Thursday, September 29, 2011

Instance Parameter Comparison Revit 2012 and 2011

The manner in which Revit reacts to Instance Parameter changes to families you place has changed from version 2011 to 2012. In the past Revit regarded the changing of an instance parameter as though it was more important than the default value the family is supposed to use. This meant that any future families placed would use the value entered instead of the default value. Worsererer it affected other families of the same ilk, like a receptacle family and another receptacle family.

The good news is that 2012 pays more attention to the family default value for the individual families you place than the override. This means you can change the value for the individual family you are placing now and then if you switch to something else, when you return to place more of the families (or another type) you'll get the default value assigned to the family instead of the "rogue" change you made to one earlier.

Daniel Stine (author of several Revit books) created this video and passed it along to me (no audio) to share when he wrote to ask me if I noticed the change. I did and was grateful for the change. Since he went to the trouble to make a video, seems a shame not to share it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Importing Point Cloud Data with Service Pack 2

Previous versions of Revit 2012 imported point cloud data (.pcg files) by placing the first data set using "center-to-center" alignment with Revit's origin. Subsequent imported point cloud data files could be imported using "Auto - Origin to Last Placed" so they all align with each other. That's okay if where the point cloud data ends up in your project file is arbitrary to begin with. It isn't so fine if you are trying to align it all with a real world survey coordinate.

I'm happy to write that the Service Pack 2 that was released yesterday has altered this condition for the better. In my testing, using the same data set I was using before, I find that Revit respects the actual origin of the point cloud file and subsequent files still work using the "Auto - Origin to Last Placed" option as expected.

When I drop in my little Laser family and move it into position it all lines up nicely! Too bad it was too late for this one...but the next one will be that much easier! Thanks to the team for getting it into this update!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Revit Service Pack or Web Update 2

The just posted the most recent update for Revit 2012 products. It is necessary to install it to use the also recently released Autodesk Cloud.

Download the RAC 2012 Update Now
Download the RST 2012 Update Now
RME 2012 is a little further behind at the moment...Click here to visit the page where it will appear.

A couple people have posted about Downloading MEP directly (English) now. I don't know if the URL will hold though. The links above take you to the page where you choose your language first.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Design Review - There's an App for That!

At the last Revit user group meeting I attended a few guys were chatting about how logical it is for Design Review to be an app for iPad or iPhone. Guess they were right?!? There's an app for that now! Yeah I'm slow mentioning it since it actually became available a few days ago?

Check it out at iTunes

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Family Editor Resources

First Item of interest:
Paul Aubin recently completed a new video course for the Revit Family Editor, hosted on These are the families that get attention during the video which is 6 hours and 44 minutes.

Course Highlights are (Table of Contents):

  1. Introduction and high level concepts: covering what a Family is, the Revit element hierarchy, libraries and differences between model and annotation Families. Strategies and course focus are also covered.
  2. Annotation Families: covering kinds of annotation, creating Generic Annotation and Tag Families and using Shared Parameters in Tag Families.
  3. Simple Model Families: covering the overall model Family creation process, hosts and hosted, reference planes, constraints, labeled dimensions, work planes, flexing and testing.
  4. Family Geometry: detailed look at: Extrusions, Blends, Revolves, Sweeps, Swept Blends and void form basics.
  5. Beyond Geometry: includes coverage of identity data, Family Types, Type Catalogs, material parameters, visibility parameters and subcategories.
  6. A Family in a Family: covering nested Families, Shared Families, Profile Families and parametric arrays.Families01 300x125 New Revit Family Editor Course on
  7. Controlling Visibility: explores symbolic lines, element visibility, level of detail display and controlling overhead display in plan.
  8. Building Complex Parametric Families: begins tying together many of the previous topics to create a more complex whole. Covers planning, reference plane strategies, nesting components, arrays, parameters, formulas driving parameters and parameters.
  9. Parametric Annotation Family: ties together many previous topics to create a more complex annotation Family. A parametric key plan Family using conditional formulas to drive visibility is showcased.
  10. Driving Angular Parameters: Controlling rotation and angles can be a challenge. This chapter uses a Door Family as an example to showcase how to parametrically control rotation and angular parameters.
  11. Advanced Strategies – Control a curve parametrically: Controlling curves can be a challenge. This chapter uses a brick arch Family to showcase how to parametrically control the flexing of curves in the Family editor. It also delves into advanced and complex formulas used to drive circle geometry. Advanced trigonomic functions are utilized to constraint the curve’s flexing behavior.

