Thursday, July 26, 2007

Modeling a Built-Up Roof in Revit Architecture 2008

OK. I'm offishully an idiot. A bigger idiot, even, than George Castanza.

Some time back I listed my top three favorite features of Revit Architecture 2008 and they did not include the new slab modification tools. I figured what the heck good were they if you couldn't edit one side of the slab independently of the other?

So... if you're not as big an idiot as I am, read no further (and after that last statement, you'll know if you're as big an idiot as me). If you ARE an idiot like me, keep reading.

Turns out I was wrong - OH, so wrong. The worst part of it is, it's plainly stated in the New Features Workshop: "Slabs also have an additional parameter to create material layers with Variable thickness. When this is active, the non-variable will remain the same thickness throughout the slab while the variable layer will adjust accordingly based on the slope."

DOH! It's so blazingly simple! Try this (note: I'm assuming that you are using the default Revit template or a derivative thereof):

Create a roof by footprint. Using the line tool, draw a rectangular shape and make it a flat roof. Set the roof properties to use the type "Steel Truss - Insulation on Metal Deck - EPDM".

Edit the roof type properties and select the "Edit" button next to "Structure". For the 2nd row down (the "Insulation/Thermal Barriers - Rigid Insulation" material), place a check mark in the "Variable" column as in the image below.

Select "OK" to exit all dialogs.

That's the key.

Now select the roof and use the "Draw Points" tool in the options bar (shown below), to create a single point in the middle of the roof. Set the elevation to a value like -3".

That's it. You're done. Cut a section through the roof and take a look. Only the insulation material should be modified.

How easy is that? Do you feel as stoopid as I do? Good. Come join the rest of us. We meet every Wednesday at 7 PM. Bring a covered dish (with food, stoopid!).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm Off for New Mexico!

I'm heading for Boy Scout Camp Wehinahpey (sp?), near Cloudcroft New Mexico, this week. My very good friend and fellow Scout Leader, Bo Jackson, and I are taking our boys and seven other stalwart young Scouts from our troop to summer camp in the southern Rocky Mountains.

Originally I was supposed to do a backpacking trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness (Montana Bear Country) with the older boys this summer, but due to circumstances beyond my control (long story)... not gonna happen this year. I did, however, get my hair buzzed in empathy with my friends who are leaving for that trek tomorrow...

The Bob will still be there in a few years when I'll have the opportunity to do it again. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a week in New Mexico :-). No phones, no TV, no internet.

I may not come back, actually...

(You know the really sad thing? These kids haven't even clued in to the fact that their leaders are named "Bo Jackson" and "Matt Dillon". *sigh* I hate getting old...)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Computer Ergonomics? BAH! Try Ceiling Fans!

I recently complained about computer ergonometric design. Hah! I forgot about home improvement!

I had to install a ceiling fan in my kid's room today. This was a replacement fan - the supports were already there, wiring, etc. Should have been a piece of cake, right?

HAH!!! Why, oh WHY, can't there be any standards in home construction? Why does every frikkin' house have to be different in the way that fixtures are installed? I've done lots of ceiling fans, and I always run into something, but today was an exercise in Murphy's Law. Suffice to say, I will never, EVER, buy another "Harbor View" ceiling fan as long as I live.

I don't know who they have designing these things, but they're either sadists or idiots, or possibly... (it just ocurred to me...) Al Qaeda operatives. What should have been a simple one hour job turned into a six hour "creative engineering" exercise to get the stupid thing to actually mount so that it wouldn't fall down or look like ca-ca (which would have happened had I actually used their lame instructions and parts).

The only person stupider than the invertebrate that designed this POS is me, for thinking that I could actually get a quality product with reasonable installation instructions and parts without paying for something like a Hunter...