Thursday, 29 December 2011

Structural Floor Metal Deck Profile

If you want to assign a custom metal deck profile to a structural floor then develop a profile family using Metric(Imperial) Profile.rft template. In order to get this profile family in the deck profile list you will have to change "Profile Usage" parameter to Slab Metal Deck inside family category dialogue box.

Load this new profile into your project and go to edit Structure of a structural floor. If you already have structural deck layer then select it and check deck profile list and you will find the new profile listed here. If you don't have structural deck layer then add it and select the new deck profile.

Intergated Parametric Methodologies

Nathan Miller of NBBJ had presented a case study on some of the parametric tools and systems used on the Hangzhou Tennis Center during ACADIA Regional conference 2011. This paper is available here now.

This is an excellent paper detailing on the parametric methodologies which were integral to the design and documentation of the Hangzhou Tennis Center. I highly reccomend reading it.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Adaptive Railing - Railing on a curved surface

There was a query on Revitforum regarding how to model a railing on a curved surface such as bridge. As you know currently with OOB railing tool you can only model flat railing. So to model a curved railing, such as shown in the picture below,you will have to use adaptive component. Please see video below on how to achieve this.

DOWNLOAD revit family from here.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Adaptive Railing

Continuing with David's experiment about adaptive railing I have just developed a railing that our project team needed for our current project. I wish Revit railing tool was as adaptive as this adaptive approach.
Thanks David for sharing this with Revit community. Much appreciated.

Download adaptive railing family from here.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Room Area Variance Analysis

Back in 2009 I worked on a project that required to show which rooms are over or under area requriements / client brief. They wanted to show this graphically as well in schedule.

Also, the project manager wanted to show rooms by area difference percentage range, 0 to 10% area difference, over 10% area diference, 0 to -10% area difference, and below -10% area difference.

There isn't OOB Revit solution to achieve this so I ended up delveoping a little API tool to achieve this.
Please see results below. I will upload the API tool on this blog soon. Stay tuned!

Also, David Light of HOK has published a related post on HOK BIM solution. His requirement was slightly simple so he is using OOB Revit functionality for conditional formating in schedules.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Door From and To Value in Schedule - Free Revit Tool

***Update - 04/06/2013 : This app is packaged into BOLT-ONS so will not be updated as a standalone app anymore. Please use BOLT-ONS instead to access this command.

I have seen some users asking this query on the internet. Currently, Revit does not update Door's From/To room information in a door schedule if you flip door in the plan view. However, there is a work around to deal with this. Please see Steve Stafford's recent post about this work around.

This behavior is intentional. However if you want to update all doors from/to room information automatically then use the following tool.

***Update 24/06/2013: Visit DOWNLOAD page to download this tool.

Monday, 5 December 2011

AU 2011 Run Down

What an event this was! Full of very interesting classes and meeting lot of experts face to face. Amazing! Here is my run down of events as it happened.

AU Day 0-Monday

After finishing breakfast at Grand Lux I attended a class "Building Trends: How BIM Is Changing Business Practices in Building Design" by Erin Hoffer. It was very interesting session, useful to know the current state of BIM adoption in AEC industry. Straight after that session I headed for a lunch at an Italian restaurent on the second floor where I met Woods Bagot Colleagues Fergus, Scott, and Franz. After lunch I went for Revit Architecture 2012 certification.
There was a very long queue for AEC certification so that they had to extend openiing time until 7.30pm. I managed to sit for both Associate and Professional exams for Revit Archtiecture 2012 and passed both of them. Hurray!!
In the evening at La Scena lounge I spent some time chatting up with Jose Fando from Andekan and few other friends from the UK. Jose reminded me of the RTCUSA abstract dedline, which I was planning to submit an extract for.

AU DAy 1-Tuesday

After breakfast I headed straight to General Keynote Session. It was a fantastic welcome address by Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski and others. If you missed it I strogly reccomend reading it.    
After keynote session I went to a class "Seeing Data and More: The Analysis Visualization Framework in the Autodesk® Revit® API" - by Matt Masson (ImaginIt). Very interesting class, very well presented as well. I am definitely gonig to dabble into AVF to test some apps. 
After lunch, I attended Showcasing Architectural Models by Matthew Dillon. It was an average class for my taste. After that class I headed straight to Jason Grant and David Light's class - Graphics that "POP". did it pop? definitely. It was very interesting and useful class. Lot of useful techniques to make graphics more appealing in Revit. Afterwards, I went to a class by Mike Massey - All Systems Go with Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2012. In between classes I submitted my RTC-USA abstract. Fingers crossed!! 

