Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Autodesk Building Performance Analysis Links


I received the following list of links and resources from a helpful Building Performance Analyst at Autodesk:
· Autodesk FormIt Product Page: 3D Conceptual Design. Any time. Anywhere.
· Building Performance Analysis Blog: Read all updates on BPA tools on this blog.
· Revit 2014 Automatic Energy Analytical model Creation and Analysis. · Autodesk Project Solon Dashboard for Revit.

Get more information about Lighting Analysis for Revit from the following places.
· Lighting Analysis for Revit Product Page
· Lighting Analysis for Revit Students Page
· USGBC Reference Page

This latest version 1.23 has the following updates and new features:
· Analysis options now include LEED v4 EQ credit 7 option 2 in the Run Analysis dialog
· New Analysis Display Styles are added for LEED v4 and other styles
· Schedules are created using field id’s instead of text to fix bugs with some foreign language installs
· Schedule names are changed to include “_” in front so they are organized better in the Project Browser
· AVF view settings (9am vs. 3pm) are preserved when clicking Generate Results
· Analysis Display Styles are preserved except if type of analysis changed, and then a corresponding analysis display style will be selected automatically
· Phase filter is set automatically for view plans (unless override flag is unset in config file)
· View templates are turned off when _Lighting views are created (unless override flag is unset in config file)

Other reference material:
· Revit BPA Help – Lighting Analysis help topic
· Blog Intro – Includes video with older but still relevant workflows.
· Video0 – First instructional video on the release 1.0
· Video1 – Hour long video including Rendering Illuminance and Lighting Analysis workflows. · Article – Revit community overview article.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hotfix for Revit 2015 File performance problem due to multiplication of Standard Materials

Interestingly, this hotfix comes in the form of a macro to clean up your files. The issue as stated on the Autodesk Knowledge Network is:
In Revit 2015 the performance of some file is very slow. This means that
opening material browser may take an extremely long time or Revit will
hang. Typically you cannot execute the "Purge unused elements" command
as well, because Revit will freeze. 

...
Every time you edit a family and load it back in > overwrite > the
number of materials will grow substantially. For example after 5 or so
subsequent reloads in our sample file it jumps from 15551 to 186623
materials.
...

We have seen this most commonly when editing titleblock familes in the German and Japanese version of Revit. 


Download the macro:
DeleteStandardMaterials.zip

Please go through the process below to clear out the extra materials:
  1. Close Revit.
  2. Extract the zip file: It will contain a DeleteStandardMaterials folder with two subfolders (AddIn + Source).
  3. Copy the AddIn + Source folders on the following path:
    C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Revit\Macros\2015\Revit\AppHookup\DeleteStandardMaterials
  4. Start Revit.
  5. Open the file.
  6. Open Manage/ Macro Manager/ Application Tab: The macro should
    show up in the Macro manager under application > macros as
    “DeleteStandardMaterials”.
  7. Select here "Execute" and start the command "Run" > This will delete Standard Materials.
After these steps use Save As to save the file with a new name.

Here are 2 videos showing the steps:
https://screencast.autodesk.com/Main/Details/5bfa2fff-3443-45e0-a156-4c530c594c28
https://screencast.autodesk.com/Main/Details/fb7eaa0a-b529-47b7-9e35-7d42c3944a0b


Main page:
File performance problem in Revit 2015 | Search | Autodesk Knowledge Network

Heads-up:
Be Revit - Do Family Planning: Revit streikt / Datei wird immer größer und reagiert nicht mehr?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Workaround for Horizontal View Titles when Views Rotated on the Sheet (Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise)

Short version:
  1. Edit View Title Family
  2. Turn on the reference planes in the Visibility / Graphic Overrides, select all three items. 
  3. Rotate these items opposite of what you think to offset the rotation of the view. So if you are rotating the view on the sheet 90 degrees counterclockwise, you have to create a view title with these three items rotated 90 degrees Clockwise. 
  4. uncheck "Keep Readable" under the instance properties of the text labels or Revit will try to make the text read up the page, not down.
  5. Save View Title family and apply it to Viewport Type in project
Long / original version, this idea and steps above taken from this post by IMAGINiT:
View Titles for Views Rotated on the Sheet - IMAGINiT Building Solutions Blog

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Transferring a Viewpoint from Navisworks to BIM 360 Glue

