Joining the Nodes in your BIM career with Dynamo.
Remember when Lisp Routines were the in thing? I remember whenever somebody new started at the Company, I would ask "Are you good with AutoCAD? Can you make a Lisp Routine?" Most of the time the response was a sketchy "Yeah, well I can edit them". So my concern is, is Dynamo encountering the same issues and only the elite of Revit Guru's will use it? Would that make them the Messiah's? I believe Dynamo should be held in the hands of the masses and that Dynamo should be used daily. Which is why I have been spruiking the term Daily Dynamo. I don’t know if I can take any credit for coining that term, considering that Desiree Mackey used that for her class at this year's AU, maybe it's possible that we are both very witty people.
JUST QUICKLY, WHAT IS DYNAMO?
There is lots of great information on the web about this, but let me take you straight to the source that is the Dynamo Primer.
Where to start.
There is soooo much good information out there and unlike ye good 'ole days where you may have found that people didn’t want to share their knowledge, times are changing and this is simply not the case anymore. As always google is your best friend, but I will try to help you along the road to Dynamo glory.
Here is a list of Web sites that just want to help you out:
http://dynamobim.org/ This is where it all starts. Being that Dynamo is open source, the peeps here want it to work.
http://dynamoprimer.com/en/ This site is so keen in ensuring that you succeed with Dynamo .
https://dynamopackages.com/ What is the latest on Dynamo Packages? it's here!
http://www.autodesk.com/products/dynamo-studio/overview Well you would expect something from Autodesk.
http://archi-lab.net/ Konrad is Dynamo - Dynamo is Konrad.
http://therevitcomplex.blogspot.com.au/ The complicated part of Design with Dynamo.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjGWj3GLfnzdfTUQnAJZ4jw/videos YouTube is a bounty of information - ArchSmarter is a good start.
https://www.youtube.com/user/zachkron/videos Zach Kron knows all about Dynamo and is willing to share.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Lingkonn/videos Md Lingkon shows a wide range of Dynamo applications to stimulate your brain.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEa4MAGBQeQvyviPkTn6f3g/videos BIM Thoughts - My fav, and I will tell you more about this in a sec.
If you are thinking "That's great Captain, now I have this massive list, where do I go from here?" Well, Dynamo is so diverse that there is no one port of call. But, I will say if you are just starting from nought, then look at BIM Thoughts. The guys will guide you and make you feel comfortable taking in the ocean of expanse that is Dynamo. Bill's approach to open learning and starting up more user groups has inspired me to start Melbourne's DynaManics. The great thing about DynaManics is that it requires minimal prep time, a general discussion after the YouTube clip and I have been thinking of giving out Homework to keep the Melbourne Peeps keen. As for Dynamo User Groups, they are popping up. The word is that there will be one starting in Sydney next year; I’ll keep you land lubbers updated as more news comes in from lands afar.
The biggest failure of the AEC community could be that we keep dynamo on the shelf gathering dust until he highly complicated projects come along where intricate curves and patterns for structure or facades come into play. Dynamo isn’t just about the fancy architecture and the impossible buildings, it’s about automating your daily workflow. Dynamo can improve workflows throughout the entire AEC design and documentation process.
Take this simple Dynamo Graph above; all this does is make sure that the three custom Parameters that are used to name the drawing sheet to deal with Revit's text hard return issues are used to re-name the inbuilt Drawing Sheet Parameter so that the Drawing Schedule reads true. No biggy, but my customers will not be sending out drawing sheets with mismatching Sheets and Drawing Schedules again.
Here are some simple, no-brainer ideas:
*Remove Views not on drawing sheets.
*Create Drawings Sheets for projects.
*Extract Coordinates for set-out.
*Load Views onto Drawing Sheets.
*Move Excel workflows into Revit and calculate on the run.
*Renaming Views.* Swapping Objects.
*Create Sections at each Grid.
*Create standard details drawing sheets.
The point is, step back from what you do. Are you effectively running a process? Can it be automated?
Confronting the bird's nest.
Dynamo is certainly confronting when you first start looking at the immense bird's nest that it can create, but you will only create it one Node at a time. The key is to keep it neat, have protocols that are consistent that you, or more importantly, anybody else can easily decipher. On the Dynamo website, you will find that some protocols have been established get link here. Also, Dynamo wants for you to keep things neat with Groups and the ability to align text. Then there is the ability to add text to the Node or inside the Group. Personally, I don’t mind it if somebody wants to edit the Node name, but I would strongly suggest that you keep the Node's original name and add a suffix to pick up the heading that you want. Look at my example above, and you'll see what I mean. Change things too much, and people have to dig around, and that’s when the problems start. The exception to that last rule is Code Blocks; they need re-naming. With these simple protocols, you will reduce the "birds nest" appearance and convey the intent of the Dynamo String easier to fellow users or yourself in a month or two.
This is why you should learn Dynamo.
Remember that person who is a star with Excel? Creating if statements, getting colours to show but more importantly -processes that would normally take a half a day, only take 10 minutes? Dynamo is that same thing, you don’t need to be a guru, realistically I can never see myself setting up a Dynamo Graph of the next major Metro Rail link Roof Super Structure! But I can see myself automating simple repetitive tasks to make my job more efficient and accurate. Dynamo will allow you to start small, even stay small, then expand on your knowledge as you feel comfortable.
Job opportunities! In interviews 5 years ago, Revit occasionally come up in conversation, now it’s the norm. It's harder to find jobs that are exclusively 2D CAD. Dynamo is now turning up in resumes and interview conversations. Also to note that the Revit users are 5 to 15K better off than their 2D counterparts, Dynamo could be the 5 to 10K difference at your next interview, or at a minimum, beneficial at your next performance/pay review.
Look at it this way, if you are 30 years old and get an extra 5K for knowing Dynamo, that is 5K increase in pay over 37 years left in the workforce = $185,000 for learning Dynamo!
Where do you see yourBIMself in 5 years? Now bring it back to 3? 2? Now how does 1 year fit into this Grand Data scheme? Your personal progress starts now, take small steps, and if you go the way of Dynamo, the Dynamo community will support you.
Let me know, what is your Daily Dynamo?
Fair winds and following seas,