Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Whohooo! The Sox clinched the divsion and so did the Phillies! Now as long as the Boston wins the series, and the Phillies loose the league, I won't have any conflicts of interest, ;)
I went to load some schedules from a previous file into a new file and learned something interesting. It would seem that when you click on that wonderful option to insert views (File menu-->Insert From File-->Views). You're actually opening that whole file in memory on your local machine. Some (like me) may have thought Revit simply had a nifty way of querying other Revit files for their views. That is not the case it would seem, the reason I'm thinking that the whole file is being opened, is because of the message I received. When I selected my file, and hit Open, after it had loaded up, I got a message "Instance of Linked file needs coordination review", what!?.. The file I was working in, doesn't have any linked Revit files, and certainly none that need review, but I know for the fact that the file I wanted to grab views from does have links, and they do need review. Why does this matter? If the entire file that you want to take views from is being opened, that means what you're doing is no different, then if you went to the open command. So the question you should ask yourself, given your computer's hardware specs, when you go to get those views from a file, would you typically open both that file, and the file you're working in at the same time? Something to consider, especially if you dealing with large files. An alternative to transfer views and such, would be to create a new empty file, transfer the views you need into that file, then transfer from the new file to the file that needs the views, thus reducing the load on your computer.
So, not only does Revit open the entire file in the background (when doing "insert views") the file apparently remains in memory (for how long I don't know yet). I managed to figure this out because I went to do a "transfer project standards" and to my suprise, the file that I had inserted views from, was in the list! And, as you may also know already any files that are linked into a file, were also in the list! This means that you should definently use the Insert from File command carefully, and under strict conditions, or you may be running with a much heavier Revit then anticpated.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
You can find out more here:
So rather then having two different familys, we use a "Yes/No" to control the visibility of some symbolic lines, and also fill in a shared parameter than can be scheduled to indicate if an access panel is required. (make sure to click on the images to get the full size image to see the details).
This trick of cutting, and pasting back to the same place is also effective on sketch lines or other objects that like to automatically establish relationships with other objects. On more then one occasions I've had to cut and paste the sketch lines of either a floor or ceiling in order to prevent the floor or ceiling from attempting to adapt to changes in wall configurations.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I will be presenting at an event hosted by the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA (www.aiaphila.org) this coming Thursday morning. I hope to build on some of the hot topics (as I've been told) that came off of the AIA national convention. I intend to talk speak about what BIM tools like Revit can do for firms here and now, while keeping an eye towards the future and hopefully a fully "Integrated Practice".
On top of all that the Philly RUG (see link on the left navigation bar) will be hosting its last meeting on June 18th before our summer siesta. Hopefully over the summer we will be able to put together paperwork to become and official AUGI LUG, and the benifits that can be gained from that association.
As you might be able to tell I've been a little busy (hence the lack of blog posts)! I've also submitted to present in the fall for the Philadelphia AIA and at AU in Nov. (keeping my fingers crossed).
Saturday, May 05, 2007
All that said, the tool is helpful when used in moderation. If you find that you're needing to use it often I would say you need to revisit how the family is built, or how you're manging your family types, categories and subcategories.
Where I see this tool being particulary helpful is in detailing. It always drove me crazy in Revit that you either had to build detail components with all sorts of additional subcateogories (which made it hard to manage) or you had to use the linework tool to get detail components to look just right, and then, depending on view scale it might be even more difficult to manage since in one scale the component might look right, but in another not so much.
Now with this tool the problem is solved. You can quickly drop a component into your view (that you're detailing) and quickly adjust how the component looks in that particular view. Since we're dealing with detail components, I'm actually completely OK with having their graphic appearance be completly unmanaged. Since they are 2D elements they're not real model elements, so we're not depending on them from a database stand point, we only want them to look good in the detail view we've used them in.
More on dependent views: Dependent Views allows you to establish a single view (per what we normally would do in Revit). The view can then have as many (there doesn't appear to be a limit, except for file performance) child or "dependent views" as you like. These child views can be cropped however you like, and for better or worse you can turn objects on or off. The one catch of course is that all views, parent & children, must remain at the same scale. To create a dependent view right click on the view in the project browser and goto "duplicate view" there is a new choice to duplicate as dependent.
The new family type "view reference" which is an annotation family, can inteligently report what sheet another child view is on when cropping your dependent views differently because your building is too big for a single sheet. All of this functionality is documented in the new help (I've used it.... :) ).
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
However, quite conviently dependent views gives us the ability to do something we couldn't do before, place a single view on multiple sheets. Where I see this as being particularly helpful is in Construction Administration. Often times we need to issue a revised drawing on a smaller page size, for instance a modified detail. There's no need to re-issue a whole sheet, we just need to issue the detail as a sketch on 11x17 or 8.5x11. With dependent views you can create a child view of the detail and place the child on a sketch sheet, leaving your original detail on its original sheet. This preserves your original callouts for the detail, and means that you don't have to duplicate the detail to have it in two places.
