Friday, August 29, 2014

Ugh Schedule Bug Revit 2014 and 2015 and Hotfix

Reading through a thread at RFO this morning brought some unpleasantness to my attention. The usual suspects there have been working with Autodesk to identify the issue and then a reply mentions that Autodesk is working on a Hotfix for both 2014 and 2015 to reconcile it.

Short story: Multi-Category schedules that are intended to include elements in linked files may not be report everything or anything correctly.

Link to a Hotfix (right-click Save As)
Link to READme

Thanks to the RFO gang for the heads up!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Autodesk M&E 3DS MAX Gunslinger Summit - Montreal

This post is to help spread awareness of an opportunity to be part of a Gunslingers event on behalf of the 3DS Max development team. I apologize if you've already read about it on another blog.

3DS Max Development Team writes:
Autodesk M&E 3ds Max Gunslinger summit is a design-focused participatory event in Montreal (Canada) between our users and members of the Autodesk 3ds Max product management, development and design teams. The event is comprised of a series of workshops, design reviews, validation discussions, design charrettes, and more.

We are looking to locate people who would be interested or available in attending. The Gunslinger is by invitation only as we can only accommodate so many, and other than travel, all shuttles, hotel, and meals are included by Autodesk. The meeting will be 4 days, Sept 16-19. It is an opportunity to meet our team and influence tools that could help you improve the way you communicate your designs.

3ds Max and 3ds Max Design tools and technology have been used by visualization experts to tell the story of a design in dynamic presentations and won many awards in the entertainment industry. Clients consistently respond to exploring their project or product in context, within their existing surroundings and bustling with life. They, and other stakeholders, also find that video helps them understand complex information about the design. This could be anything from construction logistics, complex function (such as a sliding roof), the impact of design options, or visualization of traffic, weather, stress, airflow and energy. Cinematic storytelling techniques can convincingly evoke emotions and convey these messages with style. Unfortunately, in the past, you’d need a large budget to deliver presentations that include these elements. There are many ways to solve these issues but your feedback is essential. This is why we’d like to meet with you in person.

If you are interested in the Gunslinger please let us know by completing A SHORT SURVEY. We will then be reviewing the submissions for selecting users but if you are unable to attend this specific Gunslinger but are interested in future events please do fill out the survey.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Specify Worksets and Save

We can preset the preference to use the Specify option when we open a project that has enabled Worksets. This option appears when we click the small arrow next to Open in the Open Dialog, which only works when we select a file with Worksets enabled.

This preference is controlled by a parameter called Open Workset default. It is only available to us within the Save As dialog, via the Options... button.

There is a subtle difference between enabling worksets in a file that has not been saved yet and one that has. If we enable worksets in a project that has already been saved, at least once before, we won't get a chance to change the setting if we just click Save. However if we use Save As we get the dialog that offers us the Options... button. The setting Open Workset default is not enabled unless the file is already using worksets.

This means it probably easiest to ensure that Specify is selected if we start a project and enable worksets before saving the file the first time. That might be easier said than done. If the file is already in progress and we need to enable Worksets we just need to use Save As instead, reusing the original file name if necessary.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ribbon Panel Titles are Missing

The ribbon User Interface will let us turn off the ribbon's panel titles. I've never bothered to do this and today I was asked why a user's ribbon was missing them. I blanked...uh, um, graphics driver issue? While I was trying to make my brain work, he decided to right-click and saw this...

Add another troubleshooting saying to add to our collection, "When in doubt right click"!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Purge Unused Wish

I find myself wishing, every now and then, for a right click option to Purge Unused Types on individual families, something like this.

Sure, I can right click > Select All Instances to see if it is enabled.

If it is then the type is in use. When it is disabled I can just move the cursor up to Delete. Now the type is gone. That's not too bad when there are a few types. When there are many types It would be faster if I could just right click on the family and choose Purge Unsed Types.

The Purge Unsed tool works too but, in my opinion, its liability is that it is searching the entire database, then when the dialog finally opens ALL the unused types are selected. We have to be careful to UnCheck All so we don't purge types we really want to keep. If I am really just interested in a single family it's a bit overzealous. I think it would be a nice addition.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Fussy Type Catalog Syntax

Just a little reminder or tip. Type Catalogs (and Revit reading them) don't like it when we use commas as part of the information stored in the parameters. They also don't like lone quotation marks like this 5". I had a file tonight that just wouldn't display types beyond a certain type. The fact that the type's line had 683 characters in it didn't help me find the lone quotation. Eventually I did find it...fussy.
Want this? 5'-0" - Type: 5'-0""
Want this? Revit,BIM,Software - Type: "Revit,BIM,Software"
Remember, if you aren't sure what syntax Revit wants, just use the Export > Family Types feature. The resulting Type Catalog is what Revit wants.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Structural Column Preview does not Show

