Thursday, October 2, 2014

IFC Templates and Parameter Upgrade Files

"Revit makes available the following IFC-specific files:
  • IFC Metric Template.rte. This file allows you to create new projects that are already set to the IFC standard.
  • IFC Parameter Upgrade.rvt. This file enables you to upgrade an existing project to contain IFC parameters by reading the instructions contained in the IFC Parameter Upgrade.rvt file.
  • IFC Shared Parameters.txt. This file contains the shared IFC parameters if you want to manually update an existing project to contain all or some of these parameters.
    Note: It is recommended that you use the IFC Parameter Upgrade.rvt file. If you use IFC Shared Parameters.txt, you must add parameters one at a time, setting the correct categories for each. If you use IFC Parameter Upgrade.rvt, you can use the Transfer Project Standards tool to add the parameters in one operation."

From Help: Access IFC-Specific Files

It will send you here:

And you can download IFC.exe from this direct link
which contains these files:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Best just got Better, IFC for Revit 2015 v15.2.0 released

It hasn't shown up on Exchange yet, but it is already available for download on the Sourceforge page. There is an update to IFC 2015 (the one that is really robust, fast and accurate for Import and Export), and also some updates to 2014 IFC addins.

Direct link to the MSI installer for Revit 2015

Some of my testing:
30% file size reduction in RVT when using Link IFC on 85mb steel model from Tekla v16.1
v15.1.0 = 297mb
v15.2.0 = 210mb

66% file size increase in IFC when using export IFC to all proxies:
v15.1.0 = 288mb
v15.2.0 = 478mb

Some key Export improvements from the readme (I've underlined points of interest):
- The functionality for creating and using user-defined property sets has been greatly enhanced. This includes:
- Added a "DefaultUserDefinedParameterSets.txt" file to allow a user to create user-defined property sets for any setup, including the in-session setup.
- Added the "IFC2x3 Extended FM Handover View.txt" user-defined property sets file to the installation. This also fixes a typo in the original version.
- Allow the user to specify any file as a user-defined property set file, instead of being forced to use the default name and location.
- Increased the types of fields that can be used from the original 4. The full list is detailed in the DefaultUserDefinedParameterSets.txt file.
- The Setup dialog for the export alternate UI has been split into 3 tabbed pages to make it easier to find and understand the export options.

- Significantly improve performance when trying to export a highly-tessellated geometry.

New Import Functionality:

- Add an "IfcMaterial" field that contains the material name(s) associated with the element.
- Add an "IfcSpatialContainer" field that contains the name of the project, building, building story or space that contains the element.
- Create multiple layers for simple cases of elements where IfcMateralLayerSetUsage is defined.
- Import IfcGrids. There are some fundamental differences between IFC and Revit Grids, most notably that IFC grids are per-view, and Revit Grids are per-model. As such, there may be cases where some grid lines show up in more views than initially designated in the IFC file.
- Improve healing and logging of imported solid data that is slightly dirty. This should result in fewer missing objects.

Import Bug Fixes:
- Fix "missing" faces when elements were cut by openings and the IfcOpeningElement sub-category had its visibility turned off.
- Handle unbound circles used for profile definitions in certain cases.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Free BIM viewing, enquiry and measure tool that supports IFC, IGES, STEP

I'm not saying that AceCad BIMReview is a great program, but its another free tool to keep in mind.

There is also a good list going at, which includes:
BIM Surfer (open source WebGL viewer)
Constructivity Model Viewer (PC only)
DDS-CAD Open BIM Viewer (PC only)
FZKViewer (PC only)
Solibri Model Viewer (PC and Mac)
Tekla BIMsight (PC, Windows tablets, iPad and iPhone)
xBIM Xplorer (PC only)

Anyhow, to try BIMReview Lite, download the installer at:
BIMReview - BIM Project Collaboration

Install 'core' only.

Switch to the free version by direct text editing this file.
"C:\Program Files\AceCad Software Ltd\BIMReview 7.2\BIMReview.exe.config"

Like this:

Or in Options:

I noticed some cutting errors when opening IFC from Tekla (the beam ends should cut back):

Supported filetypes:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Revit Skyscraper is gearing up!

The open house is getting more 'open' every day. Go here to join the project:
Enter Revit Skyscraper Open House Project

After joining and logging in, access the downloads section, download the ZIP file and run the EXE. You should be greeted with something like this as the Citrix hosted solution starts up:

Once you have joined and have access to Revit Skyscraper, please feel free to comment below and I can add you to a Sandbox Project I have set up, and also add you as a contact for chat. Have fun!

I recommend you join the project and read some of the early forum posts, particularly if you pondering issues of IP, who owns the model, permissions and the like.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Navisworks CIP folders can consume lots of hard drive space - here's how to fix it

I noticed these CIP folders were consuming huge amounts of space:

So, I basically deleted everything out of these CIP folders and freed up a lot of space. Upon restart, Navisworks re-created the necessary support files. The current path on latest Navisworks version is:

Close Navisworks, go to this CIP folder and select all - Delete. Send them to Recycle Bin if you are worried something will break. Open Navisworks, check everything is OK, then you should be able to delete them permanently.

These were the files:

Across various Navis versions:

Sometimes, when enabling and disabling CIP in Navisworks 2015, I will get a crash. Save before you do it!

Shared, cross-platform, online point cloud viewing and tagging for FM with SCENE WebShare

Check it out, pretty amazing stuff. Take a virtual in-browser tour of Sydney Cricket Ground:
SCENE Webshare Cloud

The implications of this technology for facilities management are pretty significant. In some cases, projects may skip the BIM process and go straight from laser scan to FM (where the brief allows for it).

Learn more:

Full Webinar for FARO Scene 5.3 and Webshare Cloud | FARO UK Blog

Unifi updated to 1.5.0, now with Revit 2015 integration

My top three new features:
  • Revit 2015 Integration - export from Revit 2015, and easily load families straight into 2015 projects
  • keep your legacy content available for older projects while still being able to take advantage of new Revit features
  • Library Reports - export to CSV

Tip: if you want to create a Saved Search for a given tag, use [tag name] in the Search term box. The square brackets tell Unifi to search tags.

Release notes

To learn more about Unifi, click the banner at top right or check out my previous post:
New way to Share, Store and Search Your Revit Content

Exact version number as of today v1.5.0.35051

Monday, September 22, 2014

A new record for me - over 51gb memory used by a single Revit instance

You can never have too much RAM in Revit:
Surprisingly, the model did not crash at this point.

Screencast below shows what happened when I tried to draw a section in this model. I had to click ok and then repeatedly smash Esc key to get out of this loop:

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."

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:

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

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


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:

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)

  • 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.


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