Second Item of Interest:

The Revit 2012 Family Standards and Best Practices version 2.0 has been released by CTC (CAD Technology Center).

Read the Table of Contents
Read Sample Pages
To find out more CLICK HERE.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Point Cloud Data into Navisworks

Navisworks supports Leica (.pts .ptx) and FARO (.fls .fws .iQscan, iQmod, iQwsp) scan data formats as well as ASCII text formats (.txt .asc). I received a tweeted message the other day asking about getting the point cloud information from a Photofly session that resulted in .las and .pcg files instead.

Navisworks hasn't caught up with the recent addition of the .pcg indexed file format that AutoCAD and Revit use. It's a case of unfortunate development timing. It means that we can use .pcg files in Revit but we can't use the same files appended to a Navisworks session, we have to use something else. I've been starting with .pts files, creating the .pcg for Revit and then using the .pts in Navisworks. Your head hurt yet?

My suggestion to the twitter member was to import the .pcg file into AutoCAD and then Append that file into Navisworks. Navisworks will index the point cloud data when it reads the .dwg so you get the data despite the "unfamiliar" format. A workaround at best, but workarounds that work, work for me!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feature Request for the Next Version of Revit

I suggest that Revit be able to respond to yelling, hitting or otherwise becoming angry with the computer. Ideally being able to respond to an epithet like, "stupid software!!" or "darn Rivit!" When a user becomes physical and hits their computer Revit should warn them that this might make things worse and to return to verbally harassing Revit instead.

In the interest of safety if Revit detects the use of a weapon against the computer it should initiate an immediate shut down with the usual messages about syncing with central of course, if possible. If there doesn't appear to be enough time then when Revit is opened the next time it should say, "Sorry about shutting down on you but that [insert weapon observed here] looked ominous and we wanted to protect your data. There wasn't enough time to SwC, so sorry about anything you lost between your last save and the "recent unpleasantness".

View Filter Stack Order Matters

Here's a quick reminder about View Filters, the order they appear in matters! From Autodesk's WikiHelp documentation:

Note If multiple selection filters are applied to the same view, the order in which they are listed denotes priority. The selection filter nearest the top of the list takes precedence. (bold emphasis is mine)

If you apply filters and find that you don't get the result you were after, double check the order you've applied them. You might just need to move one up or down in the list to get the result you want.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dept. of Unfair - Move Tool is Insensitive

When they added the Guide Grid feature to Revit they made it possible to snap to Grid intersections (and Reference Planes) through a viewport. This means we can move a viewport into the same location from one sheet to the next based on an agreed grid intersection such, "A1 will be what we use as a reference location to put our floor plan views on the sheet the same way."

They added this after many years of hearing users complain about views not lining up on sheets. Me personally, I got over it early. Seemed to me that far fewer sheets were affected by this concern than the number of sheets that weren't. I don't mind having the feature but it just never bothered me. I could get things close enough that nobody would notice, especially working with real paper in hand. Granted it is easier to tell in the digital world "flipping" pdf pages or comparing a CAD file overlay. For me though, it didn't really amount to a hill of beans in the job trailer. As a contractor in the past I was more worried about information actually being on the sheet at all to be worried about whether they stacked from sheet to sheet exactly.

Oops I digress...

In order to make this possible they needed to make Revit more sensitive to the contents of the viewport when using the Move Tool. Unfortunately Revit seems to think we live in an orthogonal world because the only Grids or Reference Planes the tool "sees" are orthogonal ones. No arcs, no grids at an angle, sorry Charlie. Now it isn't hard to place a couple orthogonal Reference Planes somewhere or to choose a different Grid intersection perhaps but it would be nice if Revit was more malleable, enough to let us pick any intersection of Grids or Reference Planes.