I'll be the first to admit that this is a bit clunky, but it does work:
  1. Go to the Navisworks viewpoint you want, and isolate a single element (hide everything else) that approximates the view extent
  2. Click nearest ViewCube corner that approximates the viewpoint you were just using
  3. Deselect everything and press Page Down to zoom extents
  4. Export to DWF and re-append
  5. Delete everything but this new DWF (with a single item in it)
  6. Glue this using the addin for Navisworks
  7. After Gluing, open this model, click the same ViewCube corner as in step 2, and immediately save the view as a shared view.
  8. Make a new Merged Model with this "view" model
  9. You now can view that viewpoint from Navisworks in your Merged BIM 360 Glue model 


Another option using Element ID, may suit your workflow better:
  1. Copy Element ID from Navisworks
  2. Paste the ID into BIM 360 Glue in the Model Search box
  3. Right-click and Fit to Window
  4. Save the View

I am moved to join ADN and get into the Glue API, more on that later...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Huge archive of Revit presentation videos for download at MRUG

From MRUG:
You can download the back catalog of video Revit tips and tricks from both the Manchester and Midlands (now wound up) Revit user groups from prior to meeting 8. After meeting 8, tips and tricks are uploaded on an individual meeting basis. Videos are not narrated
Tips and tricks archive download (586mb)

There is lots more good stuff, videos and presentations on many Revit topics including Adaptives, Revit Standards, Revit and Construction and more at the main events page:
Manchester Revit User Group - MRUG

Heads-up via @BarbosaMCJ and @BenPMalone
https://twitter.com/BarbosaMCJ/status/491899892671856640

Direct Dropbox links and other links (for download manager etc):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/31hf3msqzfscv0o/Revit%20Tips%20and%20Tricks.zip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/q5yhekhgvpm7ihn/M11%20Adaptive%20Components.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/aknwnkmqsy77r4k/MRUG%20The%20COBieNATOR.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o6bom0zk6754d2s/M11%20Tips%20and%20Tricks%201.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/549accch2wyys3j/John%20McDermott%20-%20MRUG%20REVIT%20PRESENTATION.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzajdrwafp8w8l1/BIM%20Coordination%20for%20Real.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hl5221kosncqoq3/CI1934-P%20-%20Civil%20and%20Building%20BIM%20Coordination%20for%20Real%20Handout.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/w85nnsx14s9wgee/M10%20Tips%20and%20Tricks.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/29lyovnfkyqv2lh/002-131110%20AH%20MRUG%2009%20Revit%20%26%20DfMA_APW.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/y70xwhuynbqrrkh/003-MRUGBIMmaturity.ppsx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yx1pv4alcf3zqqq/004-Content%20Creation%20Standards%20Management.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8257r34s9b7tiiv/M9%20Tips%20and%20tricks.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5u7q4p2fo1pu6al/BIM4Real%20MRUG.ppt
http://www.bim4real.co.uk/Downloads/e1/BIM4Real%20Summary%20v1.0.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gw68asu9itqhhyd/20130321_BIM_CASE.ppsx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/w6xww7te3can7ov/MRUG_-_The_I_in_BIM.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/razz66dm3sz932r/MRUG_Virtual_Orangery_12-12-12.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jxyfoeb6nphdy71/M4%20-%20Ramboll%20LAM%20Showcase.wmv
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vwfq89oa5euz96a/M4%20-%20Soluis_DesignVisSamples_12_.pdf
https://www.dropbox.com/s/m0y2u09hduxwhk4/M4%20-%20MRUG%20Python.zip
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p4ng8wl83s9kwe4/MRUG.ppt
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1jcz37bz9qsi1h0/Uponor%20MRUG%20Presentation.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/a0ncez4szoap54i/Revit%20Coordinate%20Systems.ppt
https://www.dropbox.com/s/53yivsesqivle8s/M2%20-%20Salford%20Uni%20Demo.pptx
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fy5msgbwi4fwkqb/M2%20-%20111109-Presentation_space.pdf

Thumbnail Images for Entourage families, and Archvision Dashboard now updated with new Preview mode

Have you ever tried getting thumbnail images to show up for Entourage families? After reading a few tweets on this recently... I'll admit, using a Journal "script" to open family, switch to Elevation View, enable Realistic mode and save the thumbnail is not too shabby (by Aaron Maller):


While the above method is definitely cool, it still relies on you having a good RPC Entourage library in the first place. So, are you looking for a plug-and-play software solution to manage all of your Entourage and RPC content? And do you want to be able to preview the RPC, and then use it in Revit or Photoshop?

