Friday, March 30, 2012

Form Randomization using RevitPythonShell

You can implement randomization in your scripts using the .NET Random class. For example the following code will return a random double number between 0 and 1 in the RevitPythonShell...

Read more at:
Revit API: Randomization - THE PROVING GROUND

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Autodesk Exchange Apps for Revit 2013

Finally, an easy way to access and install Revit add-ins!  There is already a good selection of free tools available, like Auto Section Box and an alternate IFC Export UI:

 To get there, just press the 'X' icon in the upper right corner:

You could also use this link:
Autodesk Exchange Apps (Revit 2013)

Project Browser Search - Revit 2013

Right-click anywhere in the Project Browser to start a 'search' from that point downwards for the text that you Enter:

Its not quite as functional as a proper 'filtered list' type Search, but maybe next year it will be...

Does your Materials UI Load Really Slowly in Revit 2012 ?

We found that on one project, the Materials Browser would load very slowly when the 'Appearance' tab was activated.  If the dialog was closed and re-opened with the 'Materials' tab activated, there was no lag.

The Solution?  Purge your Render Appearance Property Sets (make sure you know the implications of this).

After purging these, the lag went away.  However, and it is a big 'however' - this resulted in some of our renders no longer working correctly.

If I first went into the few materials that used property sets and set them to 'By Property Set' and not 'Independent', Revit did not purge the necessary data and the renders were still ok.

Understanding the New Materials User Interface in Revit 2013

Have a read of:
The New Materials User Interface in Revit 2013: AECbytes Tips and Tricks

If you have any other tips, feel free to comment.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Download proper Windows 7 SP1 ISO

If you don't have access to your Windows 7 installation media, perhaps these links will help.

NOTE - you still need to own a legitimate copy of Windows 7 of the appropriate type to activate these.
Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Windows 7 Professional 32bit

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Links for Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Microsoft’s official distributer | Raymond.CC Blog

Looking for Material Identity information in Revit 2013?

I anticipate there will be a lot of posts about the changes to Materials in 2013, on such topics as:
  • Why did this happen?
  • "I am angry about Materials 2013 for xyz reason"
  • How do I use this?
  • Will this change again next year?
  • Just, Why?
In any case, if you are looking for the Identity tab for Materials in Revit 2013, look for the arrow.

Video below:

Vista officially not supported for Revit 2013


Where to find your Autodesk Revit 2013 Product key

You want to know the product key for your Autodesk® Revit® 2013-based product. 


Autodesk's 2013-based software requires both a serial number and product key to successfully activate.
Product keys are used to differentiate software sold on its own from those sold as part of a suite. Ensure that you select the correct product key in order to successfully activate your software.
The product key is provided along with your serial number in the following places:
  • If you received physical media, the product key is on the reverse of the package along with the serial number.
  • Emails from Electronic Fulfillment notifying you of your new serial number also include the product key.
  • Contract administrators can log on to Subscription Center to check for their serial number and product key.
  • The Autodesk Business Center (ABC) can provide this information. Their toll-free number is 800-538-6401.
Revit 2013-based product keys:
  • 240E1 - Revit Architecture 2013
  • 255E1 - Revit Structure 2013
  • 297E1 - Revit MEP 2013
  • 241E1 - AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2013
  • 256E1 - AutoCAD Revit Structure Suite 2013
  • 257E1 - AutoCAD Revit MEP Suite 2013
  • 765E1 - Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2013
  • 766E1 - Autodesk Building Design Suite Ultimate 2013

Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - 2013: Where to find your Autodesk Revit 2013 Product key

Revit 2013 Trial Download

You can download Revit 2013 trial version before it is available on the Subscription site for certain Suite users... go figure?

