Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Learning Event - Handout Available

The presentation Handout from the STLRUG November Learning Event - Revit Multi-Discipline Collaboration, is now available for download.
The file has been uploaded to our AUGI Local User Group page and can be found here.
Please let me know if you have issues downloading this file.
While you are on our Local User Group page, please think about becoming a member of our Group!
An alternate download location has also been made available on Google Drive and can be found here.
Please feel free to email us any questions that you may have. 
You can also email us topics that you would like to see presented at future meetings.
Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

November Learning Event - Revit Multi-Discipline Collaboration

Come join us on Thursday, November 21st from 6-8 pm at Ranken Technical College as we explore the word "Collaboration" and how it applies to a Revit based project environment.

The format for this meeting is a Q & A panel discussion with a twist. Instead of the audience asking questions of the panel, the panel will be posing questions to the audience! These questions will be posed as issues and items that have been encountered in the process of collaboration with other Revit users, and have identified a process or workflow that should be discussed or managed during the project.  For example, "Why do my engineers complain when I delete and replace a ceiling?"

The goal is to develop a document of best practices and techniques for Revit Collaboration and distribute these findings so that we can work together more effectively and efficiently.

So come join us and bring your input and ideas on issues and techniques that you have encountered when working with others in a Revit based project environment.

Please click here to RSVP for the event.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September Happy Hour Meeting

Our September Happy Hour meeting is set for Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Schlafly Tap Room at Locust and 21st Street in St. Louis.  Please come join us for some drinks (cash bar), pool, darts and food (restaurant open till 9 pm) and as always some networking and discussions about Revit. Please see the RSVP site here for details and to respond.  Share this with your co-workers and colleagues.  See you there!!!

P.S. - Sorry for the short notice!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Second Annual Central States Revit Workshop

Last Thursday and Friday (August 15th &16th) the Revit Users Group of Omaha Nebraska (RUGON) hosted the second annual Central States Revit Workshop.  The event is a low-cost, high quality Revit focused training workshop, and as always the event was fantastic. I can't say enough about Carla Edwards, Todd Shackelford and the entire volunteer staff from RUGON who put this quality event together.  The event features top quality speakers and presentations on a wide variety of Revit topics and this year included a 1/2 day session focused on BIM for owners to help educate owners on the advantages of using a BIM based approach on their projects.

Top quality speakers for this event included Steve Stafford, Paul Aubin, Brian and Desiree Mackey (with a special guest appearance from the BIMbino (Vienna, See picture), Steven Shell, Shawn Zirbes, Nathan Miller, Kelli Lubeley, and Jason Gardner and a host of others including several presentations from members of the RUGON committee.  In addition, there were presentations from Brigitta Foster from the buildingSMART alliance on the National BIM Standards initiative and a presentation from Andy Jizba (Mayo Clinic) and Chuck Miles (Autodesk) on BIM from the owners perspective.

I attended some amazing presentations including a presentation from Desiree Mackey on a fully parametric design model that had engineering design data built into the families that would adjust the size of the footings, columns, walls, and framing members all automatically with a change in grid spacing or a level adjustment in height. (WOW!) Other great presentations that I attended included some every day uses for Adaptive Components and Intelligent Detailing from Brian Mackey, Driving Parametric Curves in Families from Paul Aubin, and using the DB Link add-in for Interior FF&E Data and Room Data Sheets as well as a great lab presentation on  Lookup Tables from Kelli Lubeley.  There were so many great presentations that my biggest problem with the conference was not being able to be in multiple presentations at once!!! (Where is cloning technology when you really need it!)

There were a few attendees from the St. Louis Revit Users group including myself, Aaron Gipperish from FGM and Josh Bender from M&H Architects.  I hope next year we can have more representation from STLRUG, it is definitely worth the time and expense.
I wanted to give a special thanks to Carla Edwards, Todd Shackelford and all of the volunteer staff at the Revit Users Group of Omaha for taking the time and effort to put on this great event.  This effort is definitely helping us here in the Midwest to become better Revit users and helping us embrace BIM technology for all of its advantages.


Brian and Dezi Mackey with Vienna (BIMbino)
Note the awesome shirt and bib!