Daniel Stine shared this situation with me the other day. It may be familiar to you too?
Revit has a glitch in how it deals with the structural column preview (i.e. outline of structural member relative to the cursor) during placement. Working with Autodesk Support, the problem comes into play when the Levels are “Moved” vertically (the problem kicks in after a certain distance – not sure what the magic number is yet).
These are the steps he described that will (should) reproduce the problem using the out of the box (OOTB) structural template.
  • Open the structural template
  • Switch to elevation (or section)
  • Select the levels and move them up 100’
  • Switch to the level 1 plan view
  • Try placing a structural column
  • The preview (i.e. outline of structural member) should not be visible but it it will appear after placing the first one
Dan also mentioned:
In testing this, the problem does not occur when using the Relocate Project tool and changing the Levels to use the Elevation Base parameter setting: Survey Point. We submitted this to Autodesk and support has passed it on to development for a closer look. This is one of those little annoying things for our staff.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Revit Sundial and Inside the Factory

The Autodesk blog called Inside the Factory went dormant for a couple years. It takes effort to blog and apparently the time and energy was waxing then. Well a new post appeared today with an invitation to something new they are calling Revit Sundial. It's an advance view on things that might be coming (or might not) in the future.

Snipped from the blog:
To get things started, we’re providing everyone within reach of this blog the opportunity to test drive a hosted release preview of Revit called Sundial.

Autodesk Revit Sundial provides enhancements to Revit that are not currently included in the commercial release. We will be highlighting the many improvements in blog posts over the next days and weeks.

For those of you who try the release preview, please drop in here at Inside the Factory and let us know what you think. The hosting technology we’re using for the preview is itself experimental, so if you run into issues accessing the test, we’d like to know about those as well.

The quantity of available simultaneous sessions is limited, so you may run into delays if there are many people trying to access the preview at once. We'll keep the preview available for a few weeks, so please try again if you can't initially gain access.

Because this is an early in-progress release, there are no guarantees all the features you might see or read about will appear in a future release of Revit. Please keep this in mind when making any future purchasing decisions.

Worth having a read.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Tagging Elements

It is pretty common to have quite a few different kinds of tags for the elements we need to tag in views. Some equipment might get an oval shaped tag while others have a hexagon. When we need to switch between tags Revit isn't quite fine tuned for this yet. Here's three approaches we can take.

When you tag elements you can tell Revit which tag should be used by default via the Loaded Tags dialog. The tag that appears next to a category is the tag that will be used when you use Tag by Category. If you work systematically you can set which tag you intend to use for awhile and then the correct tag will be offered by default.

Another way to do it is Right Click > Create Similar (you can select one and click the Create Similar button on the ribbon too) over a tag that is the kind you want to place, assuming one is already in the view. This way Revit will start tagging with that tag.

Yet another approach is to select everything you want to tag and then use Tag All, choosing the tag type you'd like to use. When you select elements first this dialog changes Revit's focus to tag selected elements instead of everything that isn't already tagged. This gives you a bit more control over which tag should be used on which elements.

A tagging quirk is that Revit won't let us put more than one tag on the same element. For example I like to use a pipe tag to identify CW (cold water) or HW (hot water) pipes. I can put one tag on a pipe but Revit won't recognize the pipe as available unless I tag a different pipe first. My work around is to bounce back a forth between pipes. It seems a little silly not to let me put another tag on a pipe if I want too.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Matching Workset Naming with Linked File Worksets

I wrote about a workset tip/trick that describes how we can use consistent workset names between linked file to manage which elements should be visible/open more easily.

In the last couple release there's been a subtle issue between what we see in the Workset dialog versus Manage Worksets access through the Manage Links dialog or via right click > Manage Links (selecting a link in the Project Browser).

The technique still works as described before...almost. What is different now is how Revit responds when you open the Workset Dialog. You'll get the behavior we expect if we use the Manage Worksets button in the Manage Links dialog or right click on a linked file in the Project Browser and choose Manage Worksets.

The images below show the Open status for the same linked file according to the route used to gain access to the workset info. I've closed the workset Grids - A using Manage Links > Manage Worksets.

The Workset dialog doesn't seem to realize I did that.

The short story is we need to use Manage Links to alter the status, not the Worksets dialog...seems a bit buggy/quirky to me.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Review Warnings Show and Worksets

We can choose which worksets are open (visible). When we choose to take advantage of that it affects what we see in views naturally. When we want to deal with Review Warnings it helps to remember that we might have closed worksets earlier. The Show button that becomes enabled when we select an element listed as part of a warning won't be enabled when the workset it belongs to is closed. This can be quite confusing if we don't remember what we did earlier. Just one more thing to try to remember.