Revit Tutorial – Naming PDF and DWG exports to match ISO19650

Many of you working with large Revit projects are probably utilising the BIM naming conventions outlined in ISO19650. Just for your reference, the naming system may look similar to the sheet below.

Revit ISO19650 Sheet

Below is a screen capture of the properties of the sheet, you can clearly see the use of shared parameters to hold the values such as the Originator, Volume,Level and so on.

Revit ISO19650 Properties Palette

The problem starts when you are required to generate PDFs or DWGs from the Revit project to issue or upload to a Common Data Environment (CDE). The naming convention, of course, needs to comply with ISO19650 but Revit will give you something like the output below:

Revit PDF naming and Output

Fortunately, we can employ Dynamo to rename the documents for us to match with the correct ISO19650 naming convention. The basic process is to collect the ISO19650 shared parameters from the sheet and concatenate these together using hyphens to generate the correct document name. The name is then concatenated with the file path and this forms the new name.

We then get the contents of the directory that the PDFs were published to and just get the PDFs that match the drawing number. For example, the drawing number could be 1070 and this can be used to get the original PDF name that contains this number. It is essentially a wildcard match (*- 1070 -*)

A python script is then employed to do the actual renaming in the operating system.

Python - Rename docs

You may want to watch the YouTube Tutorial which shows the dynamo script in operation and steps through the graph and explains whats happening.

Here is a high res image of the Dynamo script if you want to recreate it for your own use.


Revit 2021.1 – What’s New!

It is that time of the year again to review the latest additions and improvements to the Revit platform, this time Revit 2021.1! In this review I will focus on the platform technology improvements as well as structural and civil features. I will also look at some of the key improvements to Dynamo 2.6 which ships with Revit 2021.1.


My top new feature for Revit 2021.1 can be used when working with Shared coordinates. I still find that many seasoned Revit users still get into a muddle with Revit models and shared coordinates. The first new feature is simply to reset the shared coordinates. This one is incredibly useful when things have gone wrong!

Reset Shared Coordinates

On a similar theme you will now get much more information when acquiring coordinates from linked files. In the dialog below you can see that a GIS Coordinate System has been recognised and displayed to the user.

Revit 2021.1 - Aquire Coordinates Information

You can now share your 3D model views with others without the need to export the Revit views to other formats. This is a completely free method to share a view, you simply share a web link with others  and they can view, mark-up, measure and print from a web browser!

Revit 2021.1 - Shared Views

If the view is marked up or has comments, you can simply reload the view in Revit and see stakeholders’ comments and markups and make instant  revisions to the model.

Autodesk Viewer - Markup and Comments Revit 2021.1

You can also collaborate live with stakeholders within a shared view. This is similar to the A360 collaboration process but has many updated and improved tools.

SketchUp 2020 models are now supported for import into Revit 2021.1. This feature can be very handy for site equipment such as piling rigs, portacabins, tower cranes or other logistical items that you don’t want to model in Revit.

Import SketchUp 2020 files

Autodesk have added 50 new units to support multiple disciplines and added a new Infrastructure discipline.

Revit 2021.1 - Project Unit updates

There have also been some minor tweaks to the options dialog for the control of the ribbons and tools. Notice the Infrastructure Tools can also be enabled/disabled here.

Revit 2021.1 Options Dialog Box

Structural/Civil Improvements

Just a couple of new features in this category.

When working with imported IMX files the alignments can now be displayed and annotated. This is useful when importing bridges or tunnels from Autodesk Infraworks.

Revit 2021.1 Alignment Station

As with all Revit releases, a new tool has been added for reinforcement. We can now pick a rebar and choose select host from the context ribbon. This is quite useful when you have multiple elements such as foundations and columns and want to make sure the rebar is hosted into the correct element. In the image below, I want to check that the starter bar is hosted into the foundation and not the column!

Revit 2021.1 Rebar - Select Host

Dynamo 2.6

Dynamo for Revit is going from strength to strength with a steady flow of Revit specific nodes becoming available. There are some new nodes to allow the direct purging of families and a new tool to save families to a directory. Very useful for figuring out family file sizes.

Dynamo 2.6 - Revit Document Tools

When auditing Revit models, it is useful to include warnings and their descriptions. This is now also available in Dynamo 2.6.

Dynamo 2.6 - Auditing Tools

Code blocks can now display line numbers which is very useful when trying to interpret errors and referencing where particular lines of code are.