From Autodesk's WikiHelp:

Item 7. Snap to the crop regions or datums in the viewports and move them into alignment with the guide grid lines to specify a precise location on the sheet. (bold emphasis mine)

This means we can forget about the datum stuff (Grids/Reference Planes) and use the Crop Region. Of course the Crop Region has to be visible to snap to it and unless you are using a Scope Box to manage the Crop Region (to keep them consistent for many views) it isn't really the most reliable reference point to use either. Here's a visual aid, a short video discussing it too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Worksharing Monitor History

Even if I couldn't get anyone interested in using Worksharing Monitor, I'd still use it myself just for the little sneaky/subtle History button. It's quite handy to get a sense of the project by scanning the list.

Stole this one from the Autodesk WikiHelp on the subject.

For example a couple years ago, using the log, I discovered a user that never used SwC during the day, waited 8 hours to bother to get around to it. It turned out that he was supporting other users all day and he wasn't actually doing any work in his local file.

Making matters worse (unintentionally) instead of just throwing away the file at the end of the day he did a SwC and left for home. The rest of the team that worked a little later than him suffered with poorer performance while Revit churned through 8 hours x 6-8 other users worth of data updating in his local file. A couple of those SwC sessions lasted 2+ hours, for nothing. A new local file in the morning and he would have been up to date.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Parameters Again

I've written about these a lot over the years. It seems to me that this dialog, and specifically the highlighted portion, is all too often either misunderstood or ignored.

The message seems pretty clear, to me at least, but here's my version:
  • Project Parameters can be used in schedules but not for tags
  • Shared Parameters can be used in schedules AND tags
I left out the part about shared with families and projects because...well...that's what the word shared means. I left off the part about exporting to ODBC because that's just another level of complexity. If you use Shared Parameters you win, you get that too.

If the information you care about is only expected to appear in a schedule then a Project parameter will suffice, it will work, it will give you the result you are after. If there is the slightest chance that someone will then ask for the same information to be used in a tag then you need to plan for a Shared parameter. You might consider only working with Shared Parameters for this reason, it's hard to out guess others.

This post "Shared Parameter File - A Little Clarification" revisits parameters and provides a summary of links to other posts I've written over the years. I've also copied them here:

What are Parameters and Why Should I Care?
Sharing Parameters Overview (Part 1)
Walking on Thin Ice
Making a Shared Parameter File (Part 2)
Shared Parameters Part 3
Shared Parameters Part 4
Ignore Good Advice
Home for Unwanted Doors

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dept. of Quirky - Baluster with Light Fixture

A thread at AUGI has been documenting the design process for the lair (currently called Project Sauron) of an as yet undetermined alleged evil Lord and Master (LaM). One of his designer minions (Mortimer, who also apparently uses Revit to do his work) has been posting images and asking questions. He recently asked about creating balusters that incorporate a light source. Since this minion has demonstrated pretty savvy skill with Revit already I suspected it was a loaded question, as in he has his answer but curious if anyone else has noticed. I guess whenever an evil Lord and Master is involved I get a little suspicious?

My first thought was a nested light fixture would need to be used and that it would need to be "shared". I thought shared because we have to nest multiple fixtures in a chandelier to create multiple lamp light sources...and they need to be shared for them to render. At least that's how I remember it. Turns out using a "shared" nested light fixture has a pretty weird outcome when used in a baluster and applied to a railing.

See the light off to the left of the railing? That's the nested shared light fixture family. It's locked and aligned to the side of a baluster yet only one light fixture shows up and a little farther away from the baluster than I expected it to be. That and there's only ONE, despite the number of baluster you can plainly see. Even stranger is that I can select the fixture and move it independently from the railing. I can move it next to the railing, but there is still only one.