With this I ended my first day at 6.30pm and went to Exhibit Hall for International Community Reception and visited most of the booths. There were lot of products on 'cloud' and 'BIM'. 
BIM and cloud seemed to be the theme of AU2011. After some time I headed to La Scena lounge to catch up with few friends and then off to bed. It was a long and busy day with lot of information to digest.

AU DAy 2-Wednsday

Day 2 started with a very 'energetic (entertaining)' class by William Lopez Campo & Zack Kron - "You Want to Model a What? Converting Real Projects into Parametric Relationships". As usual, they came up with some unique content/technique - 10/10. My second class was by Dr. Robert Aish -  DesignScript: Associative, Parametric, and Computational Design within AutoCAD®. What a class it was! for me this was the highlight of AU2011, 10/10. Very powerful scripting language. Look forward to get my hands on this scripting language. At the end of the class I met Dave Fano from Case and during our conversation he pointed out to Woods Bagot new arrival Shane Burger,Design Technology Director. I then introduced myself to Shane and headed for lunch together, where we met Scott and Fergus. This was our first meeting with Shane Burger so we ended up introducing ourselves. Shane Burger is definitely a great addition to our existing DT force. I look forward to working with him.

After lunch I went into a class by Jeremy Tammik - Autodesk® Revit® 2012 API Extensible Storage. But after intial 15 mins I realised that it was not useful for me so  I jumped out of it and went into a class "BIM and Gaming Engines: How We Present 4D Models Using Our Design Suite and Gaming Engines" - by Nicholas Broadbent. Very interesting class to see how Revit, 3Ds Max, Navisworks etc are used to generate 4D sequencing. Top end class. I highly reccomend cheking the class material, if you missed this one. I then attended a class "Beyond Massing: Conceptual Design Tools in Autodesk® Revit® Architecture 2012" - by Dave Fano (Case). It was funny to see Dave struggling to host a reference point on a reference spline. It was an average class, nothing new that I didn't know. It was then time for the last 'energetic' class of the day. Autodesk® Project Vasari: Playing with Energetic Supermodels - by Matt Jezyk & Zack Kron. It was truely energetic, 10/10. I highly reccommend downloading class material and reviewing it. Top job Matt!
I then headed to Exhibit Hall and spend some time with Shawn Bryant and other AUGI members at AUGI annual beer bust. And finally day ended at La Scena lounge with few drinks with Fergus, Franz, Patrick, and Jose.

AU DAy 3-Thursday

I started with a class "Autodesk® Revit® Links, Groups, and Documentation: How to Make It Really Work!" - by Aaron Maller. As usual, Aaron's class was a top end class with lots of useful techniques, 10/10. I then headed in to a class " Way Beyond Project Templates: Applying Standards for Efficient Document Production in Autodesk® Revit®" - by David Spehar and Robert Manna. It wasn't anything new that I hadn't seen before but it was very useful to see the best practice in Revit project management. After lunch I went out for some shopping for my family and ended up spending bit more time then planned so I missed a class "Autodesk® Revit®, Contractors, Site Logistics, and Construction Scheduling for the Real World" - by Aaron Maller. Aaron has kindly emailed his class materials so I am gonig to review it as soon as I can. After that class I headed to a class "Logically Beautiful! A Computational Approach to Iterative Design and Design Optimization in Autodesk® Revit®" - by Vincent Poon. It was an average class. Nothing new for me. I then headed to a class "The Interior Side of Revit: Documenting Interior Design Projects with Autodesk® Revit®" - by Scott Brown and Damian Serrano. Top end class, material and presentation - 10/10. With this class we ended our 4 days AU marathon. It was time for the AU Mixer. I spent some time chatting up with Jose/Gary (Andekan), Paul Oakley, Patrick and others.
On Friday, we had Woods Bagot Design Technology group meeting at Aquaknox in the morning. My flight was at 16.30pm so I headed to the airport at 14.30pm. The AU networking wasn't ended yet! I met Lee Zebedee from Ramboll at the airport and chatted about how they use laser scanning and point cloud data in Revit. Anyone who attended UK BIMShow LIVE would have seen his presentation. We may see him on AU stage in the future.

