Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Revit 2021 Line Style Naming Tweak

I saw Jason (@RVT) tweet about this yesterday and I thought this is right up the Dept. of Subtle alley.


I've been telling people for years that the brackets meant "these belong to the Revit system" but then there were several other rogue line styles that came along without brackets. I had to explain that any line style you couldn't delete is also a system line styles...

Consider the Dept. of Subtle tickled.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Create or Opening a Section View Crashes Revit

Have you encountered this issue (and/or elevations)? By crash I mean Revit stops responding, the blue spinning wheel of death. One cause I've identified is HVAC Zones. I've been able to resolve each on so far by deleting the related zone(s) and creating the zone(s) again. I haven't figured out what is going wrong with the zones. I'm just calling it corruption for now but I have no idea if it is something I can prevent or see first yet.

Happy to hear if any readers have encountered this situation too.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Parameter is Missing for Some Types

From a thread at RFO, Aaron explains what's gone wrong...

Aaron wrote:
"If someone deletes a family that is also the default option for a Family Type, with that Shared Parameter: Yes, the entire parameter gets deleted. It's terrible behavior, and its been that way for years.

In case I wasnt clear: This is a known issue, and it's easily reproducible.
  1. Take any Family that uses a Shared Family Type Parameter, that has a default value.
  2. Find the family in the project browser, that is the Family and Type that's in the default value.
  3. Delete that family from the Project Browser.
  4. After you've clicked *DELETE* in the warning, go back to the original Family (the parent family with the parameter).
  5. For JUST the types that had that default value set, that parameter is now gone.
And yes, the instances in your project are hella broken, now."

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Keynote Schedules Not Updating

I wrote a post in April last year when we were observing some projects that would not update their keynote schedules during printing.

When they issued 2018.3 that issue was reportedly resolved. Moving forward into 2019 and 2020 versions it seems true. However we've seen a few projects that seem to continue to exhibit the problem. Specifically a keynote schedule does not show all of the keynotes that are actually visible in views on the sheet.

With these troubled project files we can force a regeneration IF each sheet view is open during printing. Like before turning the annotation crop boundary off/on or on/off will cause a regeneration too. However printing is when it matters the most. More testing is required before I can be certain there is an ongoing issue in the more recent releases but these projects do exhibit the problem in more recent versions too.

The current solution is to open all the sheets that must print first and then print to PDF. Alternately open a sheet view and print and repeat for all required sheets. If all the views are open then the revision schedule regenerates (you can watch it happen). The sheet view does not have to have Revit's focus, just has to be open in the background at least. Any sheet views that are not open won't refresh.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Revit 2020.2.1 Hot Fix Posted

Regarding my last post - a Revit 2020.1 Hot Fix is now posted.

Of specific interest...Autodesk writes:

Issues Resolved:
Fixed an issue that resulted in the loss of family data in some workshared models when family definitions had not been recently modified. This fix does not repair models which have encountered loss of family data, for more information refer to Family Corruption in Revit 2020.2

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Revit 2020.2 Corrupt or Unusable Families Issue

Autodesk posted an article describing a particularly unpleasant bug/issue that started to appear shortly after 2020.2 was made available. This is the text from the article. If you're using 2020.2 pay close attention, you don't want to catch this bug. They've removed the 2020.2 download until they've resolved the situation.

Issue:
The Revit team has identified a defect with Revit 2020.2 that affects a small percentage of customer projects. In order to reduce the likelihood that customers come across this issue, we have temporarily removed the Revit 2020.2 updates while we work to provide a build that remedies this defect. For customers that have already installed Revit 2020.2, please see the FAQ below. We apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused.

Solution:

Q. What is the issue?
A. A change in the way that Revit 2020.2 processes families can cause family content to go missing from workshared central models created in previous versions if the families have existed in an active project for a long time without being modified. The defect results in the deletion of the family content from the central model.

