Friday, August 6, 2021

Floor Plans That Suck

 G'day SkullFuckTards!

It's day 1 billion of the ongoing pandemic clusterfuck that won't ever go away because people are stupid as fuck and need their eyeballs popped out of their heads with a spoon - but I digress.

So I'm staring at yet another attempt by some dumbass to design a floor plan in what I can only assume is Revit, but the files I received were in Microstation so it's entirely possible that it's an unholy union of the two - but I'm also looking at a set of .pdfs generated from... who the fuck knows anymore - all I see is the plan having to completely regenerate every time I pan or move because they slapped hundreds of what appear to be lovingly crafted 3d mesh chairs (including a stack of them in a storage closet... for fucks sake).

I went into the .pdf to investigate why the plans that the engineer generated were showing several rooms with no doors on the second floor - as well as zero wall penetrations for windows or doors (and no room names/numbers - because 'why the fuck even care?').

At first I thought the plans had been modified (at which point I would have to figure out which ones were newer and hope to god it didn't totally fuck everything up), but then I started to realize I was looking at even more headers - because whoever the fuck did this fucking thing does not fucking grasp the fucking concept of fucking view range.

I honestly wish I had the time and energy to track down every single goddamned one of the cocksucking morons that generate these shitty floor plans and show them what I, a lowly 'dinosaur' CAD holdout/luddite was able to make them look like (i.e. - a functional set of plans where you can actually see things like... oh I don't know... 'doors' or whatever).

It's stunning the level of unnecessary detail that is provided for things like rollup doors (including like.. every goddamned bracket holding it together), but the most basic shit is completely overlooked (oh, and a column from a different level is shown in the middle of the door opening).

It's entirely possible that they simply hit their due date, and were forced to just chuck whatever shitty looking shit their shitty software shat out into the world - but it's equally possible they have eschewed things like 'good functional plans' for 'me am big smart, me 3d model man' (or some combination of the two).

In any case, their response would most likely be to drool, interspersed with various 'herps' and 'derps' about how their process (which they've allowed themselves to be coerced into using) is obviously 'superior' to the way we used to do things, because back then you had to... actually give a shit?

Seriously, almost every 'benefit' I've heard a BIMtard throw at me involves 'we don't have to do x or y anymore', basically meaning they aren't spending the time and effort to actually think about the project, and are just expecting their fancy (and expensive) software to figure it all out for them.

It's fucking embarrassing to see the state of the industry at this point - and these aren't just some shitty throw-away strip-mall projects either, these plans are being generated for large-scale commercial, industrial, government, and other types of projects - and they just look like unwashed assholes once you get past the 'ooh ahh' of how much unnecessary crap they shove into the plans and notice that the fundamentals are just... not fucking there.

Once I turn off (or more often simply delete) their massively over-detailed landscape furniture and other components, and start looking at the basic layouts, the holes in their designs immediately become apparent.

Then I get to manually fix just... dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of places where I'm... just not going to allow my drawings to look like this.  No.  Not today, not tomorrow, and I don't give a fuck how long it takes me - EVER.

Like I said, the only thing I wish I could do is put my finished plans next to theirs - grab them by their skulls and force them to look at the difference.  Then when they open their mouths to say literally anything at all other than 'I will strive to do better sir', I will bounce their fucking heads off the table until they lose consciousness, and then piss on them.

Fuck.  These.  People.



Next Time: ?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Bluebeam Revu Can Suck a Dick.

Queso Paso?

So I've still got this stupid goddamned project floating around in space - with no idea when they will stop fucking around with it and allow me to do my job.

I had a few minutes in between other projects (that I'm not getting any fucking information on) to see what its status was, and remembered that I had uninstalled Bluebeam Revu because it's a piece of shit that installs itself into every other program on my computer.

One (tiny little) thing in their favor is that when I re-downloaded and installed, it apparently gives me another 30 day trial (don't know if this works indefinitely or not), because I'm sure as fuck not spending any money on this bullshit (and am disinclined to ask my company to do so either - because I hope I never have to fucking see it again).

I attempt to log in to the session that I was previously given access to, only to find out that these dipshits ended that session, and created two new ones (one for Current QC set, and one for 'ongoing current pdf set', whatever the fuck that means - I'll probably end up having to dig through both to figure out what the fuck is going on) neither of which I have access to.

I mean, why would I need access to the only goddamned place (out of the half dozen shitty pieces of software they dumped on us) that I can actually see the drawings that I'm supposed to be basing my design on?  I'm still glad that I'm not being expected to do the Revit Buttfuck 2-Step, but this process shares almost everything in common with the mentality that allowed people to stick the diseased Revit cock up everybody's asses in the first place.

If I were still at my last firm, I would probably still be wasting my time to open their stupid goddamned Revit model from time to time to export .dwgs so I can actually do my fucking job, but since I 1) Don't fucking have Revit on my computer, and 2) Don't fucking want Revit on my computer, then I am stuck having to do everything via .pdfs.

I think I mentioned last time that I got pulled into this project WAAAAAY too early.  There was a small building (that probably should've been it's own project so we could get it out of the way), but then I was handed a much (much) larger building that I didn't realize was still in a state of flux. I exported .pdfs to .dwg to get started (which fucking sucks), and have already gone through one set of changes.

The extra time to do this has killed the hours allotted to this project (and then some), but I rarely have to listen to anyone (who matters) complain about me going over on hours (because they are a fraction of the profit we'll make on this project) - and it's still nowhere near done.  Of course, once we get a 'final' set of drawings from them, I'll probably knock the rest of it out in a day or two - as opposed to the months long process that these morons have drug everyone else through.

