Handling Revit Warnings – A Tutorial with Revit 2018 and Dynamo

We have all seen the Revit Warnings dialog and as you may already know, these can be ignored and the users can carry on with the tasks at hand but what does this mean for your project health! Some of these are problematic and ignoring the warnings is not really fixing the problem. I guess we should be mindful that if Revit sees fit to warn us of these issues then we should do something to resolve the problems. In the image below you can see a typical set of warnings in an average project. These can be a real headache for the BIM manager and in the following post I will outline a way of adding these errors to the model and then assigning users to ‘repair’ the problems.

The Revit Warning Dialog will allow the user to select elements but this can be extremely inefficient especially in large project where it can take a long time for Revit to open a view where the element can be located. This can be very frustrating for BIM technicians to wade through hundreds of errors, locate the elements and then try and fix the problems.

A Better Approach

On larger projects with multiple users we can utilise a simple Dynamo script to graphically show each error and allow the end users to see these errors in schedules, plans, sections, elevations etc and then isolate the errors and fix them or at least recheck the issue.

This is achieved by creating Shared Parameters to store the Revit Warning and comments on resolutions. You can then set up Revit filters to show each type of warning in different colours and do all the usual things such as isolating the elements, showing in different views and schedules.

In the example below you can see the Grids of Axis are shown in green, beam off axis are shown in yellow and walls in magenta. Also note the shared parameters storing the Revit warning in the elements.

The Dynamo Script

The Dynamo script is all based around the Bang package which can be downloaded by searching for the Bang package.

Add the GetWarnings node to a new dynamo session. You will also need to add a Boolean and set it to True to start reading the Revit Warnings.

The Warnings are then displayed in the top output and the list of elements in the lower output. It is a simple case of then setting a Revit Shared Parameter to store the value. In the image below I have created a Shared Parameter called ‘RevitWarning’, set it to Text and then used the Element.SetParameterByName node to write the warning text.

You can then set up some filters to display the warnings in views. I have also created a View Template that can easily be applied to any view to add the filters.

Conclusion

This is a simple and effective method of understanding where the warnings occur and then being able to assign these back to team members to resolve.

Hope this helps,

LawrenceH

 

 

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Revit – Stripping Views and Sheets from the model prior to upload to CDE

Many Consultants will have the requirement to strip out all the views, schedules, CAD links and sheets from a model prior to issuing; this is done for a number of reasons such as file size reduction and also protection. If the model is simply for coordination then there is no need to see any of these elements.

Revit - Dynamo Player to Strip Views from Project

You can of course remove all the elements manually from the project but this is very time consuming. You can also purchase apps that will automate these operations but for the few times a month that you need this it is better to use this Dynamo script!

Below you can see a quick video of the Dynamo Script working with Dynamo Player (Revit 2018.1). I also show and explain each element of the script.

Here is the script that you can recreate for your own use. Unfortunalty I cannot directly host the Dynamo script on my blog site.

Strip Views from Revit - Dynamo Graph

Hope this helps,

Lawrence

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Tutorial – AutoCAD Civil 3D Surface to Revit Topography

Over the next few months I will be posting some tutorials and workflows for taking civil engineering models such as drainage layouts and retaining walls from AutoCAD Civil 3D to Revit. The reasons for these workflows are to increase the Level of Detail and information that is held within the models. For example, the coordination and documentation of foundations with new drainage and existing underground services can be achieved very efficiently with the use of AutoCAD Civil 3D and Revit. This is even more relevant with the introduction of Autodesk Collections which will have Revit and AutoCAD Civil 3D available to all! See this link for a full list of products that are available in the Autodesk AEC Collection

https://www.autodesk.co.uk/collections/architecture-engineering-construction/included-software

In this first post I will concentrate on the fundamental task of getting a TIN (Triangular Irregular Networks) surface from AutoCAD Civil 3D to Revit as a 3D TOPO.

Triangulation

AutoCAD Civil 3D and Revit each use slightly different algorithms for the triangulation of surfaces. This could potentially allow errors to creep in if we simply rely on points and use these points to build surfaces in Revit and Civil 3D. In practice you should create the Revit Surface directly from the AutoCAD Civil 3D triangles. In the example below you can see a triangulation model from AutoCAD Civil 3D with the points shown in red and the levels shown in blue.

TIN Surface Original Trangles

In the image below the Revit Triangulation algorithm is shown in red. The points are connected in a different order and can cause minor differences in levels.

TIN Surface Revit Traingulation

To ensure that AutoCAD Civil 3D is showing triangles, select the Surface and then select ‘Edit Surface Style’ from the Right Click context menu. Select the Display tab, make sure that the View Direction is set to Model and ensure that Triangles are visible and all other component types are switched off.

