Friday, January 29, 2010

"Stairs require no more than two boundaries" Anyone seen this before? Yes?

I get this almost every time I try to make a stair that is not 100% straight and has more than one run.

As an example I was trying to make this stair:

So I went ahead and created 3 runs. Note the way the boundaries are not really what I want:

So I tried:
  • moving the boundaries one by one: error
  • deleting the ones that are wrong and redrawing them: error
  • deleting all boundaries and drawing them by hand: error
What  finally worked was tab-selecting the entire boundary-line and moving the handle.

The issue with this is af course that it makes it impossible to make rounded boundaries, but at least I got this stair done.

Now if I could only make Revit create a monolithic stair like this.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Creating Walls... That should be simple. Click on Ribbon > Home > Walls and away you go.

Aha. So you might think.

Well, I've been having this weird problem that any wall I drew had a fixed bottom and top offset of 500mm, even when I changed the height in the drop-down menu before drawing the wall.

It took me a while to realize that I had previously created a wall by using the Create Similar command in the context menu and that the wall I used as a template did have a bottom and top offset of 500mm. So when I used a different wall as a template (without offsets), I got the "normal" behaviour back.

Good to know that Revit remembers these things, even after coming back the following day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today I was looking to change the line style for the Property Line.

So I started looking in Ribbon > Manage > Settings > Line Style. Obvious place, I thought. But no luck.

This property actually resides in the Object Styles: Ribbon > Manage > Settings > Object Styles.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The results are in for the first Vote of the Week.

I had asked : "How many line weights do you/your office use?"

And here are the results:

Thank you for participating.

I will open a new poll later today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As you may have noticed, with the new year I have introduced a new feature to this site: the Vote of the Week. I will be posting a new poll every Monday (depending on participation maybe only every two weeks; we'll just have to see) and publishing the results of the last one.

This week's question is "How many line weights do you/your office use?"

I have been looking into this for our company standard and it seems to me that there are way too many line-weights registered in our template. I want to seriously cut them down and go back to using 5 to 7 line weights and I was curious what you guys are using.

I guess I still am old fashioned as I learned drawing with pen and paper. And these pens came in 0.18, 0.25, 0.35 and 0.5. If your were lucky (or had wealthy parents) you extended that with a 0.13 and a 0.7 pen. But that was about it. Anything thicker and you just put down two lines...

...but anyway. Go ahead and vote. I'm looking forward to the results.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I just started a new project and wanted to get going with a Conceputal Mass. So I loaded the standard template and drew a line.

But wait! This is in meters while my "normal" drawings are in milimeters!

OK, I can sort of understand that, because this editor is meant to be used for first sketches. But I am so used to typing everything in mm that I created quite a few lines with a length of 10,000 meters before realizing my mistake.

Solution? Change the units and create a new template to use.

To change the units, go to Manage > Project Units, change the Length-setting to mm.


 OK, that did the trick.

Now save as a Template:

Wait! What? I can't? Hmm.

Well, maybe this solution will work here as well. Save the new "template" as a regular Family. Using the Windows-Explorer go to the map you saved the file and change the ending to .rvt (=ReVit Template)

You can then move this file to the map with your templates (the standard for Revit 2010 under Vista is C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RAC 2010\Metric Templates\Conceptual Mass) and you now have to option of either working in meters or milimeters.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The strength of Revit lies within its families. The better your families, the more efficient you can work.

I - and a lot of other people, judging by all the tutroials online on the subject - find this to be very true indeed. But mostly this is discussed for parametric wall openings (changing door-widths or window-heights) and less so for your sheet titles or things like your scale-bar:

So I figured I'd create a "smart" scale-bar for the office, so that we can have the same bar on all drawings, no matter to what scale they are drawn to. And this is how I did it.

I first created a new generic annotation family ( R > New > Family, select the Generic Annotation template) and drew the basis for it:

The "0" is static, so I just created a Text there.

Next I created a few familiy parameters so that the text specifying the distance could be dynamically changed.

The parameters are: (all of them are Type, since I want to create Family Types corresponding to the correct scale)
scale (1:x) of the drawing
n01 - n10
calculated scale-value, where n01=1cm on drawing, n02=2cm etc.
Boolean (Yes/No) to determine whether the scale is 1:50 and above or below that (drawing is considered a detail)
can either be m (meters) or mm (millimeters)
multiplier to calculate either meters or millimeters

The schaal is the only parameter the user can and should change. The rest I have programmed with formulas.

n01 - n10 are calculated by taking the scale, multiplying it with the distance on paper (in mm) and dividing it by multi to determine whether to display the result in meters or in milimeters.

detail is a simple Yes/No: Be Yes (True), if schaal is smaller than 50.

unit is determined by detail. If the drawing is a detail-view, display "mm" otherwise make it meters.

Now it was just a question of creating all the labels.

The last label was the only "interesting" one, because I actually displayed two parameters instead of one:

But that's basically it. I can now create Family Types to suit the most common needs (1:100 for plan views, elevations etc, 1:1000 for the situation, 1:5 for details, etc) and still make it very easy to add extra scales.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hi everyone and a happy and successful 2010!

As promised last decade, I'll describe how I created the christmas-trees in my last post.

The question here was: how do you put objects onto a path and have them maintain a constant distance from each other? In AutoCAD (and most other CAD-programs) there are functions that let you draw a path and then have it either divide up into x segments or into a number of segments with the distance of y from each other. Unfortunately, Revit does not have a function like that.

...or does it?

The trick is to use railings and balusters for this.


Well, here goes:

This is what we had.

First I created the object I wanted to have placed (a tree in this case, but it could easily be street lights). To do this I created a family ( R > New > Family ) using the Baluster-Post template.

This I imported into the project. I then went ahead and created a new Railing-Family-Type and selected my tree (boom in Dutch) as Baluster. I was now able to select the distance between the instances by setting the Dist. from previous setting to 3 meters.

All the other balusters I left blank.

Note that the Base is set to Host and that I inserted a positive Top Offset. This is neccessary to be able to remove all hand rails from the family-type. ( Type-Properties > Rail-Structure )

I then drew the path for the railing.

And that's it.

Railings let themselves be used in quite a few interesting ways. Be creative and try a few!

Credit for getting me onto these tracks are due to Eric Wing, who held a great lecture at Autodesk University last year. I followed it online and was very impressed. Kudos to him!