Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Build - Revit Structure - 20071209_1300

Apparently a problem I reported was among issues that have prompted the Revit Structure team to post a new build just one month later. The issue I reported had to do with copy/paste tools applied to concrete beam families. I'm glad they figured it out!

You can download the BUILD HERE!

This is the list of comments in the pdf file found at Autodesk:

Improves API for beams creation with NewFamilyInstance (ref XYZ location,..)
Improves API for element coping.
Improves API for instance creation of cellular beam.
Improves API for rebar group distribution.
Improves File > Open performance time when opening some project files in Revit Structure software.

Allows the ability to array face-based families placed on a vertical face.
Allows the ability to maintain face-based instances on curved surfaces of a Revit file linked into Revit Structure when the link is unloaded.

Improves stability when selecting sections.
Improves stability when accessing the Help menu in Revit Structure on a computer with the Microsoft Windows Vista™ operating system.

Improves stability when applying a view template to a sheet.
Improves performance when views contain many objects with overridden graphics by element.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

USG Design Studio - Revit Content

There is new content available for Revit now from USG Design Studio. This text is found on their site:

USG Design Studio is a free service that does not require registration to use. By registering, you will receive updates on this page for latest content additions, enhancements, and upgrades.

They are currently featuring wall and ceiling assemblies that correspond with their products. Look closely at each page for a link to Revit content and/or template files. Since these are system families you'll need to copy/paste them into your projects or use File menu > Transfer Project Standards to get them loaded.

Revit MEP Content Extension Available

Interested in more MEP content? Probably! You can check out the extension HERE!

This is the text from the Autodesk page:

The Revit MEP® Content Extension provides new content for Revit MEP users. Both Imperial and Metric versions of the content are available for download below, in ZIP format. After download, users can then uncompress the file to the desired content location.

Before You Download
The content files are compressed with their path information included back to the root directory of the folder structure installed with Revit® MEP 2008 Web Update #2. For example, in a default installation of Imperial content, the ZIP file would be uncompressed at:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\RME 2008\Imperial Library
In this situation, all files will be uncompressed to the correct folders.

New Builds - Revit Architecture, Structure & MEP - (20071109_2345)

A new build has been posted for each:

Revit Architecture, DOWNLOAD HERE!
Revit Structure DOWNLOAD HERE!
Revit MEP DOWNLOAD HERE!

This is the text from the pdf file listing the issues addressed by the new build.

Allows the ability to array face-based families placed on a vertical face.
Allows the ability to maintain face-based instances on curved surfaces of a Revit file linked into Revit Architecture software when the link is unloaded.

Improves stability when selecting sections.
Allows the ability to insert an electrical receptacle into a legend view.
Improves stability when accessing the Help menu in Revit Architecture on a computer with the Microsoft Windows Vista™ operating system.

Improves stability when applying a view template to a sheet.
Improves performance when views contain many objects with overridden graphics by element.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Visa Lighting & Revit Content

Visa Lighting has created Revit lighting families. They feature a screen shot of Revit on their website and there are Revit families for each of their products. Be sure to check them out and let them know if you like them.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Brand New Modelling Tool

My ace reporter Freddy Latherdon has been on hiatus in parts unknown for quite some time but he just sent me this story. He's managed to discover the next great thing for architectural design. Here is his story.

"Three Letter Architects to Use New Design Software"

During a recent interview, Architect Bucky Fullminster, divulged that his firm "TLA" has decided to pull back from all the clever software they've been using. When prodded for the reason he said that they needed something that fit the sort of design work they do better. That software is called "Balloon Architecture" made by Larry Moss, Inc.

No computer requirements because no computer is needed. You just need balloons. The software comes with blue and white balloons but hey, you could technically use any color you want. "Hey! THIS is going back to real design", said Bucky. "We just gave away our pc's to good-will, and they were glad to get em too!" Bucky said, "The staff is reinvigorated, no training sessions on hard to learn regular software, back to using their hands and touching the physical model. Conflict with ducts and steel, no kidding it's right there knucklhead, see??"

I was unable to get a comment from the leading software companies and for this reason I suspect that they aren't taking this come from nowhere competition seriously. Time will tell what inroads this new kid on the block will make in this tough and opinionated market!


Well...I must say I'm stunned! After all this time working with Revit to have this come out of nowhere. Guess I better get myself a helium bottle and balloon nipple? What are you going to do?

If you want to get your own copy of Balloon Architecture, check out Barnes and Noble and search for the title or Author Larry Moss...or click this link!

Balloon Architecture

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Family Editor - Parameter Order

In the past Scott Hopkins shared a method (at AUGI) to reorder parameters.

If you block out some generic parameters names up front you can assure a certain order at will and avoid the re-order hassle. It can be a bit difficult perhaps to anticipate what parameter you might need but a little planning can make a big difference.

Here's an example: Creating a new table family I expect to need four new dimension parameters but haven't settled on the names or maybe I have but I want them in a precise order. Create the parameters first like this.

Once they are created they'll stay in this order no matter what you change their names to later. After I work through things I can change their names to these.

If I had tried to create these names up front they would have looked like this.

If you can't plan ahead enough, then Scott's method to the rescue!

(This approach doesn't work for Shared Parameters, though. Neither will the Re-order technique since Shared Parameters are already created technically.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Revit MEP Blogs

Just a quick note to point out that there are two new blogs focused on MEP! I've added a new category to the sidebar for Revit MEP blogs and you'll find these there.

Inside the System - Kyle Barnhardt (Autodesk Revit MEP Product mgr)
Revit MEP Blog - Scott Brisk (MasterGraphics, Reseller)

Both have lots of great info and worth keeping an eye on.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Egress - Path of Travel - Uh oh...

Of all the stuff I've done over the last couple years the Egress/Path of Travel family has to be the biggest hit. It has generated more email requests than anything else. I'm glad I've managed to do something useful!! If only I charged money for it! 8-)

So I'm writing to let anyone who has actually used it that there is a bug present in Revit right now that messes it up. The little dot and arrow at the end of the line-based segment won't print as filled in the latest build of Revit. If it doesn't work in earlier builds no one has said so and I can't test it on any earlier builds now either. Don't look back...keep moving forward...new build...well in this case it is a slight step backward.

The "fix" according to Revit Support staff is to print the views that these are used in using "Raster" instead of "Vector". Phew...that was close, I thought I was going to have to come up with a different strategy for those little guys.

Hopefully the bug will be fixed in a future build. For what it is worth, this most likely affects any nested annotation symbol that uses a filled region.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shaft Opening and Foundation Slabs - Just Not Fair

If you are familiar with the tool found on the Modelling menu > Opening > Shaft Opening you have probably become as fond of it as I have. If you are not, it is a specific tool that will cut any floor, ceiling and/or roof it comes into contact with. Just sketch the shape the opening should have, define it's top and bottom constraint as well as any offset you need and Finish the Sketch.

You now have one element that creates a nicely coordinated shaft for the entire vertical height required. If the shape changes you must create another shaft opening for that, still less work than editing floor, ceiling and roof sketches all afternoon.

As a bonus you can also define Symbolic Linework while in sketch mode. This can be the proverbial "X" in your HVAC chase or the Yin/Yang symbol in a circular pipe chase. It can even be the sketch of an elevator.

To make it even better they just need to let us import a detail component and place it while in sketch mode so we don't have to draw the elevator but once or just use a nested dwg in the detail component...but I digress...the unfair bit.

There are Floor and Slab elements and they are the essentially the same but there is also a Foundation Slab and it is different, at least when it comes to the Opening Shaft. On floors and slabs it works, on Foundation Slabs they don't and that's just not fair! Even these need holes cut in them for elevator shaft pits, sump pits etc.

The solution is to use the other option on the same set of tools, Modelling menu > Opening > Opening by Face.

Here are couple images of shaft openings used less conventionally. First is the finished slab that shows using them (shaft openings) to create true holes in a slab so that the floor slab reports actual volume without using Join Geometry between columns and floors. Also showing how the slab edge plan was altered.


