RTV Tools

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Learn Python Scripting in Revit

Daren Thomas started a GitBook to describe how RevitPythonShell and Revit interact, and perhaps you may find something useful that could assist with creating custom Python nodes for Dynamo...

Download at:
Scripting Autodesk Revit with RevitPythonShell - GitBook

Friday, September 25, 2015

Solving a Local vs Central Revit Link Problem with View Templates

Revit Wants you to transmit 'detached copies' of Central files for linking into other models. If you ignore this and transmit your Local copy instead, Revit always remembers where that instance of the Local file was saved, and it causes havoc in a federated model situation. You can use the free CTC explorer extension to quickly check this:
Or you could use Dynamo with my Bakery package:

 Hypothetically, let's say you have received a file from a consultant, and after reloading you realise it was a Local file, not a Central. Now, your federated model may already have changed the name of the file to match whatever the local was called. Let's say this problem has caused another problem: multiple instances of that same model have been loaded into this file.

If you are using View Templates, only one of these instances will be the point-of-truth for your View Template Revit Link Overrides. Time to get out your magnifying glass and investigate. Firstly, we will create multiple copies of the RVT file with different names, and then use Reload From (in Manage Links) to get these loaded into the current Revit session. This will create a Local alias:

Now, only one of these is the historical, correct link in the context of this federated model. How do we know which one to keep and which ones to remove?

We can use our View Template Revit Link Overrides to tell us... after all, they are the reason we are going through this process, right? We want Revit to 'remember' the overrides we have made in those templates. So let's have a look at the View Template and see what it tells us.

Basically, by reviewing the Custom overrides here, I was able to determine which version of the Link to keep. It just so happens that the correct historical link had:
  • a lower number as its instance name (shown above as 149), and
  • a lower number as its element ID (450048 compared to 1288492). I found this by using Project Browser, Select All Instances - In Entire Project and then Manage - IDs of Selection
The above two 'numerical' investigative methods are probably not 100% reliable, but they may give you a good idea of which link instance is older in terms of this project.

Now, simply Remove the wrong links using the Manage Links dialog, and be aware of not re-linking multiple new instances if you just so happen to get a Local copy from someone in the project team. And remember...

What does Revit Want? Central copies for linking purposes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Want access to 27500 Revit Drafting Views and around 1000 Revit Families for $499 per year?

ArchVision has just released a new content subscription service, initially focused on Revit construction details, called Detail Warehouse. What is it and how does it work? Read on below...

The DETAIL WAREHOUSE provides access to over 27,500 native Revit Drafting Views designed to kick-start or supplement your in-house Revit standards library. The collection is comprised of foundation, door, window and roof details representing 50 sub-categories of construction details. In addition, you’ll also have access to nearly 1000 Revit Components.
The goal of DETAIL WAREHOUSE is to provide you with an efficient starting point and ongoing complement to your own internal library. For only $499 per year you can access the entire reference library drawing on what you need, when you need it. Learn more at DETAIL WAREHOUSE.

Besides offering the most extensive collection of Revit Drafting Views available anywhere, access to the DETAIL WAREHOUSE is provided via ArchVision’s innovative new content management platform called AVAIL. Through AVAIL, DETAIL WAREHOUSE subscribers can access foundation, door, window and roof “Channels” and search and download content closely matching their needs. A Properties Panel presents high-resolution previews of each Drafting View. AVAIL let’s users browse or search the content in a Channel but also offers an innovative new way to find content we call “Panoply”.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Revit Shortcuts and the Revit Warnings Project

A couple of interesting new endeavors have appeared online recently that I wanted to share. The first is from Autodesk, and they are encouraging you to learn and use keyboard shortcuts. I have posted about keyboard shortcuts plenty of times in the past. I'm not sure this particular site will help me much, because over the years I have customized my Revit shortcuts and they don't match up with the default anymore :-)

Check it out at:
Revit Shortcuts | Keyboard Shortcuts and Commands | Autodesk

I have also posted previously about warnings and error reports (including how to solve them). The Revit Warnings Project  wants to take your Revit error reports and turn them into some useful, browse-able statistics data and graphs. It is an interesting read, if only to see how your errors compare to some others. I would like to see the Revit Warnings Project expanded to included recommended solutions to the warnings too.