Q. Which versions/models are affected?
A. This issue affects only Revit 2020.2. Previous versions are not affected.

Q. What models are affected?

A. The issue can affect workshared models that were created or upgraded in Revit 2020.0 or 2020.1 which are then repeatedly modified in Revit 2020.2. This issue can impact central models stored locally, on Revit Server, or in Revit Cloud Worksharing. The following models are NOT affected:
Non-workshared models
Workshared models created and exclusively modified in Revit 2020.2

Q. What if I have already installed Revit 2020.2?
A. If everyone on the project team is working in 2020.2, there are a few one-time operations you can take in a Revit 2020.2 build to prevent the issue:
Rename all families in the project (e.g. FamilyX to FamilyX-2 and then back to FamilyX)

OR

Save the model as a new central (must be a new file, not Save As to the same location)

OR

Reload all families (including company, Autodesk, and 3rd party families) in the project

OR

Move the entire project team back to Revit 2020.1
If the team is working on mixed versions, we suggest first getting everyone onto the same version. Working in a mix of Revit 2020.2 and earlier versions can reintroduce the issue to model(s).

Q. What is Autodesk doing to resolve the issue?
A. The Revit team has reproduced the issue and is actively working on a build that does not contain this defect. In the meantime, we advise against installing Revit 2020.2 until the Revit team provides an updated build. To reduce the likelihood that customers come across this issue, we have temporarily removed Revit 2020.2 updates from Accounts and the Autodesk Desktop Application. Due to backend constraints a full install of Revit 2020.2 continues to be available from Accounts.

Q. When will a fix be available?
A. Thanks to the support of our valued customers, the Revit team has been able to reproduce the issue and has identified a fix. In the next few days we will be thoroughly testing the fix. Assuming all goes well, it will then take the team a few more days to make the build available in Accounts and the Autodesk Desktop Application.

Q. Revit 2020.2 has been available for months – why didn’t Autodesk communicate anything previously?
A. The Revit team was first made aware of a possible issue by our customers a few weeks ago. Since these kinds of issues can be difficult to reproduce from scratch, from the time a concern was raised we have been working closely with those customers to reproduce the issue. We were finally successfully able to reproduce, and therefore confirm, the issue at the end of last week when we took action to limit the availability of Revit 2020.2. We have been working diligently to clarify the full scope of the impact and the possible workarounds in order to write this communication.

Q. Why didn’t the Revit team discover the issue during pre-release testing?
A. Unfortunately because this issue requires a combination of model creation and modification of families in a previous version and then extensive modification to the same model in 2020.2 it does not lend itself well to typical testing practices or automated regression tests. This means that unfortunately, despite rigorous Revit 2020.2 testing, we were not able to identify the issue before it affected customer models. We sincerely thank the customers that escalated the issue to us so that we are now able to take appropriate action.

Q. What actions will the Revit team take to prevent this kind of issue from happening again?
A. After the Revit team resolves the immediate issue, we will be holding a retrospective to clarify how the defect occurred and what specific actions we can take to prevent similar issues in the future. As much as possible we will look to create automated tests to cover this kind of situation as that means that every future Revit code submission will be scanned for similar problems.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Linked DWG Xref Overlay vs Attached Bug - Part Two

Two options exists to work around this situation (last post). One is easy and Revit focused but depends on the AutoCAD user a little and the second is impractical and depends on the AutoCAD user entirely.
  • Xrefs on their own layer
  • Xrefs always unloaded
If we can count on the AutoCAD user being consistent to assign all of the file's xrefs to a unique layer not shared by any other elements then we can still turn off the overlay xref when it shows up. This shouldn't be too difficult to achieve and many firms already have that standard for xrefs.

If the xref's are always unloaded before closing a file then they won't show up in a Revit project. That's pretty unlikely. It's inconvenient for AutoCAD users and forgetting just once and the system fails.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Linked DWG Xref Overlay vs Attached Bug

Revit has long understood the difference between a DWG having an attached or overlay external reference (Xref). It uses the same logic for its own linking behavior for RVT files. Recently a client began reporting seeing DWG files including Xref layers in Object Styles and Visibility/Graphics even though the DWG has only an overlay Xref. Revit seems to be converting the overlay Xref to a block element and including it and all the layers in the process.

We noticed it happening first with projects hosted on BIM360. That led me to consider it was because this firm isn't using Autodesk Desktop Connector. Not too surprising considering Autodesk recommends using it for linked DWG support on BIM360.