The reason I've focused on details though is that there is one slight catch with dependent & parent views, you can't change the scale of one from the other. All primary and dependent views must share the same scale (which follows with expect Revit behavior). You could not then re-issue a scaled version of a plan or section, unless you placed it on a larger sheet, and scaled the print out of the sheet (you'd have to create a custom viewport title family where you could manually set "Scale"). However, if there were a smaller portion of a revised plan that you wished to issue you could create a dependent view, crop it and place it on a sketch sheet.
I hope this gives you some ideas of things you can do with dependent views, besides boring old matchline. :)
I submitted yesterday to teach a course at AU, hopefully they'll decide to like my idea(s). I'm also working with another popular Revit Power user, so hopefully they'll take us. :)
Saturday, March 17, 2007
presentation by the makers of E-Specs on Monday evening April 9th. This
will not be a sales presentation by any resellers, rather it is meant to be
an informational gathering.
I encourage all Revit users (arch/struct/MEP) to come out. Also anyone
interested in Revit and some of the powerful uses of the BIM model should
For more details and to RSVP please go to the Philly Revit Users home page
whose link can be found in the left hand navigation bar.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
There are some very intriguing possibilities with this unique and powerful software, and I firmly believe that it is simple another tool in our chest of BIM tools.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Recently I've been working on several project, news doors, re-visiting standardized casework and updating our project template.
Today I want to focus on a very minor change I've made to our project template. I've added two shared parameters, one called "view classification" to which it is assinged views, and the other "sheet classification". The purpose of these two new parameters is quite simple, it allows us to sort/filter our project browser by both. In the case of views, each view would get classified under 4 or 5 typical "categories"; Coordination, Presentation, Documentation, Working and CA (Construction Administration). While similiar information is conveyed in a number of ways via a number of other parameters in views, this makes it very easy to set up a Project Browser filter to quickly sort out all the views under these "global" headings. Coordination views would be preset views that would generally be exported to DWG for coordination with outside consultants. I think the next two speak for themselves, Working are the views that we encourage team members to actually "work in", this is typically quite important for floor plans, and sections (where your docuementation sections might be split and moved with break-lines added, etc...). Construction Administration is of course for the random extra views that get created during that process. Teams are welcome to define different, new or more classifications as they see fit. For sheets we start the team out with two classifications, Documentation and Presentation, I suspect however that most teams will find it handy to create a third "CA" when the time is right for their project. Once again the intent here is to get a team started by providing a simple set-up in our projec template. Hopefully teams will take this concept and run with it, and make it their own.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The user had created some door families that had a user named reference plane with the "is reference" property set to either strong or weak (he had already used Revit's pre-named reference planes). He used this reference plane to define the origin of the family, as well having a dimensional constraint to the reference plane. When he attempted to switch the family in a project with a similiar family he received constraint error messages causing the family(s) to fail.
This an edited response from Autodesk support:
The only stable references in the family instance are those produced by reference planes designated as named references (that is top, bottom, right, left, etc...). In the families that you created the reference used for alignment (and assigned to define the origin) is a weak reference in both families (referring to families submitted to Autodesk), so it's unstable, and the dimensional parameter fails when the family is replaced (via the type selector in a project).
They (Revit factory) have edited both families and set "Is Reference" of the Reference plane to "Right". Now the reference can be aligned and the instance can switch families.
To sum it all up, use the built in "is reference" names to define reference planes that will also define the origin for the family.
Hope you all find this helpful.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
One of the biggest causes of wall heartache comes from wanting to construct our models in the way we think of our buildings (which makes sense when we're supposed to be virtually building the model). However, in conditions where we think of walls as being continuous vertically, we tend to create more problems for ourselves. Revit doesn't really like it when you have vertical walls that run across multiple levels & and multiple walls that go from level to level intersecting the continuous wall (see image to right).
Now, as I said at the beginning, I wasn't able to actually re-create any problems. However, in my experince I've seen similiar situations create problems with the wall join conditions. Revit gets confused about how it should be resolving the various join conidtions (especially if the walls have different materials and layers).
The easiest and quickest way to resolve this issue is to use the split command (thats right, it will work horizontally). I tend to find though that it works best in a 3D view. I usually like to split the wall approximatley where I need to seperate the wall, then I go back and make numerical adjustments in the properties of the wall "pieces". (See image below)
Another thing that is quite helpful (especially with curtain walls) is you can choose to dis-allow joins on specific wall's ends. When you select a wall you can right click on the blue handle at the end and you'll get a context specific menu. One of the options is to "disallow join" this will prevent Revit from attempting to automatically resolve the wall join conditions when two walls meet.
This is particularly helpful when dealing with curtain walls. Curtain wall join conditions can get particulary harry, especially when embedding curtain walls into basic walls, or working in corners.
However, when you do use the "dis-allow" join setting, graphically the walls won't clean up correctly. To fix this you can use the "join geometry" command from the tool bar. This command will force Revit to grapically clean-up the linework, however it won't effect the setting "dis-allow join". There is a difference between Revit's automatic resolution of wall geometry "wall joins" and the the effect(s) of the "join geometry" commnand. See the images below for the "dis-allow joing command. The image on the left shows the blue handle you need to right click on, the image on the right is the context menu.