revit in plain english

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Revit OpEd: Supplementary Files

Revit OpEd: Supplementary Files: Ryan Duell, with Autodesk and The Revit Clinic , created a list of ten supplementary files for Revit and where they are located by default, ...

  1. UniformatClassifications.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\\Program - This file houses theUniformat Assembly Codes, and the location is fixed; it cannot be moved or specified in a library location. Sorry this means you can't move it to a server. If you wish to edit this file in one location, it is recommended to keep a copy on a server location, and create a batch file to copy and replace the specific file on the user workstation. This file is read once at the Revit application launch.
  2. Revit.ini - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\\Program - This file contains the variables, paths, recent files, worksharing paths and more for each version of Revit. For some additional tips on editing this file see one of The Revit Clinic's previous posts HERE.
  3. RevitKeynotes_Imperial_2004.txt - C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\\Imperial Library - This file contains the full set of keynotes, provided by Autodesk, which can be assigned to elements in their Type Properties. This file's location can be specified in the project or template, and modified under Annotate > Tag > Keynote Settings.
  4. Journal files - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Journals - Revit creates these files as you work. Journal files capture all actions from the current Revit session. For additional information please see the four part series at The Revit Clinic: Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.
  5. Worksharing Log File – Central file location "..._backup" folder - The file is named after the central file, with a .SLOG extension. For worksharing-enabled projects all of the central file and user interactions are recorded in this log file. For some additional information please see the previous post HERE.
  6. Exportlayers-dwg-AIA.txt – C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RAC 2011 - Export Layers and Properties settings are stored in this layer mapping file. This is used when exporting a project to DWG or DGN for example. For additional information reference the Help Documentation HERE.
  7. UIState.dat - C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\ - Revit stores user specific customizations to the user interface such as the ribbon and quick access toolbar. For additional information see the Help documentation HERE or if you need to reset this file Click Here.
  8. KeyboardShortcuts.xml - C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\ - After any change is made to the User Interface and Keyboard Shortcuts, this user-specific file is created to maintain the shortcut customizations. As a rule use the Revit interface to edit your keyboard shortcuts because it is easy than trying to edit this file directly. You can copy (via a Batch File process as mentioned earlier) the file to pass the office standard shortcuts to other workstations however. For additional information reference the technical solution HERE.
  9. Shared Parameters Text file – User Defined - This text files stores the parameters added to families or project files. This file is not actively linked, and should never be manually edited. Additional information is available HERE. I've also posted several times about this concept, OneTwoThreeFourFive, and Six. I've mentioned them in many others too.
  10. Revit Server Log Files - C:\logfiles - If using Revit Server, these log files are very useful should you run into any troubleshooting issues.
  11. Importlineweights-xxx.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit xxx 2011\Data (XP Location) - These files are used to define how imported cad file elements are interpreted to use different lineweights within Revit. If you import cad details and the don't properly show the graphical quality you expected then you need to change the settings for the file you are actively using. There are several sample files included with Revit. You can change the file you want to reference prior to importing information. This means you can have different "rules" for different kinds of external CAD data.
  12. Revit.pat - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit xxx 2011\Data (XP Location) - This is the resource file that your template's have for fill patterns and use to define the patterns for each filled region. A fill pattern can be acquired from other .pat files but they do need an extra declaration of either %TYPE=MODEL or %TYPE=DRAFTING. These help Revit understand which purpose they are intended for. You can read more about this by opening the file and reading the introductory paragraphs provided in the file. A metric version is included too.
  13. shxfontmap.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit xxx 2011\Data (XP Location) - This file tells Revit which True Type Fonts you want it to use when it encounters a .shx font in a CAD file during the import process. It is a simple text file. Just add a line the defines the .shx font you want to catch and which TTF font to use instead. Setting this may help you keep some pesky external details from having their text information stretched or compacted because .shx fonts are not supported in Revit directly.
  14. Add-ins - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\2011 (XP Location) - If you install external applications (3rd Party Software) they should be placing information that Revit needs to run their application in this folder location. If you need to disable their software for some reason or want to create your own you should be aware of this location. You can READ a post at The Revit Clinic for some additional information.
  15. IFC Shared Parameters.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program - Similar purpose as other Shared Parameters but for IFC export instead. I don't know why this file isn't with the other Shared Parameters.
  16. OmniClassTaxonomy.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program (XP Location) - Similar to the Uniformat structure used for Assembly Codes, this is the file that defines the available OmniClass selections when you are creating a component/loadable family.
  17. Sitename.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program (XP Location) - This file is the preset locations provided if you choose to pick a city for your project location. Perhaps somewhat unnecessary with the new Internet based map tool for location but you can add cities via this file.
  18. SiteAndWeatherStationName.txt - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program (XP Location) - Similar to previous but for Weather Stations.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Revit Hatch Mirror Bug

I have filed a Defect case with Autodesk regarding this issue and I recommend you do the same. I'm hoping they will fix this in the next update. I will welcome any workarounds that you have found on top of the one that I have offered.