Then you may want to check out the latest update released for Archvision Dashboard. I've posted recently about how easy the RPC creation is now - it is literally drag and drop, and pretty much automatic, meaning that your potential for generating custom RPCs is virtually unlimited. Now with the preview mode and Photoshop drag-and-drop integration, Archvision Dashboard is starting to feel like one of those things that just "makes sense" if you are doing any kind of rendering and presentation work in Revit (and / or Photoshop).

Here's a video of the new Viewport feature:

Download it from this page

The next time you fire up your ArchVision Dashboard you should see a prompt to update to the latest version (v 2.1) which includes the new Viewport viewing mode.
Viewport for Dashboard not only lets you preview and spin around any 3D or 3D+ RPC but you can also drag & drop directly into applications like Photoshop! Just hit the Render button and drag the thumbnail into Photoshop. Viewport for Dashboard improves the workflow for using RPCs in Photoshop and does away with the need for the Photoshop Viewport plug-in.

This new version of Dashboard also include a new Filters feature which works hand-in-hand with Channels letting you drill down to the right content in just a few clicks.
...
via email

Previewing RPCs and using them in Photoshop just got easier! We've added a new viewing mode within Dashboard called Viewport. Not only can you preview and spin around any 3D or 3D+ RPC but you can also drag & drop directly from Viewport into applications like Photoshop! Just hit the Render button and drag the thumbnail into Photoshop.
...
via email

Link:
Archvision Dashboard


In case you missed it:

also:
Drag and Drop updated build of ArchVision Dashboard available that just came out as a 'pull' update. This includes the admin license panel tools and also has Drag & Drop enabled for Revit 2013 and later / 3ds Max / AutoCad. We expect to deploy a new RPC creation feature at the end of April, where you will be able to take any 2D image with an alpha channel, drag it into our creation tool, assign a name and height and have an RPC available to use immediately in any supported application.

You may also be interested in my previous posts about Archvision:
http://whatrevitwants.blogspot.com.au/search/label/archvision

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Adding Shared Parameters to Revit Families Automatically

A recent post on Ideate Solutions reminded me of a handy Revit Extension that you may not be aware of:
Shared/Project Parameters

Download Revit Extensions for Autodesk Revit 2015:
Multiple Languages (exe - 224406Kb)

Quote:
It’s called “Shared/Project Parameters” from the pull-down, but when it’s launched it will open a dialog that says “Shared Parameter Converter”.

This image shows that I am asking the tool to read all of the .RFA files found within my “11 Specialty Equip” folder and that I am going to read particular parameters from my Shared Parameter file and push them into these families. The modified families will then be copied into a new folder called “Updated Specialty Equip” and the results of this work will be included in my “!test” folder as a log file.

The Shared Parameters Converter Dialog From
Revit Extensions (2014/2015)

Original post:
Ideate Solutions: Batch Adding Shared Parameters to Revit Families

Saturday, August 9, 2014

And the winners are...

It is my pleasure to announce the winners of the 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro Wireless competition that I launched a month back. After hundreds of entries, the following two names were selected at random, and they will each receive a SpaceMouse Pro Wireless prize pack, thanks to 3Dconnexion:
Barrie Sharp
Justin Harwell

Here are their competition entries... (it is quite interesting to hear both sides of the 3D mouse debate):

Why I like my 3D Mouse
Barrie Sharp, from Tully De'Ath (Engineering Consultancy) in the UK
(Twitter @barriesharp, Blog http://revitbuzz.blogspot.co.uk), who said:
"I work with dual screens in Revit and tile a 3D view with 2D views. My 3D mouse allows me to intuitively manipulate my design to craft my model. I also use a pen tablet and don't have use of a mouse wheel. My 3D mouse seamlessly puts those controls back into my other hand but with enhanced functionality. Pan and zoom feels as natural as driving my car. Just love it!"

Why I Haven't Purchased a 3D Mouse (yet)
Justin Harwell, from the US, (website http://www.whitesign.com/) who said:
"I currently do not have a spacemouse for only one reason, I simply do not have the funds, yet. The company is a rapidly growing company with new hires coming in every week, and national contracts that keep the coming constantly growing. Since the company started using cad software we have re-engineered the way outdoor marketing is built, products which use to not be profitable to make but were apart of a package are now a very profitable item. Problems are now seen before built, and the various features of layout and design in CAD reduce large labor hours in construction.  With a SpaceMouse I would be able to cut time designing  and as the company grows it would be very easy with a SpaceMouse to prove why we would be needing to purchase another for the additional CAD  users, after the team finds the value in the design. In the long term view it would end up benefiting both my company and yours."


