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Posts tagged ‘Redwood Empire Revit User Group’

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for January

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Door, Window, and Frame Types by David Moyer

Are you still making drafting views and using annotation lines to depict your door, window, and frame types? There are better ways. Ways that leverage the Building Information Model and assure that when a change happens these type views are automatically updated. Today I have two such options for you to consider: 1. Legends and 2. Elevation Views.

  1. Using a legend to create your door, window and frame types is very fast and easy, but It has some drawbacks; you cannot reference details from a legend and this method does not work for curtain walls. Thus if you want to refer to your window head detail from the Window Type View you can only add a text reference for this purpose, not leveraging the automatic update feature that Revit offers with regular views. For curtain walls we have no choice but to use method 2 detailed next. If you want to learn how to use a legend for your door, window, & frame types please refer to the following instructions: http://revitknowz.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-create-door-legends.html

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TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for September

Revit Tip of the Week, TLCD Architecture

Editing Requests | by David Moyer

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

This week’s tip comes from Steve Stafford’s Blog – Revit OpEd. Thinking this might be one of the reasons we find folks owning elements in Models when they have not been in those models recently.

http://revitoped.blogspot.com/2015/07/withdraw-your-editing-requests.html

In the past I wrote about how you can become the unwitting or accidental borrower of elements when you create an Editing Request but then close your local file before the request is resolved.

Therefore it is a good habit to Retract (withdraw) any Editing Requests you create before closing your Local file. If you form a habit of creating Editing Requests then also form the habit of Retracting any that are still pending when you leave the project for any reason.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIMThis is not a request…

 

 

 

 

 

Ideate Explorer | by Leslie Smith

I watched a webinar on Ideate Explorer presented by Richard Taylor. He is a longtime Revit user (pre-autodesk) and refers to himself as a “technical evangelist”. His presentation was very informative and well presented. If you haven’t used this tool…you will – once you see what it can do.

At TLCD Architecture, Ideate Explorer is a Revit Add-in we all have in our add-ins tab.

For easy access you can add this to your Quick Access Toolbar (same thing for other tools you frequently use).

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

The webinar provided the top 10 tips

  1. Delete Imports – get rid of pesky .dwg files floating randomly in your project
  2. Audit worksets – by filter by workset you can see if components or elements are misplaced and relocate them.
  3. Audit groups – unfortunately groups sometimes don’t get named in a recognizable way…just what is “group 57” and where is it…
  4. Check Grids, Levels and Reference Planes. Ever place a family and it doesn’t show up cuz it’s hosted to Level 1..but you are working on Level 3…urggghhh
  5. Audit Views and Viewports
  6. Audit Revit Families including in-place creations.
  7. Cleanup Text and Dimensions
  8. Audit Keynotes and Revisions – Easy to get rid of Bid clouds and tags
  9. Review Model and Detail Lines
  10. Scan Element Count.

I especially find #1 Delete Imports useful…since these don’t show up in the browser and can be near impossible to find. There is a brief (1.5 minute) video available on Ideate website demonstrating this feature:  http://ideatesoftware.com/ideateexplorer/videos/

#7 Cleanup Text and Dimensions is very helpful especially when working on those projects we keep pulling forward from the past.

  • You can select all instances of a text style in your project and switch them all at once. Here’s how…
  • To use an old project as the basis for a new project, first open the old project as a detached from central. Save as your new project and Close.
  • Open again and create a local.  Open a new project using the TLCD template (not central just new project)
  • (so you have two projects open)
  • Go back to your Project Local file. From the Manage tab –  transfer project standards from the new project (created from the template).
  • Select the “check none” button and THEN…Select the things you want to transfer.
  • In this case we will choose “text types” and from the popup box choose “overwrite”.
  • Overwrite will catch some but not all font changes needed to match our current standard.

Here’s where Ideate Explorer comes in handy… TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

  • From the Add-ins tab or your Quick Access Toolbar select Ideate Explorer.
  • A box will pop up on your screen. This will float on top of your Revit window or can be pulled off to the side.
  • To globally change the text styles -> select display option “entire project”  -> scroll down to the “text notes” category.
  • All of the text styles used in your project are listed. Expand the tree by clicking on the + symbol.
  • For our example we will change two types 3/32” text (50) and TLCD 3/32” text (1922)
  • Check the boxes for those two text types and all 1972 instances will be selected.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

Notice 1972 items have been selected…click ok. The Ideate Explorer box closes and you are back in Revit. (note with version 2016 the box doesn’t close and is more interactive)

The Revit properties box will now show those 1972 items are selected.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

 

 

Using the dropdown arrow choose your new text type.