Civil 3D Surface Style Triangles

Datums

To ensure correct coordination to Revit you should clearly mark a survey station that you would like to reference and also a project base point. An example may look similar to the image shown below.

Revit Project Base Point and Survey Point

Note that in the above example the Survey Point was unclipped and moved to the Station ‘ST1’. You could also leave the Survey Point at 0,0,0 which would be the OS False Origin. You should never unclip and move the Project Base Point as this can affect IFC datum and coordination with other models.

Coordinates can be given from either the Project base point or the Survey Point. You will also have to multiply the Easting and Northing by 1000 to take into account the scale difference between the Survey (in Meters) and the Revit Project (in Millimetres).

AutoCAD Civil 3D Export to AutoCAD

The TIN Surface in AutoCAD Civil 3D is a special object that cannot be used easily in Revit. The solution is to export the AutoCAD Civil 3D surface as an AutoCAD drawing. This will result in 3D Faces which can then be used to build the Revit Topography.

Click the Application Button, then Export and then Export Civil 3D Drawing.

Civil 3D Export to AutoCAD

The Export Dialog Box will automatically add a prefix to the drawing name to identify this as an AutoCAD drawing.

Civil 3D Export Dialog Box

One the export has completed the TIN surface will be represented as AutoCAD 3D faces. Make a note of the Layer that the 3D faces are positioned as this will be needed when creating the Revit Surface.

C3D to AutoCAD 3D Faces

Delete all other information and just retain the 3D faces and the datum’s as shown in the image below. The datum’s are very important for the coordination of the model within Revit. Scale the AutoCAD model from the Origin 0,0,0 and set the scale factor to 1000 (scale from Metres to millimetres).

Isolated AutoCAD drawing with 3D Faces and Datums

Revit Topography

Start a new project using your template in Revit. Make sure you switch to the site plan as the view range primary top and cut plane will be set to 10,000 to allow you to see the topograpgy.

In the Visibility Graphics/Overrides dialog box make sure that the Project Base Point and Survey Point are visible.

Revit Visibility Graphic Overrides Site Category

Next you link the AutoCAD drawing into Revit. Make sure that you set the import units to custom factor = 1 to ensure that there is no scale change. Also bring the AutoCAD file in Centre to Centre.

Revit Link CAD File Settings

Once the AutoCAD file has been linked it is a good idea to set the Visual Style to Wireframe to allow you to see the Setting Out information through the 3D faces.

Revit Set Visula Style to Wireframe

Unclip the Survey Point and move to the Survey Station of your choice (In this case STN1). Note that you will need to unclip the Survey Point, move to the location and then clip the Survey Point. I would then suggest pinning the AutoCAD drawing along with the Project and Survey Points.

Revit Project Base Point and Survey Point

Your Model is now coordinated!

To create the Topography, make sure that you first set the category to visible. Click the Massing and Site tab and select the Toposurface Tool.

Revit Toposurface

Click the ‘Select Import Instance’ from the context menu and select the linked CAD file.

Revit Select Import Instance

Do make sure that you now select the Layer where the 3D faces (triangulation) are positioned. You will now have a Revit Toposurface with Identical triangulation to your AutoCAD Civil 3D model.

Revit Toposurface From Civil 3D

Hope this helps,

LawrenceH

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Revit – 3D Grids

One thing I often notice when training new users on Revit is the question ‘Can I see the grids in 3D?’ to which the answer has traditionally been ‘no’!

Revit 3D Grids

Based on this I will now run through a quick tutorial to show you how to both use and create a 3D grid utilising Dynamo.  The basic idea is to select all the grids within a project, get the curves of the grid and then place 3D custom families on these points to replicate the grid. I have created the families with the correct sub categories so the grids can be switched on and off as you probably will not want to see the grids in plans and elevations.

3D Grids - Sub Categories

The Grid Head family uses 3D model text with a parameter attached to receive the actual grid reference. The grid line is modelled with an adaptive two point family with a control for the diameter.

Revit 3D Grids

If you are interested to see how everything works then take a quick look at the attached YouTube video where I run through the Dynamo Script in detail and show the various families.

Hope this helps,

LawrenceH

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Autodesk Revit 2018.1 Precast Concrete Solutions

In the early stages of a design the decision to use precast or In Situ concrete on structural components may not have been fully considered. There are many factors that could influence the design and ultimately the construction processes that are implemented. Some typical benefits of precast is Quality control and speed of construction since we are not working with ‘wet’ materials and not having to wait for the concrete elements to fully cure before other structures can be assembled. However, designing with precast elements is a little like a Lego set, you can only create certain forms with economy!

