Thursday, December 22, 2011

Should Project Managers Learn Revit?

The role of Project Manager or Project Architect is very hard to define. There are almost as many variations as there are projects. Some Project Managers are actively involved in the production, many mostly review drawings, others are managing relationships exclusively. Of course, most do all of the above. In the end, they need to rely on their production past to know how to manage production present. So even though Project Managers will likely not be involved in production Revit they NEED to know how it works. The sooner a Project Manager realizes this, the happy he will be. In fact, the happier we all will be. If a Project Manager doesn't learn how to use Revit, there will always be this murky unknown that causes tension in the team. It's worth the time to send a PM to training. After or even during training the PM should model up something small from start to finish. Within a month or so, the haze will start to clear...

Revit OpEd: Project Coordination - Early Days

Thanks to Steve Stafford and Andre Carvalho. Point of this post is too 'out' the acquire coordinates flaw. If you are a consultant linking in the arch model, acquire coords does nothing for you. You will need to update your model 'manually' in order to keep up with building on site movements. Read Steve's post for more...

Revit OpEd: Project Coordination - Early Days: This post attempts to outline how a project will develop (understanding there are exceptions) when considering multiple firms/models and att...

Revit OpEd: Bending Railings to Your Will

Revit OpEd: Bending Railings to Your Will: Food for thought, what if we used railings for millwork and egress paths? By millwork I mean custom work, not fixed sized cabinets which are...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Revit Structure 2012 Training Videos Released

Introducing video training for Revit Structure 2012 Fundamentals. This 7.5hr course follows the workflow of a project focusing on industry best practices along the way. Watch some free sample videos here:

Revit Structure Box Truss Space Truss Video

Revit (any version) does not ship with a 'Space Truss' or 'Box Truss' that I could find. This is a commonly used member and I decided to make one and let you know how I did it. Here's a video explaining the basic procedure.

Overview Instructions:
  1. Start with a 'Beams and Braces' family template. Call it space_truss
  2. Extrude main chords in right elevation and lock to ref planes.
  3. Extrude a solid in the same elevation and lock to ref planes. This will be web eventually.
  4. Start a new family based upon the 'Generic Model Faced Based' template. Call it space_truss_void
  5. Make a void which will cut out the desired space around the web. This will be one cell which we will array. Make sure you use 'Cut Geometry' on the voids and the host, even if they're not touching.
  6. Load the  space_truss_void  family into the space_truss family.
  7. Constrain and array the space_truss_void  family along the member.
  8. Make an array parameter which distributes the space_truss_void family along the solid web.
  9. Load in to project and enjoy.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

orug: ORUG at AU2012

orug: ORUG at AU2012: Canada was very well represented at AU2011. It was nice to see people from across the country and to meet with many of them. Some members...

Friday, November 25, 2011

BIM rocks Insurance Industry

Please check out this website by Rick Management Consultant Michael Loeters. The BIM revolution is sending ripples throughout the legal and insurance industries. Michael is one of the people who 'get it' and is actively changing with the times. Below is his latest video blog on insurance industry and BIM trends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

James Vandezande Presentation at SU

Only a month late...Just wanted to say a big thank you to James for coming up to our SolidCAD University event. We're still getting positive comments about the quality of this event.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Free Revit Videos

Here are a bunch of free intermediate Revit videos, including how to create Revit Titleblocks. More are one their way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Revit Wish List

AU is coming up and I need to get my Revit Most Wanted list together. Please comment on the list below:

Open the Revit Database Already!
Most of my wishes revolve around opening up the Revit database. 
We need schedules to query anything from any category. 
Tags need to be able to read data from other objects and categories ie. Doors reading Room numbers.
We need an automated Room Datasheet maker. A schedule that will list everything in a particular room.
Universal Search. Similar to Navisworks, search by multiple conditions and save searches. Or just start typing a find anything.

Automated and Enhanced Project Browser
Project Browser makes and manages Phase and Design Option views automatically.
Drag and drop views between folders.
Automated naming of views ie. Room 101 South Elevation
Automated 3D Section Box views which are linked to the extents of plans, sections and elevs.

Print conditional statement colours in schedules.
Schedules to include Family thumbnails.

Phasing Refinement
Phase filters that show multiple phases backward .

Global visibility control
A global option in the Visibility/Graphics box.

