Wednesday 29 June 2011

eTransmit for Revit

Wo hoo...  e-Transmit for Revit is now available for technology preview through Autodesk Labs....

With eTransmit for Revit, you can:

§                         Copy and detach a Revit model and associated files to a single folder for internet transmission. This removes the typical error messages when you copy central files using the operating system.

§                         Locate dependent files automatically and include them in the transmittal folder, reducing the possibility of error. All dependent files are automatically converted to use relative paths to ensure that the dependent files can be located by the model.

§                         Choose to include related dependent files such as linked Revit models, CAD files, DWF markups, decal images, and external keynote files. You can transmit any Revit (.rvt) model that has been upgraded to Revit Release 2012.

§                         Transmit models that are using file-based worksharing or server-based worksharing. eTransmit for Revit will also work with non-workshared Revit models.

Common uses for eTransmit

§                         Internal archiving

§                         Sending deliverables to clients

§                         Model exchange between consultants/partners

§                         Model cleanup

§                         Sharing models between disciplines

Awesome, if your not already signed up for Autodesk Labs check it out.

I'm going to load and test it ASAP!

Monday 27 June 2011

Variable Thickness for Roof and Floor

The variable layer thickness parameter of roofs and floors affects the shape editing tools in the following ways:

·     When there is no variable thickness layer, the whole roof or floor slopes and maintains constant thickness between parallel top and bottom faces.

·     When there is a variable thickness layer, the top face of the roof or floor slopes, and the bottom stays in a horizontal plane, creating a variable thickness floor.

There is a Thickness property for structural floors. If the structural floor has a structural floor shape edit, and if the structural floor type contains a variable layer, then this parameter can be used to set the structural floor to a uniform thickness by entering a desired value.
To modify the variable thickness layer of a floor or roof

  1. Select the floor or roof.
  2. On the Properties palette, click Edit Type.
  3. In the value box of the Structure property, click Edit.
  4. In the Edit Assembly dialog, specify the material for layers and the thickness of those layers. The variable thickness parameter column will contain empty check boxes next to layers where variable thickness can be enabled.
  5. Next to the desired layer of the roof or floor in the assembly, select the variable check box
  6. Click OK until all of the dialogs are closed.
  7. Click Modify | <element> tab Shape Editing panel Modify Sub Elements and make the desired changes to the roof or floor.

This works great when you are doing a flat roof with sloped rigid insulation.
The other method to create slope on a flat roof (and I've done it this way when building a construction model) is to create your main roof sloped as per the structural design and then create backslope using a new roof style that is just rigid and roof membrane and modify the points to create your slope.

With this method you can to a accurate take off of the sloped rigid that will be required......

Friday 24 June 2011

Point Clouds?

So I've been playing with importing Point Clouds into Revit.

In theory this looks impressive but I've yet to find a practical use for point clouds.

Revit 2012 has a direct import tool for bringing in Point Clouds, works very well and is easy to use. (the hard part is tracking down a Point Cloud file to use!).

However once you bring it in what can you do with it? It's a bunch of points (dots) in space, that you cant even snap too.... would you design your building around this? Use it to help you recreate the building such in the case as a renovation? I don't think so.?

Maybe if you had an existing mechanical space and you scanned it and then incorporated that into your new model but that seems pretty extravagant to me....

Maybe if you could bring in a point cloud file like you can bring in a survey points file.. to create a actual surface???..... Hmmmmmm......  DOH!!

Doesn't work, Point Cloud Files are not created the same as a Survey (gps) points file. :-(

Well maybe this could be something in the future that could be used..... Or if you know of a innovative way to use these Point clouds let me know.

I'd love to be enlightened!

Thursday 23 June 2011

Aligning Wall Pattern Hatch

sometimes when butting up one wall style with to another wall style you may find that the wall pattern hatch does not line up.

I came across this with one wall style "Vinyl Siding" and another "Stacked" wall style that had my "Vinyl Siding" wall style at the top and I found that the wall hatch pattern did not line up.

To fix this you are going to use the Align Tool.

·         Start the Align command (shortcut Key: AL), select the "siding hatch line" you want the other pattern to line up with.