It's a fairly elaborate project, but not that elaborate - I've certainly worked on larger and more involved projects in the past that didn't require the sheer amount of time/software that these people have used (nor would they have benefited in any way from their circle-jerk of a process).  In fact, it probably would already be under construction, as their stupid assumptions about how things were going to magically work were inevitably proven wrong.

Instead, it's going to probably be a year or more before these assumptions (the mother of all fuckups) come to light, meaning that I'll probably end up having to get drug back in to untangle the clusterfuck that they've made of what could've been a relatively painless process if they didn't have their heads (along with multiple dildos) up their asses.

It is a government project after all, though - so over-elaborate processes, too many goddamned people involved at all levels, and no idea what the fuck is going on the vast majority of the time is pretty much a given. You would think I would get used to this process eventually - and just accept that 'it is what it is', but anyone who has even a passing knowledge of my thought process (either from listening to me spew an almost non-stop stream of vulgarity from  my office, or from reading my online screeds should probably have figured out that 'it is what it is' can go fuck itself, along with everyone involved.

I regularly manage to break people who make the mistake of thinking I've got time (or the desire) to listen to and/or put up with that kind of bullshit attitude.  The most common one is people that make the mistake of thinking that when they hired us to do a design, that this somehow translates into having us on retainer for the rest of time to keep fucking around as they engage in a 'stream of consciousness' type of design process.

Renovations and/or additions to existing buildings are classic examples - everyone goes into it with no idea what the existing conditions are.  Whenever possible, I prefer to go out and do my own walk down of a project - including taking copious pictures, sketching my own floor plans (or marking up a set), taking notes, etc.

In the past, I've actually done this on projects where there wasn't really a need to do it.  I ended up being flown to Iowa one time to do a walkdown on a hotel lobby renovation that was a complete no-brainer (it prevented the electrical engineer from having to do it).  It was still a good idea, because you never know when you *might* find things that could result in expensive change orders down the road.

In this case, though, it's a completely new building.  When it's a renovation/addition it's always going to be part and parcel of the gig to have to figure out  how to (or whether you can) make somebody else's dream a reality.  This can often involve slapping the dreaming morons awake and showing them that their existing conditions are *FUCKED*, and that the cost involved with unfucking just one aspect of it far exceeds their optimistic budgets for the whole project.

I've had people accuse me of having a negative attitude when I play devil's advocate - or bring people back around to a little thing called 'reality'.  The problem is that I've watched it play out enough times to know that the 'power of negative thinking' (c) is an invaluable way of making sure that everyone involved actually stops and thinks about what CAN and WILL go wrong if they don't stop assuming 'it will all work out'.

I know I've mentioned a project before where a client had an idea for a building that they were planning on putting on a piece of property, only to find out after the entire design was done that a MUCH larger chunk of change than they had estimated (assuming they allotted any money to it a all) was going to go towards site prep (a 2 million dollar chunk of change to be exact).

This resulted in last second modifications to the building design, and I seriously doubt we recouped much, because they were already damn near broke.  That problem most likely won't come up on my current project, as they've got deep pockets, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if we end up at the end (or far past the end) of the project, only to find out that nobody (or at least nobody that anyone listened to) noticed some major issue that requires considerable redesign.

In addition to that 'surprise' 2 million site-prep job (which is nothing compared to some projects I've worked on) I've worked on designs for buildings proposed to be built in what turned out to be flood plains, buildings proposed to be built under high-tension power lines, buildings proposed to be built over massive underground natural gas pipelines, buildings proposed to be built over what turned out to be huge sinkholes, properties where the owner didn't understand the concept of setbacks, easements, right-of-way (allowing access to properties behind their property), or access to utilities (what do you mean I can't have the transformer mounted on the hill behind my building?!?).

That's if they have any concept of zoning/codes to begin with - especially in places that have extremely strict limitations on what you can and can't do (that are enforced by people with nothing better to do than hold up projects). It's almost understandable when you are dealing with people who are involved in their first shooting match, but it's totally goddamned unacceptable when it is someone who has been involved with developing dozens (or hundreds) of projects.

As always, fuck Revit, and fuck every one of the programs that Revitards want to drag into their bullshit process to fuck people with.



Next Time: Me Am Big Smart

Thursday, February 25, 2021

One Revit Model To Rule Them All

Here I go, on another wild adventure.

My latest project is a massive three-story building (technically four, but the lowest floor isn't that big).

The client is fully onboard with the modern way of doing things - which seems to involve taking what used to be a relatively streamlined process (not without its faults, mind you), and just throwing software at it until your brain literally explodes.

I don't actually have much (if any) contact with the vast majority of our clients - allowing our salespeople to be a single point of contact, because I don't generally need that much input from them to design my systems (and any input I do get is generally wrong).

In this case, we had something of a 'kick-off meeting' and spent the majority of it discussing the process they were using to field comments - using 'Bluebeam Revu' which allows multiple users to access a .pdf, make comments (using a custom toolset that the client created to keep everyone's comments consistent) and which then compiles the comments into a list with the commenters name, who the comment is directed at, what (if any) resolution there is, and dates for each.

The problem is, while you can download a free demo of Bluebeam Revu, a license for it is $332, and while that's not a huge amount of money (I believe that's for a perpetual license) we don't use it for anything else, so I was like 'fuck off'.

During the same meeting they told us that they would have someone get us into all of the other programs they are using, but it wasn't until I started trying to submit my designs (and still hadn't received anything to let me into those other programs) that they finally broke down and gave us access.

