Monday, December 08, 2008

Temporary Dimensions Look Weird

Have you ever run into this where your temporary dimensions just look different. This happened today to a user at our firm and after some investigation I figured out what was going on... In this case, the arrowheads were huge as shown below.

He're how they should have looked.

To fix the problem, go to the Settings Pulldown, then Annotations, then select Arrowheads.

You'll notice that when you open the dialog box, Type is blank. What ever Type Parameters are set here are used by the Temporary dimensions. I haven't yet investigated what else references this in Revit, but the temporary dimension sure do... In our case, the user made some changes here instead of duplicating an existing type for their unique situation. Once we set the parameters back to their orignial settings - all is good!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Milwaukee Revit User Group

The December meeting for the Milwaukee Revit Users group has been scheduled. Check out the blog for more details.

Monday, September 22, 2008

DWG Created from Revit

Ever wonder if there was a way to determine if a CAD file (.dwg or .dxf) was created with Revit. Well there is... This solution was published by Autodesk Support.

You want to determine whether a DWG file was originally created in Autodesk® Revit® Building.

To determine whether a DWG file was originally created in Autodesk® Revit® Building

  1. Open the DWG file in AutoCAD® or an AutoCAD-based application.
  2. Enter Filter on the command line.
  3. Select XDATA ID from the Filter drop-down list.
  4. Click Select.
  5. In XDATA ID list, look for an entry for Revit. If such an entry exists, then the file was created in Revit.

Click here to go to Autodesk's Support site and view this solution.

New AUGI Forum on Sustainability

There is a new forum on AUGI specifically for Sustainability. It's pretty new so there isn't much on it yet, but it should be good!

Click here to access.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Update on IES & Sustainability

IES just release a Google Sketchup plug-in for IES.

Click here to read more.

They've also published a bunch of videos on the subject. Click here for those.

I'll share more once I've had some time in the software...


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Quick Delete

Want a quick way to delete objects from your Revit model.

Hold down the delete key down; then as you pick objects - they're automatically deleted!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Revit 2009 - "Not Placed" Rooms

When you delete a room from a view, it doesn't delete the room from the project. You get this of message:

When you go back to your room schedule, you'll see something like this. You can see the area is replaced with "Not Placed".

This is fine, but what if you have a few "Not Placed" rooms and they're all over the schedule. It may be tough to find them. Wouldn't it be nice to see them all together, or to hide them, or have some control?

You can! Check out the Options dialog box!

Here's an example of Isolate. The schedule will "only" show rooms that are not placed.
(You could also do the opposite and "hide" all the "not placed" rooms in the schedule...)

Later on if you decide to place the room somewhere else in the model, you can select it from the Options bar during placement. All the "not placed" rooms are fair game along with "new" rooms (which is the default). If you no longer want the room, you have to delete it from the schedule.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Weird Railings in Revit

Ran across this when working with a team manipulating railings in a Revit project.

Railings typically show the full height of a stair, follow the landing, etc., something like this:

In many cases, you don't want the railing around the landing but only on the bottom & top flights, so you have to remove some of the sketch lines and add an additional railing so you end up with something like this:

You also more than likely don't want to see the entire stair in plan, so you turn off the visibility (or dash) the following sub-categories:

Railings beyond cut line

Stairs beyond cut line
Stringer beyond cut line

Now is when you run into the problem. Since you no longer have one continuous railing that intersects the cut plan, the railing doesn't appear correctly and shows up when it shouldn't (above/beyond the cut plane).

There are probably a few solutions to this, but I'll only list a few...

Solution #1: Hide "element"...

I obviously like to understand what's going on, so I dug a little deeper.

Solution #2: If you look at this in a section and take note of where the upper railing starts, you can correct the display problem by altering your view's top range within the View Range dialog box. Our top range normally defaults to 7'-0", but in this case as long as you have the top range less that where that railing starts, it will not longer show as desired. Here's what I mean -

You can see that this particular railing starts at 5'-6 171/256"...

Adjust the top range below this value. In this case, I adjusted the top range to be 5'-6", just below the railing.

