Friday, December 01, 2006

Extreme Architecture with Inventor and Revit: You too can be Frank Gehry

One of the most interesting presentations I saw at AU this year was Autodesk's Lisa Brady, showing how Autodesk Inventor (a primarily manufacturing tool) could be used with Revit to generate both complex architectural massing shapes - as well as everyday content.

The key is the use of the ACIS SAT file as an intermediate format - as well as Revit's ability to take all kinds of massing elements and build walls and curtain systems on any face. While Revit is capable of modeling these kinds of things natively - it's certainly far, far harder than what you can do with Inventor.

See my example below:

Content Creation
Lisa also showed how to create Revit Family Content in Inventor... The trick is again to create a 3D SAT file of a part or assembly. In the case of an assembly, the SAT file made a trip thru AutoCAD - because Inventor has a strange layering convention, you need to change it to a set of DWG solids in order to place the solids onto layers. The layers, in turn, are used inside of Revit to assign different materials in the family.

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