We are a sub for our client, who is a sub for someone else - and the actual owner of the project is (rightly) very concerned about the security of the drawings, because it is a fairly sensitive project (not as sensitive as the one the engineering firm in our office took on last year that required them to convert one of the offices into a secure area, but still somewhat sensitive).

This meant that we couldn't use e-mail to send any files - but because nobody had given me access to any of the other systems, I just started encrypting e-mails and sending them - so that nobody could try to claim I wasn't doing my work.

The (very slow) response was to eventually start bombarding me with e-mails to set up accounts for nearly half a dozen different services - and no instructions as to which one they wanted to use for what.  First came 'Box' (basically drop-box, but with two-factor authentication), and so I assumed 'hey - I can submit my shit here!  But no!

They wanted me to submit all of my work through BIM360 (I honestly don't know how these fucktards didn't try to drag us into their Revit model - which would've added yet another layer of dipshittery to the project), so I got set up and submitted one completed set of drawings on a smaller building, and a proposal for a system on the larger one (after I finally figured out how the fuck to even get logged into it - the first time I did, it just wanted to sell me shit).

Then there was 'BIM 360 Glue' (which is some kind of collaboration bullshit), and 'Fieldwire' (which is for jobsite management) - did I mention that each of these services wants to send you daily e-mails to try to sell you more services?  Because they absolutely do until you opt out.

On top of all of this, they wanted to have weekly meetings to discuss... probably more programs?  I don't know - I can guarantee it's nothing that is going to help me get the project completed.  I ended up having to convert .pdfs into CAD so I could even get started, got them all cleaned up, put my devices in - and then found out that it is WAY THE FUCK TOO EARLY FOR ME TO BE WORKING ON THIS PROJECT because they are still trying to finalize floor plans.

I manually tweaked the plans (which fucking suck, by the way - more on that in a second), and will probably end up having to do this multiple times before the project is done.  I don't know how many billable hours the salesman included in the project, but I can absolutely guarantee it isn't enough.  I'm probably going to back off of it for a little while and play catch-up on some other fucked up projects - including one that just came in that is a tenant finish out inside of the tower debacle I previously described.

But before I do that - let's take a quick look at some of the shit these Reviting dumbfucks thought passed for 'quality design work'.  This building is pretty elaborate - with areas that are open to floors above, some areas straight up ARE two stories high inside, and (if I had to guess) it is going to be built into the side of a hill, which is why there is a small lower level, and at least one place on the third floor where you are looking out at the roof of the second floor.

When I started trying to clean the drawings up, I was instantly met with the classic view range issues that I'm used to seeing when morons and Revit meet.  Stacked bathroom blocks showing both bathrooms, fixtures and equipment penetrating walls, showing up on other floors, duplicates pasted in randomly (bringing back memories of screaming at the thing as I desperately try to insert something, only for it to not show up - not realizing that it selected some random surface that I can't currently see to attach it to).

They fixed a few of the more egregious problems when they issued their next set of .pdfs - and it was obvious they had to call in their 'Revit Guru' to help them navigate the quadrillion trillion bazillion view settings - but even then, there are just rookie fuckups all throughout (made even worse by the fact that  they've got multiple disciplines all sharing the same model over 'the cloud', and you never know if they actually spent the decade (or how ever long it takes) to make sure they have everyone's latest and greatest attempts at playing 'catch-up' in the drawings.

All of this would be just hilarious to me if I didn't know for a fact that, despite all of the duplicated effort, wasted time attempting to 'coordinate' by using twelve different pieces of software (instead of, you know, 'talking to people') and trying to model EVERYTHING down to the gnat's ass (I'm not even going to comment on any specific examples of unnecessary 3d fuckery - but be assured, they were copious), they are going to get out in the field, start building this thing, and only then realize how many major fuckups that nobody (or at least nobody that anyone listens to) noticed were still present in their design.

They'll have been showing off the 3D model to the owner to 'ooh and ahh' them, but the people the owner sent to be 'oohed and ahhhed' won't be the ones that actually have any knowledge of how the building will be built, or how they actually need it to function - and it won't be until the building is under construction (or even nearing completion) that they'll come out, inspect it, and go 'hey - what about this thing that we said was very important that we get implemented in the design?' and everyone will go 'huh?'.

 They will repeat 'yeah - we told (insert name of person who was only ever tangentially involved in any aspect of the design) that it was essential that we have the ability to do (insert name of design aspect that would've been simple to implement at the beginning of the design, but devastatingly hard at this phase) - and everyone will be sitting in the ruins of their project, cloud based applications, and other bullshit - and that's when the AHJ will show up and inform them that they've got code compliance issues because of changes that got made at the last second but that didn't flow down through the design.

Oh well.  Fuck 'em.

It's a mugs game.

Until whenever the fuck I come up with something else to bitch about,

-Skullz 'n Fuckz

 P.S. - I knew there was one more program they wanted us to use - I happened to be rummaging through my e-mail to find something else, and ran across 'Kahua' (for Construction Management).  I mean Jesus Fucking Christ people...

Next Time: I've Got Them Bluebeam Blues.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Consumed By Revit Garbage

 Hey There, Hi There, Ho There!!!

So I received a .pdf containing yet another set of plans for a project that was obviously drawn in Revit - and it is just... a bag of unwashed assholes.

I converted them into CAD using my fancy new non-free non-cloud based converter, and it actually recognized the vast majority of the objects in the drawing - but Jesus H. Christ did whoever modeled this thing have some kind of stroke or seizure while doing it.

At first I thought I was seeing problems with the conversion - as nearly every wall in the building was rotated *ever so slightly*, but then I zoomed in on the .pdf (which was spit directly out from Revit and not a scan) and the jagged lines were evident there as well.