Once I did that, the railing no longer displays! The same thing applies if you want to show the stair beyond the cut plane dashed...

So in review: If you no longer have one continuous railing on your stair, but instead two individual railings (one per flight), the railing on the top will not respect the "do not show beyond cut plane" visibility control because it doesn't interesect the cut plane.

On the same note, you may have the exact opposite situation occur... In our case, we had a very high space with a tall stair. The top railing started well above the top range and the team wondered why it didn't show...

So you can see, we've run into both situations... one where they didn't want the railing to show and one where they did. Once you understand what's going on, you can fix both situations :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Autodesk and NavisWorks

Post regarding Autodesk and NavisWorks posted to my BIM and IPD blog...

Go here:

or click here to access:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

3D Printing using Revit - STL Export

For those of you looking at getting into 3D printing, Autodesk labs is now offering a tool to automate the export of a Revit model to a format read by 3D printers (STL). The tool that is being offered works with all the flavors of Revit (Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP). Here is a short clip from their site:

"STL is a popular file format for stereolithography used for rapid prototyping and computer aided manufacturing. An STL file describes the surface geometry of a 3D object. "

You can download here:

or visit the Autodesk labs site at:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Revit Support for Subscription Users

For all of you with an Autodesk Subscription, you'll find that the Technical Support tool has been enhanced. You can search for a variety of document types...

You can also Subscribe to either the Top 5 Hot issues or the Top 5 Recent Solutions!

Here you can see I subscribe to the Top 5 Hot issues using the Google format. It adds a gaget to my iGoogle home page - How cool is that!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Autodesk Impression 2 - Free to Subscription Customers

Autodesk Impression has a new version and is now free to subscription users!!

Go to the subscription site and download. The link is right on the main page!

You can get to the subscription site (login page) by going here:

You can also access the free e-learning via the subscription site...

Revit 2009 Extensions

Autodesk has now posted the extensions for Revit Architecture 2009. They are:

  • Worksharing Monitor
  • Batch Print
  • Globe Link

You can download them from the Subscription site (assuming you're a subscription member...)
Go here to sign in to the subscription site:

From there, navigate to here (on the main page)

Then you'll be taking here where you can download!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Managing Detail Level in Revit

Do you ever hear the complaint that Revit’s output doesn’t look consistent, or the Lineweights look bad? One of the things that you should pay close attention to is the level of detail of your views. Here is a tip that will help ensure that all your views have the correct level of detail applied to them.

Create a schedule to show all the views in your project.

Add the columns that you deem necessary. Here is what we use:

Notice the two columns at the far right (highlighted yellow).

Current” is the current detail level of the view.
Recommended” is what we recommend the view should be. It doesn’t mean it has to be, but based on the scale, is suggested.

The Recommended column is created in the schedule properties, under Fields. It is a calculated Value with the following formula:

if(Scale Value 1: < 49, "Fine", if(Scale Value 1: < 97, "Medium", "Coarse"))

Note: You can actually change the detail level right within the schedule. You don’t have to go to the view to make the change.

Other things you can do within the View List:

  • Change the "Title on Sheet".
  • Find out what sheet a specific view is placed on.

What a great place to manage your views!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Interference Check In Revit

Interference, Clash, Collision - all the same thing to Revit...

Here are a few tips to make your life a little easier when using Revit to do an Interference Check within your model.

Create a 3D view called Interference Check.

Set the view to wireframe (optional).

Using Visibility/Graphics, show only the categories of elements that your doing the interference check on, i.e. in the 3D view, only show Walls and structural framing if that's what your checking interference on.

Run the interference tool... Best practice is to choose a limited number of categories at a time, or better yet, "one" category against another. You'll thank me for this unless you like to sort thru lists of thousands of collisions...

Assuming you have some collisions - when you select items (within the Interference Report), they should highlight in red and since you are only showing a limited number of categories in the 3D view, it should be easier to find. You don't have to hit the show button at this point.

As you alternate clicking on the items in question, each should highlight in the current (3D) view. The image below shows how I'm clicking in the Interference Report and the item highlights in the view. As I mentioned above, you shouldn't have to hit "Show" because you're already in a view that should be displaying the items.

