Friday, September 19, 2014

Dynamo: Visual Programming for Revit presentation (by Zach Kron)


Dynamo: Visual Programming for Revit from Alfred Huang on Vimeo.

"This talk will cover some of the general principles of parametric design, and specific implementations of the principles in Revit via Dynamo. Attendees will come away with ideas about how Dynamo can be used in their offices, and resources for getting a deeper understanding of the application."

via
Dynamo: Visual Programming for Revit in Revit User Community on Vimeo

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Most Powerful Subscription Release for Revit yet - Revit 2015 R2 and Autodesk Site Designer Extension (with download links and tips)

I hinted that this was coming a few weeks back, but now here it is! A massive Subscription Release, along with a giveaway of the Siteworks addin package to Subscription users.

Download the update at: Autodesk Revit 2015 R2
Download the Siteworks package at: Autodesk Site Designer Extension for Revit 2015, or on Exchange here
(Note: you will need to login to your subscription account to access these) 

A few quick tips...
To toggle between Perspective and Orthographic view:
  1. Go to a 3D view
  2. Turn on Crop View
  3. Turn on Show Crop Region
  4. Right-click Viewcube
  5. Select Toggle to... and this will show Perspective or Parallel depending on your current mode




If you are wondering what 'quick adjustments' you can do in Perspective views:
Basically, you can use some simple commands like Align and Move, that were previously grayed out in Perspective mode.

To search in the Type Selector:
  1. Turn on Properties pane
  2. Click in the top of the Type Selector
  3. The search box is the top row

You can now also set a custom background colour (that means 'color' to U.S. folks):
 
Enhancements list:
http://revit.downloads.autodesk.com/download/2015RVT_RTM/R2/Enhancements_List_RVT_2015_R2.pdf

Readme (Interesting point: The install of Autodesk Revit 2015 Release 2 will also install Autodesk Dynamo (0.7.1) and required component IronPython.)

My top 3 features in Revit 2015 R2:
  • Work in perspective views, making quick adjustments without having to change views with some modeling capabilities now available in perspective views.
  • Find content more quickly with Search capabilities in the Type Selector and all drop-down lists.
  • Navigate PDFs exported from Revit more quickly with hyperlinked views.
My top 3 features in Autodesk Site Designer (previously Eagle Point Siteworks):
  • More quickly add design elements to your site such as berms and drainage swales, minimizing the time required to mass grade a site and to try alternatives at the design development stage.
  • Special terrain families within Site Designer provide you with parameters that control widths, cut and fill slopes and other projection settings.
  • Locate hardscape components such as streets, intersections, sidewalks, curbs and walls that can follow the existing terrain and have controlled elevations and slopes - all while the toposurface is automatically maintained.


More info:
Autodesk Revit 2015 Subscribers Get Slew of New Capabilities with “R2” Update

Heads-up:
Revit 2015 R2 Release | Applying Technology to Architecture

A few notes on installation versions from the Readme:
This update requires either the initial release of Autodesk Revit 2015 (build: 20140223_1515) or Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 3 (build: 20140606_1530) . Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 3 will need to be applied to any installed Revit 2015 which has either Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 1 (build: 20140322_1515) or Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 2 (build: 20140323_1530) applied. Installation will also be blocked if Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 4 (build: 20140903_1530)) has been applied, a full uninstall followed by a new install of Autodesk Revit 2015 will be needed in order to apply Release 2.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Revit Survey Point and Coordinates Explained

Video: Matthew Miller recently gave high praise to this class, when he posted that David Baldacchino's class AB412 Navigating Through the Storm Using Coordinate Systems in Revit "has been the best explanation of shared coordinates, that has helped me understand them."



Matthew also provides these useful links:
Blogs Talking about Survey point in Revit
Understanding Shared Positioning in Revit

Shared Coordinates

Project Base Point Manipulation

Revit 2013 - Project Points, Survey Points, Revit Coordinates


via

Revittize: Set the Revit Survey Point

Monday, September 15, 2014

BIM Levels Explained

Ever wanted to know what the BIM Levels mean?
  • BIM Level 1
  • BIM Level 2
  • BIM Level 3
Check out this great sketch:

via BIR Leaflet Number 1 at:
http://www.bouwinformatieraad.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/bim_kaart01v2ENG.pdf

Heads-up via Case

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Determine Originating Application for an IFC using Tekla BIMsight

Just use the Objects - Application option:

This will also detect the Revit version that a given IFC was exported from.

