Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Revit Development - Autodesk BIMreview

The last few years have been a great learning experience as I have had the desire and opportunity to get more involved in software add-ons. This has been primarily through the Revit platform and taking advantage of the ever expanding API. The first being the launch of the Avatech Revit Utilities, part of an ongoing collection of tools, numerous private Revit applications for firms and the creation and launch of a larger application called BIMreview.

I tend to think of working with Revit add-ins in two ways:
  • Utility - Small tools that either automates a process (done in less time) or addresses a short coming within the core program. These tend to get added to the core application in given time and have a relatively short shelf life (in most but not all cases).
  • Application - A larger, typically more complex tool that does a specific action outside of what the core application does by itself. This could be a bi-directional link to another application (ex. Sharepoint) or something like BIMreview above that has its own interface for checking and correction standards within your Revit model.
With the utilities, these are typically much shorter from concept to creation (hours to days and occassionally weeks). In the case of BIMreview being able to start with a previous idea from the manufacturing space helped to start this. Some key differences and timing played a large part to this as there are multiple emerging BIM standards that exist. Some of these are formal (ex. GSA Spatial Validation, others are less defined and vary based on what is important to the modelers, designers at each firm. The next few years are going to continue to be exciting from a technology perspective as these requirements and standards start to become better defined and the technology to automate checking and validating them to be more commonplace.

A couple of personal highlights in being involved BIMreview:
  • Initial Revit Standards creation and discussion with many people/firms (hopefully a future AU class that I will get to be part of)
  • UI Design (working to make it as intuitive as possible). Garr Reynolds has been a huge inspiration for me, and I continue to work to be better at this in presentations, design and UI's.

This journey has helped to expand my own thinking and interaction with Revit. At the same time getting deeply involved in development without letting the "cat out of the bag" too early on the larger projects has kept me from writing here (aka the Cathederal). As of June 09, 2009 BIMreview is now an Autodesk product, short overview of details here. I am looking forward to this moving forward and the team that is coming together around it. As soon as there are more public details that can be shared I will let you know.

In the meantime I am glad to get the blog here dusted off and back to being more active and if you are looking for more Revit Utilities and custom development, lets talk. :)




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