Back to Basics – Tagging Revit Elements

In my last post on Revit content I showed better methods of creating Revit families that perform well in both the 3D and 2D environment by automating detailing and facilitating faster modelling and setting out.

In this post we will look at the humble tag family and see how these can decrease errors in drawings and reduce the amount of text that you use to embellish your model views. In the image below you can see a beam and foundation both tagged and displaying the type name.

Revit Beam and Foundation tagged

There is a fundamental flaw using the type name as, if the user edits the dimensions of the element the type name will need to be added manually and you also run the risk of forgetting this or making a typo! In the image below you can see the Type Name and, in the case of the footing, the Foundation Thickness, Width and Length.

Revit Foundation Type Properties

A more productive method would be to actually read the dimensions of the element. In the image below you can see, in this case, a Structural Foundation Tag being edited, and the Type Name replaced with the parameters that control the size.

Revit Tags - Edit Label Dialog

Of course, you could use this technique for any Revit element. If the parameters do not exist, then ensure that you create these as shared parameters so that these can be tagged and scheduled. In the example below, a face-based model has been used to cut a penetration through a Revit element, the opening is detailed in plan with symbolic lines and a tag is calling up the dimensions and use for the opening. This is very useful if you want to change the use as all the tags will update at once.

Revit - Tagging Structural Openings

Please take a look at the YouTube tutorial where you will see these examples in action!

LawrenceH

Rebar Code Checking with Dynamo

Those that are currently modelling their reinforcement in 3D already know the advantages of automated bending schedules. In this tutorial you can see a method of checking your rebar against codes that ensure that the bar can be fabricated and bent to the shapes and lengths specified.

This aspect is often overlooked and can be a useful tool to validate your work and provide simpler methods of checking the model. In the image bellow you can see a screen capture of a ‘3D checking view’ that shows unchecked rebar in Yellow, rebar that meets design codes in green and failures in red. This data can also be shown in bending schedules to identify issues.

Revit Rebar Checking

This is a fairly big Dynamo script that could definitely be reduced with more use of IronPython. The image below shows the overall graph. The green groups are inputs, grey is data processing and blue is outputs.

Overall Rebar Checking in Dynamo

The graph begins by recovering all the rebar in the project. The bars are then separated, straight bars and bend bars.

Get all rebar - Dynamo

Once the straight rebar is isolated you can then check for bars that are over stock length or do not conform to code 01 (i.e. bars that should be 6 or 12m). This is done with some simple design script such as ‘A != 6000 && A != 12000’ which effectively loops through the rebar and isolates all bars that are not 6000 or 12000.

Check rebar is not over stock length

I have then used some IronPython to create lists that store if rebars are OK or need checking and if errors are found, report on the code failure. This type of iteration through lists is much more compact using simple python scripts.

IronPython to check rebar

There is too much detail to show in this post but take a look at the YouTube video which will show the script running. I also step though each group so you can understand how the graph is composed.

Enjoy,

Lawrence

Revit Tutorial – Back to Basics – Creating Structural Content for Revit

It’s always a good idea to review the basics of what we do daily just in case we are missing a trick! It is all too easy to do the same as we did last week, last month, last year… In this post we look at some basic structural elements and consider how custom Revit content could be created to save time and make detailing more consistent and robust.

I often think of Revit as a digital Lego set, you have a certain number of pieces to assemble a structure, but the limitation is the variety of ‘bricks’ that are provided. For example, the three bricks below can only build simple, box like structures.

Revit Lego Bricks

The great thing with Revit is that we can create our own parametric families that are either bespoke to a project or for use in many projects. The custom families give Revit the flexibility needed to create any type of family with fast and efficient placement into projects.

Revit Lego Bricks Complex

A simple example to start with is the humble pile family. All too often, the default out of the box single pile, Pile-Steel Pipe.rfa is used for most projects. Whilst this is perfectly functional for most applications it may not deliver the best output and placement options. For example, the two images below show some typical ways of depicting piling in a plan view. The first image is perhaps appropriate when showing a piling layout, ideal for scales 1:100 where the pile may want to be displayed as a symbolic symbol. The second is useful for general arrangement plans and shows the pile in hidden detail under the pile cap. You can also see the pilling on the third image displaying the hidden detail for the embedment and the break symbol to curtail the full piling length.

Revit Foundation Details

The default pile family, when opened in the family editor, shows us the default Reference Planes which only run through the centre of the pile. This means that you cannot dimension the pile in elevation in a project. The default method of placement is to place the pile on a plane which is quite slow when multiple levels are required. The other issue is that you cannot snap a spot coordinate to the centre of the pile! This is simply due to the default family’s behaviour.