Other Stuff 
Universal Annotation Settings Interface
Walls which have a 'centreline' built in for various uses rating plans
Edit Family button for Annotation like Levels and View Titles.
Distance lineweight control
Not even going to bother asking for Site tool enhancements.
Two Click Revision Bubbles

Monday, October 17, 2011

Revit OpEd: Elevation Update Update

Revit OpEd: Elevation Update Update: Comment on my earlier post regarding elevation tags not updating properly...seems that it only affects stand-alone project files. If you ar...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

SolidCAD University with James Vandezande-Tomorrow!

Some news on this; due to overwhelming response the registration is now closed. Sorry. I'll do a follow up post on his presentation.

If you're a BIM manager or are trying to implement BIM in your firm you can't miss this presentation by James Vandezande of HOK, New York. This will inlcude an audience discussion so bring your best questions and don't be afraid to ask them! Keep an eye on this blog for our 'post game show'.

Topics for Discussion:
  • Roles and Responsibilities (BIM Manager, BIM Coordinator, Thought Leader, Strategist)
  • Managing Change (new to implementing BIM, what do you do? Sociology/psychology of change, working differently, question everything...)
  • Proper Planning (implementation, training, project execution)
  • Legal issues (BIM deliverables, contracts, liability)
  • Measuring success
Register Here

James Vandezande is a registered architect and a principal at HOK in New York City, where he is a member of the firm-wide BIM leadership and is managing their buildingSMART initiatives. After graduating from the New York Institute of Technology in 1995, he worked in residential and small commercial architecture firms performing services ranging from estimating to computer modeling to construction administration. In 1999, he landed at SOM and transformed his technology skills into a 10-year span as a digital design manager. In this capacity, he pioneered the implementation of BIM on such projects as One World Trade Center, a.k.a. Freedom Tower. James has lectured at many industry events, including Autodesk University, VisMasters Conference, CMAA BIM Conference, McGraw_Hill Construction, and the AIANYS Convention. He is a co-founder and president of the NYC Revit Users Group and is an adjunct lecturing professor at the NYU School for Continuing and Professional Studies as well as the Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

orug: Sept.27 ORUG Meeting Notes

orug: Sept.27 ORUG Meeting Notes: Thanks to all who attended our 5th anniversary meeting at the Spoke Club. Here are some highlights from the evening: New venue, lot's of...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

orug: ORUG Online Meeting

orug: ORUG Online Meeting: Internet connectivity permitting, we will be showing our presentation at the Ontario Revit Users Group presentation on GotoMeeting. T...

Monday, September 19, 2011

orug: orug: Sept.27th Registration Closed

orug: orug: Sept.27th Registration Closed: orug: Sept.27th Registration Closed : Due to the overwhelming response and the capacity of our venue (140 standing), we have to close regist...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Revit Architecture 2012 Intermediate Video

I'm proud to announce the release of our latest Revit training video; Revit Architecture 2012 - Intermediate to Advanced. It's over ten hours of Revit standards, advanced modelling techniques and industry best practices. You can also purchase the Fundamentals, Intermediate to Advanced videos as a bundle. It's even available for your iPad no less!

Autodesk Labs Utilities Project Vasari

Autodesk Labs Utilities Project Vasari

Practice 2.0: BIM Myths and Building Truths | ArchDaily

Practice 2.0: BIM Myths and Building Truths ArchDaily

How To Activate Project Spark - It is Alive in the Lab

How To Activate Project Spark - It is Alive in the Lab

Project Spark and Storm - The Revit Clinic

Project Spark and Storm - The Revit Clinic

Corrupt Revit Project File

"We (Autodesk) have started to see a few more of these types of cases, and a new Knowledge Base document has been created to organize some of the options for this scenario:
Data file is corrupt and needs to be manually recovered
Update: If this message is only happening on one machine. Try freeing up some space on the hard drive, as well as clearing out the TEMP folder on the machine. To find the TEMP folder, hit Windows+R, enter %TEMP%, then delete as many files as you can"

Monday, September 05, 2011

orug: ORUG Meeting Sept. 27th

orug: ORUG Meeting Sept. 27th: Ontario Revit Users Group (ORUG) Meeting When: Tuesday September 27, 2011 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM EDT Where: The Spoke ...