 

 

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

Voila! All 1972 instances changed in one quick moment.

Now if you activate Ideate Explorer and go to the text notes…you will not find the two old types listed. But will find your 1972 instances of TLCD 3/32” listed. The final cleanup step would be to purge unused text (Manage tab). I encourage you to explore “explorer”.

Here’s a link to the support page for more info. http://ideatesoftware.com/ideateexplorer/support/

Auditing your Revit File | by Carl Servais

We open Revit files all the time, and there’s always this mysterious Audit button that is left unchecked.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

Should we be checkin’ that box?  Well, here’s some advice from Sash Kazeminijad, an Application Specialist from Ideate: http://ideatesolutions.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-importance-of-auditing-revit-models.html

The Importance of Auditing Revit Models

We have recently had several cases come through tech support in which folks were receiving error messages when attempting to edit their families in Revit 2015 R2. The message states “Family is corrupt and cannot be edited. Please reload the family to repair the project.” Receiving messages such as this one can be a little disconcerting, especially when you are in the middle of a large project. The fear is that the Revit model is corrupt or heading for corruption. In most cases, you may have to look for an archived version of the model or a local file to create a new Central model from, since most corrupt models are difficult to manually repair.

As we discovered, the recent rash of corrupt families within a Revit model has to do when a Revit model was upgraded to Revit 2015 R2. This corruption was more than likely due to the end user not selecting the “Audit” checkbox when opening (or upgrading) their Revit projects for the first time in Revit 2015 R2. Had the “Audit” option been selected, the family corruption issue may not have occurred.

The audit feature in Revit will scan, detect and sometimes fix corrupt elements within a Revit model. So when should you select the “Audit” option?

1. Whenever upgrading a Revit project from one version to another. For example, if you want to upgrade your Revit project from Revit 2015 to Revit 2016, select the “Audit” checkbox prior to opening it for the first time in the newest version.

2. Select the “Audit” checkbox when upgrading ALL models to Revit 2015 R2 for the first time.

3. If your Revit model is starting to take its time opening or you notice general performance issues, then auditing it may improve the time it takes to open your project.

4. If you receive messages such as “Data in file <revit project name.rvt. is corrupt and needs to be manually recovered” or “Family <family name here> is corrupt and cannot be edited. Please reload the family to repair the project.”

5. If you are doing any sort of Central File maintenance, including creating new Central Files.

Remember, it is always a good idea to make an archive copy of your model prior to Auditing and Upgrading to the next release of Revit. The reason being is in case the upgrade process introduces errors or corruption issues that cannot be repaired, or if you find a compelling reason to go back and work in the previous version of Revit.

Autodesk Certification | by Leslie Smith

It’s that time again…

Autodesk is offering Revit 2015 Certification testing for the discounted price of $45. This is a once a year deal – “Open Doors Certification Day”. The testing date is Friday October 2.

Here’s the link to Ideate:  http://ideateinc.com/educate/certification.html

Whether interested in certification or not it’s always good to invest in self-learning. This is a screen shot of the exam prep “roadmap” provided by Autodesk. It’s a good checklist to see where you are with your Revit skills.

TLCD Architecture, Revit Tips, BIM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for July

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Relinquish All Elements by Carl Servais

RevitEach time you synchronize with central, make sure you relinquish all the worksets and elements that you have been working on by checking all of the available check boxes in the dialog box.  Each time you create a new view, you have created a new workset and you may not even realize that you have ownership of that workset.  If you don’t have the “View Worksets” item checked, you will not relinquish that workset, which means everyone else is locked out of editing that view.  If you close the file without relinquishing worksets or elements, it can be a real hassle for other folks to work in that model if/when they need to edit something that you own.  In summary, make it a habit to glance at those check boxes before you click “OK.”

Wishlist & Bug Report by David Moyer

Merry Christmas…I know it is only July, but it’s never too early to make your list for Santa or Autodesk.Revit, santa, TLCD Architecture

Ever wish you could get Autodesk to finally fix that thing in Revit that drives you crazy? Whether it be unintended behavior in the program that you want to see eliminated or a new feature that you wish the program offered, you can have an impact by letting Autodesk know your desires. Where you ask can I get a hold of one of those Software Architects” and give them a piece of my mind?