Revit Pile Steel Pipe

Once the piles are placed you will need to detail these manually in a section or elevation with the break symbol. If the pile moves, you will need to also move the details! Whilst you may eventually get the model and detail created it is far more efficient to create better content.

So, how can we make this more efficient?

One method is to create a face-based pile with all the relevant detailing built in. This will mean that if the pile cap, ground beam or foundation slab changed level the piles will automatically move. The 2D details such as the symbolic view and pile break symbol are automatically added as the piles are modelled. You will also be able to snap a spot coordinate onto the centre of the pile with confidence.

You can start by creating a new family using the Metric Generic Model face-based Revit family template. There are quite a few steps when creating the family, so I have provided a video with step by step instructions for the creation of the pile family. Feel free to use this example as a starting point, obviously you can add your own functionality and graphics as required.

You can make improvements to many of the default families which will save time, increase your detailing efficiency and improve drawing consistency.

LawrenceH

Revit 2020.2 Coordinate Systems

Happy 2020 to everyone. You may notice that I have created a new look and feel for the site, the original site going back to April 2009! Hope you like the new logo and appearance?

Anyone who authors Revit models or works with 3rd party consultants that use Revit has surely experienced poorly coordinated models and struggled to understand why models do not federate and overlay as expected.

Many of these issues are simply down to a lack of understanding of the Revit coordinate system or properly communicated BEP’s, but these are fundamental to the correct setting out and coordination of projects. Revit 2020.2 offers some help by being able to visualise the Project base Point, Survey Point and the Internal Point within linked models. Also, you can no longer unclip the Project Base Point, meaning that the Internal and Project Base Point are normally consistent, however, see the note at the end of the post!

The image below is displaying the two Project Base Points, the blue being from the active project and the grey being from the linked model

Revit 2020.2 - Coordinate Systems

Revit 2020.2 Linked Project Base Point

Here you can also see that the Internal Origin point is also displayed in grey on a linked project. This is useful when checking that the Project Base Point and Internal Origin are overlayed.

Revit 2020.2 Internal Origin Point

When a linked model is selected the Project Base Point shows the linked model icon and the relevant properties such as the North/South, East/West, Elevation as well as the angle to true north. Very useful when trying to understand why Revit models will not federate and overlay correctly.

Revit 2020.2 - Linked Project Base Point

As many of you will already know, Revit has an internal origin which can be different from the Project Base Point. The Internal Origin point can now be displayed with a new sub category within the Site category.

Revit - Internal Origin Point

When setting the Project Base Point you should now use Specify Coordinates at Point or acquire coordinates rather than directly selecting the Project Base Point and moving.  You will notice that selecting the PBP and using the Properties Palette or directly typing the coordinates will move the PBP independently of the internal origin.

Specify Coordinates at Point

LawrenceH

Coordinate Scheduling with the Excitech Toolkit

The original Excitech Revit toolkit was created in 2009 to produce coordinate schedules of elements such as isolated foundations, structural columns and any family with a single insertion point. The toolkit provided a solution to those customers who needed to produce piling schedules. An extension to the toolkit was added in 2012 to allow the automatic renumbering of elements, again aimed at piling.

Old Excitech Toolkit - Coordinate Scheduling

The new Excitech Toolkit was introduced in 2018 and contains a greater number of tools and utilities to improve productivity in a number of different areas. The new toolkit also provides the option of scheduling coordinates from elements.

New Excitech Toolkit

Please see the video for a tutorial on how our toolkit is used to schedule coordinates.

 

Here you can see the tutorial for the new Revit Excitech Toolkit.

Below is the procedure to create a piling schedule and renumber the piles using our new toolkit.

  1. First you select the piles that are required to have coordinates. If you have used a foundation family that has piles nested into the pile cap then you will need to select the sub elements.

On the Excitech Toolkit ribbon in the Selection panel click the Filter command as shown below.

Excitech Toolkit Selection Tools

In the Filter dialog box select Structural Foundations and then the pile sub elements that you have used in your project.

Click OK to make the selection.

Excitech Toolkit Filter

2. On the Excitech Toolkit ribbon in the Analysis panel, click the Analyse drop down menu and select Insertion as shown below.

Excitech Toolkit Insertion Point

You will then see the Insertion Point to Parameter dialog box. Here you can select the internal origin of Revit, the Project Base Point or the Survey Point. For piling that has been set out using shared coordinates, click Survey Point.

Excitech Toolkit Insertion Point to Parameter

Click OK

3. Each pile will now have the following coordinates added. X coordinate, Y coordinate and Z coordinate. These coordinates are at the toe of the pile. X Top Coordinate, Y Top Coordinate and Z Top Coordinate are positioned at the top of the pile (this would also be the cut off level)

Excitech Toolkiit Coordinates