EDIT Go to this link if you want to avoid using Akamai at all and download Revit 2013 directly

If you are having any trouble downloading Revit 2013 trial, follow these steps:
  1. Go to Control Panel, and remove Akamai NetSession Interface
  2. Click on this link, download the installer and run it
  3. In Explorer, browse to: C:\Users\YOUR-USERNAME\AppData\Local\
  4. Hold Shift, Right-click on the 'Akamai' folder and click Open Command Window Here
  5. At the command prompt, type:
    admintool clearcache
    Hit ENTER
    (leave the command prompt open)
  6. Start your download from the Trial download link
  7. Keep this command window open, and type admintool at any time to get an update on your download (speed / bytes downloaded).  To do this, type:
    admintool info
  8. You need to keep the Trial download window open in your internet browser too...

    What's new in Autodesk Revit 2013?

    Just ask David Light! What's new in Autodesk Revit 2013?

    (this will likely be the most re-posted post for the Revit 2013 release :-)

    If you want to see Autodesk's spin, go to:

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Non suite versions of Revit 2013 available for download

    Check your subscription center.

    It still isn't there for Building Design Suite (Australia):

    Revit 2013 Downloads | BD Mackey Consulting | The Revit Geek Blog

    Autodesk Sync issues when installing a 2013 release product after installing a 2013 beta product


    The Autodesk Sync component does not upgrade properly under the following conditions:
    • You installed AutoCAD Beta 2013 (or Showcase Beta 2013) and subsequently install Inventor 2013.
    • You installed Inventor Beta 2013 and subsequently install AutoCAD 2013 (or Showcase 2013 )
    A couple of problems arise with this combination of products.
    Problem 1: Autodesk Sync from the Beta Product cannot be uninstalled
    Problem 2: You will receive a warning message that the Autodesk Sync component cannot be uninstalled during the installation process of the officially released product. You will need to dismiss this dialog and proceed with the installation.
    Problem 3: After the installation of the release product is completed, you will find two entries of the Autodesk Sync component listed in Add/Remove Programs.  If you decide to do nothing about this problem, the Beta Product and the release product will continue to work as expected. However, if you decide to remove the two entries of the Autodesk Sync component, you will need to follow the instructions described in the Solution section.  It is not recommended that you uninstall either of the duplicate entries of the Autodesk Sync component, as this action may break the sync functionality.


    To replace the two entries of Autodesk Sync by the appropriate single entry of the Autodesk Sync component, follow these instructions:
    1. Download and run preInstall.exe
    2. Uninstall the two Autodesk Sync entries in Add/Remove Programs
    3. Install Autodesk Sync using the standalone installer that comes with the software
    4. Download and run postInstall.exe
    preinstall.exe (exe - 23Kb)
    postinstall.exe (exe - 23Kb)

    Autodesk - AutoCAD Services & Support - Autodesk Sync issues when installing a 2013 release product after installing a 2013 beta product

    Flatten 3D model to 2D for Import / Link into Revit

    Oftentimes, you will want to flatten a DWG file before bringing it into Revit, so that Revit isn't confused by all the Z-values... you can use FLATSHOT or the DXB plotter methods, as described below:

    You want to create a flattened two-dimensional (2D) drawing of a three-dimensional (3D) model.


    If you are using AutoCAD 2007 and higher, the FLATSHOT command is available to convert 3D solids to flattened 2D views. (Note this command is not available in AutoCAD LT.)

    The other method to create a 2D drawing from a 3D model is to:

    1. Configure a DXB plotter using the Add-A-Plotter wizard

    Read the rest at:
    Autodesk - AutoCAD Services & Support - Flatten 3D model to 2D

    Revit 2013 Release Comparison Matrix for download

    You are going to see lots and lots and lots and lots of blog posts about Revit 2013 very soon ...

    EDIT - Official Autodesk link -

    Here is one that should provide you with a quick overview of the new features:

    Note - you can find this document by typing revit 2013 release comparison_matrix_en.pdf into a Google search ...

    Convert OBJ, DXF, DAE and 3DS to FBX for free

    Autodesk have provided a bunch of handy FBX converters and plugins at this link.

