I am sorry that my blog has not been updated for a couple of months. I just relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma so I have been quite busy between my work and my move.
With that said, I need to mention one of my pet peeves. That is using Detail Lines on plan views of Revit instead of using actual model elements. I was talking to an engineer yesterday and they were complaining about architects providing them Revit models to use that have a great deal of useless detail line information. Using “dumb” lines in Revit to represent items that should be shown as model elements (especially walls!) is a poor solution in Revit. Don’t pretend to “do” BIM and then use detail lines like this.
Electrical symbol legends are a critical part of electrical design documents and everyone wants to have a Symbols List which automatically updates to show the actual electrical symbols that are placed in a project. That way, the only symbols that are on the list are ones that are actually placed in the model and the list does not include many unused symbols. It is actually possible to do this. When an electrical item gets added to the model, the symbol gets added to the symbol list.
It is that time of year that my Autodesk subscription is up for renewal, so it makes me think about the latest pricing system that Autodesk has been implementing lately.
I had been on the “Subscription” plan for years, but that name was changed to be called the “Maintenance” plan in 2016. The new “Subscription” program is entirely different than the old subscription program even though it has the same name. Yes, that can be confusing.
When designing buildings, we all know that we often get walls that are non-orthogonal and at various angles to the sheet. With those walls, we often want to get an elevation that is parallel to a particular wall. It is actually easy to do.
Revit 2018.2 was just released and it has a nice enhancement to the Project Browser that can be easily missed. With this release we now have more options available when we desire to expand or collapse information in the Project Browser.
Prior to Revit 2018.2, your only option to expand items in the Project Browser was to pick on the plus sign (+) next to the section’s name to expand the section and show additional information or the minus (-) sign next to the section’s name to collapse the section and show less information. You still have those options, but the following menu is now available when you right-click over any of the sections in the Project Browser.
When adding piping system to a Revit model, it is desirable to label piping systems with their system type so that you see text on the piping line. Some examples of this are HW for Hot Water, CW for Cold Water, and S for Sanitary Waste.
In AutoCAD, piping systems are typically shown by drawing a line with a specific line type that displays the desired text. This works fine since the lines themselves contain no data and are just symbolic. Revit does not allow line types with text in the line like is allowed in AutoCAD. However, Revit makes it super easy to label piping systems with the appropriate text. I believe that the net result is the same, if not better.
There are times that a Revit user will come across a family where the family creator added many types to the family. I recently talked to someone that had a family with over 100 types defined within the family. This has the following ramifications:
It increases the size of the family.
It creates many family types in the project that are not needed.
It displays a long list of types in the Type Selector for the family making it confusing finding the desired type.
Fortunately, Autodesk Revit has provided us with an easy way to create a Type Catalog that contains all of the types contained within the family. This eliminates the need to have a family with a huge list of types within it. We can create the Type Catalog directly from the family, so we do not need to recreate the data contained in each family type.
For a long time, I have wished that there were better ways to organize schedules in Revit’s Project Browser, especially in project files with dozens of schedules. The recently released 2018.1 version of Revit does just that and allows me various ways to organize my schedules in a Revit project file. Different disciplines and different companies have varying quantities of schedules, so some users will appreciate this new feature more than users.
The following image shows grouping the schedules based upon working schedules and schedules that will be placed on sheets. This particular option is created by having 2 different View Templates for schedules – one for working schedules and one for schedules on sheets. Schedules are then grouped by View Templates.
It is pretty typical for organizations to utilize the Starting View function within Revit and use that view to show project information. That information often includes project name, project number, project address, and other important data. Ideally, some of that information would be displayed using the same project parameters as used in title blocks to maintain consistency. It can.
I believe that using a starting view is “good BIM” and good utilization of the starting view is very important. It can help the model load more quickly and give the user important information about the project since it will be the first view seen when opening the project file.
Many organizations use a drafting view as their starting view. When using a drafting view, project parameters cannot be used since labels are not allowed in a drafting view. A “Label” is needed in order to use a parameter and are used in families. If a drafting view is used, regular text needs to be used for the information.
A good method to use project parameters in your starting view is to utilize a sheet with a custom title block for the starting view.
Revit 2018 has given mechanical engineers added capability in defining Building Types and Space Types within Revit project files. Building and Space Types are used for energy calculations and it is always a good thing when Autodesk provides more opportunity to improve the energy analysis and design process.
Building and Space Types are defined in the Building/Space Type Settings dialog box accessed by the Manage tab -> MEP Settings on the Settings panel -> Building/Space Type Settings.
Revit 2018 finally fixes an awkward dialog box. The ability to quickly add tags to a Revit view through the “Tag All Not Tagged” command has been around a long time, but the dialog box for it has always been a bit klutzy. In Revit 2018, you can now place a checkmark next to the desired categories to be tagged. This makes it work like other dialog boxes and I think more user friendly. While this isn’t a huge new feature with increased productivity or capability, I really like it.
Electrical designers can now get actual circuit lengths in Revit 2018. In previous releases, Revit would calculate the “X” plus “Y” distances plus the vertical distance in the circuit resulting in incorrect lengths. Revit now allows you to specify a path for the circuit, which can calculate for the circuit running along walls, ceilings, etc and other jogs to account for where the circuit conduit would actually run. Going through the process of specifying an actual path for receptacle or lighting circuits is probably overkill and won’t be performed by most electrical designers. However, specifying the actual path for an actual circuit length can make a big difference when calculating voltage drop for large electrical equipment.