Monday, 15 December 2008

Revit - Modelling balcony slab with sloped edges

Here's an interesting modelling challenge set by Nilanjana of the London Office. She wanted to quickly produce a balcony, based on the sketch below, for a large high rise residential scheme.


You will see from the diagram above that the majority of the balcony is 450mm deep and is flat as indicated by the blue area. The balcony then falls away on three edges to only 150mm thick. You will also notice the balcony is not rectilinear as indicated, with three sides at different angles.There are a number of different ways to tackle this.... create a family, an in-place family? All have their merits, but at the concept stage of a project you don't always have time to produce what in essence is actually a rather complex family to create. So the easiest way to create the balcony is in four separate elements.

So start by sketching out a few reference planes to define the extent and shape of the balcony.

Next create a new floor slab type which is 450mm thick. Edit the type properties of the construction of the floor slab and set the structure "variable" radio button is ticked. This will ensure that that slab is flush on the underside after you have edited the slab.


Next model four separate slabs based on the reference plane sketches.

4 slabs

You can then slab edit the edges of the three slabs which need to slope away using the sub-element edit tools. Select one of the floor slabs you created and the sub-element edit tools will appear in the options bar.

sub edit

Next select the edit points/edges tools, then select the outer edge of the slab you want to edit and alter the elevation from 0mm to -300mm; this will drop the whole edge of the slab and it will slope as required.

edge edit

Now do this for all the other edges which need to fall away.

dropped edge 

For extra finesse, use the join geometry to clean up all the floor slabs.

result  result

One could argue that this is not a purist approach to the BIM problem because you end up with four slabs rather than one, but at that concept stage where you want to convey an idea, this approach is ideal.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Keynote Tag and Model/Annotation Crop Boundaries

Kevin Shumbera in Houston writes:

I'd like to report an easily reproducible issue to watch for (and to pass on to Autodesk).

If an element with a keynote is outside of the model crop region, but the keynote itself is inside the annotation crop, the keynote will NOT show up in plan but will STILL schedule per that sheet.

This happens in dependant and non-dependant views in both 2008 and 2009.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Revit - matching dependent views across multiply views

William Lopez Campo asks:-I have a project which I have created a total of 30 dependent views on one level, how can I create duplicate dependent views on all my other views to match the 30 I have already created, without having to manually create them?

To propagate a series of dependent views from one particular level to the levels above, you need to do the following.

Set up you dependent views as required on one level only, in your case this is 30 dependent views! Next select the primary view associated with these dependent views.


With this view selected, go the view pulldown menu and choose "apply dependent views".


This will open a dialogue box which will allow you to propagate the dependent views you initially created to any other plan view you require.


The additional dependent views will be created for you at each level, based  on the dependent views you initially created. You will obviously have to rename them and it should be noted that the dependent views will not maintain associativity in relationship with the crop regions across the multiple levels.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Zoom in and out edit colour scheme dialogue

I discovered this one by mistake yesterday and thought it would be good to share. When working in the edit color scheme dialogue it is now possible to zoom in and out of the scheme definition window in Revit Architecture 2009; it is not possible in Revit Architecture 2008.

default display
All you need to do is place your mouse pointer in the scheme definition window part of the edit color scheme dialogue, then hold down the control key on your keyboard and then use the middle mouse scroll wheel. On doing this you will find that you can scroll in and out, to view more or less of the values in the scheme definition.

zoomed display

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Revit Timber Lattice

Darryn B, LON asks: I need to create a timber lattice structure, such as the attached pictures, as a wall and possibly as a slab too. I was wondering if anyone knew of or has done anything like this before?

William LC responds: Here’s a couple of examples on the approach I would take for a Timber Lattice Material.
As you can see I’ve played with Transparency and Bump, for a straight and a 45ยบ option. You can use it in a Wall or in a Curtain Wall setting (my recommendation), be careful to modify the Mullions accordingly too.
In my test the Lattice is roughly 8 cm wood x 12 void, but that can be customized through the Maps and Map Alignment. Notice the material has a 50% Transparency and a Surface Pattern, for Revit shaded or Hidden views.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Creating a Tunnel in Revit

Aungwara N, ATL says: We have a project that requires us to carve out areas that are larger than the pad openings and connect with each other below street level, like tunnels. Has anyone came up with a way to create a pad and able to control its height? The whole site will end up being about 0.5 mile long and the void will be filled with utilities and rail system.