Well as one might expect, direct interaction with these folks is an opportunity that is few and far between. I wonder why that might be…hmm. Anyhow they do have the following webpage where you can leave your comments, frustrations, and wish-lists for REVIT: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=1109794

I encourage each of you to take a moment when you run across something you feel could be improved in the program and leave a comment at the above website. When the same comments come from multiple sources they will pay more attention than if these comments only come from a few of us.

Microsoft Word - 2015July.docxNot good enough you say! I have no idea if I have been heard! Well I agree and so do the good folks over at AUGI (Autodesk User Group International).  This is an independent group of Autodesk users which Autodesk has recognized as representing you and your architectural computing needs. AUGI maintains a wish-list for REVIT that gives us a unified voice with the power of the entire AEC community behind it to help Autodesk develop our software with the features we need.

Not only does AUGI present this list to Autodesk on a regular basis they ask that we rank these wishes so Autodesk will know which are the most important ones to get into the software. You can find the AUGI REVIT Wish-list here: https://www.augi.com/wishlist

Revit, Designer, TLCD ArchitectureJoining AUGI as a Basic Member is free and you will be able to see that other users may be having the same issues with REVIT that you have – how they may be working around these items, and what they think would be the best way to improve the software to eliminate such problems.

Now all of you be nice and give Autodesk your input and maybe, just maybe we will have a Merry REVIT 2017 release come Next Year.

Funky Schedule and Simpson Resources by Leslie Smith

Funky Schedule

We had an issue with certain components not showing up in the room/furniture schedule. They were visible in the views and the component properties all looked good. The project has multiple phases with demo of existing (demo’d in new construction phase) and new work (in new construction phase) typical of how we do it.

It turns out that the existing walls that were being demolished were interfering with the family’s ability to associate to the new room. Even though the room displayed correctly and graphically everything looked ok in the views, the items were not showing in the schedule. After some trial & error, the fix was to uncheck the room bounding checkbox in the demo’d wall properties. Then the components all showed up in the schedule.

Since we had no existing/demo items scheduled, this worked well. Not necessarily the perfect fix…but in this case it worked.

Simpson Resource

Simpson Strongtie has both Revit Models 3D and Detail Components 2D. These can be downloaded individually or a zip of all the 2D or 3Dfamilies…From the webpage http://www.strongtie.com/ go to the “Resources” tab, “Drawings”, “Revit Drawings.”

TLCD Architecture, Strongtie

Select desired download…be aware that the Masterformat keynote number is not automatically associated.

Strongtie, TLCD Architecture

Overriding Consultant Model Colors Using Filters by Carl Servais

Have you ever received a Revit file from a consultant, linked it into your model, and then found many of the consultant’s model elements are colored something other than black?Revit, TLCD Architecture

Often times, the color can be difficult to change, because it might be an override from the consultant’s model, or it might be an object style in the consultant’s model, or it might be something else entirely.  You don’t want to open the consultant’s model and make changes to their model because it might take a while for you to discover the cause of the color change, and you will have to make all of those changes again when you get an updated model from the consultant.  You might ask the consultant to change their model, but then they might have a reason for using the colors.  In my opinion, the best solution is to let the consultant do their thing and fix the problem on my end by using a view filter.  A view filter works because it falls high enough on the element visibility override hierarchy within Revit to overcome any settings that are coming from the consultant’s model, and it is applied to a view, so you don’t have to override each element.  In fact, if you use the view filter in a view template, you can control the visibility of multiple views from one place.  Here’s how to create a view filter:

Open the Visibility/Graphic Overrides for the view you are working.  Click on the Filters tab and click on the Add button:

Microsoft Word - 2015July.docx

Click the Edit/New button to create a new Filter:

TLCD Architecture, Revit, View Filter

Create a new filter, give it a name, and then select all of the element categories that you want this filter to apply to.  For example, if you are overriding a mechanical/plumbing model, select all the ducting and piping categories:

TLCD Architecture, View Filter, Revit

This might take a bit of trial and error if you find that you did not get all of the categories that your consultant is using in their model.  Here’s the categories I used on a recent project:

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Now you just click “OK” to create the filter, and you just need to highlight your newly created filter in the “Add Filters” dialog box and click “OK”:

TLCD Architecture, Revit

Now you should be back in the “Visibility/Graphics Overrides” and you should have your filter in the list.  Now you need to tell Revit how you would like to override the elements.  Select the Projection/Surface, Lines, “Override” button:

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Override the color to black and click OK:

TLCD Architecture, Revit

Back in the “Visibility/Graphics Overrides” dialog box, when you click OK, you should see the colored elements turn black:

Revit, TLCD Architecture

Keep in mind, this only fixes the view you have been working in.  You will have to apply this filter to all the views that have colored elements showing up.  Use View Templates to provide control over similar views, like interior elevations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for June

RevitTipOfTheWeek

To Pin or not to Pin by David Moyer

A quick tip for you this week on the fine art of pinning. Ever try to move something only to find it was pinned and you had to unpin it first? That of course is easily solved, but what about when you want to move some things but not others that are in the same area of your model?