Steve Shell ("The" Revit Rock Star)
Steve Stafford

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

November Meeting - Revit Multi-discipline Collaboration

Webster defines collaboration as "to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor".  This is not an easy topic in the AEC industry, and pages upon pages of information exist on the best ways to collaborate and coordinate a set of design documents.  But throw the term BIM or Revit into the mix, and this discussion becomes all the more complicated. The topic can become overwhelming very quickly.
 At the November meeting of the St. Louis Revit Users Group, we will be looking at what collaboration means in the world of multi-discipline Revit projects.  We want to know what questions you have regarding this topic and we want to try and answer them all.  Our meeting will be half a discussion on tools and techniques that can be used to tackle this daunting task, and the other half will be answering your questions regarding this topic. We want to answer all questions, so we are gathering information in the form below. If your question is not covered at the meeting, we will still try and answer them all via email.  And as always we will share all of these questions and answers on this page or on our AUGI User Group page.

Please submit your questions in this form.

Monday, July 29, 2013

First STLRUG Meeting in the Books!!!

On July 18th the St. Louis Revit Users Group hosted our first "official" meeting.  By "official", I mean a learning event meeting instead of a social event like the first Happy Hour event. The meeting featured a series of videos covering alot of the new features in Revit 2014. We had a great turnout for the first meeting, with approximately 35 in attendance.  We heard good responses from everyone we talked to after the meeting.  I would to thank all of you who attended, and a huge thank you to everyone on the STLRUG Steering Committee for their contributions and sacrifices to make this first meeting happen!  I would not have even known where to begin without your help!  I would also like to give a big shout out to Seiler who was gracious enough to host this first event.

For those who missed the meeting, or those who want to dig a little deeper into the new features of Revit 2014, we have posted all of our videos to the St. Louis Revit Users Group YouTube Channel for you to view and share.

Also if you are not a member of AUGI, we encourage you to join. (it is still an incredible resource that can be accessed for free)  If you join make sure you join our local user group page.  Here we will be sharing resources from our meetings, and it also contains a forum for users to ask questions specific to our group.

A couple of other big upcoming events that are upcoming that you should attend if possible:

AGC St. Louis 2013 Regional BIM Conference
August 8th and 9th, Washington University, Lopata Hall

Central States Revit Workshop
August 15th and 16th, Scott Conference Center, Omaha, NE
This is a great conference that I attended last year and will also be attending this year.
See our previous post from last year.  Registration is still open!!

A couple other "SAVE THE DATE" notes:

Next STLRUG Happy Hour Event
Tuesday, September 17th
Place: TBD
More details coming soon!!!

Next STLRUG Learning Event
Thursday, November 13th
Place: TBD
Topic: Revit Multi-discipline Coordination
More details to follow

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

It's Official! First STLRUG Meeting Set for July 18th!

It's official!  The very first St. Louis Revit Users Group meeting is set for Thursday, July 18th, 2013.  The meeting will run from 6:00 till 8:00 PM at the Hearth Room at the Hawken House in Webster Groves.  Click here for directions. 
The topic of our first meeting will be the new features in Revit 2014.  This will include all flavors of Revit including Architecture, MEP and Structural.  We are still looking for volunteers that are willing to present your favorite new features in Revit 2014.  E-mail us by June 21st if you are interested. We will also be discussing some of the STLRUG organizational ideas, including ways you can volunteer and get involved in the group.  We will also be taking a poll on what you would like to get out of the group, including future meeting topics.
Space is limited at this first meeting (Approx. 60 people), and we already have 20 people that have RSVP'd so we encourage you to RSVP here.  The RSVP site has a preliminary agenda, so please forward this RSVP site to anyone that you feel would be interested in our group.  Bring your ideas and your Revit knowledge and/or questions! We look forward to seeing you all there!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Save the Date!!! First Official STLRUG Meeting!

