Saturday, January 28, 2006

Irreconcilable Differences

In the current build (Release 8.1 build 20051214_2200) there appears to be a compatibility issue between the two types of structural beam families. There are two templates to make them as shown in the image below.

When you have both types of families loaded, place a Complex and Trusses.rfa. Then sketch a Beams and Braces.rfa family. Then try to place a new truss instance. You should get this error message. The only workaround I have settled on so far is to use a Generic Model category instead which is unfortunate. I've submitted this to support and am waiting to see if they can reproduce the error.

Hope this saves someone a little troubleshooting time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Need a Watermark?

At present it isn't possible to create a watermark with text on a sheet so that it is behind the drawing itself. That is, to allow the linework of the drawing to write over the top of the words of the watermark. Text wins! Drawing loses!

Here's one way you can...yes, work around warning!

Create a text string in AutoCAD...yes I said the desired plotted size in model space. Then import and link this string into a Legend View set to a scale of 1:1. Change the dwg setting to Background.

Now you can place this legend view on any sheet you need it on and it will be masked by the model and annotation but still be present. Since it is linked any update to the dwg file will show up in the legend view as well. Here's the result as well as examples of some alternatives that don't in view.

Propagate Changes to Grid Lines

If you are getting used to the 3D/2D behaviour of datum elements in Revit you may still not be very familiar with the Propagate Extents button.

When you apply an override to a grid in one view you can tell Revit to apply the same change in other similar views. When you select a grid for example, the button appears, click it and a dialog box will appear that offers you other views the change could be applied to.

Here's the result...

You can apply this override to several grid objects at one time for example. Very handy!!

Edited: AUGI member Tim Gibson asked a question about this feature today as a result of this post. When the 3D extents of a grid is beyond a crop boundary the Propagate Extents feature no longer works. As long as we keep the 3D extents within the crop boundary it will work.

Carl Bass is New Autodesk President and CEO

A hearty congratulations goes to Carl Bass formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Autodesk! Read the article HERE

Carl has maintained a presence in the Revit community by visiting classes at AU, the mixer's and even an occasional post at the AUGI Revit community forums. Thanks for the attention Carl!

Congratulations again, Cheers!

Best wishes to Carol Bartz on her new role and getting her golf handicap back where she wants it! Thanks for keeping the heat on Revit!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tom Dorner starts Blog

His initial post is just a welcome/introduction message but look for future posts that angle from his unique professional background. Looking forward to your insight Tom!

His site is: Reviteer Check it out!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

News at 9:48 (SOM + Z = Wow!)

Finally a message I could understand made it in from Freddy. He's learned that my friend (me bragging!) Chris Zoog has decided to join SOM (Skidmore Owings & Merrill)in NYC. I'm very happy for him and wish him the best!!!! Go Zman!

Just in case you've only recently become aware of Revit and don't know who Chris is? He's been using Revit professionally since Revit was in "diapers". He is one of the several guys who really helped make Revit viable for the "on the bleeding edge" crowd who started using Revit very early. How? By sharing so much content and knowledge that the rest of us climbed up on his coat tails and succeeded that much earlier. He'll blush a bit perhaps but it is true in my view!

Not only did he do this, but he started and hosted a Revit community bulletin board on a Linux server in his basement, just to see what would happen. We'll it grew fast, really fast and in the end he merged his database with AUGI's and what you now know as the Revit Community at AUGI was born in his basement. I'm grateful he did. I'm also glad he gave me a chance to contribute to the community in a meaningful way!

Thanks Chris!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

News at 9:48

This came in via a garbled phone message from Freddy Latherdon, my ace reporter. Unfortunately it cut off and I didn't get the rest of the message. A quick try to call him back got voice mail...drat! Here's the message...

Skid.......rrill.......chr.........g.... I sure wish I knew what he was trying to tell me!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

News at 9:48

What do the letters Z S M O C have in common?

Freddy sent me this cryptic note tonight...I can't help but wonder what he is up to and what sort of story he's cooking up now? I'll let you know as soon as I find out more!

Home For Unwanted Doors

During a recent meeting with a client the discussion turned to phasing and tracking "stuff". A typical issue they described is the door that "was" and then "isn't" during the design or even construction phase. During a project a door might be eliminated from the scope of work but using the demo tool doesn't really make sense because it leaves a "new" wall infill where the door was supposed to go.

Their contractors want to know what changed from the previous to the new. We discussed a number of approaches...such as saving a dwf or dwg export of the view so they'd have a record of the object the way it was before deleting it. None of the solutions seemed really effective.

So yesterday, Gameli, one of the guys I've been working closely with says, "Hey Steve, I thought of a way to do that cancelled door issue". So he suggests we could "copy/paste current view" the wall and doors that are cancelled before they are actually constructed to a empty project called "Home for Unwanted Doors".

This project is then linked back into the main project, a view is set up to display it with overrides to make them "half tone" and turn off walls, a schedule told to include linked projects and a "What Was" sheet is created. Naturally this project needs to have the same level structure so they'll show up in the correct locations.

So theoretically you can provide data about what is no more because we planned to put them in but someone changed our minds. Practically it is a bit tedious because you can't just paste into a linked file so you have to paste into an intermediate file and you have very limited view override options for the linked file categories.

I think it is intriguing enough to share and hopefully the "factory" is already curious and working on this sort of problem. In sense we are asking for a schedule of what changed since the last issue, a database compare function that generates/filters reports using conventional architectural views and schedules.

As I finish writing this I think, "What if?"...We just swap this eliminated door for a simplified door family that doesn't cut the wall and uses subcategories for an eliminated door panel and swing and uses a shared parameter for "Eliminated" it stays in the project, we can see it whenever we want, schedule it, tag it etc. hmmm...I love problems! Off to try this on!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Case of the Missing Section Mark

This is a file pulled from the Department of Frequently Asked Questions Department...

One of those gotchas that get folks when they starting cranking in make a section view, just because it is soooo easy. You open another view and it isn't there! You look in another and it is! Check yet another and it isn't! Confusing to be sure.

The solution to this is a wordy parameter called "Hide at Scales Coarser Than" lurking in the properties of the view.

If you create a section in a view that is set to a scale of 1/8"-1'-0" (1:100) the section view will acquire the same scale unless you choose another. The "really long wordy parameter that I won't write again" will also acquire this same scale. Any scale that is coarser than 1/8"=1'-0" (1:100) will not show the section annotation. A scale of 1/4"=1'-0" will show it because it is a finer scale value. Make sense?

You'll either love it or hate it...but I think you'll learn to like it even if it gives you a hard time the first time around. It is intended to automatically prevent the section annotation from littering your coarser views.

Here's a screen shot of the property dialog with the "RLWPTIWWA" parameter circled.