Thursday, December 07, 2017

How Often to Synchronize with Central - SwC

Grist from a recent support conversation..."How often should we use Synchronize with Central (SwC)? We have some users doing it every minute."

Well....every minute seems a bit much...but...

The number of people actively working on a file affects the truth of the statement too. Every 30 minutes, for example, is too infrequent in my opinion. My own habit is to SwC as often as I complete any given task. I tend to take small bites, tasks that are 1-10 minutes, and SwC as soon as they are done.

More frequent SwC is less data transmission than every 30 minutes, potentially. Replacing or reloading a title block for 1,000 sheets is not a small task and probably ought to be done at lunch, advising people to create new local files afterward. Otherwise each sync will need to needlessly update each local file's copy of the sheet's title block too, for everyone. If that is done while they are all away they just inherit the new version of the project with their new local file.

It's all relative though because the transaction comparison between syncing that kind of change and closing a model and opening it later is subtle. In fact opening a file again might be slower, but reasonable, depending on how many people are involved. It can be justified though, especially if they are out of the project anyway such as out for lunch or after hours etc.

I think it is more important to be aware of other users also using SwC, than imposing a specific time requirement. When more than one person uses SwC at the same time Revit has to parse those changes and it does so, more or less, in a single threaded manner, not like a multi-thread OS (though they are improving that all the time) doing simultaneous tasks. It has to reconcile changes and move to others once it is satisfied it can finish successfully. The more people forcing Revit to do that the same time the slower it gets for everyone. That's where the advise to schedule or increase the time between SwC came from. One client decided to build their own tool so users can see if someone is syncing. A button on their Quick Access Toolbar parked next to the SwC button is red when someone is syncing and green when nobody is. Green means go for it.

Any sort of "Every 30 minutes" rule is often an over simplification, a rule meant to be easy to implement. In practice it can be just as harmful as helpful. If I slip and go 60 minutes or longer then that starts to slow down SwC times for everyone else too. Pushing and pulling data through a pipe takes time, smaller chunks of data generally take less time and less time to reconcile with the model too.

I'd focus on developing awareness of other users syncing as the priority and it's increasingly important the more users that are working on the same project file.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Revit Coordinate Systems Video

A lengthy exchange at Autodesk's User Forums about this subject reminded me that I've meant to create a short video to describe how they relate to each other for quite awhile. This morning I saw our cutting boards drying next to the sink and realized they could serve as metaphorical coordinate system planes (Project and Survey) work in Revit. I am curious if readers find it helpful.



The original post at the forum dealt with a few projects that had been modelled very far from Revit's Internal Origin/Startup Location. I looked at one of the project files and found the Survey Point and Project Base Point had been moved very far away while unclipped. The modelling started there, really far far away. They started to experience some of the negative symptoms that can occur and started looking for solutions...thus the original post. The short answer is they needed to move their model closer to the origin. No other way around it.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Consulting Work - December and January Schedule

I've been very fortunate over the years to find project delays, postponement or cancellations easy to deal with. This year each of those things have happened at the same time. As such I'm putting it out there that, to use the phrase from the very British TV show "Are You Being Served?", "Mr. Stafford are you free? Why yes I'm Free!"

I'd be pleased to hear about training, implementation, modelling ...anything Revity...that I can help with! Just send me an EMAIL.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Really hoping this isn't indicative of a cycle returning...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Link DWG and Named UCS

Working through a couple support issues recently it turned out that the presence of a Named UCS prevented us from linking a DWG using By Shared Coordinates. Revit would force the DWG to link using Center to Center instead. We tried all the things to resolve it first until we remembered to check this too.


This has been a part of Revit for a long time, the "REVIT60" in the name is the Revit version when it first appeared, Revit 6.0. When we use Publish Coordinates on a DWG file Revit creates this UCS so it can be used from within AutoCAD to ensure any external references that need to align with it will do so. We can delete the Named UCS in AutoCAD by right-clicking on the name.


We have more than one site related DWG for each project to align within Revit. We used Acquire Coordinates on our benchmark file. When all the related DWG files share the same WCS origin we can tell Revit to use By Shared Coordinates when linking them.

An obtuse but factually correct message appears telling us the files don't share coordinates.


Aligning the file based on its WCS is precisely what we want so each of the files align in Revit, possible, again, because we used Acquire Coordinates on the benchmark file first. That aligned the Shared Coordinates with it so the other files could stack on top of each other properly when we linked them.

There are many subtle things that can affect the linking process with DWG files, add this to the pile.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Mr. Revit OpEd at The Whiskey a Go Go

This provides ample distraction from writing as much as I used to. I can hit ALL the THINGS!!


Yes, I've been earnestly playing the drums again. When I moved to California the three piece band (Angry Neighbors) I had been part of for roughly ten years found themselves without a drummer. They've kept themselves busy since, most recently as part of a group they call Harmonic Dirt.

For many years steady travel for work made it impractical for me to be part of a band here. I haven't needed to travel nearly as much for the last couple of years and I realized I could make it work. So far so good.

Last May I joined a band called Parker Street Gypsies. It is led by and features songs written by Michelle Kasajian (vocals/guitar). Armando "Mondo" Lopez (guitar/vocals) contributes songs as well. Add in Charlie Peck (bass guitar) and yours truly to provide the foundation and we make four. We've been rehearsing regularly working toward playing in front of people more often. Our first time out was at the O.C. County Fair.

Our next gig is THIS Saturday, December 2nd at The Whiskey a Go Go.


We open for The Baby's, a favorite 70's band of mine (and many others)!! I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing them as well hoping to meet their drummer Tony Brock. His playing was/is a strong influence on my own approach to the drums. I think my favorite album is Union Jacks but I tend to waffle on favorite anything.

Believe it or not, there are FIVE bands leading up to The Baby's performance Saturday night; they are: Parker Street Gypsies (us), Alinea, Nation of Salvation, Union of Saints, and Kirk Randall & the Back Beat. We play last but just before The Baby's set.

Despite what you may read or hear live music is still out there waiting for you to experience/enjoy. Musicians are still struggling, as ever, to satisfy their muse and play for you/us, no matter how much the business has changed.

If you are in the LA area and looking for something to do on Saturday night we'd love to have your support. The Whiskey is an all-ages club, as well as being a famous venue for music historically.

We love to rock!

P.S. At the recent Autodesk University several of us musician types got together one evening after the primary events had wrapped up. We played some tunes at a local rental studio, some were planned in advance and many others weren't. Some turned out pretty well and others...well it was fun to play...


The AU Band consisted of: Robert Green (guitar,vocals), Guillermo Melantoni-Cortabarria (bass guitar, vocals), Steven Shell (guitar,vocals), Shaun Bryant (vocals), Kate Morrical (vocals), Jim Balding (Cowbell-aka Whiskey bottle) and Kelly Cone (vocals)..oh and me. This is a nice shot of Jim Balding helping Steven Shell play guitar or vice versa.


We didn't have a cowbell so JB made do with a Four Roses whiskey bottle that somebody conveniently emptied so it could be used. This was my second year playing with them, good fun!