Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The "Simplex"custom Dynamo Node Package has finally been released!

I have been planning on creating a custom dynamo package for the package manager called "Simplex" for some time now. I finally published it. It is broken into two parts.
  1. "Simple" which has nodes that are very practical and will help enhance your Revit and production workflows in the office including nodes that allow you to bring in text from word documents into dynamo (see image below)

  1. "Complex" which has nodes that are "less practical" but fun to try. These include the DynamoCow and soon the ..........Revit Elephant...

If you have any requests or issues please email me at
Note that this package is in beta form and nodes will be added weekly.

Now go out there and get that package! You could also download it here.
If you are curious all the nodes are coded using zero touch and the name "Simplex"  is a combination of the words SimplyComplex. which has always been my philosophy about problem solving.. which is...
complex problems have simple solutions or....that I always try to give
"Simple Solutions to Complex Problems" in the AEC industry.

Dear Readers Also Note:
We are re-branding and relocating everything "simplycomplex" to the website
The site is not complete yet but you could go check it out.....
and we thank you for all your support over the years and your patience during this relocation. The idea is to have all the simplycomplex brands in one place this includes.........
  1. The Simplycomplex Podcast and all 4 channels (Design Tech, Dynamo, VR/Gaming, and Conference/User group)
  2. The Simplycomplex Blogsite (which you are reading now)
  3. The Simplycomplex Youtube channel (which could be found here)
  4. and The Simplycomplex Dynamocheatsheets (which will be published in the near future)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Create a Solid Tetrahedron in Revit using DynamoBIM

One of the SimplyComplex Blog Readers asked me a very interesting question that I thought initially had a very simple answer...
The Question was...

How do I make a Solid..... Yes Solid.... Tetrahedron in Revit...?
What is a Tetrahedron? 
It's the simplest solid with the least amount of sides (like a pyramid in Egypt)
My first reaction was "just" create it in the massing or adaptive component family editor... simple right?
It turns out it is not possible to create a Solid Terahedron in Revit using any family editor. Why? Because a Solid Tetrahedron requires 4 triangular faces and one rectangular face. You could read more about it here. 
So then I thought the best way to do this is to use Dynamo and bring the Dynamo geometry back into Revit. So below is an example on how to create a simple Tetrahedron or pyramid that is 1 unit x 1 unit x 1 unit. 

Once you have mastered this concept you could apply this to any sided solid. Good luck polyhedron building and dont forget Dynamo is always Revit's "wingman".

Friday, February 3, 2017


There is a new feature to help you manage your lists in DynamoBIM version 1.2 and greater... its called "list at level" and it allows you to operate at different levels within nested lists. In many cases it will replace the need to use, list.combine, and many other list management nodes.
Want to learn more? Simply activate it and start testing! Below is a simple example using list count.

There will be more to follow
Also listen to the SimplyComplexPodcast on our sister network for more explanation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Learn how to make your Revit families move in the Autodesk Stingray Engine

I am proposing a class for 2017 both at BILT and AU.
Most Revit to Game Engine workflows that are used for visualization and real time rendering do not take full advantage of real time physics that game engines have to offer. Getting your Revit families into a game engine so they could flex and move is not that difficult. See the sample below and I will see everyone at the class!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Find the Families in your Revit Project that have Embedded DWG mesh files. Use Dynamo BIM

Have you ever wondered if the families in your Revit project contain meshes? Families that contain meshes, most of the time, mean that they have one or more imported DWG files embedded in them.
Well, if you are slightly curious then simply open your Revit Project and place the nodes shown in the image below.

The sample shown was tested on some furniture families in a Revit Project and as shown the dining tables were made of meshes! Busted! 

Please note that some families such as topo and rpc's always have meshes in them. Also note that the method above will not find meshes that are "not visible" in a family. 

Happy mesh hunting!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Find the surface area of structural beams using Dynamo BIM!

Its easy to find the total area of each type of structural beam in Revit. Just use Dynamo!
See the image below and add the nodes shown.
I was inspired to show this workflow because a contractor friend of mine asked me how they could calculate all the surface areas from each steel beam type in their Revit project for fire proofing calculations. Why use Dynamo to do this? Well, most elements in Revit do not "report" a surface area and Dynamo could easily extract that information so why not! Good luck getting those surface areas.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Deciding on Which Classes to Propose for Conferences in 2017

I have been getting a lot of questions about which classes I will be teaching in 2017 and I thought it would be fun to show you how I decide which classes to propose each year.
It starts with me making a list of all the classes that I Previously have taught since 2012.
See the list below.

I try not to teach the same exact class at the same conference so it helps me narrow down which classes NOT to teach. Then I make a list of all the classes I WANT to teach.
See the list below

In this case I have about 35 classes in this list and I could not realistically propose to teach everyone of these classes so I have to narrow it down to some manageable number. In this case the top 6 shown in Red I have (just) proposed at RTCNA/ BILTNA2017.
How do I decide which top classes get proposed?

Well its usually the classes I am the most excited about but if you readers and the AEC community feel there is a better class to propose that is on or off this list I would be happy to hear  your input in the comments below or as a mention on twitter.