ACA2009 – Check your OSNAPZ variable

You might think that because ACA2009 locks your elevation when drawing walls that your wall cleanup issues are gone…unfortunately you’d be wrong. You may still benefit from the use of my vba tool written to fix non-coplanar walls from this post. Read about it if you like, but return here to get the 2009 version.

When using AutoCAD Architecture 2009 you’ll want to maintain a consistent setting for OSNAPZ when tracing non-coplanar lines as you turn them into walls. Take a look at the graphic shown below for an example of what can happen under different conditions.

  1. The walls drawn on the left side are drawn when the view orientation is set to top. OSNAPZ is set to zero.
  2. The walls shown right are drawn based on a copy of the same underlying linework, but OSNAPZ is set to 1.
  3. The walls shown immediately on the right under each group use the “Apply tool to linework” option from the walls tool on the design palette. Note: This tool doesn’t care what the OSNAPZ variable is set to. It seems to default to OSNAPZ = zero.

Three different results from the same tool. It always comes down to consistent user interaction. Be aware of how the software works and you can fix these problems easily. Download the ACD2009 version of my VBA macro for fixing non-planar walls here: ACA2009_Walls2_CommonPlane.dvb

Note: OSNAPZ variable had no effect when using the “Apply tool to linework” tool.

IES VE-Ware, Building Energy Analysis for Revit 2009

Those of you who did not visit Boston this week may have missed the release of IES VE-Ware for Revit 2009. Interested in determining the carbon footprint for your designs? Visit IES website and download a copy of their FREE offering.

It sounds really easy! I’ve included the step-by-step guide to using IES’s VE-Ware as published in the news release:

  1. Insert geometry data
  2. Tell it where your building is in the world
  3. Define your: building type construction materials heating and cooling system types room types
  4. Press a button – automatic detailed thermal simulation is performed for you
  5. Get output on: energy consumption CO2 emissions US benchmark against the 2030 Challenge
  6. You can then easily modify your building and assess different options

More info…

IES’s VE-Ware, which is available to download for free online, gives
limited but incredibly valuable access to its world leading Apache thermal analysis software. New and existing buildings can
now have their energy and carbon emissions easily assessed for free.

Autodesk Seek Web Service is Live

I stumbled across the Autodesk Seek web service as I was investigating the changes to Revit 2009 user interface. When I saw the ubiquitous search tool that had appeared on the options bar, I clicked it to see what it did. Autodesk Seek is a search engine that aggregates available content from various sources on the web and brings the results back in a filtered, intelligent interface. Using the tool is easy and straightforward. You can either browse to the site and perform your search directly or launch it from within the Revit 2009 interface by entering a search term in the content search box and clicking the magnifying glass icon as shown in the image shown to the left.

Once you click you are taken to the main page which performs the search displaying a loading progress indicator.

After completing the search, the results are displayed in the main window located to the lower right of your browser. If you wish to further filter the results by manufacturer, filetype, category, etc. you can perform these refinements by clicking on the filters available in the filter column located on the left of the browser window.

You can also refine your search by filetype by clicking on the filetype selector located at the top of the browser and choosing what file type you are interested in.

The entire online catalog of Revit Families are available through this new mechanism. Other content types include Sketchup (*.skp), AutoCAD (*.dwg), word (*.doc), and adobe (*.pdf) documents. Hopefully, manufacturers and the rest of the industry will find this tool useful and open up their collections to be “discovered” by this new web service.

Personalize the BIM Talk widget…its easy!

Got a quick question or suggestion for me when you’re visiting this blog? Why not personalize the BIM Talk widget when you find me online? I would like to know who you are…although its not necessary, it is rather easy! You can click on the nickname displayed on the Meebo me widget and edit it to display your actual name or a nickname of your own choosing. Take a look at the the following screen grabs for more info.