Monday, 30 November 2015

Revit Structural Beam System

I discovered a new tool today, or more accurately, used an existing tool for the first time. I have to be honest, I haven't spent a great deal of time on the MEP & Structural ribbons, not sure why either, so today I thought I would have a bit of a poke around!

First on the list was the 'Structural Beam System' tool on the Structural Ribbon, found on the Structure Panel. It's a goodie! 

Simply sketch the shape of your floor and boom, instant array of floor beams! 

Once the sketch is complete, click finish. Only the beams are shown, but I have hovered my cursor over the beam so you can see the boundary of my sketch, highlighted in green above. 

So I sketched a typical 25mm yellow tongue floor on timber floor joists, completed in seconds... 

The properties provide you options for things like elevation, layout, spacing, justification and of course, the family or beam type. 

I recently modelled a ceiling with timber battens (not to mention lots of timber decks) and this tool would have really come in handy! Serves me right, you should never stop trying new tools in Revit! 

Now, what other hidden gems are on these ribbons... 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Copying Schedules in Revit

Did you know you can copy schedules in Revit from project to project? I don't mean the 'Insert from File' option under the insert ribbon, (this method is good for bulk copying) I mean literally CTRL+C / CTRL+V. 

If you like the way a schedule looks, the parameters it uses including any custom project parameters, simply place the schedule on a sheet, then use the windows based 'copy' (CTRL+C). Open your new project and paste (CTRL+V) the schedule onto a new sheet. Visit your project parameters and you will also notice it has brought them along too! Easy. 

One thing worth noting, this method will also copy over text styles, you will receive a warning if there is additional things, so read it to keep track of any unwanted standards, particularly from old projects. 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Revit Schedule Naming & Schedule Titles

In Revit schedules, the name of the schedule view is often accepted as the title of the schedule, but when you have a number of schedules in your project, you may want a naming convention to set them apart.

Unlike views, schedules do not have a 'Title on sheet' parameter. This doesn't mean though, we cannot have independent naming conventions. Revit allows another method to achieve this. 

When we click in the cell of the schedules title, we can use the 'Clear Cell' formatting button to clear the cell and type a custom title, independent of the schedule name in the project browser. 

Revit Legend Views

Legend views are 'dumb'. We just need to accept this. We expect everything to synchronise in Revit, but this just isn’t the case….yet. Our expectations are perhaps a little too high when we move to Revit. We are lead to believe it is the answer to all our documentation problems.

These legend views are unique in that they allow us to duplicate them on multiple sheets. Unfortunately though, legend views cannot amongst other things, synchronise with references tags (inhibiting our ability to create for example, intelligent door and window elevation drawings).

Therefore, limit the use of these legend views for things such as general notes, stamps or office standards that very rarely change. Legend views also allow us to bring in components to the view and then annotate these components, however views of these components can also be limited. Detail line tools available to us in drafting views can be used in legend views.

There are a number of workarounds for what we wish legend views did. Using design options or phasing is the most common techniques (assemblies are also an option). Whilst not perfect, if you spend a little time refining these alternatives, they can work quite well. Also don’t forget about keynote legends and schedules.

Don't rule out tweaking your workflows a little. Revit is a tool, so make the tool work for you. If you choose to stubbornly stand your ground and say “NO, Revit should do this, it’s what I pay subscription fees for, this is BIM software, blah blah blah…” then you will remain frustrated and what should be a positive experience will remain a negative one.

I think it’s funny that many of us have gone from manually coordinating everything for years in AutoCAD to “Revit should coordinate EVERYTHING!” Well, yes, that is what they are aiming for, but for now, how about a little of both? If you know of perfect software, point me to it!

In the meantime, help out the community by visiting AUGI Wish List. Post your wishes and support others by voting.