Friday, September 02, 2011

Video Post: Filled Regions

This is a short video on how to create filled regions and masking regions in Revit.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Video Post: Void Visibility Parameter in Family

If you're looking for a way to switch voids on and off in a family, you can't. You can only move them out of the solid. You can mimic the 'switch on and off' effect using the following parameters and conditional statement:

D1 (Length) - This is an input parameter where you can enter the distance from the solid.
D2 (Length) - Forumla=if(VOIDCUT, 0 mm, D1) This is the parameter that you use in the label of the dimension from a ref plane to the void.

To translate:
If the parameter 'VOIDCUT' is checked, then it will make D2 a value of 0. This means that the void object will be inside the solid, thus cutting it. But if  'VOIDCUT' is not checked then the value of D2 will be the same as D1.

Here's a video explanation...

Thanks to Patricks (Mask) for the sample family...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

orug: Open Revit Standards

orug: Open Revit Standards: "This is an initiative by a few top Revit people and soon to grow to a lot of top Revit people. Sharing standards and best practices. You can..."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Arch | Tech: Generative Design and Parametric Structures

Arch | Tech: Generative Design and Parametric Structures: "The July 2011 meeting of the New York City Revit Users Group featured a presentation by Robert Otani, PE, LEED AP and Jonatan Schumacher fr..."

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pad not Cutting Existing Toposurface

This issue comes up when you have multiple toposurfaces on multiple phases. Each phase has it's own 'hole' made with pads. Every other phase shows the pad cutting a hole in the toposurface except for the Existing phase. This happens when there are multiple toposurfaces occupying the same physical space but on different phases. The only workaround that I have found is to use the Split Surface tool, cut the shape of the hole (pad) and then delete it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Revit 2012 Edit In-Place Family Faint Lines

When you edit or create an in-place family the "Halftone" setting is applied to the other linework in the View. The effect of the "Halftone" settings can be adjusted in the Manage Tab-Additional Settings-Halftone/Underlay dialog.  If you feel the linework is too faint, you can adjust those settings by sliding the Brightness slider to be darker.

Thanks to Kyle from Autodesk for helping me with this one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

orug: Get Paid by Autodesk to Test Software!

orug: Get Paid by Autodesk to Test Software!: "Autodesk Usability Testing Autodesk is once again looking for people who are familiar with digital creation tools to help us with a new stu..."

Uninstall Autodesk Building Suite 2012 Ultimate

It's great that we can install 15 programs with one click but what happens when (not if) we have to uninstall? A colleague just sent this link to me for that very reason. Only issue is that the application will not uninstall the Revit and Navisworks portion of the suite. You will have to do that the conventional way.

The uninstall application...

Watch this video for proper uninstalling techniques...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Roof Tags

There are no default roof tags that I have found. So here's how you make one in three easy steps:

1. New Family
2. Choose the Generic Tag template
3. Change the Category to Roof Tags

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Dimensioning to 'Center of Core' in Linked Wall Doesn't Work

I think that the title says it all. Why is this important?

Many of you are using linking on large multi-discipline projects. You will link all of your models into one 'documentation' model. If you cannot dimension to 'center of core' of a wall through a linked file you are missing a key documentation feature in the workflow.

(Nasty) Workaround:
You will have to draw and lock ref planes at the center of core in every wall, in every link. Then you will be able to dimension to the ref plane. ugh.

Autodesk Development is aware of this and plan to fix it. But to add some urgency, please contact Autodesk through your Subscription Center account or your local reseller and log this. If you have a better workaround please feel free to comment...

Check out the Project Photofly Gallery - It is Alive in the Lab

You really have to try Project Photofly. It's a game changer....

Check out the Project Photofly Gallery - It is Alive in the Lab

Thursday, June 02, 2011

orug: May 19th Meeting Notes

orug: May 19th Meeting Notes: "Thanks to the 62 people (and 1 robot) who attended and participated in our meeting. Our two main topics were 'what's new in Revit 2012' and..."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

View Filter: Footings etc.