Adam S, ATL says: "If you have enough spot elevation data, one option is to establish fixed elevation points at the corners / perimeter of the pad, and then create a new floor type of earth / structure to match the pad dimensions. Click on new floor and use the ‘modify points and edges’ tool and select each corner point and match its elevation to the spot elevation of the toposurface. Given the scale of the site, this will probably have to be done with a number of slabs in order to make the model reasonably accurate. I don’t think it is possible to join geometry with the toposurface, so the joint between slab and topo may be apparent in shaded views (or get creative with visibility/graphic override). It should fade away when rendered, and can be hidden in section views by using the linework tool.

Examples show an option with no variable thickness components in the slab, and an option with variable thickness for the earth component (if you want a flat underside of slab)."

David Light, Excitech says: ."This really breaks the Revit rules as my example is a very large floor slab which has been edited, but this does allow you to cut a void to show a tunnel.
At the moment this cannot be achieved using the toposurface tool. The only other options to consider are an inplace family or maybe a combination of an inplace family and a toposurface."
In summary, we are fighting to use Revit for planning and landscape design although I guess a half mile long tunnel constitutes a major Civil engineering project (we could use Autocad Civil 3D without much connection to Revit). In early design we would like these kind of tools in Revit Architecture. We need better Revit tools for site modelling to include a tunnel and roads features. Autodesk? As workarounds these suggestions are great, thanks!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Steel Doesn't Conform to Object Styles

If you find that structural framing elements fail to appear according to their object style settings you need to check the view range of the view. In order for these elements to use their category or sub-category assignments they must be part of (within) the Primary Range of a view's View Range settings.

Adjust the Bottom of the Primary Range so that it intersects or is below the structural framing and you'll find the object style assignments "return".

Keep in mind you may get slightly different behavior between RST and RAC and whether or not you are using an Architectural or Structural discipline assignment.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Revit Diamond Curtain wall

Joe from HK says "We would like to make grids parallel to segments shown in image below in red"

Lee Suggests: You can change the configuration of the Grid layout. To do this, select the curtain system and select the configure grid layout icon that appears.

Click in the Degree value to set the angle of the grid

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Exporting & Plotting to File Errors

This issue just popped onto the radar yesterday. Revit was generating the following error message while exporting to dwg.

The issue is the use of illegal file name characters in the name of a view and/or project name. Revit has to create a file during export or plotting to a file and if the sheet name/view name or project name contains illegal characters Revit will complain and fail to do what you ask.

Just keep it LEGAL!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

3d DWG models in Revit

You want to know why when you link a 3d DWG model into Revit and try to cut a section through the linked model you don’t get a true representation of the section cut?
Unfortunately you can’t simply link in a 3d DWG to your project and cut sections through the linked 3d DWG data.

To get a true section through a 3d DWG in Revit, you must approach it in one of three ways.

  • Within your project create an inplace family, making sure that you select an appropriate family category which allows the geometry to be cuttable. Then import the 3d DWG into the inplace family. This is no preferable, as you are adding weight to your project.

  • Create a new family component such as a generic model family, which allows your geometry to be cuttable. Import the 3d DWG into the family then load this into your project and place the family. This approach allows you to manage the data a little easier as you can easily delete the family component from your project when it’s no longer required.

  • If you have a very large 3d DWG survey that you want to use within your project you may be better using the above approach of creating a family component and then placing the component into a new project. Then link this “survey” project into you master project file. This keeps the 3d DWG survey data separate from the building model and makes the update process and management of the data a lot easier.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Ceramic tiles on walls

How do I show wall tiling in Room elevations?

When creating room elevation of toilets or bathrooms there may be times when you want to show tiling on the walls. You could approach this in a number of ways, however a good start point is to use the split face tool which can be found in the toolbar across the top of the Revit UI.

The split face tool can be used on any non-family instance. You can use the split face tool to split selected elements and then use the Paint tool to apply different materials to selected faces. It should be noted that you are not actually changing the structure of the element. So to split the face of a wall to apply a ceramic tile material to a selected area, do the following.

Select the split face tool. Place your cursor on the wall you’d like to split and select that wall face.
You will now be in sketch mode, which allows you to place a closed loop inside the face or an open loop with ends that touch the boundary face. If you then select finish sketch from the design bar you will see that you wall face has been split.

Next you can use the paint tool to apply a different finish to the split face.

You can also use the align tool or dimensions on the fill patterns to alter and align the spacing of the fill pattern on the split face.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

How do I add text to a Revit dimension?

Currently in Revit Architecture 2008 you can not override dimension text, to be honest that’s not a bad things! However, on those rare occasions where you have to, there are a couple of ways around this, if you refer to Steve’s blog article this explains how to use a font which has been stripped of all symbols.

