Revit Tip – Back to basics, changing the sketch colour

Sometimes it’s a good thing to rewind back to basics and look at some of the things that really matter when using Revit on a day to day basis. Obviously, the interface and colours that are used and presented can make a huge difference. Below you can see the Revit 2020 Options dialog. Here you will probably notice the recent additions of ‘calculating’ and ‘Rebar Editing’.

Revit 2020 Options Dialog

The ‘calculating’ colour is used when working with structural connections, especially when propagate connection is used. Revit will background process the connections and display the elements with, by default, Cyan.

The Rebar Editing colour is used when editing rebar constraints, see my previous post for details on this new feature!

Anyway, back to the basics. When sketching elements such as floors or perhaps editing wall profiles we are used to seeing magenta lines as shown in the image below.

Revit Floor Sketch

You can change this default by editing the line styles. To do this select the Manage ribbon, click Additional Settings and then Line Styles as shown in the image below.

Revit Line Styles

You are then presented with the Line Styles dialog. Here you can change the Sketch colour to anything you like.

Edit Line Styles - Revit

In the example below I have changed the Sketch line style to green.

Revit Floor Sketch - Green

This can obviously be quite useful if you have colour blindness with certain colours or are working with different background colours.

Hope this helps,

Lawrence

Tutorial – The Excitech Toolkit and Reinforcement

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.

https://www.excitech.co.uk/Insights/Blog/February-2019/The-Excitech-Toolkit

LawrenceH

 

Tutorial – Piling with Revit 2019, Dynamo and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019

In this tutorial we will look at a simple method to generate piling from a finished ground level to a rock stratum from borehole data. Most of you will now have access to the Autodesk AEC collection but, I often find that people tend to use just one or two tools from this collection which doesn’t return value or efficiency. In this workflow we will utilise Revit 2019, Civil 3D 2019 and Dynamo.

Revit and Civil3D Piling workflow

This workflow can also be achieved using Dynamo and Revit to find the intersections between the piling and the surfaces, but this can take quite a while to execute on large datasets, is computationally expensive and will invariably crash the machine.

Piling to Rock

So, presented below is another option if you want to move into the use of Civil 3D. We will start in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019. In Civil 3D you can either create the surfaces from points or from an existing set of contours a little like the workflow in Revit. We then place the pile locations as AutoCAD points and convert these points into Civil 3D points. The Civil 3D points can then obtain levels from surfaces. The group of points are then exported as a text file.

Export Points

The next stage is to use Dynamo to organise and prepare these points for use in Revit. The Dynamo script will first open the text file and create an ordered list from the data.

Dynamo Section 1

Once this list is created, we then get the Project Base Point from Revit. The PBP is set to the local setting out point. This is then used to create the local coordinates that Revit will need to set out the piles.

Dynamo Section 2

Because the top and bottom points are in the same list, we can use dynamo to sort the points on the X coordinates (the X and Y value will be the same for the top and bottom point). This section of the script separates the Eastings, Northings and Levels and transforms the coordinates to local grid suitable for Revit.

Dynamo Section 3

The last part then creates the Revit elements and sets the depth parameter to send the piles to the rock level.

Dynamo Section 4

Here is the final layout in Revit.

Revit Piling Layout

Obviously, we can directly use the coordinates to create a piling schedule and use the point numbers to number each pile.

Hope that has been useful,

Lawrence H

 

Tutorial – Transferring Pile caps from Revit to Robot using Dynamo

Many of you may already know that if you would like to design a pile cap for punching shear with Robot you need to manually model the pile cap as a panel and then manually set up all the piles and the footprint of the column. This can be a real pain when the geometry changes!

Pile Cap Punching Shear Robot A better approach is to unleash the power of Dynamo to help model the analytical panels and nodes that can be used by Robot Structural Analysis. You will first need to make sure that the package ‘Structural Analysis for Dynamo’ has been installed.

Structural Analysis for Dynamo Package

You will then see a range of nodes that allow you to take Revit geometry into Dynamo and then create Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis elements. The main idea behind the process is to take the top surfaces of the pile caps and then build panels from these in Robot. We then take the footprint of the column and the pile diameters and model these as panel openings. In the example I have used you can see the Revit model and the panels and nodes that are created in Robot.

revit robot pile Caps

If there is enough interest I may create a full tutorial video for this process but if you can’t wait to test this out then you can download a large image of the Dynamo graph from here:

Dynamo Graph as Image

 

LawrenceH

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

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

Revit and Dynamo – Finding the Centroid (CoG) of Revit elements

I was recently asked by a contractor if Revit could report on the centroid of selected objects to facilitate crane lifts. For those of you that know Revit well the answer if normally no. However, Dynamo is really useful for this sort of task. I have created a simple family to represent the Centroid and added three shared parameters to report on the X,Y and Z coordinates.

Centroid

As you can see from the above Dynamo graph the method is fairly simple and can be really useful for a number of scenarios in construction planning.

Here is a quick video showing the use of the Dynamo Graph.

Centroid