Barrie adds:
"I am very excited to have won and will be able to give my old space explorer to my brother.  I am trying to convince my whole office it's the way to go.  I perhaps forgot to add, I love being able to pan and zoom in Revit whilst the error dialog is up!"

Finally, I would like to thank you all for supporting What Revit Wants and for entering this competition. I'm sure your valuable feedback will assist 3Dconnexion in making these products even more useful for the AEC community.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Revit Sundial: cloud hosted, experimental new features and no NDA

Download at:
http://www.autodesk.com/revitsundial

Autodesk tweeted across their Twitter ecosystem that you can "See what we are working on..." with this Sundial Release. I don't think it is a leap of logic to assume that you are actually seeing a preview of features that will be included in Revit 2016. The final feature set will not be set in stone yet, but it gives you a fair idea on where most of the big improvements will be.

Additionally, I've been thinking about this equation:
Revit Sundial (cloud hosted, latest release) + Revit Skyscraper (Revit Server for distributed teams)
=
The answer to cloud collaboration on Revit for distributed geographic teams?



A few things that Revit Sundial has that Revit 2015 doesn't (shortlist):
  • Reveal Constraints mode
  • Load into Project and Close button in Family Editor (see video below)
  • Search the Type Selector 
  • Select Background Colour
  • Linking Revit model or a CAD file, the default positioning is now Auto - Origin to Origin (via this)
  • PDF Export enhancements, Hyperlinks will work in printed PDF sets (via this tweet)
  • Disallow multiple wall joins at once
  • more things... comment if you find them
Here is the long list of Revit Sundial New Features (lets call it Revit 2016 open beta in the cloud?):
Architectural Enhancements
  • Solon Integration: Personalize the building performance analysis experience in Revit by defining a dashboard with charts and results that are important to you. The central web-based Solon management environment allows you to create charts and configure dashboards for all of your company Revit users from a central collaboration environment in Green Building Studio.
  • Energy analysis: To better support the analysis of large models, several methods have been implemented to reduce memory usage.
  • Wall joins: To simplify the control of wall joins in a plan view, you can now select multiple intersected wall joins with a single click, and choose to allow or disallow joins on all the selected walls with a single click. If you choose to allow joins, you can then specify a Display option (Clean Join, Don't Clean Join, Use View Setting). See Specify Wall Join Cleanup Options.
  • IFC references and phases: Use existing geometry in a linked IFC model as references for dimensions, alignment, snapping, and hosting of some face-based families in the Revit model. When you link an IFC file, its elements are assigned to a default phase. Before using IFC Import, Link, or Export, go to Autodesk Exchange Apps for Autodesk Revit and download the latest edition of IFC for Autodesk® Revit® to take advantage of up-to-date improvements.
  • Shaft openings: To streamline the creation of a shaft opening, the Base Constraint value now defaults to the level of the current activated plan view. (See Cut a Shaft Opening.) The instance properties have also been reordered to be consistent with families with similar properties: Base Constraint, Base Offset, Top Constraint, Unconnected Height, and Top Offset.
  • Adaptive point orientation: To improve clarity, the adaptive point instance parameter Orientation is now Orients to, and the selectable orientations have been renamed. No functionality has changed, only the names. See Adaptive Point Orientation.
  • Site design: Performance enhancements result in improved edit and regeneration times for complex toposurfaces, subregions, and building pads.
  • Perspective views: Certain modeling capabilities are now available in perspective views: (See Work in a Perspective View.)
    • Editing tools: Move, Align, Pin, Unpin.
    • Reset Target tool: Restores the position of the camera target to the center of the field of view.
    • Toggle between the perspective and parallel representations of the 3D view.
  • Reference other view: To search the list of available views for reference, enter keywords to locate the desired view. This feature is available when you are creating views for callouts, sections, elevations, and details, and you select the Reference Other View option (or modify a reference view). Also note that the Reference Other View option now displays on the Reference panel of the ribbon instead of the Options Bar. See Reference a Drafting View and Search.
  • Reveal constraints: To see all dimension constraints and alignment constraints in a view, use the Reveal Constraints mode, available on the View Control Bar. See Reveal Constraints.
  • View updates: Performance enhancements result in faster updates to views that contain multiple instances of families.
  • Revit links: Further enhancements result in improved performance for cases where Revit link instances are loaded but not visible in the view (such as when they are outside the crop region).
  • PDF Export enhancements:
    • Share your designs as electronic PDF files with automatically linked views and sheets. Each view tag in the PDF file is a hyperlink. Click a hyperlink to jump to that view or sheet in the PDF file. See About Printing to PDF.
    • Avoid lengthy or unintended print jobs. If you choose to print multiple views and sheets to individual PDF files, you cannot cancel the print job once it starts. A new message warns you of this issue and allows you to cancel the print job before it starts. Instead, consider printing the views and sheets to a single PDF file. See Troubleshooting: Printing Views and Sheets.
  • Schedules: To easily add a data row to a schedule, use the Insert Data Row tool, which is available directly on the Rows panel instead of within the Insert drop-down. The new position of this tool makes it easier to add a data row to a room schedule, area schedule, key schedule, space schedule, or sheet list. See About Modifying Schedules.
  • Select host for tags: To specify the host element for a tag, select the tag and use the Select Host tool. See Select the Host for a Tag.
  • Annotate stair treads and risers: To streamline the process of adding number annotations to treads or risers in a component stair run, specify default properties before placing the annotation. These default property values persist for tread/riser annotations added to the model. See Number Stair Treads and Risers.
  • Thin lines: To improve consistency between Revit sessions, when you use the Thin Lines tool, the setting is stored in the Revit.ini file. When you launch Revit, the stored Thin Lines setting is used as the default. See Graphics Settings in Revit.ini.
  • Export Models with Lines that Coincide: When exporting a Revit model to a CAD format, you can decide whether to maintain model lines that coincide with other lines in the same space. See About Exporting Models with Lines that Coincide.

