Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Local File Error on Open

Have you run into this error message before?

One possible reason is that the folder you are storing local files is running out of allowable space. A folder can have restrictions placed on it. If so Revit can't properly create the local file in a folder that has hit its quota.

When we create a new local file we can often avoid this if we use the option to Overwrite the existing local file versus the Append Timestamp option. Chances are there are just a great many older local files hanging around in the folder.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Revit MEP Pipe Appearance in Sections

I met Freddie at the BIM Workshop in Anaheim recently. We chatted for awhile about Revit (shock I know) and then a little about music. It was great to meet someone who wasn't necessarily required to know Revit but decided he wanted to learn Revit and has become quite good at it. The company he works for (TJP Engineering) specializes in water treatment systems for aquatic attractions.

He passed along a graphic that Chris Aquino (Autodesk support specialist) marked up for him when he was trying to sort out piping graphics in section views. Sometimes writing this blog only requires sharing what other people tell me, thanks Freddie!

Here's the image which has markups that explain the various conditions they discussed.

Quick Summary of Issues:
  • No rise/drop symbol? Most likely the pipe is sloping "through" the section.
  • If you see a "crosshair" or "target" it is probably the pipe beyond the fitting but within the Far Clip Plane of the view.

Btw, my Uncle Ben called me Freddie when I was a kid. I. Don't. Know. Why... :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Revit 2015 - Closing a Workset and Linked File Ownership Conflict

This post describes an awkward issue with Revit 2015 when using a specific workset(s) to manage a linked file(s).

Project File A has a separate workset for Project File B and that file is assigned to it. Both the linked file's instance and type parameters are assigned to the same workset. User A is the Owner of Project File B's workset. Now User B is working in their own local file and decides to close the Project File B workset (instead of using the Manage Links > Unload method). User B gets a warning that User A owns the element.

When we expand the warning we see that the file is the issue.

User B clicks Cancel and the workset closes, the link is no longer visible (the desired result despite the message). If User B Opens the workset, no error. The error only occurs when the workset is closed.

Closing a workset that has a linked file associated with it now is equivalent to using Manage Links > Unload, because using unload generates this error message now too.

This error dialog is very confusing because it claims that we can't do something, without creating an Editing Request, that clicking Cancel does let us do. We now have a normal error message that we have to tell users they can ignore, click cancel please. That's just ridiculous.

Demand loading and unloading worksets is fundamental and critical for large projects. Large projects have many people contributing so now we'll have many people getting a pointless message.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Parameters with Math Characters

Kudos to GMcDowellJr at for paying attention. I missed it entirely. We've been careful to warn people not to include math characters in their parameters names for so long that I just don't ever try to do it.

At some point in the recent past (my testing shows beginning with Revit 2014) Revit started reconciling the issue for us with these brackets [ ]. Just wrap your rogue parameter name using math characters with those brackets and Revit won't mind anymore.

Revit will even add them (the brackets) for us if we rename a parameter to include math symbol(s). For example, in the following image these parameters and the formula are fine.

Then I changed my parameter name and Revit put the brackets in the formula for me.

When I try this in Revit 2013 it doesn't mind changing a parameter name to include a math symbol if it didn't have one originally. If I try to create a new parameter with a math character and use it in a formula then I get the familiar warning. If I add the brackets myself, no difference. In 2014 and 2015 the brackets start working and get added to a formula for us, when necessary.

I don't recall The Factory ever taking credit for this change, a nice subtle compensation for parameter naming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stage Curtains

Back in January of 2004, about eleven months before I started blogging and a couple months before moving to California, I shared a couple stage curtain families at AUGI. They were made using Revit 6.0. I recently got a message thanking me for them which made me curious how well they'd upgrade to Revit 2015. I downloaded them from AUGI too since I'd lost track of the files since then. They upgraded fine. Well, without a warning message but they didn't retain all their parametric behavior unfortunately.

If you're like me, you can't help but second guess the things you did when you get to take another look at something you did in the past. This is no different. I didn't like my choice of parameter names and the logic I used to allow for them to be reconfigured. So I spent some time re-working them in Revit 2015.

Here's what they look like in play now, the main setting is a burgundy color, the olio setting is a lighter shade and the cyclorama legs, borders and rear traveler are just black (though they look gray). If you aren't familiar with theater terminology, the olio setting is traditionally fancy or at least a different color. It is typically used (closed in front of the main set) as the background for the opening act of a show, comedian, magician etc., far enough forward to leave most of the stage for the primary production (hidden from view) while leaving stage space for the intro act.

And in plan view

And in Section

If you'd like to download them here you go:

2015 Stage Curtain Border
2015 Stage Curtain Traveler

If you need them in an earlier version than 2015 these are the Revit 6.0 files. You'll probably have to tweak them a bit to retain their parametric relationships, such as changing the height of the curtain or length of the batten etc.

Revit 6.0 Border Curtain
Revit 6.0 Traveler Curtain

I'll close with a rendered view using some stage lighting fixtures that Andrew K shared at (works with ARCAT) and a couple saxophones that Michael Anonuevo shared with me back when he was working on his family editor book.

I did consider rebuilding these using the new Adaptive Point divide and repeat concept. Perhaps another day. It would be interesting to compare the performance of that technique against these. These do put a bit of a drag on a model because of the blend array that makes the curtain.

Okay, now I'm just having fun...