RTV Tools

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Resolving System.IO.FileLoadException Error Notification in Dynamo

I installed Dynamo 1.1.0 today and it has nice self protection feature: it will report if it thinks some other addin is going to cause Dynamo instability.

After loading up the new version, I received these notifications:

Essentially, Dynamo is saying it is worried about a few addins loading up a conflicting version of a library (DLL), namely Newtonsoft.Json.

In any case, I took 2 steps to resolve this notification.

Step 1: Removed C4R using Autodesk Uninstall Tool

This did not resolve the issue immediately

Step 2: Removed Autodesk Seek for Revit

After this, the issue was resolved and the notification did not appear anymore.

I haven't reinstalled Collaboration for Revit yet to see if the issue comes back, but reply in the comments if you have any similar notifications.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Overlay Drawing PDFs Directly onto the 3D Model in Revizto

The new sheet overlay feature in Revizto is one of the coolest things I've seen this year. Now, we can directly view the drawing sheet (which is typically the contract document), in context with the live federated 3D model. This is hugely powerful in terms of understanding and explaining the design.

The feature itself works nice and easy if you have everything in Revit. You just tick 'export sheets' when you export the model, and you will have that sheet attachment ability.

However, if you import a 'dumb' PDF directly to the 2D space in Revizto, you don't get the attachment capability.

So... in the workaround below, we take a PDF, make it into an image file, locate that image file accurately in Revit, put it on a sheet, then export to Revizto. Initially, I thought this wouldn't work as we are essentially using Raster Data. However, it seems that the Revizto exporter and / or overlay feature uses some sort of alpha transparency to fade out the white stuff (paper), so it all still works!

Things you will probably need:
  • blank sheet title block family that matches sheet size of pdf
  • "No Title" viewport type
  • View Template that only shows Raster Images and Grids
Important note: Shared coordinates should be set up across all of your Revit models and Navisworks files if you want to get this working reliably.

Initial Conversion and Import:
  1. Convert all PDFs to PNGs. I used Bluebeam to open the PDF and Save As PNG, but there are ways to batch process this part.
  2. Make Floor Plans at required levels
  3. Place PNGs in Floor Plans and align to Grids (scale if necessary)
  4. Make 1 sheet for each PDF
  5. Place Floor Plans on Revit Sheets (you now have the PNG at scale on a sheet). Switch Viewports to "No title".
  6. Number and name the Revit sheets to match the PDFs

Export to Revizto:
  1. Link the Revit project with these 'PDF sheets' to the Revizto 4 project using Revizto 4 - Link Settings
    (as per note above, Shared Coordinates should be consistently used throughout)
  2. Open any 3D view
  3. Revizto 4 - Export to Revizto, Append as a new model
  4. Choose desired Sheets only (untick 3D model)
  5. After export is complete, Sync to cloud.

Using in Revizto:
After export, you will see the sheets in the 2D space in Revizto.

When you open each sheet, you can click on the green scissor icon to create a sectioned 3D view with the plan view overlay.

Then, you can save that view overlay with the Pin (Viewpoints) icon.

Finally, any Issues or Viewpoints created with a sheet attachment active should automatically adopt that sheet. Very nice.

Here's how you could update the dataset when you get new PDFs:
  1. Replace the updated PNG
  2. Use Manage Images in Revit to Reload 
  3. Re-export the sheets to Revizto
Other tips:
  • Use a Guide Grid in Revit to accurately locate the sheet elements consistently
  • You can turn off all Revit model and annotation elements aside from Raster Images in the export views
  • In the above example I work with Plans, but the same principles could be applied to Section and Detail views, provided you cut them at the right place in Revit before importing the image

Quick Repetitive Scaling in Revit

If you have just scaled an object (such as a Raster Image) at a certain scale, did you know you can re-use that previous scaling method very quickly on other objects?

  1. Scale one element
  2. Select the next element
  3. Switch to "Numerical" in the Options bar
  4. The previous scaling method is already here
  5. Click on the desired basepoint (origin) on the element
  6. The object is immediately scaled

How to Fix BIM 360 Refresh Crashing Navisworks, and Where Is the BIM 360 Cache?

