revit in plain english

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dynamo Simple, Practical Examples: Write Family Type to Type Comments

When writing one instance parameter to another you use the 'get and set' method. This does not work for Type Parameters (wish it did). The best way to explain in this case is to show the image of my Dynamo Graph:

Why might you use this? You can't filter a Schedule by Type (wish you could) but you can filter by Comments.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Disable Optimized View Navigation in Revit 2017

When you orbit your Revit model the outlines and hatches disappear. I find this effect very ugly and defeats the purpose of examining your model in 3D using Orbit. Revit used to have a simple checkbox in the Options-Graphics dialog to disable or enable, but not any more. Now we need to edit the Revit.ini...sigh.


Add text OptimizedViewNavigation=0 under the [Graphics] heading in the Revit.ini

The Revit.ini can be found here:


Add the text here:

Discalimer: Read this Revit help before editing the ini...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dynamo Simple, Practical Examples: Export Coordinate info to Excel

Dynamo Simple, Practical Examples: Draw a Revit Floor

Dynamo Simple, Practical Examples: Draw a Revit Wall

Learning Dynamo is hard. Is it worth it? Yes, it offers great potential in a number of areas. Here are a few things that Dynamo can help you with:

  • Importing and Exporting Excel data very easily. Beside being able to use this data in Excel, this provides a bridge to other software like Inventor, Solidworks and more. For example you could export points from a curtain wall in Revit to Inventor or vice versa. 
  • Automating the placement of Families. Good example is auditorium and stadium seating. 
  • You can connect parameters from one Family to another. For example connect the floor thickness to the wall top offset.

Because it's hard to learn I would like to provide a few simple (practical?) Dynamo examples. Here's my first...a Dynamo Graph which shows you a way to draw a wall in Revit using Dynamo.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Floors Auto-Attach to Walls Bug

This is not new. I want to blog about this because it needs to be made clear. Floor sketches will lock to Walls regardless of using the Align and Lock tools or Pick Walls Tools. What this means is that Floor edges will move with Walls if the Floor sketch referenced an Osnap on a Wall or was Aligned to a Wall (without Lock). Autodesk, please fix this. We need to be sure that the edge of a Revit Floor will not move (unless we move the Floor sketch line). Floor Slab edge drawings are critical to a construction project and must be 100% reliable.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Revit Doors with FRAMES in Revit 2016

Good news, Autodesk has provided us with Doors Families with frames. Seems like a small detail but isn't that what counts? I had one client use the 'Single-Flush' door families extensively in a design with very tight constraints. When the design was developed further he realised that he needed to swap the frameless 'Single Flush' door family with a door with a frame. Like I mentioned, tolerances were tight and you cannot compromise on egress requirements.  This caused much frustration, wasted time and a mark on my reputation for not advising him on this issue. A small detail which caused problems for all involved. 

You may be thinking 'why don't you just make a Door with frame or download one from ARCAT or Autodesk Seek'? The person who is using Revit at the time will use what Family is immediately available for the immediate need. So from that time on I recommend to NEVER use the 'Single-Flush' Door Family and provide a door with frame Family. But that dreaded 'Single-Flush' door still rears it's ugly head after a reinstall or a new new versions etc.

So, thank you Revit Development team for paying attention to this seemingly small detail. Now there are both commercial and residential folders with doors with frames installed with Revit.

There is also a separate hardware folder which contains a variety of hardware Families which can be loaded into a Door Family.