Structural Enhancements

MEP Enhancements
  • Sequence for power circuits: To specify the sequence in which power circuits are created, use the Electrical Settings dialog. See Electrical Settings.
  • Most recently used panel circuiting: When you create a circuit, Autodesk® Revit® automatically connects to the most recently used panel for the current session. In addition, you can now search the Panel drop-down list. See Select a Panel or Transformer for the Power Circuit.
  • Move circuits: To move a circuit directly to a target slot without disrupting other circuits, use the Move To tool. See Move circuits on panel schedules.
  • ASHRAE table information: To identify the table that is applicable for the current condition, the ASHRAE Table Settings dialog displays the graphical representations associated with the duct fitting tables. This enhancement is helpful when you specify Coefficient from ASHRAE Table as the loss method for duct fittings. See Specify a Pressure Loss Method for Fittings and Accessories for Duct and Pipe.

Multi-Disciplinary Enhancements
  • Search: To quickly find the content you need, use the new search feature in the Type Selector or in drop-down lists. Click the Type Selector or a value field in the Properties palette or a dialog table, and enter keywords to search for. See Search.
  • File upgrades: To help you understand the consequences of file upgrades, new dialogs indicate the release of a file and the release to which it will be upgraded. In many cases, you have the opportunity to cancel the upgrade before it completes. See About Opening Models that Require an Upgrade.
  • Edit/load a family: To close the family automatically after it is loaded into a project, use the Load into Project and Close tool in the Family Editor. See Load the Current Family into a Project.
  • Properties palette: Keep your context in the Properties palette when you scroll, select a property, and then click outside the palette. This behavior can be helpful, for example, if you are selecting different family instances in the model to compare their properties.
  • Pin/Unpin icons: To determine whether an element has a relationship with a host system, select the element to see its Pin/Unpin tool icon. A different set of pin/unpin images () is used in the drawing area to indicate a relationship with a host, such as a curtain wall panel or a beam in a beam system. The behavior of the pin has not changed (clicking it still allows you to override the properties for the element), but the subtle difference (small link in the image) adds a visual indicator that this pin is different than the standard pin that locks an element in position. The Pin/Unpin tool icons on the ribbon have not changed. See Unpin Elements.
  • Import/link position: To streamline the process of inserting a Revit model or a CAD file, the default positioning is now Auto - Origin to Origin. If you change the default, the option you select for Positioning becomes the default for the current Revit session. The software remembers one default option for Revit models and another default option for CAD files. See Import and Link Options.
  • Revit link in a closed workset: To understand why a Revit link is not visible in model views, check its status in the Manage Links dialog. The status In Closed Workset now displays for a Revit link that is in a closed workset. See Manage Links Dialog.

