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I started off on the drafting board during my first job in 1983. About 4 years later our office received its first CAD system called RUCAPS. It was a hybrid of CAD and todays BIM. The system was so complicated, that the office had to hire one of the programmers from Seattle just to make the $100,000 investment worthwhile. I’ve been working on the computer since 1984 and started on some early systems, including RUCAPS. But my real move to CAD happened in 1988 with AutoCAD.

This was pretty cool, but it was just digital drafting. I sold my own AutoCAD add-on for 20 years before retiring the company. I needed to focus on my real day job, it was just others didn’t want the software to end. But that is a story for another time. When I was first exposed to Revit (BIM), I fell in love with it.

It is a good tool with many output options from the Model, including plans, schedules, details, sections, elevations and concepts. Let talk about concepts. Just the other day I was asked by a client for a 3-room concept in an existing building. I whipped out the latest version of Revit and proceeded to show how it would work in the existing space.

The next day, I received a phone call asking to flip one of the rooms. I open up Revit, flip the room and a column shows up in the way. It’s late, my brain is fried and I’m tired of looking at the screen. I printed the trouble spot and then get the sketch paper out. I throw together a couple of quick and very rough sketches. I send the sketches to the Owner along with the print of the troubled spot.

We set up a conference call to talk about these concepts. We work through a couple of options that deal with the column. The client wants to take the ideas to the management team for a final decision. I let them know, I will need some time to put the ideas into Revit. The reply, was “Oh the sketch works better, that way it still looks loose and not ready for construction”

So, what do I do… I do a quick Revit update on one of the concepts. Print it out and then do two concepts on sketch paper. Something about a sketch that is easier to sell to a client than a hardline computer print. I should know better that I need to be sketching my sketches.

…and now for something completely different.
A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top.


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