Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tools and Winners and Grids in 3D

Thanks to everyone who sent in tips, as well as all you readers who may have or may be helped... Voting had such limited time so instead I posed the tips to a panel of Reviteurs and the Grand Prize Winner is: You for using these tips!!!

Ok, OK, John Raiten, BIM Coordinator @ Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors supplied the winning tip; that will surely prove useful and an inspiration to think beyond our limitations...

Revit Coordination Tip: 3D Grid Callouts

When coordinating with other disciplines i.e. Structure, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Safety through Navisworks
  • Create a custom “3D Text Grid” in Revit (using the line based Generic Model template) that shows a 3D Text in Plan and Elevation (both Front/Back & Left/Right)
  • Create a Hidden Workset for these “3D Text Grids”
  • Make a “3D Text Grid” to match all of the Normal Revit Grids on one level
  • Copy those “3D Text Grids” to each level that is in your model (You may want to Align/Lock them if the Grids move depending on the current status/state of the project)
  • Create a 3D view with only the “3D Text Grids” visible – turned on
  • Export the ”3D Text Grids” for use in Navisworks
This will allow you to quickly coordinate locations when viewing the Clash models and doing a walk/fly through.

Great idea... I would also point everyone who finds this useful to a post by David Kingham where he shares a family (on AUGI) to do this type of thing. Reviteurs Rule!!! New-grids-in-navisworks-part-deux.

Greg Burr submitted this one:
Say you have two walls side by side and have a door or window inserted into one of the walls but you want the door or window opening to cut through the other wall as well. Simply use Join Geometry and join the two wall together.

From Marcos Santa Ana:
If you turn off the number bubble on a grid line you can use them to show up in elevations and section as property lines and setback lines. Just now have to figure our how to "PL-PL-PL-PL" for example.

Nice work by all for playing along!!! BTW: In regards to the PL thing, an idea I had was for one to also try:

Reference Planes (named) ...I know, I know you'd have to manage all the other Ref Planes to be worksetted, as to NOT be visible by default in all views, so one can turn on printing of these "property line" planes...Hey, it's just a thought!!!

  • Create a family (line based) that is a very thin box (1/32") for instance, give height as well
  • Place that on the Property Lines, locking them
  • in the family, in the side views place an array of bits of lines and a symbol (PL) at desired spacing
  • Give materiality, if desired to the 3D piece
  • Workset these to NOT be visible by default in all views
    An arcing family can also be created but the section views may get squirrely... It's a thought...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Free Revit Addins...He Said Tool

A preliminary thanks goes out to the the BumpShack for their posting where the image (and link) above was found (when I searched for the biggest tool :-))...

First off I must admit that the reason for this posting is that I have been given a free copy of these tools for my use, in return for my giving a copy to one of you...Oh, and for pimping it up herein... Not a bad thing but I do want it to be clear.

That said:

Anyone heard of the Avatech Utilities for Revit? better yet anyone NOT heard of them? Well in any case one of you, my most appreciated readers, will be getting a free copy of the full package of these Tools... My gift to you...YAAY!!! Well, more like their gift to me FOR YOU!!!

I was thinking to give these tools away by asking for inappropriate photo submissions that would be voted on... but that kind of 'contest' I
think is better suited to be on my other (rarely used) blog, or simply via email... not that I am asking mind you :-) So here's the plan... If you want to be in on this opportunity to win a copy of these, then all you need to do is the following:
  1. Use the EMAIL link above or add a comment to this posting that describes (in full) the best or most hidden tip or technique you have for Revit (any flavor). To post a comment click the "comments link" at the bottom of the post... it's just left of the envelope icon!!!
  2. Include your real name and email address at the bottom of the body of your comment to be eligible.
  3. Vote. (when open)
Voting will begin Monday July 26th, 2010 and will will conclude on Thursday July 29th, 2010; right here on this blog (I will provide a voting widget); then, we will all vote on our favorite comment, compile the results and Voilà... When a winner is chosen I will send their name & email address to the organizers and they will then receive their free copy of the fore mentioned Revit tools directly from said organizers. Why is this all happening? well, the cost of the full package of these tools is going to go from $99 to $399 after August 1st... so free is good!!!

