Friday 29 July 2011

Communication and Worksets

When dealing with worksets communication is critical.

You need to be able to communicate with your colleagues so there is no overlap of duties and that everyone is all "on board" with how the Job Captain wants things done.

Remember the Job Captain (or Project Leader) assignees who does what however there is occasional overlaps where some people may need to temporarily adjust worksets owned by other people.

I have found that the Revit Editing Request process is too slow so in our office we looked for another messaging process. We looked for a faster messaging system but didn't want to go with a open Web messenger such as MSN. so we found a LAN messenger that seems to work really well for us.

Squiggle is a free (I love that!) open Source (I also love that) LAN Messenger program that looks and feels similar to MSN, it's easy to set up and easy to use.

With Squiggle we can send requests for workset editing as well as send messages about the project etc much quicker.

Seems to be working great for us. :-)

Thursday 28 July 2011

Construction Models

Follow my discussion on Linkedin's "BIM expert" group in regards to BIM Architectural Models:
A colleague of mine recently said the Architectural firm he is working for is building "Construction Models" as opposed to "regular" Architectural models. Who else is building construction models?                     

Tips for Working with Worksets

Here are some tips for working with worksets.

  • Assign one person to create the Worksets, this can involve team input but one person should manage the worksets.

  • When selecting worksets spend some time thinking about what elements need to be on each workset. For example our last project we had Circulation which included Stairs and Elevator, Parkade, Interior layout, Roof and Exterior Shell, Level and Grids.

  • Divide up the Building logically... ie: separate wings, building areas etc... work with Building Components rather than drawing types.

  • Be selective when opening worksets. Don't open worksets that you wont be working on. Not only will you speed up opening and saving the project but you will also avoid annoying your colleagues.

  • When closing the project Relinquish all your worksets, this way other people will be able to access them.

  • Be conscious about what views you have open, periodically close all your unused view. This helps with the amount of RAM being used.

  • Set scheduled Synchronization with the Central file, we set it to be before lunch, mid afternoon and at the end of the day. You can still sync when you feel it necessary as well.

  • In a larger office schedule staggered saves back to central, this will eliminate a "Log Jamb" of information.

  • You can Reload Latest (RL) which will download the latest copy of the Central file  without uploading your local back to central.

  • Communication is important with your team members, you don't want to be overlapping duties and work. Meet often to discuss who is doing what and how it's going.

  •  If it's not working for you...change it!

Question....... Can worksets be used when NOT work-sharing? Your comments?

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Transfering Schedules

Have you recently updated your Schedules in your Template?

And now you want to be able to use those updated schedules in your current project which has the old Schedules :-(

You can transfer the Schedule View from your template (I typically have a Project File that is identical to my Template).

Using the Insert > Insert from File > Insert Views from File menu you can transfer schedule views between Revit projects. Additionally this will transfer shared parameters between the projects as well.

Works great....

Monday 25 July 2011

Hiding Datums in Linked File

When you link in your Site file you typically want to hide the datum levels so they don't obstruct the Levels in your Building project.

Here's how......
  1. VG (Visibility Graphics).... go to the Revit Links Tab.

  1. Under the Basic Tab change the default from by host view to Custom this will then activate the dialog box options.

  1. Then under the Annotation Categories tab change the category from <by host view> to <custom>

  1. Now you have made the Annotation Category for the Revit linked file active you can now manipulate the visibility of the Linked file categories. ie: turn of Levels.....

  1. Check your elevation view to see the results.....

Friday 22 July 2011

View Options, saving and re-using Views

Here are the basic steps for saving and re-using views in Revit, this is great for saving those details you create in Revit so you can start developing your Revit Detail Library....

This is straight from the help menu.....

Saving Views

You can save 2D views to create a detail library for later use in other projects. This allows for reuse and saves duplication of work. You can save views that contain only view-specific elements, such as drafting views.

To save 2D views, do either of the following:

·     To save a single view, in the Project Browser, right-click the view and click Save to New File. Navigate to the desired location, enter a file name, and click Save.

·     To save several views from the project, select Save As Library View. In the Save Views dialog, select the views to save, and click OK. Navigate to the desired location, enter a file name, and click Save.

Saving Views to an External Project

Use the following procedure to save a view to an external Revit project. This operation will save the view and all elements (model elements and view-specific elements) visible in that view to a new project file.

  1. Select a view in the Project Browser.
  2. Right-click the view name, and click Save to New File.
  3. Enter a new name for the Revit file.