·         Then select the other wall "siding hatch line", just as you would when you typically use the align tool. Lock the Alignment if desired.

Another unexpected way to use the Revit tools......

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Converting ACAD Hatch Patterns into Revit Hatch Patterns

If you want to create hatch patterns from scratch you need to read the revit.pat file, this is a txt file that will walk you through the process. Search for this file under the Revit Architecture program file.

The only real difference between a Revit hatch and a ACAD hatch is a small piece of script that is added to the pat script.

Revit reads hatch patterns a little differently than Autocad. If you add the script as outlined in the above mentioned file (you can copy clip it in) to a copy of your ACAD hatch patterns you can then import the pat filers into Revit.

you will need to add a line or two to AutoCAD patterns to get Revit to recognize them.
the line after the pattern description if you want to use it as a model pattern. add
the line after the pattern description if you want to use it when something is cut.

This file contains the standard set of custom fill patterns distributed with Autodesk Revit. Since it is part of the standard installation, do not change it. Any changes you make may be lost when you update Revit. To define custom patterns, create a new file using this file as a template. Fill patterns are also known as hatches and fills.

Model vs. Drafting patterns

There are two types of fill patterns in Revit: model and drafting. Model patterns are used to depict real-world elements, such as bricks, shingles, tiles, etc. They are defined and display in model units. An 8x16 inch brick pattern will show exactly 12 courses on an 8-foot-tall wall. A 2-meter-tall wall with a 200x400 mm brick pattern will have 10 courses. Model patterns appear denser at coarser view scales and sparser at finer ones.

Drafting patterns are defined in paper units. If you import the pattern at scale 1 and print at 100% zoom, the pattern's dimensions on paper will be exactly as specified in the file, regardless of view scale. Drafting patterns are used to symbolically denote materials such as  steel, concrete, sand, etc.

Drafting patterns are typically defined with smaller numbers than model patterns. Drafting patterns usually contain sizes from 0.04 to 1 inch (1 - 25 mm); model patterns usually contain sizes from 2 to 20 inches (50 - 500 mm). These are guidelines only, not enforced by Revit.

Friday 17 June 2011

Project Neon Authentication Error

I was having some issues when trying to use the new Neon On-line Rendering Service.

When I try to render straight from the Web Service Plug in for Revit I get the Render Online dialog box where I can change the camera, quality etc...

Then after clicking the Start Rendering button it starts to create the render and then I get the error message:

Apparently at the time I was also logged in to the web site log in as well as being logged in through Revit. 
The way to resolve the issue and get past the error message was to log out of both the Web site and log out of the Revit sign in.

Then when restarting the Web Service Rendering from Revit it will ask you to log in and then it will run fine.... 
Minor thing but it sure was annoying when trying out Project Neon.

I am still playing with the renderings, I have seen on some other blogs some great results..... I haven't been able to duplicate those results yet but I'm working on it!!!
I DO LOVE the ability to Render and not have it hold up production on my computer... Rendering can take time and this way I can Render and still work on my Project... love that!

Thursday 16 June 2011

Converting Survey ASC file

Surveyors can send you their survey datum points as a ASC file format.

To convert a surveyors ASC file into a points file that we can then bring into Revit to create a Topographical site follow these simple steps.
·         Open Microsoft Excel and open your ASC file.
·         Click next on the first dialog box of the "Text Import Wizard". Then uncheck the Tab box and check the Comma box.

Click next then finish to close dialog box.
·         This will then convert and open up your ASC file, delete column A which is just numerical numbering of the rows.

·         Save the file as a CSV (Comma delimited) file. Click through any error messages that may pop up. Close Excel.

·         Open Revit and create a site using "Specify Points file" specifying the Units as Meters.

·         Your surface will then be created based upon the points that the Surveyor has created, you may find that will delete some of the points to refine the boundary of the Topo surface.

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Shared Parameters

There are two methods to use shared parameters in a project:

Method 1 Instance - To allow each Title Block parameter to vary, select Drawing Sheets under Categories in the steps below. This method is ideal for labels that will display data that varies from sheet to sheet.

Method 2 Type - To allow each Title Block parameter to utilize the same shared parameter content, select Project Information under Categories in the steps below. This will add a field to Settings > Project Information to provide easy access to the contents. This method is ideal for labels that should display the same data from sheet to sheet.