This image depicts the shaft openings overlaid on the floors. A bit easier managing a slab edge alteration instead of editing multiple floor sketches by just using one shaft opening.


If you are in a shaft binge mode you can review this earlier POST.

Added THIS POST to the HOK CAD Solutions blog.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Revit MEP - Fittings Get Unresponsive

If your plumbing fittings fail to adjust their size properly when you place them or when you trim or otherwise connect pipe it is time to get suspicious about the path for your Lookup Tables. Revit installs fitting lookup files that match the name of each fitting supplied in a folder called "Lookup Tables" in your content folder location. Each file is a comma delimited text file which means the information is separated by commas and the file extension is .csv.

For stand alone installations the default location is:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\RME 2008\LookupTables

Network installations could be anywhere from the "D-Z drive" unfortunately.

Regardless this location is stored in your Revit.ini file located here (default installation location):

C:\Program Files\Revit MEP 2008\Program

If the actual location and the one stored in Revit.ini are different then your fittings will not resize graphically until they match. You'll need to close and restart Revit to get it to re-read the .ini file.

Last, there is no place within the Revit user interface to check or alter this location which I think ought to be changed and included within the Mechanical Settings dialog in the same way the Pipe Sizes.xml location is presented.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Revit MEP Local User Group - Los Angeles

Passed along to me by Jay Holland a new user group focused on the MEP side of life is forming to serve the greater Los Angeles area.

This is their inaugural meeting info:
When:
Thursday – October 11th 2007, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where:
Arup, Inc.
12777 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Tel: 310-578-4182

If you live in this area please find time to lend your support by attending and if possible contributing to presentations! I wish the group success!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Autodesk University Update

This is the current schedule for the labs I'm doing at AU 2007 this year.

Making Content for Revit® Architecture - Intermediate
AB204-6L
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Time: 10:00 am

Making Content for Revit® Architecture - Basics
AB304-1L
Date: Thursday, November 29, 2007
Time: 10:00 am

Making Content for Revit® Architecture - Intermediate
AB310-1L
Date: Thursday, November 29, 2007
Time: 01:00 pm

While the concepts are not new these labs will be, not simply a re-tooling of what I did previously. They are fully booked at this time. There are 40 computers in a lab and 80 seats and these fill up fast unfortunately.

I'm pleased to be nearly certain that Steven Campbell will be attending and able to participate as a co-presenter during these labs. Steven has been making content perhaps longer than anyone except for a certain David C. and is a valued part of the Autodesk Revit team. I look forward to his contributions.

Please remember the classes are for basic and intermediate students, regardless of the terminology and information present on the AU website. If you are registered for any of these labs and don't fit in either of these two categories as a Revit Family editor because you are a more advanced editor consider relinquishing your seat so a real beginner or intermediate user can have it, they'll thank you for the chance I'm sure.

Notice that an intermediate class appears before the basic class. This happened because a second session was inserted for the intermediate class due to demand. There are only so many spots for a repeat and it ended up in front of the basic class. If you are attending the first intermediate session and were hoping to get the basics first, I'm sorry but it didn't work out that way.

With the lack of advanced topics for the family editor in my class sessions I proposed a AU Unplugged session for Advanced Concepts and the Family Editor. This new feature at AU is available for anyone to suggest and, if selected, host a discussion. I requested the end of the day on Wednesday, not knowing if that makes good sense or not since there is so much to do and take in at AU already. If anyone has suggested a similar session let's merge our thoughts so that we get a better chance of success. I'm not as interested in preaching advanced concepts as being a moderator in a discussion among fellow Revit users to foster discussion, ideas and answer questions.

If you are fortunate enough to attend Autodesk University this year I look forward to having an opportunity to meet you and learn of your successes and perhaps failures with Revit! Till then!

P.S.

Remember Matt Dillon has a lecture on the Family Editor as well and it is:
All in the Family: Creating Parametric Parts in Revit® Architecture
AB114-3P
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Time: 3:00 pm

Because his is a lecture format there should little if any issues regarding getting to attend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Project Font - A Family and Project Variable

Anyone who has implemented Revit knows that the process to change the standard font style, office and project(s) wide, is not as simple as just changing a single setting. Unfortunately every form of annotation has its own setting for font data. That makes it incredibly flexible but it also makes it incredibly annoying and such a mundane task to change.

In the past I've suggested (others have as well in one forum or another) that Revit needs a notion of a Project Font. A single setting in a project that defines the font that SHALL be used. Okay fine for the project but what about families. That's where the hard part is anyway, opening up all those families and changing one parameter...close...repeat.

I suggest that in addition to the list of fonts offered us, while we create annotation content, that Revit provide a "font" choice that tells the family to use the project's Project Font assignment instead of being an individual going its own way. This way nearly all annotation content would simply be assigned the project font and whatever project file it was used in would display accordingly. No extra work for us.

If we need to use a specific font, to spite the project font, we just pick one instead and that's what the annotation uses in the project environment, thumbing its nose at the project font setting, radical upstart that it is.

In projects text and dimensions would also offer this option so a single change to Project Font applies internally as well as to external content loaded for use.

Sure sounds good when I write and read it...let's hope I'm right and they listen to me taking advantage of my little bully pulpit.

Sketch Lines and Visibility Graphics

You turned off all the model categories in your view using Visibility/Graphic Overrides, the easily remembered VV or VG keyboard shortcut. Now you create or edit an element defined by a sketch and no linework...hmmm. Sketch Lines are a model category and are affected by the "Lines" category so you can't turn off the "Lines" category without losing them too. They don't appear as an item in the list because Revit assumes that it doesn't make sense to turn them off. Too bad turning off the parent category results in the same thing. Maybe sketch lines need to divorce their parent?

Spot Dimension Tool and Wireframe

Short and sweet, they don't get along, not friends. When you place a Spot Dimension tool > Elevations or Coordinates in a view assigned to Wireframe it just won't find a floor surface. Revit is very literal, make it wireframe, no surfaces...no spot dimension tool. Just change to Hidden Line and suddenly it works nicely again.

Cheers!

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Build Revit MEP (20070829_2300)

A new build for Revit MEP has been posted, build number (20070829_2300)
There are three pdf files you should read prior to downloading and installing. You can review and download the new build HERE.

Note that one of the documents explains changes to the folder structure and naming conventions for the MEP content. Be sure to read it!

The following is the text from the pdf, at the Autodesk site, that explains what issues have been addressed by this build.

Room Tags on Copy/Monitored Rooms no longer return question marks in certain situations.
Improves stability when using the Split Tool on Pipes or Ducts.
Multiple Sprinkler Systems can now be copied more consistently.
Improves stability when modifying the shape of an Elbow with an open end.
The length override for Duct Transitions remains consistent after changes to the connected layout.
Improves stability when generating ductwork from a mirrored air system.
Improves stability when demolishing a duct with two connected takeoffs.
Improves stability after receiving a corrupt element warning when opening a project.
Publish to DWF™ functions when Rooms are present and are clipped by the viewport.
Improves stability when saving a Project with a linked DWG™ file that contains an image.
Improves stability when applying a view template to a sheet view.
Working on Windows Vista™ operating system, allows the ability to write to revit.ini, licpath.lic, KeyboardShortcuts.txt, and the Journals folder.
Line-based families contained in a group are no longer flipped when the group is mirrored.
Improves stability when importing group into Titleblock family.
Allows the ability to export renderings to TIFF format.
When temporary dimension text too small to read, user can adjust the size of the font through Revit.ini.
Linked DWG file added by another user will now show up in Manage Links after reload latest.
“Relative” spot elevation updates automatically with the change in Level elevation.
When exporting to DWG file, overlapping lines that share a point are no longer missing in the resulting DWG.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

View Reference - Customization

If you want to create your own view reference family you can start by editing the one that is provided with Revit. You can also start with a Generic Annotation family template and then assign it to the View Reference Category via Settings menu > Family Category and Parameters.