My less-serious take on Revit Warnings and Errors can be viewed here:
What Revit Wants: Funny Revit Error Messages

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Revizto Direct Download Links

Revizto is getting better and better with each release. However, you may find that your company firewall is blocking the exe download. In that case, you can use these alternative direct MSI download links:
64-bit: http://update.revizto.com/v3/msi64
32-bit: http://update.revizto.com/v3/msi32

Free Ways to Export your Families from Revit and Sort them into Folders

There was an API addin available a while back, but in recent years I have used:
These are the steps to export the families using the builtin workflow:

Personally, I now usually use Unifi to export and manage Revit content.

Thanks to Matt Wash for prompting me to do an update post on these different methods.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Add a Default Value to an Input Node in Dynamo in just a few seconds

This is a pretty basic lesson, but just in case you aren't doing it already... Adding a default value to your input nodes can make your custom nodes much more useful (and possibly easier for others to use). Obviously, not every input always needs a default, but in some cases you probably know that "in 9 times out of 10 use cases, this value should be xyz". To add this default value in Dynamo:
  1. Edit the custom node
  2. In the input node label, after the label name type a space, followed by a colon, followed by a space
  3. You are now in 'default value land'. Dynamo will prompt you for a datatype.
  4. Choose or enter an appropriate datatype, then type a space, followed by an equals sign, followed by the default value
  5. Obviously, the value must match the datatype.
An explanatory image and a 1 minute screencast are provided below.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Import any 3D geometry (like Google Earth terrain) to Revit environment via Memento and Recap

I got a virtual tap on the shoulder from Brian Nickel over at The Revit Saver today. He said he had been "searching for an answer like this for a year or two, and the guy posted it two days ago overseas! Talk about a neat workflow!"

What are we talking about?

Basically, it is an inventive way to use the mesh tools in Memento, which can consume images, make meshes, and export them to Recap. From there, we can easily get that into Revit for quick site context investigations. The actual implications of this workflow are pretty big... hypothetically, it allows you to use any good series of images to automatically make some 3d geometry and bring it into the Revit environment for further modelling.

Funnily enough, this workflow is just a logical extension of the stated aims of Memento, namely images to meshes as a 'great companion to ReCap':

Here's how arnebjelland describes the workflow from Google Maps to Revit (via Photoshop, Memento and Revit), In short:
  • open google maps in full screen and find your building site
  • rotate the view around your site meanwhile you press «print screen» as often as you wish
  • with dropbox installed, the «print screens» should be perfectly downloaded automatically
  • you should crop your photos to get rid of unwanted text/labels. You can do this by making an «action» in Photoshop and then choose «File» – «Scripts» – «Image Processor» to crop every photos in a folder
  • then you make a mesh in Memento with your cropped photos and export it in RCP
  • import it into Revit and enjoy

Screencast (Brian Nickel):

Images (Brian Nickel):

Steps from arnebjelland at:
Combining Google Maps, photogrammetry and pointcloud into Revit | Digital story of an architect

Heads-up from Brian Nickel at:
The Revit Saver: Combining Google Maps, Photogrammetry and Pointcloud Data into Revit 2016

Type Catalogues and the Revit API

Have you ever wondered if there are API commands for addressing or automating Type Catalog information in Revit? A recent post from Jeremy Tammik covered some of this. In it, he discusses the difference between
  • the embedded MEP lookup tables (which the API can address using FamilySizeTable and FamilySizeTableManager), and
  • the legacy text file lookup tables, which are basically a specially formatted TXT file with the same name as the RFA.
The post is well worth a read, as he also references some useful resources in the Revit help and an AU class...