Make a View Filter if you would like to show footing walls automatically as a hidden line. Here's how (in twelve easy steps!):

1. Visibility Graphics
2. Filters
3. Edit/New Button
4. New, call it 'footing'
5. Pick the Walls and Structural Foundations Categories.
6. Filter by: Description
7. Contains: footing, OK
9. Select the filter you just made 'footing'
10. Override, Projection Lines, Pattern, set to Hidden, OK and OK
11. Select your footing  wall type, Edit Type, and edit the Description to say 'footing'.
12. Select any other footing families or wall types and repeat step 11.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Revit 2012 Hangs at Splash Screen or Crashes with Unrecoverable Error

from Revit Clinic post...

1. WSCommCntr3.exe Process
For 2012 products, the Autodesk InfoCenter launches with Revit as a WSCommCntr3.exe process in the Windows Task Manager. The Revit.exe process could potentially wait on this WSCommCntr3.exe process. If you find Revit not getting past the splash screen, open the Windows Task Manager > Processes > WSCommCntr3.exe > End Process.
2. System Tray Applications
Verify if you have an application installed on the workstation, which allow the ability or attempt to minimize an application to the system tray. One example would be 4t Tray Minimizer. If present on the workstation I would test temporarily ending the application \ process to see if Revit 2012 launches as expected.

3. Corrupt WSCommCntrData.xml File
If the WSCommCntrData.xml file becomes corrupt, Revit may hang when attempting to read it at startup. First verify the file exists at the location below and if so move WSCommCntrData.xml when Revit is closed:

Windows Vista & Windows 7 ...\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012\ENU\Components\WebServices\WSCommCntrData.xml

Windows XP ...\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012\ENU\Components\WebServices\WSCommCntrData.xml

4. Corrupt UIState.dat File
This could also be potentially related to a corrupt UIState.dat file. While Revit is closed, move or delete the UIState.dat file at the location below:

Windows Vista & Windows 7 ...\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012\UIState.dat

Windows XP ...\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012\UIState.dat

Additional information on Revit 2012 file location changes

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: The Right Foot (2)

Okay, before you go and accuse me of plagiarising myself, let me explain. I am going to be documenting the process of this 'Flapping Roof' project. The previous post explains a little about our exciting next adventure. That being said, I want to revisit some of the things I consider to be very important to the success of our project. In two previous posts we discussed the things that you must do before you start drawing walls. I'm going to consolidate these into one post for this project.

Project Base Point
Project North

Levels, Grids and Reference Planes
Simple Material
Simple Wall, Floor etc styles.
Clean and Link AutoCAD

Why do we NEED to do these things first? Simple answer is because it's a pain to do these things once the model is in place. Let's start with Project Base Point.

Choose the correct template for the units that you will be using for the project; metric or imperial.

Project Base Point
You can find this in the Site Plan view of the default template. It's a blue circle, ignore the blue triangle. Do not move either of these icons. Simply note that the blue circle, the Project Base Point is 0,0,0 and can never be changed or moved. When and if you export to AutoCAD the Project Base Point will line up with the 0,0,0 of AutoCAD. Draw, name and pin some Reference Planes at this point. As you can see in the image above I forgot about this and didn't adjust the linked dwg or my model. It didn't hurt us but I should have known better.

Project North

Once you have found the Project Base Point, click on it. You will notice that you can change the Angle to True North. Make sure that you do this in a Site view with the Orientation set to True North (found in View Properties). There was a north arrow in our as-built dwg where we measured the angle to true north.

The location tool defines where your Project Base Point is located on Earth. This tool is found in the ribbon under Manage-Project Location-Location. Set the address as if you were searching for it in Google Maps. Setting the location will be useful for solar, shadow and energy calculations. If you are starting with an AutoCAD survey I would recommend you read this post I did a while back.


Even if you think that you will never use Phases, set this up. The default phases are Existing and New Construction. The default current phase is New Construction. This can cause problems if you have modeled half of your existing building without knowing that it was put on a phase called 'New Construction'. Make a few phases, more than think you will need. Use simple names like Phase 1 or Phase 2. Fill out a brief description if needed. Get rid of the phase called New Construction, this will only confuse things. This project did not call for the use of phases.

Levels, Grids and Reference Planes
Always make the Levels first. Even if you're going to leave the levels as is you should be aware of their height. In this case we had an as-built section in dwg that we could match to.

Next we make some Reference Planes defining left, right, front and back. Always name the Reference Planes. This is found under their properties. Start drawing your grid If you know what it is going to be.