Then I thought maybe they had just rotated the whole model accidentally, but attempting to rotate/align was hopeless - so the only thing I can think of is that they were just free-handing walls in and disabling whatever the Revit equivalent of 'ortho' is. 

Fortunately I have skills in the 'unfucking the fucked' department, so - as I was cleaning up all of the other unacceptable shit in the drawing, I was able to fix enough of it that I didn't want to poke my eyeballs out every time I looked at it.

It had all the standard stuff - overly detailed components like FUCKING PLANTS, and PILLOWS ON COUCHES, and of course lovingly 3d detailed pieces of gym, kitchen, and bar equipment - including a MOTHERFUCKING DJ SETUP, and a GRAND FUCKING PIANO.

I deleted just shit tons of stuff - and the result is... better.  The funny part is I'm not even doing that elaborate of systems in this building, but I refuse to allow my drawings to look like shit.

Here is just one tiny example of the kind of shit they allowed to dribble out of the Revit butthole:

Now, back when I was still working at my old firm, despite the fact that they were riding the Revit dick into oblivion, this still wouldn't have flown.  People actually looked at what they were issuing, and still had at least a modicum of 'standards' for what they would allow to go out.

If the firm responsible for this project had still been working in CAD, I can guarantee you wouldn't see anything like this - because they would actually be looking at the floor plans, not spinning a 3D model around while masturbating over how awesome they were, and would've *definitely* noticed some half-ass looking shit like this.

I honestly can't tell what the fuck happened here.  It's not a view range issue, as there are no doors on any of the other floors.  It's like someone just went 'ah... fuck it... here's a multiple choice'.  My project actually does relate to access control equipment for doors, and while I don't believe this particular door is getting anything, if it did, I wouldn't know what the fuck to specify (I guess I could just show two sets of equipment superimposed over each other and see if nobody noticed).

For the time being I flipped a coin and went with 'double door' (although there is just as much chance that the single one was correct - since it's egress from a stairwell), and cleaned up all the garbage on the walls near it (including to the left of the door where you can see that the wall is inexplicably rotated like 1 degree from being aligned with the rest of the project.


It's like this throughout the whole building - just a stunning representation of what happens when an industry takes a shit directly on itself, then refuses to acknowledge they are covered from head to toe in their own feces.  I don't see it getting any better unless someone stands up and says 'fuck this shit', but people like that are in short supply, while people who say 'harder daddy' are apparently everywhere.

I'll waste another day (on top of the days I've already wasted) fixing it to my liking, before slapping my systems on it (which will probably only take a few hours).  Then, after fixing another project that continues to come back with changes (thanks to the age-old fuckfest of 'design it as you go'), then it will be on to my next big project.

I've gotten preliminary stuff on it - and I can already tell it's going to SUCK.  Based on their e-mails, they have broken it up into pieces, and going to just... fuck the whole thing into oblivion.  The guy who originally sold it is no longer with our firm (thank fucking god, because I've probably mentioned him before - as the guy who didn't seem to understand how e-mail worked (and had a voice mail inbox that was perpetually full).

I have a Bluebeam Studio Session invitation that I'm going to ignore (one of our other salesmen is most likely going to be taking it in the balls), as well as 'BIM360' access - which they stick directly up their ass.  The owner of my firm has already asked if we have received CAD files - which is highly unlikely.  I'll probably end up converting it from .pdfs (once they figure out what the fuck they are doing), and doing my job correctly, before sitting back and watching the rest of the process grind on for months, requiring repeated changes, revisions, and submittals.

My only fear is that somebody at our firm (like the idiot that sold it) made them promises without bothering to find out what those promises involved, or how feasible it would be to fulfill those promises on the time frame we now find ourselves in the middle of.  I never heard a word about this project prior to dude being let go, and it's almost certainly ticking towards a due date - and nobody knows what that is, or what they are expecting to get when it hits (although I can guarantee that somewhere, someone is probably operating under the delusion that we'll be engaging in some 'BIM' fuckery - for coordination purposes, if not expecting a complete 'BIM' deliverable).

I've had one other project where somebody was under the delusion that we were going to be responsible for showing our equipment in a 'coordination model' and keeping it updated as they inevitably fucked with it, and fucked with it, and fucked with it.  What made it hilarious was that there had been no attempt made on their part (at least none that reached me - you know, the guy who would've been responsible for that shit) to provide us with access to their model.

I've already let one guy know that if it turns out that someone has promised them BIM shit, they can go fuck themselves.  Even if I were inclined to stick my dick back in the Revit meat grinder (which I'm not), they would have to:

1) Build me (or allow me to build) a new computer.

2) Purchase me a Revit license.

3) Put me in contact with somebody who is responsible for developing their Revit model(s).

4) Wait while I figure out which of the many ways that you can use Revit (all of which are 'wrong' depending on who you ask) to link together files, or to try to amass one *fucking huge* model.

5) Wait some more as I attempt to access this file via 'the cloud'.

6) Wait even longer as I put all of our information into the model.

7) Wait EVEN LONGER as it inevitably crashes, taking all of my work with it, I kick a hole in the wall, and toss my computer through it.

8) Wait for me to put my computer back in my office, log back in, put all of my information back in for a second time and save to their cloud based central model - only to find out that they've made radical changes to their model without bothering to tell anyone, so everything I just spent the last week doing was an exercise in futility.

9) Wait for me to track down the motherfuckers responsible, drive to where they are, drag them out in the street, and beat the living fuck out of them, before returning to my office, exporting/converting to CAD, clean it up (because it will definitely suck) and do my goddamned job the way that it needs to be done (and I will STILL be done before anyone else).