Inserting a Drafting View from Another Project

  1. Click Insert tab Import panel Insert from File drop-down Insert Views from File.
  2. In the Open dialog, select a project file, and click Open.
The Insert Views dialog opens, which displays views that are saved in the project.
From the list, select an option for views to display.
  1. Select the views to insert, and click OK.
Revit creates a new drafting view with all the 2D components and text. If you have duplicate type names, the type name and properties from the current project are used, and a warning message displays.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Annotating Parts

After you have created your Parts assembly and set up a 3D view you then need to lock your 3D View which then allows you to Annotate your view.

Name this view and use it in your assembly detailing.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Scheduling Parts

There are two ways to schedule Parts in Revit:

Method 1

1.      Click View tab > Create panel > Schedule > Material Takeoff. Under Category, select “Part”.

2.      Add the fields “Original Category”, “Original Type”, “Material : Name”, “Material: Volume”.

3.      On the Sorting/Grouping tab, set “Sort by” as “Material : Name”, check “Header”, “Footer”, and select “Totals only”.

4.      On the Formatting tab, select “Material: Volume”, check “Calculate totals” in right panel, and click OK.
Method 2:

1.      Click View tab > Create panel > Schedule > Schedule/Quantities. Under Category, select “Part”.

2.      Add the fields “Original Category”, “Original Type”, ”Material” and “Volume”.

3.      On the Sorting/Grouping tab, set “Sort by” as “Material”, check “Header”, “Footer”, and select “Totals only”.

4.      On the Formatting tab, select “Volume”, check “Calculate totals” in right panel, and click OK.
The big difference between the two methods:

With method 1, most parameters in the Identity tab of Material dialog (Click Manage tab>Settings panel>Materials), for example, material URL, Manufacture, Cost, etc, are listed in the available field of the material takeoff schedule, but for method 2, you cannot add these parameters to parts schedule.

Monday 18 July 2011


Parts in Revit allow you to divide certain elements from the model into separate parts. These parts can then be independently scheduled, tagged, filtered, and exported. Parts can also be used to plan delivery and installation processes.

Parts can be generated from elements with layered structures, such as:

·     Walls (excluding stacked walls and curtain walls)
·     Floors (excluding shape-edited floors)
·     Roofs (excluding those with ridge lines)
·     Ceilings
·     Structural slab foundations

Parts are dependent to elements. Parts are automatically updated and regenerated when the original element from which they are originated is modified. Modifications include adding or removing layers, changing wall type, layer thickness, wall orientation, geometry, materials, or openings.

Deleting a part will also delete all other parts derived from the original element.

To create parts from a wall assembly select your Wall and then select the Create Parts tool.

This will then separate all the components of your wall into Parts.

When you convert your wall into Parts check the properties dialog box and make sure the Show Shape Handles box is checked so you can then manipulate each separate part.

However when you do edit the shape handles for a part in a 3D view you'll notice that the part is not manipulated in plan views or elevations, only in the 3D view.

You can also divide parts to represent sheets of gypsum board or Plywood by selecting the Divide Parts tool and using the draw tools to sketch the divisions.

You have to change the Work Plane to the face of the part you want to divide.
For example the sheathing. When you sketch your division lines make sure your sketch lines project to the outer wall profile line (the blue hidden line), otherwise you'll end up with only one closed loop.

After you have finished dividing your sheathing you can Add or Remove these division lines to other assembly parts.

Friday 15 July 2011

Freeze Drawing Tool

If you have the Revit Extension tools loaded one of the tools is called "Freeze Drawing".

With the Freeze Drawings extension, you can separate a view from your object model so that the current state of the view stays unchanged ( or frozen). The extension was developed using the DWG Import and DWG Export mechanisms in Autodesk® Revit®.

You can freeze the Current View or Selected Views and all frozen views are preserve a point in time of your project, these views are no longer part of the model but are placed in a Drafting view.

You can also have the option to export the views to a DWG file with options to control the DWG output.

Freezing of the views does not include 3D views or Sheets.

Try it out...

Update Nov 2015: 2015 add in does allow you to freeze 3D views but not sheets.


Wednesday 13 July 2011

Converting Linked Revit Models to Groups

We had to Archiver our BP set of drawings and I was asked how to bind a Revit Link....
Here is the How Too...
  1. In the drawing area, select the linked Revit model.
  2. Click Modify - RVT Links tab - Link panel (Bind Link).
  3. In the Bind Link Options dialog, select the elements and datum to include in the group, and click OK.

If there is a group in the project with the same name as the linked Revit model, a message displays to indicate this. You can do one of the following:

·     Click Yes to replace the group.

·     Click No to save the group with a new name. Another message displays indicating that all instances of the linked model will be deleted from the project, but the linked model file will still be loaded in the project. You can remove the linked file from the project by clicking Remove Link in the message dialog, or you can remove it at a later time from the Manage Links dialog.