The View Reference family is a system family that can have different annotation families assigned as a type parameter. To use your own view reference annotation you can alter the existing one to use your family or duplicate the existing type and then assign your new family to the new type you just created.

To actually make the change you need to start the View Reference tool > click Properties > click Edit/New then either change the View Reference assigned or click Duplicate to create a second type to use.


Now you can use either the original or your new view reference.

Personally I think that a View Reference tag should show up in the Settings menu > > Annotations > Loaded Tags dialog just for the sake of consistency.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Build - Revit Structure 2008

New Build Number: 20070810_1700

This is the text from a pdf posted at Autodesk's download page for Revit Structure, download it from THIS LINK.

Improvements made in the current Web Update SP2 build (20070810_1700):

Straight beam joins and cuts back properly when supported by vertical curved beams.
Improves stability after receiving a corrupt element warning when opening a project.
Improves stability when saving a Project with a linked DWG™ file that contains an image.
Improves stability when applying a view template to a sheet view.
In Windows Vista™ operating system, allows the ability to write to revit.ini, licpath.lic, KeyboardShortcuts.txt, and the Journals folder.
Line based families contained in a group are no longer flipped when the group is mirrored.
Improves stability when importing group into Titleblock family.
Allows the ability to export renderings to TIFF format.
When temporary dimension text too small to read, user can adjust the size of the font through Revit.ini.
Linked DWG added by another user will now show up in Manage Links after reload latest.
“Relative” spot elevation updates automatically with the change in Level elevation.
When exporting to DWG file, overlapping lines that share a point are no longer missing in the resulting DWG.

There is also some new content available via THIS LINK.


Improvements made in the previous Web Update SP1 build (20070607_1700):

Track Changes toolbar works properly with third-party application.
Fixes very small dimension rounding error inaccuracy for the levels in the default structural project
templates.
Duplication of structural steel framing and column .rfa content in UK Library no longer occurs.
Enhances the ability to open .rvt file containing imported/linked .dwg with incorrect boundary hatch.
Estimated Reinforcement Volume of rebar is calculated correctly.
Beam’s analytical model auto-adjusted to slab updates automatically when slab is deleted.
Column’s analytical model auto-adjusted to slab updates automatically when moved out of tolerance.
Manual analytical adjustment of a beam to the end of a wall functions properly.
Beam whose vertical z-Direction Justification was set to "Other" makes the analytical model in the correct position.
Improves stability when importing .dwg or .dxf with the presence of an older version of DWG TrueView™
installed on the computer.
For a selected Line, Hide Category in View no longer affects all Categories of Lines.
Some Detail, Plan, or Section Callouts are no longer erroneously hidden in cropped views.
Masking Regions in Tag Families will now obscure elements in project and in exports.
Filled Regions containing Solid Fills, which are overridden to be Transparent, now print consistently between Vector and Raster modes.
Improves stability with Overlay Planes turned off in Graphics Settings.
Crop Regions which were previously missing are now visible in Views in upgraded files and templates.
Display problems in a view no longer occur when zooming with OpenGL® hardware acceleration turned on.
Copying nested links from the Project Browser places the Link and its nested components.

Last, be sure to visit the BIM & BEAM Blog

Increase Size of Temporary Dimensions

From a post by Scott Latch, the new Technical Product Manager for Revit Architecture, at AUGI's Revit community forums.

Open Revit.ini file in Notepad.
The file is typically located in C:\Program Files\Revit Architecture 2008\Program.

Add the following line to Revit.ini in [Graphics] section:
TempDimFontSizeInPoints=N

Where N is a number larger than 8 (default hardcoded value). Good starting point is twice the default size (i.e. 16-17).

Save Revit.ini.
Restart Revit.

If the size of temporary dimensions is still small, repeat from step 1 with larger number.

Please note, the [Graphics] section may not exist. If this is the case add a line that contains [Graphics].

New Build - Revit Architecture 2008

Build Number 20070810_1700

The following is the text from a pdf file posted at the Autodesk Site, click THIS LINK to visit the "choose your language download page".

Improvements made in the current Web Update SP2 build (20070810_1700):

Improves stability after receiving a corrupt element warning when opening a project.
Publish to DWF™ functions when Rooms are present and are clipped by the viewport.
Improves stability when saving a Project with a linked DWG™ file that contains an image.
Improves stability when applying a view template to a sheet view.
In Windows Vista™ operating system, allows the ability to write to revit.ini, licpath.lic, KeyboardShortcuts.txt, and the Journals folder.
Line based families contained in a group are no longer flipped when the group is mirrored.
Improves stability when importing group into Titleblock family.
Allows the ability to export renderings to TIFF format.
When temporary dimension text is too small to read, user can adjust the size of the font through Revit.ini.
Linked DWG added by another user will now show up in Manage Links after reload latest.
“Relative” spot elevation updates automatically with the change in Level elevation.
When exporting to DWG, overlapping lines that share a point are no longer missing in the resulting DWG file.

Improvements made in the previous Web Update SP1 build (20070607_1700):

Improves stability when importing .dwg or .dxf with the presence of an older version of DWG TrueView™ installed on the computer.
For a selected Line, Hide Category in View no longer affects all Categories of Lines.
Some Detail, Plan, or Section Callouts are no longer erroneously hidden in cropped views.
Masking Regions in Tag Families will now obscure elements in project and in exports.
Filled Regions containing Solid Fills, which are overridden to be Transparent, now print consistently between Vector and Raster modes.
Improves stability with Overlay Planes turned off in Graphics Settings.
Crop Regions which were previously missing are now visible in Views in upgraded files and templates.
Display problems in a view no longer occur when zooming with OpenGL® hardware acceleration turned on.
Copying nested links from the Project Browser places the Link and its nested components.
Elements refresh in views when deselected.
Product Registration for multiple products in Subscription no longer returns “Invalid Serial Number.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Space Bar Subtle Effect - Temporary Dimensions

As you know the Space Bar will rotate components when you have one or more selected. This proves quite handy, further if an element is held above an angled element the Space Bar action will pick up on the angle and align the rotating element with this angled reference.

A collateral effect of the use of the Space Bar is that the temporary dimensions relocate themselves according to different references as the element rotates.This can be used to good effect on cylindrical elements like pipe fittings or sprinklers as well as circular or similar annotation that doesn't really matter when they are "spun". For these particular situations pressing the Space Bar results in the flipping of temporary dimensions to other elements. A temporary dimension that was referencing a wall on the right will now reference a wall on the left.

Usually this result is stumbled on and easily forgotten so I thought I'd mention it again.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Update to U.K.'s Revit blog by David Light

David Light in the U.K. has been working hard at keeping his blog, simply titled "Revit", fresh lately. He started his blog quite awhile ago but fell victim the realities of having a day job and a life and he found his posting to be less than frequent. I can definitely relate to that myself. I'm pleased to say that he's either put aside his day job and/or life and found more time for the blog or he's managed to squeeze it in between everything else going on.

You might enjoy his Star Wars modeling exercise? His personal answer to the "but Revit can't do this or that" comment.

I met David briefly at Autodesk University 2006 and he told me that he was concerned that my "English" sense of humor might have been lost on the attendees of my lecture. His comment confirmed my fear that all those years of watching British comedy on public television here in the States, and my odd ability to remember lines in the Monty Python movies but not remember my children's birthdays, ultimately has had a negative effect on me. However, I'm not a total lost cause because in fact a couple of reviews of last year's lecture said, "could do without the humor" which proves that he is wrong because clearly some could tell I was trying to be humorous...unless they too were from the U.K.? Hadn't thought of that till now...hmmm

Be sure to keep the pressure on him to post by visiting his blog often!!

HOK Blogs Share the Wealth

HOK has two new blogs that join the Revit blogosphere. HOK Green BIM and HOK Cad Solutions are the vehicle they've decided to use to share the wealth so to speak.