This time I made a couple changes. I removed the "shared" status of the light fixture and reloaded/rebuilt it all because Revit hates switching between shared and not shared status. The result is a bit more like what I expected this time.

Even better, it renders each fixture!

I hope the LaM treats his minion well after sorting this out?

Unfortunately the videos this post also had embedded have since become unavailable so I've removed the dead links.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Family Types or Type Catalogs

Jose Fandos wrote a post in August titled, The Death of the Family Types. He thinks that the role and or usefulness of built-in family types is over or "dead" as he puts it.

I don't agree entirely. I do agree that for someone who makes content regularly that adding types to the family directly is a task best left for last. Making sure every type is properly defined can be quite tedious inside the family. It isn't a lot of fun making sure every value is correct in the rows of a type catalog either though. At least it IS easier to copy/paste and then adjust values than within the family itself.

While making "my" life easier when making content, Type Catalogs can be perceived as a hassle by the end user because they need to load the family each time they find they don't have the type/size they need. The recommendation of no more than 5 types in a family found within the Autodesk Seek recommendations is one less than the earlier family editor guidelines that suggest no more than six. The text of the Revit Content Standards document that the team used internally said: (David Conant shared it with me in 2005 while preparing a session for AU)
    Predefined Types:
  • All families should have at least one pre-defined type unless a type catalog is used.
  • Where real world examples come in typical sizes, pre-defined types should be generated.
  • Where there are to be more than 6 predefined types in a family, use a type catalog to organize the types.
Keep in mind that these rules or standards were coming from the viewpoint that they are generic families meant to be pretty broadly applicable. Obviously the document David shared with me came after the introduction of type catalogs since it makes reference to them. Jose's post shares that Wesley Benn provided him with the text from What's New in Release 4.0 that show when type catalogs were introduced. Regardless, the point at which we choose one over the other family types or a type catalog boils down to preference.

As a daily user I don't enjoy interacting with Type Catalogs as much as I prefer them as a person who also makes content. If there are only five types in the family I'd probably be inclined to load them all to avoid doing it again to get the one I left behind. I also find that once users realize how easy it is to create a new type in their project, they are just as likely or inclined to do that instead of editing the family externally and reloading. If users start doing that the type catalog starts getting out of sync with the library. Keeping track of the flock can be hard on the Family Shepherd at that point, with strange sheep showing up in the fields.

I think that family types have a place and the rumors of their demise are greatly exaggerated.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dept. of Subtle - Family Editor Parameter Lock

A recent exchange at the reminded me of this subtlety. The Family Types dialog introduced the concept of locking a parameter.

You can select a reference plane and the dimension changes to blue like "normal" when the parameter is un-locked. When it is locked you can edit the dimension value by selecting the dimension, which is counter-intuitive because that's how we create a dimension override in the project environment. I believe the lock check box is "supposed" to lock out editing in canvas but they left a "back door" unlocked (pun intended).

It is easiest to see this in action so I did a quick video demo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Schedule Concepts - Calculated Values and Headers

Prompted by a few questions read at and AUGI in the past few days I decided to record another short video. I used ducts and the notion of figuring out how much they cost based on a cost/ft scenario. The pricing you'll see in the video and screen captures are quite a bargain so you might want to rush out to buy some duct if you can get a supplier to match them?

The concept discussed in the video for calculated values relies on the stock Cost and Length parameters, Cost x Length. The assumption is that the price entered for Cost is the cost of the duct per linear foot (easily applied to metric values). None of this presumes it's the appropriate way to price them, the concepts can be applied to anything else.

The other concept demonstrated in the video is adding a group header to several columns in the schedule. The trick to getting a group header is how you go about selecting the columns. When you click in a header field Revit thinks you want to edit the value. You need to click and drag to select the other columns so you don't just select the column header you click on and drag...then let go of the mouse button to finish. Watching the video is probably more "obvious". Not hard to do, just subtle. Kind of like learning to drive a manual transmission.

Meet Matt at SCRUG and BUGIE

If you haven't had a strong enough excuse to make a South Coast Revit User Meeting lately then reconsider.

