Thursday, January 19, 2012

DWF Commenting & Revit

DWFs, if you haven't heard of them, are Autodesk's answer to PDFs.  They are a way to digitally publish your drawings in a format that is optimized for CAD and BIM output.  The best part is that anyone with a computer (or and iPad) can view, comment and even take dimensions and areas from your drawings for free using Autodesk Design Review software. 

One of the nicest features of DWFs is that any comments done on the file in Design Review can be loaded right into the same view or sheet in Revit.  This means that a project manager with no knowledge of Revit can go and mark-up a full set of drawings.  The team can then load the comments directly into the project in Revit. The video below will give you a better idea of the workflow.  And no, that is not my accent.

Basically, the way I see this working is as follows:
  1. One person on the team is charged with making a DWF set of the documents to the same location daily before he or she leaves for the day.
  2. Project managers can at any time go to where they know the current DWF of the drawings will be.  If they have any comments to add, they can save the DWF with a new name, make their comments and inform the team of the new DWF.
  3. The team will then load the DWF comments into Revit.  In Revit they can make the necessary changes and update the DWF comment status.  When they save the project, Revit will automatically save the DWF comments and the project manager can go back at any time and verify the comments were picked up.
Try this out on your next project and let me know how it goes.  We could even be sending DWFs directly to clients for review and commenting in Design Review. 

Wondering if you have Autodesk Design Center on your computer?  Go to "Start > All Programs > Autodesk" and look for "Autodesk Design Review 2012".  If it isn't there just email support and ask to have it installed.

Happy Commenting.

Revit AutoCaps & New Shortcuts

There is a new little program that will soon be coming to a project near you.  Basically when you run the shortcut script for your project a small program will get started along with the workshare monitor.  The program adds a sort of "autocaps" feature to Revit as well as adds a few shortcuts you can't add in the default keyboard settings.  You will know it is running when you see the little orange WHW icon (see the image below) show up in your task manager.

Basically the program acts like autocaps in Autocad.  It senses when you are in a text field or a schedule in Revit and automatically turns on caps lock.   Because you may not always want caps lock to be on in schedules, you can turn it off by right clicking the icon and de-checking "Caps In Schedule".  The program adds a few other features such as a shortcut for saveas.  Click on "Help" in the same menu for more information.

I'm looking for beta testers if anyone is interested and doesn't mind a few glitches.  If this is you, lync me or shoot me an email.  Things are pretty solid right now, but you never know.