revit in plain english

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Visibility Issue: View Range not Affecting Structural Slabs

Autodesk Revit Development team, please fix this bug. Okay maybe it's not exactly a 'bug' but it is a feature which causes confusion and delay.

Model elements located outside of the view range generally are not shown in the view. The exceptions are floors, stairs, ramps, and components that stay or are mounted on the floor (like furniture). These are shown even when slightly below the view range.
Slab edges are shown when their bottoms are within a tolerance of the primary view range bottom.

Foundation slabs and structural floors located outside the view range use an adjusted range that is 4 feet (approximately 1.22 meters) below the bottom of the primary range.Floors are drawn with the Beyond line style if the floor exists within this adjusted range. 

Here's the credit:

Friday, April 04, 2014

Measuring Revit Skills

Is there a standard measure of an individuals Revit skills? Would be nice to track individual and office progress. Might even be a cause for bragging rights. Below is a look at this from my perspective. After filling out the spreadsheet a person ends up with a Revit Score. Your comments are welcome. If you would like a copy of the Excel file in order to make suggestions send me an email

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hidden Lines not Wider than Category

In Object Styles (or Visibility/Graphics), the Structural Framing Category, Projection Line Weight is set to 4. This means that the Hidden Lines Subcategory cannot be set higher than 4. Actually, it can be set higher than 4 but will not display higher than 4. 

Structural Framing Lineweight not Changing in Section

Imagine you have a Girder and a Joist as defined by Revit. You would like the Joist to be a thinner lineweight than a Girder, in every view. Not possible by default. Changes to the Subcategories of Structural Framing in Object Styles only affect plan, NOT SECTION. Subcategories of Windows, Doors, Wall Sweeps and other objects are affected by changes in Object Styles, just not Structural Framing. How do we work around this programming error? Edit the Structural Framing Family, make a new Subcategory, Assign the geometry to this new Subcategory. Now in the Revit Project file, open Object Styles and edit the lineweights of the new Subcategory you just made.
Anyone know why this is the way it is? Anyone have a better workaround?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Revit and Landscape Design

When asked 'does Revit do Landscape Design?' some will immediately say 'No!'. They are quick to point out it's 'limited' site tools. But I think we need to ask 'limited compared to what?'. AutoCAD doesn't come close to the overall drafting efficiency that Revit provides. Plus, AutoCAD has no automated site tools and it's 3D tools are definitely 'limited'. How about Sketchup? Sketchup has a similar 3D toolset to AutoCAD, granted it's graphics are much nicer. Still, both Sketchup and AutoCAD  slow to crawl when dealing with large file sets. AutoCAD Civil 3D is a wonderful tool, it handles large files and has excellent 3D and BIM tools. Civil 3D should be the tool of choice for landscape architects, problem is it's relatively hard to set up and use.

So to what are we comparing Revit's tools? To Revit mostly. All of us in the Revit community have been asking for improved site tools in Revit from day 1. This is mostly because of the potential we all see. Has Autodesk done anything about it? As of today, not much. Yet Revit's 3D and BIM site tools are better than AutoCAD and Sketchup and are easier to use then AutoCAD Civil 3D. So can Revit be used for landscape design? Yes, landscape designers and architects are using this tool around the world with success. Below are some examples:

Revving up for Revit, Building Information Modeling for Landscape Architecture 
Kudela and Weinheimer Landscape Architecture

Site Engineering for Landscape Architects
By Steven Strom, Kurt Nathan, Jake Woland

Posted on July 12, 2013 by Stephen Blacklock

Landscape Architecture in BIM
A Landscape Architects Revit Blog

Autodesk Revit Architecture...for landscape architects?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Repeating Stuff Along a Line

How does one quickly make a repeating object along a line? This might be used for repeating site elements like parking and trees. You can do this one of three ways:

1. Railing
2. Curtain Wall
3. Divided Line in Conceptual Mass

Pros and Cons:

1. Railing
Pro: Easy to Edit
Pro: Can be Hosted to Ramp
Con: Can't schedule the individual Balusters
Con: Categorized as a Railing

2. Curtain Wall
Pro: Easy to Edit
Pro: Can Schedule the Individual Panels
Pro: Can be stacked
Con: Categorized as a Curtain Wall
Con: Cannot be sloped in Z

3. Divided Line in Conceptual Mass
Pro: More 'Z' direction possibilities
Pro: Easier to extract location data (x,y,z)
Con: Not easy to Edit
Con: Standard Parking and Tree Families don't attach very well to Adaptive Points.
Con: Can't change in Project, it's a static Family

Process for Either Railing or Curtain Wall
New Family
Baluster-Post or Curtain Wall Panel Template
Insert Families: Parking, Trees, Cars etc.
Import into Project

Railing/Curtain Wall, Edit Type Duplicate
Replace Balusters/Panel with New Family
Set Spacing