You are also given the element ID that can be used to find the element in other views within the model... Also note that you can also get the Element ID of any (or multiple) objects(s).

To search for an item using its element ID, go to the Tools Pulldown and select:

Copy/paste or type in the element ID...

Note: There are a couple gotcha's
  • You can only check the host model against itself, or with (1) linked model.
  • You can't check the host model with more than one linked model, e.g. you can't check the architectural model (walls), with Structural's model (beams & columns) and Mechanical's model (ductwork).
  • You can't check a linked model against a linked model.
  • When you export the Interference Report to HTML, you're given a number for each clash. You are not given the same number when you review the Interference report within Revit.
  • You can't ignore clashes that you know are legit.
  • Once you run thru all the collisions, since you can't ignore clashes, if you run the interference check again in a week, you'll have all the same clashes (that you wanted to ignore), that you'll have to go thru again...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Path for "Load From Library"

Ever want to change the path for where Load From Library looks for content?

We'll - in the Options dialog box, there is no "apparent" path for this. It's somewhat disguised under the Libraries section.

By specifying a different path here, it will do two things:

  1. Update your Imperial Library Shortcut in the Open/Load dialog box.
  2. Update your Load From Library (under the File Pulldown)

Ditto in RAC 2009, but it's under Places...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Low Walls in Revit

This is an older tip, but we just ran into the issue again recently...

Unwritten Rule: Walls that are unconnected AND less than 6' in height will not display their interior layers (you'll get a display similar to coarse).

These two walls are the same family, just different heights...

Workaround #1:
Constrain the Top of the wall to the same level as the base constraint, but give the wall a Top Offset equal to the desired unconnected height. This is essentially the same thing as being unconnected, but in Revit's eyes is not...

Workaround #2:
Same as above, but constrain the top of the wall to the level above. Do some math to include an offset "down" from that level.

Workaround #3:
"Attach" the wall's top to something... In this example, a Reference Plane will do.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Force a Hard Return in Revit...

Have you ever wanted to force Revit to do a hard return (place text on the line below)?

This doesn't work in all situations, but by placing your cursor where you want the line to wrap and then hitting CRTL ENTER , Revit will enter a hard return. Here is an example of a view title where I wanted to divide the view title between two lines.

FYI - In this particular example, you can't do this on the "view's name", so you'll have to instead use the "Title on Sheet"...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wall Cleanup

I don't typically like to re-post something from another's blog, but in case you don't read his blog, this tip is awesome and has been a thorn in our side for a while now. Credit goes to David Light

David titled it "My staggered wall is not cleaning up!!!! " The issue is when you have a condition where parallel walls don't cleanup properly because of their position or that that a short wall is created that won't clean properly - Something like this:

The key is in the order you click the blue grips... Click the horizontal wall's blue grip here:

Then click the other horizontal wall's grip here:

And you get this!

How cool is that!!! Too bad we have to do it manually, but at least it works. Autodesk - take note...

Now the question is, does this "stick" so next time I open the project, is the correct cleanup still there... We'll see..

Thanks David!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Worksharing Monitor - System Performance

OK - I have to tell you I really like the System performance tool of the new Worksharing Monitor.

I know you can do similar tasks using Windows Task Manager, but having it all in one location is very nice. We have run into issues of low memory, etc. resulting in crashing - this will assist staff in staying on top of those memory issues.

Also, being able to keep this window on top (transparent) and continue to monitor things is handy.

New Revit Tools!!

Check out the new tools offered by Autodesk!

  • Worksharing Monitor
  • Batch Print Utility

Both are available to Subscription members (we all should have subscription, right??) I won't get into specifics about each app here (at least not yet) because they seem pretty straight forward, but download and check them out!

Here's where you can find the download:

Log onto the Subscription site:

On the main page, navigate to the following:

Click on the above link, you'll be taken to where you can download...

Once installed, you'll find the tools under the Tools Pulldown, then External Tools or in the case of the Worksharing Monitor, from the Desktop icon created during installation.