Friday, September 12, 2014

3 hours of Dynamo Lessons from AutodeskEd (embedded playlist)

Including:
  • image read
  • excel read and write
  • family by points
  • working with SATs
  • Python

Properties+ gives you a free custom Properties pane in Navisworks

This great tip comes via Kate Buckle, one of my colleagues here on the nRAH. Basically, when using the Properties pane in Navisworks, you often have to switch between many Tabs to find the Property that you want to view. This addin (or app) allows you to create a custom Properties view that can be docked and used instead of the built-in Navisworks properties pane.

Once installed, you can copy values, and even convert straight to a Search Set via the Find Items option:
Download at:
Properties+ | Autodesk Navisworks | Autodesk Exchange Apps

Help at:
Properties+ | Autodesk Navisworks | Autodesk Exchange Apps

Screencast at:
 


While you are at it, get the Navisworks App Manager, so you can easily check for updates to Navisworks plugins:




And for historical purposes, there are only 10 apps currently on the Navisworks App store - this is certain to change!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Considerations when Network pathing RPCs and Material Textures for use in Revit

Aaron Maller provided some useful insight about how he paths RPC on a network location in the comments:
"The .rpc library we have is 12.3 GB of stuff. Admittedly, thats not THAT much space, but i cant justify having it on the hard drives. Since our Material JPG's are on the network as well (Additional render appearance paths) if someone is trying to render at home we have issues anyway, unless their machine has configured Offline Files, which we do with the libraries when people have to work off site. Then its local, but still pathed to the network. :)"

Note: one of the nice things about the recent updates to Archvision Dashboard is that it supports license login / logout, meaning you can logout of Dashboard in the office, then go home and login again without using an extra license. This would give you access to the cloud library of RPCs, which could be downloaded and used wherever you are.

via
http://whatrevitwants.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/thumbnail-images-for-entourage-families.html?showComment=1408037235781#c8556667987637110547

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Modifying 3Dconnexion mapping XML file to utilise Keyboard shortcut correctly

If you use a 3Dconnexion mouse with Navisworks, and you have installed the latest drivers (which I highly recommend), you may struggle to find out how to map a Spacebar to a button on your Spacemouse. Obviously, in Navis it is important to be able to hold down the Space key for selection purposes. If you try to record a macro for Spacebar in the 3Dconnexion management menu, you will find that it has both a 'press' and 'release' action.

You need to use the Keyboard list to map a key press correctly. However, Spacebar does not appear in the default menu... Happily, you can directly modify your profile XML to map the KB_Space action to a button on your 3d mouse. The images below show where to find this file, and how to edit it:


This method will fix the 'press and release' nature of macros, meaning you can "hold" the 3d mouse button for a Spacebar or Shift+Spacebar multiselection in Navisworks.


Using Annotation Symbols in Locked 3D Views in Revit

This workaround idea is quite simple - just use a Spot Coordinate or Spot Elevation with an applied Symbol family to use Symbols in locked 3D views.

You will need to start the symbol with a Spot Elevation Symbol family template...

You can also nest Generic Annotations into Tags, like a Wall or Keynote Tag. Unfortunately, all of the above will disappear if the hosting item is deleted. So, what about a View Reference Tag?

If we make a View Reference to a Drafting View called DO NOT DELETE, then nest our Symbol into the View Reference, it all works very nicely. The only thing that will break this is if someone deletes the 'do not delete' view :-)

Here is a download with the whole thing already set up. And if you want to see me playing around in Revit figuring a few things out, here is a Screencast:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Align Topography to underside of a Shape Edited Floor

Paolo has posted an interesting bit of code that basically allows you to pick a floor element, and it will add points to a topography so that the topo follows the "points" on the Floor.

A very interesting solution to a common problem, namely, the (currently) limited functionality of topo tools in vanilla Revit.


