Monday, April 20, 2009

Revit 2010: New Coordinates Icons

The new coordinate systems and icons have a lot of even the best users confused. Go to a floor plan view and hit the light bulb to reveal the two new coordinate system icons (the survey point triangle and the project base point circle). Now... you can draw a simple building and link in a simple building (by shared coordinates) and move these two icons around a bit (clipped and unclipped) to see how the two models react or.. here is the simplest way I can put it:

1. There are now 3 coordinate systems in Revit... the revit internal coordinates, the shared coordinates, and the new the project coordinates. There is no icon for locating the revit internal coordinates but there are two new icons for the other coordinate systems... the survey point, and the project base point.

2. Clipped or unclipped the Project Base point is always the origin of the new project coordinates system.

3. Clipping the Project Base Point... pins the project base point icon to the revit internal coordinate system so you can drag around the revit internal system (which the host model is always attached to).

4. Unclipping the Project Base Point icon from the revit internal coordinates system... allows you to move the project coordinates system separately from the revit internal coordinates system.

5. Clipping the Survey Point... pins the survey point icon to the shared coordinates system so you can drag around the shared coordinates system (which only linked models might be attached to).

6. Unclipping the Survey Point icon from the shared coordinates system allows you to move it freely without moving the shared coordinates system.

7. The Survey Point icon was created for the export to Civil workflow.

8. Both icons report their location relative to the shared coordinates origin at all times and you can rotate true north from the project base point icon.

If you are still confused go back to my original suggestion... draw a simple building and link in a simple building (by shared coordinates) and move these two icons around a bit (clipped and unclipped) to see how the two models react. Trial and error is probably the best way to learn these new tools.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Revit 2010: New Synchonize with Central

You might notice a few things about the new Save To Central features... and if you haven't... well, here are a few pointers.

1. Autodesk is now calling Save to Central (STC) a Synchronize with Central (SWC)

2. Some of the wording has changed in the Synchozine with Central dialog. The option now reads "Save Local File before and after synchonize with central."

What does this mean? Revit now saves the local file... then the central file... then the local file again when this option is checked. You might ask why... According to Autodesk, troubleshooting SWC crashes is easier if you give them the latest local (along with the usual journal files).

3. When you choose to open a workset enabled project you'll notice an option at the bottom of the dialog that reads "Create New Local" This option is checked by default to make local file creation more transparent. Once opened if you'll look at the title of your Revit window you'll notice that your username has been appended to the end of the filename. Revit is automatically creating a local file for you... all you have to do is open the central file and save to your desktop.

4. When closing a local file you have the option to discard changes and relenquish objects. Before you had to close the file and reopen to relenquish objects to accomplish the same task.

5. You can now set default worksets to open, during Save As in the Options button.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Revit 2010: New Spot Slopes

Go to Annotate... Spot Slope... and you might notice that Revit has a new slope annotation that works in plan and elevation view. Now try annotating a roof slope with a spot annotation triangle and you might notice something peculiar. Maybe your roof is 6:12 but the annotation read 4:12. Why the error? Because Revit is annotating the Hip not the face of the roof...

Try hiting the tab key while floating over the roof edge and you'll see that the slope tag can report the slope of the hip or the face. The tool just happens to default to reporting the hip first.

This tool does not yet work on ramps or railings.

Revit 2010: Resetting the UI

Autodesk has written a little vb script that will reset the Ribbon, QAT, and Project Browser to their default settings/locations, in the event that a user has totally rearranged the components of the User Interface.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Revit 2010: The Ribbon

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the new User Interface. Here are some of the arguments for and against the Ribbon.

The "Consistency" group:
Learning the new ribbon will make learning other Autodesk products easier because they all have a consistent user interface.

The "It's Inevitable" group:
We are going to have to get used to the ribbon because it's here to stay. So the question is not DO we learn the new ribbon but, WHEN do we learn it?

The "Hopeful, Let's Wait" group:
There is a lot of complaining about the new interface. In response to complains, Autodesk might make some changes to the ribbon between now and next year.

The "Productivity" group:
The new ribbon is less efficient than the old interface and not necessary for our firm at this time.

My Thoughts:
1. The first reaction is going to be frustration, "Where did my tool go? Why are the tools moving around on me?"
2. The second reaction is going to be surprise, "Is this a new tool in 2010? No, it's just more visible now because commands were shuffled around."
3. Every office is at a different stage of Revit Implementation. Regardless of how many new features there are you have to ask yourself, "Is the office ready for an upgrade? Now or later?"
4. The new ribbon is going to require more retraining than is usual for a new release.