They have been hard at work on lots of cool projects using Revit and pushing what BIM and BuildingSMART means to their firm and now they are sharing some of that hard earned knowledge. Be sure to keep an eye on them. Also don't forget their website 4BIM which went live some months back.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Visibility of grips

"Short and sweet department"

The Control "grips", the little blue dots that appear when you select a line or wall for example, may not appear if the active workset is not visible in your view. This assumes you are using worksets of course...so you are not crazy, at least not about that.

Activate Dimensions

As you work in Revit you get used to seeing temporary dimensions appearing every time you select an element. Then as your project progresses and more and more things fill your screen you eventually notice that those temporary dimensions aren't showing up as much. At first you might think that something has gone terribly wrong. The truth is that Revit has reached a point where it has decided that showing temporary dimensions would negatively affect performance.

So now what? Do you have to add your own permanent dimensions to manipulate your design? Well...you could, nothing wrong with that but you don't HAVE to... Enter the Options Bar, when this occurs take a quick look on the Options Bar and click the nice Activate Dimensions button.

Why doesn't Revit tell you it isn't going to display the temporary dimensions anymore? Well...we probably would get annoyed with that message popping up all the time too?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Autodesk University 2007

As the planning for this event is in full swing and nearly time for registration I'll mention that I will be speaking at two lab sessions. We have a Revit Family Editor - Beginner and a Revit Family Editor - Intermediate scheduled, but the day and time aren't pinned down even though a preliminary schedule has them both on Friday, the last day when everyone is burned out and bleary eyed. Wow that was a long sentence!

Notice no advanced! In the exit survey's of my sessions last year the critical comments nearly all focused on the time dedicated to topics and the lack of truly beginner discussion. It seems I get pulled to more intermediate/advanced topics very easily and then don't dote on the beginner enough. No more! One class dedicated to you, the beginner, fledgling, novice... The second is geared for someone who has done a bit but not feeling that strong or confident yet either.

I hope to make arrangements to have an Ad Hoc advanced discussion in a room that is equipped with basic AV. The idea is that anyone who is interested in such a discussion could attend and share their ideas and ask questions. The group would provide answers and if possible even exercise a bit of R&D. I'm not certain this will happen but will be pleased if it can be pulled together. I'm hopeful.

Also want to mention that Matt Dillon has a lecture scheduled to discuss the broader subject of Revit Families.

See you there!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Shaft Opening and View Range

Cool tool the Shaft Opening, it cuts floors, ceilings and roofs that it comes into contact with. It also provides a way to display symbolic lines within the sketch so you can generate graphics to indicate openings more efficiently than drawing them separately or using detail components.

This post is concerned with the display of symbolic lines when you don't expect them to appear. If the View Range setting for Top-Offset of a level below a Shaft Opening has a Top-Offset setting that is high enough to intersect with the Shaft Opening the symbolic lines will appear. They will appear even if the shaft itself doesn't interesect with the cut plane of the lower level. Here's the view Range dialog and the Top Offset is set higher than the level above (11'-0" above Level 1).

This is the resulting Shaft Opening in the view of the level below, just symbolic lines, no opening in the floor.




In my perfect world a shaft would not show symbolic lines unless the cut plane of the view intersected the shaft, not the primary range itself. Fortunately the instances I've encountered are usually due to unnecessarily high settings of the Top-Offset value.

Added THIS POST to the HOK CAD Solutions Blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Overlapping Lines - Review Warnings

You've just attempted to finish the sketch of a stair, floor, roof, ceiling etc. and you are staring at the dreaded "can't finish sketch". It might not be obvious but you can use the Tools menu > Review Warnings to track down the trouble maker(s). You can also pan the view with the scroll bars to make is easier to see the whole sketch as well as using the right click menu viewing options. This way you don't have to resort to the delete...undo...delete...undo...cycle to find the troublemaker(s).

Happy Reviewing...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Image/DWG Import Issue

My friend David Baldacchino recently shared this with me and I can confirm the problem. If you link a dwg file that also contains an image file into your Revit project, Revit will crash when you save the file. You can link it in, but Revit will crash when you save. Ouch! This happens whether you save the dwg file in either 2004 or 2007 format. Tread lightly if you need this combination...good luck! If anyone has encountered this and found a way to defeat this feel free to share in a comment. Be certain to submit the issue to Revit support at Autodesk!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Print Preview: Print/Close = Close/Quit

This is old but it trips up new users frequently. The language on the print preview window uses the following, Print and Close are the specific victims of this post.

When you click Print, instead of sending the plot job to the printer it returns you to the print dialog. When you click Close, instead of closing the preview window and returning you to the print dialog Revit bails out of printing/plotting all together. As if you said, "Aw...nevermind, I didn't want to print!"

My present versions of Excel and Word (2002, too lazy to upgrade 8-) ) work similarly so I suppose this means that Revit is Window's compliant. Except that Word just prints when you click print where Excel returns to the print dialog. This doesn't change the fact that I frequently meet people who get tripped up by it.

It would be nice if the language of the buttons could be changed to be more obvious. Such as "Close Preview" and "Cancel Printing" assuming the actual results are not changed. If we could redefine the behavior as well I'd like to see Print mean Print and "Close" say "Close Preview" and close the preview window, returning to the Print dialog instead of bailing out.

Potaytoe...pahtahtoe perhaps...my 2.25 cents.

[Edit 04/23/09 - After using Office 2007 for awhile now I've noticed that the language is cleaned up for this. Print...prints and Close says Close Print Preview now instead. When you use Preview instead Print takes you to the Print dialog to let you make some choices. It offers Close Print Preview too. Much better and Revit ought to emulate it too.]

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sections and their Dependent Views

Sounds like a daytime talk show subject? When you create a section view and then create dependent views using the new feature found in Revit 2008 you end up with some additional annotation that you may not really want to see. Like this perhaps...

This also any view that would show the section annotation.

So we can try to use the "Hide at Scales Coarser" parameter to change this condition.
If you select the views in the project browser all at the same time and then attempt to change the parameter you'll probably find that the parent view's annotation disappears too.

If you select one at time and change the parameter you'll find you can change some of them but not all of the them or you might find that changing one of them also affects the parent. I've seen both situations.

Interestingly enough, if you select the unwanted annotation in a view however you'll find you are able to change the parameter without losing the parent annotation along with them. I don't know why it should matter and it may be a bug that you can change them via the annotation element instead of through view properties but nonetheless it is possible at this time.

Naturally you can choose to hide them using the Right Click option Hide in View > Elements but you'll have to do this in any view you don't want to see them in.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Revit Zone Tutorials

Ian has taken significant time and effort to share his knowledge of Revit on his new site Revit Zone (blogged earlier). His recent additions to his site make it a must stop for any Revit user thirsty for knowledge.

If you find his site useful be sure to let him know so he'll be motivated to keep up the good work!

Thanks Ian!

AUGI Site Down for Upgrades

This text was posted at BLAUGI regarding an interuption in service at AUGI.

First, apologies for the lack of advance notice on this subject.

Please be aware that the AUGI Forums [ http://www.forums.augi.com/ ] will be taken offline all day this coming Saturday (2007-07-07) from 08:00 AM EDT (12:00 PM GMT), while essential backend database work is carried out.

All going well, the AUGI Forums should be back online, sometime Sunday (2007-07-08) morning - 08:00 AM EDT (12:00 PM GMT) - 11:59 AM EDT (03:59 PM GMT). If that proves not to be the case, please keep checking back later in the day, as they will be brought back online as soon as possible.

Once again, apologies for the lack of advance notice.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Revit MEP - "Space Bar" and "Apply"

The "Space Bar" is used a little differently in this version of Revit than its mates. As you already know, hopefully, it is used to flip certain elements and to rotate components. It is also used to toggle between Zoom/Scroll/Pan when viewing using the keyboard (SHIFT/CTRL) combined with the Middle Button or Right Click.

