If you missed Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, you can still get valuable information on the newest releases of Autodesk products, and the latest trends and challenges facing the design industry through AU Virtual 2011, right from your desktop.

If you missed Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas, you can still get valuable information on the newest releases of Autodesk products, and the latest trends and challenges facing the design industry through AU Virtual 2011, right from your desktop. Here are our top five picks for virtual courses. Share yours below!

Are You STILL Not Using AutoCAD Civil 3D?

Steve Biver, infrastructure product line manager at Eagle Point Software, explains why he believes a company should move toward using AutoCAD Civil 3D. One benefit of AutoCAD, Biver says, is how easy it is to keep everyone consistent with CAD standards. Also, the software that most companies are using now has been retired, and it can be difficult to get licenses for new machines as well as gain support and training on outdated software. He cautions that changing an organization’s workflow to implement AutoCAD Civil 3D can be challenging; many firms try to jump in and use it like their old software. A successful implementation requires change, time and effort. There’s also a learning curve involved. Traditional training is the typical answer for implementing AutoCAD, and traditional training doesn’t work with Civil 3D. Additionally, time and money MUST be allocated to complete styles and templates, and many firms try to skip this stage with disastrous results. In order to be successful, firms need to design a plan to implement AutoCAD Civil 3D. It’s worth the hassle, Biver says; he believes AutoCAD Civil 3D can win firms more business in the long run.

AutoCAD Civil 3D: Workflow for Visualization Using Civil View and Autodesk 3ds Max Design

John Sayre, civil application leader for Applied Technology Group, demonstrates the workflow of bringing AutoCAD Civil 3D data into Autodesk 3ds Max Design using Autodesk Civil View and, from that data, building a 3D visualization of a proposed subdivision. His goal is to show that Autodesk Civil View can be used not only for roadway visualization, but also for other types of civil projects. Sayre shows users how to export geometric data from AutoCAD Civil 3D using Autodesk Civil View; import geometric data into Autodesk 3ds Max Design; apply objects such as cars, trees, light poles, signage, etc. to imported geometry; import a building from Autodesk Revit Architecture; and create fully rendered still shots and video for presentation. Sayre emphasizes that the workflow for this type of project is much the same as a roadway project, and seeing how the software works can open up other ideas of how to use Civil View to create 3D presentation.

AutoCAD Map 3D Functionality in AutoCAD Civil 3D: How to Use Geospatial Data in Civil 3D

AutoCAD Map 3D functionality is included with AutoCAD Civil 3D, but some people are unsure of how to use it and why they would need to. Seth Cohen, CAD applications specialist at CADmanage, examines the basics of using Map 3D from the user interface, tools and workspaces, and shows how surveyors and engineers can leverage Map 3D functionality for land planning, topo map creation and other applications. For example, the default workspace can be used to modify the interface to accommodate a firm’s current workflow. The Planning and Analysis workspace displays only those interface components specifically used for working with geospatial data. Map 3D also allows users to create informative, visually compelling maps using style functionality. Users can navigate through the data within any geospatial file through a data table, which allows users to search for data with the filer by option. Map 3D can import data from a variety of sources, allowing users to edit and use the geometry in Civil 3D while maintaining the attribute data that may have been created in a different software application.

Practical Tips and Tricks for Autodesk Revit MEP That I Wish Someone Taught Me on Day 1

Plamen Hristov, virtual design manager at Capital Engineering Consultants Inc., provides tips for fast drafting and getting around in Autodesk Revit MEP. He shares a number of not-very-well known shortcuts-from switching between opened views, repeating the last command and placing tee and wye fittings, to rotating objects at odd angles using the spacebar. He also describes family editor facts and secrets, starting with defining the origin parameters. From there, users can create reference planes “the right way,” he says, and let it flow from there. Hristov also shares tips and tricks for BIM managers to ensure quality drawings. (For starters, do NOT use plan regions in Revit MEP and organize your project browser with plot and work views.) Users can discover new ways of managing visibility graphics by driving the worksets of linked files globally as well as hiding individual objects from the architectural file.

Top 50 BIM Bugs and Things to Avoid

If you’re looking at getting into the BIM market, be aware that it’s an intricate process. According to Nicholas Kramer, project leader/BIM project administrator for HMC Architects, users need to know where they are going before they can plan the path to get themselves there. Kramer shares the top 50 pitfalls that can cause broken BIM models, covering all the bases from Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Navisworks, to Autodesk Quantity Takeoff.

The first subject is coordination or getting everything to work together. The needs of each project are different and change from project to project, team to team and over time. Key points include having a plan; keeping everything up to date; knowing what it takes to keep the team working together; remembering that BIM is the content, not the software; working on making BIM user friendly; and keeping track of the model.

When it comes to Autodesk Revit, Kramer says, understanding cross-discipline coordination issues is crucial. BIM is an ecosystem that relies on all parties working together; in order to achieve this goal, each party needs to know how the others work and what they need. This involves planning each project; spending time on company standards, as well as enforcing them; knowing limits; and coordinating every task.

Kramer says there are 10 things that will make or break BIM: consistency, including content and standards; planning of ownership and a schedule; communication; management of people, projects and data; compatibility of software; workflow and staying in BIM; workarounds and the effects it has on others; instant or online collaboration; getting the entire project team in BIM; and end goals.

  ---------   AU Virtual 2011 is open through Dec. 9. Registration is free and provides access to more than 200 classes as well as a video of the AU 2011 General Session Keynote.