That's irrelevant now that I've reproduced it on a project file based on a stock template, doesn't use worksets and the all files are on a single PC. It's related to how Revit is reloading the linked DWG when a new session of Revit is opened.

It seems to matter that it is a new session of Revit, opening the project again, and to a lesser degree if there are changes in the DWG file. Any of those conditions seems to be enough to find an overlay Xref(s) showing up but reporting as a block element with Query. It is pretty easy to reproduce now that I've done it a few times.
  • Start a new project
  • Link a DWG with an Xref (overlay)
  • Save the project > close it and the Revit session
  • Open Revit again
  • Open project (xref is now visible)
Variables:
  • When the project is opened and the linked DWG has changes it will load the xref too.
  • If after opening the Revit project the file looks correct using Reload From will display the xref afterward.
The images that follow are captured using Revit 2020.2. In this version using Reload From fixed it, a couple times but not every time. I've also run through this with 2018.3 and 2016 with similar results. I didn't try 2019 or 2017 because they are not installed on this particular PC.

This is the mockup DWG files.


This is the result of linking the file into a Revit project.


This is what happens after opening Revit and the project again.


This is what Revit's Query feature reports when selecting a line that belongs to the overlay Xref in the linked DWG.


It also occurred to me that it could happen if the host file's Xref was originally attached, when it was linked to Revit and changed afterward. Testing didn't support that theory. The example above is based on a xref that was placed as an overlay from the start, not changed to overlay. It also occurred to me that it might be related to large coordinate values. Civil files are linked here primarily. To rule that out, the mock up I show above is at the WCS origin and linked origin to origin.

This particular firm uses Civil 3D/AutoCAD for their civil and landscape disciplines so eliminating DWG files isn't in their future. This bug is annoying AND increasing the time required to prepare projects for plotting and publishing.

Assuming this isn't being caused by some aspect of this firm's EyeTee implementation (PC configuration and/or security measures) I'd love to hear some corroboration.

Monday, December 30, 2019

UnHelpful Help Location URL

I read about quirky Reviteristic issue at RFO this afternoon. A weird graphics glitch occurs when we interact with the Help Icon families that use the URL parameter feature to reference an external document. This is an example of it in the sample architecture model that ships with Revit (rac_basic_sample_project.rvt - in imperial content).


When we select the icon and examine its properties we get this Learning Link parameter.


When we click in the field the small button appears with the ellipsis icon. Clicking on the that button will take us to the URL saved in family.


The trouble begins after we move our cursor away from the field and start to resume work. The URL is stuck on screen over another parameter like below, the Detail Number parameter for the view.


I noticed that I can work past the issue if I click in the Default Analysis Display Style field, which I presume works because it also has an navigation/ellipsis style button.


I also noticed that if I am careful to click on the field right above the Learning Link, called Location, before leaving the Properties Palette I can avoid the issue too.


The forum thread was talking about this in 2019 but these images are from 2020.2. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Revit 2020.2 Internal Origin Part Three

John Pierson and Parallax Team Apps recently shared a solution at the Autodesk App Store called Internal Origin Hide-ifier. I thought mine was cool but it doesn't install itself or come with a Doge.


It's only 1,000 bucks...nope its free!! Check it out.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Rename View Click Twice - Wish I Could Turn That Off

Title says enough? I'm sick of getting to rename a view when I really mean to open it. I must be losing my double clicking mojo...

If possible add it to the existing Double Click behavior options? Pretty please?

That was quick!! My wish is already granted: See Michael's comment for the Revit.ini code that provides my wish. Thanks Michael!

Edit: I changed both ini files for Revit 2020.2 and it doesn't disable the renaming behavior...so wish not granted, unless I'm doing it wrong.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Internal Origin Follow Up

After I shared the earlier Dynamo graph I received an email from Aaron Rumple that did away with any package requirements. He wrote a python script and added it to my graph. It also eliminates the warning message that appears after running mine. The crux of that issue is the need to filter out view templates from the process because while view templates are applied to views under the hood they are also views...at least that's my layman's understanding.

Many thanks to Aaron, a real design software savant.