In Rmep it is also used to snap piping/duct to other related elements. It is used to match the size of the selected element and to orient to the correct workplane. It also assumes the same elevation of the element you intend to connect to. Here is an example of using the Spacebar to align a pipe with one side of a Double Wye Pipe Fitting.



Vertical duct/pipe (Risers) are very easy to place if you can remember to click the Apply button on the options bar.


When you sketch a horizontal run of duct or pipe and then need to create a riser pipe/duct you need only change the elevation and click Apply. Revit will create the transition/riser condition according to your M/P settings. Just be sure to allow enough elevation change to permit the insertion of transition fittings otherwise you'll get error messages.

If a warning appears informing you that the line is too short, you pressed Spacebar before you began drawing duct. Note that the Spacebar does not automatically specify the duct type. You must verify or select the duct type from the Type Selector on the Options Bar. Sometimes you need to sketch some extraneous duct to get a piece you really want and then delete the extra bits. Same for piping.

One tip for road...using Wireframe and/or Detail Level: coarse will improve regeneration times when sketching Duct and piping. Now, getting used to the presentation of these elements using those settings is another matter. Good Luck!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tiling Views - Window menu > Tile

Recently I was asked if there was any logic to how view windows are tiled I replied, "umm, don't think so?" At least the last time I got perturbed about it, there didn't seem to be a way to define where windows end up.

We'll I'm partially wrong... The active window will be placed on the left when there are two windows. More than two will place the active window in the upper left corner. There doesn't appear to be any simple logic to the placement of the remaining windows however. By now you're thinking, "thanks for nothing, Steve!" You are welcome!

Oh, remember that keyboard shortcuts don't work in schedule views. If you want to tile views with a schedule active...up to the menu you must go.

Additional Data provided courtesy of David Mills with Autodesk, he writes (and includes images), thanks!!!

Ah yes, the elusive Window Tile command. How do I get the views to tile in order A, B, C, D, E (or any other order for that matter)?


The ‘magic’ that’s going on behind the scene doesn’t have a real technical name but I describe it as the last active queue. This queue tracks only the opened views and, most importantly, which view is currently active. As the user changes to a different view, that view comes to the top of the queue and pushes the previously active view down the queue. If a new view is created/opened, it becomes the active view and gets a seat at the top of the queue. Conversely, if a view is closed, it’s removed from the queue.

The last active queue is what provides the ordering mechanism for the Window Tile command. Revit then takes that order and sequences the views (starting with the currently active view) down the first column, then the second, etc.


For Example, in the image above, the last active queue looked like this {D, B, A, C, E} at the time I hit WT. In the same example, if I wanted to give an intentional order to the views…let’s say A, B, C, D, E…I would activate each view in the reverse order that I want them to tile – in this case I would select E first, then D, then C, then B, and finally A. At that time, I would be certain that the last active queue would look like this {A, B, C, D, E} where A is the currently active view and E was active the longest time ago. Then hit WT and presto!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Revit Opportunity for Faculty and Students

A recent post by BIM and BEAM bloggers Nicolas Mangon and Wai Chu is worth visiting if you are a student or faculty member. CHECK it OUT! Your chance to use Revit Structure 2008 for FREE* is at hand!

* FREE products subject to the terms and conditions of the end user license agreement that accompanies download of the software.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Under Their Nose - Stairs

This stair is in the front lobby of a building that Revit staff see quite often.



I immediately thought that it would be quite a task to make this stair with Revit's stair and railing tools. Ironic that such a stair is "under their nose" and certainly should serve as inspiration for any future improvements that are made.

On the same subject, while working in Houston in a Philip Johnson/John Burgee building originally called the Transco Tower and now called William's Tower I encountered a stair in an emergency exit stair shaft that has what I think is a very nice railing detail.

This is the stair/railing from one angle



This is another angle
I imagine you could make separate railings that use custom start and end balusters to replicate the transition from run to run but it would take a bit of work. The connection of each stringer to a flat plate just isn't possible with the current tools. I like the fact that you can walk down the stairs and leave your hand on the railing without ever coming into contact with a support, very clean.

If you are curious here is a picture I took of the tower itself. I took it from next to a parking garage nearby.




This is a view from the 62nd floor meeting room we used for training, looking East toward downtown Houston.
The top row of glazing in the immediate view to the right is the parapet of the floor/roof below us. On the roof hidden from view are the anchors and outriggers for the window cleaning rigging equipment. Sorry, no picture...didn't think of it till now, too late!

If you have a stair or observe one that Revit ought to let you build at or all, or at least more easily, consider taking a snapshot of it and/or providing the design drawings you prepared to Revit support so they can properly define the scope of any future improvements to the stair/ramp/railing tools.

InterSpec, Inc. - eSPECS Update

I received notice that eSPECS has enhanced its interaction with the Revit platform. Here is a snippet of what their announcement said:

New e-SPECS functionality includes:

Direct API BIM Model Export
Replacing the ODBC Export is a faster and more efficient export of all model data pertinent to the products and materials for specifications.

View the Specs from within the BIM model
Select a family and view all the associated specification sections directly associated with that family. Select the interior wall family for instance and view the associated gypsum board, metal stud and painting sections.

Markup the Specs from within the BIM model
Revit users can not only view the sections, but add comments, questions and markup the specifications directly in the Revit session. The specifier using e-SPECS will immediately see those mark-ups and can make the required changes to the specification section(s).

New Spec Integration Report
Also within Revit, users can view a report detailing all families and the associated specification sections as well as those not yet assigned an assembly. The usage of this report within the BIM model facilitates the integration, automation and coordination of the construction documents.


Sounds like some very nice enhancements indeed!

RevitZone

Ian, an architect in the UK started a new Revit site this month. It is called Revit Zone. Be sure to follow his posts on his blog and see how the site develops.

Cheers!

JELD-WEN Revit Families Available

You may have received an email like I did the other day from JELD-WEN Windows and Doors? If so then..."as you were", if not they announced the availability of content in a variety of formats, including Revit. If you use their products in your projects now you can use their families in the project too! This is an excerpt from the email they sent:

Using JELD-WEN's Web site, architects are able to configure windows and patio doors to fit openings, then download corresponding graphics in Revit, DXF, DWG and PDF formats. The templates cover JELD-WEN's complete Custom Wood Window line, with Siteline EX and Tradition Plus wood window product lines scheduled for later this year. The 3D window templates are available as a link from the Custom Wood window product pages on www.JELD-WEN.com, or at www.parametrx.com/912/templates/index.asp.

If you check them out be sure to let them know how you like them.
Let's hope others follow their example...well except for their competitiors 8-)

Cheers!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Build for Revit MEP 2008 (2007_0615_1700)

Autodesk has posted a new build for Revit MEP 2008 to presumably bring into alignment with the recent new builds for the the other versions of Revit. The following text is posted on the download page at Autodesk's Revit MEP site.