Download here
"Anyway here you can find the code I've used "
via original post http://puntorevit.blogspot.com/2014/08/align-topo-macro-attempt.html

Monday, September 8, 2014

Using Dynamo to create a live Link between Excel and Revit

There are a myriad of ways to link spreadsheet data into Revit, including numerous addins to import and export data to Excel. There is also the Google Sheets connection. Recently, the BIM Troublemaker posted about using Dynamo because, as he puts it, "this was the tool that could give me an on the fly, bi-directional excel link..."

I enjoyed reading the post, because it explains Dynamo use starting from a basic level, and yet shows a practical example of something that can be built on and adapted to suit your needs.

Excel out dyn

The working example uses Dynamo commands to extract data from Revit family instances into Excel, and then push data from Excel back into Revit. Nice job!

Read the whole post:
http://bimtroublemaker.blogspot.com/2014/09/practical-dynamo-excel-linking.html

Saturday, September 6, 2014

How to do an Inplace Upgrade of Linux Mint, and use Revit on Linux (well, kinda)

I upgraded from Linux Mint 15 to Linux Mint 17 "inplace" this week. Basically, I edited /etc/apt/sources.list to match current versions (qiana and trusty), then used a few simple commands to do the upgrade. Make sure you backup everything before attempting this:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
$ sudo apt-get upgrade 

I had a couple of issues to fix up. One was with fonts (I had some black squares appearing on some dialogs), so I replaced the contents of .fonts.conf with the version at this link. I also had to fix a failed hook that was stopping the final image upgrade, and for this I used:
$ sudo chmod -x /usr/share/initramfs-tools/hooks/(problem hook)
$ sudo apt-get install -f

As for the "using Revit" part - I installed Teamviewer using the deb package from http://downloadau1.teamviewer.com/download/teamviewer_linux.deb  Then, I logged into my workstation and here it is, Revit 2015 on a super-old netbook running Linux:

Other options for running Revit on Linux include:
  • Wine emulation
  • Running a VirtualBox emulation of a Windows system, and installing Revit

While I was at it, I also installed the power saving tweaks over here.  Additionally, I like to use newrez to increase my resolution (through a software buffer), meaning I can kinda have 1680x980 resolution on a 1024x600 monitor.

Oh, and one final tip: I have an Android emulator running through VirtualBox that allows me to install Android apps. This means I can theoretically install and use Autodesk mobile apps on this Linux netbook.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting into Revit's Head

To satisfy your inner API maths hunger (surely that's a thing?), here is how Revit "thinks" about Length:

Notice the recurring "328083..." theme? This is how it relates:

Check out the comprehensive list of Revit internal units (across all unit types) at:
Revit Units .NET API: Figure Out Revit Internal Units Per Unit Type (pt. 2) - RevitNetAddinWizard & NavisworksNetAddinWizard

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A360 Team officially launched

A360 refers to a suite of products for cloud based file sharing and team collaboration, just like BIM360 refers to the more AEC-focused cloud collaboration services. The A360 moniker currently covers products including A360, A360 Drive, A360 Rendering, and now A360 Team.
Initial pricing:

Personally, I'm interested to see if this can become a central point for collaboration across all Autodesk products and services. On a wider scale, I'm keen to investigate any collaboration tools that allow quick and easy discussion of "issues" - when I say issues, I mean "anything that needs to be discussed and solved." AEC teams have these kinds of discussions throughout the entire building design and delivery process... but there isn't a nice, clean, easy solution to manage all of those issues and conversations (yet). I can picture it in my mind, I just haven't seen one in real life (yet).

You can start a trial of A360 Team here:
A360 Team

The A360 forums:
http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/a360-products/ct-p/200

You might be interested in my previous post about the Autodesk 360 Viewer.

More info:
Autodesk A360 Team Now Available in North America, Continues to Advance Design and Engineering Project Collaboration

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Using the Default Lookup Table Location to Upgrade MEP Projects without Losing Types

So, you have received a RTE or RVT file (along with related CSV lookup tables) and want to upgrade it without getting the "One or more families in this project are missing .csv files" error. For example, you may download a Piping Template (like this one from AUGI), and it comes with CSV files but you don't know where to put them? Or you have received some other MEP template file from the wild, and you would like to upgrade and use it?