I guess we'll have to wait and see if they want to go that route - but I will let them know they could definitely save them a few teeth by suggesting they don't.

Until next we meet.

Fuck to the fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

-S to the mother fucking Kullfuck. 

Next time: 'It's Some Form of BIM Fuckery...'

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

'nickmiddleton010' Is A Fuckhead

Greetings Ladies and Gentlefucks!

So there is this retard that I assume is named 'Nick Middleton', whose parents are almost certainly related by blood, and who keeps spamming my comments.  I barely keep up with this blog anymore since I only tangentially have to deal with Revit - but I still get the occasional e-mail telling me that someone has posted a comment, most of which appear on a blog post from April of 2019 where I was reviewing the 2020 release of Revit.

I generally just deleted them (forever...), figuring dude is probably just some kind of bot - but now I'm making it a small side-project to see if I can get through to this guy that nobody wants any of the idiotic products or services (which are all over the place - today's was about weight-loss coffee for fucks sake).  I don't really care if he actually fucks off or not, but I'm going to have fun trying.


All Quiet On The Revit Front.

 I hear the occasional dickweed stumbling through talk about clients wanting us to share in their 'coordination model' hell - but I laugh them off, and/or tell them to go fuck themselves (mostly depending on my mood at the time).  The pair of 12 story towers project was one such mongolian clusterfuck, but the drawings I issued actually only came back with a small handful of fairly simple comments (so far), and it actually seems like they might've learned something about how to correctly do things after trying literally every single other way possible (just in case doing it incorrectly might work better).

 I'm not holding my breath, because they still have to install it, commission it, test it, etc., but now I know most (if not all) of the players - including who I can and can't trust. Yesterday I did take-off from my own drawing in order to put together a bill of material for one of the systems we are using.  I thought it was going to be time consuming because there were six iterations of it, but then I realized I only had to quantify three of them, then carefully extrapolate from there - so it only ended up taking an hour. 

 I'll be thrilled to see how badly they fuck it up in the field - and it will make my day if someone asks us to put them into their 'coordination model', because while they are actually designed in 3d, they aren't (to the best of my knowledge) in any kind of format that Revit would recognize - being that Revit is as useful as a sack of dismembered donkey dicks when it comes to importing or linking files from the various pieces of software that I actually use to design, calculate, and produce drawings (on time and on budget) from.

Nobody at Autodesk  Autodick seems to be the least bit concerned with this problem - since, as it was the day I first posted on this Blog, nobody gives a fuck about helping the poor little peons who are stuck using it from day to day (granted, most people developing 3rd party software aren't that concerned with having their shit be compatible with Revit either - because fuck it).  

The only thing that Revit has managed to fuck up for me lately was a set of drawings that we were forced to convert from .pdf to CAD (have fun trying to do that with Revit).  We actually finally bought a set of conversion software - billed to the project that wouldn't provide us with CAD files (well, I think we *could've* gotten them, but they wanted an exorbitant amount of money per sheet).  Prior to that we had been using various free online converters - but they tended to have 2 file/day limits (I found a few ways around that).

When it comes to converting from .pdf to .dwg results vary widely - mostly depending on what software was used to make the original drawings, what .pdf printer they used (scanned files, you might as well just shoot yourself in the head).  Sometimes you get goddamned near 100% CAD files, with immaculate linework, text, etc. - but more often than not you get 'everything exploded'.  And I do mean 'everything', i.e. - text is made up of individual line segments, arcs are individual lines, hatching is individual lines/dots, etc.

The one I had them buy was the one that I had the best luck with, but it can only do so much.  I started converting files for a school that had been broken up into six sheets - one of which had a library/media center.  The .pdfs had obviously come from Revit, as there was 10 billion times as much detail everywhere as necessary - but no place more unnecessary when it came to the desks/tables/dividers/etc. in the library.  The file took forever to convert, and then the person who was trying to import it into their project file said it wouldn't come in.

I took a look at it - and sure enough, if you kept zooming in, you kept finding more and more and MORE detail - most likely because they used a manufacturer's families for their fancy-ass media center furniture that showed EVERY SINGLE GODDAMNED BRACKET, SCREW/BOLT, etc. all lovingly crafted in full 3d (which I can guarantee resulted in a bloated Revit file - and, in this case, a bloated .pdf).

I sketched a handful of the pieces of furniture in 2d, and deleted hundreds of millions of individual line segments, before cutting and pasting the top-view shapes into place.  Suddenly the file went from buttfuckloads of megabytes to something more useable - and they were able to use it to design and issue drawings for the system we were hired to do.

Then it turned out there were other systems that nobody bothered to mention - but since I had just finished up some other projects and they were already onto another project, I decided to jump in and take care of them myself.  The only problem I had with the way they had done their drawings is that they had left the project broken up into six pieces (the way it was broken up onto sheets) rather than combining them into one drawing and then breaking it up in paperspace views - but whatever.

 If it had been my project from the get-go, I probably would've cleaned up the drawings a little more - as we don't care about 95% of the wall hatching (except for rated walls - but we usually call those out individually since we don't have a wall legend on our sheets), as well as fixing some of the other glitchy looking shit - some of which came from Revit - as you can see it on the .pdfs, and some of which came from the .pdf to .dwg conversion.

I definitely would've combined them - as it makes it easier to run a contiguous system throughout the project, and, since our drawings are not part of the Architectural/Structural/MEP/Civil set (like they were at my last job), I don't have to follow the sheet size, scale, or even break them up the same way at all onto sheets, but since they had already done the first system like this, I just kept it (I may or may not regret it by the time all is said and done).