Matt Jezyk with Autodesk is going to to show of Vasari to the attendees on Thursday night (yes tomorrow night). He happens to be in town for a variety of meetings as well as a BUGIE sponsored special learning session on Saturday. Both great opportunities to meet and rub shoulders with a very knowledgeable Revit person, he's a very smart and all around nice guy regardless of Revit too.

Also a brief plug for the book I helped write, Introducing Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012 which just came out, I'll have a couple copies with me to give away. Bring your business cards so we can put Matt on the spot and have him pick who gets them.

Here are the details.

SCRUG (South Coast Revit User Group)

LPA, Inc
5161 California Avenue, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92617

6:00-6:30 Food and Networking
6:30-7:00 Group Updates and Meet and Greet
7:00-8:00 Vasari Overview
8:00-8:15 Break
8:15-9:00 Project Showcase + Q&A

You DO need to let them know you are coming. Visit the Linked In SCRUG group site, however the RSVP is managed at their Meetup site.

The other event is sponsored by BUGIE, here's the details.

BUGIE (BIM User Group Inland Empire) - $10.00 Fee for non-members to attend

Conceptual Design and Analysis: Vasari and Ecotect - presented by Matt Jezyk and Scott Davis (both with Autodesk)
Click for more INFO

Santiago High School
1395 E. Foothill Parkway
Corona, CA

Saturday September 17, 2011
08:00-08:30 - Set Up/ Sign in/ Breakfast
08:30-10:30 - Free Form Design - Vasari for Conceptual and Schematic Design
10:30-12:00 - Conceptual Analysis Tools
12:00-01:00 - Project Showcase - Designs in Vasari

Presentation during lunch

01:00-04:30 - Informed Design Ecosystem - Round Tripping between Design and Analysis
04:30-05:00 - Questions/ Open Session

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Revit IFC goes Open Source

Geoff Zeiss shared via a post at the Autodesk blog: Between the Poles that Autodesk is now making the IFC Exporter for Revit available as open source code.

Access to the code can be found at the SourceForge Repository. For more information about IFC you can visit the BuildingSMART site.

Emile also posted about this at the BIM APPS blog. According to Geoff's post:

The Revit IFC Exporter Open Source Committee is chaired by Emile Kfouri, BIM application development manager, Architecture, Engineering and Construction Solutions, Autodesk.

BIM and Integrated Design

Randy Deutsch's book, BIM and Integrated Design, is here, published, a physical reality. Kind of like the virtual building in our computer becoming an actual building, from his mind and experiences to the paper form (ebook form too) that we can read. Still no progress on the Vulcan Mind Meld method for us...

Here's a cover shot of the book.

You can check the following elements:
Table of Contents
Author Information

You can download a pdf for:
Chapter One Excerpt
Table of Contents

No review commentary from me yet, don't have my copy yet...on the way. I can say however that the Revit Technology Conference committee was pleased to have him as part of the conference this year and I'm confident that you'll find the book worth your time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Delete a Workset's Contents?

Ron Palma with ideate shared a rather unpleasant customer story the other day via their Solutions Blog. The circumstances seem to me a perfect storm of things that wouldn't normally happen...define normal though.
  • The customer's project is using Worksets
  • The customer reassigned the project and survey point elements to a different Workset (normally assigned to the default Workset1)
  • The customer deleted the Workset they were assigned to
  • Revit permits these elements to be deleted, when otherwise it would be impossible to do so.
What allowed for them to be deleted? Choosing the Deleted option in this dialog.

I'd never choose the Deleted option!!

Far better to choose the Moved to option and select the appropriate Workset. One other habit I have is to never rename Workset 1 because Revit won't let us delete it. It's the "original" workset and Revit just doesn't let us delete it. The survey/project base point elements are assigned to it when Worksets are enabled. Left alone the opportunity to delete them wouldn't have been possible. Oh, the reason I don't rename it is that it can be confusing later when someone decides to delete the renamed workset but can't. Easier to just leave it there as a "stray element shelf".

