Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dept. of Subtle - Offset Elevations at One End

This post has a Revit Structure bias. When you want to offset the end of one beam to slope framing it isn't obvious which end is which. There is a Start Level Offset and and End Level Offset.

When you examine the properties dialog you see them listed nicely but when you just look at a beam there isn't anything obvious to tell you which end is which. Even if you understand which end comes first you probably won't remember how you placed the beam later when you want to change it.

I recall someone telling me that they have everyone sketch left to right and top to bottom so that the Start Level offset is always at the left and top of a beams. Good luck with that! 8-).

If you select a beam however the offset parameters are displayed and if you place your cursor over the offset value you'll get a nice useful tool tip!

For you VIDEO minded folks here's one.


Erik said...

We have built invisible line "symbols" (an X and an O) into other families (some counter-tops and a couple of lights) that we would like to identify which end is which. I think you could do this for a structural framing family as well, but not sure.

Anonymous said...

There is a better way to do this. We put an arrow control into structural framing families. (In the family editor, look under 'Control' on the 'Create' Ribbon, pick the 'Single Horizontal' arrow ). Put the arrow as close to the centreline of the beam as you can. When this is loaded into the project, you click the beam in plan, the blue arrow appears and this gives you the direction of the beam A to B. Especially useful when trying to apply cantilever symbols as well as offsets

Unknown said...

Unfortunately the arrow controls will not display when the beam is inclined. I prefer color coding the ends of the beams per symbolic linework. (Green for start Red for end) this will still show up graphically in plan when the beams are inclined and does not force the user to select the beam to know which end is which...most beneficial when you are applying connection symbols to multiple beams.

Steve said...

Easier? Doing nothing to the family and just hovering over the selected offset parameters is "easiest"!! Imho...adding stuff to families isn't easier than that!! 8-)

Unknown said...

Easier/Easiest becomes a relative term if you are forcing the end user to adjust the end offsets "one-at-a-time", clicking each beam and then waiting for the tooltip.
Utilizing the color coded approach will require minimal editing to families (2 symbolic lines) but it will greatly improve the end users efficiency...

Steve said...

As I show in the video, I can change multiple offsets in one parameter text box when the beams are selected without regard for which end is which.

It also doesn't matter which end is which if I'm selecting the beam and changing the value on screen. I'm editing the one I want directly without regard for the start/end value.

Isn't it redundant to add graphics to an entire family library to "see" which is the start if we have to select it (or at least hover over it) either way?

Besides, worrying about which end only matters when we are stuck in a dialog box with no clue which end is the start or end.

I posted the video because I like the fact that I can offset four beams at once visual "in canvas". The fact that the tool tip shows which parameter value is displayed is just a subtle "bonus" to me.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the response!

Not to beat this subject to death....but I think your missing the point.
Sure it works fine in the video but that is only because the beams are sharing the same endpoint you are adjusting.
Imagine you want to change the end offset of 12 cantilevered beams. Due to these elements not sharing an endpoint the offset graphic will not display when more than one beam is selected...forcing the user to hover over the elements one by one...Again the color coded method provides the end user with realtime indicators allowing them to select similar condition elements efficiently. Sure the parameter still needs to be applied via dialog but there is no "guessing" about which end to apply the offset to or forcing them to manually hover over each instance and "remember" where the start/end is at. I do not consider added functionality redundant in any way. Its amazing that the software has not addressed this in a similar manner thus far.

Steve said...

I see your point. The graphics you describe would help. They'd have to be careful to only select multiple items that are oriented in exactly the same way otherwise the values they change would offset opposite ends as likely as not.

Jeremy Deal said...

Thanks. This bugged the crap out of me. Why wasn't there a better solution out of the box.