The thing with MEP content is that some of it is based on, or related to, Lookup Tables. These are text (CSV) files that contain type data, essentially making it easy to create and manage types without having to always use the Family Editor to do so. However, if these are missing, you will get an error message when you attempt to open or upgrade a project that needs them:


To fix this, you need to copy the required CSV files into the Pipe and Conduit subfolders of the Lookup Tables folder that matches the version of Revit that you are upgrading TO.

The key Project Browser tree entries are Conduit Fittings and Pipe Fittings:

If you have a Suite installed, you may find that these CSV files are duplicated in various locations, to provide support files for 3dsMax and Navisworks. Some of these paths are shown here:

You can browse to the above paths, and start to put together a "consolidated" or "combined" CSV Lookup Table folder, that you may want to maintain in a network location. Once you have collected all of the necessary CSVs, here is how you "install" them:
  1. Determine location to put the CSV files into (usually it will be near your Family Templates folder, a few example paths are provided below)
  2. Create a master folder of all required CSV files (you could maintain a consolidated folder in a network location)
  3. Copy these CSV files to the Pipe and Conduit folder locations (you shouldn't need to restart Revit).
  4. Open the MEP RVT or template file that you wish to upgrade
  5. Any CSV files that are still missing are the ones you need to find, and put in the Pipe and Conduit subfolders as per steps 1-3.
You could script some of the above steps to aid in deployment.
Revit 2014 Lookup Tables default location:
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2014\Lookup Tables\Pipe
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2014\Lookup Tables\Conduit

Revit 2015 Lookup Tables default location:
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2015\Lookup Tables\Pipe
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2015\Lookup Tables\Conduit

NOTE: Massive amounts of CSV lookup tables in the default directory may result in slow Revit performance, particularly when starting Revit.

If you want to import Lookup Tables directly into families (and you are perhaps experiencing errors with nested families), this PDF may be of interest.

Finally, you can actually modify Lookup Table location using the revit.ini file, as described here. You could therefore point your Revit installations to a network location containing all of the required CSV files for your firm.

You can download content from Seek and other places online. Sometimes you will find a CSV file, sometimes you may have to export one as per the video below:


There is some related info at:
http://revitoped.blogspot.com.au/2008/10/revit-mep-lookup-tables.html

Feel free to comment if you have any other tips related to Lookup Tables...

Zoom to Awesome download link

Phil recently posted a link for Zoom To Awesome at:
http://t.co/h645Tg2AEM

If you haven't heard of it before, Zoom To Awesome instantly zooms the active window in Revit to the selected objects. Combined with Select by ID and COINS Auto-Section Box, you can find and correct almost any error or warning in your model...

Tested and working on Revit 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Screencast below also shows how to add a keyboard shortcut to the Zoom To Awesome command.



via this tweet:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Revit 2015 Subscription Advantage Pack on the way?

Pure speculation here, but all signs point to a Subscription Advantage Pack for Revit 2015 with some awesome Sundial features:

Sources:
Inside the Factory: So, When's Sundial Coming Out?
and
Help: New in Revit 2015 Subscription Advantage

How to Install Autodesk 360 Sync for Desktop as a Standalone Package (without AutoCAD)

You probably won't find Autodesk 360 Desktop sync install package for download online, but you can install it "standalone".
  1. Find some Autodesk install media
  2. Look for a subfolder named Cloudsync (make sure it is beneath x64 or x86 as appropriate for your system)
  3. Copy this folder to USB or a network location
  4. Run the file AdSync.msi on the PC you want to install Autodesk 360 on
  5. After install, you will need to restart
  6. After restarting, you may need to sign in using your Autodesk ID
I have previously described how to use Autodesk 360 as a cloud storage location for Revit (and any application) here:
Access Autodesk 360 files in any application, including Revit

Some paths that may assist - these were from BDSU2015:
Building_Design_Suite_Ultimate_2015_English_Win_64-32bit_dlm\x64\Components\Cloudsync

\Building_Design_Suite_Ultimate_2015_English_Win_64-32bit_dlm\x64\Components\Cloudsync\AdSync.msi