This concludes AU2011 for me. Following are my top 10 AU2011 classes, in order. 

Monday, 28 November 2011

Project Structure Generator For Revit

I arrived safely in Las Vegas on Saturday after almost 10hrs flight on Saturday. There were quite a few familiar faces on the plane, Shaun Bryant (AUGI Director), Paul Oakley (AUGI UK Chair Person), Daryl Store (PRP), guys from Atkins, BDP etc. I also met Patrick Williams from Norgren, who is a Sr. Mechanical Engineer and a heavy Inventor user. He seemed to be in a minority because most of the guys were talking about BIM/Revit etc. 

On Saturday I didn't do much as I had a bit of jet lag so decided to take some rest and be prepared for the marathon for the next five days. On Sunday, I went out for a walk at around 5.00am and after breakfast I went out to explore the vegas strip with Shaun, Paul, and Patrick. Being new to the place, we were guided by Shaun and Paul. Thanks to Shaun and Paul, we really had a great time. 

In the late afternoon I registered for AU and headed off to some drinks. On the way I bumped into David Light and William Lopez Campo. One of the best things about AU is you get an opportunity to meet subject experts and learn from them Live! on top of AU classes.

Anyways, I am going to try my hands on Inventor during AU and Patrick has kindly offered some help so let's see how it goes.

In the mean time,  Project Structure Generator is out in the lab.  It is supported for Revit Architecture and Revit Structure and generates concept structure based on mass objects. It looks promising and very useful at the early concept design phase.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Off to AU2011 & Dassault

I am off to AU2011 tomorrow..few days earlier to acclimatize myself. In the mean time check this out. Dassault Systemes is taking an aim at AEC(BIM) industry.

"Live Buildings" a cloud based technology connected straight to manufacturers, BOM, sequencing...what can I say? This is going to be a 'game changing' breakthrough in AEC industry. BIM? PLM?

And even more interesting news is one of the Revit veterans Jason Grant has joined Dassault Systemes as their AEC Product Manager. Jason Has been an inspirational figure in the Revit/BIM arena. I look forward to meeting him at AU2011 - Graphics that pop (AB4564).

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Matchline and View Reference

What it the purpose of Matchline and View Reference?
Matchline is useful in case when you want to split a large view into two different sheets, hence two dependant views. Matchline should be used in conjunction with View Reference to get smart sheet references for split views.
Let’s say you have a floor plan and you want to split it into two separate dependant views, to be placed on two separate sheets. Once you create two dependant views of a floor plan you will see two dashed rectangular boxes in a parent floor plan indicating extent of two dependant views.
Now place a matchline (View-->Matchline ) in the middle/overlapping zone as shown in the following image.

Now place these two views into two separate sheets and give them sheet numbers, view number etc.
Now go back to parent floor plan view (Level 1) and click on View Reference (View-->View Reference) and select one of the dependant view’s extent box and click anywhere you want to place sheet reference on that side of the view. 

Repeat this process for the second dependant view and you will get something like this.

Now go back to your sheets and you will see view references in sheets. These are smart view references so that if you change sheet numbers or view numbers in the sheets, these view references will be updated automatically.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

LOD & Designer's BIM vs Manufacturer's BIM

Steve Stafford at Revit OpEd has posted a very interesting post about content and LOD. Great post Steve, as usual.

To me, Steve has said it all in his first line of the first paragraph.

“How the content is to be judged is subjective, evaluated against personal criteria, as well as objective.”

Whose BIM is better? Designer’s Or Manufacturer’s? Who knows?

First of all, I would like to applaud efforts put in by the authors of those families for adding that Level Of Detail (LOD). If I was a manufacturer, I might do exactly the same, especially if I am using Revit for my shop drawings or even intending to use in the future (agree, Revit isn’t for this purpose at this moment in time). Is this any good for me? Yes, because I will build my 3D component once, either in AutoCAD or Revit or Rhino or 3DS Max or XYZ and would try and get all shop drawings and product catalogue images etc out of it. That is BIM for me as a manufacturer, or not?

