Monday, November 28, 2016

Dynamo for Revit: Baby Steps for the Non-Genius (AU2016)

Dynamo is hard to learn. There, I said it. But, it is useful and worth learning. To get started you can watch my presentation from Autodesk University 2016. It's geared for people who are not geniuses, like me. Reason I say that is most of the classes and videos I have watched get very complicated, very fast. This class has been designed to get you through that initial steep learning curve in about 60 mins.

Click here to watch the presentation and download the datasets.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Revit not Printing Phasing Graphic Overrides Properly

Problem/Bug: Revit 2017 not printing views with 'Phasing Graphic Overrides' properly. In other words, the printed PDF looks different than the Revit view.

Some say, 'just print Raster'. This is just not practical for the entire set. Raster files which are printed to a proper degree of quality end up being HUGE file sizes. Plus, you can't measure off the rasterized PDF.

Here was the only workaround that I could get to work...

1. Selectively print only the files with Phasing Graphic Overrides to raster PDF
2. Print the rest of the set as vector PDF
3. Using Bluebeam, combine the raster and vector sheets together
4. Unfortunately the Adobe reader gives an error when attempting to open this file. So to get around this I printed the combined PDF from Bluebeam to another PDF. This seems to make the Adobe reader accept the file.

Autodesk, if you're listening, please improve the print function of Revit. Please include a rock solid PDF export and import function. That being said, it was who Autodesk removed the PDF functionality that Revit had from the beginning...

Revit Idea site backs me up on this...

Friday, September 30, 2016

Autodesk Revit Ideas (complaints) Site...

Hey, just learned about a place to post constructive ideas (rants) to improve Revit. I have posted a couple and will keep doing so. There are some really good top voted ideas on this site.

My general theme is...
Don't give us a tool that will do 'anything'. We have that, it's called AutoCAD. Give us a tool that is specifically honed to produce the deliverables that we are required to create to make money. That's why we jumped onto Revit in the first place.

At best the developers read the site and improve Revit. At worst we get to realize we are not alone. I think it's a good start.

Objects have Facing Direction Property

  ‎09-30-2016 01:42 PM 
My wish is that all Revit objects have a property reporting on their facing direction based upon the True North.

This would be especially useful for Walls, Windows and Doors.


Almost every Building Department in North America requires a 'Spatial Separation' table. This shows the total exposed wall area, the total unprotected area (not fire rated) and a percentage of the two. This is required for each direction North, South, East and West.

We also need the correct exterior wall face areas...already posted the idea.

Schedule ALL Wall Face Areas

  ‎09-30-2016 01:39 PM 
My wish is to be able to schedule the exterior and interior faces of walls INCLUDING wall ends. This would be another property of the wall which could be scheduled. It would not depend on the join condition or Location Line.

Almost every Building Department in North America requires a 'Spatial Separation' table. This shows the total exposed wall area, the total unprotected area (not fire rated) and a percentage of the two. This is required for each direction North, South, East and West.

Currently this is not possible to calculate in Revit. The only way is to draw Filled Regions and use Dynamo to calculate. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

10 Years of Revit in Plain English

Wow, just realized I've been writing this blog for 10 years. I honestly thought we would be moved on to the 'next' BIM software by now. Revit has certainly taken over the AEC industry but not nearly as fast as I thought it would 10 years ago. In fact, I thought I was way behind the curve at that time.

At that time there was a small but very helpful Revit community. I was so inspired by Steve Stafford's blog I copied it. So, thank you to Steve, Phil Read, Richard Ziegler and the countless others who unselfishly have answered my Revit and BIM questions. I should also thank Autodesk who have been prudent caretakers of Revit and Navisworks.

What's next? Dynamo certainly extends the possibilities of Revit over the next few years. I'm certain that the Minecraft generation is going to come up with something revolutionary. Some words spring to mind;  Online, Multiplayer, VR, Open Database, Simple, Automated, we'll see.

The purpose of this blog stays the same; a way to remember and share Revit (Dynamo and related) workarounds, fixes and best practices, always in plain English I hope.


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Useful, Free Revit Plugin: Apply Revisions to All Sheets

In Revit 2017 you can't apply Revisions to all Sheets in one dialog box. You have to manually pick sheet by sheet and turn on the applicable Revision-very time consuming. The free Up Rev App by Xrev fixes exactly this. Get it here on the Autodesk App Exchange.

Revit 2017 Content Not Installed Correctly

Problem: Your Revit 2017 installed old content. Revit now upgrades all Templates and Files every time you open or load. Some 2017 features like Structural Connections are not working.

Possible Solution from Autodesk Support:

A.Open Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > and if you see Revit 2017 content library listed there, please uninstall it.

B.Download Revit 2017 installer from Autodesk Virtual Agent as follows:

  • Download AutoCAD 2017 installer from virtual agent.
  • click on Download Links
  • click on Revit Products
  • then on Autodesk Revit
  • select the appropriate product and click the link to download. 
  • Note: you need to save both parts of Revit 2017 installer in the same folder (e.g. C:\Autodesk).  Then double-click on the first file (the file that has 001 in its name) to start the product installers extraction process. 
C. Install Revit Content Library 2017 as follows

  • Logon as an Administrator. 
  • Empty your TEMP folder.  To open the TEMP folder, type %TEMP% in the address bar of Windows Explorer and hit Enter.
  • Disable your Antivirus software.
  • Disable UAC.
  • Start Revit 2017 installer and install Revit Content Library.
  • If the installation fails, please provide the installation install logs created in your TEMP folder during this product installation attempt

Friday, July 22, 2016

Convert AutoCAD Points into XYZ Points for Revit Toposurface

You can't directly convert AutoCAD 'Points' into a Revit surface. But you can convert the AutoCAD 'Points' into a csv with XYZ coordinates. Seems that contours come out a little smoother but if this is all you got it's better than nothing. Here's how...

Open AutoCAD file which contains 'points' 
Create New, next
Give Name, next
Select current file, next
Filter only Points, next
Clear Show count and name, next
Output Data to external file, choose name and csv, next

Open csv
Delete header rows
Move all data rows up
Save (as CSV) and close

Open Revit
Create from Import, Points
Select CSV

Select Unit


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...