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You can reverse the process and use the Pin Selected Elements Tool down in the bottom right of the application window to control what moves and what does not.

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For example you are reconfiguring a furniture layout, but when you select the elements to rearrange them you end up getting the floor below selected instead of the furniture you wanted.

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Oops – didn’t want to do that! So execute an undo and pin the floor right…

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However, this just keeps the floor from moving; it still is the thing getting selected when you are trying to select the furniture with a crossing selection. Now it just does not move on you, so at least you do not need to undo a command.

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So then how can you get those tables and chairs selected? One at a time? No there is a better way – The problem is that your Pin Selected Elements Toggle is not cooperating. (It is set to select pinned elements.)

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All you need to do is change the status of your Pin Selected Elements Toggle to not allow the selection of Pinned elements by clicking on it.

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The icon changes to now show a red “X” with the pin to let you know that pinned items will be ignored in selection processes. Now you can crossing select that furniture without a problem.

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This can be especially useful with CAD backgrounds. Also remember to check the Pin Selection Toggle if you are having trouble selecting something in your model – it might be pinned and the toggle could be set to not allow pinned elements to be selected. Of course it could be one of those pesky design option situations or something else entirely, but at least this is one more thing you can check to help keep Revit frustration at bay.

Detectable Warning by Carl Servais 

I received an excellent question the other day about how to model detectable warning surfaces.  This is an excellent example where I like to refer to the Shakespearean adage:

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“To model or not to model, that is the question.”

In answer to the question of modeling detectable warning surfaces, I have never modeled the actual domes.  To represent the domes, I always use a surface pattern that works at a scale when shown in plan, but also looks decent in 3d views.  Since we typically have fairly flat sites and we have generally modeled the site topography as floors (for simplicity’s sake and because Revit’s topography tools are not great),  I have always divided the floor surface and painted the area of detectable warning with a material that has the dome pattern.  If you have modeled all the site elements with topographic surfaces, you will not be able to show surface patterns since Revit topographical surfaces do not support materials with surface patterns.  You should consider doing at least the hardscape elements as floors in order to produce surface patterns.

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For the detectable warning surface areas, I create a new material called “Truncated Domes” and set the surface pattern to “circles 2”, a model fill pattern that is in the TLCD template.

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Spelling / Abbreviations by Leslie Smith

Spelling

Nobody is perfect.

Soooo…use the handy dandy tool “Check Spelling” to confirm/correct text in your Revit projects.

From the Annotate Tab → select Check Spelling

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Note: Diligent visual checking is still required…Revit is looking at views not your sheet naming or project titles…since these are labels. It also doesn’t include keynotes.

Keynote Manager red underlines suspected misspellings so they can be easily spotted and corrected.

Abbreviations

We recently revised the abbreviations on the title sheet in the TLCD template. These are contained in a schedule format now, unfortunately you cannot insert schedules individually (as in insert from file like details).

BUT… there’s always a workaround…if you want to update existing projects to the new schedule you can:

1.     Start a new project (non workset)

2.     Insert from File the title sheet from one of the DSA or AHJ sheet sets (this brings in the abbreviation schedule)

3.     Then you can right click on the schedule in your browser – copy to clipboard.  Then paste into your current project.

4.     Place the schedule on your title sheet (it should lay down on sheet nicely split into 3 columns).

Please note that the new abbreviations do NOT include periods.

You can quickly swap out abbreviations project wide by using the Find/Replace feature (also on Annotation Tab)

(Again this doesn’t work in keynotes – but does for text notes – see below)

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If a project specific abbreviation is required, it should be noted on your title sheet in the drafting view “Project Abbreviations”.

For revising abbreviations in keynotes use the search / replace function in Keynote Manager.

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These few adjustments go a long way toward improving the quality and consistency of our production drawings.

