RTV Tools

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tekla and Revit Interop Guidance, and some Tekla Bias for Good Measure :)

Ok, following up from my post yesterday, there has recently been released some updated information from Tekla about Revit interoperability. The key parts of interest to me are here:

However, I would have to say that for the most part this page and the associated pdf seems to be written by someone without a very deep or perhaps current knowledge of Revit?

PDF embedded here:

And I really have to object to some of these antiRevit sentiments, as per my notes below:

Last time I checked Revit was creating and storing the majority of multidisciplinary BIM information (at least that is true in some of the local markets here). Am I missing something and more information lives in Tekla in other countries?

Obviously, once we hit LOD300 in Revit maybe we should just stop, transfer all of that information into Tekla, and keep going from there :) Ah, I kid...

In closing, beware of biased hype directed against products by people without a wide-range view...

Which is completely different to when I tease the ArchiCAD guys :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Creating an Additional Site Location for IFC Export with Neutral Project Coordinates

When Revit exports to IFC, it typically uses the current Location (Survey Point) Shared Coordinates as Origin. You can observe this in the IFC file:

But what if you want to Export to IFC with Project coordinates (Revit origin), not Shared?

We want to do this because we have set up the import process from Tekla using this same Revit origin, here and particularly this:

1) Firstly, make a container RVT file with one Site Location, no shared coordinates. In other words, Project Base Point, Survey Point, and Revit Origin are all in one place.

2) Then, open the project you want to export, and link this 'container' file Origin-to-Origin

3) Transfer Project Standards:

4) Choose the Link you made, and Project Info (only):

5) Choose New Only (this will just bring in the uniquely named project location from the link):

6) Open Location dialog in Revit, under Site you will notice a new "Site". Set it current with the Make Current button:

7) Now that the Project Origin (neutral coordinates) are set, you can export to IFC:

8) After Exporting, reset the coordinates back to what it was before with Make Current:

9) Optional: delete the IFC Export site definition if you don't need it anymore...

I previously posted about a similar method, but it was a bit 'destructive', whereas the above process can be implemented into a live project more easily:
What Revit Wants: When and how to neutralize Survey coordinates for IFC export from Revit

Further reading:

Are you having problems with Revit 2017 Deployment and the Custom.ini file?

This one comes via email from Brad Strauss.
Here’s one for you. I had issues getting the deployments for Revit 2017 to honour the custom ini file which drove me nuts and costed time creating/ testing and redeploying many times over. What you need to do is:

1. In Windows Explorer, browse to the location of your BDS 2017 install media.

2. Use Notepad to open the Setup.ini file that resides alongside the main Setup.exe file.

3. Locate the section titled [ProductSelectionDlg2] and add the following four lines between the UI_Source= and BACKGROUND_IMAGE= lines:

4. Save the changes made to Setup.ini and exit Notepad.

5. Launch the BDS 2017 installer from the main Setup.exe file.

Credit to Tony Michniewicz
Autodesk Employee


Brad Strauss | BIM Manager

Thanks for sharing Brad!

Another interesting point from ktenbrook:
I finally learned that if you do not accept the default language of English for the Revit 2017 download, you will be presented with the download options, rather than just the "Install Now" option.  So, I picked the multi-language option (that includes English) and was able to download the administrative install for Revit 2017.  I was able to create a Revit 2017 deployment with a custom .INI file using that without any issues. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Upload OBJ, STL, CSV, or DXF to Flux and Import to Revit as BIM

Even though we try to focus heavily on GoodRevit and avoid traditional CAD where possible, the Flux Labs team are "aware that sometimes you just have to deal with a model stuck as an OBJ, STL, CSV, or DXF. This uploader demonstrates the power and simplicity of the Flux SDK, allowing you to upload any of those file formats, visualize the model in a 3D viewport, and then add that data to your Flux Project."

The app is live here, and you will need to login to your Flux account to connect it all up.

The bit that grabbed my interest was the ability to "pull the model into Revit through Dynamo, or build out a Family Definition using our soon to be released Direct Shape integration..."

I'm guessing the DirectShape integration is probably similar to what we can already achieve with FamilyInstance.ByGeometry.

In any case, it feels like we are only a few steps away from an Anything to Revit Importer with a framework like this:
  1. Upload with Flux File Uploader
  2. Dynamo get model from Flux and build families in Revit, or Flux Direct Shape Family integration

Check out this video:

Example from the video

Flux page:
Flux File Uploader – Flux Labs

Friday, June 24, 2016

Using a DXF to Locate a Point Cloud in Revit with Very Large Coordinates

I thought that most of this was 'easy' and solved now, but it was more of a challenge than I expected. I received a ASC file from a survey in XYZRGB format, which looks like this:

Those XYZ values are Metres (or Meters if you are in US) in the MGA 94 coordinate system. I also received a DXF file with the same World coordinates, and project related gridlines so I could relate the point cloud to our Revit models.