Dynamo 2.6 - Code Block Line Numbers

There are also a number of new tools to work with families. In previous Dynamo versions, working with families was quite limited. Of particular use will be the tools to add parameters to a family, add formula and set parameter values.

Dynamo 2.6 - Family Document

Another welcome addition is the ability to see if a node has been renamed. You can simply hover over the node to see the original name and reset if required.

Dynamo 2.6 - Renamed nodes

Anyway, that’s my list of the top features relating to Civil/Structural and platform features. Its great to see that Autodesk are strengthening the use of Revit for Civil structures such as bridges and tunnels. This makes perfect sense as the comprehensive reinforcement tools can then be used to understand rebar assemblies and arrangements in these complex concrete forms.

Dynamo is also becoming the norm with Revit users and its great to see a little focus on populating families with parameters and values. I am sure many users will find these features very useful.


Revit 2021: Essentials Training for Structures

Some of you may have been Furloughed or unable to work during the current COVID-19 crisis and I am continuing to create tips and tricks, tutorials and videos that are suitable for intermediate/advanced users of Revit. However, there are many of you that are possibly still using 2D CAD applications that would like to move into Revit for project delivery, or those that may want to revisit the essential skills required to use Revit.

I have started to create a course that is FREE and hosted on my YouTube channel. Additionally, I have created a website that hosts the required datasets that are needed for the online course. Currently I have the first module created (40 mins)

Revit 2021 Training

I am continuing to build the course and hope to cover all the essentials skills to work with Revit 2021 using Steel, In-Situ Concrete & Precast Concrete. The course is project based and builds on skills learnt on previous tutorials to build a full structure from a blank template.

You can find a link to the datasets here:

and here for the YouTube Playlist:

Hope this helps people to start their Revit learning! Feel free to comment on the video series and make suggestions!



Revit 2021 Tutorial – Structural Data Extraction Part 2

In part two of this tutorial we will look at utilising the MS Excel workbook that was exported from Revit 2021 in Part 1. If you did not work through part one of the tutorial, here is the link:

The primary part of this tutorial will be looking at Microsoft Power BI and importing the MS Excel workbook. Obviously, you can present the data directly in MS Excel by using the inbuilt tables but Microsoft Power BI has better tools for presentation and data visualisations and allows data tables to be referenced to each other via unique keys. Another advantage is that the dashboard can be shared via a weblink to anyone that wants to consume the data.

Just as a quick recap, when exporting Revit model data via ODBC, Revit creates a data table for each model category. Additionally, the tables are differentiated by instance and type.

In the image below you can see the worksheet for the floor instance.

Revit Floor Instance

Below is the table representing the floor types

Revit Floor Types

Working with Microsoft Power BI

Once Microsoft Power BI is running the interface should look like the image below. In this tutorial I am using the desktop version.

Microsoft Power Bi Interface

The first step is to connect to a data source. In this case we will connect to our Microsoft Excel workbook. On the Home ribbon click Excel.

Power Bi Connect to MS Excel

You then browse to your MS Excel file. Power BI will then connect to the data and present the Navigator. In this example we will select the following tables:

  • Floors
  • FloorTypes
  • Levels
  • StructuralFraming
  • StructuralFramingTypes


Click the Load button. This will take a few moments to load in the data from MS Excel.


Before we start working on the visualisations, we need to create some relationships between the type and instance properties. Revit creates unique keys to enable this linking.

In Power BI click the model icon.

Power Bi Model

You will then see the selected tables presented. You can move and drag these around on screen to fit everything into view.

Power Bi Tables

Click the Manage Relationships icon as shown below. This will enable the linking of data so we can visualise both the type and instance properties.

Power Bi - Manage relationships

In the Manage Relationships dialog click the new button in the bottom left of the dialog.

Configure the dialog box as shown in the image below. Note that the data columns are selected (TypeId and Id) These are the unique keys that tie the instances to types.

Power Bi - Manage Relationships Dialog

Click OK and then close. The tables now have a relationship.

We can now start to visualise the data. Click the Report Icon as shown below.

Power Bi - Report Icon

On the Field panel click the Type Name as shown below. You will see a table presented on the page.

Power Bi - Field Tab

Now open the Floors table and select volume. Notice that this new field is added to the same table. You can now select a visualisation for the data.

Power Bi - Revit Floor Table

Power Bi - Revit Floor Volumn as Chart

This is just a simple example of a chart, you can continue to make additional relationships with other tables and create a dashboard to better understand material quantities of your structural elements.

Hope this helps.