As always -fuck Revit, fuck Autodesk, and fuck anyone willfully using, propagating, selling, promoting, 'developing', or profiting off of it.

Oh - and fuck 'nickmiddleton010'.  Twice.  With a whole roll of barbed wire coated in rubbing alcohol.


-The Revit MeP Skullfuck

Next Time: Fuck This Shit.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Fuckity Fuck The Fuck Fuck Fuck

 Ah, another day.

Still no Revit here (I thought it was the future???) but still watching other people trip over their dicks trying to model stuff (incorrectly) that has no reason to be modeled, and due to their ineptitude, causing projects to run over because they can't coordinate jack or shit on their drawings - because they are too busy doing 'coordination models'.

It's been ridiculously busy here - which is the way I like it.  It makes the days go by quickly, and I never have to worry about having something to do.  The problem is, whenever things do ramp up to this level, it's guaranteed that some dipshit will come stumbling drunkenly through the middle of it with their diseased micro-penis waving around to throw a wrench in things.

I've had an ongoing project (renovation of two 12 story tall towers with two more stories underneath and connecting them), and we finally got one of the towers completed (or at least the work for that phase) These idiots want to break down everything into 'packages' rather than just figure it all out at one time.  I can understand why they do it for bidding, but there is literally zero reason for the design to be done like that.

Now I'm onto the second tower - plus stuff we didn't do in the first tower because of 'hey let's split this thing up into bits and pieces (see above).  They've already reduced the scope - but since the engineering drawings I have to go off of haven't been updated, I don't actually know what is staying and what is going, so I'm just putting it all on there, and they can tell me to take it off later (easier to erase than to draw, I figure).

So the guy whose project it is has been AWOL for weeks, then shows up to tell me that the deadline that he had promised them (without making sure it was feasible for me to meet it) is (wait for it....) TODAY!  (Not acutally 'today' - since I am writing this after the fact...), and they want to have it by the end  of the work day.  The problem being, I don't have shit, because dude refused to share any information with me, and kept assuming that I knew everything I needed to know (despite multiple e-mails and conversations where I told him that I did not - and despite him putting in multiple RFI's that went unanswered).

Well, after nearly smashing my keyboard and destroying my desk (literally - scaring the fuck out of dude), I finally got through to him that I (6'3" 245#) am not one to be fucked with.  With his full attention, I proceeded to knock out floor plans for the entire project (fortunately some of the floors are the same, but there were extensive changes on the lowest and highest levels).  I knew that this wouldn't be sufficient to get them off our ass permanently, but it was a good first step.

There was only one detail I couldn't wrap my head around - and neither could he, despite the fact that he had sold the project, but never bothered to figure it out - granted, some of it was the fact that the Electrical Engineering drawings sucked (and were obviously the work of a Revitard).  Finally I decided to make a phone call to the Mechanical Engineer on the project - and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a guy I used to work with at another firm (this guy is 7'+ tall, but exceedingly nice - a true 'gentle giant').

He was able to confirm what I had hoped was the case (because the alternative was going to mean redoing a lot of calculations and details), and we had a nice chat about the state of the project and the firm we both used to work for.  It actually made my day, in the midst of all of that chaos, to find out that I wasn't the only one getting fucked repeatedly (although he's most likely getting paid more than I am to be fucked - but he also takes on a lot more liability, so....).

Once I had these drawings slapped together, I was able to get caught up on some other projects, and then just yesterday I gave them a complete and thorough massaging, including adding/updating some calculations, and adding details to show point to point connections on every single device we are adding (which will promptly be ignored when they go out and wire the building however the fuck they want to - which is what they did on the first tower).

This is guaranteed to get them off my ass for the short term - and possibly even enough to get them started building it, and then I can pick up the rest of the slack in the 'as-built' set (hey - a man can always hope, can't he?)

While I was trying to finish these changes, I get an e-mail asking about another project (a piece of a larger ongoing project, but what should've been a pretty easy one - cest la vie...).  Apparently, whoever designed this fucking thing was hired to design a 'shell' building, and then also hired to do a finish-out (again, rather that just doing a fucking project, lets fuck it up as much as possible).  When they did the finish out, instead of just blowing away everything in the open portion of theshell area (which hadn't actually been built yet), they tried to retain as much of it as possible.

This resulted in a shitty design, that I knew had multiple massive deficiencies, but that I went ahead and based my design off of.  Of course, whoever reviews their drawings didn't bother looking at the design until we submitted our drawings based on that design, and only then did they start to realize what a shitty design it was.  Somebody came up with a 'solution' for fixing it - that actually did take care of most of the massive deficiencies, but by no means did it solve all of the problems.

So then I get a marked up set of my *original* drawings, telling me to 'add this', 'move this', etc. etc. - not acknowledging that we had already issued revised drawings - which I promptly ignored because 'go fuck yourself' (and the salesman was told they wanted the cost of the changes reduced - which he will do - before adding additional charges for making additional changes (maybe make the net difference $300 less or so, just as a joke).

Oh - and in the interim, they realized that there were devices we needed to put on the drawings in the kitchen area, but that weren't on the original design - and which they claimed they shouldn't have to pay for, because they were 'in the design from the beginning of the project', despite, based on the drawings we were given to work off of, they abso-fucking-lutely weren't.  The guy who was feeding me changes had to go find a copy of the kitchen equipment suppliers plan to even be able to show me where the fuck they were.

The salesman laughed that one off though, and said he's still going to charge them for those - then submitted an RFI to ask about whether or not they have gas in the kitchen (which, if they do - then I can guarantee nobody has thought of this) which will require additional equipment for monitoring and shutting it off (and which they will probably pretend was 'in the project from the beginning' so they shouldn't have to pay for it either).

