AEC Tech News (#252)

14 Jul, 2009 By: various

Cadalyst Labs Review
Revit Architecture 2010

Look beyond the controversial ribbon interface and you'll find some great improvements, including gradient backgrounds, local file creation, conceptual design tools, and a flexible API.

By Patrick Davis

If you've read other reviews about Revit Architecture 2010 or some of the other Autodesk 2010 products, you're aware that they have introduced a Microsoft Office-style ribbon user interface (UI). In the case of Revit, this major change has elicited outcry from many users and has overshadowed many of the other updates in the product. Indeed, there's a lot to discuss about this new UI, and I'm eager to share my impression of it.

What's New in 2010
Before I get into a discussion about the new ribbon-style UI in Revit Architecture 2010, let's first take a look at several of the other new and noteworthy features in this version.

Gradient backgrounds. InIn Revit Architecture 2010, you can add a background gradient color to 3D views to create some additional depth. Gradient Background is a new option in 3D views under View Properties / Graphic Display Options / Background. Checking this toggle allows you to define a Sky Color, Horizon Color, and Ground Color. These settings allow you to create a gradient that will blend between the ground or sky color and the horizon color. It's a great addition. Support for elevation views would make it even better.

Filter by view type. Users now can filter views by type. This ability allows you to create a view template to exercise more control over which views are displayed, such as working views (sections, elevations, and details) that are turned off in a sheet view. You also can create a filter that can hide detail symbols in an elevation view but not in a detail view. There's a lot of functionality in this feature

Local file creation. Revit Architecture 2010 provides a process for creating local files on projects that are using work sets. At first glance, this feature might seem minor and unnecessary. However, if you're involved in BIM management, you know that local file creation or the lack thereof is a major issue for some users. In Revit Architecture 2010, when you open a project file, the application will check to determine if you are opening a central, local, or stand-alone project. If you are opening a central file, Revit will create a local copy automatically in your default user file path location. If a local copy already exists, Revit Architecture provides an option to overwrite the existing file or append a timestamp to the existing filename. I particularly like the the ability to append a timestamp to the existing file to create an archive copy.  Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Patrick Davis is a BIM manager for HNTB in Kansas City, MO. He has been a Cadalyst contributor since 1998 and also serves on the board of the Kansas City Revit Users Group.



CAD System Configuration Tips for Windows Vista 64

By Robert Green

In the last "CAD Manager's Toolbox," I answered some basic questions about using Windows Vista 64-bit operating systems. I wanted to continue the topic in this installment by sharing some configuration tips that I've found handy.

New Is Better
Although old machines might have to serve us for a while, 64-bit operating systems make a lot more sense on newer machines that have faster multiple-core architectures and modern chipsets that have been developed and tested in 64-bit operating system environments .

My rule of thumb is that you should buy new machines with 64-bit operating systems preinstalled as you phase out old machines and 32-bit operating systems.
Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


Webinar: Everything You Need for Large-Format Scanning
Through July 21, 2009
11 a.m. ET
During this webinar from Contex Americas, learn about the newest Contex scanning technology and scanning software, as well as the best ways to manage and access your scanned drawings. Read more »

Workshop: Implementing AutoCAD Civil 3D 101
July 22, 2009
Portland, Oregon
In this seminar, Ideate's civil engineers will share their best practices for implementing Civil 3D within an organization. Read more »

Revit MEP Hands-on Test Drive
July 22, 2009
Portland, Oregon
Ideate is hosting a free Revit MEP test drive, designed as a first look at this program. If you are considering moving to Revit, this is your chance for a hands-on experience with the software. Read more »

Webinar: Working with Large-Format Scanned Drawings
Through July 23, 2009
4 p.m. ET
Once you scan your large-format drawings, what solutions and processes make it easy to edit, manage, and collaborate? See a sampling of products in this webinar from Contex Americas. Read more »

Summer Series: Splash into Futurecasting
Through August 11, 2009
Various dates and times.
For six weeks this summer, FIATECH is hosting webinars to share its tips and trends. The series looks at future forecasts in energy, economics, cities, organizations, and technologies that affect the lifecycle of capital projects. Read more »

Autodesk University 2009

December 1-3, 2009
Las Vegas, Nevada
Make plans now to attend Autodesk University 2009. The annual AU User Conference and Exhibition brings together thousands of Autodesk users, instructors, and partners to learn and network. Registration opens August 12. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on


What’s New at


Circles and Lines AutoCAD Tutorial: A PDF Wish Comes True!
Lynn Allen shows how turning an AutoCAD DWG into a PDF has never been easier, thanks to improvements in version 2010. Read more

CAD Management in a Continuing Recession, Part 1
Learn how to protect your job in the current economic downturn. Read more

Lay Down the Law on CAD Standards, Part 3
Take a diagnostic quiz and learn how to tackle problems related to standards and training. Read more

Should You Upgrade to Windows Vista 64? (CAD Manager's Toolbox)
Operating system offers benefits for some environments, but not all. Read more

About the Author: various

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