Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Apply View Template to Schedules

Not sure yet if this was added to 9.0 or 9.1 but you can now create a view template from schedule views. I revisited my first post and realized that just because Revit's schedules defaulted to Arial font back then, doesn't mean I have to live with it now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Revit News & Resources

The UK Revit Users group is hosting a Revit Design Awards 2007 but you have to work in the UK to enter.

For those of you familiar with Content Highway or other Family File managers there is a new program being exhibited at this years AIA Convention in San Antonio, Texas. It's called techtonic and includes many very attractive features. TechtonicStudio also has a library of 100,000 commercial interior finishes for those of you who do a lot of photorealistic rendering and could use a new source of material maps.

Sometimes visitors to my blog ask me how they can print the blog for future reference. If you have a PDF writer like PDFCreator, CutePDF, or PDF Factory you should be able to print the webpage to PDF.

Some thoughts on Revit

Some people have to be reminded that the project file is a database and like any database the more and accurate information about the project you put into the model the more analytical modeling and scheduling you can get out of the model.

Building highly parametric families that flex can be just as tedious as software programming if you're not familiar with the "programming language" or in this case the many rules and shortcuts for family file creation. The family editor is in essence a "graphical" programming environment. Being more visual, this is probably the perfect programming enviroment for architects. As a rule of thumb the more automation you want to build into family or project files the more skilled your users have to be to modify these files later. Not everyone in the office needs to understand the rules of family file creation to use these families, but they would need some expertise to open these family files and make significant modifications. I know the same is true for many BIM applications.

Autodesk publishes basic usage of the tools in Revit, but there are many clever things an office can do by mixing and matching different tools and parameter values to get the project file to analyze the database and report and illustrate the information you need (and some information you didn't know you needed).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Malleristic Revitation

Aaron Maller has a new Revit blog, Malleristic Revitation. He has experience with Gehry Technologies Digital Project (V1, R2), Vectorworks, ArchiCAD, and ADT. Look forward to hearing his take on Revit.

Monday, April 16, 2007

New Features in Revit 2008

Here is a list of some of the new and perhaps less obvious features in Revit Architecture 2008:
  • Plan Regions are now always visible and easier to find.
  • The element graphics of Section Boxes, Plan Regions, Crop Regions, Titleblocks, and Schedules can now be overridden once placed.
  • Roof Tags are now available.
  • Walls sweeps can now be scheduled.
  • When "including elements linked in files" into your schedules you can now also schedule the name of the RVT linked file that hosts the family (for managing large divided projects).
  • New shortcuts for Groups, Visibilty Overrides, etc.
  • Element overrides appear to be the only view specific overrides that dependent views do not share with their parent views.
  • You can link RVT projects as overlay or attachments ("attachments" will also load all rvt files nested into the linked rvt. "overlay" will only load the imported rvt).

With view specific graphic overrides for individual elements there appears to be not much use for the silhouette tool anymore (but you never know).

Monday, April 02, 2007

More Evolution News - IES

On the Sustainable Design front:

Revit BIM platform now linked directly to IES’s building analysis software

IES Virtual Enviroment software is a collection of building performance analysis tools that integrate with Revit.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Data Manager

With the implementation of Revit we, like many offices, have had to assign people to develop Revit standards and content that is specific to our office. Some people refer to these individuals as Data Managers or Data Leaders.

In an Architectural Record article "Getting on Board with Building Information Modeling" Larry Flynn describes a Data Manager as someone "responsible for coordinating the various computer files and models that are integrated into a BIM."

HOK's CAD Standards describe a Data Leader as someone "responsible for the execution of the CAD strategy including, the use of BIM, the folder structure and file-naming strategy, use of templates, and documenting specific project procedures..." AND "... audits the drawings to ensure conformance with the standards and a logical organization of the CAD work."

In our office Data Managers are starting to inspect models for proper construction. And not just our models but also the drawings we are getting from consultants. They are virtually becoming in-house building inspectors or should I say... They are becoming in-house Virtual Building Inspectors.

To quote Daphne, one of our Project Managers, "Revit is becoming quite the little tattle-tail."

Revit API Development

Matt Mason of Avatech Solutions has been actively posting new developments in the next Revit API release.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Evolution News

Take a look around and you'll find that Revit model data is being exported to other applications for many uses. And with the continued development of the Revit API more bi-directional interaction between Revit and other applications is becoming possible. Here is a short list of uses for which Revit model data is being exported. You'll find links to a few of the applications on my blog but there are getting to be too many options to keep up with.

Architectural Programming
Project Management
Construction Management
Consultant Coordination
Clash Detection
Enviromental Simulations
Performance Analysis
Cost Estimating and Material Takeoffs
Rendering, Animation, and other Presentation
Facilities Management and Building Lifecycle
Energy Analyisis and Green Building Design
Code Analysis
Specification Writing
Rapid Model Prototyping
CNC Fabrication

In short, architects are learning to Design, Illustrate, Manage, Analyze, Report, Simulate, Fabricate, Communicate, Estimate, and Educate smarter with Building Information Modeling.

The next things we might see:
ADA and Ergonomical Design Analysis
Security Analysis
Feng Shui Analysis

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Open, Sesame

When you place an existing door or window in an existing wall and then demo the door or window in the new construction phase Revit automatically places an infill wall to replace the door or window. You can then change this infill wall type to any wall type you like, but without a workaround you really can't get rid of the infill wall. We frequently run into situations where we want to demo a door but leave the opening intact. I have seen this discussed at length on AUGI and there are many workarounds but I think the workaround I found today (One Thousand and One Nights later) is an easier option.