    The goal of FBX is to "constantly and significantly improve interoperability between Autodesk products and other Digital content creation (DCC) software packages."

    Transfer files from one file format to another quickly and easily with the FBX Converter. This utility enables you to convert OBJ, DXF™, DAE, and 3DS files to or from multiple versions of the FBX format. New tools are now available with the FBX Converter 2012.1. You can view FBX animation files in real time with the FBX Viewer, explore and compare FBX file contents with the FBX Explorer, and manage animation takes with the FBX Take Manager.

    Mac *

    FBX 2012.2 Converter for Mac (tgz - 33931Kb)

    Autodesk - Autodesk FBX - FBX Plug-Ins, Converter, and QuickTime Viewer Downloads

    Here is a quick video of me converting a OBJ to FBX using the above tool.  In the video I also use the FBXIMPORT command to bring the FBX into AutoCAD.  From there, you could save as DWG and bring into Revit:

    PS - This still doesn't quite solve the Mesh to Solid conversion problem ... I am currently experimenting with MESHSMOOTH and CONVTOSOLID.

    Here is a vid showing Revit to 3dsMax via FBX.

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Converting 3D forms between other form creation tools and vanilla Revit geometry

    I am deeply interested in interoperability between form creation tools, as well as workflows that allow you to translate forms between these tools.  Unfortunately, there is really no reliable way to bring forms from other tools into Revit and retain parametricism.  They have to be imported into Revit as geometry that Revit 'likes' (smooth ACIS solids), and then the geometry needs to be re-created as vanilla, or native, Revit geometry. 

    However, the end result is a good one - because you are giving Revit What it Wants.

    This post will look at the following main topics:
    • Translating geometry from Mesh to Solid
    • Rebuilding or re-creating the Solid as native Revit geometry
    • Going from Revit into Rhino via gb XML
    • Some plugins for Grasshopper

    Mesh to Solid
    I am always on the lookout for ways to convert a mesh 3D form into a nice ACIS solid.  From what I hear, Rhino / Grasshopper is the best way to do this.

    Here are a couple of other methods:
    This is essentially an AutoCAD plugin that can translate polyface mesh forms to proper solids.

    I installed Geomagic Studio 2012 64 bit.  It comes as a fully functional 30 day trial.  This software does have various plugins to facilitate parametric data exchange - including one for Inventor.  It can convert a mesh to polygons, and fill holes in a the object.  It can also smooth faces.

    You can convert an object to Points, and then Wrap the points in a new Mesh, use some Mesh tools to tidy it up etc.  You can save as a 3DS or Open Inventor file...

    From ACIS solid to genuine Revit Form
    Once you have a nice, smooth closed ACIS solid form, it is time to import into Revit.

    Earlier this year, David Light provided an example on how to re-create a (relatively simple) form that was imported from Rhino.  His method essentially involves:
    1. Importing the geometry into a Conceptual Mass family
    2. Divide surface of the imported geometry
    3. Create a template of intersections on the U and V grid.
    4. Trace the form using a few closed profiles
    5. Remove the Import
    6. Create the form using the traced profiles
    You can read his full post here:

    Revit: Rebuilding forms in Vasari or Revit 2012

    Image from

    Going the other way - Revit into Rhino via gbXML
    Sometimes you may want to translate geometry from a Revit model and bring it into Rhino for analysis.  The following quoted paragraph provides one method, and a plugin:

    I wanted to streamline the process of transferring Revit geometry into Rhino and simplifying it for DIVA analysis.  gbXML seemed like a good way to do that.  So that being said, the plugin currently only uses a small portion of the gbXML schema to transfer basic geometry.  I would be interested in feedback as I am sure there are bugs...
    You can download the plugin at the link below.  Installation instructions and an example are included.