Fill Patterns (Hatch) do not mirror correctly. Below is an image of a Ceiling, mirrored. It contains a Model Pattern which rotated when the Ceiling was mirrored. Making a Group of the ceiling seems to help. That being said I just witnessed a client's Fill Pattern rotate to some odd angle when mirrored.

Below is an image of a simple Filled Region mirrored. Should it not be bookmatched? Yes, it should but you can't do it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Coordinates, Base Points, Surveys and Making a Toposurface

This is a repost from four years ago with some updates...

If you browse through the forums, blogs, how-to videos and books you will find a wealth of information on the above titled subject. And it's all conflicting. It's just about the most confusing subject you will encounter in Revit. I will now add my voice to the many others. The method I'm proposing can be boiled down to a common point which is graphically represented in all files. You will then line everything else up based upon that. This technique will also work if Shared Parameters are used.

The architect must set this up BEFORE anything is done in Revit. No modelling, importing, linking, not anything.
Step 1. Set up the AutoCAD
AutoCAD survey drawings usually have 3D contours and 2D drafted information. The 2D stuff is at 0 Z elevation, the 3D is at it's actual height off of Sea Level. The 0,0,0 or Origin can be anywhere and sometimes it relates to something but sometimes not. We will be changing this.
Save as.
Give new name.
Move everything so the 0,0 is at the bottom left (don't adjust the Z). This could be at the property line intersection.
Make sure there is nothing outside of a 20 mile radius sphere from the 0,0,0. That means you will need to take a look in the Z.
Draw a circle on an individual layer at 0,0,0. This will mark zero for both the 2D and 3D dwgs you will end up with.
Optional: Rotate these to Project North. Make sure there is a North Arrow visible.
Break this file into two files, one with 2D plan info and the other with 3D contours. You can use the wblock command or saveas.
Of course, you should audit and purge the AutoCAD file as well.

Step 2. Not in Revit yet...

Get the longitude/latitude information relating to the AutoCAD site file.
If you don;t have it, open Google Earth and go to the address. Find the longitude/latitude of the corner of the site that corresponds with the 0,0, write it down.

Step 3. Revit Architecture

Revit has a 20 mile diameter of where you can draw or even import. You cannot have anything outside of that.

Manage Place and Locations will assign the Longitude/Latitude numbers to your Revit 0,0 (Origin)
Revit 0,0,0 is found by default at the centre of the elevation markers. It's also the default location of the Project Base Point and Survey Base Point. The Revit origin can not be moved.

Make a view called AutoCAD Site Plan.
Import the 2D AutoCAD. Origin to Origin. Current View Only turned on. You cannot change Revit's origin. The origin can be found at the nexus of the elevation markers in plan. This point is dead centre on your screen when you start from a standard Revit Template.
Then Import the 3D AutoCAD Contours, Origin to Origin. Current View Only turned off. You won't see this file yet, it's above your view.
Go to elevation, move the contours down to level 1.
Go to the site plan view.
Confirm that your Survey Base Point(triangle with an x) is at the centre of the circle you drew in AutoCAD.
Click on the Project Base Point (a blue circle with an x). Click in the 'Angle to True North' and type the difference between your project north and the true north. You may have to type a negative in front of the degrees to get the expected results.
The Project Base Point and Survey Base Point will be in the same place. That's fine.
You may also want to draw two Reference Planes based on the centre of the AutoCAD circle which is also the origin. Name them something logical.
Adjust your elevation markers and datums to focus on where your building will be.
Start drawing grids and modelling etc.
Step 4. Other Linked Revit Files...
Start your new Revit Structure or MEP file.Very first thing you do is link the Revit Architecture file (which we just setup) Origin to Origin.
Check that the Z has come in correctly.
Adjust your elevation markers and datums to focus on where your building will be.
Draw Grids and Levels over top of the linked Revit Architecture as needed. 
Start drawing grids and modelling etc.
About Exporting back to CAD...
When exporting back to AutoCAD the origins of both AutoCAD and Revit will line up as long as you have used the default location of the Project Base Point.

Create Topography in REVIT from an AutoCAD file 

pdf instructions 
video instructions