I was talking with a Revit user the other day that was having trouble placing a Truss object in their Revit Structure. After they placed the truss, it would disappear even though all visibility settings for the view were correct in allowing it to display. Needless to say, the user was frustrated. The problem was that there were no members defined for the truss, so only the truss’s reference lines were visible when the truss was highlighted.
Details are a vital part of the documentation process for building design and construction projects. CAD users who have used AutoCAD for years have typically developed a large detail library, or at least possess many details used on previous AutoCAD projects. Those details are valuable as a lot of time and knowledge has gone into developing them. It is important to be able to access those details for usage within Revit.
While there are various methods utilized for re-using AutoCAD details, not all of them are good solutions and some can add corruption to your Revit project file and create problems.
I was recently working with a client on getting electrical receptacles to show with a solid gray fill to represent when the receptacle is connected to an emergency power circuit. Since receptacles are shown as annotative symbols in plan views, it created a different situation than can be done in non-annotative families. In non-annotative families, you can create the solid fill and send it to the back so linework can be seen on top of the fill. With an annotative family, fill patterns are in masking regions and will cover any linework that might also be in the family. This meant that a different approach needed to be utilized to get the circular solid gray fill to not cover the symbolic lines going through the electrical receptacle.
This article will look at how to create the fill to display correctly, and also how to make the fill display only when you specify that the receptacle is on an emergency power circuit.
In the various Revit software packages, it is possible to hide family parameters so that they are not visible in the family’s properties when in a project file. This is often desirable for situations where the family creator does not want the user to even know that the parameter exists within the Revit family. This can be helpful for keeping the parameter from being easily modified or just keeping the parameter area less confusing. Parameters that are used strictly for calculation purposes are an example of parameters that may be hidden. Parameters that are used behind the scenes to control visibility of objects based upon other criteria is another example of parameters that may be hidden.
Before an Autodesk Revit family is put into production, it should be cleaned up to reduce size and eliminate overhead that does not need to end up in a project file. Information that is not required by the family should not be kept in the family. The final step in family creation before putting a family into production should be the cleanup effort.
It is becoming more common for the Level of Development (LOD) to be specified on projects that require Building Information Modeling (BIM). Many times, the “LOD” term is thrown around and utilized without the specifier being familiar with what the term really means. As a result, confusion abounds and clients may say they want “a LOD 500 project”, although it does not really exist.
My previous article discussed the importance of creating Clearance Zones inside Revit familes for equipment and items that need clearances for ADA, safety, air movement, or other reasons. While that article also discussed the behind the scenes set up to get Clearance Zones into a Revit family, this article finishes the process of creating the actual Clearance Zone.
Many pieces of equipment in a building have clearance zones that are required around the equipment for a variety of reasons. It may be a drinking fountain that requires ADA clearance, an electrical panel that requires code clearance in front it, or mechanical equipment that requires air movement or access clearance around it. For whatever the reason, it is good to build that clearance zone into the Revit family so that it be used for interference detection through Revit or Navisworks.
Dynamic blocks have been a part of AutoCAD since release 2006 and have some really nice usages for all disciplines. Unfortunately, it seems that the architectural community that uses AutoCAD has not incorporated dynamic blocks to a very large degree for whatever reasons. An item category that architects specify all the time that are conducive to being a dynamic block are grab bars of varying lengths. I remember having different blocks for each of the different grab bar lengths that I would need on projects. All of those different sizes can be incorporated into one dynamic block.
Autodesk has now released downloadable enhancements for the 2012 versions of its various Revit-based software packages. If you are an Autodesk subscription program member, you can log into your subscription site and download the enhancements for your particular product(s). If you do not know how to get into your subscription site, you will need to contact the reseller from which you purchased your Autodesk product.
As an Architect, I am an advocate for ways to help the contractor and other design professionals better understand my vision for the building design. One way to do that is to incorporate 3D views into more of the process, including the construction documents. I have previously blogged about the AEC industry moving more toward incorporating 3D views into construction documents (read the article), and Autodesk aided that process with a new feature in Revit 2012. 3D Views can be locked, and once they’ve been locked, you can tag elements and annotate information in these 3D views.
As Building Information Modeling (BIM) becomes more commonly used by building design teams, usage of the model for code analysis will become more important. Currently, designers use manual or custom-developed methods to check code compliance of a building, but automatic code-compliance checking is coming.