Simple Material

Phil Read gave the inaugural address at the Ontario Revit Users Group. He showed us a lot of crazy stuff but one thing that stood out was the following tip. Make a generic white material and apply it to everything (walls, floors, window and door frames etc.) This can help us and the client to focus on the major design issues instead of floor colours.

Simple Wall, Floor etc styles

Let's avoid defining things too much when naming Families. Adding materials and sizes to names of styles in Revit ends up creating more work and inconsistencies. 
Create an exterior wall type: EW-1, thickness is set to the overall wall thickness, material is 'white'.
Create an interior wall partition type: IP-1, thickness to overall wall thickness, material is white. Make a floor and roof in a similar fashion.

Here are the original posts...

Things you must do first...

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: The Flapping Roof (1)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: As Built CAD, Exciting!(3)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: The Flapping Roof (1)

The Flapping Roof 

So it can be done in Revit. Was this ever in doubt? Maybe.

AGATHOM Co. is a Toronto boutique architect who only create masterpieces in my opinion. I don't know another architect that has a full working wood and metal shop on premises. They wanted to do a design study and also get an idea if Revit might fit into their workflow.

We needed to model the building as context but focus on the roof flap. This was beyond conceptual, it was intricate and detailed. It had to be parametric so the architect could raise and lower the angle so as to find the perfect slope and position for the beams. The main focus from a Revit standpoint was to create a parametric roof flap family. During this series we will examine custom modeling, complex formulas in families, mistakes, bugs and generally pushing Revit beyond it's comfort zone. 

Our adventure starts with starting on the right foot by setting up the Revit file.

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Billing on Day 5 (22)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: The Right Foot (2) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

T-Shirts In Honour of Gregory Arkin

One of my favourite Revit blogs is by Gregory Arkin. He never pulls any punches when talking about BIM vs CAD. So, in the spirit of good natured 'tool bashing' I have started a new line of swag with a nuanced slogan...until they shut me down that is.

What Do You Constrain Results

This poll was designed to get an idea of how 'constrained' people are going with their Revit models. The poll confirms to me that most try to avoid constraints as they become very hard to manage. I was surprised by the percentage of people attaching 2D details to the model. A very small percentage try to constrain everything. I would love to hear why.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Attend New York City Revit Users Group Tonight

BIM in Facility Management
Richard Peakock from FM systems will talk about how their FM software is taking advantage of the data generated in the Revit model and how it creates a bi-directional link between Revit models and a Web service. He will show how to connect BIM data from design, construction and renovation to facility management and operations, how to do manage Space inventory, allocations and occupancy in Revit Architecture.
Rich has over 23 years of experience in the Facility Management and Architectural industries. He has been involved with CAFM and IWMS implementations including consulting, configuration and technical capacities, as well as business development and strategy.  

New Design Challenge - Winner gets a plotter!

I recently saw this on the the Revit Kid blog.

◦Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA
◦Typical lot in the Lower Ninth Ward. Please see the provided site model


◦Design a low-cost, extremely low-energy home for New Orleans
◦Homes should meet post-Katrina building codes, guidelines and best practices
◦Homes should be shotgun typology and strive to create cohesive neighborhoods
◦Design should strive to achieve Passive House Standard: 
◦Airtight building shell ≤ 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure (simple, well-detailed construction)
◦Annual heat requirement ≤ 15 kWh/m2/year (4.75 kBtu/sf/yr)
◦Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh/m2/year (38.1 kBtu/sf/yr)
◦Designs should demonstrate that affordable and sustainable homes can also be beautiful

Provided Materials 

◦Key Passive House metrics spreadsheet
◦Building site. Orientation may be changed (.dwg, .3dw, .rvt)


◦Post design model and documentation (3d and/or 2d)
◦Post Key Passive House metrics spreadsheet
◦Post images
◦Post diagrams explaining approach (optional)
◦Post video explaining approach (optional)


◦The winner of this HP-sponsored challenge will take home an HP Designjet T2300 PostScript eMFP, the world’s first web-connected printer with scan, print and copy functionality. A nearly $10,000 value, the HP Designjet T2300 eMFP helps simplify the printing process while letting teams print on the go and share files more easily than ever before. 
◦The winner of this challenge will be featured on DesignReform on the first day of the AIA National Convention in New Orleans, May 12th 


