Saturday, March 13, 2021

Large Extents -Can't Navigate in a View and-or View Will Only Show Wireframe

I've written about Revit's fussiness regarding large extents numerous times over the years. In some of those posts I mentioned a related view issue. A view that refuses to show the model in anything other than wireframe is a symptom of the large extent issue.

I recently encountered a project that didn't have any DWG files to blame for it. Not only did the view not show according to graphic style settings it didn't allow navigation of any sort. The view was frozen. We could open or close it but nothing else. I noticed I could use a crossing selection window but then using Filter to focus my troubleshooting effort was still too coarse.

I've been meaning to mention how much I like IDEATE Explorer (IE). It has been very useful to examine projects and track down issues. It permits examining a model in ways that Revit can't. for example, I can select a category of elements or instances of each family/type within the category.

I use it routinely to check for excess DWG imports (resulting from exploded DWG content), workset assignment, reviewing warnings (more effectively than Revit's own), phase assignment/usage, content naming/usage and resolve line style usage (and more).

After using the crossing selection window in various parts of the view I realized some structural elements seemed quite far apart. Keep in mind the view was a white screen of nothing...imagining gazing toward Earth from Mars and trying to pick out where California is or my house. The Project Base Point and Survey Point didn't even show up in the view.

I started with trying to isolate where in this vast white space the structural element was but no matter what I tried I seemed to always select some structural framing.

Once I knew which category to hunt in I used IE to look at individual framing elements. I found a single framing (W Beam) was 2+ million feet long. I expected to find a family very far away, not one that was just very long. I realized that a Structural Framing schedule could have revealed this element too, if I knew which category and to look at Length. I did make a schedule just to see if I missed any other really long framing.

One Beam, one verrrrry looonnng beam killed any view it was visible in. 3D views are where we were confronted with the problem but other views whose extent permitted the beam's true extent to affect the view were also victimized. In the end we rolled the project back to just prior to the beam being added. 

The views didn't "recover" from the harm when the offending beam was deleted. I surmise other aspects of the model were altered by the extent of the beam, perhaps scope boxes, crop boundaries, a connected or joined element...not sure. That will remain a mystery.

May your troubleshooting be quick, effective and "trouble" free.

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