? Contact us here for a free trial.