Revit does need to be a bit more curious when deleting a workset. It should scan the element types assigned to the workset for any that are technically not supposed to be be deleted.

Dept. of Off Topic - Wacom and Windows 7

Love my Intous 4! Don't love how Windows 7 keeps forgetting it is there after working for awhile. I get it running again by opening the Services app in Win7 and restarting the TabletServiceWacom. Here's the path if you haven't seen it before: Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services

My other pet peeve with Win7 is that it just can't remember I've got a second monitor. Every time I turn on the computer I've got to get it to notice it again. It the little things...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Whoa Nellie - Pulling Back on the Reins

I mentioned the Whitefeet Revit Menu Utilities yesterday. When I tried to get them up and running last night I ran into an issue. Short story is while there are files to download, they won't run on 2012 just yet. Pulling back on the reins therefore. Wait till after the weekend to give it a go on the download, should have them back up and available after that, at least that's his plan.

In the meantime to whet your appetite. I've always liked his Sheet Set Manager but he's created a simple routine to extract Revision data. Here's a screen capture of four revisions that have been added to a couple sheets. The "Cloud on Sheet Name" column is for revision clouds that get places directly on sheets instead of on views.

Check it out next week!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Vasari 2.1 in the Wind

Pretty darn cool new development in Vasari!

David Light mentioned it earlier today and showed off his Millenium Falcon...modelled in Vasari, such an over achiever!

Dept. of Echo - Corrupt Files

Not the kind of post we look forward to reading unfortunately. However if the "factory" is beginning to see a recurrence it is better to alert us to the situation than to let us stumble in unaware. The Revit Clinic post title today reads: "Data file is corrupt and needs to be manually recovered."

They've created a Knowledge Base article to refer to if you are unlucky enough to encounter this. They've documented procedures for project that use and don't use worksharing. Here's to hoping you never need it.

Whitefeet Utilities Updated for 2012

Mario tweeted earlier today that he's updated his utilities for Revit 2012. It's good timing, I was just going to ask him about his Sheet Set Manager too! It allows you to update sheet list schedule from Excel data or vice versa.

He started Whitefeet some years ago and returned to doting on it after departing HOK and joining Perkins & Will. Unfortunately for us, his full time gig with Perkins and Will means he's got little or no time to dote on "the feet" again.

Worth checking out his tools, see if you like them!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Quick Tip - Move a View to a New Sheet

I've added this bit in front of the original post (09/03/2011) after getting a couple comments: This post assumes that "you" are already familiar with the concept of dragging a view onto a sheet from the project browser. Not everyone is aware that it is possible to reassign a view to a sheet by dragging within the Project Browser itself.

If you realize that you've put a view on the wrong sheet you can just select it and "delete" it. The view is removed from the sheet, no it isn't actually deleted (on the off chance you haven't done it before now). Probably already knew that much. Did you know that you can drag and drop it on another sheet instead? When you expand a sheet listing so you can see the views that are on it, listed under the sheet name, you can select a view and drag it to a new sheet. When you let go of the mouse button (ends the drag mode) Revit will open that sheet and let you place it.

Yet another way to manipulate stuff. In practice it becomes harder to use when you have a real project with lots of sheets. Often you can't get both sheets within your view of the browser and it's a little awkward to scroll up the Browser. Revit will do it, just have move your cursor toward the top or bottom of the frame to convince it you want to.

Added this too (09/03/2011): I also like to use the Right Click option > Add View because the list it offers is only eligible views. You have to scroll the list to find your view but at least you know you won't run the risk of dragging a view to a sheet that's already on a sheet.

Mastering Autodesk Navisworks 2012

As I just wrote about Navisworks concepts yesterday. I should mention a great new source of information on the product. Wiley/Sybex just published the hard work of two Autodesk Navisworks guys, Jason Dodds and Scott Johnson. Naturally there is a host of people involved in getting a book finished but the guy they relied on to check their claims and recommendations is Michael Smith, their technical editor.

