Components for AutoCAD Details

As a consultant and trainer, I work with many people that are currently working with AutoCAD or transitioning to Revit.  I am constantly amazed at the number of architectural users of AutoCAD that are not aware of detail components within AutoCAD Architecture.  These components can be an important part of drafting the many details that are part of an architectural design office.  Over the years, I have spent many hours drafting details for construction documents and I think of the advantages of having pre-made components available to me for detailing.

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Instance Length Parameter with Grips

I was recently asked about instance parameter grips for a Revit family that was placed in a Revit project file.  The family had an instance parameter in it for a dimension and the user was expecting to see grip arrows so that they could manually adjust the size by dragging the grips.  The arrow grips did not exist and the user was curious why that was the case.

The answer to the user’s question is actually very simple.  When creating a dimension that will be referencing an instance parameter, it is important to dimension between two Reference Planes for the grip arrows to appear.

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Flexible 3-Point Arc in Revit Family

Occasionally, you need to create an arc in a Revit family and you know 3 points of the arc, but not necessarily the radius, and you need it to be flexible.  It is common for windows with a radius top to have this situation.  You know the chord length (width of the window) and the distance from the top of the straight sides to the top of the window arc, but not the radius of the arc.  Revit requires you to specify the radius and center point of the arc to allow it to be flexible, so it is important to determine that information.

3pt Arc-Finish1

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Passing Revit Parameters to Nested Profile Family

Anyone using Revit realizes that families are a key component to effectively using the software.  Creating quality families are very important to a good quality Revit project, and an important part of a family are the parameters.  Parameters within the family can control information and flexibility of not only the family, but also “nested” families.  A nested family is another family that is inserted into the primary family in which you are working.  It is common in some families, such as door families, to utilize a nested “profile” family to control a sweep for something like a door frame.  Passing parameter values to a nested profile family is different than other nested families, so this article specifically addresses passing parameter values to a nested profile family.

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Characteristics of Revit Reference Lines

Autodesk Revit contains both Reference Planes and Reference Lines, but it seems that most people do not understand or utilize Reference Lines.  While Reference Lines are used as control lines for information within a family similar to Reference Planes, they are not a type of Reference Plane.  It is its own type of object designed for a separate purpose.  Basically, you should use Reference Lines instead of Reference Planes when you need defined endpoints for a work plane.   A prime example of an important Reference Line usage is for allowing for the rotation of objects within a family.  A general rule is that if you want something to rotate, use a Reference Line to control it.

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Residential Door Tag in Revit

Specifying information concerning doors on architectural plans is an important aspect of conveying information to the contractor working in the field.  Residential designers and commercial designers tend to have different approaches to this situation as commercial projects generally utilize a door schedule referencing a number tag at the door and residential projects generally have the door size shown directly on the floor plan.  While it seems like a door size tag for residential projects would be a basic feature in Revit, there are no default tags to display the door size in typical methods.  In this article, we will take a look at a process to create a typical residential door tag.  This process can then be modified slightly to create other variations of the door size tag and also window size tags. Residential Door Tag Multiple in Doors

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Inexpensive Architectural Design Software

Architectural design software is renowned for being expensive for the major products that are on the market, especially the packages considered as Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. Many designers are looking for something less expensive. That may be due to limited financial resources to spend on software, or to the lack of a need for something more expensive and powerful. This article is devoted to mentioning some architectural design software packages available for less than $2500.

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Roombook Extension for Revit 2012 Available

In January 2011, I wrote an article about Autodesk releasing the Roombook Extension for Revit Architecture 2011.  Autodesk has now released the Roombook Extension for Revit Architecture 2012.

According to Autodesk, “The Roombook Extension for Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2012 software helps calculate the surface area of walls, floors and ceiling elements, room circumferences and the total number of furnishing elements within a project.”  It appears to be unchanged from the version available for Revit Architecture 2011.

The Roombook Extension can be downloaded from the Autodesk Subscription website for subscription members.

Read the previous article on the Revit Architecture 2011 Roombook Extension.

Revit Roombook Extension Available

Autodesk has released an extension for getting more information out of Rooms in Revit Architecture 2011.  The Roombook Extension was made available to Revit Architecture subscription members on December 9, 2010.  According to Autodesk, the extension “helps calculate the surface area of walls, floors and ceiling elements, room circumferences and the total number of furnishing elements within a project”.  This is a nice utility to get quantities for room-specific information that exists in the model and is valuable for quantity takeoff analysis.

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Keys to Rotating Items Inside Revit Families

Many Autodesk Revit families need to have a portion of the family be able to rotate depending on parameters in the family.  A door swing is the most common example of this, as most Revit Architecture users want to be able to specify the swing angle of the door panel.  It seems that getting rotation angles to work correctly is something that is battled by many family creators, so in this article, I’ll give you the keys to getting that rotation angle to work correctly.  This technique can be used on door swings and other items that need controlled by a rotation parameter within the family.

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Revit Views for Fire Rating Review

A very important aspect of designing and reviewing a building project is the code review process to ensure that walls, doors, windows, and other components have the proper fire ratings.  Autodesk Revit makes it very easy to quickly visually check those fire ratings by setting up visibility filters.  This article will show you how to set up a fire rating view to display walls and doors as different colors depending on the fire rating parameter of the object.  This view is not necessarily designed to be a full code plan for permit submittals, but is an excellent asset for in-house code reviews.
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Putting Your CAD Details on Palettes

Standard CAD details have been an interesting topic among companies for many years.  Some companies have established vast and very organized detail libraries, and some companies have no standard detail library at all and simply grab details from previous projects.  Regardless of what method a company utilizes to file their details, quick and easy access to your details is very important.  The AutoCAD-based products incorporate palettes that provide a really nice way of accessing standard details very quickly and controlling the way they are placed into a drawing.

Using palettes to access standard details eliminates users from using the Insert command and then browsing to the desired detail.  This article will describe the basics of using palettes for organizing your details for easy access.  Continue reading