Monday, 31 October 2011

Tekla Releases BIMsight 1.3 for AEC Collaboration

LEEDS, UK, Oct 27, 2011 - Becoming a part of the toolkit for construction professionals Tekla BIMsight continues to evolve and now offers improved collaboration tools for construction projects. As before, it is still the easiest BIM tool available for everyone in the construction industry to download and share over the Internet for FREE

Click HERE for more information and a link to download

Thursday, 27 October 2011

My First CAD Computer

Here is my first CAD computer, we wrote the CAD software in house using HP Basic and it allowed Scaffolding Great Britian Ltd to design the temporary works to a bridge on the M25 in a day rather than two weeks manually, including a full schedule of all the components required to construct the temporary works.

I also recall the delivery of the 10Mbyte hard disk and Twin 8" Floppy Disk drive arriving. A fan was fitted into the room because of the heat it all generated 

The 9845 was HP's high-end technical desktop computer of the 1970s until the introduction of the 200 Series in 1981. The 9845 was the first HP computer to incorporate a twelve-inch CRT screen. Previous computers had only one or three line screens. The large monitor of the 9845 made program debugging and program listing much more convenient. It also provided (optional) graphics display for the first time, with a resolution of 560 x 455 dots. The 9845A came standard with a built-in mini-cartridge tape drive (217K capacity). A second tape drive was optional as was a built-in thermal printer (80 characters wide, 480 lines per minute and graphics capable).

The 9845A shipped with 13K RAM standard, expandable to 62K. The computer came standard with four I/O slots and used the same interfaces as the 9825. The 9845S came standard with the additional tape drive, printer and graphics package. The 9845B replaced the 9845A in 1979. The original 9845B came standard with 56K RAM, expandable to 449K.

Click here to see this original green screen drawing the SINX/X function (file size 1.5 MB).

At the time these computers cost a fortune, later when completing my degree in Civil Engineering (1991/2) I found one at a car boot for £15 including a bag of thermal paper and 10 tapes, Ummm and it's still in my loft together with my CoCo, Spectrum, Amstrads (3No) and Tandy Model 100 etc.

For more details on this machine CLICK HERE

Here are a few more from my yester year collection that still live in the loft!.

Hours spent copying code from mags and writing your own programs with the old Spectrum.

I programmed the CoCo to "ask"  my girlfriend at the time

(made it talk)  "Will You Marry Me"

The result was she is my wife and tells everyone that I never actually
asked her to marry me, and that she has been a computer widow ever since then ;0)

The joy of having a disk drive .......I had two
I surfed the net or www before it was called the net or www with this one!

This one broke your back and looked like you were carrying a sowing machine around

Yes Mr Sugar - "Luggable" is a perfect description.

I spent an evening with Joanna Lumley after I sold her one of these, setting it up and giving some training.
She even made me a couple of cups of coffee.

Sometimes it pays to be a Computer Geek ;0)
Then on to MS Dos Machines

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Cloud is Dead Long Live the Cloud

A very interesting article over on upFront.ezine NEWS #709

My View - I will wait and see, so far I'm underwhelmed at Labs I've tried.
I guess I'm a true reflection of the results of the survey by Steve Johnson Over at blog nauseam

How do you feel about CAD in the Cloud?
Survey: 69% concerned or frightened, 31% hopeful or excited.

Ralphs' remarks that "One marketing trick that old timers like Mr Johnson and I have repeatedly lived through is the claim that the Next Big Thing is inevitable, like buying pet food over the internet."

As a fellow old timer I can relate to that ;0)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Content Packs for Revit RAC & RST2012 Update 2 Now Available

I really worry about Autodesk at times, they release Update 2 for Revit Structure without the supporting documentation which arrives two days after, then three weeks after that someone finally realises that perhaps some users install their content on a server (what a novel idea!)

So finally three days ago The Revit Clinic post the announcement below:-

The Content Packs for Update Release 2 for both Revit Architecture and Revit Structure have been posted on their respective product pages.


To update the content, extract the .cab files to the same location as your installed

Revit Architecture

Revit Structure

Come on Autodesk, put you brain in gear and try an co-ordinate this will you please, I could have done with this file weeks ago with the release of the Update not as an after thought!

6/10 Do Better!