This build, (2007_0615_1700), addresses issues related to:
  • Face-hosted elements deleted when loading linked model.
  • Crash occurs when resizing a column after disabling Embedded Schedule functionality.
  • Connector cannot be placed on a Blend.
  • Panel Schedule cannot be generated using a Panel set to Switchboard Part Type.
  • Switch System deleted if included Device added to existing Circuit.
  • Gaps in surfaces occur in gbXML export in certain complex geometries.
  • Crash occurs when defining certain Energy Analysis parameters on non-bounded Room.
  • Conditional Schedule Formatting not working when condition applied to a different Field than condition terms.
  • For a selected Line, Hide Category in View affects all Categories of Lines.
  • Some Detail, Plan or Section Callouts are erroneously hidden in cropped views.
  • Masking Regions in Tag Families do not obscure elements in project and in exports.
  • Filled Regions containing Solid Fills, which are overridden to be Transparent, print inconsistently between Vector and Raster modes.
  • Instability with Overlay Planes turned off in Graphics Settings.
  • Some Crop Regions are not visible in Views in upgraded files and templates.
  • Display problems in a View when zooming with OpenGL® hardware acceleration turned on.
  • Copying nested links from the Project Browser places only the Link and not its nested components.
  • Elements do not refresh in views when deselected.
  • Product Registration for multiple products in Subscription returns “Invalid Serial Number.”
  • Unable to open .rvt file containing imported/linked .dwg with incorrect boundary hatch.
Download it Here

Monday, June 11, 2007

Revit Architecture 2008 - New Build (20070607_1700)

To synchronize the recent update of Revit Structure, Revit Architecture now has a newer build. This list is the text posted at the Autodesk site:

This build, (20070607_1700), addresses issues related to:
  • For a selected Line, Hide Category in View affects all Categories of Lines.
  • Some Detail, Plan, or Section Callouts are erroneously hidden in cropped views.
  • Masking Regions in Tag Families do not obscure elements in project and in exports.
  • Filled Regions containing Solid Fills, which are overridden to be Transparent, print inconsistently between Vector and Raster modes.
  • Instability with Overlay Planes turned off in Graphics Settings.
  • Some Crop Regions are not visible in Views in upgraded files and templates.
  • Display problems in a View when zooming with OpenGL® hardware acceleration turned on.
  • Copying nested links from the Project Browser places only the Link and not its nested components.
  • Elements do not refresh in views when deselected.
  • Product Registration for multiple products in Subscription returns “Invalid Serial Number.”

Download it Here!

Revit Structure - New Build (20070607_1700)

Announced today, the following is from the text at Autodesk's Revit Structure 2008 site.

This build (20070607_1700), addresses issues related to:
  • Track Changes toolbar is missing with third-party application.
  • Very small dimension rounding error inaccuracy for the levels in the default structural project templates.
  • Duplication of some structural steel framing and column .rfa content in UK Library.
  • Unable to open .rvt file containing imported/linked .dwg with incorrect boundary hatch.
  • Incorrect estimated reinforcement volume of rebar.
  • Crash when importing .dwg or .dxf with the presence of an older version of DWG TrueView on the computer.
  • Beam’s analytical model auto-adjusted to slab doesn’t update when slab is deleted.
    Column’s analytical model auto-adjusted to slab doesn’t update when moved out of tolerance.
  • Unsuccessful manual analytical adjustment of a beam to the end of a wall.
    Beam whose vertical z-Direction Justification was set to "Other" had the analytical model in the wrong position.
  • For a selected Line, Hide Category in View affects all Categories of Lines.
  • Some Detail, Plan, or Section Callouts are erroneously hidden in cropped views.
  • Masking Regions in Tag Families do not obscure elements in project and in exports.
  • Filled Regions containing Solid Fills, which are overridden to be Transparent, print inconsistently between Vector and Raster modes.
  • Instability with Overlay Planes turned off in Graphics Settings.
  • Some Crop Regions are not visible in Views in upgraded files and templates.
  • Display problems in a View when zooming with OpenGL® hardware acceleration turned on.
  • Copying nested links from the Project Browser places only the Link and not its nested components.
  • Elements do not refresh in views when deselected.
  • Product Registration for multiple products in Subscription returns “Invalid Serial Number.”

You can DOWNLOAD it here!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gargoyles or Not

Wandering around Toronto this week I walked around the site of the City Hall complex which features a very interesting building by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and engineered by Hannskarl Bandel. I lifted that info off Wikipedia's ENTRY for it. Here's a photo.


A "spaceship" sits in between two arc'd towers that have windows facing only the inside of the arc. The outside of the arcs have cast concrete faces that have a subtle curve outward and a nice cast-in "grain" to them. From the North side they reminded me of really BIG grain silos unfortunately. They got a completely different reaction from me when I got South of them.

The "spaceship" reminds me a little bit of the Evoluon in Eindhoven, Holland. The Evoluon is a science museum turned conference center building and was designed by the architect Louis Christiaan Kalff. I wandered around the Evoluon while it was still a museum when my family lived in Holland waaaay baaack when I was nine. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get closer to the building, the ramps leading up closer were blocked off.

Finally at the Southeast corner of the city hall site I admired the old city hall building with a clock tower, complete with gargoyles, and right behind it framing them was a sleek all glass tower. I thought, "What a contrast!", so I snapped a photo of it too. Here is a link to some other
PHOTOS of both. Here's my shot...


goedenacht

Retry = OK

Every now and then an error message pops up in Revit and most of the time they tell you what is wrong and how to resolve it. Sometimes they are a bit too mysterious like this one. We had a good chuckle when we saw this one tonight.



Apparently OK = Retry and Cancel = Ignore

This message occurs when you acquire coordinates from a dwg file and that file is open for editing by someone at the same time as you save your project file. Revit wants to store a user UCS in the dwg file but can't access it.

Review Warnings - Auditing that list

In a conversation with Lee Miller, Firmwide BIM Implementer for HOK, we were discussing the inability to export the warnings that Revit will store as they occur. I suggested we take a look at SnagIT's ability to capture information in dialogs by scrolling through the entire contents of the dialog's window. We were pleased to find that it works. You get a capture of the text and you can then edit it in word or drop it in excel and then review the list and track down the errors without staying in the Review Warnings dialog and keep re-opening it too. Thought I'd pass it along. SnagIT has really earned its keep with me.

Note to Revit development team:

  • Need to provide an export of Reviewable Warnings to text format.
  • I think the dialog should stay open when you resolve a warning instead of closing the dialog and forcing us to re-open it or at least an option to make the dialog persistent.
  • There should be Expand All and Collapse All buttons

Window's Keyboard shortcuts will provide the expand/contract behavior if you can remember them along with all the other shortcuts you may try to remember.

NUM LOCK+ASTERISK on numeric keypad (*)
Display all subfolders under the selected folder.

NUM LOCK+PLUS SIGN on numeric keypad (+)
Display the contents of the selected folder.

NUM LOCK+MINUS SIGN on numeric keypad (-)
Collapse the selected folder.

Cheers!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Revit Family Needed!

This week I'm in Toronto, Canada, not Toronto, Ohio in case you thought that perhaps? I walked by this bronze sculpture by Tom Otterness on Yonge Street or block or so from the arena that the Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey team) call home. (Lakeshore and Yonge)

Naturally my first thought was that we need a Revit family for this!! The sculpture is titled "Immigrant Family". I found this article about it. Thought I'd share. Funny but I never think to take pictures and it dawned on me that I have a camera in my phone now...clever monkey!

Book Update

Back in December I wrote that I was writing a book and now I'm writing to say that I'm no longer writing that book. To those who thought, "Ha! He doesn't have time to do that!" You were correct! I'm grateful that it has been a banner year for me in my day job but because of that I was drifffffting further and further behind.

I apologize sincerely to anyone who was actually looking forward to the book. I think Bruce Gow and I had a good book in the works but regrettably I just couldn't hold up my end of the bargain. Unless the end of the decade was a reasonable time frame?

All is not lost however. As you may or may not know, Eddie Krygiel, Tatjana Dzambazova and Greg Demchak teamed up to write a book that is already available. Eddie works for a forward thinking Revit firm called BNIM. Tatjana and Greg are part of the Autodesk team dedicated to Revit. You can take a look at it on Amazon or at Wiley and it is available NOW.

When Wiley and I decided that I wasn't going to get'r done in a reasonable amount of time the "three muskateers" thankfully agreed to do it instead. They were flush from the recent euphoria of finishing the first and the timing was right. I'm only sorry that it didn't get worked out this way earlier so you could get your hands on the book sooner!

Take a look at the advance info on the book at Amazon or Wiley.

Looking back at this I think that this team was really meant to write these books all along for continuity of material, message and voice. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. Cheers and I wish the team a speedy writing phase and good luck and thanks for bailing me out!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Serial number lost after reinstallation

Some are reporting license issues with the latest release of Revit. The following text is from the Autodesk knowledge base files.

