Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting objects above to show up in floor plan

Sometimes there are things above the plan cut plane that you want to show up the plan. A ceiling mounted projector and the projector screen are two examples of items that you might want to see on the RCP and the floor plan.

Normally an object hosted on a ceiling will not appear on the plan so you could manually draw in dashed lines for the item. However every time the object moves or changes, you will have to more or edit the lines.

Just adding dashed lines below the object in the Family where the floor would be will not make it appear in the floor plan.

But drawing an invisible line in the Family straight down so that it passes through the View's Cut Plane will trigger it to appear. You can then use the Linework tool to make the lines dashed.

Plan Regions can also be used for this. You will have to create a plan region for each object. So if you have multiple objects of the same Family, the invisible line trick will automatically do make all of them visible.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

When to use Design Options and Phases

Design Options > small scope changes

When you are creating a design option for an element, anything hosted or affected by that element must also be addressed by each option. So if you are creating 3 design options for a roof, any skylights hosted in that roof have to be addressed in 3 different options. If the change to the roof affects the way a wall connects to the roof, then that wall and anything hosted by that wall has to be part of each option.

So Design Options are effective for small scale changes, but can end up bloating file sizes and creating a lot of work for changes of a larger scope.

Phases > larger scope changes

Phases are not limited to the default "New" and "Existing Construction." They can be used in a similar way to Design Options to show multiple larger scale options. Phase Filters allow you to control the visibility of phases. This is a little more complex to set up than Design Options but can save on the amount of duplicated work.

Multiple Linked Models > large scope changes

If a large portion of the model is changing in each option or you are evaluating different schemes, using multiple linked models may be a better solution. Linking the models allows you to set up side-by-side comparisons easily. Each option is a separate file, so the changes in one will not affect the other. This is only a good option to use when the overall design is still very schematic and large scale changes are happening that need to be evaluated against each other.


Working View/Sheet View of Schedule
Schedules are just a view of information in the model like any other type of View. So you should set up a standardized view for a sheet that will be printed that only shows the information that you want to have printed. Then use a separate working view to edit the schedule. In this view other parameters that you do not necessarily want to show up in the printed view can be seen and it can be sorted in different ways that make it easier to use when working. This way project managers and anyone first coming into the project can see the information in the schedule without extraneous information.

Schedule Keys
When you are creating a schedule there are often many items in the schedule that have the same properties. Rather than manually entering the same data for each one, you can automate the process using Schedule Keys.

They are created like a Schedule by selecting "Schedule Key" instead of "Schedule building components". Then you apply the apply the Key style to the objects that you want. As with anything in Revit, taking time to plan out what paramaters you want to duplicate will save you time in teh long run. Once a Key has been applied to an object, any values given by the Key will become read-only in the Schedule. To change them you would have to make the change in teh Schedule Key. The Revit Help Menu has more information on Schedule Keys.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My AU 2009 experience

We have been using Revit as a AutoCAD alternative to document our projects, but have only scratched the surface of what Revit can do. At Autodesk University 2009 I tried to focus on classes in Conceptual Design, Planning and Urban Design, and visualization to see how we might expand our use of Revit and use it more intelligently.

I think Jim wants to have a lunch-and-learn type thing to share what we learned. Some of the information will probably also get put into the blog by topic. I put some of the information I downloaded here:

K:\Autodesk University Class Data\AU 2009

Here area some of the topics:

Creating and Analyzing Conceptual Massing Geometry With the Revit API
Programming in the API is probably a little too advanced for most of us, but it gives you idea on how information could be brought into Revit from a variety of sources as data and used to drive geometry.

Parts of iRobot, Snakes on a Plane, the Watchmen, X-Men: the Last Stand were modeled in Revit.

Autodesk® Revit® for Urban Design - HOK presented some planning work they have done at a variety of scales. They have a lot of information on their blog.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Team Model Manager Guidelines

The Model Manger will be in charge of completing the following tasks:

1. Position buildings on site
     a. Using survey, determine a logical origin point. Nearest survey benchmark to the building should be used.
     b. Create architectural AutoCAD site plan from survey by:
          I. Freezing unnecessary layers.
          II. Wblock remaining layers to new file name.
          III. Open new file, move all from origin point to 0,0 check insbase.
     c. Create Revit file w/ Autocad site.
     d. Position preliminary building on site.
     e. Set project north.

2. Work with James V./Steve F. to create ftp site if necessary. FTPs are used in our office to make the latest Revit model available to the team automatically on a daily basis. Newforma should be used for all other file transfers.

3. Communicate with consultants to:
     a. Ensure timely uploads of their data to the FTP site (for Revit) or Newforma for all other files.
     b. Provide support files - site, Revit files.
     c. Explain Newforma process.

4. Process consultant downloads by:
     a. Disconnecting their file from their central file.
     b. Strip out unnecessary and circular linked files.
     c. Save to correct Q: drive folder with correct name.

5. Provide support to team by answering questions.

6. Keep model streamlined by:
     a. Auditing file regularly.
     b. Compressing file regularly.
     c. Purging the file at opportune times.
     d. Ensure new local files are created by team every Monday.
     e. Resolve “Warnings”.

7. Family creation and support.
     a. Keep watch over family creation to prevent problems.
     b. Downloaded families are often much more detailed than desired, adding too much data to file.
     c. Be aware of families in project that may be useful to other projects, and the families created that may be useful to your project.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Revit Keyboard Accelerators

This is a great PDF file that not only lists the short keys commands, but also details keyboard tricks to help you edit in Revit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Revit Model and Consultant Coordination

There is a great way to visually check linked revit models with each other by bringing them into SketchUp.

In Revit, while in the 3D view, Click FILE, EXPORT, CAD FORMATS and choose AUTOCAD 2004 dwg format then SAVE to location of choice.

This will produce a separate 3D dwg file for each linked Revit file including the central file.

In SketchUp, Click FILE, IMPORT, browse to the location of saved dwg files above, FILES OF TYPE should be set to ACAD DWG/DWF, OPEN.

Import each dwg file into the same SketchUp file.

Each DWG will come in as a component which can easily be asigned a specific color.

Some alignment between components may be necessary.

Now you can quickly walk through your model looking for any places Structural, Site, or MEP components may be exposed through the architectural model.

I hope this helps you find costly errors before they are constructed.

Thursday, May 7, 2009