Jason has been supporting Navisworks for many years as well as in his current role as Autodesk Construction Solutions Engineer. Scott also toils at Autodesk, he's a Senior Technical Account Manager. These guys both get called in to make things work. Michael works for C.W. Driver as their BIM Manager in Pasadena, CA. These three together provide the necessary depth to get a book like this finished.

Navisworks can be learned pretty quickly, but it takes some time behind the wheel to really master it. As with anything you tend to learn enough to get by and probably don't really dig deeper. This book provides practical examples throughout in "Real World Scenarios" (a part of the Wiley/Sybex Mastering series format).

There is no shortage of settings in Navisworks and fortunately the guys took enough time to dig into even some of the more arcane stuff, with an eye toward what you are likely to need most of the time. For example in Chapter 4 there is a bit more than page dedicated to the subtlety of exporting from Revit with one option checked or not (Convert element Properties). Unchecked there are six properties exported and checked there are 18...that's just for a roof element.

You can read the Table of Contents and there are three sample chapter excerpts in PDF format; Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. It's also available as a EPUB E-Book and Adobe E-Book. Here's the table of contents so you can review it directly. There's 456 pages from inside the cover to the back, including the index etc.

Table of Contents
    Chapter 1: Getting to know Navisworks.
    Chapter 2: Bringing it all together: Files and File Types.
    Chapter 3: Moving around the Model.
    Chapter 4: Climbing the Selection Tree.
    Chapter 5: Model Snap Shots: Sections, Viewpoints and Animations.
    Chapter 6: Documenting Projects.
    Chapter 7: 4D Sequencing with TimeLiner.
    Chapter 8: Clash Detection.
    Chapter 9: Creating Visualizations with Navisworks.
    Chapter 10: Animating Objects.
    Chapter 11: Give Objects Life and Action with Scripter.
    Chapter 12: Collaborating Outside of Navisworks.
    Chapter 13: Other Useful Navisworks Tools.
Some other Links
Book Description
Author Information
Supporting Files

If you are a Navisworks person you'll probably want this in your collection, check it out!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Quick Tip - Trim to Corner to Join

The Trim/Extend to Corner tool is obvious right? Pick two walls (or pipes, ducts, lines..) and you'll get two connected elements that form a corner. Would you think to use it to join two elements that are aligned but not connected? Try it, you'll like it!

Before and After...

Navisworks File Formats

When I first started using Navisworks I found the explanation for how the three file types interact a bit awkward. I suppose it was just the language used at the time or perhaps something else, can't recall now. I did latch on to my own notion of what they mean and ultimately it's helped me to explain it to others.

There are three file extensions used .NWF, NWD, and NWC. I find it useful to describe or think of them this way.
    NWF = Navisworks "Working File"
    NWD - NavisWorks "Delivered or PublisheD File" (emphasis on the D)
    NWC = NavisWorks "Cache or Captured" File
NWF = This file is your day to day file, your working file. You append (Xref/Link/Import) other files that contain the information you are trying to compile into a virtual Building Model.

NWD - This file is the result of "binding" all the data that you can see in the NWF file as well as any things you  did to the way the model looks, like changing color or applying materials or adding lights etc. It's the file you can send to a client/owner or other team member to examine. You won't have to worry about them not having what they need to review the model. If you send them the NWF you'll have to make sure you send everything that is imported into it. Just Publish to NWD via the Output ribbon tab.

NWC - This is a special format that is used when an application's own format is not natively supported or acceptable to Navisworks, like Revit. Either the source application has an exporter, like for Revit, or Navisworks creates a .NWC file itself, after reading the source file you've chosen to Append.

Navisworks can load a lot of file formats directly.

You'll get pretty familiar with this format (.nwc) if you work with Revit...which if you are reading this pretty likely.

Note in the image that it possible to filter the type of files offered when you want to open or append a file. Choosing one or the other specific file type often trips people up later. They have .nwd selected and wonder where their .nwc or .nwf files have gone. Scratching of heads...and then, "oh right!". The bottom option is at least a bit easier on you because all three types are "acceptable".