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.
This article addresses a feature in Revit that seems to have gone unnoticed by many Revit users. That feature is the anchor symbol for multi-segmented equality constrained dimensions.
Part of the power of Revit is that when a multi-segmented dimension has had the quality constraint applied to it by picking the EQ symbol, the objects being dimensioned will move in equal distances when one of the objects is relocated. The anchor symbol gives you more control over that dimension function.
The anchor symbol allows the user to control which object is the anchor and will stay stationary when adjusting the spacing between objects that have had an equality constraint applied to the dimension string. If the user is not aware of this anchor symbol, then it appears that they have no control over which objects move and which one stays in the same position. It is nice to have the ability to specify which objects move and which one stays in the same location.
In a previous life, I was employed by a large Architectural firm with a primarily residential focus that performed a lot of home design for home builders. One of the characteristics of creating home plans for builders was that they typically desired houses that had mirrored versions of the same plan. While this is done in other construction types, it is typical for most home plans.
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.
Do you ever want to easily visualize what objects are on different worksets in a view in Revit®? Autodesk incorporated this ability into Revit® with their 2012 versions, but it seems to have gone unnoticed by many users. Worksets are a highly utilized function used within Revit® by any organization where multiple people need to work on a Revit® project at one time. There is a tremendous amout of information available on what worksets are and how to use them to manage your project, so this article is to just address the ability to control how you see worksets in a particular view. This is a helpful feature for troubleshooting projects to ensure that users are placing information in the proper workset.
ALERT! Breaking News! Computer software can be expensive!!
Okay, I realize that isn’t really breaking news and is something that people already know. However, the fact that people are already aware of that is what can create issues. While various software packages can be expensive, design software is one of those software categories that really is expensive. I have previously written a blog article on architectural design software packages under $2500 entitled “Inexpensive Architectural Design Software“, but those packages are not the mainstream products being utilized. For most companies to compete in the AEC design community, they are pretty much required to utilize a software package that will cost a minimum of $4,000.00 per user. Most software packages also either require you to be on a subscription plan or make you pay a large upgrade fee to remain up-to-date with the software.
Regardless of the method that you use to pay for the software, it is a large expense for each user. However, I must say that is the cost of legally doing business. If a company (or individual) wants to participate in a market that requires design software, then the software costs must be considered part of the business expense. I may not like the cost to play, but I still want to play, so I need to pay.
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.
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.
The AEC industry is seeing more clients requiring Building Information Modeling (BIM) on projects. Some clients have very detailed standards and expectations for the BIM process, and some clients say that they want BIM but have not idea what they really desire or how to get BIM. And then, there are clients that fall somewhere between those two types. Many clients (especially in the private sector) that have BIM standards in place have not publicized their standards, but will provide it to the design/construction team for specific projects. However, there are public entitites that have established BIM standards and have posted those standards on the internet and are accessible to anyone with internet access. Since it is nice to reference those BIM standards, I thought that I would list various public entities which have BIM standards that you can reference.
It is now the last day of 2012 and I am looking back over the past year and considering what has happened in my world of design software. Working so closely with the software, it is sometimes easy to forget how much has changed or occurred in the past year. Technology and software continually changes so it is never boring keeping up with it. Since I am an architect in the United States who deals with Autodesk software, that will be the focus of the article.
Wouldn’t it be nice to easily organize your Revit schedules? Revit provides the user with various ways of organizing views in the Project Browser to make it easier to find your desired view, but schedules do not have the same organizational capabilities of other types of views. Most views have a “Title on Sheet” parameter that can be used to be display the desired title for that view when it is placed on the sheet and yet have the View Name parameter be something that organizes well in the Project Browser. Schedule views do not have that “Title on Sheet” parameter.
Typically, users will name the Schedule view as the name that they desire to appear at the top of the schedule since the “Title on Sheet” parameter does not exist for schedules. That naming process means that schedules may not organize optimally in the Project Browser since they will be listed alphabetically. We want to achieve having a title that does not use the schedule name.
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.