    Image sourced via

     via Hiroshi Jacobs at Chameleon - Grasshopper

    Things you can do in Grasshopper with C#
    Grasshopper features an impressive amount of highly interlinked components – from lines to trees, from circles to graph editors. Sometimes, however, when design tasks become more advanced, we might need to further customize this plugin by directly borrowing from Rhino commands. With these scripting components, the user can quickly solve otherwise more complex design behaviors.
    This list of C# scripts is a work in progress and is open for requests. Supporting  v. 0.8.2 and some previous versions.

    Above paragraph via Giulio Piacentino

    Image from

    Go to for download links to the scripts, and the complete list.

    Hopefully some of this information has been useful to you.

    Feel free to post other methods or workflows as a Comment.  Thanks.

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Stop smashing that Esc key in Revit

    ... and assign a keyboard shortcut to 'Modify' that is close to your keyboard hand -

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    WhiteFeet menu set updated

    These are the latest Revit 2012 Files available for download. They are ready for use but the documentation is very out-of-date:
    Note: These are compiled with 64-bit Revit and Windows 7, and .NET 4.0. I'm not sure of the effect if you don't have these.
    2011-06-31 WhiteFeetMenuDocumentation

    You'll need an addin file. Note that you need to edit the path in it to the location where you put the other files.
    (See installation instructions below.)


    New Revit Add-Ons blog

    Here is a link to a new blog by Tim Grimm.  Each post features a new Revit add-in: some free, and some commercial.  Check it out:
    Revit Add-Ons

    I made a bit of a list of free Revit add-ins myself a while ago, but things change very quickly in the Revit development scene.  Here is my old post:
    Free Revit add-ins, get your free Revit add-ins...

    New Subscription Product Download interface - ready for Revit 2013 !

    I quite like the look and functionality of it:

    What new features can you expect in Revit 2013?  Well, Twitter has provided a few clues lately...

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    In-place and Component families of Stair and Railing Category

    Here is a little gift to all my readers.  The link below allows you to download a 2012 version RVT project that contains In-place and Component versions of families that are of the Category 'Stairs' and 'Railings'.
    Download link

    Revit does not allow this to happen out-of-the-box, so you can be sure that this hack is not best practice, and it won't be supported by Autodesk.  Use at your own risk!

    Having said that, if you know what you are doing, these families could be quite useful to you.

    Revit Family Stair Category
    RFA Railing Category

    Python for Energy Modelers – Post-processing

    This post looks at the post-processing side of the energy modeling workflow. Often, a spreadsheet tool like Excel is a first choice for many analysis tasks. This is great for simple cases, but if the number of files or the amount of data is large or complex, Excel will cost you time and lead to errors. This is where you should turn to Python! 

    Read more at:
    Python for Energy Modelers – Part 3 – Simple Post-processing | openRevit

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Stubborn Reference Bubbles not listening to 'Coarser than' rules? Here is why:

    When a view is not a live view but references another view it doesn’t obey the “Hide at scales coarser than” rules, it will always display.

    Referenced Bubbles | BD Mackey Consulting | The Revit Geek Blog

    Free platform neutral BIM object library to be launched today

    If you aren't excited about a community sourced list of links to Revit content, then maybe you are interested in a platform-neutral library of ... BIM objects?

    We are delighted to confirm that following six months of investigation, development, consultation and investment; the National BIM Library will be launched at Ecobuild, 20-22 March 2012.
    The National BIM Library, from NBS, is a platform-neutral free to use library of high quality generic and proprietary BIM objects, designed for use in the UK. The library will be revealed on the joint RIBA / NBS stand at Ecobuild (Stands S1630 and S1640) with the first batch of generic BIM objects in IFC, plus native formats from some of the leading CAD software vendors.
    The library will build up to become the leading source of free-to-use BIM objects, and over time will also incorporate proprietary manufacturer objects.