Issue


When you reinstalled Revit®, the serial number was changed to 000-00000000.


Solution


This problem affects authorization, built-in subscription features, and Autodesk error reporting.

To fix the problem

Locate the Revit.exe file. Depending on your installation, this file can usually be found in one of the following directories:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 9\Program
C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Structure 3\Program.
In Notepad, open the licpath.lic file.
In the licpath.lic file, locate the serial number (#SN 000-00000000) and replace it with the correct serial number.
Save the licpath.lic file.

New Build Available for Revit Architecture 2008

A little slow to write this, sorry. A new build (20070524_1700) was posted on Friday. Here's is what the Autodesk site says about this build.

This build, (20070524_1700), addresses issues related to:

  • For a selected Line, Hide Category in View affects all Categories of Lines.
  • Some Detail, Plan, or Section Callouts are erroneously hidden in cropped views.
  • Masking Regions in Tag Families do not obscure elements in project and in exports.
  • Filled Regions containing Solid Fills, which are overridden to be Transparent, print inconsistently between Vector and Raster modes.
  • Instability with Overlay Planes turned off in Graphics Settings.
  • Some Crop Regions are not visible in Views in upgraded files and templates.
  • Display problems in a View when zooming with OpenGL® hardware acceleration turned on.
  • Copying nested links from the Project Browser places only the Link and not its nested components.
  • Elements do not refresh in views when deselected.
  • Product Registration for multiple products in Subscription returns “Invalid Serial Number.”


DOWNLOAD FROM HERE (choose language)

No new builds for Revit Structure or MEP at this time but keep an eye out for them, shouldn't be far behind I imagine.

Decoding the build info: Year,Month,Day,Hour(24 hour clock)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

DWG Import/Export Crashes Revit

Focused on Revit Structure but I imagine just as relevant for the other versions, just a copy of what was posted at the BIM & BEAM blog: Here's the text of their post, be sure to check out the rest of the blog.

We had several users reporting crashes when they import or export dwg files with Revit Structure 2008 for the following build numbers:

DVD Build is: 20070324_1700
Web Build is: 20070404_1700

We did some investigation and we found out that the reason was related to the presence of an old version of DWG TrueView on the computer.

In order to so fix this issue, you need to uninstall DWG TrueView and upgrade it to the latest free version available at http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/mform?siteID=123112&id=9078813 . After the upgrade of DWG TrueView, RST2008 should be able to import/export DWG files properly.

Nicolas

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When I says Mass I Means Mass

Said with "Popeye the Sailorman's" voice...

When a savy ADT user starts using Revit they can get into trouble quick when they start getting comfortable by applying the ADT concept of "Mass" to Revit's concept of "Mass". The equivalent terminology for Mass/ADT is Generic Model/Revit. When you use the Mass category for a piece of furniture you are creating trouble for yourself. Revit expects you to use the family category "furniture" for that.

What kind of trouble? You can't schedule them as furniture, you can't change them to furniture, you can't turn off massing because you "need" it visible because you made "furniture" using Massing...get the idea?

When you create a curvy swoopy wall, don't "lean" toward mass, lean toward an In-Place Wall family. Now experienced users are thinking, "But Steve, I can use Massing to create the shape I need and then apply a wall to that!"

YES, THAT is what Revit's use of the term "Mass" is intended for. Mass or Massing in Revit is meant to describe what the terms are used for in the context of architecture, building form, not arbitrary discreet pieces or parts. Revit has lots of pre-defined categories for those and for those that don't fit into one of them we have Generic Model and Specialty Equipment. As a means to describe the "broad brush" building form a Mass Element can host Walls, Floors, Roofs and Curtain Systems. Here's a quick example I did in the past that just shows massing and floor slabs, well...a helicopter and a couple cars too...



The above represents a building that is 945K+ SF, mocked up in about 15 minutes, nothing serious, just playing around.

Here is another little example I played around with on a plane ride the other night.


I was thinking of a medium size design firm in a semi urban setting where the executives would park beneath the building. The patterns are just material/surface patterns assigned to the massing. Good old shadows make it "nice"

One more for the road...this is three curtain wall systems applied to massing that describes curving surfaces in plan, elevation and section so that it has a slight "beer" belly. The massing is off in the view leaving behind just the curtain systems. I was sloppy because I didn't take care to align the curtain grids/mullions but then we did this on a short break between "real teechin"...a good old "Can Revit do X" question.


Elements created using the Mass category cannot be changed to other categories. This is because of the hard-wired behavior Revit assigns to elements using this category. If you make in-place "walls" and choose the Mass category instead of the "Wall" category you are headed for pain and re-work..."you know who you are"...sorry, I warned you didn't I?

If you haven't explored Revit's Massing tools, take a look at the help documentation to get a sense of its purpose and capabilities.



Then try it out!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Network Licensing and Revit xxx 2008

A little reminder. If you are upgrading to the latest release you must also upgrade the FlexLM software that manages your licensing. The required version is supplied on the DVD that you receive from Autodesk. The current version required is 11.4.0.0 and Revit will not work with earlier versions. If you don't upgrade it first, frustration will ensue! Good Luck!

Here's a link to the license manager if you can't find it

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dept. of Subtle - User Interface

Three subtle improvements were made in the Revit 2008 line that I'd like to point out on the off chance you haven't noticed them.

First is the repositioning and naming of the Right Click menu item Properties. It is not called Element Properties and positioned at the bottom of the Right Click menu, right next to View Properties. Every class I've ever taught had a least one user click View Properties instead of Properties even if I warned them first. I joke that "View" isn't a verb, as in, "yeah, I want to view the properties!". Now that it is repositioned I'm sure it will confound "old timers" for awhile but I think it is for the better or at least clearer what they are for. Here's a screen capture.

Next up is the Design Bar More Tools >> feature that permits you to access the tools that have been buried beneath other tabs when your PC/Notebook display resolution "runs" out of space to show them all. This button presents a small flyout that contains the hidden tools so you can still get to them without resorting to using the modelling menu "all the way" at the top of the interface. I always imagined a scroll bar to resolve this but this works too. Here's a screen capture.

Last is the additional feedback offered on the Status Bar as various operations take place. Reloading a link, saving to central, opening a file and other lengthy processes will display a progress bar and information to the left of the bar so it is clearer what is happening. You'll have to pay close attention to catch it though. I tried a few different things to catch a screen image of the feature and I couldn't time it just right so you'll have to just watch for it next time!

I think this release is a pretty solid one and it grows on you fast, a day or so and you don't want to use that "old" 9.1 again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Freshman

Lately I've been using the stages of development that schools use, Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior to discuss the various levels of knowledge required of users to be successful making content for Revit.

For example a Freshman can work productively all day long if the things they need exist in the project template or are available in the content libraries. As soon as something doesn't exist they need to graduate into another level or ask someone who is at a higher level for help. Which level that is will depend on how hard it is to make what they need.

A firm can be quite successful with a majority of Freshman if they have one Senior. They can even be successful without a Senior for quite some time if they sought help to establish a solid library and well defined template(s), assuming the stock content isn't enough or completely acceptable.

Here are some reasonable expectations for each level of development.

Freshman
This person will routinely place, find, load and when needed, modify existing content to create additional types using existing parameters. They can add information to a family so schedules report the information they need. They will come calling when they need something they can’t find or if a parameter they need doesn't exist in a family.

Sophomore
This level requires the ability to create annotation and symbol content to support a firm’s documentation standards. This is either done based on existing content or from scratch. Additionally they should be able to make basic content that is made from scratch and may not require parametric flexibility. This can be done as 2d/3d objects at the simplest level of graphic representation or at least enough to create a placeholder until a more sophisticated element is prepared. They should also be able to modify existing content to include basic features that do not exist, such as additional information needed for scheduling. This also assumes that the geometry is already present but just needs slight modification.