Tips are good too and after this I will post all of the tips in a proper posting and we can all help one another... Good Luck!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

CMAA SoCal: BIM for Construction Management

Whether you are or you are not a CMAA member and you will be in the Southern California area August 12th you may want to take a look at the entire flier by clicking the image above.

I am happy to be joining up with several (other :-) industry heavyweights to help grow the understanding of potentials that BIM holds, in an effort to get to a sustainable AEC, O world.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Make Them Detail Components: A How-To

Recently I got a complement/comment posted to an older blog entry “Converting CAD Details To Revit Details: Just Do It...One way or another.” where it was said: "Great in-depth post on this difficult process. Well written, not confusing for anyone of any skill level. I work with the McGraw Hill Sweets Network, an online database where you can find all your cad detail needs." Well I do like a lot of the items on the Sweet’s sites (especially the BIM objects to be found there!!!) and think the publisher is doing great work for our industry without a doubt; but I want to make a distinction between what we NEED in BIM projects as opposed to CAD projects... Cad detail needs are not at all similar to BIM detail needs and it is just an error of imagination to confuse the two... an understandable error but error nonetheless (in most cases).

CAD detail are obviously good for CAD work flows but not for BIM projects as a whole. Basically CAD details are
lines, arcs , circles & text (all dumb objects and merely belief based) …we (read as I) need to revisit the whole concept of detailing in Revit in the hopes of shedding more light on how it may be best to work WITH BIM, rather than against the river that it is.

I have become an overwhelming advocate against the use of CAD details in Revit at all; if one can possibly help it. Then I have extended this to drawing lines in Revit...

I would like to forward the following postulate to those who have details drawn in Revit using lines, arcs, circles & text and still think that they have Revit details: you have not much more than sticky back details (yes, I have seen Revit details where nothing more is technically needed and in those cases I might agree that lines can be used... I just don't.

I'd still personally make the items into detail components, in case I ever use it again elsewhere -like the handicap symbol... and especially if the items use CAD lines that were "Revitized... that usually (read as most always) converts smooth curves into billion-segmented line nib-lets, creating bloated and slower files and worse than that hundreds or thousands of the ill-desired and dreaded Warnings. YUK:

From Toward a Zen of Revit: No Warning is a Good Warning (I am writing that presently)

Bottom line: details using
lines, arcs, circles & text are not as close to being as powerful as they can be with a true Revit (AKA: BIM) efficient work flow: (remember that was why you bought Revit wasn't it? The associative power & efficiency? Or was it that your client forced it on you???)

Next I propose a challenge: NEVER, EVER, EVER USE LINES IN REVIT.

Especially those lines converted from CAD files or details, as discussed previously... even though I gave that as an option in that older post...can't life be fickle? ...I said that was an is just a bad one for long term practice).

I understand that most offices have hundreds of standard details or typical details that are used as starting points
… With that in mind I do suggest recreating (yep, recreate) all of the existing, appropriate details in Revit, using only (OK; mostly only) Detail Components for items that will be called out and specified... then I suggest using Keynotes and Tags instead of text in as many cases as can be!!!

Toward a Zen of Revit: No Text = No Chasing

Dogmatic? Yes
Makes Details & Projects better? Yes
Saves time in the long run? I have found
Tastes great? Huh?

Using Detail Components (for every item) can be more possible than you might think right now... be creative!!!

OK onto those details sans lines...
I am not talking about lines within 'sketch modes' etc. either; in fact the detail component that we will be creating in this posting will ultimately use a line (though at the family level, so it doesn't count)… So I make a rule and break the rule… The logic there is When the line is used to make a detail component, it may work and look like a simple line but it has become far more than that... it becomes a Data Enlightened Object.

What I mean is: do not (in almost every case) use lines for pieces of Revit details, such as the example herein, where a waterproofing membrane (image 1) is specified.