    The National BIM Library - Building Information Modelling (BIM) article from NBS

    EDIT - here is a link to the site.  Just click on the arrow and choose Revit or IFC from the download options

    Sketchup Import app for AutoCAD

    Revit users have been able to import SKP directly for many years ... now AutoCAD gets an app for exactly that purpose:

    The SketchUp Import plug-in allows you to import a SketchUp file (*.skp) into an open drawing as a block reference. The SketchUp model will be imported as a block containing mesh and other objects. This plugin works with SKP files created in Google SketchUp version 5 or later. 

    Download at:
    Autodesk Exchange Apps

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Autodesk 2D DWF Writer download links - make DWFs from Word and Excel

    Direct Links:

    Free DWF Publishing
    DWF publishing helps you enhance collaboration and easily exchange project information with extended teams. Download the free* Autodesk® DWF™ Writer to securely share 2D and 3D data as DWF files—no matter what design application you’re using. Now available for 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows®.

    • Built-In 2D and 3D publishing—Publish 2D or 3D designs automatically with built-in DWF publishing from many of the Autodesk design applications.
    • Publish rich design information—Select the preferred 32-bit Autodesk® DWF™ Writer plug-in—SolidWorks® 2006, CATIA® (V5), or Pro/ENGINEER® Wildfire™ 2.0—to publish 3D models including intelligent design information.
    • Publish from Microsoft applications—A Microsoft® Windows® system printer driver, DWF Writer allows you to publish easily and directly from Microsoft applications, including PowerPoint®, Word, Excel®, Visio® and Project applications.
    FAQ (pdf - 53Kb)


    Applied Software Blog: 2d DWF Writer

    " I don't care which software you choose ... just choose " - Revit OpEd

    A very reasonable, interesting and intelligent post from Steve Stafford ... here is a quote of my favourite part:

    Consider that Archicad would love it if we all woke up tomorrow and gave them credit for doing it all years earlier. Ahead of their time, poorly marketed, not really the "right" solution?

    I don't even care. If you do, keep in mind it's an endless debate with no practical outcome. The fact remains that until Revit and Autodesk's ability to focus resources on creating an obvious difference between what "we" are doing and what "we" ought to be doing...there had been little or no serious progress by any product attempting to solve problems in similar ways, not even their own other product.

    If you've made the decision. Congratulations! You are moving forward.

    Read the rest at:
    Revit OpEd: Yeah But

    How many Revit flavors do you want in Revit 2013?

    What could this tweet mean?

    Translated first sentence:
    Great news: soon only 1 flavor revit for all disciplines!

    Twitter / @WimBremmer: Geweldig nieuws: straks no ...

    EDIT added:
    A # Revit for all disciplines in Building Design Premium Suite 2013. Makes it a lot easier.

    Twitter / @roboud: Eén #Revit voor alle disci ...

    " IFC is too complex, too large, and too fragile to survive" - Ray Crotty

    Do you agree? 

    Here is a more complete quote:
    One of the biggest practical obstacles to effective diffusion of BIM in the industry is the lack of data exchange standards and associated protocols. The Industry Foundation Class (IFC) definitions being developed by BuildingSMART will be useful, but will probably be used mainly as an archive format. IFC is too complex, too large, and too fragile to survive in the real world of live projects. Commercial IT companies are much more likely to produce a robust solution in this situation than committees of experts.
    So why not accept the facts as they are and recognise Revit (for now) as a de facto industry standard? We can allow or incentivise Autodesk to licence the Revit file format—perhaps one or two versions late—on a FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) basis to its competitors, and use competition law to regulate the situation. (It’s important in this to separate out the idea of data interoperability from application interoperability—how different systems store data from how they represent the behaviours of data objects. The first can probably reasonably be made public, the second probably not.)