Ok everyone, mark your calenders and save this date!  The first official St. Louis Revit Users Group meeting will be held on Thursday July, 18th 2013.  Location and time for the event are still being put together, but should be finalized in the next week or so.  We have set up an RSVP site, so if you plan on attending this meeting, please click on the link below and RSVP.  This will allow us to plan space and refreshments accordingly. 
RSVP here!
The topic for the first meeting is Revit 2014 new features.  We are discussing doing this in a Pecha Kucha format. For those of you who don't know what that means (like me when I first heard it), it means 20 slides presented for 20 seconds each. This means that we can cover each new feature in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. If you are interested in presenting on one of the new features in Revit 2014, (Arch, MEP or Struct flavor) check out our LinkedIn group and send us a message. Not on LinkedIn, simply post a comment here or shoot us an e-mail
We will also be covering some of the ever developing details of how the group will function from an organizational standpoint.
We also encourage all of you to create an AUGI account (if you don't have one already), and navigate to the St. Louis Revit Group page in the Local Users Groups section of the site and become a member of our Group. This site will be utilized to post upcoming events, post handouts for download from our meetings and we even have our own forum to post questions, comments and suggestions to other members of our group. Let's take advantage of this great resource that AUGI has provided for us!
I will update this post as additional details for the meeting are developed.  Pass the word on to all of your colleagues and lets make the first meeting a great success!!

Pre-Launch Happy Hour - Recap

The Pre-Launch Happy Hour Event held at the Moonrise Hotel last night was a great success!  Thank you to all who came out to show your interest in the St. Louis Revit Users Group.  I personally had a great time catching up with some old friends and making some new ones!  Just based on the sign in form, we had approximately 40 people in attendance, however I believe we had more than that. (maybe it was just the drinks. LOL)  This was a great start for our group and I was excited to hear the enthusiasm for this group from the people that I got a chance to talk to.
I would like to personally thank the Moonrise Hotel for being such gracious hosts for this event.  I would also like to thank John D. Lark of John Lark and Associates, Steve O'Rourke and Marc Lopata of Microgrid Solar and Jim Sauer and Bill Ferebee of Fixture Contracting for their time to conduct the tour of the wonderful new Moon Room at the Rooftop Terrace Bar.  What a great space and a great project!
I also have to give a big shout out and a huge thank you to the wonderful guys and gals of the St. Louis Revit Steering Committee. (Brian Myers, Melanie Perry, Brok Howard, Ellen Smith, Pamela Beard and Bruce Johnson)  Without the influence, direction and ideas from these folks, STLRUG would still just be an idea and a dream of mine.

There are great things in store for this group, so get involved, volunteer and share your ideas and lets make this a great Revit Users Group ran by Revit users and for Revit users!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

STLRUG Pre-Launch Networking Happy Hour Event

Here we go everyone!! We are one step closer to our first official St. Louis Revit Users Group meeting! The Steering Committee has met several times, we have a few sponsors in place and we have a preliminary draft of the by-laws for the group.  We are planning on having our first meeting in mid July.  In anticipation of that event the Committee is planning a pre-launch networking happy hour event on Friday May 10th, 2013.  The event will be held at the Rooftop Terrace Bar at the Moonrise Hotel in the Delmar Loop from 5:30-7:00 pm.  One of the primary functions of the User Group is to develop relationships with other Revit users in the community. This event is meant to be a time where we can start that networking process and meet the people in the amazing companies that have agreed to sponsor our Group.  What better way to wind down from a long work week? Please plan on joining us for a drink and some networking!  This is a non-sponsored event, so drinks are not provided, but I vow to buy a drink for at least three people, so look me up!!!  Hope to see you there!  In the event of inclement weather, we will utilize the indoor Eclipse Bar Louge area for the event.

UPDATE:  The Happy Hour networking event will also include a tour of the newly opened Moon Room at the Rooftop Terrace Bar!!  This tour will be conducted by the architect and engineer who worked on the project, as well as some Hotel staff. We will also be joined by the St. Louis Young Architects Forum group for the tour and our networking event!!

You can see more details and RSVP for the event here:

Monday, April 08, 2013

STLRUG Revit Tips - Revit Tip #1 - Revit Interface

In anticipation of the launch of the St. Louis Revit Users Group, I have decided to post a few tip sheets that I have created.  These tips are not some amazing new Revit technique, but rather some basics to help some of our beginner level Revit Users get more familiar with the interface and some of the basic commands and functions within Revit.  I will try to post one of these a week from now until we relaunch the Users group hopefully sometime in June.  By the way, we are planning on reviewing the new features of Revit 2014 for our first STLRUG meeting.  We are discussing doing this in a Pecha Kucha format.  For those of you who don't know what that means (like me when I first heard it), it means 20 slides presented for 20 seconds each.  This means that we can cover each new feature in 6 minutes and 40 seconds.  If you are interested in presenting on one of the new features in Revit 2014, check out our LinkedIn group and send me a message.  Not on LinkedIn, simply post a comment here or shoot me an e-mail.