Now, Designer’s spin on this. In the past (and it is still the case to a degree) when we embarked on BIM, let’s say Revit, we argued that I can’t do something, let’s say Room Loaded Drawings in a healthcare project, because I haven’t got manufacturer’s content in Revit. So the pressure was piled on manufacturers to provide Revit content. Now we all agree that implementing BIM/Revit in manufacturer’s world is a huge investment in time and money. But what are the benefits for them in providing Revit content? Just so that designers using their products get ready made family for their products? Maybe yes, but that’s more of a benefit to designers. How is it beneficial to manufacturers? How is it BIM for them? To achieve good ROI they have to use their families for as many deliverables as possible, i.e. shop drawings, catalogue images, and other purposes.

So manufacturer’s have one set of families, which are master families containing all multitude of data, model/text. In the hope of engaging with the design team, they upload their content FREE on web portals such as Autodesk Seek. Correct me if I am wrong but Autodesk seek is mainly for manufacturers to share their content, in an official Autodesk way, with designers. Downloading content from Seek doesn’t/shouldn’t mean that they comply with designer’s LOD. IMHO, I don’t think it has to be.

In traditional 2D CAD world, we would receive manufacturer’s drawings with lot of details/layers etc and we would extract the information we need and tidy up before we insert in to our drawings. I don’t BIM/Revit has changed this process at all. We will still have to “tidy up” content downloaded from anywhere whether it’s Seek or RevitCity or others. I would be cautious and check any content that comes out of our office before it makes its way into any of our projects. To be honest, I would like to prevent users going on *any* web portal and download content and use in any of our projects without proper QC.

Following is an example of Designer’s vs Manufacturer’s content.

From the first image above, on the right hand side you can see designer’s content with simple 3D box with a flange and required 2D data in Section/Plan at appropriate Detail Level (fine). On the left side is manufacturer’s content that they used to produce their deliverables (second image). If that content was in Revit, would I have used it as is? Of course not. But I may have looked it and decided whether to “tidy it up” and use it or build my own based on overall dims.

My Conclusion: Manufacturer’s BIM and Designer’s BIM, both are great at their respective LOD (Level Of Deliverables, something that I heard today from one of my friends at major contractor in the UK) and we should encourage the collaboration between the two.

CATIA Natural Sketch

Check this out! Mind blowing 3D sketching tool by Dassault. Yes, It is mainly intended for Industrial Design Process but I think we can benefit by something similar in AEC industry. Or Not? Well, time will tell us.

Monday, 21 November 2011

2D Symbolic Line & ‘Show only if Instance is cut’

I was asked to look at a wall hosted smoke vent family for one of the projects we are working, in Revit  2012.
We wanted to show some details (using nested 2D detail family) when instance is cut either in plan or section.

The family was started with Generic Model Wall Hosted template and the issue was that the nested 2D detail component was showing up in section view even if the section was not cutting the family.

When I looked at ‘Visibility Settings’ of the nested 2D detail component it was like this. ‘Show only if Instance is cut’ disabled and UNTICKED.

Currently, there are only a few categories that have this option enabled.
So the obvious solution is to use a category that has this option enabled.
But what if you want to use a category that doesn’t have this option enabled, in this case GM category, and want to apply this settings?

As with most things, there is a workaround available for this.

Change category from Generic Model to a category that has this option enabled.
In this case I am going to select Casework. Select 2D linework, in this case
nested 2D detail component, and switch ON ‘Show only if Instance is Cut’.

Now change category back to the original category, Generic Model in this case.
Select nested 2D detail component and check it’s ‘Visibility Settings’. Notice that
‘Show only if Instance is cut’ is disabled and TICKED.

The result - When section is cutting the family.

The result - When section is not cutting the family.

For a record, following highlighted categories (wall hosted) have ‘Show only if Instance is cut’ option enabled, at the moment in Revit Architecture 2012. I hope Autodesk allows more categories to have this option enabled, at least Generic Model should be allowed.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Welcome to my blog. I aim to share my Revit project management experience with you via this blog.

I would like to share tips/tricks, workflows and workarounds for the Revit project management as well as Revit/BIM in general.

To start with I would like to give credit to some of the sources of my knowledge:

AUGI Revit Forum
David Light Revit Blog