 What about units in Type Catalogues? Quoting directly from The Building Coder:
Question: we're trying to create type catalogue in txt file for Radiator family. We were trying to define a parameter in watt units, with no success. How to define header for this parameter?
Answer: Look at page 15 of Martin Schmid's Autodesk University class handout on Creating Revit MEP Content for Engineering Coordination.
Here is a sample Exhaust Fan RFA and TXT file for you to play with.
They don't use Watts, but should give the idea if you are not already familiar with type catalogues.
Also, the families guide provides a list of the parameter types, namely, for electrical_power: watts, kilowatts, british_thermal_units_per_second, british_thermal_units_per_hour, calories_per_second, kilocalories_per_second, volt_amperes, kilovolt_amperes, horsepower.

From original post at: http://thebuildingcoder.typepad.com/blog/2015/07/type-catalogues.html

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Move Multiple Revit Viewports on Different Sheets in one Operation

Let's say you have 50 sheets with one viewport on each, and you want to nudge all those viewports around the sheet a little bit. Difficult?
  1. Use a couple of nodes from Bakery to grab the Viewport elements based on a name search (also thanks to Rhythm package creator John Pierson)
  2. Now you have the element IDs in the clipboard, go back to Revit and Select by ID. Paste.
  3. You now have all of those viewports selected, and can move them all at once!

BIM and FM Resources

Check out this page for more on Facility Management and BIM from AUGI:


Links copied below:

BIM Kickoff Meeting FAQ
This document was posted by Robert Bell to the Revit MEP forum, as a good checklist for discussion between contractors.
Revit Maximo Integration Plugin
This application has been retired/graduated from the Autodesk Labs site, but, please check out the documentation for the intended functionality and contact Autodesk to display your interest in this capability.
Revit Archibus Overlay
Archibus Overlay has long worked with AutoCAD, and you can purchase it for Revit, too, allowing for reporting and querying across multiple models.
Linking Data Spreadsheet to Navisworks for Facility Management
This is more of a debate with mulitiple options than an iron-clad framework, but, the idea is worth reviewing.
The GSA on BIM for FM
The General Services Administration has been a forerunner in utilitzing BIM post-construction and thoroughly documenting their standards. Check out the links on the left of the page to access press releases, videos and the BIM Library.
AECbytes: BIM for Facilities Management
AECbytes does a roundup of FM products that can make use of BIM (this is an older article, if there's a newer version, please let me know and I will update the link). A good read by Lachmi Khemlani, as usual.
BIM for FM on a University Campus
Case study on the business case for building information modeling at Northumbria University’s city campus, presented at ECObuild 2013.
How to Approach BIM for Renovations
A link to a detailed methodology and a real world report of how one hospital stepped through the process.
What does an Owner Want with BIM?
This article says that most companies are doing a disservice with this question, when they should really be asking 'Who is the Owner?' A rundown of the stakeholders using the data and Revit models turned over to the facilities and engineering staff post-occupancy.
Moving from AutoCAD to BIM for Building Floor Plans
The Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University’s BIM Implementation Project.
Setup with Clients and Owners
Discussion on how to work with clients on delivery and standards formation.
Circular Linking of Models and Campus Buildings
Discussion on some issues with working across a large multi-building campus.
Coordinating Projects Using Shared Coordinates
Class handout and video link to an in-depth Revit class by Steve Stafford.
Revit Standards: Getting Started Guides
BIM Standards and Guidelines

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Trying to get FAB to RME Labs addin to work?

This Labs project was distributed a while back, but it timed out and the addin won't usually run anymore. Its purpose was basically to import a .RIF file from cadMEP back into Revit with some intelligent mapping.

I had someone ask me how to get this working now that the Labs period is up, and I made the suggestion to set the computer time back to before the addin expired... And it works :) So if you really want to play with the FAB to RME Labs addin from about 2 years ago, this might be an option for you.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Calculate Duct Fitting Area and Write to Parameter for Schedulability

Paweł Romaniuk has shared his workflow to take various parameters from a model, run the necessary algorithms and then write the area back to a parameter for use in a Revit schedule. Link to pdf download is below... Thanks Paweł.


