Been a little while since I posted a tutorial but this month I am going ‘back to basics’ to talk about Instance and Type Parameters and where to use them. I still find that many people are using OOTB families that are not suitable for certain modelling workflows. I will focus in on two specific families, Structural Openings and Structural Framing. The structural Openings will be created with a Generic model family that’s face based, this will be ideal for rectangular openings in walls, foundations, floors, beams etc. Let’s start by looking at the instance properties of Structural Framing. In the image below I have selected the UB section, notice that the Structural Material is instance based.
It may be more relevant if we made this a type parameter as the structural material needs only to be set once per family type. To do this you can simply edit the family and change the instance parameter to a type parameter. With the Structural Framing Element selected, click the Edit Family button on the Modify | Structural Framing context ribbon.
The Structural Framing element will now be open in the family editor. Select the Family Type button as shown in the image below.
You will now see the Family Types Dialog box displayed. Note that the Structural Material is shown. An instance parameter will always have the bracketed word (default) displayed. This is the easiest method to spot the instance parameters.
Select the Structural Material parameter and then select the Edit Parameter command by selecting the pencil icon in the lower left of the dialog box as shown below.
You will now see the Parameter Properties Dialog box as shown below. Select the Type Parameter radio button as shown below and then click OK.
Click OK to the Family Types Dialog box, note that the Structural Material Parameter has the (default) removed as this is now a type parameter.
You can then save the family and set the type parameter. This will then update all members of the same family type.
A full video tutorial is available here, the video also covers the creation and use of structural opening family.
This year Autodesk strengthen the steel detailing tools with some very useful tools to enable quick and efficient steel connection modelling. Revit is constantly criticised for a lack of model detail with fabrication elements. This release strengthens the 3D detailing capabilities for those that require higher Levels of Detail or fabrication models.
When using the Copy/Paste and editing tools the processing is 20x faster than the previous release and connections can now be automatically propagated. This is due to some smart background processing that calculates the elements that are being processed and allows you to continue with other tasks, the elements being processed are highlighted different colour. The background processing is for steel connections but also works when performing most editing tools. The Background Processing colour can be set in the Options dialog in the Graphics Tab as shown below.
Steel Connections now use types just like other Revit families. This means that you can create various types of base plates and then either select all instances and swap or edit the type parameters. This new feature makes controlling steel connections much easier.
The Propagate tool automatically recognises similarly connected steelwork and adds the relevant connections which greatly speeds up the processes of adding connections. Simply select a steel connection, right click and select Propagate Connection.
Many new parameters have also been added to facilitate the efficient creation of fabrication details such as the new hole parameters dialog box. You can now also set the grip length for bolts to allow for accurate sizing and calculation.
The only missing feature is the creation of automatic fabrication documents and CNC code which I am sure we will see in due course. I would anticipate that this will be a cloud-based tool to take advantage of efficient processing times and could use the BIM 360 products to track versions and store the drawings and NC codes.
Concrete Detailing Tools
This release brings more stability to Revit whilst adding reinforcement bar with slightly different cover settings. Certain elements can cause reinforcement bar to constrain to the wrong faces when copying, mirroring or moving bars. The algorithm has been updated to ensure that rebars remember faces and covers from the original element.
Improvements has also been made to the multi rebar annotations to allow dimensioning to the formwork. Multi rebar annotations can now also be added to freeform reinforcement provided that the reinforcement bars remain parallel.
I have just created a quick video to showcase some of our Excitech Toolkit tools that could make you more productive when creating and detailing reinforcement in Autodesk Revit. These tools are free to all of our customers
For more information take a look at the following link.
A very quick tip for a very annoying issue. Sometimes, when you delete or move Revit models the recent files list still looks for these missing references. This has an impact when you click the File Tab (can take minutes!) to open.
A quick fix is to delete these file paths from the Revit.ini file. The Revit ini file can be found the following folder (replace your user name shown in red):
C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2019
Open the Revit.ini file in notepad and remove the recent files (shown with the Red box). Click the Save command and the Revit.ini file will be updated.
Restart Revit and the slow File Tab should be much quicker!
A couple of releases back a set of Dynamo nodes were created to allow the connection between Dynamo and Advance Steel. A recent release sees this plug in upgraded for use with Dynamo 2.0.2.
The tools certainly look promising but could really do with a little more development. At present you can create members, add plates and custom properties which allows for the advanced modelling of members but limited control over connections and Advance Steel Properties.
The Dynamo for Advance Steel can be located on the Add-ins Ribbon as shown below.
Once Dynamo is running you will find the Advance Steel nodes shown below.
Steel members are created by providing a list of members start and end points and then a vector to describe the Section Orientation. Bear in mind that all Advance Steel members can be generated with the Beam tools. It would have been nice to be able to change the Model Role for each set of members as this would have increased the efficiency when creating larger frames with beams, braces, columns etc.
Most of the Dynamo Nodes are easy to understand but the defining the section to use can be a little tricky. The first stage is to locate the Advance Steel Profiles database. The quickest method is to launch the Advance Steel Management Tools and then open the installed databases. Filter this for the Profile Master Tables.
You will need to copy the TypeNameText of the section type that you require and Paste this into a Dynamo Code block or a String. Search the relevant table and then locate the SectionName required.
The TypeNameText and SectionName are then concatenated with a special code #@§@# which is used to separate the two strings. Your Code Block will look like the image shown below.
I tested the Advance Steel Dynamo nodes by creating the following space truss using the LunchBox tools.
The few nodes provided definitely show promise and with a little more development could really be useful. Of course, another option is to create the frame using Dynamo and Autodesk Revit and then export this into Advance Steel.
Quite often when structural engineers are viewing the analytical model within Autodesk Revit it can be a little difficult to see which members are fixed or pinned or have specific release conditions set. The standard way to achieve this is to select the analytical bar and then look in the Properties Palette for the information.
The image shown below is a typical representation of the analytical model with the loads and end colours shown.
Here you can see the same model with some filters applied to help visualise fixed and pinned conditions.
The filters are set within the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog box. In the example below, I have chosen to indicate a Fixed or Pinned condition by using the colours red and green. Note that I have also had to create a separate filter for columns.
In the image below, you can see the new OR functionality being used to set a filter that either has the start or end release set to Pinned.
I would suggest that you create a separate view within your current structural template to enable the engineers to easily check the release conditions on the analytical model, this is much easier that selecting each element and viewing the Properties.
Hope this Helps,
A very happy New Year to everyone. Check out this link below for 3 useful workflows when using the Autodesk AEC collection for Structural and Civil design.