Monday, June 29, 2009

The Revit X-Files

The truth is out there... I think.

So this is a new category of posts here at Big Bad BIM. Reminiscent of Revit OpEd's Department of Unfair. This will be the repository for all the freaky,weird, off-the-wall Revit stuff that just drives me CRAZY!!!

I think Autodesk calls these "service requests." Ok, ok, I'll try to log those too.

First installment comes from our Mechanical Engineering department. One of our user's was trying to use the "Tag All Not Tagged" tool to tag all of the ceilings in a view. He just couldn't get it to work. He could tag them one at a time, but not all.

Wondering if it was something related to that particular project, I tried it in a view that was set to the Architetural discipline as opposed to the Mechanical discipline. Sure enough, no problem. I changed the view in question to an Architetual discipline. Tagged All Not Tagged and changed it back. Worked great. Work-around? You bet, but we have lots of those.

Back at my desk, I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed something. So I compared the element properties of a couple of views.Here are the results (notice in particular the "underlay orientation"):

Architectural Discipline:

Mechanical Discipline:

Note: the Mech view didn't default to "Plan" for the Underlay Orientation. I changed it. I CHANGED IT!!! You shouldn't be able to do that. That parameter allows you to underlay a ceiling plan in a plan view (so you can coordinate overhead information with your floor plan.) I don't think we were meant to access this in a ceiling plan.

Are these two conditions related. Is it a programming bug? Aliens that have it in for HVAC designers? Who knows, but it sure is weird (not to mention frustrating.)

Here a couple of ceiling related videos. First is a video that shows the workaround mentioned above. The second is a video that shows how to apply filters (powerful little buggers, those filters) that make "non-standard" ceiling heights really "pop," which really helps when coordinating information in the model.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A BIM filled week

It has been long week already, and it's only Wednesday!

Monday was the first meeting of the Madison MEP User's Group that I have attended. Being new to the area it was great to be invited. Thanks to Westphal Electric for hosting and thanks to Scott Brisk (Revit MEP blog) for facilitating (thanks for the invite Scott!!) There was no particular application affinity in this group, although it seemed to be weighted towards Autodesk products. This seems like a great group of folks and it's always nice to see what other BIM users are doing out there. Model to fabrication, and Model to total station "round tripping" are two topics that were mentioned a number of times (and probably deserve a follow up post.)

This morning, Ed Deal (AEC Building Technical Specialist for Autodesk) presented a seminar in two sessions. The first was titled Construction Documents and Beyond. The focus was on breaking out of the Construction Document (CD) trap. While Revit can produce 2D printed documents that rival anything ever produced in CAD (when set up well,) it is at heart a design tool and in it's soul is a BIM authoring tool. Needless to say, lots of ideas about verifying programming, quantifying design iterations and schematic analysis were presented. My kinda topics.

The second session was geared towards the MEP crowd ( it was nice to see faces from the Madison MEP User's Group again so soon.) The topic was analysis tools that leverage the Revit Model. Starting with a very schematic model (approx 45 mins of modeling) Ed analyzed various design iterations using the tools available natively in Revit, Green Building Studio, and Ecotect. Some of the things that Ed did I'm not sure you can even DO with CAD drawings (certainly not with the level of accuracy and in the same amount of time.) I'll try to post links to the White Papers referenced. Thanks ED!

Tomorrow we (Cogdell Spencer Erdman-Madison Office) host the Madison Revit Managers Group. So hopefully we will have some useful blog-fodder from that meeting as well.

In the next couple of weeks, expect posts about:

Ceilings (the videos are already on my YouTube Channel) note: would have posted about these earlier, but my laptop went 10 rounds with a small dog and lost it's "C" key. I just can't "see" posting about Ceilings without a "C." :P

An update to Plumbing "Fixture Unit" Flow. (Hint: I think we found a way to make it work.)

Is Revit faster than CAD? (a definitive answer...?)

etc etc.

If you don't see these soon, you need to get on here and nag me till they show up.

Thanks all,


Friday, June 12, 2009

"Family Type" Parameter in a Type Catalog Part 2

JING is great, but the .swf files are a pain to embed on Blogger.

Who's afraid of the Big Bad BIM? finally has a YouTube Channel. Hooray for technology.
The quality still isn't great. From Jing (freeware) through a trial .swf convereter (also free) to YouTube. I guess I will have to spring for Camtasia after all... Fathers day is coming... Hmmmmmmm.

I recommend viewing AT YouTube's site>Clicking the HD button for higher quality>and watching in full screen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Family Type" Parameter in a Type Catalog

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Let's hope so fans. Of course I think the actual quote is "Absence makes the heart grow fonder... for someone closer." If that's the case, I hope my favorite Revit bloggers got a bump in readership. :)

In a comment on an earlier post, a reader asked if it is possible to drive Nested Families with a type catalog. In a subsequent email he issued a friendly challenge to prove that it can be done and show if a Yes/No parameter can also be controlled as well.

Nothing will get me blogging faster than a challenge. Thanks Matthijs.

What follows are links to a couple of quick video clips that I hope explain how it can be done.
(bonus: note that you can drive "instance" parameters with a Type Catalog)
Here is the Type Catalog. I always like to create and edit my type catalogs in Excel and then save to .csv format and change the extension to .txt. It's just easier for me.

As you can see in the second clip, I alternated each parameter value. Just make sure that you spell the "Family Type" parameter the way it appears in the value cell in the Family editor.
Oh, and the 0's and 1's? Binary, Baby! 0=No 1=Yes.

Good luck, and keep the challenges coming.