What is Dynamo? Dynamo keeps coming up here and there and if you are not sure what it is or why you should be excited about it – this is for you!

Here in Archilizer we get very excited about automation but also teaching and empowering the users. Dynamo is the best tool for that. If you have ever worked with Rhino, Dynamo is for Revit what Grasshopper is for Rhino. If you haven’t – well then, you are in for a treat – Dynamo is a plug in for Revit that allows you to do what is called Visual Programming in Revit. It is essentially an accelerator for the dormant power or Revit. It allows you to program actions within the software without having to write lines and lines of unintelligible code – tailor made for architects.

Another excellent thing about Dynamo is that it is an open source software. This creates an amazing community and ever-growing library of tools. If you want to learn more about it this is the main source – http://dynamobim.org/

Because the open source provokes so much collaboration, groups and communities for collaboration naturally grow around Dynamo. One like this is the UK Dynamo User Group. The group has existed since the start of 2016 and it has had multiple meetings hosted in exciting venues like the Foster+Partners, Grimshaw Architects and Arup offices. Deyan Nenov has already contributed his experience to the group in May 2016 when he talked about the differences in various automating strategies for Revit. You can see his presentation here. And since he did a great job with that, we have been invited again – this time Katya Veleva will be speaking about her experience with non-graphic information in healthcare projects in later stages. We are all very excited! Tickets for the event can be found here.

It is a beautiful time when you dive in a project where all the consultants involved are fully BIM enabled and thirsty to make those schedules work beautifully not only for the QS, but also for your strategy drawing showing several models owned by entirely different parties!

If you spend long enough in an environment like this it is easy to forget there are still practices working hard to keep to deadlines with 2D data and endless drafting and coordination.

We spent a day at the RIBA Road Show recently and we got reminded that there are still companies needing convincing about BIM, so we thought we should ask ourselves that question again – Why BIM – it’s always good to question your fundamentals from time to time. Here are our unfiltered thoughts:

First let’s note BIM is NOT a software – Revit is not equivalent to BIM, neither is Archicad, or whatever you may want to use. BIM is a process that demands collaboration at an early stage between all the consultants at an early stage of the process. The idea is to digitally build the building before you physically do, because boy, is it cheaper to move a digital duct than it is to have to deal with that kind of thing in real physical life. I know that for many the word “cheaper” doesn’t really come in mind when you think of the software prescriptions of BIM or the amount of work that it seems to require. But trust us, the bottom line at the end of a project will show you that this is the case, you actually have spent much less time coordinating and you have saved so much on on-site issues. The work simply has moved forward in the process.

*diagram inspired by http://www.shoegnome.com

Having said that, we do have to look at the software that comes with BIM. We are big fans of Revit around here. The Archilizer team has been committed to Revit since 2009 and both of us have not been able to shut up about how amazing it is purely for drafting. This is one of our favourite videos that illustrate this in clear numbers:

Why would you ever draft in 2d?

Coordinating everything consistently and in 3D environment and including that sweet sweet non-graphic information allows accurate building analysis early! All those standards that we want to meet and overspecify for – LEED, PassiveHouse, WELL ect, – this is what can help us target them with accuracy and efficensy. Ain’t no body likes a surprise at their Air Tightness test – what an embarrassment!

Treating the information about a building as an asset is priceless in the running of the building. The BIM-FM relationship is still young, but it promises to be a love story of a life time – no “The Notebook” shenanigans, actual Michelle and Barak of steadiness and prosperity.

Having revisited our fundamental question, we are very much still into BIM and can’t wait to share our enthusiasm, especially on the last point. We are looking forward to a BIM for FM event soon and will review that soon after.

Two years since its incorporation, Archilizer has now grown and has an established client base – ready to double its size.

First, we put out heads together with some professional helpers to establish a new logo for Archilizer. We wanted our logo to be practical and minimalist and to relate to our clients in a familiar way, but most of all we were looking for something to reflect one of the main pillars of our work ethic – efficiency – we are not clickers, we are thinkers – we think up and forward!

With the new logo we felt ready to refresh our website. We wanted to choose a subtle colour scheme that can easily blend with our client’s needs, but also has a rebellious side that can be pulled out when in need of some flair. That is how we chose a set of cool greys and then kept some tangerine and sunflower oranges in our back pocket.