    Read the entire article at:
    Beyond BIM – Building With Perfect Information: AECbytes Viewpoint #64

    Image from

    Convert HPGL PLT files to DXF or DWG

    This is not something you are going to need to do everyday, and probably less and less as PLT files become a thing of the past.  But, if you ever do need to, here are two tools that may help:

    guthrie CAD :: GIS - Hpgl2CAD Download
    15 day trial allows 10 translations with no file size limit.
    HPGL2CAD 4.0
    4.0 A.13
    11.0 MB, Updated Decem
    ber 7, 2011

    Govert's Tools - PLT to DXF
    This Windows tool converts HPGL and HPGL/2 to DXF. 

    Image from

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Transfer Color Schemes using Transfer Project Standards

    in a project where you want to inherit the properties panel in the "Manage" choose "a color designation schemes," and in the "Deselect" target checkbox only "color scheme designations."

    via Google Translate
    Заметки о Revit и том, что с ним связано: Копирование свойств легенды помещений из проекта в проект

    'Embedding intent' - Phil Read

    An old (2006) but insightful post by Phil Read:

    if Max/SketchUp/etc.understood the intent of what you were modeling, I suspect the translation to Revit would be far more rational. But this isn't the case. Those tools produce generic geometry. But geometry alone isn't enough; you have to be able to embed intent. Creating morphic forms is an interesting exercise in design iteration. But making blobs isn't the same thing as making decisions about construction (or constructibility). Blobs don't have the same rules as buildings.

    AUGI - View Single Post - Adventures in 3ds Max and Revit Massing

    Copying concealed object data into Shared Parameters with WhiteFeet (like Wall Volume)

    In response to my post about Using RDB Link to Tag Wall Volume, Julien Benoit has posted a few helpful comments.  He also referred to his post on RFO.

    I previously posted about WhiteFeet tools here.  Basically, the Revit Parameter Tools allow you to drive Shared Parameters with object information that is normally concealed from tags, such as Volume.  There is a lot more to the WhiteFeet package than this, but certainly this is easier than having to go out to RDBLink / Access and back again every time...

    Check out screencast embedded below.  Thanks Julien!

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Sketchup tools - DWG import / export, OBJ importer, IFC importer

    DWG import and export (free)

    Currently, the best way to exchange DWG/DXF with SketchUp is to use SketchUp 7.1 & the DWG/DXF import plugin for SketchUp 7.1 (Free)

    As of now, both SketchUp version 7.1 and the optional installer are available for download. Only the Pro version of SketchUp 7.1 is available for download, but that's OK - it will revert to the Free version after 8 hours use, and you will be able to continue using it.
    Jim's SketchUp [Plugins] Blog: SketchUp 8 Free & DWG/DXF

    Direct links
    Google SketchUp Pro 7 Download

    DWG/DXF import plugin for SketchUp 7.1 (Free)

    The DWG/DXF importer isn't available in Google SketchUp 7.1, however it is offered in Google SketchUp Pro. You can download this optional plugin for Windows or Mac that enables the DWG/DXF importer.

    Last updated: June 2008
    IFC2SKP works inside SketchUp and has the ability to load IFC datafrom popular BIM (CAD) applications such as Revit, ArchiCAD and Microstation. The plug-in will not only load the geometry or object data into SketchUp from the IFC file format but it will also display the BIM data of each imported objects. IFC2SKP has been updated to work in SketchUp 8.  

    Direct link:
    Download IFC2SKP Program File

    OBJ importer
    If you need an .obj importer plugin for Sketchup, you can check out FluidImporter.
    FluidImporter is super fast (entirely written in C++) and completely free.

    Downloads | FluidRay - Physically Based Renderer

    Older OBJ importer:
    View topic - [Plugin] Import OBJ with Materials v1.9 20110223 • SketchUcation Community Forums

    Various Sketchup resources and plugins:
    Resources - SketchUp Sage

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Freeform and organic modelling from MeshMixer to 3ds Max to Revit

    I'll admit it - I'm a bit excited about MeshMixer.  I downloaded it today and was very pleased at how easy it is to sculpt things.  A few years back, we worked on an aquarium project with another architect, and it was suggested that it would be great if Revit could generate freeform rock formations that looked realistic.  At the time, I played with Blender and a little add-on called 'Blender World Forge'.