I recently experienced a persistent crash on Navisworks 2016 whenever I tried to "Refresh" the models from BIM 360 Glue. I was working in a local NWF at the time.

To resolve this, I followed these steps:
  1. Go to C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Navisworks 2016\LocalCache
  2. Select all
  3. Delete
  4. Re-open the models in Navisworks
  5. You will see that the cache folder immediately starts to fill up again with the new models.

Here are some other Glue cache locations...

Glue 2015 cache location:

Glue 2016 cache location:

When directly appended to Navisworks, you can see the originating file name, such as:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How to Rebuild the Standard IFC Export Mapping in Revit

Sometimes in the Revit IFC Export Dialog, some wires get crossed and it may be difficult to restore the standard mapping. Here is how to do it reliably:
  1. Go to Revit - Export - Options - IFC Options.
  2. Get the name of the mapping file from the title bar of the window.
  3. Find that file on disk, and delete or rename the file.
  4. Press the "Standard" button in the dialog.
  5. Press "OK" in the dialog, if the default is OK.
via Angel Velez here

I have tested and this process works in both the Import and Export IFC mapping dialogs in Revit. 

Main page:
IFC for Revit / Discussion / General Discussion:BUG in 16.4.0

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Using Navisworks To Quickly Extract Any Data from an IFC into Excel

The data analysis and extraction capabilities of Navisworks are often overlooked. In a recent case, I had an IFC file (from ArchiCAD) and wanted to extract only the Room Names and Numbers to Excel.

Here is how I did it...

1) Append the IFC to Navisworks, then open Navisworks Options and add the Quick Properties as shown below:

2) Create a Find Items search with these criteria:

3) Once all the Spaces are selected, open the Selection Inspector. The columns here are built from Quick Properties. Click Export CSV.

4) Open or Import the CSV into Excel, and ensure to set comma as the delimeter.

5) Here you can see the information in Excel.

6) Interestingly, in Tekla BimSight I couldn't find the equivalent property for the Room Name...

It is quite easy to modify the search criteria and Quick Properties in the steps above to suit the type of data you want to extract from any IFC file.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Revizto 4.1 Available for Download, Here Are 3 Reasons Why You Should Install It

My top 3 features:
  • Enhanced 2D and Sheet Features, like:
    - Ability to import sheets (from Revit) directly, and then overlay them into position in 3D! Very nice feature...
      Tip: once you have added a Sheet to a 3D section view, you can save that Viewpoint and it will keep that Section Cut / Sheet relationship stored in the Viewpoint.

  • - Ability to import any PDFs directly (not from Revit)
  • Ability to export multiple models separately and 'merge' into one master model
  • Enhanced tablet features, including better Touch support and Camera support for issue creation
Current latest build is 4.1.35834.0, download at:

If you are still on Revizto 3.7, at this point I definitely recommend upgrading to latest version

Read my previous posts about Revizto here.

Revizto 4.1 is out! It's all about stability! • Revizto

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Revit 2017 SDK for Download

At this link:
Revit 2017 SDK (Update June 23, 2016).msi (msi - 300068Kb)

Main page:

I find it most useful to install / extract the SDK, then find the compiled Help file (chm). This is the most useful piece of documentation for me as I do Dynamo development with Python.

Autodesk - Autodesk Developer Network - Autodesk � Revit, Autodesk� Revit� Architecture, Autodesk� Revit� Structure and Autodesk� Revit� MEP

Monday, July 4, 2016

How To Edit Navisworks Clash Report Export Image Size

Have you ever wondered how to increase the image resolution exported by Navisworks during a Clash Report?

You can set this in the Registry, look in bottom left corner of image for the location of this key:

Also note, Navisworks 2016 is 13.0 in the Registry.

More Navis tips:
What Revit Wants: Thirteen Navisworks Tips to Boost your Productivity for 2014

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.