And last but by no means least, we are exited to introduce Katya Veleva – Archilizer’s first full-time employee. Katya hit the ground running in the start of April and has brought new experience and plenty of enthusiasm to the office. You can read more about Katya here.

Welcome to a new chapter for Archilizer.

Update: Family Editor Interface was added to the Featured App category! 

On 30 May 2016, Archilizer’s first plugin got a place in the featured apps in the Revit Store. We are really happy with this fact and we hope that now the plugin will have the chance to reach and help even more people out there!

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This is a special one for me because this is our first officially published Archilizer Plug-in! I am incredibly excited about the launch of this first digital toddler and I wish it all the luck and happy moments with its new users!

In this Plugin Review, I will go into detail of what the plugin does and where to download it from but first, let me give you a few words about the process of submitting a plugin to the Autodesk Plugin Store, as this might be interesting to the few of you who are thinking of sharing their programmatic work with the world. Having been through the process once, I would dare to say that it might be easier the next time around, however for a first timer, the venture sure was intimidating. In a sense, writing the plugin itself was the easier part, as following the admittedly many Autodesk sources was actually a challenge.

Your first action, after creating an account in the App Store website, is to go to the following link, read through the text and head to the bottom of the page, where you will see a little matrix with video tutorials. Watch those at least a few times. No go back and read the text again. Once you’ve gained enough courage, start the procedure of launching a new plugin and refer to the above resources as you need. Every single bit of the process can take a lot of resources. Personally, I would recommend outsourcing the logo design, because even for a seasoned graphics pseudo-designer as myself, I ended up producing a crappy logo with an even crappier resolution, for some yet unknown reason (this will be the first thing that I will be updating as well).

Challenging as it may be, don’t worry all that much. After putting everything down the way it is described, publish your work and you will have the pleasure to communicate with the IT Support team which will guide you through the rest of the process. It literally feels like a humanized bug removal tool. On every step of the way, they will report when they encounter a hurdle or an obstacle and make you fix it. From start to finish, the whole thing took about a month. I hope this gives you a feeling of what it’s like to publish a plugin to the Autodesk Store. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions. Now let’s get back to this plugin and see why it is so adorable!

What it does.

Family Editor Interface takes only those parameters which manipulation is useful in creating an intuitive feedback on how your family is behaving and slaps them onto a simple applet that sits quietly in your work field. The simple sliders represent the values of those parameters. They give you a meaningful range of values to play with and test the mechanics of your door, window or furniture system. The plugin is conceptualized as an interactive tool that makes the process of family creation more enjoyable. The plugin is most certainly influenced by Grasshopper, Dynamo and the like and is one of those quality-of-life add-ins which you could do without but just makes your task more pleasant.

Who is it for.

Anyone who spends enough time in the Family Editor. In my practice, enough time is the time necessary for you to create a responsive, well-parametrized family which does not break in contact with regular users. A complex family has a lot of interconnected relationships between its parameters and even for its creator it is sometimes hard to intuit the internal logic of the structure. That’s when this simple interface comes really handy, as it allows you to quickly test the functionality of all your ‘important’ parameters, or in other words, the parameters which drive the family. However, once used to this extra panel, it becomes a second nature to just check your parameters and I tend to use it even for small components with just a Width and a Height parameter.

Is it free?

It is absolutely free and if there is enough interest from the community, I will open the source on GitHub, so folks can play with it and take it in the direction they want. Meanwhile, I will be taking on board any comments and suggestion in order to make the tool as user-friendly and useful as possible.

How to use:

You can find a few short video tutorials on how this plugin is used on the publisher’s website. I would like to think that the tool is quite easy to understand and use, but if you have any suggestions, please write me in the comments section below or by contacting us.

Tips and Tricks:

Use the ‘Refresh Document’ button to quickly ‘reset’ the defaults of your parameters and incrementally reach a higher/lower value.

Try it now! Test it for free! 

You can find the Family Editor Interface in the Revit section of the official Revit Plugins Store here:

CONGRATULATIONS! ARCHILIZER’S SITE IS ALIVE!

Dear internet traveler – stop by and have a look! This is a one place stop-shop for all things architecturally computational. Or computationally architectural. Either way, if you are at least a bit like us and love architecture and at the same time feel passionate about programming, we’ll give you something that you like! After some time in the making, our own little web space is finally functional! We are still working on parts of it, so make sure to stop by regularly to check out our progress!

We’ll see you around!