◦Submission: Sunday May 1st at 11:59 PM
◦User Voting: Sunday May 8th at 11:59 PM

More info here:

Revit Design Adventures: Billing on Day 5 (22)

Okay, let's speed this up a bit. Here are the final two sheets of the set. Details and Elevations. I already spoke about the detailing process in an earlier post. So let's get on with time and billing. No spreadsheet needed. The project took about 10 hours of billable time. A couple hours of on site measuring for confirmation, a couple hours of as-built modeling and setup, an hour of renderings, and a few more for proposed modeling, detailing and sheet cleanup. Throw in a client meeting or two and you have the ten hours. Revit projects are weighted on the setup and modeling side of things. The documentation still takes time but hardly any in proportion to modeling. 

Lessons learned:
There are lots more services we could have offered this client like quantity takeoff and construction management but the client wanted to do it themselves (can you blame them?).  
Always model where possible. Yes, it took us some more time to model the skylight wells in the first iteration but in the end the client made a very fast decision when they saw the result.
Model it like it's built. 
Don't detail too early. I didn't show it but we changed the roof thickness a few times which meant updating the detail components more than once.

Well, I think it's time we moved on to another 'adventure'. Make this real model into a Revit model. Oh, and make the 'roof flap' parametric. 

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 4 (21)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: The Flapping Roof (1) 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

BIM Job Opening Blog Post - Disney BIM!!!!!

BIM Job Opening Blog Post - Disney BIM!!!!!

Looks like a fun job...

Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 4 (21)

Why do I like this sheet so much? Sometimes it's the small things that you appreciate and in the case of this drawing it's the slope tag. They included this new tag in 2010 but the ribbon got so much attention that it went under the radar. The other thing I appreciate of this page is the lack of work and abundance of coordination. This is a true section, a true depiction of the model with no 2D needed. The phasing, skylights, gutter, kitchen, everything is 'the model'. Let's keeping moving through the days so we can discuss the billing time involved which will be on day 6.

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 3 (20)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 5 (22)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 3 (20)

A3 is the current view we're looking at. For phasing this is a 'Phase 1, Show Complete' plan. The skylights and overhang are the actual model objects, not just lines. In other words, if anything changes with the roof or skylights the plan will reflect those changes in real time. It's important to work with this philosophy as much as possible. The structural symbols denoting the roof joists and lintels are just text and lines. They are grouped and named accordingly so I can reproduce them. This kind of thing is better served with either a tag or a family but I just didn't do it this time (shame on me). I'll do better next time, I promise.

There are a couple of reasons why I like the next sheet, A4-Sections, which you will find out tomorrow. Also, I plan on discussing the time (billing) it took to do this small job.

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 2 (19)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 4 (21) 

Monday, April 04, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 2 (19)

Here we are on day 2 (business days, that is). This A2 sheet is showing the existing and demolished plans. As discussed throughout the series, if the Phasing was properly set up and maintained the construction documents were easy to do. Drag and drop the views, easy as that. The view on the left is displaying the Phase as 'Existing' and the Phase Filter as 'Show All'. The plan on the right has the phase set to 'Phase 1'and the Phase Filter is 'Show All'. The next sheet, A3, shows the proposed floor plan and structure.

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days (18)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days, Day 3 (20) 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: Six Sheets in Six Days (18)

Day 1: Cover Sheet

As you can see, I made a very simple titleblock for this project. Also Included are a rendered image and a sheet list. Remember to leave room for it to grow as you add sheets. Next, we'll take a look at the floor plan which contains the existing and proposed layouts. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wall Height Display and View Range

Notice the lineweights of the walls. The 2'-0" high one is in projection, the other two are being cut. This is referred to as 'low walls' behaviour. Any walls under 6'-0" display as shown. Harlan Brumm of the Revit Clinic blog and Autodesk support leader posted a good explanation of this here.

Revit Design Adventures: Order Out of Project Browser Chaos (17)

The image above shows the Project Browser from the kitchen renovation project.

The Revit Project Browser fills up with views very fast. The shear number of views can get overwhelming. Always name views as you make them. This is especially true of elevation and 3D views. 3D views are always the most popular because they are so descriptive. But if they are called something like 'Copy of 3D view 120' you will end up getting frustrated trying to find out what that view shows. This may even cause others to make lots of duplicate views.