Download the new Dyn

As before, my graph allows you to include/exclude the internal origin, survey point and project base point. Just edit the settings of the Dyn before running it (see previous post).

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Work Plane Based Families and Rotate w Copy

I participated in a thread at Autodesk's Revit forum and it took me far too long to catch on to the issue described at the outset. I should have retraced the thread sooner, but I did get there eventually.

I'm referring to the Rotate tool and its Copy option, this...


The issue boils down to this: the Rotate with Copy option works/affects a Work Plane-Based (and face-based) family differently than when a family is merely hosted by a Level (all non "based" families). Let's start here, imagine I want two screens on my desk like this.


These are stock families: TV - Flat Screen.rfa and Desk.rfa The desk has a top surface that isn't visible in plan view so it can't act as a face to host the TV. I changed that. The TV isn't a work plane-based family. In a plan view, when I place it on the desk it ends up eaten by the desk because it looks like this in a 3D view.


Sure, I can use its Elevation from Level parameter to put it on the desk (an illusion of a relationship). When I move the desk I need to remember to select the TV too (or make a group...or...I digress). I get the clever idea, "Make this family Work Plane-Based, that's easy!"


Using Rotate with Copy should give me the result I want in the first image and it does until I check the box for Work Plane-Based. The angle I decide I want between the screens is 22.5 degrees. I added a couple reference planes for the images to help see what happens, the desired result.


That's what I want except that they should be hosted by the desk, not relying on using the Elevation from Level parameter. When I use Rotate with the Copy option after editing the TV family to make it Work Plane-Based (also Always Vertical is checked) I get this result.


Notice the TV angle itself is correct but it's location is wrong...and a warning message appeared to help me notice... It's been moved/copied by double the input value of 22.5 degrees using the origin of rotation correctly and managed to maintain the angle I wanted. This next image summarizes what happened.


That's weird enough on its own but I can go weird by one more, un-check the TV's Always Vertical parameter. After running through the exercise again I get this outcome.


This time it applied the rotation input angle of 22.5 degrees x 2 = 45 degrees to both rotating the family and its position. This time it did it fully wrong while the previous time it only did it half wrong.

Introduce a Floor, instead of a desk family, into the mix and place the TV family before it is Work Plane-Base with Always Vertical and this happens. No rotation, just copy and in the same place no less.


When the TV family is Work Plane-Based and Always Vertical is used then it works wrong in the same way as relying on the desk's face as the host did.

I imagine Revit is attempting to relate the rotation and copy actions to the family's host, since that is the work plane the family is hosted by. Clearly it is unable to do so properly. I think it is reasonable to expect to get the same result whether level based or work plane-based. This post and the images are from using Revit 2020.2 but I did the same things in Revit 2016 with the same results. This has been around for quite awhile now.

If it is any consolation, the Mirror and Polar Array tools don't suffer from this malady but each have their own prep work required to make them a ready replacement.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Revit 2020.2 Internal Origin Redux

Happy Thanksgiving to those who observe!

One little thing I'm thankful for, I got a file yesterday from Autodesk (TurnOffInternalOrigin.Dyn) that is meant to be run in Dynamo Player (it's a custom node in testing ATM). You can download the file, place it wherever your Dynamo Player is looking for files already or in Dynamo Player just browse to wherever you placed the file. Click the play button (see image) and it will turn off the Internal Origin in all views. This approach means very little Dynamo knowledge is necessary, just enough to get Dynamo Player open and find the file.


Since I already put in some time with my own graph which included the Survey Point and Project Base Point I decided I'd like to be able to turn on/off all three or just the internal origin or some combination. I modified my graph (Control Coordinate Graphics.dyn) to provide input options (see image).


When you use Dynamo player you can edit the input options through On/Off switches (see image).


Click the little Properties button (looks like a old Macintosh computer to me). Clicking the toggle will make the statement either true or false for each "hide" question. All three true = all off for example. Remember my graph is dependent on a node from the Archilib package, make sure you've installed that before trying to use it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Revit 2020.2 Turn Off Internal Origin - Dynamo Option

In a thread at RFO John Pierson (Parallax Team, and Dynamo guru) got the ball rolling with a video link that described overriding graphics in views. I picked up the ball and created the graph but missed an essential but tiny setting for one node to make it work (Lacing - Cross Product).