Past Revit tips can be found here and here.

TLCD Architecture: Revit Tips for February

RevitTipOfTheWeek

TLCD Architecture has a design technology committee that meets weekly to talk and strategize about issues and opportunities in the office. A few years back we started writing a weekly Revit Tip of the Week to the Revit users in our office, and we have decided to start sharing with the larger Revit community through our blog. Some of the tips are “inside baseball” types of things, but many of them will be useful to a larger audience. The cassette graphic is just us having a little fun… enjoy!

Keeping Models Tidy and Funky Families by Leslie Smith (02/10/15)

Keep your model tidy

Just a reminder about model management…
We have a best practices document that covers Revit Project File Maintenance. Please maintain a clean and healthy model by frequently creating a new local file. It is recommended that you create a new local file every time you open the model.

Funky Families

A user had an interesting issue yesterday and I thought this was good to share. She downloaded some client provided Specialty Equipment Families. Placed them into the model…all looked fine in plan but did not schedule properly. The items showed up in the schedule – the description, item number, count all looked fine but some of the families would not attach to the room so those fields did not populate.

150312-01

We checked worksets, family types, etc…all the usual suspects but everything looked good. Finally, I did a comparison of the families that were working and the ones that weren’t. The culprit ended up being a checkbox in the family. Since it was not checked the family didn’t know what surface to host itself to. Once checked and reloaded the family recognized the work plane and the schedule fields populated.

150312-02

There was one family that didn’t have this check box parameter included so we ended up opening a family that did, deleting everything out of it and copy/pasting, doing a save-as and it worked… This was a shared parameter in the family so without access to the parameter .txt file I couldn’t add it.

So message is, when you download content and things aren’t behaving properly, double-check worksets and visibility graphics…also investigate the family. A lot of manufactured content is not perfect. Sometimes it’s just a stinky checkbox that mess everything up!

Tales from the Dark Side by Carl Servais (02/13/15)

This week’s Revit tip is Part 1 of my review of e-SPECS, which we have been testing out on one of our projects:

Background

There has always been a fundamental disconnect between the written specifications and the drawings in a set of construction documents. These two primary elements are often authored in different software programs that don’t communicate, and often times authored by different members of the project team with varying levels of involvement in the project and varying amounts of successful communication between each other. This disconnect inevitably leads to inconsistencies or even outright contradictions between the drawings and the specs. The promise of Building Information Modeling has always been to bring all of the project information into one database and thereby reduce or eliminate these inconsistencies, and the BIM authoring software we use today has taken us a big step in that direction. However, the specs are still missing from the database. Our transition to using keynoting took us a step in the right direction by using the Masterformat numbers and the language of our specifications as a reference for noting the drawings, which has improved the connectivity and consistency of our construction documents. Our most recent effort has been testing e-SPECS, a software for creating and editing specifications that allows for a robust integration with Revit. While e-SPECS manages the spec database and provides tools for importing data to and exporting data from Revit,  it does not quite fulfill the promise of having all the project information in one database.

In future tips, I will cover the good/bad/ugly aspects of e-SPECS as an authoring/editing tool, and how it integrates with Revit. To be continued….

Rated Wall Options by David Moyer (02/27/15)

It turns out that one size may not fit all when it comes to rated walls. We have experienced some issues using the visibility filter system in Revit working properly in some view conditions as well as in some exports to CAD. In addition the need for unique smoke barrier graphics as well as 3 and 4 hour walls on more complex projects such as hospitals strain the graphic display limits of the filter system. So here are two other options for depicting graphics for rated walls.  (This was accompanied by a detailed best practice document on how to implement each system which is not included here.)

Examples of the graphic look for each system follow:

Material Fill Patterns for Rated Walls:

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Sweep Patterns for Rated Walls:

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Some highlights:

  • The Material Fill Pattern Method best for most projects, but not suited to projects that require 3 or 4 hour walls or perhaps those that require smoke compartments.
  • The Sweep method which is more complex to implement, but allows for a greater range of graphic patterns allowing better communication with plan reviewers and contractors for more complicated project types. This method is also more flexible for smaller scale drawings
  • Both systems can be set to work with any detail level in Revit.
  • The Project Architect and Project Manager should choose which system is the best fit for their projects on a case by case basis. This could also include continuing to use the filter based system if that is not expected to cause problems.
  • Our best practice documents include information about converting to either of these systems from the filter system for those that may be experiencing issues on current projects and want to make a change.
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