Revit MEP Dynamo - Duct Fittings Calculation | LinkedIn

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Set Worksharing Display Mode for All Views in Revit

There is no immediately easy way to override the colour of an entire Revit Link. Of course, you can set up a View Template and override all of the individual subcategories, but that can get time consuming when working with many links...

Worksharing Display Mode gives us a quick way of visualising Worksets. What if we put each Revit Link on its own Workset? Then if we set Worksharing Display Mode to Worksets, these Links are overridden with the Workset colours selected in the dialog:

Unfortunately, the Worksharing Display Mode setting is a temporary override (notice the border around the view?), and it will be switched off when we close and open the file. However, the colour choices will be retained. Is there a way we can quickly 'turn on' the Worksharing Display Mode for all views in the document? Perhaps this could be done just prior to printing, or at the start of an editing session?

Enter... you guessed it... Dynamo.

I made a node to Enumerate Worksharing Display Modes available, and another one to Set Worksharing Display Mode for View. Finally, I adapted the archi-lab Get All Views node into a List All Views node. Now, we can set them in one click:

And a Screencast:

Each time you print, you will be prompted to "Leave the mode on and print...", but the colour override will print fine :)

Colours will transfer using Transfer Project Standards, as per:
Transfer Project Standards

If you populate a project with the desired worksets, usernames, and colors you can automatically transfer most of this data over to another project.  Under Manage > Transfer Project Standards, there is a new option for Worksharing Display Settings.

Keep in mind this will not transfer over workset names from one project to another. 

It will however transfer over workset colors, should the same name workset appear in both projects.

Each category has a Show Color column with a checkbox; these are project specific and do not transfer.
Revit 2012 Worksharing Display Modes and Transfer Project Standards - The Revit Clinic

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Get the Host Pipes of Pipe Insulation on a Given Workset in Revit

It is pretty difficult to change the Workset of Pipe Insulation. The Properties Palette allows you to change them one at a time (but not multiple), while the method I posted about previously can change multiple Pipe Insulations to a different Workset, but it didn't have a nice filtering mechanism.

Enter Dynamo... I made a custom node that takes a list of Pipe Insulations and gives you the Host Pipe element:

Then, I packaged this up in another node that collects all Pipe Insulations, checks their Workset, finds their Host Pipe, and then saves those Pipes to a SelectionSet:

So, if you have Pipe Insulations on the wrong workset:
1.    Install Bakery package in Dynamo
2.    Run definition as in image above
3.    Close Dynamo
4.    Load the Saved Selection
5.    Group these Pipes (which groups the Insulations too)
6.    Change workset (it will have already adopted the current workset)
7.    Ungroup
8.    Done

Thanks to Konrad and Andreas for archi-lab and Clockwork packages respectively. I get a few comments about my Bakery package having a lot of dependencies, but I like the fact that I just need to install Bakery and I get archi-lab, Clockwork, Lunchbox etc. Its like a rough and ready deployment solution...

Oh, one more thing. You may notice in recent versions (like 0.8.2 RC) that there is now some custom path management for Dynamo resources:
Good stuff!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Something big is coming... Construction Document Management Solution from Autodesk?

Check out Project Alexandria:

Thanks to @michaelclothier for the heads-up on this one...

You can enter your email and sign up to find out more. They will send you this summary of the solution:
Welcome to Project Alexandria

The complete, connected solution for construction project teams

Congrats! You're now in the know.  Project Alexandria is still under wraps, but we'll be starting to spread the word soon.  And you'll be the among the first to learn more.

Project Alexandria is being built to connect your construction project teams, with capabilities like:

  •     Management of all your 2D plans, 3D models and any other project documents
  •     Automatic updates to document set versions, and powerful workflows and approvals
  •     Anytime, anywhere access to project documents for your entire project team
We'll be sharing more details soon, so stay tuned for updates as we make them available.  Future updates will be posted to projectalexandria.io (but not before you see them first, of course)!

A big thank you for your interest, welcome to the "in crowd", and please help us share the word using the social links below.

Project Alexandria Team