Tag Archive | Revit

Using Dynamo to create a facade on an existing Revit structure

Check out this awesome playlist by Andrzej Samsonowicz, showing you how to “Panelise Existing Revit data with Dynamo” Thanks to Zach Kron for the heads up. There are also a large amount of ‘beginner’ tutorials on the Dynamo BIM website which are a great place to start.

Revit Online – in your browser!

Note: Revit 2015 software will be available soon. But you can try Revit 2014 now.

Revit 2014 is now available online and can be accessed directly in your browser as a 30 day free trial. This is a real game changer for software use in the cloud. This will enable users of older and low end machines to get the same quality and speed out of Revit as those with a high spec machine. More importantly this will eventually open up a whole new level of live collaboration on projects. Watch this space!

This online trial for Autodesk® Revit® 2014 and Autodesk® Revit LT™ 2014 software is an instance of Revit and Revit LT hosted in the Autodesk cloud. The online trial, in combination with Autodesk 360, enables you to experience and evaluate Revit and Revit LT without large downloads or sophisticated computer hardware. Note that the online trial is running on a remote server. Keyboard and mouse input are streamed to the remote server and graphics are streamed back to your machine. The online trials are compatible with Windows® XP SP3, Vista, 7, and 8 on both 32- and 64-bit.

Revit trial only: Worksharing is currently not supported in the online trial for Revit 2014. Attempting to use worksharing or opening projects where worksharing has been enabled in this environment could result in file corruption.

There is also a 30 day desktop trial available on the Autodesk website so you will now have a chance to test out some of the new features I posted last week in the “Videos: What’s New in Revit 2015” post.* Edit – The online trial is Revit 2014 only – This will be updated shortly.

For more information, view the official Autodesk release regarding the online trial here

Videos – What’s New in Revit 2015

Below are a few videos from my colleague Adam Ward from Gunslingers 2013 – Here are some of the new features you have to look forward to in Revit 2015. More info coming soon!

Why can’t I check Revit file version before opening?

If you find yourself asking the above question, you are most definitely not alone. It would make most sense to either be given a warning when trying to open (for example) a Revit 2012 file in Revit 2014, rather than going through the sometimes lengthy process of a file upgrade which you didn’t even require!

The other logical option would be that, if you click on a Revit 2012 file (and have Revit Arch 2012 installed) it would open in the correct version of the software, rather than always trying to launch in the most updated version of Revit (2014). If Revit 2012 wasn’t installed, it would give you an option to upgrade the file to a format which you could use.

Fortunately, our friend Harry over at BoostYourBIM has yet again come up with the goods, and like most of his work – He shares it with the community at absolutely no cost!

When you open a Revit file that was last saved in a previous version, would you love it if Revit asked “Do you want to upgrade?” And would you want a “No” button?

If so, the free File Version Reporter from Boost Your BIM is for you!

  1. Check the ‘last saved version’ for a single file
  2. Check the ‘last saved version’ for all files in a folder
  3. Get a notification dialog when starting to upgrade a file from a previous version with a “No” button

Download the free tool at http://gdurl.com/Mnfv/download

You may have seen in the past that Harry has created a file version check tool for Revit projects, he has now put this on steroids and come up with “File Version Check – now with the ability to search all subfolders“. This means you can set a directory (project server?) and it will report back with file versions for every one of your Revit models on the server, very useful!

Although this is a free tool, you may wish to submit a small (or large, your choice!) donation, to say thanks for the hard work.

Copy / Monitor in Revit – Example

Here is a short video briefly demonstrating how the Copy / Monitor function works in Revit 2014. It is a very useful tool to use for multi disciplined projects where worksharing is enabled.

Copy / Monitor allows users to link in other Revit models into their project, and monitor them for any changes which are made to the model, ensuring the latest changes are reflected in their own project.

In this example, I have monitored the grid lines, and for demo purposes, moved a grid line to show how this effects the model that the file is linked in to.

Find the position of real world coordinates

Are you looking to find the eastings and northings points for a specific location in the UK?

Here is a good way to roughly check the coordinated location of a Revit project in the UK. The website UK Grid Reference Finder is an excellent website to use to cross check that your model is situated in roughly the correct coordinate system. You can search either by location, Eastings and Northings points or longitude and latitude.

find coordinates

This tool should be used with consideration as it will not give you a completely accurate reading, but can be used to double check the coordinates of others models when you are having issues with models aligning through shared coordinates.