Update Enhancement List for RST2012 - 4th Oct 2011

Revit Structure 2012 Update 2 Ready - Well Nearly! - 28th Sept 2011


Friday, 21 October 2011

Autodesk Acquires UK's MAP for MEP

Autodesk SAN RAFAEL, CA, Oct 20, 2011 - Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced that it has acquired Micro Application Packages Limited (MAP Software), a UK-based provider of CAD, CAM and estimating software that supports fabrication and construction for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) industry. MAP Software’s technology will be an important addition to the Autodesk Building Information Modeling(BIM) portfolio for MEP contractors and engineers. Terms of the transaction were not more here

Sunday, 9 October 2011

City Beneath the Waves: Pavlopetri

I've just watched this BBC 2 program, cracking use of 3D Surveying and 3D Modeling

The complex mix of expert archaeology, underwater robotics and state of the art graphics allowed the team to piece together the secrets of Pavlopetri, producing spectacular results.

Here, team from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics take us through how they worked to solve the puzzle of the city, using an autonomous underwater vehicle, the first time such technology has been used on this scale on a submerged site.

Throughout the night, the camera took stereo images under the water to judge the distance between the ruins on the sea floor. The robot captured hundreds of thousands of images, in order to build up a 3D model - allowing the team to create views that would be otherwise impossible.

The graphics team carefully built up a 3D map from the layout of the ruins and the uncovered artefacts. The final images of Pavlopetri reveal an intricate portrait of the city around 1600 BC; a city at its advanced peak.

There are a few short videos to be found on the BBC web site:-

Watch the whole program on

Friday, 7 October 2011

RAC 2012 Certification Preparation Videos


These videos automatically play, so I have linked the

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Find Bloated Families living in you Projects

Luke Johnson over at "What Revit Wants" has posted on how to find bloated families living in your projects and gives the process step by step with an example job.

Really worth bookmarking this one so thats why I've reposted here. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Update Enhancement List for RST2012


As Autodesk said a couple of days after Update 2 for Revit Structure was uploaded the Enhancement List has been posted. I can't see anything in there about all the templates being patched, what ever "Patched" actually means? as blogged about over at Revit Clinic

      Update Enhancement List (pdf - 200Kb)

Monday, 3 October 2011

The trouble with BIM over at AEC Magazine

Published 01 October 2011
Written by Martyn Day   

With the UK Government now mandating the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) on its future projects, the AEC industry is facing sweeping changes in long established processes and collaboration practices. Martyn Day looks at the challenges of moving to BIM.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has had a lot of hype over the years, yet the industry has been slow to change or adopt this new technology. It is estimated that as few as 10 percent of firms in the UK construction industry use BIM software on their projects. This compares to approximately 60 percent in the USA.

While those in the private sector still have complete control over their choice of design methodology, the decision to enforce BIM on government infrastructure and building projects will force many firms to invest in new training and software. Without this they will not be included in future government contracts. This is without doubt an industry transformative decision. …………. more

Thanks to David Light for bringing it to our attention

Click here to read more of this very interesting, level headed, well written and thought provoking article on BIM

Sunday, 2 October 2011

AEC (UK) BIM Standard Launched for Bentley Building

KEYNSHAM, UK, Sep 30, 2011 - Today sees the launch of the latest document in the AEC (UK) portfolio: the AEC (UK) BIM Standard for Bentley Building products. The standard is released to compliment the previous Autodesk Revit document, ensuring that consistent methods and approaches are available for the most common BIM authoring platforms. This Standard focuses primarily on adaptation of those standards for practical and efficient application of Bentley Architecture, Bentley Structural Modeller and Bentley Electrical and Mechanical Systems, drawing on best practice and proven workflows.

The AEC (UK) BIM Standards draw on guidelines from BS1192:2007 and other world-wide sources of BIM production methods. They do not replace, but instead to provide a practical implementation to any company seeking to adopt a working solution. Nigel Davies, chair of the AEC (UK) committee explains, “The importance of these standards cannot be underestimated. In the bigger picture of BIM development and standardization in the UK, the AEC documents are intended to align with British Standards and provide a working implementation of those codes. Our aim is to provide continual updates to align with the major initiatives taking place. Where guidance doesn’t yet exist, we help to bridge the gap between non-standardization and a unified framework.”

Of particular note in this release:-

  • Definition of BIM modeling workflows and co-ordination of collaborative working 
  • Advice on separation of modeling data, reference use and procedures
  • Workspace organization
  • Object naming recommendations
If your company uses, or is considering the adoption of Bentley’s BIM authoring tools, this document will assist you in their configuration, installation and use.

To Download the AEC (UK) BIM Standard for Bentley Building click here.

For more information, visit