Many firms make a Project Parameter (could be called Working or Sheet) that they apply to views. This text parameter is applied to views. It's purpose is to define whether a view is intended for 'working' or for 'sheet'. Using the Browser Organization tool under the Views tab, User Interface allows you to sort by the 'Working or Sheet' project parameter. 

Over the next six days we will be looking at all six of the sheets in the project. We will discuss mistakes made, lessons learned and big ideas for future projects.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Point Cloud to BIM Workflow | Point Cloud Tools

Point Cloud to BIM Workflow Point Cloud Tools

Now that Revit imports Pointclouds I was interested in the basic workflow and found this post.

Revit 2012 What's New Highlights

This release is a nice upgrade from 2011. It focuses three areas; large team workflow, construction team integration and graphic display. These are what stand out for me...

Citrix Ready Version
We've been waiting for this one for a long time. Work on your Revit project from anywhere.

Now Worksets can be assigned colours. There is also a better worksharing monitor including some chat functions.

3D View Lock
Simple, long standing request.

The ability to break walls, floors and roofs into parts (but still connected to the host). Can be used for shop drawings, precast construction etc.

Now we can save and share material configuration.

Graphic Display
This is a nice one. Mix and match Realistic, Hidden Lines, Ambient Occlusion, Shade.

Improved dwg export quality
Not exciting but needed.

Import Point Clouds
I can think of two large local jobs right now that could benefit from this.

Conceptual Analysis
This may just bring analysis into the mainstream.

For an in depth look at all of the new features check out this post from David Light's Revit blog.

Revit OpEd: RTC USA 2011 Registration is Open

Revit OpEd: RTC USA 2011 Registration is Open

Go to this if you can! Unfortunately because of a scheduling conflict I won't be able to make it this year. I am already planning for next!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: The Construction Document Set (16)

Putting a construction document set together is not a one-time thing that you leave to the very end. Of course Revit manages a lot of this for but you it's an ongoing job. You can do a few things along the way to make the job easier at the end. In manual and AutoCAD drafting it's not uncommon to pick your scale, sheet size and titleblock first. This should also be done fairly early in the Revit workflow. Of course, you will not know all of the sheets and details that you will need but at least you have a good idea of your goals. If you 'Activate View' you can work right on the sheet. This is a good technique for sheets with multiple views because you can see an immediate impact with nearby views.

Views do not have borders. They have a Crop Region which doesn't print by default. Also, the Crop Region is always inside the datums. You will have to use Detail Lines on sheets to create the border. I decided not to make borders around my views in this project.

My second image above shows some highlighted break lines. These are an imported family. You can find these under Detail Components-Div01-General in the Default Imperial Library.

Creating a Sheet List schedule and placing it on your cover sheet is a big time saver. Remember to leave enough room for it to grow as you add sheets. There wasn't much risk of that with this small six-sheet set!

The Revit Project Browser fills up with views very fast. The shear number of views can get overwhelming. In the next post we'll discuss some good ways to keep the chaos at bay.

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Detailing in Revit (15)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: Detailing in Revit (15)

Back in 2006 I wrote a post on the subject of detailing in Revit and surprisingly most of it still holds true. Let's apply the methodology to the detail that we produced for this project.

There are some who claim Revit doesn't do detailing well. They are wrong in two areas:
1. Revit doesn't 'do' details, a person does. It seems obvious enough but just because you have the ability to cut sections through components doesn't mean that section will know the specific conditions that you need to communicate...
2. Revit does have a robust set of detailing tools that enable you to draw excellent details.

You need to ask the following question before you start detailing:
1. Should I model this in 3D, 2D or both?
These questions help you answer this:
a. Will this condition be visible from any other views?
b. Is this a generic detail that is used over different projects, or is it specific to this one only?
c. How far are we into the design, will this part of the building change drastically?
A good example is a door section.
Will you see the structural lintel and flashing from other views? No, draw it in 2D on top of the section/callout view.
What about the connection to the wall, insulation, frame extrusion shapes etc? Again, no. Draw it in 2D over top of the section/callout view.
Will I see the masonry lintel from another view? Yes. Model the lintel in the door family in 3D so it shows correctly in sections and elevations.
In the image above I have highlighted where I have used 2D detailing tools like 'Detail Components' or 'Filled Regions'.
If the door manufacturer has sent their own pre-engineered detail in AutoCAD just link (always link if possible) that file into a Drafting View and link it to a callout. Why 'reinvent the wheel'?!
I'm getting less and less comfortable with either linking or importing CAD. If time permits it's better to import the CAD into a blank Revit file, explode it, clean it, purge and then import that drafting view into your model.
Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Phasing and Demolition Plans (14)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: The Construction Document Set (16)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: Phasing and Demolition Plans (14)

The final renderings of the third iteration helped the client to decide on what will be their ultimate direction. Which brings us to the forth iteration which will be more of a focus on construction documents, including details.