I tried getting the MGA Shared Coordinates right in Revit, and then linking an RCP or RCS from Recap 'by Shared Coordinates', but I didn't have much joy.

Here is the workflow that worked for me...

Getting the right Shared Coordinates in Revit
  1. Start a new, blank Revit model
  2. Link the DXF Centre-to-Centre (this is best way to deal with huge coordinates)
  3. Acquire Coordinates from it
  4. Save your Revit file. You now have the right World coordinates, and a project grid relationship.
Importing the Point Cloud by Shared Coordinates 
  1. Open Recap and import the data. For the ASC data above, on the import settings I used 'Advanced', and chose the text columns XYZRGB. I also set the coordinate system.
  2. Export to PCG. Sounds weird, I know. But PCG is a nice reliable container that supports colours.
  3. In Revit, Link Point Cloud, by Shared Coordinates, and choose the unIndexed raw PCG:

  4. Revit will now open another dialog, and you can index the PCG file (again) to an RCP+RCS
  5. Link this RCP file by Shared Coordinates
  6. It should be in the right location and related to the DXF coordinate system.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

OK, well, This is Just Cool - Star Wars in Dynamo anyone?

So, you are modelling this awesome conceptual design with Dynamo and Revit, and you realise "hey, what we need is access to the Star Wars API in here..."

Yes? Well, thanks to Jostein Berger Olsen, you can just open up your Package Manager and install SWAPI package:

And do stuff like this:

Nice work @jos_ols :)

Check out the original post:
Revit Dynamite and Ammo: Star Wars API and Dynamo

Monday, June 20, 2016

Here's A Very Quick Way to Determine the Cost and Profitability of Your Proposed Development

In Revit, we often get access to a lot of useful information early in the design stages. To start with, you might have an Area Plan or perhaps a Room layout with defined area allowances for specific space types (Occupancy). Later, you may have some basic element quantities like Floor Areas or Wall linear length totals. However, we sometimes let that information 'drift', and don't really grab it and use it nice and early.

Xinaps have put together a clean, effective Revit addin that basically puts you in touch with all of that data you already have in your model, and allows you to quickly assign costs. You can do it in different ways based on Cost Templates, so you can customise it to suit the current design stage of the building or development. For example, you may do a quick cost analysis based on the different occupancy types, cost per unit/area for that construction type, and the current floor areas in your building.

However, the Financial Simulator gives you a bit more... it gives you the ability to test the actual validity of the building long-term. How much money will this building produce, based on its lettable tenancy areas? How long is the building lifespan? What might it be worth when it is finished? Once you configure some of these values, the Xinaps Financial Simulator essentially gives you a net value of your building...

Is it worth proceeding with this design, or do we need to make some fundamental changes in order to maintain profitability?

Check out the brief training video that I put together for Xinaps below... and let me know what you think in the comments.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Revit 2017 Service Pack 1 Download Link

Looks like we have changed from the Update or Update Release terminology, and for 2017 we are back to good old Service Packs...

Here is Service Pack 1 for Revit 2017:

Autodesk Revit 2017 Service Pack 1 Readme

Release Notes

While we are at it, here is A360 Collaboration v1 for Revit 2017:

And Personal Accelerator for A360 Collaboration for Revit:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How To Extract an IFC file from a Tekla TBP Package File

TBP is a Tekla container format, and part of what it typically contains is the model data in IFC format. Just open the TBP in an archive viewer like 7-zip:

Now you can see the folder structure inside the TBP. If you open up the files subfolder, you should find some IFC data:

You can copy or extract the IFC to a folder on your computer, and then open it or link it to Revit as usual.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How To Upgrade to Revizto 4 and Move Your Revizto Projects to a Different Region

With version 4, Revizto has decided to implement multiple geolocation logins. In other words, your email and password can log you into different workspaces in different regions... there is no real central, global workspace. To begin with, you will probably find your projects by logging into the North America server.

Also, the 3.7 to 4.0 upgrade process is not exactly automatic. Once you upgrade to 4.0, any users without 4.0 will not be able to access those upgraded projects...

So, how can we manually upgrade and move projects when shifting from 3.7 ('global' licensing) to 4.0 (multiple geolocations, not backwards compatible)?