Naviswork Switchback with Revit

Trying to find those saved viewpoints from Navisworks in your Revit model?

Navisworks switchback is an excellent and very simple tool to use, to find referring views from Navisworks in your Revit project.

When making issue reports / clash views it is sometimes difficult to find the same referring view in your Revit project – Navisworks Switchback makes this seamless. Below is a short video showing how it works.

If you are using someone elses model you may find that you may need an additional step of locating the Revit model as the original file is being referenced from the authors server – Simply browse for your local version of the Revit model.

COYO – Work experience student at BIM.Technologies

Over the past week we have been blown away by how fast our 16 year old work experience student Olawale Labulo who is from Peckham has picked up Revit and learnt about the fundamentals of BIM.

Having no experience whatsoever with Revit, and only using Sketchup for around 6 months, some of the work he produced is highly impressive. Not only getting to grips with modelling in Revit but also the understanding of some of the more advanced tools in Revit, for example modeling parametric array families has really impressed us all.

Below is a sample of some of the work he has been doing and a short snippet of his concluding statement. After giving him a simple house to model (which he completed in a couple of hours) he took matters into his own hands and started to design his own building (apparently inspired from the computer game Minecraft!).


Here at BIM.Technologies I learnt how to use Revit at the basic level; learning how to make families, stairs, floors, ceilings, roofs and rendering. I also learned what they did as a job; help fix problems in building designs that they found in big builds they have been assigned with.

This experience at BIM.Technologies hasn’t motivated me to pursue a career in Architecture because before coming to work at BIM.Technologies  I already knew what career I wanted to pursue; to become an Architect. However it did give me a further insight to what was to expect in the line of Architecture. So overall I have always been motivated to pursue a career in Architecture, but this experience has enhanced the motivation I have in becoming an Architect.

The things I find interesting about these professions is that they get to work on wonderful buildings in London and across the UK. The thought of knowing that u help in the construction of an iconic building or just a wonderful looking build brings great joy to me.

Ola is sure to be a future star of Architecture or any other career he decides to pursue. All of us here at BIM.Technologies wish him the best of luck in whatever he decides to do, and hope he remembers us when he’s famous!

Great to see the passion and skills of the future generation. Thanks also to Alison Watson from Class of your own who arranged Olawale’s stay with us, and who does fantastic work to promote and inspire school children into a career in Architecture, Engineering and Construction!

Controlling the visbility of voids with an on / off parameter in Revit

Ever wanted to be able to turn a void on and off in a Revit project? My colleague Johnny Furlong has come up with this awesome work around:

Create a new HOSTED family, e.g. face, wall, ceiling based – depending on where your family will be based. I will be using a Metric face based generic model.

Create a void through the solid geometry – make sure that the voids cuts all the way through 2 faces of the geometry. You can choose which shape you want the void to be and as usual it can be controlled by reference planes etc. Save this family as *name*_uncut.

Now you have your uncut void family saved, you will want to create and save another instance of the same family as a CUT family. Select the void, click the cut geometry button and cut the void from the geometry. Save this family as *name*_cut.


You will now want to create a new family to embed these 2 families you have just created into. New family > Generic model – Create some solid geometry with an extrusion, depending on what shape / purpose you will be using it for. Load both your *name*_uncut & *name*_cut you have just created into your new family.

Place your *name*_cut family onto the solid extrusion you have just created in your unsaved generic model family. (you can repeat this step for as many voids as you need in your extrusion).

You will need to create 4 parameters. Decide at this point whether you want them to be instance or type parameters. Click on the ‘Family Types’ button on your Ribbon. The first parameter you will want to add is the control / On Off switch. Name the parameter ‘OnOff’ and make it a Yes/No parameter.

You will need to create 3 additional ‘<Family Type…>’ parameters – You will want to choose the same family type that you used to create your cut and uncut families; in this case all 3 will be ‘Generic model’ types.

Create an On <Generic Model> parameter and in the value field pick your *name*_cut family & Create an Off <Generic Model> parameter and in the value field pick your *name*_uncut family. Finally you will want to make an Switch <Generic Model> parameter – you can pick either the uncut or cut family for the value at this point. Once all 3 of these have been created, in the formula field for the Switch parameter enter the following; ‘if(OnOff, On, Off)’ – The On and Off values in the formula is in relation to the name of your families.


Click ‘OK’ and select the cut / void family which is embedded in your extrusion in the ‘Label’ field choose the Switch parameter.