The Dynamo Graph looks like this (click to Download).


You can use Dynamo, with this graph, to turn off the Internal Origin, Survey Point, and Project Base Point in floor and ceiling plans, sections, elevations and 3D views. Change the code block from False to True and it will turn them all on instead.

Regarding Jean-Marc's comment: I think he was suggesting this instead.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Zoning Clearance Thoughts

A long time fellow Revit traveler reached out to me via Revit Lifeline last night asking about zoning clearance ideas. Where he lives and works they want designers to demonstrate the building is not too tall. They also want them to prove it doesn't extend into a zone that leans back into the site. All in all the code reduces the size of the building that can be built on any given property that falls under its jurisdiction.

I have heard and read about this concern many times over the years. But in response last night, I mocked up a quick example to see if it met his needs (waiting to hear back). I thought, "Blog post? I just posted something the other day...don't get carried away. Yeah, but you've only posted like twice this year slacker! So a blog post it is then..."

Here's a few images to ponder first. Pretty fancy house design eh? Doors and windows are so last century. I CAN design YOUR next home, just call when you're ready...operators are standing by.





The upper surface is a thin floor which is manipulated through Dynamo and Shape Editing. Lauren Schmidt's LandArchBIM blog is a very nice source for land techniques and I stole her graph ideas in this post to make it. Her post explains the technique relies on a sub-region to match whatever hardscape shape (property boundary in this case) is necessary. I used the floor's offset parameter to move it up above the surface by the zoning height required.

The front and back property boundary clearance requirement is built with a railing and profile. The fact that railings can be hosted by toposurface now opens this door wide. The surface form might not lend itself to a nice clean railing though, mileage will vary. You can see the rear railing is a little deformed in a couple spots. I built parameters into the profile so I could (using types) vary the height of the angle portion, change the angle, change the height above property (spring point of the lean) and the thickness of the railing.

I created a specific material to assign to it all so it can be mostly transparent.

My example is admittedly simplistic. How many property boundaries are really a simple rectangle? Pretty rare, about as rare as a purple unicorn that uses Revit? A front or rear boundary that has arcs and many segments will probably pose some issues creating a hosted railing. I can imagine things going wrong but I'll wait until I'm dealing with something specific to worry about that.

The file I mocked this up is in Revit 2020.2 and the dynamo graph (link has both RVT and Graph) is so simple that this screen shot would help you build it nearly a fast as downloading and opening it up. That's what I did with Lauren's example. You do need the packages I've circled.


Oh, the mockup has a massing element too, you'll have to turn massing on though. At first I thought I'd sweep a profile along the property edge defined by the upper surface. After I did that I thought of the railing. The learning curve is much less steep for a railing than massing, bonus being much faster too.

Decided to add a couple more images. I realized that I could have turned off the sub-category Interior Edges for Floors to hide the tessellation in the other images. It also occurred to me that another railing and profile configuration could deal with the top. I just created another type from my existing profile family to make it a 90 degree railing. A separate wide profile without a vertical portion would provide just a top surface. The floor and railing approach don't result in the same surfaces but within reason? If reason can be applied to a zoning requirement?



Here's both visible...


Monday, November 18, 2019

Revit 2020.2 - Internal Origin

A quick post to mention this since I've already run into this issue with users several times. The latest update for Revit introduces a new icon to mark the location of the file's Internal Origin. This is what it looks like in the 3D view.


It's off in all views initially, in the stock templates. Reveal Elements will display it quickly in a view without having to use Visibility/Graphics to show it. It can't be selected, it's just visible to help understand where it is.

Edit: It seems existing projects that are opened in 2020.2 have this Internal Origin turned on in all views (many). That's a bug in my opinion. They should not be turning this on. Though, in my own testing it is not getting turned on with upgraded files. It seems to be existing 2020 files that get this turned after opening it with the 2020.2.

