Dialog Box February 2007

31 Jan, 2007 By: Cadalyst Staff

Readers have their say.

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Cadalyst Dialog Box

Managing the Change to 3D
After reading CAD Manager's Q&A (January 10 edition of Robert Green's CAD Manager's Newsletter), my reaction is: Man, you are soooooo lucky to have management actually wanting to spend money and move to 3D. My guys are modeling in SketchUp and producing construction documentation in LT 2004! I tried to get the powers that be to take advantage of Autodesk's cut-rate deal on upgrading to Revit Series Building (expired on December 15, 2006) so that whatever was modeled in 3D translated directly to working drawings. "Oh no, we can't afford that," they said. But it seems they can afford to make 12 versions of a single building in SketchUp, where all you get is pretty pictures for the client but no real useful data that translates into production information. Luddites!
—Ron Cogar, Faversham, United Kingdom

My upper management team got excited about Revit and we jumped into it right away. The owner started telling clients we were using Revit before I had the software in my hands. The following great advice is taken from James J. Balding's Introducing and Implementing Autodesk Revit Building and needs to be given to the powers that be in your organization in advance: "The Oversell: Avoid selling all of the benefits of Revit to clients prior to actually having a few projects under your belt. Be certain that the firm can deliver on promises. Avoid repeating vendor marketing promises without in-house verification." I couldn't convince the management here to take smaller steps into this venture. They have accepted several projects that are to be modeled in 3D. The CAD department is scrambling to get up to speed. May the force be with us.

—Kelly Thibodeaux, Austin, Texas

Editor's note: You'll also want to check out past editions of Cadalyst's AEC Tech News e-newsletter by Scott Mackenzie for more information about transitioning to BIM. View the archives and subscribe on

BIM and the U.S. GSA
What's notable about BIM and the U.S. GSA (1-2-3 Revit tutorial, January 2007) is that Autodesk is finally being forced to adopt a data format not of its own making -- and an open standard to boot. One hopes that this move by the GSA and other government agencies marks an end to the DWG era or at least the beginning of the end. Revit is a good program and will do fine in the marketplace without the need for a proprietary file format. There are other good applications as well, and the industry will benefit from the increased competition that will result from ending the monopoly created by the shameful, government-sanctioned designation of the closed DWG file format as the standard for data exchange.

—Geoff Briggs, Seattle, Washington

It's worth mentioning that Revit Building isn't the only Autodesk application that can exchange object data through IFC format for BIM-compliant project delivery. Architectural Desktop and Building Systems have had that ability since 2001. Furthermore IFC was, prior to the serious GSA involvement, treated by Autodesk as a stepchild, and the only AEC software platform supporting BIM methodology that was built around core IFC functionality is Graphisoft's Archicad. Revit is a good product that is still a few releases from full maturity, and it would be fair to indicate that not everyone should embark on a shopping bonanza while their existing software platforms are quite capable of delivering BIM content, where the emphasis is on the information versus spiffy GUI.

—Tomislav Zigo, St. Louis, Missouri

How Do You Save Time?
When using SolidWorks, the biggest, most widespread time saver probably is the use of keyboard hot keys. I was once told by a veteran user that he didn't need to use hot keys because he already knew where all the toolbar buttons were.

Okay, fine, but there's no way you can click in the graphics area and then accelerate the mouse in the proper direction, home in on the icon, decelerate and click the icon in as short of a time as I can press a key that is already sitting under my finger. Just can't be done!

He threw down the challenge gauntlet, and I certainly accepted that one! Duel we did, and win I did -- handsomely, I might add. Did I receive the acknowledgment from him of the clear-cut victory? No, only a harrumph. But I knew.

—Wayne Tiffany, CSWP
Automatic Systems, Kansas City, Missouri

Nice New Look for Cadalyst
I just wanted to let you know that the new layout of Cadalyst magazine is wonderful. It's sleek, clean and light. The use of colors and the lowercase titles are fresh and inviting. Everything is very easy on the eye. This new magazine is well put together and great looking. Congratulations. Keep up the good work!

—Ray Mendoza, Genlyte Controls, Dallas, Texas

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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