To use shared parameters from title block labels in a Revit project, follow these steps:

Create the label and add a parameter:

  1. In the Title Block family, add a new label. 
  2. Click Label > Add Parameter. 
  3. Specify the shared parameter name and settings. 
  4. Once the parameter has been created, you can add it to the Label Parameters section by clicking the Add Parameter(s) to Label button.
  5. Click the Load into Project button to load the Title Block family into the project.

Link the shared parameter from the title block family to the Revit project:

  1. In the Revit project, click Settings menu > Project Parameters.
  2. Click the Add button.
  3. Choose Shared Parameter and then click Select. Choose the title block shared parameter.
  4. Under the Parameter Data menu, choose the category to group the Parameter under. 
  5. Set the Parameter as Instance.
  6. Under Categories, select Drawing Sheets if you are using Method 1 above. For Method 2 above, select Project Information.

Once linked to the project, all shared parameters in the title block should appear blue. This allows you to enter data directly into the label. If a label appears as a red question mark, it has not yet been linked to a project parameter using the above procedure.

Friday 10 June 2011

Checklist for missing an object in their view

Whenever you have lost an object within your view and you know it should be there!!!
Run through this checklist should help you find those objects.
1.      Visibility Graphics – check boxes are view dependant, also check object styles for lineweight/colour/linestyle

2.      View Range – Has to be set to include the objects you want to view, think about the elevation of the objects, remember the difference between a plan and a reflected plan

3.      Filters – MEP mostly use these to differentiate the difference between systems, but can be overlooked regarding visibility, make sure to check the filters are visible otherwise the objects will not display

4.      Worksets – Control visibility of objects, just off or on

5.      Revit Links – for the linked disciplines, they can be set to match the current view settings OR the settings from a linked file OR to custom

6.      Discipline – Can affect the way objects are displayed ie in a Mechanical discipline the arch is hardcoded to be halftone

7.      Hidden Objects – Objects can be turned off in a view, using the sunglasses icon on the view control bar, use the light bulb next to this to check for temporarily hidden objects

8.      Crop Region – Turn off the crop region and display it, are the objects outside the crop?

9.      Import Categories – When creating a family using a imported CAD file for an annotation symbol you should explode the symbol, otherwise you can turn off its display and it will disappear

Thursday 9 June 2011

Revit File Extension Definitions

Hope you find this information useful.... I often get questions on the different file types.
Here is a brief explanation on the typical Revit file extension definitions.

File extension RFT description: Revit Family Template
RFT file suffix is another type of template, only this one pertains to a family template. Template is used to specifying future family files.

File extension RTE description: Revit Template
RTE File contains Revit Architecture templates. Template file is used for specifying future projects.

File extension RVG description: Revit Group
File extension is used by Revit. External group file.

File extension RVT description: Revit Project
The RVT file extension is associated with Revit Architecture. The .rvt files are used for project files.

File extension IES description: Lighting File
File extension is used by Illuminating Engineering Society applications.

When you specify that the light distribution of a light source is Photometric Web, you can specify an IES file. An IES file is a text file provided by a lighting manufacturer. It describes the intensity of a light source at points on a spherical grid. It also describes the geometry of how the light comes out of the lighting fixture (the photometric web).

File extension RFA description: Revit Family
Revit model is based on a compilation of items called families. There are two types of families: System families and Hosted families. A system family can only be found within a Revit model and cannot be stored in a separate location, ie: wall, floor, roof styles etc. A hosted family is inserted similar to a block (or cell) and is stored in an external directory, ie: doors, windows, furniture etc.

File extension ADSK description:
ADSK file suffix is associated with Autodesk architecture applications. File is used for exchange data between Autodesk architecture applications. Manufactured building components that are formatted as Autodesk Exchange (ADSK) files provide design and connection data that you can use to accurately place the component in a Revit project.

A building component ADSK file provides the following information to aid in the design process:

·     Physical appearance of the component in views, such as 3D, which lets you determine clearance for accurate placement

·     Connectors and their placement

·     Data about the component, such as its identity data

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Work Plane Based Families

Here in the office we had an issues with Revit "Groups".... Some of the grouped objects were not behaving properly. :-(

When we copied the group to the upper levels some of the objects were remaining on the lower level, in some cases creating duplicate objects on the lower (original) level.