Here are the steps to take for each project you want to move and upgrade:
  1. Export all the issues from 3.7 Viewer and/or Editor to VIMMRK format and save it on your computer.
  2. Open the current, live project in 3.7 in the editor
  3. Click Save As and save it under other name. The project will be detached from cloud and saved locally, and you will find a .vimproj file with that name in your 3.7 working folder.
  4. Open the 4.0 Viewer and login into the Target region workspace.
  5. Click Preferences and check the location of your 4.0 working folder on your PC, under Preferences - General. Close Revizto 4.
  6. Find your .vimproj file that you just saved in 3.7, and copy that file to the 4.0 working folder.
  7. Open Revizto 4.0 Viewer again
  8. Open the Local project you have placed in the folder...
    and click convert to 4.0 (this is the irreversible upgrade step)
  9. After that click Sync and upload to the Target region server
  10. Import your issues that you have saved prior to that, using the VIMMRK file from step 1.
  11. Invite all your team you had previously into the new v4 project, in the new region.
  12. Optional: Archive your project in the other region workspace, and / or delete issues from that issue list. This is purely to ensure people don't work in the wrong project moving forward.

Your Team will immediately need to install 4.0 latest version and login in Target region to continue working with you.

As you can see, the upgrade process, particularly when coupled with the geographic server changes, have unfortunately created a number of team and process management headaches. But its still a great product, and I will push through this current challenge because there are more good things in store in future Revizto updates...

Monday, June 6, 2016

How Hide Parts when Parts Visibility is set to Show Parts

Ok, Parts are pretty cool, particularly when working with Linked Files. But there is a strange behaviour in Revit that exists between the Parts Visibility setting of a View, and the Parts category Visibility / Graphics.

Here's what I'm talking about:
  1. In a 3D view, with a Linked Revit file, make some Parts from the linked elements. You could use something like this in Dynamo.
  2. Now, switch the Parts Visibility of the view to Show Parts. Revit is now hiding the linked elements you made the parts from originally, and showing you the parts in the host model.
  3. Let's say you want to verify that the linked elements are really hidden... ok, let's go into V/G and turn off Parts... drumroll please...
  4. Revit decides that this means you want the Parts Visibility setting of the view to be turned back to Show Original, and so it goes ahead and does that. Um, thanks, I guess? In essence, the Parts V/G is linked to the Parts Visibility switch for the view.
So, what is the workaround?

Just make a filter for the Parts category, and turn that off:

Using this Filter, Revit does not switch the autopilot on, meaning you can have Show Parts turned on for the view, with the actual Part elements switched off.

Case Apps now available in BIM One Add-Ins Manager

The Case addins are moving around a bit lately, but for now you can access them through the BIM One Add-In Manager:
  1. Download installer 
  2. After setup program launches, Login
  3. You will be able to install BIM Track, BIM One Addins, and Case addins... for Revit 2015 to 2017

Construction Virtuelle et Technologie BIM One Inc.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Run Android in a VirtualBox on your PC

Download a suitable image such as Android-x86 5.1 rc1.vdi from:
Android x86 VM images for VMware and VirtualBox

Attach it to a Linux image in VirtualBox, my settings below:

Depending on your host hardware, you might want to Disable Mouse Integration (little icon at the bottom of the screen), and install an app like Rotation Locker from the Play Store so that you can force the screen rotation to portrait or landscape.

Once installed you should be able to access the Play Store from your Windows PC and install apps into the Android VM:

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Remember to use the Autodesk Uninstall Tool

When it comes time to install a new suite, you may feel like removing an older version. In my case, I wanted to remove an entire 2015 suite from my Surface Pro 3. What is the quickest way to do this?

Well, you can do it almost completely unattended with the Autodesk Uninstall Tool, which should already be installed on your system. Its in the Start Menu under Autodesk...

Just tick the boxes and click Uninstall. It will tick away and let you know how many products have been uninstalled. Nice and easy...

The tool is located at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Uninstall Tool\R1\UninstallTool.exe

For clean uninstall tips, also check out:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

RTCAUS 2016 Dynamo and Revizto Presentation and Handout Resource Downloads

I had a good time at RTC this year, it was awesome to catch up with the usual BIM crew and see what they are all up to. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post in more detail about a few things I learned this time around... but for now, here are my presentations for you to check out.

My keynote presentation slides (why BIM is broken and how to fix it...)

My Dynamo presentation slides:

And the Revizto session that I ran with Michael Clothier:

Presentation and handout resources (including Dynamo dataset) are available in the folder here:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Legal Issues of BIM Assessment Document for Download

This concise 14 page document comes from collaborate and is available for free download here:

This is certainly a topic that merits discussion and investigation, as new ways of working grow out of the new BIM technologies.