While the void is still selected, go to your properties and UNTICK the ‘Visible’ checkbox – This will ensure that the orange void box will not appear when you insert the family into a project. You can also check that the Label parameter is set to ‘Switch’.

Load your family into your project – and there you go! Tick / Untick the ‘OnOff’ parameter checkbox to turn your void on and off.


I hope this helps – If you are having trouble following the instructions, leave a comment below and I will make a short video running through the whole process.

If you want to download the sample families I have used in this walkthrough you can download them here

Cut and isolate areas with scope boxes in Revit

Ever had a Revit project which is so large that you are having performance issues and trouble working on it? Want to work on a specific area of the building (possibly cores) without being slowed down by the data in the rest of the building?

Using a section box will give you the desired visual effect but the project will still be as heavy as it was prior to narrowing down the view to only show the elements you are presenting / working with.

Setting up worksets to narrow down the elements by cores is also an option, but unless you have set the project up with this in mind, it could take a while to set up and re-edit all your worksets.

An option which me and my colleague Johnny Furlong discovered is making use, yet again of the amazing ‘Coins Auto-Section Box‘ (which is quickly becoming my favourite and most used Revit add-in!).

For this example I will use the Revit sample project as I’m not able to post information on the project we needed to do this on. Go to the ‘View’ tab and select ‘Scope box’ create your box on a floor plan and ensure that the vertical extents are at the desired position on a 3D view.


Once you have done this, we will use the ‘Coins Auto-Section box’ add-in to isolate the scope box, just giving us the area of the building that we want to display / work with. Select the scope box, go to the ‘Add-Ins’ tab and click ‘Auto Section Box’. Name your view and either give a custom size or as I usually do, select the ‘Element extents, plus buffer’ 300mm is the default (giving you a 300mm tolerance on each side of the selected elements).

ImageYou should now have the selected area of your building isolated in a section box. We will now want to highlight this whole area including all elements in the scope box. If you can see other elements that were also selected in your view at this point you can shift de-select all these. Now you will want to click on ‘Hide Element’. The section box and all elements inside will now be hidden. Apply hide/isolate to view.

Staying in the same view, go to your ‘Properties’ palette and turn off your section box. You should now see the rest of your building MINUS the elements that you want to work with. Highlight all the remaining elements and delete them. (Make sure you have a file backup!). Once you have done this, click on your light bulb icon and unhide all elements in view. You will now be left with the elements you want to work with, and a much lighter project.

You will notice that any elements which are attached to this view will also remain (floor slabs + walls which were associated with the selected elements). You can either go and edit each one of these elements, or just use the same method of selecting the scope box and creating a section with the Coins auto-section box add-in. Your project should now be a lot lighter and more workable.

Chances are you hopefully won’t be in the situation where you’ll need to utilise this tip if you’ve planned your Revit project effectively. If you are working on / repairing someone else’s model that may not be the case ;)

Point cloud or linked file not appearing in Revit – Shared coordinates

If you are having troubles seeing imports / links or possibly point clouds when imported into Revit. The main reason (presuming it’s nothing to do with visibility settings / overrides) is most likely to be that the link is a very large distance away from the model space.  

The reason this happens is down to the coordinates imports in your Revit project. For instance your model center point which would be at 0m, where as your link or point cloud import may be thousands of km’s away. This will of course leave you in a situation where, if you zoom to fit, you will see neither your original file or the linked file, as they are so far away from each other that they become invisible unless zoomed into. 

It may also be difficult to locate where each file / import is. A good work flow I have been using is to import your point cloud, zoom to fit. Highlight from the bottom left of the screen all the way to the top right. Use the filter option in Revit to filter the elements. Select ONLY the point cloud / linked file which you wish to be imported on top of your model. 

Isolate this the selected element and then use the zoom to fit option. Now you should be able to see your point cloud / import in the center of the screen. You can now create a section through the import and then split it up by levels and add elevations etc. You will now be able to acquire coordinates from your import and use them as the project base coordinates

buildz: Candy stripes for your facade

buildz: Candy stripes for your facade

“User Question:  I have 3 types of panels I need to alternate across my building facade in vertical strips, a full spandrel, ventilation, and vision (all glass).  How do I do this without manually changing all the panels?”

Find the answer on the link above! A great post from Zach Kron’s buildz blog here – Check it out and make sure you view the rest of his awesome posts as well.

Zach Kron Candy stripes to facade


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