Anyway, now I'm back to yet another project that won't fucking die - where they went out and installed whatever they fuck they wanted to, realized it wasn't going to work because they had overloaded circuits, so they went out and made changes, submitted markups to me, I fixed the drawings, re-ran the calculations, and guess what?  They fixed the loading problems, but now they've got voltage drop issues! (Oh, and they miscalculated how many devices they had on each circuit - but the real numbers were actually an improvement).

After this will be markups on another project I issued a while back, but at least it's on it's first review, and I was expecting to have to do this (there are a few more floating around out there that will, no doubt, show up as well.  Then it's on to a *NEW* project!!!  (That I have zero information on, and don't expect to be given any until it's a fucking emergency).  A few other new projects have been floating around, but I think other people will be handling those (they are happy to do so, because that means they don't have to do what I'm doing - which is almost all government work - thus the clusterfuck).

'Thus The Clusterfuck'.


Next Time: WTF?!?!?

Monday, May 11, 2020

Post Apocalytpic Revit 2021

Hey there, hi there, ho there...

So it's apparent that Autodesk is in this thing for the long haul.  

Reader 'hysteresis' let me know that lists of Revit 2021 'features' have been dribbling out, so I thought I would give them a quick look-over to see if any of them actually addressed the utter failure that is Revit MeP.

I wasn't disappointed, as the first one that caught my eye was the ability to have a slanted (i.e. 'tilted') wall - which was definitely one of the main reasons it was fucking with my productivity and work flow.  It does beg the question as to what people were doing prior to this release if they needed a slanted wall.

The answer is probably 'faked it in', and then 'kept up with the fact that it was faked in throughout the project so that nobody made the mistake of thinking it was done properly. 

I was really surprised to see more than one or two items in the official list that related to the electrical portion - this actually came close to an admission that the panelboard families, schedules, etc. that were included with Revit were incapable of taking into account fairly common situations.

"Single phase L-N panelboard: To better support distribution systems commonly found outside the US, Revit supports single phase two-wire L-N panelboards."

Oh wait, never mind - the very first one only applies to applications in other countries outside the US.

"Electrical circuit naming: To better support circuit identification conventions outside the US, you can define circuit naming schemes in the Electrical Settings dialog. Use the Panel's Circuit Naming instance parameter to select a scheme. "

And... so does the second one.

Select phase for switchboard circuits: Use the Switch Phases command to assign a phase to a circuit in a switchboard panel.

Ah - here we go.  The ability to assign a phase to a circuit.  This used to come up all the time.  No wait... I mean 'this never came up - ever'.  One of the big 'selling points' of Revit in the early days was that it could automatically balance phases - which, over the course of 12 years, and two different engineers, I never had a single time that they expressed concern over unbalanced phases.

I guess if I had shown them a schedule where I had specifically put everything on Phases A and B and skipped any breaker slot for Phase C, it might've led them to question it, but besides never actually doing that, I think most of the reason they didn't actually care was that most of the really large loads were three-phase already, so the panels tended to already be more or less balanced.

Combine that with the fact that installers didn't always follow our panel layouts (panels tended to arrive on-site with factory installed breakers, and rather than waste time rearranging them, they would simply wire it up) and it was a waste of time to even think about it.

New parameters for spare and space circuits: The Frame parameter is now available for spare circuits and displays in panel schedules. Similarly, Space circuits now support the Poles and the Schedule Circuit Notes parameters.

Thank God.  Spares and spaces.  Just - fuck you Autodesk.

Panel schedules display in the Project Browser: The Sheets view lists the panel schedules that appear on each sheet.

Whaaa?!?!?!  That's amazing!!!!!!   Wait...  did I say 'amazing'?  I meant to say 'who in the fuck cares?!?!'  My bad.

Max #1 Pole Breakers: This parameter on panelboards has been renamed to: Max Number of Single Pole Breakers.

So... they renamed a parameter - you know they are really reaching when they add renaming a parameter (i.e. rearranging deck chairs) to a list of 'new features' - although the fact that they called it 'max #1 pole breakers' in the first place pretty much lets you know how much of a fuck they gave about the electrical portion of the software.

I should probably also mention WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT A MAXIMUM NUMBER OF BREAKERS, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY GODDAMNED POLES THEY HAVE?  A standard 120/208V 3-Phase panelboard has 42 spaces - which can be filled up with any variety of breakers, as long as when you add up the number of poles, it comes to 42.

Panels could also have feed-thru lugs that would take up 3 spaces to allow a second panel to be connected and give you more space for breakers - for a total of 81 spaces, that could be filled in any arrangement of breakers.

Max Number of Circuits for Switchboards: Switchboards now have a Max Number of Circuits parameter, replacing the maximum number of #1 pole breakers.

This is basically a re-wording of the last item - so, again.  Padding much?  Max number of circuits comes into play in two situations, one is where you have a panel smaller than the standard 42 space commercial panel I described above, and two is if you need to leave a certain % of spare capacity in a panel.  Of course, when I did it manually, I simply modified my schedules as necessary - and if it was a matter of capacity, I could simply fill it up with 1-pole breakers (or a mix of breakers) tagged 'future capacity' and then size the panel accordingly.

That's one of the things that always drove me crazy in Revit - you had to select a panel and configure it first, THEN fill it up and see what the actual load was.  When I did it manually, I would start with a generic panel schedule, fill it up with circuits, tally them up, and THEN decide what size the panel needed to be - although I got really good at guessing what they would need to be based on electric vs. gas heat, type of lighting, kind of building, etc.

