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Thinking of making some add-ons to sell... Got a moment for some feedback?

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    Thinking of making some add-ons to sell... Got a moment for some feedback?

    Hey everyone! We've written some in-house tools to make it easier for us to go from Revit to the CNC. We've also made one that helps randomize things that I used in the DesiginSlam. We're already thinking of making those available to everyone either via purchase (the CNC tool) or for free.

    My programmer friend and I are getting more excited about making Revit tools, and have a few ideas we'd like to float to the community to see if we're on the right track or not. I've posted a poll here of the 'top three' we're thinking about doing. They are all things I think we'd use in-house, but that others might find useful too.

    #1 is a better 3D exporting tool for Revit that would export, say, .OBJ files with materials intact, so that you can use other 3D tools with Revit models.

    #2 is a issue-tracking tool for Revit. Think of the pop-up notes in Excel that show up when you mouse-over a cell, Navisworks issues, or the 'hack' that some people do using placeholder Masses or Schedule entries with Shared Parameters. You'd be able to track issues within the Revit model to help coordinate teams working together or to track CM issues on elements within the model.

    #3 is a 'grease pencil' for Revit. Like the same feature in Blender, it would allow one to 'sketch' on a layer of 'trace' over the top of any view within Revit. It would be useful for early design & for quick redlines.

    Which would you want the most?

    If you could take a moment to let me know what you think that would be really, really awesome.

    Thanks everyone!
    30
    A .OBJ and other 3D exporting tool
    30.00%
    9
    A project issue tracking tool 'built into' Revit
    26.67%
    8
    A 'Grease Pencil' tool for drawing over the top of views
    40.00%
    12
    These are all stupid, and I don't need any of them.
    3.33%
    1
    Jeffrey McGrew
    Architect & Founder
    Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
    Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!

    #2
    Jeffrey,
    1 & 3 sound really interesting. I don't know if it is possible, but one thought that comes to mind with #3 is an enabler that takes the view and pipes it to an iPad, then brings the iPad sketch back to Revit. I think much of the underlying framework stuff already exists, it is just a matter of tying it all together. Could be sweet. Could be a ton of work for a niche market of fanbois too.

    And you may want to look at what Newforma is doing with regards to Project Information Management, if you haven't already. If nothing else, doing something that very intentionally targets the small offices that aren't going to be deploying Newforma might be a good move.

    Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing the results.
    Gordon
    Pragmatic Praxis

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Gordon Price View Post
      And you may want to look at what Newforma is doing with regards to Project Information Management, if you haven't already. If nothing else, doing something that very intentionally targets the small offices that aren't going to be deploying Newforma might be a good move
      Newforma is interesting; however it's still a very 'traditional' approach that's somewhat assuming a traditional relationship between people working within a Revit model. It's very much still a document management toolset (and mindset). It's also, as you say, focused on managing information for a larger firm, whereas I'm thinking more about 'grassroots' bottom-up 'organic' management.

      The issue I'm thinking about is the next generation. For example, we all work in Revit here. I need to 'redline' something to hand off to a helper. If I could just tag things within the Revit model that I see as issues that need attention that would be better than printing/exporting something out and drawing over the top of it.

      I'd like to, say, flag a gutter and say something like "This gutter is a placeholder that I put here from the default library. Someone needs to review it's attachment points & spec an actual product next".

      It's more like a bug database for software development than a "PIM" like Newforma.

      Looking at a BIM model it can sometimes look done even though it's far from done. We currently track some data like this using Shared Parameters and View Filters to see what status things are in. I'd like to make that process more automatic and easy, for what we do now isn't that accessible to non-expert users and is a little slow...
      Jeffrey McGrew
      Architect & Founder
      Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
      Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!

      Comment


        #4
        Jeffrey,
        totally agree with you. My sense is that Newforma is attacking the entrenched workflow of large offices, where a PA or PM is not a Revit user, but is willing to use a decent markup tool that pushes their markup back into Revit. Basically competing with DWF/Design Review. A true BIM based in Revit markup tool would not fly with that "I manage the project, I don't draft" mind set but would be great in the smaller, faster learning/moving offices where people understand managing the project is managing the model, at least certain aspects of it. In my office I could see the PM using NewForma, while the Job (Revit) Captains use something like you are thinking to direct the team. I can also see it being useful as a QA markup tool for BIM Managers. It would be especially good if there was tracking and validation. SO the BIM Manager could comment in the DD Kickoff QA review that "all these split faces gotta go" and then come back to see if someone did and logged that they did? Is that what you are thinking with regards to "issue tracking" capabilities?

        Gordon
        Pragmatic Praxis

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Gordon Price View Post
          I can also see it being useful as a QA markup tool for BIM Managers. It would be especially good if there was tracking and validation. SO the BIM Manager could comment in the DD Kickoff QA review that "all these split faces gotta go" and then come back to see if someone did and logged that they did? Is that what you are thinking with regards to "issue tracking" capabilities?
          Well, maybe, yeah. I'll say yes. However, some of this hinges upon what we're able to feasibly do with our time available & the Revit API. Don't know if we'd be able to have it be so fine-grained as that. However, the thought is very much to make it more like a software development workflow, in that there are 'bugs' that can be 'tracked' and 'logged' as being done. Burndown rates ho!

          But you're right: it's a tool for helping those putting the model together to do it better, and to help from a paper/sheet centric production workflow to a more model-based one.
          Jeffrey McGrew
          Architect & Founder
          Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
          Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!

          Comment


            #6
            1 and 3, and while you are at it, how about selection tools similar to 3ds max. A select random panels tool by percentage or numbers would be great. Or how about a tool that ads the number of bricks along a dimension string. (not sure if that's common in the USA).

            Comment


              #7
              This is very short-sighted. If you're gonna do something, then do it up right:

              1) Take all of the great stuff in Revit.
              2) Fix all the nasty little problems.
              3) Add cutesy little apps & tools that we can all marvel at.
              4) Call it JEFFIT


              Comment


                #8
                5) Port it to Mac and call it iJeffit!

                Gordon
                Pragmatic Praxis

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Andrew P View Post
                  1 and 3, and while you are at it, how about selection tools similar to 3ds max. A select random panels tool by percentage or numbers would be great. Or how about a tool that ads the number of bricks along a dimension string. (not sure if that's common in the USA).
                  That's a great idea Andrew! Thanks for that. We've already made a tool like this for randomizing parameter values within a given range of values or percentages. Should be hard to extend that tool to selection sets as well. It really should do both, as in just help to randomize anything handed to it within a 'curated' range.

                  However I'd love it if Autodesk would add the Max-like 'select only (thing)' style filter selection abilities to Revit. There's lots of times that I only want to be able to pick walls, or views, or annotation. That little pull-down in Max is one of the few things I really like about Max.
                  Jeffrey McGrew
                  Architect & Founder
                  Because We Can, a Design-Build Studio
                  Check out our new sister company Model No. making sustainable 3D printed furniture!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Obviously I love the idea of the "grease pencil" tool (since I recently started a thread looking for just such a tool).

                    It literally yesterday afternoon doing a schematic presentation to clients, and we're all looking at a revit model on the big screen tv, and you can just feel the frustration of everyone not knowing what to do with themselves - they want to DRAW on the model!

                    Comment

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