Configuration Changes

In the Revit.ini file, the following settings are new or changed in this release:

  • Colors section: The new BackgroundColor setting replaces the InvertBackground setting in the Graphics section.
  • Graphics section: The ThinLinesEnabled setting is now supported. The InvertBackground setting has been deprecated and is no longer supported.

via
New in Revit 2015 Subscription Advantage

Reveal constraints mode:

Search the Type Selector (via this tweet):




Select background colour (via this tweet):

Disallow multiple wall joins at once (via this tweet):

NDA?


Loading screen:

Video showing the Reveal Constraints mode and general use of Revit Sundial:


Read more:
http://insidethefactory.typepad.com/my_weblog/2014/08/revitalizing-inside-the-factory.html

Heads-up:
@Steve_Stafford and
https://twitter.com/kirklyncox/status/497111614705762304

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Navisworks® Manage 2015 Service Pack 3 released - direct link

The focus of Autodesk Navisworks 2015 Service Pack 3 is the resolution of Revit interoperability issues. Service Pack 3 does resolve issues identified in other parts of the product, we recommend you refer to the supporting documentation for the detail.

Download Navisworks 2015 SP3

Autodesk_Navisworks_2015_Service_Pack_3_Multilingual_Freedom_64bit.msp (msp - 202.29Mb)
Autodesk_Navisworks_2015_Service_Pack_3_Multilingual_Manage_64bit.msp (msp - 269.44Mb)
Autodesk_Navisworks_2015_Service_Pack_3_Multilingual_Simulate_64bit.msp (msp - 269.45Mb)

Readme
Navisworks 2015 Features (English)
Navisworks 2015 Installation (English)

via
http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/navisworks-products/downloads/caas/downloads/content/autodesk-navisworks-2015-service-pack-3.html

EDIT: Subtle change - dragged window selections and markup are now filled blue in colour

Remember to update your exporter if necessary:
2015: NavisworksExporters2015.exe

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Power of a simple URL parameter in a Revit Schedule or Family

In one recent post, Paul Crickard describes how you can use a URL field in a Revit schedule to:
  • open documents or images
  • open a video
  • open a map or facility plan to a specific geographical location
  • retrieve data from an external database
These points are along similar lines to my post about launching scripts and programs directly from Revit. The same principles apply to families with a URL parameter.



From Architecture and Planning:
Changing HTTP to FILE makes it a local file browser. I created a room in Revit and added a parameter of type URL. The URL added is:
file:///c:/Users/Paul/Desktop/efpGIS/Config/Splash.png
This URL links to a picture on my desktop. If I click the link in Revit, I get the image on the right. The computer knows to launch the appropriate program to open the file. A link to a AVI file opens my Divx Player.

Read the whole post:
URL Tricks in a Revit Schedule | Architecture and Planning

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Automatically Crop a Plan view in Revit around selected objects

One of the most popular addins for Revit to date is the simple section box tool by Coins. But what about doing the same thing in 2D? Paolo has put together a macro (and shared the code) that crops a Plan view around a selection of elements. Nice job!

From Punto Revit:

I've been asked by a  reader if it is possible via Revit API to crop a plan view around a selection of objects, if there are no scope boxes associated it can be done in a fairly easy way.

You can find the code here...

Original post:
http://puntorevit.blogspot.com/2014/07/crop-view-by-selection-macro.html

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Clean Element Tagging with Dynamo

Konrad Sobon has been spending a bit of time with Dynamo lately, and he is even using it to finetune documentation in Revit - like getting tags to be placed in a more logical position on a glazed system.
From archi-lab:
Revit's Tag All tool but with extra control over where the tag actually gets placed...
 tags generated through standard method of Annotate>Tag All are overlapping randomly not only with each other but also with panel edges. That’s not very good looking plan. Here’s an image of what you can do in seconds with my new node:

01

Original post:
http://archi-lab.net/?p=149

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tracking, Logging and Reporting Revit Model Performance

Simon Moreau has put together and shared some API code that allows him to track the time taken to open and work with Revit models. I can see this would be a good way to identify "problem" Revit central files that were taking a long time for users to sync. Once the problem models are identified, they could be fixed, and people might be happy :)