Changing it was just a matter of typing in a number on the schedule (and on my riser that I was generating in tandem with my schedules - and then tagging it with the proper size of feeders based on the size of the panel and the distance that it had to travel from the transformer or switchboard.  Sure it took a little more effort to do this manually (and when I made changes I had to keep up with them) but if you compared the amount of time I spent on an average project manually calculating it was more than offset by the amount of time (and mental effort) I would spend watching Revit load, saving to central (just to find out that they had been making changes that destroyed everything I had just gotten done working on) and of course, trying to figure out why the thing I had just done five minutes before would not work the same way again - and spending an hour coming up with a workaround (leaving me mentally drained).


So - that's the sad little list of 'updates' relevant to the electrical portion of Revit.  I expected nothing, so I was not disappointed (the power of negative thinking).  I'm sure there was some 'general tidying up of shit' that went along with these that may have created the appearance that they actually gave a fuck, but I think we know better.

In the meantime - they found it necessary to remove some functionality (to make room for all the new awesomeness).

"Revit Model Review has been removed and is not available for Revit 2021."

This was actually an add-in that I'm sure people raved about how awesome it was, and that some people probably still rely on, so whatever.

"Site Designer for Revit has been removed and is not available for Revit 2021"

I'm sure this thing was a fucking abortion of a program - since every Civil Engineer/Designer that I know still uses Civil 3D (basically CAD with some discipline specific tools).  It probably allowed Architects to slap their models on a shitty attempt at modeling a site, and drove Civil people crazy as they had to de-fuck incompetent morons attempts at comprehending how that actually works.

I've mentioned it in the past, but I was personally responsible for bridging the gap between the Revitards and the Civil people on every single project I worked on.  Unless someone was holding my face to the Revit grindstone and forcing me to waste time/effort modeling something that I was just going to issue on 2D floor plans and some details, then the only time I would spend in Revit would be to slap my lights into the their model (and maybe the panels, if I felt like it) so their reflected ceiling plans would be correct.  After that, it was 'export to CAD' and 'do my fucking job'.

Next, I would go back in and fix my lights after they fucked around with the plans, the mechanical people ignored my lights and put plenums over them, etc. - and would occasionally notice that one of my wall packs that was supposed to be over (or next to) a door was no longer in the right place because they had moved the door.  Five seconds later I've fixed the Revit model and my CAD version.  Then I let Civil know that the Revitards have been up to their old tricks, and almost certainly haven't bothered to re-export CAD plans for Civil to use.

In fact, Civil got to the point where they didn't even waste time talking to the Revitards, and would just use my plans.  The trick being that if a door gets moved in the Revit model, Civil has to adjust sidewalks leading up to that door - and just like I would regularly find some 'minor' change that an architect made that required considerable rework on my part (in Revit or in CAD), Civil would find out that the sidewalk moving just set off a domino effect as it fucked up where their handicap parking spaces were, radius of curbs, locations of various utilities, easements, etc. that the Revitard was whollly unaware even existed before they made a (often arbitrary) change to the model because they rarely think outside the envelope of the building.

While I've been working on the tower project I mentioned in the last post I spent some time talking to the engineer who got the unenviable job of trying to figure out how things got so fucked up on that project (lack of communication, people with too much time on their hands, etc.).  He had recently taken the deep dive into the shallow end of the Revit pool (on another project - not on the tower), and was describing some of the very same issues that I (and everyone else involved) had run up against early on.

One of the selling points of Revit is how 'easy' it makes making changes.  That's all fine and good - *EXCEPT* that it makes changing things SO easy that people don't have any motivation to leave shit the fuck alone that would be better off left the fuck alone.  Obviously changes are going to happen, that's reality - but then you start to get people bumping stuff around out of boredom, and without any consideration as to how much you are fucking someone else over.  I've described the Civil issue, but this guy was designing sprinkler systems.

He was overcoming the myriad issues with the Revit application, but was running directly up against other disciplines that were constantly moving things, and then expecting him to make adjustments as necessary.  Again, this is obviously going to happen to some extent, but it became apparent to him after a little while that absolutely no concern was being given to the fact that there were a half-dozen disciplines all trying to share the same space, and none of them gave a fuck if they screwed another one (or all of them) over.

The reasoning behind Reviting the whole goddamned thing was 'coordination' (another 'selling point' for Revit) - but what it actually turns into is 'hey, I had to move this thing' - and the question comes up 'Did you *actually* need to move that?  Because I finally had my entire system designed, and now I'm having to revisit it for the third time'.

To someone outside of the process, obviously you want to coordinate every single change (no matter how minor) so that everything will work out perfectly in the field - only for it to get into the field and have it immediately fall completely apart.  The engineer and I were laughing about how you can always tell which discipline's installers got on-site first, because they would just run roughshod over everyone else's shit, leaving them all scrambling to *coordinate* (remember that word?) their work on-site.

I told him about one of the very first projects my old firm did in Revit (I've mentioned it here before) where they had large ductwork running across the bottom of structure above racking, only for the client to buy taller racking, and force the mechanical installer to custom-fabricate fittings to allow the duct to run flat against the roof deck, and then wrap around the bottom of the structure in between racks.  (Someone actually took a picture of it, framed it, and hung it up in the office - to the best of my knowledge nobody knows who did it - I wish I could've taken credit for it).

I'm not saying that you shouldn't attempt to do ANY coordination - but as I've said countless times over the years, coordination happens when PEOPLE COORDINATE, not when they expect a piece of software to do it for them.

Fuck Revit 2021, and fuck anyone willingly using, selling, or propagating it.  You can all eat a bag of dicks.

Any Way You Kick It,

Next Time: (If There Is A Next Time)