Revit has had a Filter function since release 9. By adding a Comment to any instances of infilling walls and filtering out the visibility of the walls based on the Comment added you can hide infilling walls from any of your views.
  • Place an existing wall and door in any existing plan view.
  • Demo your door in the new construction phase.
  • Select the infill wall and add a value to the Comments instance parameter under element properties.
  • Go to the Filters tab in the Visibility/Graphic Overides of your new construction view.
  • Define a new filter for Walls and select Filter by: Comments... equals. Type in the value you used in the Comments field earlier.
  • Insert your new Filter into this view's Visibility/Graphics and turn off its visibility. Do the same for all views where you would like to hide infill walls.
  • Unjoin the geometry of the infill wall and its host wall if you can't see where they meet in 3D or elevation views.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Filtering View Specific Content

Do you want to know if Text Backgrounds used in a view are opaque or transparent?
Are you trying to find hidden filled regions in a view?
Are you having trouble distinguishing detail lines from model lines in a view?

Well, the easiest way to separate view specific content from model content in a view is to place a temporary filled region with a Solid Fill Pattern that covers the entire view (choose a neutral color). Then just select the filled region and Send To Back. All view specific content will pop out and all model content will be hidden behind your Filled Region.

However, if you want to know where the Linework Tool was used you'll have to resort to selecting the Linework Tool... By Category... and floating your mouse over the model to "scan" for where it may have been used. Lines will highlight when you roll your mouse over them if the Linework Tool was infact used.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

SpecifiCAD beta for Revit 9.1 released

CADalytic Media has released a beta version of SpecifiCAD. Utilizing the Revit API SpecifiCAD will add the URL and DESCRIPTION of any product on the McGraw Hill Construction Sweets Network website to the Identity Data of any family you choose. This data can then be exported to 3rd party Spec Writing Software.
  • Download SpecifiCAD
  • Install SpecifiCAD for Revit 9.1
  • Open a new project in Revit 9.1
  • Goto Tools... External Tools... SpecifiCAD
  • Place a component in any view.
  • Highlight the component and click on the Specify button in your SpecifiCAD dialog box
  • If SpecifiCAD is not finding what you want you can do custom searches
  • When you find what you want highlight the component again and click on the LINK button below the product you want.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Great Revit Resources

I recently discovered two very active Revit Resources. has links to many Revit articles and 4BIM brought to us by MILES WALKER and MARIO GUTTMAN of HOK is a very good resource for Revit news and standards.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Spot Dimensions Features

There's more to Spot Dimensions than meets the eye.

Within the Spot Dimension tool you can choose between spot elevations and spot coordinates. Spot Elevations will report the elevation of certain objects. Spot Coordinates will report the distance and direction of a point from an origin that you define (see Tools, Shared Coordinates... Specify Coordinates at a point)

While Spot Coordinates will report the coordinates of any model or drafting element it is not really clear in the help files that Spot Elevations will report the elevation of only certain parts of model elements. Here is the list of elevations that Spot Elevations will tag:

  • toposurfaces
  • roof eaves and ridges
  • stair steps and landings
  • window sills and door thresholds
  • tops of footings & beams
  • the sill and head of openings in a wall
  • any point within the area of (non-sloping) floors and ceilings
  • the height of a family's model objects (provided they are visible in the view)
  • apparently ramps too but I haven't figured this one yet
  • if you know of any more please add a comment
The visibility of Spot Elevations and Spot Coordinates can be controlled by the visibility of its host object or the visibility of the annotations themselves.

Taging the elevation of a horizontal surface won't work in wireframe mode. Spot Elevations may be deleted when trying to modify some objects in certain ways.

Two interesting parameters in the properties dialog are Relative Base and Elevation Origin. If you go to the type properties and change the Elevation Origin to Relative you will notice that the Relative Base instance parameter is no longer greyed out. You can now report the elevation of a point relative to any level you've created.

One nice thing about all Spot Dimensions is that you can control the units format separately from the project's units format by going to the type properties dialog so that their units display in decimal feet if you wish. It would be nice if levels had the same ability.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hide & Seek (updated)

Did something in your project disappear?

  • First, check to see if it is still visible in other views.
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. Is the object category (and subcategories) ON?
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. Is the linestyle set to Override?
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. Is the detail level set to By View?
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. Are all the worksets ON?
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. Are all the filters ON?
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. If the object is in a linked file check Revit Links.
  • Check Visibility/Graphics. Check each design option.
  • Try changing phase and phase filter in View Properties (VP).
  • Try changing the detail level of the view.
  • Are all your worksets opened? (it may be hiding in a closed workset).
  • Check View Range in View Properties (VP).
  • Check for Plan Regions if in a floor plan view.
  • The object may have been moved to a new elevation.
  • Check Crop Region and Far Clip settings in View Properties (VP).
  • Set your view to wireframe. It may be hiding behind a filled region or other object.
  • Select the Linework tool (set to By Category) and see if it wasn't hidden with this tool. It would be very benefitial if one could toggle on/off the use of the linework tool in a view.
  • If the problem is with a family file open the family and check the visibility of the elements.

If you can't find it by now it was probably deleted.