Junior
This person is capable of planning for the behavior of flexible content and creating new content using templates. These families are parametric in at least a couple dimensions to provide modest flexibility and control, for example common windows, doors, furniture and casework. They also understand how to provide additional parameters to make scheduling and tagging content more effective. They understand how to take advantage of visibility controls to manage documentation and graphic quality.

Senior
This person completely understands how to model difficult geometry and effectively assemble complex content. They are able to discern the best strategy to deliver graphical quality as well as information for scheduling. They know how to get the information from staff that they will need to provide content with the least amount of rework. They can also mentor or guide the other staff as they become more accomplished and try to advance to higher levels.

Disclaimer Section
This isn't a "one size fits all" observation but in general I find it to "fit" in most of the places I've been. People and their personalities certainly factor in. The Senior isn't always the most patient person or the most capable at communicating to others. In some cases they may resist sharing their knowledge for a variety of reasons.

What is the secret to becoming a Senior? Work...make families, do the tutorials, read/ask questions at AUGI/Revit City/Autodesk NG's/blogs and get training either by hiring a consultant, attending a reseller's class and/or attend Autodesk University. One or more of these can fit your budget.

Last, this can apply to Revit overall too, a freshman can be quite productive when they know how to do the basic things they need to do. Revit is pretty simple when you tackle one feature at a time. It can be a bit daunting when you try to wrap your arms around it all at one time.

Here's to becoming a Senior!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Dependant Views and Hide in View - Elements

The new feature (Revit 2008 products) Duplicate View > Dependant Views is intended to provide an exact copy of the parent view but allow you to crop the view differently making it easier to document in an overall view but show partial plans on sheets. This makes it simpler to manage annotation and avoid the copy/paste process of putting annotation in various duplicate views.


Take care when you use the new feature (Revit 2008 products) Hide in View however.

If you use this feature either in a parent view or a dependant view the hidden element is only hidden in the view you do it in. The other view(s) are not affected. In my opinion, this is not consistant with the implied behavior of parent/dependant views. I believe that when we hide an element in a parent view, the dependant views should also have that element hidden. The view specific behavior should be limited to non-dependant views. As it is now, remember we must un-hide/hide this element in each view.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Blog - Revit Structure

Autodesk staff Nicolas Mangon and Wai Chu have started an official Autodesk Blog for Revit Structure called BIM & BEAM. Thanks!

Let me take this opportunity to apply a little pressure for one dedicated to Revit Architecture and MEP. Over a year ago I suggested to Phil Read that he do one called "Do This Right Quick" based on his hilarious and entertaining segment (at AU 2005) of one of his Revit classes. He demurred at the time...maybe with more pressure? He does a little bit of traveling but no more than Lynn and she manages to get a blog out 8-)!

Check it out!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Revit 2008 Released

Autodesk has finally released the latest versions of Revit. You probably already know this, unless you've been without Internet access.

Revit Architecture 2008 is available for download HERE.
Revit Structure 2008 is available for download HERE.
Revit MEP 2008 is available for download HERE.

If you have difficulty with authorization you can try logging into the Registration site directly. Run Revit and attempt to register first. It will generate a request code, displayed at the top of the form.

Then visit the Registration site and login. If you've never done it this way before you'll need to setup your account. Once you are logged in you need to choose the account, if you have more than one you are responsible for, and provide the product serial number. Next you'll be asked for the request code and finally you'll get the activation code to enter into the registration form in Revit. This code is pasted into the form generated while using Revit. The activation code is also emailed to the email address for your account.

I needed to do this to get the authorization so you might too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Proposal - Design Bar Tabs

A fairly common request is for a way to reduce the cluttered list of component types we get presented when we use the Component tool. I suggest that on a new component design bar tab that we have a category specific component tool for each category of the following component families:

  • Casework
  • Entourage
  • Furniture
  • Furniture System
  • Generic Component
  • Planting
  • Site
  • Specialty Equipment
  • Sustainable Design

If a tool exists for a category under another tab I didn’t add it to this list, such as column, site and parking. I don’t know how deserving Sustainable Design is of its own tool or folder since each component in that folder could easily belong to an existing category. Seems that this folder is catering to a specific design issue than a feature.

While I’m at it I’d like to see our own Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing tabs to place those categories of components as well, even if it is only for placing those components along with a few drafting tools like dimensions and tags. I’m hoping we get some architectural process tools for each discipline so our overlap and redundancy will be reduced as we moved forward on the BIM path.

If we get a separate component tab one assumes that each tool will filter the list of the types offered in the type selector to only those of that tool’s category. Of all the things that we want Revit to do this seems like it might be a pretty minor task to accomplish.

It might look like this?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Workset Terminology - Quick Reference

Concept - Workset(s) - A feature that allows Revit to manage simultaneous multi-user access to a project's elements.

Workset Types:
User-Created Workset: A grouping of model elements that we create and manage.
Family Workset: Revit created and managed workset for each family definition in the project. Not for each individual door but for each kind of door loaded in the project.
Project Standard Workset: Revit created and managed workset for each project standard feature such as dimensions, linestyles, fill patterns etc.
View Workset: Revit created and managed workset for each view that is part of a project.

Workset Interaction is primarily limited to User Created Worksets. Family, Project Standard and View worksets are managed entirely by Revit. Users need only decide which User Created Workset to establish in the project and assign model elements to. Family, Project Standard and View worksets are only engaged when the user alters a property of an element that belongs to one of them. In this case Revit lends that Workset definition to the user and the User returns it when they use Synchronize with Central combined with relinquishing the relevant workset(s).

File Features/Actions:
Central File: A Revit file that has had worksets enabled.
Local File: A copy of a Central File that a user works in.
Synchronize with Central (SWC): The action of saving work (pushing) completed in a local file to the central file and loading (pulling) work completed by others via SWC. Your changes are now available for others to see.
Save Local: Saving work within your local file. Changes are not visible to others until you Save to Central.
Reload Latest: A command that will load (pull) and display any changes that others have submitted using Synchronize with Central.

Ownership/Borrowing:
Owner: To possess an entire Workset(s) that elements are assigned to and thereby preventing anyone else from making changes to it or any elements assigned to that workset.
Borrower: To possess individual element(s) that is/are part of a Workset, not the Workset itself.
Editing Request: User can request to borrow elements from others. User can Grant/Deny request. Granting a request can only be done if no changes have been made to the element. SWC is required if changes are to be kept.
Make Elements Editable: Borrow just the selected element(s), like "borrowing a book".
Make Workset Editable: Borrow the entire Workset that an element belongs to as well as the element(s), like borrowing a book shelf.
Relinquish: To return the element(s) you have borrowed so that others may borrow them.
Editable: The element or workset belongs to you. You are free to make changes to them.
Non Editable: The element or workset does not belong to you. You can’t change it/them unless you borrow it/them.

Viewing/Interaction:
Active Workset: The workset that is displayed in the workset toolbar. New objects will become part of this workset automatically. Note this toolbar does not display the workset name of a selected object nor does it change the workset of a selected object if you choose another while objects are selected.
Open: The workset is loaded into memory and Revit will display it in all views according to visibility/graphic settings of each view.
Closed: The workset is not loaded and Revit will not display it or process it in memory and any views regardless of visibility/graphic settings of each view.
Gray Inactive Worksets: View setting that will make inactive worksets gray, lighter color, than the Active workset elements.

Maintenance/Special Features:
Compact Central File: This will condense the Revit database and result in a smaller file size. Similar to the concept of defragmenting your computer’s hard drive.
Detach From Central: This allows you to open a central file as a separate and file while severing its relationship to the original. It can never be syncronized with the original central file. Examples where this is useful are: Project Manager review or exploration, Plotting, Exporting, Troubleshooting and archiving. In each case this allows unfettered access to the project and does no harm to the active project. It also allows the project team to continue working while “snapshot” tasks like plotting, exporting or archiving are done.

[Amended April 1, 2010:] Replace prior to Revit 2010 language: Save to Central is now Synchronize with Central