This is the solution to the problem we were having.

1. The underlying issue was that the component families (which remain at the same level after the model group is copied) are not workplane based. Because of that they are unable to disassociate with the original placed level.
2. You can work around this issue by editing a family, open 'Family Category and Parameters' dialog, check 'Work Plane-Based' and reload back into the project.

3. After that the group should be able to be copied and pasted to another level.

The underlying limitation in this case was not with groups. If we ungrouped the instances and select one of the problem family instances, and changed its level references, the 'Host' constraint remained the same and the furniture does not move to the selected level. The same behavior is seen when these family instances are in groups.

Once we checked the "Work Plane Based" parameter and reloaded it back into the project all was fine...

Monday 6 June 2011

Railing endless possibilities

The functionality of the Railing tool in Revit can be applied to much more than just "railing".......

For example I wanted to quickly and easily place curbing on my topographical site without having to use separate segments of curb so I created a simple curb profile and applied this to a new Railing type and then drew the path where I wanted the curb.... ta-daaaa!!!

Instant curb.... a colleague even suggested incorporating the sidewalk into the profile creating the sidewalk and the curb.... amazing!

I have also seen railing used for street lighting, bollard placement along a path, pathways, mono-rail!

I also found a sunshade by Kawaneer that is a railing that works great!

The functionality of the Railing tool in Revit can be applied to much more than just "railing".......

For example I wanted to quickly and easily place curbing on my topographical site without having to use separate segments of curb so I created a simple curb profile and applied this to a new Railing type and then drew the path where I wanted the curb.... ta-daaaa!!!

Instant curb.... a colleague even suggested incorporating the sidewalk into the profile creating the sidewalk and the curb.... amazing!

I have also seen railing used for street lighting, bollard placement along a path, pathways, mono-rail!

I also found a sunshade by Kawaneer that is a railing that works great!

The Louvers and fascia are "Railing" components and the "Outriggers" are the baluster's. I think this works better and is easier to use than a typical Family component.

The Louvers and fascia are "Railing" components and the "Outriggers" are the baluster's. I think this works better and is easier to use than a typical Family component.

Friday 3 June 2011

View 2D and 3D files with Freewheel

Check out Freewheel, I was playing with it this morning as I'm looking for something that allows us to view 3D models on a i-pad and I remembered this program from Autodesk.

Freewheel is a free web service that allows you to share 2D and 3D files easily with out the recipient having to download software. It's not as smooth or versatile as design Review and certainly not as powerful as Navisworks but it may work for those clients who want something easy and simple to use to view your model.... check it out.

Apparently you can also embed this into your web site and   it is possible to experience Freewheel in a browser on Windows, a mobile phone, or Macintosh!! (although I haven't tried this myself yet)... Brian can I borrow your I-pad?

Pretty cool stuff!!

Thursday 2 June 2011

Locking 3D Views

So with the new 2012 version of Revit Architecture we now have the ability to lock our 3D views.

Autodesk is promoting this as part of the process for placing tags and keynotes now in 3D views but I really like this tool just for the ability to have multiple 3D views that I want to save and not inadvertently change the view angle I want.

There's three options when locking 3D views:

· Save Orientation and Lock View: Locks the view at the current orientation. You cannot orbit the model in this mode.

 · Restore Orientation and Lock View: Restores an unlocked, reoriented view to its previously locked orientation. Any tags and keynotes placed at the original orientation will display.
· Unlock View: Unlocks the current orientation, allowing you to navigate and orbit the 3D view. Any tags or keynotes placed in the view do not display until you click the Restore Orientation and Lock View command.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Woo Hoo - kick off to my first Blog...!

This Blog is dedicated to all things to do with Building Information Modeling with a focus on Revit Architecture.
Here I'll be blogging about challenges that I come across as BIM Manager as well as points of interest that are related to BIM.
I'll be posting tips and technical "How-too's" to help you our with creating your BIM models correctly. We'll look at the specific topics that address issues that typically arise during the construction of your BIM model.