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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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).
You 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 ;)
The best format to bring your point cloud directly into Revit will be in *.pcg format – If you are yet to index your files, you may have any of the following files types: *.fls *.fws *.las *.ptg *.pts *.pcx *.xyb *.xyz – If your files are still in one of these raw formats, you will first need to index your files. You can do this directly in Revit, or if you’d prefer, check my old post here to find out how to do it outside of Revit.
If you are working with point clouds, you are probably aware that setting up the points to be re-modeled properly within Revit is essential. When you import your point cloud by shared coordinates, you are left with a 3D model of your points. Although this may look good, it’s not going to be enough information for you to model the building. What we need to do is set up sections, levels and elevations in order to give us a good chance of capturing all the details.
As you can see from the image above, when you import a point cloud into Revit, you do not get a very clean view of the model compared to when you view it in a program made for this specific purpose, e.g. point tools.
The first thing that we will do is create a section view on Level 0. Right click and zoom to fit > Draw a section from the left to the right hand side of your screen to ensure you will be intersecting your point cloud. Once you have done this, go to your section. If your point clouds shared coordinates file was set up correctly, you will now see your model in the section view. Unlike 3D views, section views allow you to add levels and elevation tags to your model.
Set up your levels as required. There should hopefully be enough detail at this point to be able to identify where your floor slabs are starting and where your ceilings are located. Simply create your levels and as normal, you will notice new floor and ceiling plan views appear in your project browser. Once you have you levels set up, it will most likely be necessary to adjust the view range, in order to cut out any noise, or objects in the point cloud that you don’t want modeled in your Revit file – for instance bins, storage etc. I personally like to use 2 plan views for each level – 1 with a low view range and the other with a high view range. This will make it clear which elements are located where in the building. Using sections in certain areas will most likely be compulsory.
Now you have 2 views of each level it will be easy for you to begin modeling the walls, openings etc inside of Revit. As you can see from the image below, just changing the view range makes a huge difference to the same level and is a very important aspect of modeling from a point cloud. If you neglect this, you may well miss vital parts of the building that need to be modeled.
Once you have started modeling your walls etc you will probably come across certain objects for example beams and columns which need to be modeled. Although, of course Revit has standard beams and columns in the generic libraries, I find it better to model these as structural in place components – This way you can recreate a very close replica of the objects in question.
If you have surveyed the building with a scanner such as a Leica model, you will most likely have TruView files to go along with your .pcg or raw format files – These will come in very useful when you are unsure about how certain objects are joining together etc. Be sure to make use of these files which can be opened in Internet Explorer with a plugin enabled. They are 360* panoramic photos of the areas which have been scanned. (The scanner also photographs the building as the points are being scanned.)
After a bit of time and a lot of patience you will eventually see your existing building come to life in Revit. If you are having any troubles with modeling point clouds, feel free to get in contact and ask any questions you may have. I will be posting a blog shortly about jumping geometry (see below) due to positioning of point clouds in relation to shared coordinates – and a solution to fix this problem!
You may have noticed this morning that when highlighting objects and lines in Revit that the lines are appearing Red. This will be the case if you are using Windows 7 – Last night there was a Windows update which has caused an error in the Revit UI which is making this bug appear. To resolve the issue, all you have to do is go into your ‘Graphics options’ and turn ‘Hardware Acceleration’ off. I presume there will be a future update from Windows that will sort this problem, but for now, this will temporarily fix the problem.
Are you or your practice creating custom Revit Families to use in your projects? If so I expect you already implement in one form or another, standards throughout your Families. If not, or if your looking to revitalise your standards, you should check out the ‘bimstore bibe – Revit family creation standards‘. The following areas are covered in this document:
- Family planning
- Level of detail
- Nesting families
- Size and performance advice
- Naming and units
- Parameter usage
- Cobie parameters
- Masterformat and Uniformat classification
- Materials and previews
- Family testing
Be sure to check out and download some of the other excellent content on www.bimstore.co.uk
When creating large Revit families which have a number of types / variations (e.g. size) of the same model, it may be useful to create a ‘type catalog’ to accompany the family in your project. In short, a type catalogue will reduce the amount of data going into your model when you import a new component / family. Rather than loading all 6+ types of the same family into the project, it will allow you to pick from a list (your type catalog) which size or modification of your family that you need loaded in this particular instance. This is particularly useful in families where you have 6 or more different types which could significantly slow your project down.
If you are using a family from the default library, you are able to export the families attributes as a type catalog, by simply exporting the family types as a .txt file as shown in the image below. As you will see, all of the work is done for you and every new family type you add will automatically update in the .txt file, proividing you re-export every time you make a change.
If you want to create your own custom type catalog rather than just exporting from Revit, then you will have to create your own .txt file which you will use as your type catalog. To get an overview of what information goes into this .txt file it could be a good idea to export some type catalogs from the families stored in the default Revit libraries and explore for yourself how different attirbutes are stored and named. Here are a few key points to consider when creating your Type catalog.
- Give your family a simple name, using no spaces or unusual characters. Use _ to connect words and – between a range of numbers.
- Ensure your Family and .txt file have the SAME NAME excluding the extension.
- Place your Family and the .txt file in the same folder on your computer.
- Be consitent and list parameters in the same way everytime you create a new catalog.
- Only create type catalogs for families with over 5 variations.
- TEST your family and type catalogs before sharing with others.
- If you are having problems defining parameters, check an existing family that is working correctly for tips.
Once you have your family created and all editable attributes added as parameters, it is time to start creating your type catalog. For every defining parameter you have, you will need to add this in the type catalog. Most parameters are names specifically, e.g. Length, but for the more obscure you would use the parameter ‘OTHER’.
Open up a notepad or your personal preference of .txt editor. The first line of your code, depending on your parameters should look something like this: ,Keynote##OTHER##,AssemblyCode##OTHER##,Depth##LENGTH##MILLIMETERS,Material##OTHER##,
This is storing Keynotes, Assembly Codes, Length, Width, Depth, Material and the units. Parameters in Revit are usually listed in the following way:
Parameter Name(Length) ##Parameter Value(100) ##Unit (millimeters) – Although it may look confusing to start with, once you understand the way they are formulated, it is easy to add and edit existing values using the above method. Use the ‘,’ parenthesis when seperating different parameters.
Once you have created your family and type catalog and try and load it into Revit, you may receive an error similar to the one listed above. This particular error is informing us that 7 values or parameters were expected, yet only 6 of them were found, or defined in the type catalog. If you receive a similar message, go back and review your family to check you haven’t missed out one or more of the types created in the catalog. Once your family has been created succesfully you will see a dialogue box appear similar to the one shown below when you load your family into your project, this is what you want to see!
Once again load your family into your project and check that each of the variations are working as you would expect. Once you have tested all variations, you are ready to share your family with the rest of your team. If you have any problems or more questions about type catalogs, feel free to get in touch and I will see if I can help. Hope that this will be useful for someone who is having problems with creating type catalogs.