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.

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.

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

Monday, March 05, 2007

Department of Quirky - Stair Sketch Failure in Workset Projects

When working in a Central or Local file you will find that you cannot finish a stair sketch if you sketch Risers first then Boundaries. This assumes you used the Riser and Boundary tools instead of the Run tool.

Strange but it makes no difference in a stand alone project but seems to matter a great deal in a central/local file. The workaround at this time is to sketch your stair Boundary completely first then add the Risers.

Here is the familiar error message dialog that you'll get if you sketch poorly.

Sketched poorly perhaps in some cases except that I have and several students have encountered this message while learning stair features and using worksets at the same time. At first we attributed the errors to basic sketch mistakes. Then we started to think maybe upgraded templates might fail to produce the stair. In the face of repeated tries as well as in brand new stock templates it became obvious that it was deeper than simple sketch mistakes or upgrade issues.

Revit support isolated the behavior to the order described above because they are accustomed to Boundaries first, Risers second and this process didn't generate the error. I'm not sure when this behavior crept into being but I know that it is present in Revit Building 8.1, 9.0 and 9.1, just tested it in those versions, so it has been with us for awhile. The image depicts a "U" stair but this issue will appear in any stair shape other than a single straight run, those will finish without error messages.

At the sign post ahead is "The Quirky Zone"...you've been warned! 8-) If you've encountered this at some point and thought you were crazy, you may be, just not about this!