From bim42:
It is now possible to quickly create very precise graph displaying opening time of different model, compare them and show their evolution along time

from
http://bim42.com/2014/07/revit-tracking/

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Generate Spatial Room 3D Elements using Navisworks Exporter

I know you can use various addins (like Case Extrude Rooms to 3D Mass) to make a form out of a Room element in Revit. However, there is a vanilla Autodesk way you could go about this:
  1. Export a Revit view to Navisworks with all of the Room-related export boxes ticked in the Navisworks Exporter addin
  2. Open / append the NWC in Navisworks
  3. Turn off everything except the Room objects that the Navisworks Exporter created
  4. Export the scene to FBX, convert to DWG, import it to a family, place that family back in the project (using parts of this workflow). Use origin-to-origin linking to get things right.
You could then use the Room 3D element "family" in an Interference Check, to determine what elements exist in Rooms (this would only work for Categories that support Interference Check in Revit).






"The Uses of BIM" document from Penn State CIC

Download at:
http://bim.psu.edu/Uses/the_uses_of_bim.pdf


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Free BIMethods video series covering topics including parametric towers, adaptive components, curtain panel pattern-based families, double-curtain wall systems

Jeremy Roh has created some decent tutorial content and shared it on Youtube, covering topics such as Revit, conceptual modelling and Dynamo. One of his recent playlists is embedded here:




Check out his channel for more at:
Jeremy Roh - YouTube

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Want a powerful, new way to Share, Store and Search Your Revit Content? Your Families may have a new home...

I had the opportunity this week to spend a bit of time with Unifi. What is it? Well, in simple terms it is a way to store all of your Revit families in a secure location online. You just batch upload all of your current family library, and Unifi then goes ahead and indexes all of the important family related data. Then, you can do fast and intelligent searches of your entire content library whenever you want to find and load specific families into your Revit projects (using the Unifi addin for Revit).

However, it does a lot more than just 'store' stuff. It handles users and permissions in an efficient yet elegant manner, and guess what... because your cloud family library is now globally accessible, you can share it with project team members inside and outside of your domain or organization. You can set up different "libraries" based on their purpose (for example, the standard Revit Imperial/ Metric content can live in one library, while your "Essential" company content may be another, Healthcare families in another library and so forth). Tags can be applied to families, and the search function actually has learning algorithms, so it gets smarter as your team uses it.

What about different Revit versions, you say? Well, after you upload a Revit family from a given version (say 2012), the Unifi servers will automatically create 2013 and 2014 versions for you (automatic upgrading). In this way, there is a single point-of-truth for each family - you don't get file folders full of different family versions with different functionality (a problem that BIM managers have been dealing with for years).

How many family professionals are in your team or company? Usually there are one or two users who are really at the top of the family tree, and they do your family development, content creation and the like. How can you quickly connect these highly skilled users with the actual day-to-day BIM technicians in your office? Unifi handles that too. Any user can "request" a new family if one doesn't exist for a particular purpose, and this request is automatically passed onto the family creation people (by Unifi). When they login, they see a list of content requests, and can then handle them in a logical and methodical way. They make the family, upload it, and then the entire team has access to the new content.

Unifi is what Revit content management has needed for some time, in my opinion. You can easily download the trial, upload your content and see if you like it. Many Revit teams are struggling with a core set of challenges when it comes to content; Unifi provides solid answers to many of these questions.

I spent some time with Steve Germano (Director of Product Development) this week, and I was excited to hear about the plans to expand and upgrade the already-compelling feature set of Unifi (including branching out into the Sketchup realm). The development team over there clearly has a good view of what Revit users need, and they are already well on track to provide a solution that could easily become a key part of the Revit content management system in your organization. Additionally, they are listening to the current user base, and continuing to build the feature set with each new update.

If it sounds like these Unifi folk know what they are doing, it might because INVIEW labs is behind Unifi. And INVIEW labs does lots of Revit content development for Autodesk Seek. Are you getting the picture? (This is one of those times that you probably could just stop reading and go get the trial... or) Read on for a brief summary:

Unique, powerful features of Unifi:
  • your folder structure is automatically tagged onto your content when you Batch Upload it
  • batch user creation (is very fast!)
  • tracking of content requests - content creation can be centralised and distributed to key users
  • Shared Search Keywords (learning algorithm)
  • Smart Folders / Saved Searches
  • automatic upgrading of uploaded content (single point of truth for each family)
  • automatic versioning of changes to families (backup / rollback abilities)
  • extract any Revit System Family Type from an existing Revit Project and store them in the Unifi cloud - Wall Types etc (this includes complete MEP systems with required supporting families from Routing Preferences)
Latest release notes are at https://www.discoverunifi.com/release-notes.html

