Friday, February 24, 2006

Revit Annotations

Why doesn't the Level Head text change when I change the text style?!!
Why doesn't the Section Head text change when I change the text style?!!
Where do I change the boundary line of the callout?!!

Many are confused by this. So I'm going to try and explain in plain English. Some annotations are controlled in the Project file (.RVT) that you're drawing the model in. Others are controlled partially in a separate Family file (.RFA). When they have a FAMILY FILE involved you will have to load (File-Load From Library-Family) it into your PROJECT FILE. I'll specify in the following explanations.

Text Style: Controlled in the PROJECT FILE.
This is only for the notes and titles. You do this by editing an existing instance into your new style.

Dimension Style: Controlled in the PROJECT FILE.
These are made from the Settings-Annotation drop down menu. You can also duplicate and edit an existing dimension. The text style for the dimensions is controlled from the dimension style editor.

Level Head: Controlled in a FAMILY FILE and the PROJECT FILE.
This is an Annotation Family. You have to open it and edit the text inside the family. To find the file name of the family you want to edit; click on a level-properties-Edit/New-Other-Level Head (you just have to write it down or memorize it). The level linetype is controlled in the PROJECT FILE by clicking Properties-Edit/New-Line Pattern.

Grid Head: Controlled in a FAMILY FILE and the PROJECT FILE.
The same as Level Head. The grid linetype is controlled in the PROJECT FILE by clicking Properties-Edit/New-Line Pattern.

Section Bubble: Controlled in a FAMILY FILE and the PROJECT FILE.
Again, these are an Annotation Family. They consist of two families which have to be edited separately. One would be the bubble and one would be the tick mark at the other end. The section linetype is controlled in the PROJECT FILE through Object Styles-Annotation-Section Line.

Callout Bubble: Controlled in a FAMILY FILE and the PROJECT FILE.
These are similar to Section tags but only have one family. The callout boundary line is controlled in the PROJECT FILE through Object Styles-Annotation-Callout Boundary.

Elevation Bubble: Controlled in the PROJECT FILE.
The Settings dropdown menu-Elevation Tags and edit away.

Annotations should be setup in your template file (.RTE).

Monday, February 20, 2006

The 3 Gb Switch Caution

Earlier, I posted the link to the "3 Gb switch" how-to site. It has just come to my attention that this should not be performed when using a video card with 512 mb of RAM.

The reason is that the video card requires double the amount of RAM it has (512 Mb x 2=1Gb) from Windows XP. So with 2 Gb used for Revit and 1 Gb used for Windows that leaves 0 Gb available for the video card. Not good.

64 bit computing won't come too soon in my opinion!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Revit Websites

Hundreds of architects from around the world discuss Revit issues here:

Download "families" (similar to blocks) from this site:

Here's a great Revit blog for the advanced user: Revit OpEd

A service for LEED calcs for Revit Models:

I'll add more links in the future.

Time to Learn Revit

Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering learning Revit:

1. How well do I know how buildings are constructed?
2. Do I have any experience with CAD in general?
3. Do I have Microsoft Windows experience?

If you said yes to the previous questions consider this path:

1. Do the "Getting Started" tutorials under the Revit Help menu.
2. Take minimum 4 days of instructor lead fundamentals training.
3. Register with where hundreds of architects discuss Revit issues.
4. Start a project ASAP! You won't be disappointed.

Within 3 months you will be comfortable and starting to gain some serious productivity. If you don't take training it could take up to 6 months.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Revit Team

Many wonder how a Revit Team could go together. I would argue that the team members already exist with one or two exceptions. Some or these roles would bleed together naturally. Here's how it could go:

Design and drafting
Know how buildings go together and have a broad knowledge of Revit. Should also know what a construction document set looks like. (DUH!)

Family and styles maker
Feed the design/drafting team with custom content. Build Families (doors, furniture, fixtures etc.) from the ground up, download Revit Families or adapt from existing AutoCAD Blocks. Deep knowledge of the Family Editor would be needed.

Scheduler and spec writer
Everything in Revit can be quantified. Harness the information and present it for construction docs, estimating, budgeting, LEED certification, accounting etc.

Rendering and post editing
You would be amazed at the quality of presentations that are being done by using two pieces of software; Revit and Illustrator/Corel. Of course by using software like Vue 5, Maxwell Render and VIZ, animations and photorealistic stills can kick it up a notch. BAM!

AutoCAD Coordinator
That's right, AutoCAD. This person would clean up dwgs that come in from consultants. They would coordinate the exported and imported dwgs in the model. And finally they would organize and/or draw fine details that could get imported. You can detail in Revit but for now there's no use in abandoning all of the existing detail content done in AutoCAD.

Revit Worksets

Okay, I'm just going to come out and say it. Worksets are to Revit what Layers are to AutoCAD. Oh, that hurts! But I should add that Layering in AutoCAD has ballooned way beyond what is needed or was intended for. Worksets, on the other hand, seem to be shrinking. More and more is controlled behind the scenes. I've done projects where I didn't even activate Worksets. When working on large scale projects, with a team, worksets will be your best friend. One out of two experts agree that it's a good idea to turn them on right from the get go. It's a bit of a pain to add things to them after the fact. It would be comparable in AutoCAD to drawing everything and trying to make Layers after. Again, ouch! Here are some basic rules for worksets:

Make them general; Envelope, Core, Partitions, Fixtures etc.
You probably will only need 10 or so.

Make a spreadsheet before you start. This will map how the Revit elements will be organized onto Worksets.