    However, I think MeshMixer can also do the job.  After installing the program I was very surprised that it is actually called Autodesk meshmixer - anyone tell me what is going on here?

    Anyway, to see me create some organic-looking rocks and bring them into Revit, check out the video:

    Basically, this was my workflow:
    1. Install MeshMixer
    2. Open it, grab a Sphere, do some sculpting.
      (EDIT: You can probably skip steps 3,4 and 6 if you use the built-in Export feature on the File menu... let me know if it works for you.)
    3. Create a part out of the sculpted form you made
    4. Save the project, and find the part OBJ file at
    5. Import that into 3D Max
    6. Cap the holes in the mesh
    7. Export to SAT
    8. Import into Revit family, adjust materials.
    9. Load into Project.

    Here is the download link again:

    Heads-up via

    Getting RGB value of a color under the mouse cursor for use in Revit

    I previously posted about how to get the average RGB colour of a sample and put it into Revit.   Revit Learning Club Blog today shows a nice, simple way to obtain the RGB values of any color on your screen (under the mouse cursor):

    Someone has shared a very nice color picker utility called Colorette, which was written in AutoHotKey. The app description is at and the EXE itself is .

    For an example of how to use Colorette with Revit, save the EXE to your Desktop and run it. Find a web page with the color you want to find, like , hover your mouse over the color on the screen and press Space on your keyboard.

    Revit Learning Club Blog: How to Get a Color From Your Screen into a Revit Material

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Using RDB Link to Tag Wall Volume

    Revit doesn't let you tag Wall Volume by default, so Avisotskiy puts RDBLink to good use - he uses Microsoft Access to update a Shared Parameter with the wall Volume data, and then simply uses a tag to grab the manually updated and manually created Volume data.

    This is not a 'live' link, but it shouldn't take too long to round trip the project to update the Volume information prior to document transmission or printing.

    From his blog:
    Revit does not allow to directly make a mark in the volume of the object.
    4. Unload in Access, using the Query Designer update the "_Obem", taking data from the parameter "Volume".

    Image from
    Google Translate

    Hotfix - Revit 2012 - Point Clouds

    This hotfix addresses issues with meters to feet conversions indexing FARO point clouds and improves product stability when manipulating large or complex point clouds.

    Make sure that Update Release 2 has been applied prior to adding the hotfix. Verify that the build number of Revit 2012 is 20110916_2132.

    The Readme contains the latest information regarding the installation and use of this update. It is strongly recommended that you read the entire document before you apply the update to your product. For your reference, you should save the Readme to your hard drive or print a copy.
    Readme (htm - 97Kb) (zip - 3810Kb)

    Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Hotfix - Autodesk Revit 2012 - Point Clouds

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Allplan vs Revit - Revit "demanding but consistent ... requires but rewards"

    Over at, there is a post that compares some of the main features of Allplan and Revit.  Judging by the review, it seems that Allplan has better PDF integration than Revit (which isn't very hard).

    I think some of his description of Revit is quite good:
    Revit, Autodesk, is American.
    After Archicad and Allplan, Revit was the last to arrive. Is a product of Autodesk and that, in principle, gives confidence. We can imagine that if we use AutoCAD, BIM from the same company it will be easier to learn. There will be many surprises. And it is. The learning curve is very fast. It's very intuitive.

    I like your work philosophy: everything is done in 3d and then generates the planes. This is not to make a BIM or so and then end up drawing in 2D as if we were in Autocad. It is demanding but more consistent. It requires but rewards.

    Google Translate

    More Free Revit Applications - Family Loader and Materials deleter

    It must be hard to make money as a Revit application developer - because there are some cool free add-ins getting around.  From, check out these three free utilities:

    Easy Family Loader
    It will filter the path name, then the file name, and it's quite easy to use.

    Materials batch delete tool
    This little tool will help you a lot when you want to delete multiple materials.