-I even create or use Detail Components for standard/generically specified items such as “FINISH FLOOR PER PLANS”, etc… Oh and YES, the wall below would NOT have the waterproofing membrane on the exterior of finish... I merely used it as an example about these detail components!!!

Image 1

In the stead of using lines and pointing to them with dumb (read as not associative) text I suggest using “Line Based Detail Components” or Detail Component line based” (Image 2), as the family template is so named. Unless of course you want to chase text and naming around all of your details… hey; maybe I am wrong about this and you make so much money that spending time or
wasting time is of no consequence… If that is you then draw lines and link in CAD details and have fun with all the inconsistencies (CAD dimensions & arrows, etc.), time lost to re-re-re-modification and finally project slow down (too many CAD files will create a situation where Revit seems to work like it’s in molasses!!! Or like a Fucking Stupid Donkey)

Image 2

The procedures to ‘draw’ with these Line Based Detail Components once in a project are similar to pulling lines around; with a few main differences:
1) We cannot chain line based components together (awww ) , so click away my pretties
2) Detail Components can be brilliant!!! If we change one in a detail all the other instances will change… thus we leverage The Power of BIM: Change it once and it changes everywhere!!!

The following should all be clear if you have some pre-existing understanding of Family Creation. Uhhh; Revit Family Creation that is...

Making a Line Based Detail Component

1) Using the Big “R”, at the top/left of Revit (AKA: the Application Button) choose the flyout arrow next to NEW, then choose FAMILY

2) Select the Detail Component line based template (Image 2)

3) Create a line in the new family

-there, I said it… my rule is technically broken if you are thinking how I usually think...though in this case I am not being that literal (ahh, the contradictions of communication)

4) Lock it to the REF PLANES (Image 3)

Image 3

5) Flex the length
If all is working then move on, if not try again…

6) Save the family. (use a good naming convention & library location, right? But you knew that…)

OK ready for the proof? Here we go…

These 4 details (Image 4) are the same, right? Wrong… one uses 'them there' dumb lines, the others use a Detail Component of the line based variety… But you knew that (by now)…

Image 4 (CLICK THE IMAGE!!!)

Now, I am going to change the Detail Components from being "Bituminous Sheet Waterproofing" to "6 Mil. Polyethylene"...

Can you guess which one of them won’t change when the meta-data (Keynote value, in this case) is changed? … I’ll wait… OK, see (Image 5) for the answer.

Image 5 (CLICK THE IMAGE!!!)

Now extrapolate this type of change out to the multitude of components in the numerous details you may have and you can probably see the benefit of taking a little extra time up-front to primarily FIND and secondarily, Create your Detail Components (line based or otherwise), AS DETAIL COMPONENTS for every (or as close to every) specific case necessary… BTW: Have you ever looked to see how many detail components there are in the OOTB Revit library, let alone floating around on the web-o-sphere??? There are A LOT!!!

Happy Detailing!!!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

TwitchINg Clouds

Simply hit the link via the above image and get Twitching (Using ADSK Software without installing them)!!! bandwidth withstanding...

We can lead technology but only if we participate!!! Get to it!!! The Labs have getting started videos as well... Unfortunately for our international friends these are just for the USA and Canada at present...damned treaties???

Thursday, July 01, 2010

AutoCAD's just Religion

"Change The Words" [read in the cadence of a blues song]

AutoCAD's a religion
It's just belief system; yeah
-draw two lines and hatch in between them
now point to it with some text

that's what you have now: i'n't it?
but that's just what you believe...
' don't trust me? just change the words,
what does it now mean

If your belief in the object
fails or breaks down
you're back to just lines again: text and hatch

"I believe what I want to believe"; don't trust what you believe
Things are just what they are, they are
no alterations apply

It's just what you believe, no one's gonna change you yourself
you have to embrace change, that's the only thing that remain( )

Change Remains but Belief is Fleeting
Construct a Future and Use New Idea( )

AutoCAD's a religion, BIM is one too
The difference as it seems to me; blind faith and dogma
you can have what you want, you want
but is it really YOU who want( )?