Align Revit Elevations with Angled Walls

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.

Continue reading

Revit Piping System Labels

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.

Continue reading

Enhancements For Advance Steel and Steel Connections

Autodesk is enhancing its product for structural engineers and is previewing those enhancements to Advance Steel and Steel Connections for Revit at NASCC 2017.

Following is Autodesk’s statement concerning the enhancements.

Autodesk Revit and Advance Steel better connect structural design and fabrication

Since acquiring Advance Steel in 2013, Autodesk continues to work towards better support for BIM-centric workflows for structural steel design and detailing. For instance, we have been working to strengthen the interoperability between Autodesk Revit design software and Autodesk Advance Steel software. In advance of tomorrow’s opening day of the NASCC conference, we’re happy to announce that the forthcoming Advance Steel 2018 release next month will now offer seamless consumption of LOD350* Revit models.

This exciting news means that engineers can deliver more accurate designs and bills of materials to the detailer and fabricator. And for the detailer, it means they can more quickly respond to design changes while delivering the files needed to drive steel fabrication. This interoperability will help steel detailers and fabricators take full advantage of the steel design model—a notable benefit for the industry.

Continue reading

Personal Section View in Revit

Creating sections in a Revit model is key to creating a quality 3D model, and that includes creating sections that are simply used for design verification.  Construction documents typically include sections, but users also use a lot of temporary sections for coordination and verification.  A problem with temporary sections is that you don’t know who created the section and the purpose for the section.  As a result they tend to stay in the model because no one really knows if they can delete the section.

I previously wrote a blog article about creating Working Sections which helps with this situation.  However, the working section can be further enhanced.  This article will address 2 key features for improving the working section:

  1. Who created the working section.
  2. Apply a user’s specific settings for the working section.

Note that this article will build upon that previous blog article.  You can find the article here.

Continue reading

Dynamo Time

Customization has always been a mainstay of design software, especially with the Autodesk products.  Customization of Revit for the user/non-programmer is finally here with Dynamo.  Dynamo has been in development for some time, but has been gaining momentum among Revit power users.  It really opens up the door for users to achieve more functionality through the open-source visual programming extension for Revit.  It provides similar opportunities to the Revit user like AutoLisp did for AutoCAD users.

Continue reading

Cut Plane Within Revit Families

When creating Revit families, it is important to easily see the entire family model in plan view while you are creating or modifying the family.  While this may seem obvious, by default Revit does not necessarily provide this ability.  You may add some information, such as an extrusion, to the family and have it “disappear”.  I have “been there, done that” when I added an extrusion based upon a higher reference plane and then had it disappear when I finished the extrusion.  If you don’t understand what just happened, it can alarm you and frustrate you.

Continue reading

One-Line Diagrams in Revit

As I work with electrical engineers who are migrating to Revit, a common question that I get is “How do I create one-line diagrams in Revit”.  One-line diagrams, also called single-line diagrams, are an important part of electrical drawings for construction documents, so it is a subject that needs to be addressed.  They are a simplified method of representing a 3-phase power system that shows distribution boards, switchboards, transformers, panels, breakers, etc., with lines illustrating the connectivity of the components of the distribution system.  The diagram is not just for physical construction of the building’s electrical system, but developed by the electrical engineer during early stages of design.

The problem that you run into with creating one-line diagrams inside Revit is that the one-line diagrams are generally created before the equipment is actually placed in the Revit model.  The electrical engineer will design the building’s electrical system by developing this diagram, then placing the electrical service equipment based upon the diagram.

Unfortunately, Revit does not provide a way of coordinating the one-line diagram with the actual electrical components placed inside Revit, either before the electrical equipment is placed or after the equipment is placed in the model.

Continue reading

Masking Regions in Revit Projects

There are times working within Revit that Masking Regions are needed in order to hide/cover model information within a project file.  There can be various reasons for this, so I won’t discuss the “why” you would do it.  You will recognize the need when you confront it.  However, when working with Masking Regions, it is always good to know the guidelines and rules for how they work.

Following is an illustration of a Masking Region covering part of a simple model.

Masking Region Example

Continue reading

Are Revit Dependent Views Still Needed?

Autodesk introduced dependent views to Revit several releases ago and they have been a popular feature when you have a large building with multiple units/areas in order to show the entire floor plan at a scale of say 1/8″=1′-0″.  When they were introduced, they were great as they allowed us to break up a large floor plan into manageable units and control the visibility of all units by only modifying one view.  We were able to get good consistency and increased speed, along with having view reference tags for adjoining views.  I thought is was a great feature.

However, is the use of dependent views still as important at it was when they were introduced?  My belief at this time is that they are not as important for everyone.  I think some users will get good benefit from them, but others will get benefit from not using them.

Continue reading

Revit Family Creation Expertise Needed

As a company moves into using Autodesk Revit for the design of buildings, they quickly learn that families are an important part of the process.  Families represent entities within a project, such as walls, doors, windows, furniture, water heaters, drains, sinks, condensers, air terminals, receptacles, electrical panels, light fixtures, etc.  Revit provides many families with the software installation, but there are never enough or they never look or function the way that the Revit user’s organization desires.  As a result, custom Revit families are created for use within their organization.

Unfortunately, many organizations utilize inappropriate people to create these custom families.

Continue reading

Show Different Detail Levels for Different Categories in Revit View

Revit has three Detail Levels that can be assigned to a view, which are Coarse, Medium, and Fine and these control how much detail is shown for model elements in the view.  When assigning the Detail Level, everything in the view gets assigned that Detail Level by default throughout the view.  However, there are times when you want to have different Detail Levels for different categories of model elements in the same view.  There can be various reasons for this, but a couple of examples are:

  1. You want some information to display more detail than others to accent certain items, such as only wanting walls to display the outer wall lines (Coarse display) while information such as furniture in the room shows a high level of detail (Fine display).
    1. This is common with MEP designers as they often don’t want the walls to show all finishes within the wall.  An earlier blog post addresses this situation.
  2. You want to show a category like Cable Tray with a Fine detail, but show the Conduit as a single line which requires a Coarse or Medium display level.

Continue reading

Detail Level of Linked Revit File

Most building projects created within Revit will utilize linked files from other disciplines to show the various components within the building model.  When this is done, it is not uncommon for users to desire to see the other disciplines at a different detail level than their own.  This may be the MEP engineer wanting to see a Fine detail level in their view, but only see the Coarse level of detail in the Architect’s model.  It may also be the Architect desiring to see their model at a Fine detail level, but see the Electrical Engineer’s electrical devices with a Medium detail level to show electrical symbols and not actual electrical element modeling.

Regardless of the reason, it is definitely possible and even easy to have linked Revit models show different detail levels on a view by view basis.  This means that each view can be set differently per the needs of the view.  Also, each different Revit link can have different detail level settings from the other links within a view.

Continue reading