·     Click Cancel to cancel the conversion and your done!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Underlay Objects Not Showing Up

Sometimes not all your objects in your Underaly do not show up. Here is a brief explanation why.  
First rule of underlays: Underlay view extent properties (cut, range, depth) are not user modifiable and not coupled to any other view's properties. you need to adjust the View Range of the View you are in (the one you want to see the underlay in).

"Plan Orientation" underlays:
The cut plane of the underlay is always taken at the level above the selected underlay level and looks down to the selected underlay level.
If you try to underlay the highest level then the underlay cut plane is set infinitely above the top level.

Here is a Plan View showing the Underlay beneath. As you can see the walls do not clearly show up.

I then change the Bottom Cut Plane to 8' this then changes the depth of the view range allowing me to see the remaining walls and doors.

Here are the results of this change:

For "Reflected Ceiling Plan" orientation the cut plane of the underlay is set to the selected underlay level and looks up to the level above the selected underlays level.

Thursday 7 July 2011


The Nudge tool in Revit is one of my favorite tools.

After you have placed an element and want to move it but don't want to type in distances use the Nudge tool.

 The arrow keys allow you to Nudge the element, left, right and up and down. The distance that the element moves with each nudge is determined by your zoom scale, the closer in you are the smaller the increments and the further back you are the greater the distance the element will move.

you can also use SUPER NUDGE by holding down the shift key while nudging, this will increase the Nudge factor by x10.

I love the word NUDGE!

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Project North & True North

Drafting conventions dictate that Project North is the top of the view. 
If you need to change Project North, use the Rotate Project North tool. This tool changes Project North for all views in the project. It also preserves the relative position of links. After rotating the project, verify the results in all views.

Note: If the project has worksharing enabled, before rotating the project, ensure that all changes are checked in and that no one is currently accessing the project. After rotating the project, create a new central model.

  1. Click Manage tab  Project Location panel Position drop-down Rotate Project North.
  2. In the Rotate Project dialog, select the desired option.
  3. Click OK.
A message displays to indicate that the project was rotated. It also shows errors, if any. You can export errors to review and correct them.

You can rotate a view to reflect True North (instead of Project North, which is the top of the view). Rotating a view to True North ensures that natural light falls on the correct sides of the building model and that the sun’s path through the sky is accurately simulated.

Open a plan view.
Note: If you need to rotate a 3D view to True North, use the ViewCube.

Change the view orientation to True North, as follows:

Access view properties.

On the Properties palette, for Orientation, select True North, and click Apply.
This change allows you to see accurate shadows in the plan view. 

Rotate the project to True North, as follows:

  1. Click Manage tab Project Location panel Position drop-down Rotate True North.
  2. Rotate the building model, using one of the following methods:
On the Options Bar, for Angle from Project to True North, enter a value to set the angle of rotation.

For example, if the difference between Project North (the top of the view) and True North is 45 degrees, enter 45. The model rotates in the view to the specified angle.

Click in the view to rotate the model to True North graphically (similar to using the Rotate tool).

Friday 1 July 2011

Here are some interesting facts about Canada on Canada Day July 1st.... Happy Canada Day.

Canada covers 9,984,670 square kilometres, or 7 percent, of the earth's surface.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Canada was -63 degrees Celsius

Almost 400,000 Canadians have dual citizenship

Canada has 6 timezones

Ottawa is the second coldest capital in the world (the first is Ulaanbatar, Mongolia).

Lake Ontario is the size of Switzerland

90% of the Canadian population lives within 160 klm of the United Stated border

The name "Canada" is derived from the Huron-Iroquois language and means settlement or village

About 89% of Canada is uninhabitable because of the extreme climate

The trans-canada highway is the longest national highway in the world at 7,841 klm.

As of April 1, 2011, Canada's population was estimated at 34,349,200

Canada has the longest coastline in the world at 243,792 klm

Canada is officially on the metric system but most builders and contractors use the Imperial system!

Inventions by Canadians include: the dental mirror, electric car, fathometer, 5 pin bowling, frozen fish (Duh!), electron Microscope, goalie mask, green ink, IMAX, The Jolly Jumper and the Zipper!

In Canada, if a debt is higher than 25 cents, it is illegal to pay it with pennies.

Smarties, Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp and Apple pie are products from Canada.

Dont forget Superman, Ski-doo's Jet Ski's, Velcro, Insulin, penicillin, and Short Wave Radio's were all invented by Canadians...

Follow my list of interesting facts about Australia on Australia Day on the 26th of January  ;-)