Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Autodesk AEC DevCamps

I spent much of last week in Wakefield, MA at the Autodesk AEC DevCamp...

While the venue and the food was somewhat weak (compared to a sales conference - go figure) - the content of the various classes was reasonably good.

Our company had 7 people attending, so we spread out among the 5 conference tracks.
In particular, I learned:

More about the Revit Certified Application process
While the SDK contains the guidelines, it's nice to hear it explained in person... At this point, nothing will be certified prior to the Revit 2009 releases, but it will be a pretty straightforward process - unless you have a structural application to certify.

Because Autodesk has done so much work with structural application integration, they have 10 additional pages of required workflow and element support to meet the certification.

I'm not sure when in the future we're going to release a retail application (which might be worth certifying) - for the moment, while we're doing custom work and promotional applets - it's not in the cards.

As always, my opinion is the biggest challenge in certification is having a good installer (in particular, one that senses the presence of the various flavors of Revit and offers to install into any or all of them - as appropriate). We're about 1/2 way there - but it's a non-trivial bit of work.

Revit API with Revit MEP: What can be done now?
This meeting demonstrated a good number of sample applications, showing how you could make valuable automation of the MEP product just using what is already available in the API - mainly just driving parameters and modifying Family Instance types.

Examples included things such as sizing Air Terminals based on the rooms that they are supporting.

The keynote was Jay Bhatt (VP of the AEC division) talking about the building market in general, as well as the influence of Green Building and BIM on the marketplace. While I had seen a variety of the slides before in other Autodesk presentations - it was well done.

Revit Families
A great talk by Steven Campbell, a QA Analyst at Autodesk (who is really in charge of all the Revit content - at least in the US)... Steven compressed his Autodesk-internal training class (which is 2 weeks) into a little less than 2 hours... There is just so much that goes into creating good Revit families - it was great to be able to hear someone who has been doing it for 6 years elaborate on what is the right process to follow - as well as just some background on what all those special lines and planes are within the content templates.

Next Up: Manufacturing DevCamp next week.

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