Project Base Point - You won't see the clip when you select it. Move it away from the internal origin and it is automatically behaving as if it isn't clipped. In other words, it isn't clipped anymore. We couldn't really move the project origin, only the Project Coordinate System could be adjusted to provide a local coordinate reference for the Spot Coordinate tool, for example.

The Survey Point remains much the same.

When dealing with linked files you'll find that the icons for each of these is also visible but halftone (gray) to differentiate from the host file's own icons. You can snap to the links icon's to help align the files, using the Move tool for example.

I'll have to return to the subject once we've gotten fully acquainted.

Edit: 11/24/2019

I traded a couple emails with Autodesk staff on this. My understanding (not a developer) is this is not merely something they overlooked. Consider when a 2020 file is opened in 2020.2 it is not going through an upgrade because the file format is compatible. This creates a scenario where they are not activating upgrade code to resolve the existing file's structure with a new version's structure.

Unfortunately this new subcategory gets enabled and its visible status is "on" at the outset. It's my understanding that "off" isn't an option...in this scenario...without also creating an upgrade scenario...which is conceptually a no-go...within a release year.

Upgraded files go through an upgrade process which imposes rules on that process...which includes a task that deliberately "turns off" this new subcategory. It's a quirk of the file open sequence/process.

I think they didn't expect it to be a significant issue. It doesn't print after all. It can negatively affect zooming behavior in many views though. User perceptions can't be ignored either. An unexpected "thing" encroaching on views is "bad"...similar to seeing a view's crop boundary when not intended.

To their credit, they asked if I agreed they should create a Dynamo solution to turn it off in all views. Naturally I encouraged them to DO IT! Hopefully we'll be able to say that such a solution exists soon.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

BIM 360 Sync Failure Retry

Lately we've been experiencing some poor performance accessing BIM 360 projects. The primary cause eludes us at the moment, but Location Services, Windows Updates and Anti-Virus systems appear to be factors for now. Most of the time it works great but then...it doesn't.

Today I'm having trouble syncing changes with a project and this dialog has been stuck on my screen for about a half hour so far.


It's the fourth cycle of trying to Reload Latest... I think after a second failure to sync it should exit more elegantly. At this point I'm wondering how many times will it try before giving up? There is no option to quit or cancel...just stuck with forcefully quitting Revit at this point? That's polite.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Eccentricity of Wall Footing

I replied to a thread at AUGI regarding the Eccentricity parameter of a Wall Footing. They observed that Revit seemed to ignore their input and didn't understand what it was meant to do. In this case the width of the footing was less than the value they entered.

The parameter is intended to shift the footing over, from interior to the exterior face of the wall. The footing starts out centered on the wall above.

The maximum eccentricity is equal to (Footing Width/2)-(Wall Thickness/2).

The interior wall surface can be aligned (flush) with the interior face of the footing but not further, creating any overhang of the wall, which seems logical to me. A picture might help?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Reference Planes without Names

It is a common practice to add a name to the reference planes we create. If it isn't common where you work then it ought to be. The name helps give a hint to anyone that works in the model that this reference plane is more important than those without a name. It can also help understand what it is for, why it was made.

There are some who make the effort to clear out reference planes that are not named periodically, just another of any number of model/housekeeping chores. I've even seen Dynamo scripts intended for this task.

If you're using Ideate's Explorer you'll find it easy to see a summary of all the reference planes in the model. In the following image I've created two reference planes, one with a name and another without a name.


Notice that there are five (5) reference planes listed though. As it happens, when the Edit Profile concept is used on a wall four reference planes are created and internally applied against the sketch of the wall. They are only visible to us while editing the wall's profile sketch. We can't see these reference planes in the regular user interface, it only becomes very apparent with their Explorer tool.

It is also possible for us to create reference planes while creating any sketch based element, like a floor or stair for example. These reference planes are only visible to us while editing their related sketch.

The reference planes associated with a wall's edited profile can't be deleted via IDEATE Explorer. It can delete them when we've created our own within a wall's profile and other sketch based elements.

Attempting to clean up these unnamed reference planes might also be an issue if you're writing your own code or Dynamo script to delete them. We can/could add names to these internal reference planes (wall profile) but I don't think that's a task that worth the effort.

Something to keep in mind.