Revit 2018.1 Precast

Autodesk Revit 2018.1 now incorporates a precast module that was acquired from IDAT a few years back. This solution allows for the conversion of planar walls and floors to precast elements which is perfectly suited to the design workflow as outlined in the above paragraph. We can take the initial design and then at a later stage decide to convert these into precast elements.

Shown below are the new precast tools found on the Revit 2018.1 Ribbon.

Revit 2018.1 Precast Ribbon

As you can see from the image above the tools are focused around the division of singular elements such as walls and floor slabs. The splitting of the walls and floors are governed by Configuration settings. For example, you can set a maximum weight and maximum set of dimensions for lifting and transportation. These tools automate the creation of Revit Assemblies which enable the detailing of each individual precast element and the output of CNC code for UniCAM (Unitechnik) and PXML (ProgressXML). There are many settings that the user can tweak and change and below you can see the configuration for the walls maximum dimensions, weight and jointing.

Cast Wall Settings

Another task that the precast module automates is the placement of anchors, bushings and connectors. These are standard Revit families that can be replaced with specific manufactured parts for full coordination and costing.

Precast Anchors and Loop Connectors - Revit Precast

The reinforcement bar is also added via intelligent macros that allow the end user to configure typical arrangements of reinforcement bar. There is not currently an automated way of placing reinforcement bar around openings such as doors and windows but this bar can be added to the part with the standard reinforcement tools. In the below image you can see that the Area and Edge reinforcement can be customised and also have a library of types configured.

Revit Precast Reinforcement configuration

One of the most powerful features of this software is the ability to generate automatic drawings to detail the precast elements as well as the cast in connections and other placed objects such as electrical voids and similar.

Precast Wall Details - Drawings Sheet

The above image shows a typical drawing that is fully automated. Note that the centre of Gravity is also located to allow for the planning of lifting. The panels also support the tilt method of construction which is also useful.

Check out the 10min Tutorial video below.

LawrenceH

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Revit 2018.1 – New Freeform Reinforcement Tool

 

Autodesk are enhancing the reinforcement tools further by implementing a new feature termed as freeform rebar. This new tool currently enables users to add straight bars (Shape Code 00) that follows complex surfaces. The bars will form a complex shape but remain straight for fabrication instructions.

Revit 2018.1 Rebar

The new Freeform Reinforcement tool can be used in a 3D view by first selecting the host face. Note that this tool uses the Select Multiple option so the Space Bar is used to confirm the selection. You next pick the starting surface and then the ending surface and finally press enter to place the bar.

Place Free Form Rebar - Revit 2018.1

This tool is very useful when modelling complex Architecture and Civil structures such as bridges and tunnels. Each bar can be scheduled for a precise length as shown in the image below.

Revit 2018.1 Bending Schedule

Take a look at the YouTube Video to see this tool in action.

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Autodesk Revit 2018.1 – Dynamo Player

Continuing the theme from last year, Autodesk have now launched their mid-year release 2018.1 which brings some exciting new functionality and enhancements to Revit 2018.

I am going to start this review with a major update to Dynamo Player. Dynamo Player was introduced in Revit 2017.1 and brought the ability to launch a Dynamo script without the need to have Dynamo running. Whilst this was a major step forward, the end user could not interact with the script and add inputs, make selections or see results. This has now been addressed within the updated Dynamo Player. In the image below you can now see a Dynamo Script that will create an Excel workbook of a Revit RC Schedule. This needs the Directory and also a file name. The information shown in grey is report information shown after running the script.

Dynamo Player User Inputs

This enables all users to be able to run and interact with Dynamo via a very simple dialog box that is run from the Revit Manage ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar.

Dynamo Player Icons

To designate an input on the Dynamo Player you simply right click over a node and make sure the ‘Is Input’ option is checked as shown in the image below.Creating a Dynamo Input

Any interactive selection or drop-down user interface input node in Dynamo works in Dynamo Player. Here is an image showing the Dynamo Inputs and the resulting Dynamo Player controls. Very neat.Dynamo Inputs vs Dynamo Player Inputs

Outputs are simply declared with a named Watch Window. For example, you could count a list and then create a watch window. In the image below the outputs are in grey and shown with the green flag.

Dynamo Player outputs as watch window

Overall I think this will be the catalyst needed to get every Revit user to interact and run Dynamo programs. The old Dynamo player was quite restrictive but this is going to truly change the way users interact with projects and scripts.

LawrenceH

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