Alternatively, you could create a custom line based family to match your dimension style. This would typically include a Length parameter as well as Text parameter. Using a yes/no parameter you can switch between the Length parameter or the Text parameter allowing you to display the manually inputted text rather than the Length.
If you take a look at the image below you will see the family types that make up this custom line based family.
You will see the Length parameter under constraints provides feedback of the length of the line based family and will display accordingly when the family is placed within a project.

Under Text parameter you will see a parameter called “Text value”, this allows you to type the text you want to display in the dimension. You will then see two parameters, one called “Text Value ON” and another called “Length value ON”.

These are yes / no parameters which allow you to control whether you display the actual length of the line or the custom text.

In Revit Architecture 2009 adding text to dimensions is less of an issue. If you place a dimension and then double click the dimension value a dialogue box will open. This dialogue box allows you to replace the numeric value with text or a combination of a numerical value and text.

The smart thing is you can’t just replace the true numerical value with an alternative numerical value; therefore you can’t fudge the dimension! If you do attempt to replace the original numeric value, Revit kicks back at you informing you that you can only replace the original numerical value with text or a combination of numeric’s and text.

You will also notice that this dialogue box also allows you to place a text value above or below the original dimension value, you can also add a prefix or suffix to your original dimension.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Revit 2009 Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are Revit 2009 keyboard shortcuts. This file is located is located C:\Program Files\Revit Architecture 2009\Program\KeyboardShortcuts.txt. It is not recommended that this file is amended as it is not user defined. Thanks to Paul Duggelby for locating this.

Modelling menu

File menu

"ER" menu:"File-Editing Requests"
"RL" menu:"File-Reload Latest""RW" menu:"File-Reload Latest"

Edit menu

"DE" menu:"Edit-Delete"
"MD" menu:"Edit-Modify"
"SA" menu:"Edit-Select All Instances"
"MV" menu:"Edit-Move"
"CO" menu:"Edit-Copy"
"RO" menu:"Edit-Rotate"
"AR" menu:"Edit-Array"
"MM" menu:"Edit-Mirror"
"RE" menu:"Edit-Resize"
"GP" menu:"Edit-Group-Create Group"
"EG" menu:"Edit-Group-Edit Group"
"UG" menu:"Edit-Group-Ungroup"
"LG" menu:"Edit-Group-Link Group"
"EX" menu:"Edit-Group-Exclude Member"
"MP" menu:"Edit-Group-Move Member to Project"
"RB" menu:"Edit-Group-Restore Excluded Member"
"RA" menu:"Edit-Group-Restore All"
"AP" menu:"Edit-Group-Add to Group"
"RG" menu:"Edit-Group-Remove from Group"
"AD" menu:"Edit-Group-Attach Detail"
"PG" menu:"Edit-Group-Group Properties"
"FG" menu:"Edit-Group-Finish Group"
"CG" menu:"Edit-Group-Cancel Group"
"PP" menu:"Edit-Pin Position"
"UP" menu:"Edit-Unpin Position"
"CS" menu:"Edit-Create Similar""PR" menu:"Edit-Properties"

View menu

"ZR" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom In Region"
"ZO" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom Out (2x)"
"ZF" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom To Fit"
"ZE" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom To Fit"
"ZA" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom All To Fit"
"ZS" menu:"View-Zoom-Sheet Size"
"ZP" menu:"View-Zoom-Previous Scroll/Zoom"
"VP" menu:"View-View Properties"F8 menu:"View-Dynamically Modify View
"VG" menu:"View-Visibility/Graphics"
"HH" menu:"View-Temporary Hide/Isolate-Hide Element"
"HI" menu:"View-Temporary Hide/Isolate-Isolate Element"
"HC" menu:"View-Temporary Hide/Isolate-Hide Category"
"IC" menu:"View-Temporary Hide/Isolate-Isolate Category"
"HR" menu:"View-Temporary Hide/Isolate-Reset Temporary Hide/Isolate"
"EH" menu:"View-Hide in view-Elements"
"VH" menu:"View-Hide in view-Category"
"EU" menu:"View-Unhide in view-Elements"
"VU" menu:"View-Unhide in view-Category"
"WF" menu:"View-Wireframe"
"HL" menu:"View-Hidden Line""SD" menu:"View-Shading with Edges"
"AG" menu:"View-Advanced Model Graphics""TL" menu:"View-Thin Lines"
"RR" menu:"View-Rendering-Raytrace"
F5 menu:"View-Refresh"

Modelling menu

"DR" menu:"Modelling-Door"
"WN" menu:"Modelling-Window""CM" menu:"Modelling-Component"
"LI" menu:"Modelling-Lines"
"RP" menu:"Modelling-Ref Plane"