    Auto Dimension

    Download them all, for both Revit 2012 and Revit 2011, at:
    Revit Applications - download center

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Crazy checkbox action in Visibility / Graphics - Revit 2012

    What is wrong with this video?  Antiquated UI toolkit strikes again?

    Real Revit users have good manners like @davewlight and @Twiceroadsfool

    Interesting little Twitter exchange between Aaron Maller and David Light shows that we don't need to be rude to exchange our Revit-opinions:

    @Twiceroadsfool hey just read ya post on a certain site, certainly not offended, u make valid points, it's obviously a big headache 4 u ;-(

    @davewlight Its a part of life. But i didnt realize the way i phrased that sentence. Was totally sincere, not snarky. Hehe! All good =)

    @twiceroadsfool Really no apology needed mate! I value #revit passion! :)

    @davewlight Its come to my attention i might have a reputation for bluntness, so i have to be sure! =)

    Hotfix UPDATE – Improves stability when working with large datasets (64-bit only)

    I previously posted about this hotfix here, but now Autodesk has updated a few things.  The mem_hotfix zip file now only includes a 64-bit version of Utility.dll, where the original also included a 32-bit version. 

    Also, this update now includes an associated Cloud Rendering hotfix (see below):

    Hotfix – Autodesk Revit 2012 – Improves stability when working with large datasets (64-bit only)

    This hotfix improves product stability when working with large datasets.

    Make sure that Update Release 2 has been applied prior to adding the hotfix. Verify that the build number of Revit 2012 is 20110916_2132.

    NOTE: This hotfix applies to the 64-Bit release of Autodesk Revit 2012 only.
    The Readme contains the latest information regarding the installation and use of this update. It is strongly recommended that you read the entire document before you apply the update to your product. For your reference, you should save the Readme to your hard drive or print a copy.
    readme-Revit (htm - 84Kb) (zip - 6005Kb)

    The above hotfix when applied will impact anyone whom uses the Autodesk Cloud Rendering add-in for Autodesk Revit 2012 products.  The below hotfix will need to be applied to ensure that the Autodesk Cloud Rendering add-in remains functional.

    The Readme contains the latest information regarding the installation and use of this update. It is strongly recommended that you read the entire document before you apply the update to your product. For your reference, you should save the Readme to your hard drive or print a copy.
    readme-CloudRendering (htm - 84Kb) (zip - 65Kb)

    Autodesk - Autodesk Revit Architecture Services & Support - Hotfix – Autodesk Revit 2012 – Improves stability when working with large datasets (64-bit only)

    Revit and Navisworks offline file viewer for Ipad - sign up for Beta

    For all you Ipad users out there:

    Field BIM-Interactive™ enables BIM viewing and interactivity on the iPad. Key features include:
    • A simple interface that will allow a user to put themselves "inside" the model while in the field
    • Online or offline access to interact with model files
    • Support for both Navisworks® and Revit® files (with other model types to follow)
    • Viewpoints are transferred from your model file into Field BIM-Interactive so you can quickly navigate to a specific location

    Field BIM-Interactive: Construction BIM viewing on the iPad| Vela Systems

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Topography edge visibility workaround

    In Revit, you can't use the linework tool on the physical edge of a Toposurface.  Worse still, the edge has no distinct category of its own.

    The only viable workaround that lets you consistently hide the edge of a Toposurface is to change its Object Style color to white.  You can still set you Primary and Secondary contours to show in black or whatever color you use.

    This method creates its own problems - like if you draw a grey filled region over the edge of the Toposurface, the 'white' line may show through and print.  In any case, feel free to ask Autodesk for some better visibility control over Toposurface elements.

    While you are at it, why not ask for Toposurfaces to comprehend phasing properly?

    Tip via:
    AUGI - View Single Post - Linework tool w/ Topography

    Autodesk Cloud Rendering add-in update 2

    Direct link: