Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Downloads Fixed - Some

I have been trying to carve out a little time here and there to fix the paths to downloads I've shared in the past. As of now the most requested stuff is fixed, the egress family and railing files. If you try to download something and hit a page not found warning, drop a comment in the post to bring it to my attention and I'll make it a priority.

Thanks for being patient - The mGmT...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Reveal Elements - Hidden Viewport

The other day I was looking at a sheet a user reported it was impossible to select a floor plan view on. It seemed as though Revit did not see the view port on the sheet. People frequently pin views to make it a bit harder for other people to move them on a sheet accidentally. That will still allow a view port to be seen by Revit, it will still highlight as the cursor travels over it.

Then I thought of right-click Hide In View > Element. I used Reveal Elements and I could select the viewport. Using that tool does not hide what is visible in the view, it just disables the ability to select the view port.

Good? Bad? It isn't expected, well I didn't expect it.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Change a System Parameter from Type to Instance - Not Length

It is fairly common knowledge that we can change a built-in parameter like Width from Type to Instance by going through the side door, selecting a dimension assigned to the parameter and changing it to Instance on the ribbon (see the image).

Kurt Thompson wrote to me to share how he gets around this issue when the parameter isn't something a dimension can be associated with. Specifically he was referring to a thread at the Autodesk User Forums where a member (electrical focus) was asking Autodesk to change the default parameters for Mains (instance), MCB Rating (type) and Subfeed Lugs (type). They argue that each parameter should be the opposite of the current configuration based on how the information is really dealt with (not that he needs me to, but I agree with him).

Kurt writes:
"To change a System Type parameter to Instance...(specific to the mentioned thread)

Create a Shared Parameter built exactly like the built-in parameter you need to change but make it Instance instead of Type. Starting out with a Generic Model family, add the new parameter. Now assign the family to the category Electrical Equipment, Revit will replace the shared parameter with the built-in parameter but it will retain the Instance (or Type) property setting from the shared parameter. Give it a try."
Thanks Kurt!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Color Fill Calculation Failed is Back

This warning appeared quite a bit with Revit 2016 and patched in subsequent updates.

I've clicked Restart to no joy and I've submitted the error. I've done the Edit Color Scheme and Cancel process described for Revit 2016 with no joy either. Hopefully it will get sorted out again.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Property Boundary and Coordinate Data - Dynamo

Alternate title: Mr. Revit OpEd finally does something (tho basic) with Dynamo!

I used this problem as an excuse to dig into Dynamo a bit. I created the attached graph to read a text file with coordinate values, one line per X,Y,Z values.

The text file format is very basic, it looks like this:

I created a 3D cylinder and model lines to form a target symbol family, 3D and fairly large so I could see it anywhere in the model. The graph places a target family at each coordinate location. Before running the graph, I assigned the Project Units for Length to Meter. Then I ran (manual) the Dynamo graph to place the target families. The last step was to start the Property Line tool and sketch the property boundary segments from target to target, which looks like this.

It was necessary to move the points closer to Revit's origin so they were not so far away, since Revit hates that. After doing that, I moved the Survey Point (not clipped) to one corner of the property (target family location) and then used Specify Coordinates at Point at that location using the coordinate values for that corner. This will allow me to export the result to DWG, if necessary. I also created a specific Spot Coordinate family type so I could identify some or every target location and make sure each reports the correct coordinates, double checking my work so to speak.

I probably spent a couple hours on this, mostly trying to get my head wrapped around which nodes in Dynamo to use. The next time I'll be twice as fast!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Links in Posts are Broken

An update to my company site has broken links to the files I've shared in posts throughout the history of my blog posts. Oh joy! I apologize for the inconvenience while I work through those to restore their paths.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Troubleshooting - Start an Email or Forum Post

I find it helpful to resolve an issue by starting to write an email or forum post (or a blog post) to ask for help or complain about it. Trying to write an explanation for what is happening so someone else might be able to help me focuses my thoughts. Very often I find it isn't necessary to finish writing.

The answer presents itself during the writing.

Next time you're puzzling over something, consider writing down what you think is wrong and the solution may arrive as you type.

Worth mentioning that a short break can also help a lot. Grab a beverage, talk to someone else, or stretch your legs; or all the above. The change gives you chance to work on the problem in the background of your attention.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Moving a Viewport Error - Disjoin

The Move tool offers us an option called Disjoin. When it is used Revit deletes the original and creates a new element at the new location. That isn't obvious to us but if you examine the GUID (ID's of Selection) you'll find it has a new GUID after the Move is complete.

The option is sticky, we have to remember to disable it when we use the Move tool again. When we are working on sheets and adjusting views we now have an opportunity to run into a confusing error message.

If you run into this or people you support do, just remember to Disable da Disjoin.

Per a comment: My previous post on re Disjoin.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Post Echo - Units - Accuracy - Tolerance

I saw David Baldacchino's tweet yesterday sharing a link to a blog post for another software product called FME from Safe Software. The article goes into detail more related to their own product naturally but it does describe the math and computer problems that developers deal with. I found it quite interesting as well as confirming much of what I'd read and been told in the past.

Have a look! It's titled: "FME 2018 Infinity War: How Automatic Tolerance Defeats Infinite Precision without a Snap – but with Anchored Vertices!"

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Wish - Release Type Catalogs after Loading a Family

Revit needs to release the Type Catalog files after loading a family that use them.

That message makes the process of updating a type catalog tedious at best if you have to close Revit completely to release it so it can be edited, very inefficient. There was a brief period of time when Revit did release the file as it should, but that ended with 2018 if I recall correctly.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Resizable Dialogs in Revit 2019 - Not Noteblock Schedules

Hey! When you were making more dialog boxes re-sizable you missed one! It's really hard to be sure I'm selecting the correct family with this dialog.

If not outright re-sizable, maybe put the Name field at the top and stretch out the list box underneath and make it at least as wide as the dialog?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Remember Linked Files Have Two Workset Parameters

I find this overlooked regularly. Each link has an Instance AND Type parameter called Workset. If we select a link (RVT) in the Project Browser we can see the Type parameter for workset, even if the link isn't loaded.

If we right-click and choose Select All Instances > In Entire Project we can see the Instance parameter value, unless there is more than one instance (copies of the link).

The best way to ensure that both parameter values are assigned to the same workset is to make sure the Active Workset is set correctly first, before we link the file. If not then we have to check both values.

Why are there two parameters?

The Type parameter governs the existence of the link in the database while the Instance parameter governs the actual instance you can see in the model views. The linked file can be copied, for example House Design A can be copied so we can show that it will be located on several lots within a development, each likely oriented differently.

The instance parameter allows us to assign each copy to a unique workset while the Type parameter affects all of the copies. That means closing the workset assigned to the Type parameter will close all of the copies of the link, none of them will be visible.

If we close the workset assigned to just one copy then only that linked file won't be visible.

If we experience erratic issues with linked file visibility it is the first thing I check. I'm also in the habit of looking at all the linked files every time I get introduced to project. This also applies to other linked files (CAD,Point Cloud).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Section Line Annotation Alignment

No, not the 2019.1 feature that allows us to use the Align tool on sections...

If you find yourself wondering why you don't the get the telltale dashed lines to help you line up section heads or tails check Visibility/Graphics for the view and make sure Lines are checked (visible). If the category is turned off, so too are they. These...

Check this...

Friday, August 17, 2018

Cannot Publish Coordinates

I've run into this with a couple clients recently, this warning message appears:

Quirky work-around warning...
  • Building Model: Make sure you have a Local File for it (I save to my own PC)
  • Site Model: Change the saved path to the Building's Central File to your own Local File instead
  • Site Model: Publish Coordinates
  • Site Model: SwC (should succeed and get a prompt to Save changes to the linked file)
  • Site Model: Close
  • Building Model: Open your existing Local File SwC (passes shared coordinate data to central)
  • Building Model: Close
  • Site Model: Reset the path for the Building to the central location
Any future Publish Coordinates, if necessary, should work after that.

The error message is tied to linked files (DWG) that are actively changing. Revit would notice those links were different than the version it had a record of during a SwC, even though it does not reload links during a SwC. I imagine it takes note of the file date or something high level that defines the DWG in the database. The solution then was to reload those links before using SwC.

I have found since that it has been possible to avoid the warning if any linked DWG files are unloaded prior to using Publish Coordinates. In at least one situation we had to go through the steps above even when there were no DWG's linked/imported. Autodesk documentation says in some cases it can be associated with file corruption.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

App Thoughts - Project Info Workset

Lately I find the Project Info workset is borrowed by someone inadvertently (okay me). As such, I wishfully imagine I could mash a button and find out if I've got that workset borrowed based on selecting a project folder and it checking each of the project files it finds. Being able to browse through projects on Revit Server would be boss too. If it could relinquish any instances if finds for me that would be really boss.

I guess I'll have to wander off to the Dynamo salt mines to see if any of it's possible.

As for why this my case it is related to Publish Coordinates. That's the only operation Revit permits us to alter a linked file; alter and save changes to a file we don't have open in the active session.

At the moment I think it happens when the process fails to complete properly. However it has happened too on occasion when I was convinced it worked. I have some reservations about Revit Server too. I've noticed a higher proportion of projects not being able to use Publish Coordinates when the files are available via Revit Server. Which reminds me I've got a post in drafts about resolving a Can't Publish Coordinates situation...brb.