And now on to Tip #1 - The Revit Interface

Revit Interface
This tip is designed to help you understand the different parts of the Revit User Interface.  By learning these terms it will help us all communicate better when discussing Revit. Instead of you saying “When I click on the thing-a-ma-gig…”, you would say “When I click on the Floor Tool…”,  or when I tell you to “Look on the Annotate Tab, Detail Panel and click…” you will understand what I am talking about.  Below you will find a labeled screen capture of the Revit Interface and a legend with the names of the parts of the interface.  These interface parts are the same regardless of what variety of Revit you use.  (Arch, MEP or Struct)  Below the images you will find a brief description of the pieces of the interface and the information available on those pieces as well as some tips on how to use them.  This is meant to be a high level overview of the interface, so I encourage you to explore the interface for yourself and become familiar with what is available and where you can find it. 

 Typical Revit Interface

1)    Revit Application Menu – Allows access to commonly used commands: New, Open, Save and Print.  This is also where you access the export dialog in order to export your project to numerous 2D and 3D formats.  Licensing information is also managed from here as well as Publishing content to Autodesk Seek.  Other functions of the Application Menu include: Access to your main Revit Options dialog and accessing Recently viewed families and projects.

2)    Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) – Allows you to create a group of frequently used tools into one selection area. Right-clicking on any Tool in one of the Tabs allows you to add items to the QAT.  Customize your QAT with Tools that you find yourself using consistently. Your QAT settings are saved under your user name and can be transferred from computer to computer. (More on that in a later Tip)  Clicking the small, down-facing arrow at the far right of the QAT allows access to further customization of the QAT including grouping and removing commands. You also have the option to show the QAT below the ribbon.

3)    Tabs – Group Tools together based on their functionality within Revit.  The Tabs are different in all flavors of Revit (Arch, MEP and Struct) because of different functions, but some like Home, Manage, Collaborate and View are consistent in all. Some Add-Ins to Revit will also add additional Tabs to the interface.

4)    Contextual Tab – Contextual Modify Tabs are contextually revealed as an addition to the Modify Tab when specific elements are selected or when certain Tools are engaged. Contextual Tabs turn green in color when active and available Tools for the Contextual Tab appear at the far right of the Modify Ribbon. If the green Contextual Tab is active then either something is selected or a Tool is engaged and awaiting input.

5)    InfoCenter – This is where you can access the online Revit WikiHelp files to search for assistance on a topic.  You can also access the Subscription Center and Communications Center from the InfoCenter.

6)    Ribbon – The Ribbon contains all of the Tools for designing and documenting a project in Revit. It consists of Tabs, Panels and Tools.  Clicking the up-facing arrow at the end of the Tabs allows you to minimize the Ribbon to just Tabs, Panel Titles or Panel Buttons.

7)    Options Bar – Is a contextually sensitive area that provides feedback and options for Tools that are being used or objects that are selected.  Options vary for each type of Tool or object selected. Always check the Options Bar when using a Tool as some Options will hold their last used setting.  The Options Bar provides added or enhanced functionality to basic object creation Tools as well as Modify Tools.

8)    Panel – Panels identify areas of Tools grouped by functionality in the Ribbon.  Panels can be pulled out of the Tabs and placed on screen so they remain available while using other Tabs. Simply drag the panel from the Ribbon and place on screen where you desire. To return Panel to its original location, click the small down arrow that is in the upper portion of the right grey bar in the Panel that was moved.

9)    Tool – Tools are all the “commands” that Revit uses to create model and annotation objects as well as access all the additional settings and dialog boxes that are available to the Revit user. If a Tool has a small down-facing black arrow under the text, then it contains additional Tools similar in nature as a Flyout Tool.  Flyout Tools appear below the Tool when you click the small black arrow.