You should know that introducing Phases into a project is adding a level of complexity. It's not just a matter of putting some lines on a 'demo' layer. The process of using phases in Revit will force you to think very specifically about the demolition and construction process. Phases need to be setup and maintained right from the beginning of a project and throughout. By default everything is put onto the 'New' Construction' phase which we will discuss later.
In the case of our kitchen project there are only about ten things that need to be demolished. We started by identifying how many phases there would be and roughly what would be on them. You will need to go into the 'Manage-Phases' dialog box. Never use the 'New Construction' phase as this name creates all sorts of confusing scenarios if more Phases need to be added (think New, Newer, Newest...). You can simply combine the New Construction phase with another that you create. I propose simply naming them Phase 1,2,3 etc.
Now for the views. This is where you will spend most of your time with Phases. You will need to Duplicate (with Detailing) most of your main views and change the View Properties, Phase and Phase Filter to show the desired effect. Remember to name them with the Phase indicated. Having sheets set up early with the 'Phase views' on them can help streamline the process.

Of course, the Phasing property of the elements of the model needs to be defined. You do this by editing the 'Phase Created and Phase Demolished' properties.
Next, we want to start the detailing process...

Previous Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Pesky Stock Families (13)
Next Post in Series: Revit Design Adventures: Detailing in Revit (15)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revit OpEd: Dept. of Redundancy Department and other BIMmyness...

Just to add my 2 cents to this. I don't mind hearing the term 'BIM models' because I think BIM describes a workflow more than an object. It feels awkward for me to say 'I make BIMs' as opposed to 'I make BIM models'...

Revit OpEd: Dept. of Redundancy Department and other BIMmyness...: "During the BIMForum James Vandezande (ArchTech Blog contributor and Revit Author) tweeted about people saying, 'BIM Model' and joked about ..."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Revit Design Adventures: Pesky Stock Families (13)

We are still on the third iteration and want to produce a rendering showing the bulkhead and potlights. So far, we have completed the bulkhead in a previous post and now we are noticing some issues with the default Revit families...

If Autodesk made the Family it should be perfect, right? If it's 'out of the box' it's perfect, right? Not necessarily. Take a look at the rendering above, notice anything? Yes, the standard, out of the box, Downlight-Recessed Can.rfa light family casts light but is dark at it's source. It's a fairly simple fix. If you open the family file you will notice that there is a light source and a can. Whats missing is a piece of glass which has the 'light bulb on' material attached to it. Light sources shine light only at the base and throughout the lightcone but not at the their source. The 'light bulb on' material gives the illusion of a shining light as illustrated in the other lights in the rendering.



Some other ones to watch out for...

The system family 'GWB on Mtl Stud' has a ceiling tile material applied to what should be the GWB finish (or paint).

The defaul material for the troffer light has mirrored glass as a material causing it to look very dark.

Hosted families should be avoided when possible. For instance, the 3D Toilet Commercial Wall.rfa hosts to a wall. Seems logical at first but can cause real problems when moving and adjusting layouts or working across linked Revit files.

Our model has been largely conceptual up to now. It's starting to get to that time when the client should make some decisions and we should start making some serious drawings. No matter what they decide we will want to make a demolition plan since there are walls to be removed etc. We have been keeping an eye on our phasing as we have went along, now it's time to put that into practice.

Previous Post in Series: Plywood and Drywall Quantity Take-offs
Next Post in Series: Phasing and Demolition Plans (14)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Arch | Tech: Congrats!! On....something......

Another great article by the ArchTech guys...

Arch Tech: Congrats!! On....something......: "honestly, I think this image says it all. I spent the last two years, almost to the day chasing this dream and I've finally achieved it..."