A few thoughts on the UX:
  • interface is very clean and smooth, and it fits the Windows 8 "style" of frameless dialogs etc
  • simple deployment - you don't have to set up new local database instances or deal with local domain / file permission problems
  • auto updating feature works seamlessly and quickly
  • the Unifi pane can detect which Revit version is running and adapt to the current environment
You may be interested in this:
Case study link

Some final points of a somewhat geeky nature:
  • Steve mentioned that they have no server-side concerns with handling the bandwidth of company library uploads and downloads - the actual storage space is not an issue for them. Its interesting to consider really, because its something that might currently be a struggle for your company: trying to store and backup 100gb of Revit content on your local domain, and mirror that globally between offices, and keep it all in sync. That can be hard. But uploading it to Unifi and getting them to handle it all - much easier from an IT perspective.
  • A number of large firms have already made a commitment to the Unifi system. If it makes $$$ sense for the big guys, I think it will make sense for SMBs too.
  • There appears to be some validation in place, that will stop the upload of very bad Revit families (like the Room category family I made a while back) Video here.  
  • You can open the Unifi pane in headless mode (without Revit) by using the shortcut, which will likely be installed to this path:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\INVIEWlabs\Unifi\Unifi.exe"
    This will allow you to drag and drop from Windows Explorer to directly batch upload to Unifi without opening Revit.
  • There is some good Unifi overview at this link

http://bit.ly/1spd0jt

Give it a go, and feel free to reply via comment to this post or tweet me @lukeyjohnson with your opinions!

Update:
Some people have expressed concern with having to download their families from the web to insert them into projects. Consider the following points:
  • you never have to deal with the upgrade screen as Unifi always inserts the native Revit version of the family (a good time saver)
  • Unifi has a local cache of any family you’ve downloaded (it internally stores the last 50 families you’ve downloaded) so you insert these from local HD anyway.
  • if you’ve already inserted a family into your project from Unifi, the next time you use Unifi to “insert” that family into your project it actually knows if the family in your current Revit project is the same revision as the one on the cloud, and it simply starts the family place command, it doesn’t actually download again. No reason to as it is already in the project
  • office to office bandwidth may be extremely expensive compared to internet bandwidth. Multi-office AEC firm CTO’s may prefer the fact that Unifi uses internet bandwidth and not their network bandwidth.
  • Unifi provides monthly full database downloads for customers, meaning that a rare internet outage is likely a very low risk to affect workflow.


Update 2:
If you want to clear your upload queue for Unifi, go to:
C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\INVIEWlabs\DiscoverClient\Settings\UploadQueue

Close the Unifi Pane, then delete all of the files in this folder. After restarting Unifi, your upload queue should be clear.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rebar from Tekla to Revit via Microstation SAT (workaround)

From a LinkedIn discussion:
normal .ifc file from Tekla with the rebar option ticked and imported it into MicroStation, from there I exported a .sat file of the rebar and inserted it into Revit. Of course this means you can't modify it in anyway but if all you need it for is to cut sections then works quite well. 

via
Precast modeling export to Revit | LinkedIn
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Navisworks Resource Sharing Site

I thought it might be useful to set up a shared folder to allow Navisworks users to upload, download and share resources. The idea here is that lots of Navisworks resources (as listed below) can be exchanged and re-used on future projects. Why should we all keep reinventing the wheel?

Only invited users can upload, while any user can view and download the content. Note: if you are an uploader, keep in mind that this will be globally accessible, so you need to be aware of any IP considerations that may apply. At this point, I'm considering this to be "open source" (with associated licensing conditions). Additionally, I am keeping the guidelines to a minimum, just feel free to share something if you think others could make use of it.

Anyhow, here it is:
Shared Folder Link

There is a readme with some basic guidelines at:
this link

If you would like to be a contributor, feel free to contact me via comment, on Twitter or on LinkedIn.


Here is an initial list of the things that I think will be worth sharing (but there will be more added):
  • Appearance Profiler DATs
  • Clash Test XMLs
  • Find Items XMLs
  • NWF Templates
  • Search Set XMLs
  • Settings XMLs
  • Workspace XMLs