Drafting menu

"DI" menu:"Drafting-Dimension"
"EL" menu:"Drafting-Spot Dimension-Spot Elevation"
"TX" menu:"Drafting-Text"
"GR" menu:"Drafting-Grid"
"LL" menu:"Drafting-Level"
"TG" menu:"Drafting-Tag-By Category"
"RM" menu:"Drafting-Room"
"RT" menu:"Drafting-Room Tag"
"DL" menu:"Drafting-Detail Lines"

Site menu

Tools menu

F7 menu:"Tools-Spelling"
"MA" menu:"Tools-Match"
"LW" menu:"Tools-Linework"
"PT" menu:"Tools-Paint"
"SF" menu:"Tools-Split Face"
"AL" menu:"Tools-Align"
"SL" menu:"Tools-Split Walls and Lines"
"TR" menu:"Tools-Trim/Extend"
"OF" menu:"Tools-Offset"

Settings menu

"SU" menu:"Settings-Sun and Shadows Settings"
"UN" menu:"Settings-Project Units"

Window menu

"WC" menu:"Window-Cascade"
"WT" menu:"Window-Tile"

Help menu

Snap overrides

"SI" snapcode:"Intersections"
"SE" snapcode:"Endpoints"
"SM" snapcode:"Midpoints"
"SC" snapcode:"Centers"
"SN" snapcode:"Nearest"
"SP" snapcode:"Perpendicular"
"ST" snapcode:"Tangents"
"SW" snapcode:"Work Plane Grid"
"SQ" snapcode:"Quadrants"
"SX" snapcode:"Points"
"SR" snapcode:"Snap to Remote Objects"
"SO" snapcode:"Snaps Off"
"SS" snapcode:"Turn Override Off"

Alternates with closer key spacing

"ZZ" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom In Region"
"ZX" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom To Fit"
"ZC" menu:"View-Zoom-Previous Scroll/Zoom"
"ZV" menu:"View-Zoom-Zoom Out (2x)"
"VV" menu:"View-Visibility/Graphics"
"CC" menu:"Edit-Copy"

Other alternates

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Revit - controlling wall hatch patterns

Sometimes there are occasion when you what to control the hatch pattern in walls. One particular situation is if you have a wall at a 45 degree angle on plan and the hatch pattern runs parallel with the wall. Graphical, this does not look good.

However, you can control how hatch patterns in materials display on screen. There are three different conditions:-

Orient to View
Keep readable
Align with element

These display slightly differently and have positives as well as negative out comes. Let’s look at these different settings in detail. Start by drawing a couple of walls similar to the image below, we will start by using UK metric template with a typical brick and block work cavity wall construction.

We are going to modify the brick hatch pattern. To do this we need to access the materials. Go to the settings menu> then materials. The materials dialogue box will appear. Scroll down the material listing until you locate “Masonry-Brick”.

We need to adjust the cut pattern of the material. Click the button next the to the cut hatch pattern.

This will take you into the fill patterns dialogue box. Next select the edit button on the right hand side of the dialogue box.

The modify patterns properties dialogue box will now appear. In this dialogue box you will notice a setting called orientation in host layers. There are three different settings. Let’s look at the different results from each setting in turn.

Orient to view

Orient to viewwill cleanup all the hatch patterns, so they always display correctly in a view. This is very much how AutoCAD users would expect hatch patterns to display when hatching walls in a DWG environment. However, the negative side of this is if your wall is at an angle and it happens to align with the angle of the hatch pattern, ouch! The pattern will run parallel in the wall, which is not ideal.

Keep readable

Keep readable will always try to keep hatch patterns in host elements which are horizontal or vertical to a view readable, thus they will always cleanup. However, if the wall element is drawn at an angle, the hatch patterns will remain readable to the angle it is drawn at, so you can see in the example below, the angled piece of wall and horizontal piece of wall do not cleanup correctly, which is what you would expect.

Align with element

Align with view always keeps the hatch pattern oriented correctly to the host element. So in the example below you can see that the brickwork hatch patterns remains at its correct orientation to the way it was drawn even when the element changes direction. The negative side of this is that the hatch patterns do not appear to clean up correctly.

There you have it, an explanation of the three different settings which allow you to control the orientation of hatching in host layers. Each has its merits as well as its pitfalls; you need to choose which one is suitable for your project on a case by case condition. Finally, its should be noted that this only works for "Drafting Patterns" and that it does not do anything with Filled Regions. If you want to change a Filled Region pattern you will need to duplicate the hatch pattern and alter the angle of the pattern to suit the view.