Project Browser Enhancement in Revit 2018.2

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.

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Create Type Catalog from Existing Revit Family

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.

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Schedule Organization Improvements in Revit 2018.1

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.

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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.

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Year End BIM Evaluation

It is now the end of another year, with all the experiences of life that comes with that year.  As such, we tend to evaluate the past year and look forward to the challenges and experiences of the new year.  That includes all different aspects of our lives, including the personal and professional sides.  However, in additional to individuals doing this, organizations need to do the same thing.

Since this is an building industry oriented blog, I am going to touch on what I believe to be an important component of AEC firms in the technological age in which we now live.  That is the evaluation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) within your firm.  While there are still many AEC firms that have not moved into the world of BIM, it is becoming more common and more important in the industry.

It is extremely important to evaluate BIM within a firm.  There are costs associated with moving toward BIM integration and it is important to understand whether your firm is getting a return on that investment and how it can be improved.

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Revit Schedules with Desired Mechanical Equipment

Revit has objects divided into various preset Categories which makes it easy to manage.  However, it also creates issues when you use the Mechanical Equipment category since it includes so many different types of equipment.  These different types of equipment are typically scheduled separately, so some process needs to be used to separate Mechanical Equipment families into different schedules.

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Converting AutoCAD Details to Revit

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.

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What Happened in the Design Software World in 2012

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.

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Organizing Schedules in Revit Project Browser

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.

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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

Revit View Naming

Revit allows you to name views whatever you desire within a project.  This can be beneficial and aid in your workflow process, or it can be detrimental to your productivity.  It is important that views be named for easy retrieval and purpose definition, especially on larger projects.  Larger projects can have hundreds of views when the drafting views for details are included in the overall quantity.  Without an effective view naming process, a user can easily lose a great deal of time searching for the correct view.  When multiple users work on the same project, the impact to productivity is compounded.

The last thing users should be doing is naming views without any standards.

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