Monday, March 22, 2010

What causes Revit to Crash?

I've been asked this a few times so I thought I would share some of my experiences on why Revit may crash or you get insufficient resources messages...

IMO - the most common reason for Revit to crash at our firm is the lack of resources (RAM). Most of our computers have at least 2 GB or RAM and up to 4 GB). The majority of our users have 4GB...

Our PCs range from 3.8 Pentium 4's to Core 2 duo (better) and we're running on XP Pro (32 bit) at the moment, so adding more RAM won't help because of the OS and it's RAM limitation. We do have the 3 GB switch enabled on most PC's, (a few just didn't like this setting so we couldn't utilize..). You can go here is you want more information on this subject.

SOLUTION: 64 bit OS with at least 8 GB of RAM... (now if money only grew on trees!)

If you don't have this as a option, then you can also use the Worksharing Monitor's System Performance Monitor to help catch a low resource issue prior to it happening. As you can see in my System Performance monitor, running a 64 bit OS (Windows 7) with 8 GB of RAM, I have ton's of resources compared to a 32 bit OS with 2GB of RAM. Also, with notifications on when using the Worksharing Monitor, you will get a window popup window letting you know you're running low and had better save.

Windows XP - PRo - 32 bit:

Windows 7 - 64 bit:

Another issue that will not  cause a crash, but will prohibit you from saving due to insufficient resources when your temp folder is full. What is full you may ask? I asked Revit support the same question and didn't get a definitive answer, but I can tell you this, if Revit crashes and you don't clean out this folder (see more on this below), you WILL have this problem eventually... My guess is if you get around 1 GB of "stuff" in there, you'll start to have problems.

Revit creates temp files during normal use of the application. When Revit closes normally, these files are deleted. If you crash, they are not... and they can take up quite a bit of space. Here is an example of the files I'm talking about and you can see that they're pretty big. As you can see, this is only one day - imagine if you crash multiple times over different days!

Close any running applications, then go to >Start >Run and type in %temp%. This will get you quickly to the temp folder. Delete anything that is not today's date and all Revit temp files. You'll probably have a bunch of other windows files in there that can also be deleted, but if you're nervous about deleting them, just remove the Revit temp files.

Good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Revit Families vs. Project Performance; Quantity & Size

We (EUA Design Consulting) were recently evaluating some manufacturer content and one of the things we always check for is the file size of the families. At EUA, we are deliberate about keeping the file size down to minimize the impact on our projects. So, we decided to query our Imperial Library to see just how well we were practicing what we preach...

To give you a little background on our Imperial Library - It's primarily EUA created with very little remaining out of the box (OOTB) content. We actually started with the OOTB content during our initial Revit migration (5 years ago), but quickly came to the conclusion that it was lacking in many facets. It was fine for our pilot project, but that's where it ended. Content creation has been a 5 year project and will probably never end, but we're definitely over the hump. Content request by our staff have leveled off, but we still get one or two weekly. So, if you're a firm making the switch to Revit, be sure to consider the importance of quality Revit content. Don't get me wrong - Revit it AWESOME and we love it, but it's a shame that most of the content that ships with Revit doesn't have the quality or consistency required. Sorry Autodesk, but I don't think the content that ships with Revit has been updated for years...

The results below are a quick overview of our Imperial Library:

Total number of EUA Revit families: 6260
(FYI - Revit ships with ~1165 families out of the box)

EUA Revit families with a size over 500k:  35

EUA Revit families over 800k:  1

So as you can see, the majority of our families are less than 500k. We have only 35 families (slightly more than a half percent) exceeding 500 KB. Not even half our library exceeds 300 KB.We aim for a family size of 200k to 400k max if possible. 

So, as you're browsing the web for Revit families and you think you hit the mother load- consider the file size and how this will impact your project. It will...

And remember - this is only one aspect of families that can affect your project's performance. Family complexity, formulas, nesting, arrays, etc. can also have a big impact - more on that later :)

Hope this helps!