10)  Project Browser – The Project Browser is a project tree of all the views, legends, schedules, sheets, families, groups and links in the current Revit Project. This is your main control to change from view to view, or explore sheets or see what families or links are loaded into your project.  The Project Browser can also be filtered and grouped into folders based on a number of user-defined parameters. (This will also be covered in a future Tip) You collapse or expand the Project Browser by clicking the + or – icons. The Project Browser can also be undocked and moved to a different part of the screen if desired. (or a completely different screen in dual monitor environments)

11)  Properties Palette – The Properties palette contains all of the instance parameters of the object you are currently working on.  Whether it is view, an object, an annotation symbol or a Sheet, most items in Revit have some form of instance parameters that can be modified through the Properties palette.  You can also access the Type Selector, filter properties and Type parameters from the Properties palette.  The Properties palette can also be undocked and moved to a different part of the screen if desired. (or a completely different screen in dual monitor environments)

12)  Drawing Area – The drawing area is the window into your design space.  You can have many “views” or windows open at one time. These “views” which could include schedules, floor plans, Sections, Sheets, drafting views, etc., are where you actually model and document your project. Windows can be tiled (keyboard shortcut: WT) or cascaded (keyboard shortcut: WC) so you can see what “views” you have open and quickly toggle between them. (Ctrl+Tab toggles between views)

13)  Status Bar – The Status Bar provides useful information on objects that you hover above and immediate feedback on objects that you are performing a modification or operation on.  The Status Bar provides feedback with regards to snaps while you are drawing or modifying an object.  It also identifies objects that are “preselected” while hovering.  When you are trying to select objects that may be obscured under other objects you use the Tab key to cycle through the available objects during “preselection”. The Status Bar tells you which object you have highlighted while tabbing through “preselections”.

14)  View Control Bar – The View Control bar is at the bottom of every view except Sheets and is contextual based on the type of view that you are working in.  The View Control bar contains tools to control view scale (except perspective views), view Detail Level, Visual Style, Sun Path, Shadows, Temporary Hide/Isolate and Reveal Hidden Elements.  This is also where you control your visual style (Hidden Line, Wireframe, Shaded, etc.).

15)  Workset Control Bar – This bar shows what the active workset for the drawing is and provides a dropdown to change the active workset, if worksharing has been enabled.  It also provides a quick button to get to the Workset Tool/Dialog box.

16)  Design Option Control Bar - This bar shows what the active Design Option for the drawing and provides a dropdown to change the active Option Set.  It also provides a quick button to get to the Design Option Tool/Dialog box.

17)  Filter Tool – This Tool gives a quick count of the objects that you have selected.  If you click on the Filter button it opens a dialog box that shows the object category and number of objects in that category for your current selection. It also allows you to clear or include, via check box, objects of a certain category to be included in the appended selection.

Please get comfortable with the names and locations of these Revit Interface items.  It will make communication and understanding of where to find the correct Tools, Objects or Views easier.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, and Happy Reviting!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Relaunch Update - January 2013

Happy New Year and welcome to 2013!!  I hope you and your families had a wonderful Holiday season!  I wanted to give you all an update on where we are with the relaunch of the St. Louis Revit Users Group.  Back before Thanksgiving last year we had our first official St. Louis Revit Users Group Steering Committee meeting.  This was a meeting of a group of Revit professionals and some of the leaders of the original Gateway Autodesk Users group to discuss ideas and topics on ways to make our group successful and exciting for all the members, as well as some of the basics of how, when and where the group will operate. The meeting was extremely productive and I am very appreciative of all the volunteers that contributed their time and ideas to this meeting.  We developed a lot of great ideas as well as a lot of additional questions that we need to answer before this group relaunches.  We all agreed that rushing this group to a relaunch before we have all of the ideas and questions answered was not a good idea, because most of the continued success of a User group is based on the excitement and interest that is generated from the first meeting.  Therefore we agreed that we would need to have a minimum of one (or more) Steeing Committee meetings before we set the date for our first official meeting. I hope to have the next Steering Committee meeting in the next few weeks which will hopefully give us a better idea when the first offical meeting might be.  We still hope to have the first official STLRUG meeting sometime in the first quarter of 2013. In the meantime, I will be updating this website to include some additional links to some great Revit resources to help this be your "one stop shop" for Revit training and support resources.  I will also be posting some of the discussion points and ideas from the Steering Committee meeting for your comments and review.  Please note too that the St. Louis Revit Users Group is officially a registered Local User Group on AUGI's website.  So as we continue to work towards a relaunch, keep checking back to the website for updates.  I will also post these updates in the LinkedIn group as I get them completed.  Let's make 2013 a great year for the St. Louis Revit community, as we continue to grow and learn together.