Casting numerous aspersions with only clues to base them on...not very scientifical of me eh?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Project Units Matter - Specify Coordinates at Point

When we use the Specify Coordinates at Point (SPaC) it is possible that the units in use will affect your results. For example, this project is using Feet and Fractional Inches (FaFI) but for SPaC to match the available survey info it was changed to Decimal Inches (DI) with six decimal places. After using SPaC the units were returned to FaFI.

Some time later the elevation needed to be changed thus causing us to revisit using SPaC. The following image shows the original values used for SPaC.

Leaving the Project Units assigned to FaFI resulted is this subtle change to the coordinate values.

When the units were revised to match the earlier DI settings the SPaC coordinates are not altered.

Shorter story, be careful with your unit settings when using SPaC.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Move to Room - Element ID - Review Warnings

If we use Review Warnings often enough, and we should be, we'll run into this warning eventually.
Check the item and Click Show to have Revit try to find a view to show it in. Once it is selected we can either drag the Tag where it is suppose to go or Click the Show Related Warnings button on the ribbon to show the dedicated warning it has again.
When this warning is isolated like this the dialog includes the Move to Room button. An aside, is it amusing or worrisome that Revit seems to think the best way to fix warnings is to delete the offending element (via Delete Checked)? Regardless, Move to Room will resolve the issue whether we can see where the tag is meant to be or not.
Another way to tackle it from the Review Warnings dialog is to make a note of the Element ID referenced in the warning. Now we can then use the Select by ID tool. Enter the ID value and click OK.
This will select the tag, even if we're not in a view that it can be seen in, and then we can use the Show Related Warnings button on the ribbon again followed by the Move to Room button.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What's New in Revit 2019

It's a teaser blog title. I have no idea what is in Revit 2019, or rather until I read THIS POST.

I'm looking forward to exploring the new features myself once I actually have time to download it.

As for not knowing what was coming like in the past. My access to their review program was screwed up last spring/summer and I haven't been able to log into the site ever since. I had someone looking in to it but their tech support efforts...well suffice it to write I haven't been able to log in. Bummer...

I hope you, dear reader, enjoy the new features in Revit 2019. I, like many of you, will get to experience them with fresh eyes!

Oh, Revit 2018.3 was released the other day too so look out for that update. As always, go slow with installation and rolling it out...make sure your existing projects are in a position to tolerate the potential for some issues before upgrading any projects. I wish you pleasant upgrades.

Double oh, a little birdie told me Paul Aubin and Bill Debevc (okay Bill told me) are going to do a podcast on the new features. Also Paul has a Lynda video on the new features.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Copy Monitor - A Different Way?

Morning musing...

It's my observation that there is a prevailing mostly ambivalent attitude toward the Copy/Monitor (C/M) features. I've said before that I think the order of the tabs in the Options dialog are based on the likelihood that we'll use them. Specifically they are listed left to right: Levels, Grids, Columns, Walls and Floors.

C/M isn't hard to use but once it is in play we've got some new rules and warnings to contend with. The process depends on us identifying the elements we want to live in the C/M system. I understand the logic of that choice. Revit asks us to tell it what is important enough to us to engage the system.

Perhaps we need a completely different way to attack the problem? One that doesn't require the advance work. One that is more a reaction to work as it is created and shared, that merely exists.

I wonder if it would be more betterer if we could run a Level or Grid check as a process. The application would compare elements and compile a report, observations and differences. It could be something we read afterward or presented in a dialog for immediate action.

For example, it could just start with: "Hey Steve, there are 27 grids in your model and 30 in theirs. You should look at them." Take it slightly deeper, "Hey Steve, there are three grids that share the same name but are not in the same location."

Does it matter that they used to be in the same location and they aren't now? The application would have to start storing records for past results to do that but it could be useful to determine when or how things got off track. The rules or conditions that are interesting need to be defined.

This sort of element review and comparison doesn't have to be limited to the five that Copy/Monitor were designed for originally (overlooking the MEP elements that have been added in some fashion). It still requires two or more elements though; mine, yours and theirs. The redundancy is annoying but it does provide us with flexibility within our own models.

I imagine much of what I'm describing (and more) is possible via the API and Dynamo. It just needs someone to decide it is an interesting enough thing to do.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Five Minutes with Shape Editing a Bay Roof

I posted this screencast in response to a thread at the Autodesk Forums. Figured I might as well share it here too. I used shape editing to create the bay roof condition shown in this image.

It's based on an image of a DWG roof plan that was shared in the original post in the discussion. The sketches of the main and bay roofs look like the following image. It also shows the sketched Split Line elements I added to make raising the bay ridge up easy.

Here's the screencast I created to post at the forums.

FWIW, I made the main roof partially transparent so I could see the walls more easily. In the video I commented about using the Two Cut Plumb setting with a 12" value. The Shape Editing disables that for the bay roof but it did start out with that setting in play so it all worked out as I intended even though I was confused about it at the time.